ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Through the Lens of a Constitutional Republic

The textbook controversy is an opportunity for us to explore some of our core constitutional principles, especially the relationship between Parliament and freedom of expression. Parliament is certainly the space to discuss complaints of "offensive material" but should exercise its option of withdrawal of the textbooks in the "last instance" not in the "fi rst instance" as has been done in this case.

The Constitution, Cartoons and Controversies

A close reading of the Political Science textbook shows that it is complex, moves beyond pat answers, and treats the Constitution as a living document. It was produced in the light of the National Curriculum Framework 2005, which in itself was a major attempt to democratise education, and reverse the National Curriculum Framework 2000 which was casteist and sexist.

Third Assembly Elections in Uttarakhand

seats since the previous election. How- Third Assembly Elections Uever in terms of vote share, both the parties ended up adding votes. The in Uttarakhand Congress

Sixth Assembly Elections in Goa

failed to open its account. Five inde- Sixth Assembly Elections in Goa pendent candidates were elected to the Asingle day poll for 40 assembly seats in Goa was held on 3 March 2012. At nearly 83%, the voters

Tenth Assembly Elections in Manipur

vote share secured by all the PDF con sti- Tenth Assembly Elections tuents (MPP, RJD, NCP, JD(U) and CPI(M)) in Manipur Asingle day poll for 60 assembly seats in Manipur was held on 28 January 2012. This 10th general election to the State Legislative Assembly witnessed a lower turnout compared to previous elections. At 80%, the voters

Fourteenth Assembly Elections in Punjab

SPECIAL STATISTICS: 2012 STATE ELECTIONS SPECIAL STATISTICS: 2012 STATE ELECTIONS contestants, from 1,045 last time to 1,078 Fourteenth Assembly Elections candidates in this election (Table 1A). As always, the main contest in this in Punjab Aelection was between the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD+/ SAD-BJP) alliance and the Indian National single day poll to elect the 14th women voters at 79% exceeded that of Congress (INC/Congress) which contested Assembly in Punjab was held on men voters by 1 percentage point. There the elections on its own fi elding candi30 January 2012. The election was also an increase in the number of dates in all 117 seats. The Bahujan Samaj witnessed high participation. A record Table 1B: Summary Results: Seats Contested, Won and Votes Secured by Major Parties and Alliances, 79% of a total of 1,76,82,363 registered Compared to the Assembly Election (2007) Seats Seats Won Gain/Loss Vote Share Vote % Per Vote Swing voters turned out to vote, the highest Contested of Seats (%) Seat Contested since 2007ever, and up by 3 percentage points since since 2007 (% Points) the last assembly election. Turnout of Shiromani Akali Dal + (SAD+) 117 68 0 41.91 41.91 -3.46 Table 1A: Summary Electoral Participation: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) 94 56 +7 34.73 42.40 -2.36 Electorate, Turnout and Number of Candidates Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 23 12 -7 7.18 39.73 -1.10 Compared to the Assembly Election (2007) Indian National Congress (INC) 117 46 +2 40.09 40.09 -0.81 Assembly Election Change from

Gender in the HLEG Report

Apart from referring to gender concerns in its chapters addressing critical areas of the healthcare system, the High Level Expert Group's report on Universal Health Coverage for India has a separate chapter on gender and health. While the report as a whole and this chapter make several sound suggestions, what comes through is that much more could have been done. In the absence of a gender and health analysis framework, the report tends to address gender issues in an ad hoc and uneven fashion.

Universal Health Coverage in India

India's steps towards universal health coverage began in the early years after Independence but they faltered because of various factors, including resource constraints. The context has vastly changed since then but the need remains as urgent as it always was. This overview to the special issue on the report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage notes that the report takes into account the complex nature of the health situation in the country and puts forth an integrated blueprint for achieving UHC. There may be a few shortcomings, but if the interlinked proposals are implemented in a carefully planned manner, a long-delayed promise to the country's people could be largely fulfilled.

Political Challenges to Universal Access to Healthcare

While welcoming the report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India for its comprehensive vision and many well-conceived recommendations, this article focuses on the conditions needed for its promise to bear fruit. Towards this, it explores the political dimension, which comprises the forces and interests that come into play to shape and reconfigure administrative policy and its implementation.

Human Resources in Health

A close look at the major recommendations on human resources in the report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India shows that most of them are timely and have been made in the right spirit. Some lacunae do exist, especially on medical education and specialisation. But the most important issue is whether the recommendations can and will be efficiently implemented to give shape to a non-competitive, high quality medical system that provides all possible preventive and curative services to every citizen in the country.

In Pursuit of an Effective UHC

There are certain bold directions outlined by the High Level Expert Group in its recommendations, which, if acted on, will have a great impact on the health status of the population. The key as always is in implementation, which has not been clearly spelt out.


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