India’s Performance on the UN Human Development Index: Walking on the Path of Socio-Economic Progress

The Index (HDI) is relevant as it shows the impact of policies – economic and social – on the lives of citizens, illustrates potential lacunae in policy implementation and formulation by highlighting the real effects of public policies through statistical analysis and emphasises the need for economic growth that leads to social development. (more…)

UAPA Bill 2019

UAPA Bill, 2019 : Towards a terror free country or a flawed path?

By Tanu Singh, Ramjas College, New Delhi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah put forward a Bill on 9 July 2019, proposing amendments in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. On 24 July the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha cleared the Bill with 147 voting in favour and 42 against. UAPA, implemented in 1967, is an Act ‘to provide for the more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations and for matters connected therewith’. It assigns absolute power to the Central Government, by way of which, if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so. (more…)

Right to Information

Changes in the RTI Act: Diluting Democracy?

By Priya Singh, Christ University, Bengaluru.

The Parliament recently passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019. This Amendment Bill was proposed to amend the Right to Information Act of 2005. Despite strong opposition protest in the Lok Sabha and an opposition walkout in Rajya Sabha, the Amendment Bill has been ratified by both Houses of the Parliament. The opposition had proposed to refer the Bill to a standing committee that would decide its constitutional validity, however, this was not assented to by the majority.  (more…)

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…)

Gandhi’s Harijans: The Misunderstood Sect

By Anmol Kaur Bawa, Symbiosis Law College, Pune.

HARIJANS AND THEIR SOCIAL DISABILITIES:

The term “harijan” is not Gandhi’s coinage. The name was suggested by several untouchable correspondents who contended the usage of the word “asprishya” meaning literally “untouchable” in the pages of “Navjivan”.  Harijan means “man of god”. All the religions of the world describe God pre-eminently as the friend of the friendless, help of the helpless and protector of the weak; hence the word aptly demystifies the condition of the untouchables in India as the most helpless, weak and friendless men in the society and according to Gandhi, they belong to the community of untouchables. (more…)

Freedom, but for whom?

By Parth Govilkar, School of Law, University of Mumbai.

In an unparalleled move by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on 2nd April, 2018, a directive was issued, stating that, the journalists who would be found guilty of writing or broadcasting fake news would have their accreditation withdrawn for a limited period or permanently, depending upon the frequency of the offence. If a journalist would be accused of publishing fake news, then in the first instance, accreditation would be suspended for 6 months; for 1 year in case of a second complaint and permanent cancellation if the offence is repeated. (more…)

Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018: A Pressing Need of the Hour

By Shivangi Singh, Amity Law School, Lucknow.

Trafficking of persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. (more…)

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Episode: Business without Boundaries

By Kunika Kanodia, Delhi Metropolitan Education, GGSIPU, Delhi.

We are living in a world where there seems to be a humongous lacuna in knowledge, with relation to the use and misuse of our data, in other words, how data is made accessible and how that same data is (mis)appropriated. The lack of consumer awareness on this issue provides the companies and the governments an easy way to proceed with what they want to achieve, i.e., greater success in their respective fields of operation. The 21st century has witnessed such an explosive rise in the number of ways in which we use information that it is widely referred to as the information age. (more…)

Social Security Schemes in India: Empowering the Deprived?

By Prakhyati Upadhyay, GLC Mumbai.

India’s social security system draws its inspiration from Articles 41, 42, 43 and 47, as enshrined in the Directive Principles of State Policy of our Constitution, which contain all the ingredients obliging the State to move towards the realization of socio-economic rights and in effect, meet the income security aspirations of all its citizens. Broadly, social security can either be a non-contributory and State-funded social assistance mechanism aimed at directly benefiting the vulnerable sections like children, mothers, elderly, invalids and disabled, or a contributory social insurance mechanism, comprising contributions both from beneficiaries and employers/State. Nonetheless, both these mechanisms appear well dispersed amongst both sectors-the organized and the unorganized. (more…)