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

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Government as an ‘Efficient and Responsible’ Litigant

In the light of the growing recognition that government litigation constitutes a big burden on both the judiciary and the government, a Draft National Litigation Policy was formulated in 2010 with the objective to transform the government into an efficient and responsible litigant. Following this, the Government of Madhya Pradesh brought out a State Litigation Policy. In this context, the challenges for the government in realising this goal and the factors responsible for increasing litigation and untenable “causes of action” are examined, with broader relevance for the rest of the country.

Constitutional Rights, Judicial Review and Parliamentary Democracy

While the contribution of the Supreme Court towards asserting the inviolability of constitutional rights is undeniable, the rightful limits of judicial intervention in the executive and legislative domains need to be questioned. In this context, the debate on related jurisprudential issues in the framework of a functioning parliamentary democracy is taken forward, and the principles defining the philosophy of judicial review have been discussed towards a holistic appreciation of the larger politico-constitutional issues.

Dharma and Adharma

The point of departure of this article is B R Ambedkar’s observation, when presenting the draft Constitution, that India was entering a “life of contradictions.” One such contradiction, between the noble pronouncements of the Supreme Court, especially in the last four years, and the lived reality of vulnerable groups, as illustrated by the four cases discussed, is considered. The coexistence of these two worlds of light and darkness is questioned.

The 10% Quota

The 10% quota for the economically weaker sections completely overturns the original logic of reservations on its head, while misconstruing the EWS category itself. Data suggests that caste remains a critical marker of disadvantage, even amongst the “poor.”

Impasses around Contemporary Hinduism

Hinduism’s structural tension between monotheism and polytheism is examined. The interweaving of polytheism and monotheism could be seen to constitute the more and less oppressive phases of Hinduism’s history. Three contemporary impasses have been examined: B R Ambedkar’s proposals to modernise Hinduism in Annihilation of Caste , Hindutva’s attempts to develop an authoritarian version of Hinduism, and Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd’s Post-Hindu India . A democratic politics needs to work with the contradictory practices that constitute Hinduism.

Many Faces of the Pathalgadi Movement in Jharkhand

The Pathalgadi movement has not only generated a new spate of Adivasi identity assertion around a customary practice, but also questioned the very notion of governmentality and development through the meaningful empowerment of the gram sabha as an alternative agency of village governance. It has emerged as a multifaceted movement that has political, ethnic, and ecological overtones.

Discourse of Doubt

The citizenship crisis in Assam is unfolding through two major mechanisms, namely the National Register of Citizens and the “Doubtful voter” (D-voter). While the NRC has attracted much of the public attention, the process of categorising D-voters is largely functioning in a silent manner and has caused unprecedented damage to the lives and livelihoods of millions of marginalised people of the state. The D-voter is a political tool solely based on baseless doubts and is used by the government to deprive lakhs of marginalised people of a series of constitutional, political and social rights, including the right to vote.

The Structurally Flawed GST

The inherent flaws in the design of India’s goods and services tax are identified, which make its implementation inefficient. Can an ad valorem GST levied at the final stage of production solve the problem?

The Majoritarian Challenge and an Ambedkarite Remedy

The greatest weakness of Indian electoral politics, as practised within the Westminster model adopted at independence, is the reward it offers for the politics of exclusion. Several reforms are possible in the electoral system to ensure that the politics of polarisation is not advantageous. If India is not to become a republic of privilege where many are denied basic rights, this aspect must be addressed.

Sinai–Palestine Campaigns, 1915–18

In a bid to secure its control over the Indian subcontinent, the British empire left no stone unturned in maintaining its stronghold over the various routes leading to India. The war in Sinai and Palestine was a result of this compulsion, to prevent Germany and the Ottoman empire from gaining access to the Suez region, which was a gateway to India and the East. Diplomatic maneouvres in Saudi Arabia and the Zionist movement were also tactical moves undertaken with the aim of securing Britain’s prized Indian territories.

Estimating Public Spending on Health

The use of information on withdrawals by Drawing and Disbursing Officers for improving the estimates of public spending for National Health Accounts in India is illustrated. Using information from Karnataka and Rajasthan, the study highlights the advantages of combining DDO-level information with budgetary data. The significant benefits of using DDO-level information in India have implications for better estimates of public spending and health policy design.

The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution

The Fifth Schedule was intended by the founding fathers of the Constitution as an innovative device for promoting the welfare and advancement of Scheduled Tribes and the administration of scheduled areas. It confers uncommon powers for governance in scheduled areas, on the governor of a state having scheduled areas. In practice, however, the extraordinary legislative and executive gubernatorial powers have hardly been deployed despite the recommendations of various panels. It is felt that with some key reforms, the Fifth Schedule can be transformed into a purposeful instrument for the upliftment of STs.

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