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

Articles By Accountability

Institutional Quality and Foreign Direct Investment in India

Foreign direct investments tend to gravitate to nations with good governance. The quality of governance is largely affected by institutional factors such as control of corruption, government effectiveness, political stability, regulatory quality, rule of law, voice and accountability. This study contributes to the existing literature on foreign direct investments by testing the impact of six parameters of institutional quality on investment inflows into India. 

Modernity with a Brand

The takeover of NDTV by the Adani Group points to the lack of regulatory mechanisms regarding media ownership in India. It illustrates that Indian media is rapidly heading towards media concentration. The takeover is a disconcerting marker of the growing infl uence of top business conglomerates on news media for their commercial gains and to serve their political patrons. Equally problematic are the trends of news, media organisations, and journalists turning into brands in the open market. These developments have posed a serious threat to the freedom of speech, a basic feature of modern democracy. Bhupen

They Who Know Not What The Media Is

Many in India are lamenting the hostile takeover of NDTV by the Adani Group. At one level, this is a desperate attempt to silence the voices that stand out as independent in today’s increasingly controlled media space. But what really will be gained by one more channel singing the official tune? It, of course, controls criticism of the government, but it will also signal that the future of the media may not be in large enterprises that give in or get taken down rather easily.

 

Revisiting Friedman’s Construct of Corporations

The ideological and juridical idea of what a corporation as a form is all about and what happens in the case of wrongs committed by such corporations is sought to be unpacked. The accepted notion in business and economics, which has seeped deeply in popular imagination too, that corporations exist primarily for benefiting their shareholders and hence their “accountability” is restricted to their shareholders only, is critically examined. For this, Milton Friedman’s influential conceptualisation of a corporation with the juridical construct of the corporate veil is interrogated and its far-reaching consequences through three recent important corporate cases in India are investigated.

How Can We Rethink Police Accountability in India?

Use of force by the police is a substantial problem in India. To a large extent, the measures so far have focused on police’s functional autonomy and independence from political pressures. Yet, this also merits the question of whether fixing the political–police relationship alone will lead to more accountable police. While such top-down reforms have been pending since the time of independence, they have overlooked the simultaneous need for bottom-up approaches focusing on police empowerment. To rethink police accountability in India, we must focus on two core areas—community policing, and better training. These structural measures focus on changing the police–public power equation and mark the shift from a colonial police force to one that is true to the spirit of democratic policing.

 

Who Will Guard the Guardians? State Accountability in India's Environmental Governance

Effective public accountability is a prerequisite for protecting India's environment and the environmental human rights of all Indians. However, the question of what factors promote the accountability of public institutions remains under-researched in India. The recent and ongoing attempts by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to undermine environmental regulations beg a fundamental question that has yet to be debated adequately: Who will guard the guardians? In this essay, we discuss the importance of divided administrative jurisdictions for fostering relations of accountability in public institutions. Specifically, we highlight the divided jurisdiction that the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 creates in the regulation of mining and other non-forestry activities in forest areas and its implications for bolstering relations of accountability in environmental governance. Amidst serious attempts to undermine these arrangements, we ask the readers and policymakers to consider the importance of public accountability for transforming India’s national environmental regulatory framework. 

India’s First Per Curiam

A per curiam opinion seeks to project the court as a resolute bloc in unanimous verdicts by concealing the identity of the author(s). However, arbitrarily employing anonymity, without due regard to legal tradition and reason, adversely impacts accountability and transparency in the judiciary. As such, it is important to evaluate the Supreme Court of India’s choice of anonymity in the momentous Ayodhya decision.