ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Linking Public Action

Kerala suffers less from clientelism, authoritarianism, and neo-liberalism than many other parts of the world, but it is affected by the universal dilemma of how to unify numerous actors and build democratic links between the local, the wider government, and the economy. This article’s comparative insights indicate that the state requires democratic partnership governance to avoid parties and individual leaders cornering power.

Municipal Corporation of Delhi: From Trifurcation to Unification

Unification overwhelms the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Is it healthy for democracy?

 

COVID-19 to Lockdown (Mis)-management

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned out to be the biggest humanitarian disaster of the century. This crisis has been effectuated due to the authoritativeness of the state that has used its powers under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the hitherto Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 without paying heed to the decentralisation of powers, devolution of duties, and building community resilience.

Critical Importance of Cooperative Federalism

In addition to the three-pillar framework suggested by the Fifteenth Finance Commission, we suggest four constituents, namely the finance commission, NITI Aayog, goods and services tax, and de facto decentralisation, which will help strengthen the “cooperative” element—a key factor for Indian federation to work effectively. Further, the article focuses on finance commissions empowering the local governments and, in particular, assesses the Fifteenth Finance Commission’s thrust to empower the local bodies.

 

Professionalising Election Campaigns

The 2014 and 2019 general elections in India were referred to as “WhatsApp elections,” which had IT cells, bots, and political consultants strategically using data mining tools to build resonant narratives to tell voters what they wanted to hear. By the 2014 national election, the industry was reported to be worth $40–$47 million. Between 2014 and 2018, industry specialists approximated that the number of firms in this market had at least doubled. These unprecedented tools of technological campaigning come with new forms of identifying, targeting, and defining issues of political importance. This article suggests that such developments are turning electoral politics into a thriving business being data-driven, technologically oriented, and having far-reaching implications for democratic processes.

 

New Initiatives for Democratic Decentralisation in Haryana

The 73rd amendment to the Constitution has given a new lease of life to panchayati raj institutions in terms of the continuity of regular elections and certainty for their permanent existence. But the strength of these institutions has been left to the apathy of the state government. The political leaders and bureaucracy did not allow the institutions of self-governance to grow by granting them the desired functions, finance and functionaries. However, the present government in power in the state has delegated several schemes to strengthen these institutions.

 

The Pandemic and Its Discontents in India

India and the Pandemic: The First Year, Essays from The India Forum by The India Forum, 2021; Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan; pp xvii + 335, `695.

 

An Assessment of Mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility Expenditure

The response of firms towards the corporate social responsibility guidelines and its impact on the funding of Sustainable Development Goals is investigated.

 

Reservations, Efficiency, and the Making of Indian Constitution

The notion that reservation is contrary to efficiency and merit has been invoked consistently. Even the Supreme Court of India seems to have agreed withthis proposition in  some judgments, as it held that Article 16(4), which provides for reservation in services, would be limited by Article 335, which mentions the term “efficiency of administration” in the Constitution. This paper explores the Constituent Assembly Debates to show that the Constitution framers did not subject reservations to the test of efficiency or merit. In addition, “efficiency of administration” mentioned under Article 335 cannot be treated as an exclusionary construct, as it was done in pre-independence era.

 

Induce Spirit of Privatisation in Public Sector Banks

This article analyses why the progressive reforms in the public sector banks and the banking sector under the watchful eyes of the government could not bring the desired change in the working culture and governance of the PSBs. It highlights the reasons why PSBs lag behind and identifies future strategies that may help bring them back on the desired track.

 

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