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

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Pandemic and the Patent System

This article discusses the patent system in the context of the current pandemic. It suggests that the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and the TRIPS-compliant Indian Patent Law could be used to either grant compulsory licences or they could go by the provision that allows the government to use the patent. The road block seems to be the technological capabilities than the patent system itself.

The Hunger Conundrum

India has to accelerate efforts to improve the nutrition levels of the population.

NEP 2020 and the Language-in-Education Policy in India

The National Education Policy of India 2020 is a significant policy document laying the national-level strategy for the new millennium. It is ambitious and claims universal access to quality education as its key aim, keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030. One of the highlights of the NEP is its emphasis on mother tongue education at the primary levels in both state- and privately owned schools. The present paper critically assesses the NEP 2020, primarily in relation to the language-in-education policy. The paper argues that it presents a “contradiction of intentions,” aspiring towards inclusion of the historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups on the one hand, while practising a policy of aggressive privatisation and disinvestment in public education on the other.

COVID-19 Economic Stimulus and State-level Performance of Power Distribution Companies

As part of the COVID-19 economic stimulus package, the Government of India increased the borrowing limit of the states from 3% to 5% of the gross state domestic product. The power sector reform at the state level is one of the criteria to avail this extra borrowing. The efficiency parameters of the power sector are analysed here, and it is observed that there are statewise differentials in the financial and operational parameters. The average aggregate technical and commercial losses that should have been 15% by 2018–19, presently, on average, stand at 26.15%. The average cost of supply–average revenue realised has also widened. The operational parameters indicate widening inefficiencies across states in the power infrastructure.

Insanity and Colonial Knowledge

Britain saw a significant establishment of asylums and perceptions about insanity at the end of the 18th century. Michel Foucault traced the historiography of institutional confinement and postulated that the history of madness shows the “great confinement.” Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (1973) begins by describing the exclusion and confinement of lepers in the large leper houses scattered at the periphery of European cities. The new cultural content after the renaissance changed radically, from reason and madness in the classical era, to sanity and insanity. Foucault was not telling the story of scientific progress. He instead moved towards social increment, isolation, and confinement in the madhouses during the age of reason.

Preparing the Script for Privatisation

The privatisation of Air India marks the gradual erosion of the public sector and inclusive employment.

Coal Woes: Are They Touch and Go?

To combat the coal shortage and prevent its recurrence, meticulous and efficient planning holds the key.

Gender Budgeting for Sustainable Development in India

The fifth Sustainable Development Goal mandates that India close its gender gap by 2030. An evaluation of gender budgeting as a whole and a diverse range of gender-sensitive interventions under the same (2005–06 to 2020–21) reveals severe shortcomings. First, a low and declining trend has been found in the shares of gender budgeting to total government expenditure, and women-specific schemes to total funds for gender budgeting. Second, the allocation of total funds for various schemes is either stagnating or declining, with some having received no funds over the last two consecutive years. Problems of design too persist, all contributing to a significant gender gap for Indian women vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

Waste Management and Cleanliness in Cities

The paper compares solid waste management revenue expenditure of 27 cities with the performance outcomes on cleanliness as measured by the Swachh Survekshan survey. Nineteen out of 27 cities spend more than the benchmark, yet none have an expected perfect score. While spending has a significantly positive impact on cleanliness, it explains only 23% of the variation.

Writing Histories of Regions in Premodern India

The Making of Regions in Indian History: Society, State and Identity in Premodern Odisha by Bhairabi Prasad Sahu, Delhi: Primus Books, 2020; pp xvi + 274, ₹ 1,095.

Territory as Political Technology

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir marks an important moment to reflect on how imagined territories determine everyday life as well as shape political realities.

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