[Premium] Lateral Entry in Civil Services – Will it Bring Better Governance?

Recently, the central government has appointed 9 non-governmental professionals selected by the UPSC, under the lateral entry scheme. In this context, it is essential to understand the issue of generalists vs specialists, the concept of lateral entry, and its implications for the governance in India.

After reading this article, you will be able to answer the following questions:

  1. What is a lateral entry?
  2. What is the need for lateral entry?
  3. How the lateral entrants are appointed?
  4. Is the lateral entry new in India?
  5. What are the arguments in favour of lateral entry?
  6. What are the arguments against lateral entry?
  7. What should be way forward?
  8. Generalists Vs Specialists: Who is better?

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Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) – The Debate on Security Vs Human Rights

A debate on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been sparked off after the Congress in its manifesto announced that it would review the AFSPA Act in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Since independence, J&K has been the focal point of national and global political agendas and the 2019 General Elections is no different. Here’s what the act is all about:

[Premium] Defamation in India – IPC Section 499 and 500 Vs Freedom of Speech

Recent happenings across the country against individual rights and free speech have questioned the relevance and the validity of certain laws such as Sedition law, defamation law, and the AFSPA. Sedition law has already been discussed here. In this article, we are going to discuss the defamation law in India, the associated issues and the way forward. AFSPA will be discussed in the next article.

It has been claimed that criminalization of defamation has a harsh effect on the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 and hence demands have been raised to make it as a civil offence. However, the Supreme Court in its 2016 judgement approved the constitutional validity of criminal defamation laws such as IPC sections 499 and 500 which led to widespread criticism across all political circles.


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State Funding of Elections: Is it feasible in India?

Indian elections cost huge sums of money. This money hardly comes from contributions by sympathizers of the political party but from big corporate houses. Such contributions have largely come from undeclared income/black money and this increases corruption in the electoral process. It highlights the need for implementing effective reforms in electoral finance.In the previous article, we have discussed the Electoral Bonds Scheme for bringing transparency in electoral finance. In this article, we are going to discuss another such reform called State funding of elections as a measure to bring transparency and eliminate corruption in the electoral process.

[Premium] Electoral Bonds – Is it effective to bring Transparency in Political Funding?

The State Bank of India (SBI) has opened a 20-day window from where an individual, acting singly or in concert with others, can buy electoral bonds and donate money to political parties. Purchasers of these bonds have been granted anonymity, thereby creating opacity in what should have been a transparent process. Data gathered in response to an RTI query revealed that there has been a 62% jump in donations collected through electoral bonds this year (2019).

Notably, Election Commission of India (ECI) has told the Supreme Court that the electoral bonds, wreck transparency in political funding. In its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the EC pointed to the amendments made to key laws, with dangerous consequences.


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Mission Shakti – Why is it Path-Breaking?

Recently, the DRDO’s anti-satellite missile system (ASAT) project named Mission Shakti successfully destroyed a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) (300 km altitude). With this test, India became the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to achieve the feat. It is considered to be a milestone for the institutions and a significant development in terms of strengthening the country’s overall security. However, the test also sparked controversy regarding space militarization and space debris.

[Premium] Clinical Trials in India – Conflict between Public Health Vs Safety

The New Drugs and Clinical Trial Rules, 2019 released by the government seeks to enable faster approvals and to cut down on red tape with respect to the clinical trials in India. It seeks to promote clinical research in India by providing for a predictable, transparent and effective regulation for clinical trials and by guaranteeing faster accessibility of new drugs to the Indian population. Thus it has the potential to reinvigorate the clinical research industry, which was almost on its death bed a few years ago.

This article answers the following questions in an analytical manner.

  1. What are clinical trials?
  2. What is the need for clinical trials?
  3. How Clinical trials are conducted?
  4. Why is India a popular destination for Clinical trials?
  5. What is the regulatory mechanism for Clinical Trials in India?
  6. What are the key Issues regarding Clinical Trials in India?
  7. What are the measures taken by the government to solve those issues?
  8. What are the features and significances of the new rules of 2019?
  9. What are the suggestions to further improve the scenario?

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Fake News Menace in India: How to tackle it

With the Lok Sabha elections near, it is really important that Indians have access to credible and trustworthy information before they vote. The issue is that many do not feel they do.Notably, after the Pulwama attack, social media and messaging apps had overflown with false and deceptive news content as people were trying to understand the horrible violence.This reflects the extent of the fake news menace and the threat it poses to the Indian democracy.