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

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The Many Uses of Constitutions

The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World by Linda Colley, London: Profile Books, 2021, pp 502, ₹ 2,280 (hardcover).

Reservations, Efficiency, and the Making of Indian Constitution

The notion that reservation is contrary to efficiency and merit has been invoked consistently. Even the Supreme Court of India seems to have agreed withthis proposition in some judgments, as it held that Article 16(4), which provides for reservation in services, would be limited by Article 335, which mentions the term “efficiency of administration” in the Constitution. This paper explores the Constituent Assembly Debates to show that the Constitution framers did not subject reservations to the test of efficiency or merit. In addition, “efficiency of administration” mentioned under Article 335 cannot be treated as an exclusionary construct, as it was done in pre-independence era.

Safeguarding Fundamental Rights

In recent times, the right to speech, expression and the right to protest have been constantly undermined. An attack on these rights runs contrary to the spirit of civilised democracy. We need to exercise these rights within the Constitution’s conditions and the government is duty-bound to provide these conditions.

Symbiotic Federalism

The federal government should be the manifestation of the principle of fairness towards the states.

Decoding the Grammar of Constitutionalism

India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy by Madhav Khosla, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2020, pp 219, ₹599.

India’s ‘Three Pest Campaign’

Over the last few years, the central government has declared certain species of wild animals as “vermin” in some states, thus allowing uncontrolled hunting of these animals. This removal of protection raises serious concerns with respect to its legality, constitutionality, and ethics. An analysis of notifications declaring species as vermin shows that this was done in an arbitrary manner without any scientific assessments. There is thus a clear need to review the manner in which wild animals were declared as vermin.

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