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Electoral Bonds – Is it effective to bring Transparency in Political Funding?

The State Bank of India (SBI) has opened a 20-day window from where an individual, acting singly or in concert with others, can buy electoral bonds and donate money to political parties. Purchasers of these bonds have been granted anonymity, thereby creating opacity in what should have been a transparent process. Data gathered in response to an RTI query revealed that there has been a 62% jump in donations collected through electoral bonds this year (2019).

Notably, Election Commission of India (ECI) has told the Supreme Court that the electoral bonds, wreck transparency in political funding. In its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the EC pointed to the amendments made to key laws, with dangerous consequences.

This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for better understanding & quick revision:

  1. What are Electoral Bonds?
  2. What is the need for Electoral Bonds (Pros)?
  3. What are the concerns against Electoral Bonds (Cons)?
  4. What are the reforms needed in Indian electoral financing?

State Funding of Elections in India – Need, Advantages & Disadvantages

Indian elections cost huge sums of money. This money hardly comes from contributions by sympathizers of the political party but from big corporate houses. Such contributions have largely come from undeclared income/black money and this increases corruption in the electoral process. It highlights the need for implementing effective reforms in electoral finance.In the previous article, we have discussed the Electoral Bonds Scheme for bringing transparency in electoral finance. In this article, we are going to discuss another such reform called State funding of elections as a measure to bring transparency and eliminate corruption in the electoral process.

Demonetisation – A Success or a Failure?

The government under the prime ministership of Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, had announced that the largest denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were demonetised with immediate effect ceasing to be a legal tender. This move led to widespread impacts across all the sectors of the economy. In a recent report by Azim Premji University, around 50 lakh people lost their jobs since demonetization was launched in November 2016. This report on jobs has come at a time when employment is one of the biggest issues in the Lok Sabha elections.

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