Role of the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha

Reading Time: 7 mins The Monsoon session of Parliament, which got delayed by several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic has begun recently. Similar to the last many sessions, Parliamentary disruptions once again became the common feature of Indian Parliamentary proceedings. A no-confidence motion against the Deputy Chairman is a first in Parliament and it is also an event which stood out in this Monsoon session of the Parliament. Though the Monsoon Session of Parliament began with the election for the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha still lacks a deputy speaker. The post has been vacant for the last 456 days and is a record.

Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Ties and Implications on India

Reading Time: 6 mins Recently Pakistan has reaffirmed the strength of its relations with Saudi Arabia after a diplomatic spat sparked by apparent inaction by the Gulf kingdom on the issue of Kashmir and also threatened to derail what has been one of the South Asian country’s strongest alliances in the region. The long-time allies seem like drifting apart, with Saudi who prefers to build ties with India instead of criticizing it over Kashmir.

Atal Tunnel – Features and Strategic Significance

Reading Time: 6 mins The tunnel connecting Manali to Leh under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir-Panjal Range of the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali highway is now ready after 10 years, which is considered to be the world’s longest highway tunnel and is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late September this year. The tunnel is at a height of over 10,000 feet (3000 meters). The 9.02-km-long tunnel is named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It took four more years than the original estimated time of less than 6 years to complete this strategic tunnel. The tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh of up to 46 kilometres and the travel time of up to 4 hours.

Fiscal Council – Need, Issues, Way Ahead

Reading Time: 7 mins The fiscal situation in India has been under severe stress even before the pandemic and the coronavirus crisis has only exacerbated it. Amid the unprecedented global economic crisis due to the pandemic, there is a growing demand for the government to return to a credible fiscal consolidation path once the predicament subsides. For this to happen, a fiscal council that provides unbiased advice on aspects of fiscal policy is a need of the hour.

Question Hour and Other Instruments for Executive Accountability

Reading Time: 6 mins The recent decision to abandon “Question Hour” during the Monsoon Session of Parliament,  has evoked serious concerns about the democratic without the functioning of the institution. Question Hour isn’t just an open door for the members to bring up issues and raise questions, yet it is a parliamentary gadget principally implied for exercising legislative control over executive actions. The decision has been made because of the pandemic and a truncated Monsoon Session. Parliament has also curtailed the Zero Hour.

UN Guidelines on Access to Social Justice for People with Disabilities

Reading Time: 5 mins Access to justice is a fundamental right, as well as a prerequisite for the protection of all other human rights. Norms and standards relating to access to justice for persons with disabilities are set out in a series of binding and non-binding instruments at international and regional levels. Across the world, persons with disabilities encounter considerable obstacles in terms of access to justice. Aiming to make it easier for disabled people around the world to access the justice system, The United Nations has released its first-ever guidelines on access to social justice for people with disabilities recently.

National Recruitment Agency – Need, Advantages, Challenges, Way Forward

Reading Time: 5 mins The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to set up a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) recently. The proposed NRA will conduct a common preliminary examination for various recruitments in the central government, paving the way for a transformational reform in the recruitment process for central government jobs. NRA will conduct an online Common Eligibility Test for shortlisting candidates for the majority of central government jobs twice a year. Based on the CET score a candidate can apply for a vacancy with the respective agency. It is in this context, let’s make an in-depth analysis of the proposed National Recruiting agency.

National Digital Health Mission – Need, Challenges, Way Ahead

Reading Time: 10 mins On India’s 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) based on the National Digital Health Blueprint, which was prepared to create a framework for the National Digital Health Stack. With the economic crisis persisting amid the pandemic, India needs to ensure improved and affordable healthcare so as to guarantee a healthy workforce that helps in the recovery process. NDHM is the step in the right direction in this regard. However, the supportive and regulatory aspects must be fortified before the full-scale implementation of the digital healthcare system.

Hypersonic Missile Technology

Reading Time: 7 mins After years of R&D, India recently conducted a successful test flight of the indigenously developed Hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV),  powered by a scramjet engine, which will serve as a critical building block for next-generation Hypersonic cruise missiles,  joining the elite club of the US, Russia and China who possess such technology. Hypersonic missiles that fly at lower altitudes and are very onerous to trace and intercept. Currently, the United States, Russia and China have only developed technologies to field fast-manoeuvring of it. This is often seen as India’s initial footstep towards developing Hypersonic missiles. It is in this context, Let’s make an in-depth analysis of Hypersonic missile technology.