Debating the Mid-Day Meal Scheme

By Maithili Parikh, Government Law College, Mumbai.

With the twin objectives of improving the health and education of the underprivileged, India has embarked upon an ambitious scheme of providing mid-day meals (MDM) in government and government assisted primary schools, starting from 2004. However despite the broad-based efforts of the Central Government for more than a decade and a half, the problems of anemia, vitamin deficiency, and malnutrition still plague Indian children. However more alarming than the dismal statistics on the impact of the scheme is the controversies it has generated across the country from Saran to Hyderabad and from Agra to Tamilnadu. It has been reported that the food provided by the scheme has poisoned children, causing them to fall sick after consumption. (more…)

The raising dissent against Capital Punishment

By Pragya Dhoundiyal, Law Center-1, Faculty of Law, Delhi University.

The changing global political dynamics has brought India and Germany closer. Recently, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany visited India along with her delegation. Progress was made on various fronts, however the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, could not culminate successfully even though the negotiations have been on since 2007. The reason given by Germany to not accept the treaty is the ‘death sentence’ that still prevails in India. India tried to convince Germany by giving them assurance that ‘death sentence’ is not a general rule but an exception which is handed out in the ‘rarest of rare’ cases, in order to deter criminals. Though every criminal act is heinous but there are some acts that shock the conscience of the society as a whole, like the ‘Nirbhaya case’ which is when the provision of death penalty is resorted to. The provision related to death penalty can only be invoked in cases where such a provision is provided, though for most of the offences in the Indian Penal Code, death penalty is not even provided. (more…)

Towards Inclusion

By Pragya Dhoundiyal, Law Center-1, Faculty of Law, Delhi University.

The United Nations was established with the objective of maintaining peace in the world and to prevent any further outbreak of war. To give shape to this objective, the Dumbarton proposal suggested establishment of an executive organ of limited membership whose prime responsibility would be to maintain International Peace and Security. This gave birth to one of the main organs of the United Nations that was the Security Council. It consisted of 15 members, 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent members, and the non-permanent members were to be elected by the General Assembly for a period of 2 years. The first Security Council came into existence on 12th January, 1946, when it only had 11 members. It was only after 1965, when an amendment was brought about that the number of members was raised to 15. (more…)

Child Rights in India: The Ground Reality

By Gautam Adusumalli, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Delhi University.

Did you know that children constitute over a third of India’s 1.2 billion population, and that India has the largest population of children in the world? In fact, over 17% of the world’s children live in India, which means that every sixth child in the world today refers to India as ‘home’. According to the 2011 Census, India holds a population of about 430 million children between the age group of 0-18, of which about 160 million are below the age of six years, and about 270 million are between six to eighteen years of age. Not just this, an estimated 26 million children are born in India each year, according to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Keeping in mind all of these facts and figures, one might be led to believe that India would probably have a very strong and a bullet-proof framework when it comes to children and their rights. Sadly, that is not the case. (more…)

India’s ties with its southern neighbour strengthens: RBI’s Currency Swap Agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

By Sudipta Purkayastha, Gujarat National Law University.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, since practically the beginning of time, stressed on the importance of maintaining friendly relations with other states, especially those in South Asia.

This March, he lived upto his motto once again, by visiting Sri Lanka for talks aiming at improving bilateral ties between the two nations. The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka on a bilateral basis since 1987, Mr. Modi made a practical gesture of his belief that economic ties are “a key pillar of relationship between the two countries”. Further, the Indian premier has stated that the progress in the relations between the two nations “reflects [a] shared commitment to stronger economic cooperation”. (more…)

The Millennium Development Goals and India: How far along have we come?

By Hita M. Agarwal, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

The millennium year, 2000, or Y2K, as it has come to be known in popular culture – marked an occasion of renewal of hope and aspirations. A new date, meant to many, a chance to shed the burden of the past and aspire for a better future. How then, could an organisation as multifaceted, conscientious and accelerative as the United Nations miss on this singular opportunity and positive atmosphere to further the cause of the unvoiced? (more…)

India’s Abstention at UNHRC: A shift without compassion

By Mohammad Anas, Aligarh Muslim University, Kerala.

India’s so-called neutrality from voting in the recent UN Human Rights Council meeting on the question of forwarding the “Davis Report” to International Criminal Court has created an instant outrage among the National Councils and people all over the world. Various assumptions are being made as to why India did not take part in the voting. Since 1948 when India got its Independence until in 1992 when full diplomatic relations with Israel were assumed India vowed to support Palestine to fight for its inalienable rights as a sovereign engaged in a struggle against colonial occupation which is much like the one that led to its own hard-won independence.India has always shown solidarity to the Palestine. This sudden change of India being silent on the report has raised many eyebrows. (more…)

A step closer towards being a “Superpower”: China and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

By Sudipta Purkayastha, Gujarat National Law University.

When one talks of financial prowess in the international arena, could it ever be possible to not think instantly of the Asia of this new era? With the West having dominated this field till the very recent past, the Asian countries are now formally contending for the top spot with the creation of their very own Bretton Woods. (more…)

India-Kyrgyztan Plan Anti-Terrorism Pact: Reviewing the Geopolitical Scenario

By Aratrika Choudhuri, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

In a move to strengthen its relations with key players in Eurasian geopolitics, India entered into four agreements with Kyrgyzstan on 12th July, 2015, which seek to boost defense cooperation and to recognize the need to combat ‘threats without borders’, such as terrorism and extremism. The agreements signed, clearly embody the spirit of a ‘treaty of good neighborliness’ – they also include a ‘cooperation MoU’ between the election commissions of the two countries, an MoU between Kyrgyzstan’s economy ministry and the Bureau of Indian Standards on cooperation in the field of standards, and an agreement on cooperation in culture. (more…)