As the Government passes the new labor laws and when the sudden loss of employment of thousands of laborers during the Covid 19 pandemic captures the limelight, the question of the right to work has become a focus of many. The ‘’right to work’’ is an essential part of human life. One must work to earn and fulfill the basic needs of one’s life. It is considered to be one of the foundations for the realization of other human rights. But time and again this right has come into question. It thus becomes important to understand this issue and see its various aspects to come to a legitimate conclusion.
In recent times, with the ongoing farmers’ agitation near the Delhi-Haryana border, agriculture as an issue has again captured the limelight. Various issues related to farmers have cropped up. The Union Government has dedicated a significant part of the 2021 Budget towards providing agricultural credit to the farmers. As the country is facing a number of problems in agriculture of which financing the agricultural needs tends to be a major issue, agricultural credit has become an important subject now to discuss and to pay attention to.
The year 2020 saw an unprecedented return of migrant workers to rural India during the lockdown. This has increased the pressure on the already stressed rural employment scheme MGNREGS. However, 2020-21 budget allocation for MGNREGS is inadequate to meet the demand, as it is much lower than the revised estimates of FY21.
Recently, pop star Rihanna’s tweet turned the global spotlight on internet shutdowns at sites where farmers’ protests were taking place. She and other eminent women who tweeted support to the farmers’ protests later became victims of misogynistic comments from those who were offended by the said tweets. The social media was at its lowest when several critics resorted to slut-shaming, name-calling and glorifying abuse against these women. From this incident, it is evident that, while social media plays a powerful role in enabling women’s voice to be heard, it also fails to curb harmful and toxic contents by its users. Such instances often forcefully silences women users. It is the duty of the government and social media to protect women from such a harmful environment.
In recent times, freedom in India and its various aspects have come into question many a time. Such an aspect of freedom that comes into question time and again is academic freedom in India. Many scholars, researchers, and academicians complain about their diminishing rights to express what they consider needs to be heard and known. India’s score in the Academic Freedom Index(AFI), 2020 was abysmally low and its scores were close to countries like Saudi Arabia and Libya. Similarly, the Scholars at Risk network in its Free to Think Report,2020 showed a dismal condition of academic freedom in India. In such a situation, academic freedom in India and its various aspects need to be studied deeply to find a way out of this crisis and pave the way for a healthy academic environment in India.
In the past few days, fire accidents have ravaged many places in India. In Maharashtra, a number of babies died in a hospital accident. Similarly, a massive fire broke out in the Serum Institute of India. A major fire accident took place in West Bengal devastating the nearby slum areas in North Kolkata. Fire mishaps have become a common phenomenon nowadays. With a growing population, urbanization, and congestion, there is an urgent need for ensuring the safety of man and material. Fire accidents have been creating a huge loss to the property and manpower of the nation. Hence, there is a need to prevent such disasters from taking place and surveying the actual causes which lead to these accidents.
In the last few decades, suicide has emerged as one of the common causes of death in India. A large number of people lose their lives every year to suicide in India. Suicide has emerged as a serious public health issue in our country. It leaves a major social, economic and emotional burden on those who are left behind. Hence, it has become important to delve deep into the issue and look into the various aspects related to it.
The pandemic-led health and socio-economic crisis have hit women and girls in a disproportionate fashion, leading to increased feminisation of poverty, domestic work, work burden as well as a spike in domestic violence. At the same time, it has also caused a boost in the feminisation of agriculture, making rural women play a critical role in providing household income. This presents an unmissable opportunity for the economic empowerment of women, which has the potential to remove all structural barriers hampering gender equality within India.
Anti-conversion laws enacted in various states are under scrutiny for their ambiguity and the lack of valid justifications for their existence. Vague terms used in them pose significant challenges to the fundamental rights provided by the Indian constitution. In this backdrop, the Supreme Court has recently agreed to examine the constitutional validity of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand anti-conversion laws. However, it refused to stay these controversial legislations.