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

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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.

Induce Spirit of Privatisation in Public Sector Banks

This article analyses why the progressive reforms in the public sector banks and the banking sector under the watchful eyes of the government could not bring the desired change in the working culture and governance of the PSBs. It highlights the reasons why PSBs lag behind and identifies future strategies that may help bring them back on the desired track.

Raising the 'Labour Question' in a Deliberative Democracy

Today, in India, “deliberative democracy” is failing to translate into social, economic and political justice for its citizens, especially the 450 million workers in the unorganised sector. This is because of the growing gap between the elected representatives and the electors themselves, particularly a deep disconnect between the policies and politics of the state and the needs and demands of the working Indian masses (Yadav 2010). This deep disconnect has come to the fore more vividly amidst the pandemic. The question is: What option do the millions of excluded, overlooked and invisibilised Indian labourers have? Do they quietly accept their sad destiny because it has been served to them by their chosen representatives?

Developing Electronic Peoples’ Biodiversity Registers

Wide participation at the grassroots is an important prerequisite for effective documentation, management and monitoring of biological resources. India has long recognised the need for the documentation of biodiversity and associated knowledge. Yet, the progress made through peoples’ biodiversity...

Where Is All Our Health Data Going?

Multiple initiatives going on in India regarding the collection of digital personal health data are analysed, and the question of how the data is being used is examined. While such data could facilitate healthcare and referral services, a strong and sensitive governance structure is needed to be in place to enable its optimal use and to ensure that the data is not used to further the agendas of surveillance and control.

Doing Business Rankings: Reforms Must Focus on On-Ground Realities for Trade Facilitation

The latest Doing Business (DB) 2020 report places India 63rd among 190 countries, 14 places ahead of its position the previous year. While reforms in the areas of enterprise promotion and reducing red tape are always necessary, reform measures exclusively to attain a higher rank might jeopardise the priorities of that sector. The real success of a higher rank in DB could be in the form of hard infrastructure and last-mile connectivity rather than reducing a few certifications and office visits, making DB reforms go beyond just serving a higher rank.

How Real Is the Crime Decline in India?

Since 1991 in India, the crime rates of both property-related crimes and violent crimes, except crimes against women, have fallen significantly. While the decreasing trend is undisputed in Western nations, the perception in India is that the crime data has been manipulated by the police. The examination of constituent units composed of a diverse selection of districts in India suggests that the trends are generally similar across the country and are not an outcome of deliberate police practices. Police practices do not present any evidence of geographical bias in the registration of crime.

India’s Slowdown

Investments in industry have slowed down considerably in the recent years, as has agricultural growth. Falling levels of capacity utilisation, building up of food stocks and the state of liquidity in the economy sufficiently prove that the problem today is the lack of demand. Rural distress, rising inequality and falling real wages are driving down demand. The government’s response to the slowdown has been woefully inadequate. The biggest impediment to policymaking is not the lack of ideas, but the blinkered vision of economics.

The Citizenship Question Should Also Interrogate the Insider-Outsider Binary

The National Register of Citizens in Assam has brought to the fore long-standing concerns over who the state recognises and who it deems foreign.

Right to Information: The Promise of Participatory Democracy and Accountability

In July 2019, the parliament passed an amendment to the Right to Information Act, 2005, that reduces its effectiveness. The amendment adds to the long list of erosions the Act has weathered by prior governments.

The AAP Audit: Can ‘Alternative Politics’ Work?

The Aam Aadmi Party was founded on the belief that Indian politics could be transformed. This reading list examines if this political project has been a success, or if the party's idealism is incompatible with the way politics in India functions.

Indian Official Statistics

Official statistics is a public good that informs, supports, and sustains democracy and advances socio-economic development. The Indian statistical system is analysed and methods for modernising it are suggested by using information and communications technology to improve the quality, credibility, coherence, and timeliness of data. An integrated, decentralised information system populated with granular data will enable data to be carried flexibly wherever required, queried, and analysed in business contexts at all levels of governance for a deeper insight. Such a system will help the government to inform stakeholders about the economy and honour our commitments to the United Nations resolution of 2014.

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