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

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(De)Valuing Dignity

The Supreme Court of India holds dignity to be a foundational constitutional value. Judicial enthusiasm about dignity must, however, be sensitive to the risk of devaluing it in the absence of close legal analysis. Three such risks are identified here. First, the constitutional status of dignity is unclear. Is it a right under Article 21 or a value underlying fundamental rights? The choice has significant interpretive implications. Second, does dignity guarantee a minimum standard of life, or does it refer to human flourishing entailing extensive state obligations? Third, can dignity be understood as a source of limiting rights as held in the Aadhaar decision?

Relocation from Tiger Reserves under the NTCA Guidelines

Relocation under the National Tiger Conservation Authority Guidelines for Voluntary Village Relocation in Notified Core/Critical Tiger Habitats of 2011, represents a paradigmatic shift from the previous history of displacement from protected areas. About a decade later, this article attempts an overview of the state of relocation under the Guidelines and seeks to throw light on the implementation challenges faced so far.

Recreation of Disparities

This article is an insight into the recent decision delivered by a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court in Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao and Others v State of Andhra Pradesh and Others on 22 April 2020. In effect, the Court nullified the 100% reservation to local Scheduled Tribes for posts of teachers in the Schedule V areas. Three focal concerns that the Supreme Court has overlooked while rendering this important decision are examined and it is shown how the apex court has been oblivious to the unique nature of the Schedule V scheme as laid out in the Constitution and has thereby failed to uphold the rights of the Adivasis. Following the judgment, Adivasi communities across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are extremely agitated and the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana seem to be set to prefer a review of this judgment.

Outsiders on the Inside

Ensuring equality of educational opportunities and social justice requires greater attention to conditions and quality concerns within colleges. The present study conducted in Delhi aims to explore the ways in which educational and social concerns are interrelated as influences from one’s family, parental education, and access to resources are likely to influence students’ experiences when they enter higher education institutions.

Domesticity and Its Substitute

During the lockdown, the heightened burden of domestic work has been shouldered by women. This article analyses the class dimension involved in domestic work, namely the devolving of the bulk of such work by upper-class women onto domestic workers. The persistent vulnerability of domestic workers during the lockdown and its later phase is examined. The undervaluation and feminisation of paid domestic work has reinforced the gendered image of housework. In the situation of lockdown, wherein paid domestic “help” was unavailable, upper-class women were easily pushed back into gendered domesticity, proving the inadequacy of paid domestic services as a solution to mundane, back-breaking household work. The necessity of transforming the private nature of domestic work, which is more in the direct interest of workers than compared to their richer counterparts, is also further explored.

Gandhi and the Pandemic

Although the death toll of the 1918–19 Spanish flu in India was immense, it received little critical attention at the time by either the British authorities or Indian nationalists, or later by historians of Indian politics. Strangely, this was also the case with Mohandas Gandhi who had a penchant for making health-related statements and working as a carer of the sick. His reaction to the illness and death around him has been characterised as one of disinterest. His letters and utterances at this time give some clues as to why he may have been numb to what was transpiring around him.

Measuring Access, Quality and Relevance in Higher Education

Gross enrolment ratio is a widely accepted indicator to measure the level of participation in education. It is proposed that the eligible enrolment ratio could be a better indicator instead. A study of five-year data of 10 different countries highlights its significance. In addition, it is also critical to reimagine higher education as beyond general university degrees, and develop a complementary vertical of equal status of skill and vocational education and enhance employment opportunities.

Understanding Citizenship and Refugees’ Status in India

The recent Rohingya crisis in South Asia raised questions regarding the refugee policies of the Indian state, which seem to take a very diplomatic position on the refugee problem. This article seeks to argue that India’s kindness for some refugee communities and ignorant behaviour for Muslim refugees has raised a doubt on its way of refugee dealings, and has posed question on the very secular face of the Indian state. How the Supreme Court as well as the Indian government has viewed and handled the refugee problem has been discussed in detail in this article.

COVID-19, Public Health System and Local Governance in Kerala

Kerala has been successful in containing COVID-19 and in achieving a low rate of spread, high recovery, and low fatality. The importance of the public health system, social capital and the active involvement of the people through local governments that played a significant role in Kerala’s success is highlighted. A brief historical review of the evolution of public health system and local governments in Kerala is also attempted.

Community Self-governance in Education

The dominant discourse in relation to education of Scheduled Tribes and other so-called weaker sections remains mostly concerned with logistics of providing a package. The inherited colonial dispensation that controls education, its institutions, and governance, is treated as a given absolute. It is to be recognised that not merely education for all, but the democratisation of education lies at the core of justice in education. The struggles for self-determination and self-governance by Adivasis have provided ample legal space to alter the present governance in education to democratise and establish community self-governance in education.

Examining the Linguistic Dimension of Draft National Education Policy, 2019

The Kasturirangan Committee’s framing of the draft National Education Policy, 2019 seems to be rather ill-informed linguistically. Despite its politically correct rhetoric, most of its recommendations are linguistically unsound and simply unpractical.

Gandhi’s Reflective and Dialogical Approach to Search for the Truth

Gandhi’s search for truth with constant self-introspection led him to admit his own misconceptions and errors. His path of self-reflection and dialogue among different views are the need of the time, to find deliberative ways to resolve conflicts. One’s lifeworld is constituted of a consciously or...

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