The Indian judiciary has a host of problems acting as hurdles in the speedy delivery of justice. Pendency of cases is one such problem that has been ailing the judiciary for a long time. In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the problem has increased three-fold. Recently, the Supreme Court of India observed that the pendency of cases “has gone out of control”, and said it will issue guidelines for the appointment of temporary judges to help address the backlog. This is not only the situation during the pandemic rather the backlog of pending cases in India has become a burning problem for a long time which denies the people the right to access timely justice. This impacts not just the administration of justice, but it has tremendous consequences for the economy and the functioning of businesses across India as well.
In a recent webinar, the Prime Minister of India stated that in recent years, India has added 139 Giga Watts capacity and reached the goal of one nation-one grid-one frequency. He added that reforms like the UDAY scheme were undertaken to improve financial and operational efficiencies. He further added that India has become a power surplus country from a power deficit one. The idea of One Nation, One Grid has been making rounds in the news for the last few years. However, the idea is not new to us. To reach the ambitious goal of India becoming a nation using renewable energy sources for most of its needs, the idea of One Nation, One Grid is vital. The energy sector plays a crucial role in the progress of the country and influences both ease of living and ease of doing business. To fulfil the goals, the nation needs to have last-mile connectivity and One Nation, One Grid is a step forward in this direction.
Vehicle scrappage programs serve multiple purposes like reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, pressure on mines, etc. However, it is also a key tool for economic revival as it has a direct bearing on the automobile sector– a critical determinant of economic growth. Many countries used it in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to aid their recovery. Recently, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released the draft Vehicle Scrappage Policy. This could serve as a much needed leg up for the Indian auto industry and post-COVID economy.
Recent desertions and defections in the Puducherry assembly have yet again highlighted the absurdity of the anti-defection law. Many MLAs from the treasury benches resigned, decreasing the numbers needed for a no-confidence motion to succeed in the Puducherry Assembly. This practice has also been seen recently in other states like Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Thus an MP (or MLA) has absolutely zero freedom to vote their judgement on any issue. They have to blindly follow what the party directs them to do so. This provision goes against the concept of representative democracy.
Nearly a year after the Bill proposing the extension of proxy voting to NRI voters lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had proposed the extension of the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) to the overseas Indian voters on November 2020. Recently, the Election Commission announced that this facility would not be extended to the NRI for the upcoming assembly elections that are to take place in April-June this year. While such a facility is required for enabling expats to exercise their right to vote, the government must tread with caution during the implementation of such an elaborate process.
Recently, the Government of India notified the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 in the wake of growing concern around transparency, accountability and rights of users related to digital media. The rules aim to regulate social media, digital media, and OTT (Over The Top) platforms. The Rules provide broad powers to the government to regulate and monitor social media intermediaries including online news media. The Rules have been framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011. The Rules are considered to be an instrument of a “soft-touch” oversight mechanism. The Part-II of these Rules shall be administered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology and Part-III will be administered by the Ministry of Information and broadcasting.
India is a multilingual country and is considered to be a land of a wide range of diversity. Being a land of diversity, it has benefitted and has to deal with several problems at the same time. Linguistic diversity is one such diversity that gives rise to linguistic regionalism in India. Regionalism is not a new concept to India. From time immemorial there have been issues regarding differences among people based on religion, caste, culture, and so on. These differences act as a unifying as well as a dividing force among people. Linguistic regionalism is one such issue that gave rise to many states in India. Time and again, there have been demands for providing some special status to some language in some parts of the country. Many regional-language speaking groups feel isolated amongst the varied diversity of the country. This gives rise to linguistic regionalism which has become a burning issue nowadays.
The aviation sector in India has witnessed growth faster than many other industries in India. From the number of flights flying in India to the number of passengers boarding flights in India, India reported exponential growth in this sector. India has become the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world. Although the aviation market is showing promising results, the rise in the number of accidents has also risen gradually. The recent air accident in Kerala of Boeing 737, killing 18 people and leaving more than 150 people injured has been a major setback for the aviation sector in India. Thus, it has become important to understand the various factors affecting air safety in India and suggest measures to deal with the problem.
With the rise in the use of Internet facilities and India trying to become a digital nation promoting digitization at all levels, the need for data protection has become an important issue. The Indian IT sector has a major contribution to the Indian economy and they provide services to a large number of people all over the world. With the rise of the telecom sector in India and the number of people using it, it has become evident that data protection has to be considered a necessity in India.