Editorial Plus

Periyar’s editor-V.Anaimuthu

Periyar’s editor-V.Anaimuthu Background of Periyar Periyar E.V. Ramasamy was a great thinker and propagandist. To disseminate his ideas he established a series of publishing firms such as: Kudi Arasu Pathippagam, Pagutharivu Noorpathippu Kazhagam (modelled on the Rationalist Press Association of London) and the Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda Institution. Printed on flimsy paper with worn-out types, the price of the publications was kept low. In the nea

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Introduction Every year on March 21, a global movement gathers to fight prejudice and intolerance by marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Impacts of racial discrimination Racial discrimination, beyond being a breach of human rights, has harmful effects on human health and well-being, and risks wider disruptions to social cohesion. The words of former UN Secretary-General

Women empowerment as Dairy farmers

Women empowerment as Dairy farmers Introduction The achievements of women dairy farmers in contributing to India’s ‘White Revolution’ are perhaps the greatest cause for celebrating the Women’s History Month in March. White Revolution’s role in women empowerment The approach made it possible to enhance backward and forward linkages in the dairy value chain, paving the way for freeing small farmers from the clutches of middlemen, and guaranteed mi

Suez Canal crisis- Past to Present

Suez Canal crisis- Past to Present Background 1967 closure: The last time the Suez Canal was closed for navigation was in 1967, after the Six-Day War between Israel and Arab nations broke out. 1956 war: Prior to that, the channel had been shut for less than a year during the Suez War of 1956 when Israel, France and Britain invaded Egypt. 2021 closure: What wars did in the past was done by a container ship now. M.V. Ever Given (Taiwanese merchant vessel) got stuck in a dust storm a

India-Bangladesh ties in 21st century

India-Bangladesh ties in 21st century Introduction The friendship between India and Bangladesh is historic which is now 50 years. India’s political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian support during Bangladesh’s Liberation War played an important role towards Bangladesh’s independence. Nearly 3,900 Indian soldiers gave up their lives and an estimated 10 million Bangladeshi refugees took shelter in India. Background of India- Bangladesh relations Post

Why should the electoral bonds scheme go?

Why should the electoral bonds scheme go? Introduction For the last three years, electoral bonds have been the dominant method of political party funding in India. In their design and operation, they allow for limitless and anonymous corporate donations to political parties. For this reason, they are deeply destructive of democracy, and violate core principles of the Indian Constitution. A blow against democracy No right to know: And there is no piece of information more

Pakistan’s resuming trade ties with India

Pakistan’s resuming trade ties with India Reason for Pakistan’s resumption of trade with India Pakistan’s double U-turn on resuming trade with India highlights the internal differences within Ministries, between business and political communities, and the emphasis on politics over economy and trade. It also signifies Pakistan cabinet’s grandstanding, linking normalisation of ties with India to Jammu and Kashmir. On March 31, Pakistan’s new Finance Mini

Agriculture issues and its role in food security

Agriculture issues and its role in food security Issues in Indian agriculture Due to a variety of limiting factors, from uncertainties of the weather to soil fertility and water availability, increasing returns to scale are very difficult to achieve in farming. This underscores the need for the right kind of public investment in agriculture. Again, economies of scale allow producers in industry to make profits by cutting unit costs, even as prices fall, while those who fail to mak

Lok Adalats- Its importance

Lok Adalats- Its importance Introduction Justice delayed is justice denied. Access to justice for the poor is a constitutional mandate to ensure fair treatment under our legal system. Hence, Lok Adalats (literally, ‘People’s Court’) were established to make justice accessible and affordable to all. It was a forum to address the problems of crowded case dockets outside the formal adjudicatory system. Questions that arise about Lok Adalat As of now,

Carbon Neutrality-Why shouldn’t India adopt it?

Carbon Neutrality-Why shouldn’t India adopt it? Introduction At the latest count by the non-profit Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), at the beginning of April, 32 countries had declared their proposed intention to achieve carbon neutral status by mid-century. Of these, only eight have any firm status, the rest being in the form of proposed legislation or mentions in policy documents. Since some months ago, the UN Secretary General is urging all countries, especiall

Abortion is a woman’s right to decide

Abortion is a woman’s right to decide Introduction This article talks about the issues of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 and how women are being deprived of their right to abortion. After much stonewalling The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP) may have been considered progressive at that time considering that provisions in the Indian Penal Code regarding termination of pregnancy were enacted over a century ago in keeping with the Br

National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021- Analysis

National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021- Analysis Introduction The recent notification of the National Policy for Rare Diseases 2021 is pegged on this principle of inclusion. Details of the policy It offers financial support for one-time treatment of up to ?20 lakh, Introduces a crowdfunding mechanism, Creates a registry of rare diseases, and Provides for early detection. The policy has categorised rare diseases in three groups: Group 1: Disorders amenable

US Visa regime during Biden era

US Visa regime during Biden era Introduction Biden shows intent on reworking immigration rules by not extending H-1B visa ban Details President Joe Biden allowed a ban on issuance of H-1B visas for skilled workers to lapse at the end of March 2021.. Mr. Biden’s action will have a significant and favourable impact for Indian nationals seeking employment with U.S. tech firms, given that they were the largest demographic to benefit from this visa annually; they garnered

U.S. and China need each other

U.S. and China need each other Introduction U.S. President Joe Biden has called Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean President Kim Jong-un “thugs”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan an “autocrat” and Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer”. The public is accustomed to read-outs about conversations between international leaders. These often portray a righteous West instructing the world on how to behave by constructing a media n

Supreme court must hold Circuit benches

Supreme court must hold Circuit benches Introduction It is ironic that it has taken a pandemic to acknowledge the significance of fair and equal access to the Supreme Court through virtual hearings Increasing reach Even at the time the Constitution was being debated by the Constituent Assembly, geographical access to the Supreme Court was flagged as a concern. The B.R. Ambedkar-led Drafting Committee was nevertheless of the view that the Court must have a specified place o

