Reading Time: 9 mins RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019 had received the President’s assent despite the protests due to certain controversial provisions in the amended Act. This Act seeks to empower the Centre to decide the tenure, salary, allowance and other terms of services of the Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission and also of State Information Commissions. Giving such powers to the Centre undermines the fundamental purpose of this Act – the government’s accountability and transparency.
Reading Time: 6 mins
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.
Reading Time: 5 mins
National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 was recently passed in the Rajya Sabha. This bill is under public scrutiny due to its vague and unclear provisions, underrepresentation of the medical community and for not being student-friendly.
Reading Time: 6 mins With the end of 16th Lok Sabha, it is time to reflect on how to make this institution more effective. A crucial step would be to review the Anti-Defection Law that made the institution less effective by affecting the independence of MPs/MLAs and removing any incentive for them to research and understand on policies which have the bearing on nation-building and development process.
Reading Time: 8 mins Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was selected as the first Lokpal in March 2019 by the selection panel chaired by Prime Minister.
Reading Time: 5 mins Indian elections cost huge sums of money. This money hardly comes from contributions by sympathizers of the political party but from big corporate houses. Such contributions have largely come from undeclared income/black money and this increases corruption in the electoral process. It highlights the need for implementing effective reforms in electoral finance.In the previous article, we have discussed the Electoral Bonds Scheme for bringing transparency in electoral finance. In this article, we are going to discuss another such reform called State funding of elections as a measure to bring transparency and eliminate corruption in the electoral process.
Reading Time: 5 mins The Official Secrets Act (OSA) has been in the news recently due to the debate over ‘stolen documents’ in Rafale case. The Attorney-General has suggested “criminal action” against those responsible for making ‘stolen documents’ public.OSA is a colonial-era law that seeks to ensure secrecy and confidentiality in governance especially on national security and espionage issues.However, successive governments have faced criticism for misusing the law against journalists and whistleblowers thus violating their right to freedom of speech and expression.