Recently, the Haryana government announced its policy of reserving 75 per cent of the State’s jobs in the private sector for candidates who are domiciled in the State. This is not a new case as the Andhra Pradesh government had passed similar legislation in 2019 and many States in India are in the line to enact such legislation to ensure employment to its unemployed population. The recent trend of ‘the locals first’ policy in job is more about fulfilling poll promises than ensuring job to the unemployed and it has several implications for the State, and the country as a whole. It not only acts as a hurdle to the hopes of the inter-state migratory population but also brings into question some of the constitutional dimensions which grant certain rights to all the citizens of India.
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.
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.
Almost a decade since the democratic transition, Myanmar came back under the control of the military junta in February 2021. Since independence, this Southeast nation has struggled with military rule, civil strifes and international isolation due to internal instability. The recent coup came after allegations regarding election discrepancies, quashing all hopes of democratic progress in the near future.
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, 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.
Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) questioned the government regarding the delay in approving Collegium recommendations for judicial appointments to several High Courts (HC).