Insights into Editorial: Impediments to equal productivity, dignity

  Introduction: As a disabled person inhabiting a world designed for the able-bodied, one learns to put up with a lot of indignities that others would consider unacceptable. These include: the everyday pain of being excluded from a whole host of normal life activities, and the challenge of having to constantly find ways of living …

Insights into Editorial: Urban employment as the focal point

Introduction: The contraction of the economy raises concern on the employment situation as the shrinking sectors are those that create the maximum new jobs. While the ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan’ launched in June (aimed to provide livelihood opportunities in rural India) could be an immediate relief, the ₹50,000-crore employment scheme cannot be a substitute for …

Insights into Editorial: The second chair: On Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker

  Context: More than a year after the 17th Lok Sabha was constituted, the constitutionally mandated post of Deputy Speaker is lying vacant. Now, Harivansh Narayan Singh re-elected as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman The post of Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha has been one of the bones of contention between the government and the …

Insights into Editorial: The twisted trajectory of Bt cotton

Introduction: Cotton has been woven and used in India for thousands of years. Cotton fabric from around 3,000 BCE has been excavated from the ruins of Mohenjo-daro, and archaeological findings in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, show that cotton was used in the subcontinent as far back as 5,000 BCE. Indian cotton fabrics dominated the world trade during …

Insights into Editorial: An agriculture-led revival as flawed claim

  Context: Agriculture during COVID-19: A rather confident statement heard in the midst of India’s COVID-19-induced economic slowdown is this: “Agriculture will lead India’s economic revival”. But how valid is this claim put forward by government spokespersons and some observers? Four major arguments are offered to highlight the revival through Agriculture: First, India’s food grain …

Insights into Editorial: In blockchain voting, leave out the general election

Context: The Election Commission of India has for a while now been toying with the idea of further digitising the electoral infrastructure of the country. In furtherance of this, the Election Commission had, held an online conference in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (“TNeGA”) and IIT Madras, through which they explored the possibility …

Insights into Editorial: Court’s drift and chinks in the judiciary’s armour

  Context: Recent past fortnight has seen two significant developments in connection with the Indian judiciary: the first was the decision of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Prashant Bhushan’s contempt case, and the second was the retirement of Justice Arun Mishra. These events, in their own way, magnify the chinks in …

Insights into Editorial: Mission Karmayogi- National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building

  Context: The Union Cabinet has approved ‘Mission Karmayogi’ – the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB). It is meant to be a comprehensive post-recruitment reform of the Centre’s human resource development. Similar to pre-recruitment changes in the form of the National Recruitment Agency. Objective of the Mission Karmayogi: It is aimed at …

Appropriate strategy: On India banning more China apps

Context: The government banned 118 applications — majority being Chinese, including popular ones such as PUBG, WeChat Work, Baidu, CamCard, Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade and Alipay, stating that these were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of State and public order”. This is in addition to the ban on …

Insights into Editorial: A politics of avoidance that must be questioned

Introduction: We, the people of India, gave ourselves a Constitution that prescribes for our democracy a parliamentary form of government in which the executive is accountable to the electorate through a legislature which in turn is periodically elected by the electorate. This accountability lies at the heart of democratic government and is implemented through procedures …

Insights into Editorial: Mind the gaps in India’s health care digital push

  Introduction: The Independence Day address of the Prime Minister launching the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) during an unprecedented novel coronavirus pandemic crisis, caught everyone’s attention. Yet, despite all his eloquence it was not clear to many what to expect in substantial terms. ‘Going Digital’ has no doubt been a magic phrase that has …

Insights into Editorial: Why has Japan mooted the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative?

Context: With COVID-19 and trade tensions between China and the United States threatening supply chains or actually causing bottlenecks, Japan has mooted the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) as a trilateral approach to trade, with India and Australia as the other two partners. The initiative is at the strategy stage and has some way to …

Insights into Editorial: A five-point action plan to manage waste effectively

Introduction: Years of neglect, lack of foresight and complete absence of urban planning has left India staring at mountains of waste-landfills, waste-choked drains, water bodies and rivers. This is called “legacy waste”, a cumulative consequence of decades of neglect and lack of foresight. There are about 48 recognised landfills across India, together covering nearly 5,000 …

Insights into Editorial: National well-being and the counts that matter

  Introduction: Since India’s crimes data recording system is not built to capture subtleties, we do not know what proportion of pregnancies in India start off without the consent of the woman, even though the veil of marriage may cover it legally and culturally. While physical and mental violence can be ascertained by a sensitive …

Insights into Editorial: During pandemic, we must keep older people engaged, not isolate them

Introduction: The most vulnerable persons during the COVID pandemic are the elderly. If infected, their odds of survival are the lowest. When shut away to save them from infection, they are likely to suffer from neglect from lack of care for other ailments, and loneliness. The pandemic has highlighted humanity’s dilemma of what to do …

Insights into Editorial: Online Path to Healthcare

Introduction: The Indian healthcare system has evolved much over the last decade, owing to the adoption of new technologies as well as systemic changes and emphasis on service quality. However, healthcare standards are neither uniform nor inclusive across the country. At one end of the spectrum, are state-of-the-art private facilities with advanced testing and treatment …

Insights into Editorial: India does need a Fiscal Council

Introduction: The fiscal situation in India has been under severe stress even before COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus pandemic has only worsened it. The fiscal deficit of the Centre in 2019-20 as estimated by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) was 4.6%, 0.8 percentage point higher than the revised estimate. For the current year, even …