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

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Fifteenth Finance Commission Recommendations

While trying to balance the competing demands from the union and the states, the Fifteenth Finance Commission has done a commendable job, but has also sacrificed objectivity at times.

Nine Years of Turmoil in Taxation

In 2012, the finance ministry of the Government of India amended the Income Tax Act to tax capital gains from indirect corporate transactions. This law was applied retrospectively, permitting the finance ministry to tax companies for similar transactions in the previous half a century and creating consternation among foreign investors. The ministry decided to dispense with this in August 2021. Despite the altered legal position that this law will apply prospectively instead of retrospectively, the woes of the ministry are not over.

Covid-19 Pandemic: Shortages, Hesitancy and Pricing Plague India’s Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

India’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out has been marred by challenges of shortages and hesitancy. With the new open market policy of vaccine procurement and possible entry of foreign-made vaccines, government responsibility and transparency are the need of the hour.

Making Digital Financial Inclusion a Reality

Technology has had a disruptive effect on the delivery of fi nancial services, and adoption of digital solutions could help accelerate fi nancial inclusion. This article creates a road map for digital fi nancial inclusion in India using the framework based on the eight high-level principles of G-20 nations. While evaluating the progress under each one of these principles, the article concludes with policy recommendations both on supply and demand sides to achieve the coveted digital fi nancial inclusion.

A Double Whammy for the Disadvantaged

After three decades of disinvestment or privatisation of public sector enterprises’ assets, the Government of India has upped the ante and now rolled out a programme for the sale of services provided by the public sector. Labelled as the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), this programme would...

COVID-19 and IPR Waiver

The Government of India is seeking an intellectual property rights waiver under Sections 1 (copyright and related rights), 4 (industrial designs), 5 (patents), and 7 (protection of undisclosed information) of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Seeking an IPR waiver is based on the presumption that it will allow more firms to manufacture vaccines and medicines, thereby enhancing their availability at a cheaper price. However, IPR waivers for COVID-19 vaccines and medicines are unlikely to make any difference. A more effective approach is to use compulsory licences, and reduce tariffs and non-tariff measures.

Caste and Race: Discrimination Based on Descent

In 2001, Dalit non-governmental organisations pushed for the inclusion of caste-based discrimination in the United Nations conference on racism and other forms of descent-based discriminations. How did the Government of India respond to the internationalisation of casteism? Why did Dalits want casteism to be treated on par with racism in the first place? Did they succeed? And above all, is caste the same as race?

Financial Inclusion through Urban Cooperative Banks

This study gives insights into the financial inclusion and fintech performance of Telangana urban cooperative banks, based on a primary survey carried out among UCB officials. More than 60% of the UCBs are found to cater to slum dwellers and micro, small and medium enterprises. But a clear gender gap is evident in terms of account ownership and access to credit.

Has the IAS Failed the Nation?

The decision to recruit experts from the open market in certain departments at the level of joint secretaries is not enough to radically professionalise the civil service. Internal specialisation must be promoted by insisting on stable tenure in the states so that there is incentive for the Indian Administrative Service officers to acquire expertise in their chosen sectors. Also, the IAS officers should take the entry of the outsiders as a challenge, because if they do not improve their performance, there could be repetition of such recruitment every year.

A House of Cards

The Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, which apply to all public servants in the country, date from colonial times and are reflective of a colonial mindset. Civil servants no longer want to be treated as unruly kids ignorant of their roles and responsibilities. These dated rules must be consigned to the dustbin of history and replaced by a new code of ethics based on self-regulation, accountability, and transparency.
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