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.
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.
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was selected as the first Lokpal in March 2019 by the selection panel chaired by Prime Minister.
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.
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.
Recently, hundreds of activists from different parts of the country gathered in New Delhi to oppose the proposed amendments to the RTI Act and demanding operationalization of anti-corruption laws. They highlighted that the government is undermining the RTI Act by means of the proposed amendment bill and also by not appointing information commissioners.