The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe had written to the Union Home Minister and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs recommending the inclusion of Ladakh under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India. The Union Territory of Ladakh, being predominantly a tribal region, has its own unique culture and heritage which needs to be preserved by the government for the inclusive growth and development of the diverse Indian nation.
The Public Distribution System, India’s landmark food security system, was commenced in 1944 to address the poverty that was affecting the country during that time. It is a vital instrument that ensures the availability of certain essential commodities at an affordable price for the poor. Regardless, this system is often criticized for its inefficiency and corruption. The low-quality food grains from the ration shops are not enough to address the needs of the poor. India has the largest stock of grains in the world besides China. Yet, 21% of the Indian population remains undernourished. The government must address the corruption, inefficiency and low-quality food grains of the PDS for its success.
Lok Sabha, in July this year, had passed Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in order to hasten the water disputes between the States. India occupies 2.4% of the World’s total land area and it consists of 18% of the world population with only 4% of the world’s renewable water resource. Furthermore, India’s water distribution is uneven – a situation favourable for an increase in the possibility of water-related conflicts. Due to these disputes, the local issues are prioritized of the superior issues of national importance. The sense of unity among the people of India is being jeopardized by these irksome issues. Thus, Inter-State Water Dispute (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a need of the hour as existing Act as not addressing the issue with needed efficiency.
The democratic form of government ensures the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, equality of status and opportunity, fraternity as well as the right to participate in political decision-making. Participation and control of governance by the people of the country, when the powers of the state are decentralized to the district, block and village levels form the core of Democratic Decentralization. Here, people can sit together, discuss their problems and suggest solutions and plan, execute as well as monitor the implementation of the programmes. It is called democratic decentralization.
The NITI Aayog, in 2017, had called for Competitive Cooperative Federalism to define the relationship between the Centre and the States. This concept puts the burden of transforming India into the hands of the State governments. In recent times, this concept has gained prominence following the participation of the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories in the presentation of the best practices in each of their jurisdictions. However, NITI Aayog must take the necessary steps to analyse the ground reality so as to provide equal grounds to all the states – including those that are economically and socially marginalized.
Indian judiciary, according to National Judicial Data Grid Statistics, has about 3 crores pending cases. Due to its slow pace, many prefer arbitration to solve the issues of dispute settlement, monetary recovery, etc. To encourage foreign investments and promote ease of doing business, faster judicial procedures and efficient dispute resolution are essential. Provisions to settle disputes through arbitration are provided in Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. This law was amended twice: in 2015 and during the recent parliament session.
Assam’s final National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been published. Of the 3.3 crore applicants, over 19 lakh were excluded from the final list. The NRC is an exercise to identify Indian citizens living in Assam, a state marked by illegal migration from Bangladesh.
The government has recently proposed to set up 1,023 Fast-Track Courts (FTCs). This was with the backdrop of Supreme Court in a suo moto petition, issued directions to set up special courts.
The SC stated that the districts with more than 100 cases pending under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act must set up special courts to deal with these cases.
According to National Judicial Data Grid Statistics, there are about 3 crore cases pending in the SC, HCs and the subordinate courts across the country. Focusing on the FTCs to solve this issue is the need of the hour.
Since its establishment, these special courts have disposed of more than three million cases. However, FTCs is currently decreasing and its potential is not fully realized as it lacks basic infrastructure, technological resources, and manpower.