The Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and the ‘New Normal’: Impact of COVID-19

Sexual harassment at the workplace causes severe physical and emotional damage. Such damage leads to reduced productivity and a negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of the victims. The problem is compounded by long-held socio-cultural beliefs that tend to place the responsibility on the victim, thereby appending to existing inequalities in the workplace and the society at large. (more…)

Need for Proper Water Supply Policies for the Slums & JJ clusters of the NCT of Delhi

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The Delhi Jal Board in the the Eleventh Plan had charted out plans for the supply of drinking water services for all slum localities mainly with the help of two schemes viz., Grant in Aid for Augmentation of Water Supply in JJ Clusters & the Water Supply in Resettlement Colonies. The Delhi government’s policy however, did not suggest anything specific to JJ Clusters but envisioned provisions for water for all and public education and awareness regarding efficient water usage as proposed by the policy statements. In the same year, the State government of Delhi announced the Jal Adhikar Connection Policy for residents of JJ colonies. It aimed at providing legally recognised water connections to people living in the slums, along with a 100 percent waiver with respect to late payment surcharge for commercial consumptions amounting to Rs. 1,100 crores. However, there is a significant dependency in functions of governance with respect to the multiple institutions mainly the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and other State agencies across the city which affect the supply of water to the slums and JJ colonies of Delhi. For example, the MCD as well as the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) are in charge of local sanitation, which is crucial to the supply and safe utilisation of water. This means there is a multiplicity of authorities responsible for water supply procedure for the slums areas of Delhi, which can result in non delivery or failure of clean and effective water supply in Delhi’s densely populated and unregularised slum areas. (more…)

Policy Action to tackle Air Pollution in Delhi

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In a Supreme Court Judgement dated December 2, 2016 (M.C. Mehta v Union Of India), the Court directed the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to prepare and implement a plan to eliminate the problem of excessive air pollution in Delhi-NCR. Thereafter, the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was prepared and implemented by the EPCA, in collaboration with government experts, for different Air Quality Index (AQI) categories – Moderate & Poor, Very Poor and Severe. 

Despite the implementation of GRAP in NCR since 2017, the air quality in the city of Delhi has not improved to a great extent. The government of Delhi even had to declare a Public Health emergency in November 2019 when the Air Quality Index breached the 800 mark in some areas due to pollution from vehicles, factories, and firecrackers- the primary source being the burning of crop stubble across Punjab and Haryana. (more…)

The Potential Threat of Climate-Induced Migration: Coping Strategies & Mitigation Policies

India, a country already tormented by chronic poverty, developmental problems, and perils of overpopulation, is further burdened with acute climate migration internally as well as from neighboring countries. In the case of internal displacement, rural areas characterized by a loss of land productivity, and where conditions of drought and other cases of severe floods prevail, usually give rise to mass-migrations of people to urban areas in cities. For instance flooding in Uttarakhand and Sundarban region and droughts in States like Gujarat with majorly arid topography have led to migration towards the metropolitan cities of Delhi and Mumbai. According to data collected by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre between 2008-16, 200 million people have been displaced worldwide and in India 1.5 million people are classified as internally displaced every year. (more…)

Symposium on Public Policy: Climate Change Mitigation

About the Event:

We are organizing our flagship public policy symposium online this year, on the theme of Climate Change Mitigation.

The Symposium aims to reflect on specific aspects of climate change that are either an outcome of or are deeply affected by it. The event agenda aims to highlight the potential of the success of climate change mitigation policies that will determine the economic, political and psycho-social policies of our societies, countries and the world as we know it. The sessions will focus on the need to better the present legislative framework and to fill the prevalent policy gaps at a municipal as well as global level in line with the demands of the ideal mitigation policies for climate change. (more…)

Need for Effective and Inclusive Menstrual Hygiene Management Policy in the NCT of Delhi

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Poor menstrual hygiene rooted in persisting taboos and stigma, restricted access to hygienic menstrual products and penurious sanitation infrastructure undermines the educational opportunities, health and the overall social status of women and girls. This is when WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) facilities for women remain poor, making the basic right of effective Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) still a distant reality in India. 

While we acknowledge the fact that the Delhi Government is working towards fulfilling the vision of Affordable & Quality Healthcare for women’s hygiene, due to almost negligible information dissemination of the relevant scheme(s), a majority of the potential beneficiaries remain unaware of the same, especially in underprivileged areas, viz., urban villages and slums in the city. (more…)

Need for Introducing a Separate Symbol for Dairy Products

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In India, the food labeling policy is regulated by the Food Safety And Standards (Packaging And Labelling) Regulations, 2011. The Regulations provide that there should be a distinct declaration on the pre-packaged foods about their vegetarian (through green dot) or non-vegetarian (through brown dots) content in the form of visible marks. The regulations classify any food article that is not ‘non-vegetarian’ as ‘vegetarian’. In doing so, they exclude animal-derived milk or milk products (commonly referred to as dairy products) from the scope of the non-vegetarian food category. Therefore, presently, for any consumer purchasing food products in India, it is nearly impossible to distinguish dairy products from vegetarian products. The problem with the policy of categorizing dairy products as vegetarian lies in the fact that dairy products are not plant-derivatives but derivatives of milk which is a product obtained through milch animals such as cows and buffaloes. (more…)

A much needed rehaul for India’s Agricultural Policies?

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On 27th September 2020, the Government of India brought in the Farmers’ Produce and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (hereinafter, referred to as the Act) which introduced a pivotal change in India’s agricultural policies. The Act, essentially, aims to provide freedom of choice to the farmers and traders in selling and purchasing farmers’ produce through alternative trading channels and increasing competition in the market. Thus, it allows for barrier-free trade of farmers’ produce outside the physical premises of the markets notified under the various State Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee laws (APMC laws).  (more…)

Women in the Informal Sector: A Saga of Constraints and Vulnerabilities

The advent of globalization and marketization has resulted in an emergent trend towards the ‘informalisation’ of the labor market. Policymakers have identified the income-generation potential and the significance of the informal sector as a source of jobs in adverse economic crises. However, the phenomena of globalization and the work sphere cannot be disassociated from their gendered power relations. Developing countries like India, with a concomitant rise in informal employment, reveal an increasing number of women joining this sector, but mostly remaining “invisible” as they continue to work in low paid, low-status jobs in the informal sector; jobs which do not have any possibilities of betterment”. Studies suggest that 94% of women are a part of the informal sector, out of which approximately 50% perform functions in addition to their productive roles. These women are further confronted with constraints by their engendered role, wherein they’re additionally burdened with domestic responsibilities. Social connotations like these significantly contribute to the overall conceptualization of economic development.  (more…)