Privacy: The Laid Jurisprudence and Contemporary Challenges

Living life with dignity, encapsulated in the rights such as privacy, which is for all to enjoy, is the victory of democracy. The article highlights some of the salient features of privacy rights and takes a step back to analyse the status of privacy rights in its current form. On 24 August 2017, a nine judge bench of the Supreme Court of India in Justice K.S Puttaswamy v. Union of India passed a landmark judgement declaring the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right protected under the Indian Constitution. It is a natural right subsisting as an integral part to the fundamental right to life and liberty, inherent in Articles 14, 19 and 21. (more…)

Parliamentary Privileges: Essential for an Empowered Legislature or Abuse of Power?

The term privilege can be defined as an exemption, special right, advantage or immunity to a particular person or group of persons in a layperson’s terms. In law, privilege is an advantage enjoyed by a person or an association where people are exempted from some duty, burden, attendance or liability. Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunity enjoyed by the members of the parliament and legislative assemblies individually and collectively, till the time they retain their position as a member of the legislature. These privileges are defined under Article 105 of the Indian Constitution and due to these privileges, members are exempted from any civil or criminal liability for any statement made or act performed by them in their course of tenure. These privileges are called off as soon as the members complete their tenure in the legislative body (Houses of Parliament at the Centre & Legislative Assemblies in the States). (more…)

The Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Act, 2020: Is Tax Recovery an Alternative for Tax Policy Reforms?

On 5th February 2020 the Finance Minister introduced “The Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020” in the Lok Sabha. The primary objective of this Bill was to provide a solution for income tax disputes which are pending. Thereafter, some official amendments were proposed by the key stakeholders. After the amended Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, it finally received the President’s assent on 17th March 2020 and thus the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020 came into being. (more…)

Social Policies in India: Evolving Causes and Effects

By Viswanadha Modali, Research Associate, Policy

To understand the evolution and impact of social policies in India, we must first define the often misunderstood term “social policy”. The London School of Economics very succinctly defines it as a policy ‘concerned with the ways societies across the world meet human needs for security, education, work, health and well being’. Given that the term has a very broad and elusive definition, it brings under its purview a very wide range of government policies impacting several facets of human life.  (more…)

Activism in Policy Making: Creating Socio Political Change

By Keerthana Chavaly, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi & Gargi Kothiyal, Graphic Era (Deemed University), Dehradun

Public policy can be defined as ‘government action to address public issues’. It is essentially a government decision undertaken to pursue a certain goal or objective which may or may not be enforceable at the Central, State or local level of governance. Policy-making thus remains a dynamic process which is changing dramatically with the increased involvement of different stakeholders. Given the multiple voices of different stakeholders at various levels of policy-making, it is necessary for civil society to be proactive and create spaces for people’s involvement in public policy. One way of ensuring that people’s voices are heard and determine the fate of policy-making has been through activism.

(more…)

Simultaneous Elections in India

Simultaneous Elections in India: To Be or Not to Be?

By Madalsa Jain, Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam.

Chaired by Justice B.S. Chauhan, Law Commission of India released its draft report on simultaneous elections on 30th August, 2018, which was submitted to the Law Ministry. The concept of ‘One Nation, One Election’ gave birth to the debate of simultaneous elections. The Commission analyzed the legal and constitutional gray areas with respect to the conduct of simultaneous polls. (more…)

Law and Policy

Understanding the Law and Policy Interface in India

For delving deeper into the domain of Public Policy it is necessary to fully understand the interface between law and policy. However, when deciphering the policy landscape concerning the law, several questions dealing with the interrelation of law and policy tend to confuse us. To simplify and demystify the law and policy interface, let’s try to understand this interface, through our contemporary laws and policies. (more…)

Understanding the Policy Cycle in the Indian Context

By Elizabath Pappachan, Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

Policy is a course of action, selected from various alternatives, that an individual or an organisation adopts, which influences the present and future decision making. Policy cycle is the most optimal model through which policies are made, put into action and evaluated. It is described usually in six stages, which are: agenda setting, policy formulation, adoption, implementation, evaluation and policy maintenance. It is understood as a cycle, as the outcome of the implementation of the policy will help in determining any alteration in the existing policy or the creation of a new one. (more…)

Understanding Public Policy in India

In an ideal democracy, people and their well being is at the core of an exemplary Public Policy mechanism. It is thus crucial that we demand that our policies must be in line with the existing realities of the country. But before we can do that, we must understand Public Policy. Barring all the definitions that we find ourselves burdened with, to put it simply, depending on who we are talking about, in a democracy, Public Policy can mean different things for different groups.So what’s Public Policy? It’s the O factor! (more…)

What connotes Public Policy?

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

Public Policy helps in removing deficiencies and improving conditions in a particular area of interest to the public. It helps the policy making agencies to assess public dealing methods and leads to an advancement of public administration. It further helps to examine what the government is doing, the procedure adopted by it for the same and its administration. Public policy may take the form of programmes, projects, budget allocations etc. 

Policy science was first developed by Daniel Lerner and Harold D. Lasswell in the year 1951 and is concerned with social consequences and policy implications. It is a multi-method problem and future oriented approach aimed at general promotion of social welfare. Policies concern themselves with a wide array of issues such as civil rights, poverty, environmental issues, unemployment and international trade etc. The dependence on economics for formulation of policies was at a later stage diluted to consider other disciplines which helped in a better understanding of societal needs. (more…)