Right to Disconnect: A Statutory Requirement?

By Shloka Suda, School of Law, UPES, Dehradun.

During the last 25 years, there has been a drastic improvement in the modes of communication, every person carrying a cellular device is just a phone call away, letters are written via email, the transmission of messages takes place in seconds through means of the internet. In the wake of advancements in technology, it has become increasingly difficult for a person to separate professional life from personal life. This “problem” has been recognized by the International Labour Organisation, as the said situation has only led to increased responsibility and accountability on the Employee. Any person who wants to give a 100% at his job invariably ends up spending all of his day working, which leads to a degradation in the quality of their life. In order to protect employees from this complication and to maintain the distinction between work and home, a need for “The Right to Disconnect” has been acknowledged. The Right to Disconnect essentially empowers the employee to not respond to any work-related queries post designated work hours. (more…)

Reservation Policy: Time for a Revamp?

By Elizabath Pappachan, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

The reservation policy is in a way uniquely Indian. The reservation policy is a form of affirmative action or positive discrimination where the idea is to support the disadvantaged members of society through advantages given in areas like education and employment, amongst others. It emerges from different conceptions of equality. The commonly accepted idea of equality states that all humans are equal and should be treated equally, regardless of race, gender, religion, caste and other social barriers. However, affirmative action arises from a conception of equality that acknowledges differences of social background and the discrimination of certain sections of society may mean that people do need to be treated differently to achieve true equality. (more…)

Searching for Greener Pastures: Agrarian Distress in India

By Parvathy Ramesh, University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

In the 1950s and 60s, the green revolution led to an overhaul of the agricultural sector in India. Following this period, production improved to such an extent that in the present year of 2019, India remains self-sufficient for almost all agricultural produce. However, this positive gain is offset by escalating issues of agrarian distress spread across the country – farmers living in abject poverty, low productivity compared to viable land, and growing indebtedness that result in suicide and distress migration. This distress is punctuated by headlines of death and mass protests, which leads us to examine the issues that give rise to such a wide-spread problem. (more…)

The Policy Troupe: Chamba Deliberation

Learnings at The Policy Troupe: Chamba Deliberation (1st-2nd June, 2019)

We were at Chamba on the 1st and 2nd of June, 2019 for the second edition of The Policy Troupe. The city is spread out on both sides of the ‘Chaugan’ with an outstanding view of the snow capped mountains at the farther end of the street. The market area running adjacent to the District Court and several government offices makes the place look self sufficient. However, owing to the poor access, connectivity and a lack of basic amenities in the city, it’s easy to understand why Chamba is recognised as one of the most backward Districts of India. (more…)

Is this the beginning of the end of the plastic menace for India?

By Princess Kalyani, NUSRL, Ranchi.

“Beat Plastic Pollution”-the theme for the World Environment Day, 2018; India being a major producer of plastic waste was a perfect host for the UN event. With almost 8 million tons of plastic being dumped into the sea each year, plastic pollution is a huge problem worldwide. The UN has speculated that there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish, by the year 2050. With the tremendous overuse of this cheap, versatile material worldwide, and most of it going into the sea as waste, plastic pollution is now a lethal threat. (more…)

Prevention of Animal Cruelty: Giving a Voice to the Voiceless

By Lakshmi Kailasan, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi.

Prevention of animal cruelty is not merely about debating over whether one is a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian and neither is it about determining an animal’s right on the basis of its religious relevance. In the wake of the inhumane acts committed against these creatures, is there a need to strengthen the previously existing legislations? Article 48A of the Indian Constitution provides that the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment, and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Article 51A(g) of the Indian Constitution imposes on the citizens the fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. (more…)

Medical Termination of Pregnancy: A Woman’s Body but a Woman’s Choice?

By Lakshmi Kailasan, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi.

Medical termination of pregnancy which is more commonly addressed as abortion, may be defined in medical terms as the premature exit of the products from the uterus. To explain it in simple terms, it is the removal of an unwanted foetus. Going back in time to reflect on the status of abortion, it was punishable under the Indian Penal Code thereby suggesting the complete infringement of a woman’s right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by the State under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Prior to 1972, not only did the penalizing lead to violation of the law but also resulted in unsafe abortions being conducted by untrained medical practitioners, a problem which to some extent exists even in today’s time. (more…)

The Right to Menstrual Health Project: Learnings at a Teach For India Classroom

As part of our Right to Menstrual Health Project, we recently visited a TFI school in New Delhi’s Sangam Vihar area. Based on our conversations with the VII grade girls of the said Government Senior Secondary School, we realised that there exists a major gap in the knowledge dissemination process vis-a-vis the requisite learning standards in such classrooms, especially with respect to menstrual, sexual and reproductive health of adolescent girls. (more…)

“Period” of Change: Acknowledging the Right to Menstrual Health

By Tanya Chandra, Founder, LexQuest Foundation.

It can’t be stressed enough that menstruation is a mere biological phenomenon, so why does it bother a society so much that we need policies for menstruating women? To answer the aforementioned, one has to acknowledge the closely knit cultural and social spaces along with the psycho-social contexts in which women attain puberty and go on to menstruate for the better part of their teenage, adolescence and adult lives. (more…)

Bollywood and Religious Sentiments: When a Legal Notice comes knocking

By Adv. Sanyukta Banerjie.

Nothing falls apart faster in India than roads during rain and religious sentiments during a movie release. Every other day, the dailies report yet another movie producer, director or even the actor (no seriously) grappling with a legal notice and I shake my head thinking “Ah! Well they are still being covered on Page 3. If you start featuring on Page 1 that’s when the shit’s really hit the fan *cough Padmaavati cough Padmaavat*”. (more…)