Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a labour law that provides “Right to Work” to the rural population. It not only provides work but also has the potential to improve the infrastructure of rural India and standard of living of the rural population. However, in recent times, this Act is facing numerous issues at the ground-level. This is also contributing to India’s current economic slowdown and unemployment crisis. Therefore, the government must take measures to promote this scheme for the overall economic development of the nation.
This year, over 20 developing nations had met in New Delhi to look into ways to prevent the World Trade Organisation’s dispute resolution system from becoming defunct. The WTO dispute settlement mechanism is currently going through a crisis as the body is struggling to appoint new members to its highly understaffed Appellate Body. If this is not addressed soon, the Appellate Body may become redundant in the future.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first foreign visit in his second term to Sri Lanka and the Maldives shows the Indian government’s traditional diplomatic emphasis on the “Neighbourhood First” Policy. It is necessary for India to maintain an amicable relationship with its immediate neighbours to achieve its aspiration as a global power as these nations are economically and strategically important. However, for the past few years, India has faced challenges while maintaining bilateral relations with the neighbouring nations. Now, the government is taking measures to address these challenges to obtain a strategic advantage in the region.
On 5th of August 2019, the President of India promulgated the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019. It revokes the special status given to Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 and Article 35A.
A separate Bill – the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 – was introduced to bifurcate the State into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature), and Ladakh (without legislature).
To India, the Persian Gulf plays a vital role in its economy as it supplies nearly two-thirds of India’s total oil import. The bilateral trade with the nations present in this region is also flourishing in recent years. Over the years, millions of Indians have also migrated to the Persian Gulf region in search of jobs and they account for a sizable share in the total remittance received from abroad. Indian External Affairs Ministry refers to this region as West Asia and not as the Middle East which is a more popular attribution in Western countries. India’s policy in West Asia has, in recent times, have become highly cordial despite the numerous differences between various nations within this region. This is because of India’s neutral and flexible approach while interacting with these nations. However, it still faces challenges due to the external influences from major powers like the US. India’s Look West Policy has been enhanced to deal with this complicated issue. This policy has enabled India to maintain strategic autonomy while also pursuing its economic interests.
Several changes were made in the foreign policy of India in 2014 when the new government was formed. Act East Policy was one of them. Since its enactment, it has come a long way in improving India’s ties with various nations in East and Southeast Asia and Indo-Pacific. However, since its enforcement, circumstances have changed. China’s influence is challenged by various aspects like the trade war, regional tensions in China, an increase in protectionist policies, etc. India needs to make use of this situation to enhance the Act East Policy to its advantage to counter China and improve its economy through trade with East and Southeast Asian nations.
Reading Time:8mins According to the latest data released by a global think-tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India has dropped to the 2nd ranking behind Saudi Arabia among the world’s largest arms importers after staying at the top for around a decade. India imports arms from countries like Russia, the US, Europe, and Israel. India’s continuance at the very top in the global arms import rankings, be it first or second, once again highlights the sustained failure in building robust indigenous defence industries.
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.