K shaped recovery- Equitable access post COVID

K shaped recovery- Equitable access post COVID Introduction A recent Pew Research Report shows that India’s middle class may have shrunk by a third due to the novel coronavirus pandemic while the number of poor people earning less than ?150 per day more than doubled. The Pew report also warned that the situation may actually be worse than estimated because of worsening inequalities. International organisations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Int

IITs- How to promote quality education

IITs- How to promote quality education Introduction Excellence in education depends on the quality of mentorship; not on the size or location of campuses. To improve, faculties should be made bigger, and recruitment yardsticks should focus on quality and not quantity. Core functions The core functions of an engineering school are to: guide students along as they inquire and discover their interests in science and engineering; engage students with the interactions betw

Places of Worship Act, 1991-Analysis

Places of Worship Act, 1991-Analysis Introduction The apex court’s order issuing notice on a petition challenging the Places of Worship Act is disturbing M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das case On November 9, 2019, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court gave its judgment in M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, which is known as the Ram Janmabhoomi temple case. The judgment is an unequivocal expression of approval of The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

Reasons for rising Islamophobia

Reasons for rising Islamophobia Introduction If Islamist terror is a major international issue today, so is the response to it. For instance, the UN ‘Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief’ flagged the “epidemic proportions” of anti-Muslim hatred with the lament that member states responded to security threats “by adopting measures which disproportionately target Muslims and define Muslims as both high risk and at risk of radicalization”.

Learning Outcomes-based Curriculum Framework (LOCF)-Revival of Indian Past (A boon or a bane)

Learning Outcomes-based Curriculum Framework (LOCF)-Revival of Indian Past (A boon or a bane) Introduction The latest policy document on undergraduate education presents an incomplete and ill-judged view Learning Outcomes-based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) The University Grants Commission (UGC) document on Learning Outcomes-based Curriculum Framework (LOCF), 2021 for undergraduate education in history begins with the declaration: “History, as we all know, is a vital sour

Parliament- Declining role

Parliament- Declining role Introduction Due to the lockdown imposed following the novel coronavirus pandemic, the fiscal year 2020-21 saw the Lok Sabha sitting for 34 days (and the Rajya Sabha for 33), the lowest ever. The casualty was proper legislative scrutiny of proposed legislation as well as government functioning and finances. While COVID-19 was undoubtedly a grave matter, there is no reason why Parliament could not adopt remote working and technological solutions, as sever

Water Conservation

Water Conservation Introduction There are only two unpolluted fresh water sources left in the country, which we must conserve and use While we are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is airborne, we have forgotten that another such blight could well come from contaminated water. Reasons for rise in mutation among vaccines NITI Ayog and WaterAid, amongst others, have found that over 70% of India’s surface and groundwater is contaminated by human and othe

India-Taiwan ties

India-Taiwan ties Introduction India and Taiwan are celebrating 25 years of their partnership. However, the growing relationship has been a low-key affair as India has been hesitant to acknowledge the improving ties in public. Though mutual efforts between Delhi and Taipei have enabled a range of bilateral agreements covering agriculture, investment, customs cooperation, civil aviation, industrial cooperation and other areas, the time has come to recalibrate India-Taiwan relations

GNCT Bill,2020-An extraordinary legislative misadventure

GNCT Bill,2020-An extraordinary legislative misadventure Legislative misadventure If the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which has been passed by the Lok Sabha, is enacted, the little large Indians of the national capital may as well keep off the polling booths, for their vote will be rendered meaningless. This Bill is an extraordinary legislative misadventure. It states the opposite of what the apex court said when it interpreted Article

Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020

Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 Introduction The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, would allow consumers in India to access a continuous supply of reliable electricity. Note: Electricity is a Concurrent List and the central government has the authority and the power to make laws on it.          Features The rules cover various aspects of power supply to

Power trade in South Asia

Power trade in South Asia New rules governing electricity across bourders India has released new rules governing the trade of electricity across its borders. They define the contours of the South Asian electricity market, placing clear limits on who can buy from and sell into India. This has ramifications for the electricity markets of Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, which, to varying degrees, have aligned their energy futures with the Indian market. Reason for the rules

West Asia-Labour reforms

West Asia-Labour reforms Introduction Not one of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states can cater to their labour market needs domestically. Their dependence on migration is only set to increase with fertility rates falling. Despite there being unemployment, the citizens of these countries are unlikely to step in and do the supposedly low-skilled, and definitely low-paid, jobs of the millions of migrants who work there. The reality in Qatar Qatar, the richest of

India’s approach towards the Rohingya refugees

India’s approach towards the Rohingya refugees Introduction India would be in breach of international law in turning its back on the people of Myanmar The world has been watching Myanmar descend into a brutal military dictatorship again. The scenes from the past few weeks have been terrible — peaceful protestors being killed, detained, and communities terrorised. In all this, the people of Myanmar have been pleading with the international community to support them in

Getting it right on the LAC disengagement

Getting it right on the LAC disengagement Introduction There are many speculations about the LAC disengagement plan like- creation of a “buffer zone on Indian territory”, “surrendering of Indian territory” and others have questioned the withdrawal of India’s presence along the Kailash range on the South Bank of Pangong since it enabled India to dominate the Chinese garrison at Moldo. Things are moving Another charge has been levelled — of i

Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 Introduction The Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 will reduce the elected government to a mere vestigial organ LG’s exception to Parliamentary form of govt. in India The government in India is run in the name of President and Governors. They can do almost nothing by themselves, without the aid and advice of their cabinet of Ministers. However, the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi, will likely be an

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