Recently, the Supreme Court gave the Lokpal search committee time till February-end for shortlisting a panel of names of chairperson and members of the Lokpal. The court has for the past several months been constantly urging the government to complete the Lokpal appointment. However, the complicated and legal technicalities led to the delay in the appointment of Lokpal.
Recently, the Supreme Court Collegium has arbitrarily withdrawn its own decision on appointing two judges and has recommended names of two other judges to the government for elevation to the Supreme Court by superseding 3 judges senior to them. It highlights issues regarding the appointment of judges and the need to understand the system of judicial appointments in India.
Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to ease norms for religious minorities from neighbouring nations (non-muslims) to get Indian citizenship by amending age-old Citizenship Act, 1955. However, it has polarised regions in border states such as Assam since the locals fear that it will result in demographic change due to immigration.
Assam recently revealed the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) which excluded around 40 Lakh people from the list out of about 3.3 crore applicants.
Sikkim is set to become the first state in India to launch Universal Basic Income (UBI). The idea of universal basic income has gained popularity in the western nations due to the threat of automation-induced job losses. In India, the idea gained ground due to the chronic poverty & inequality and the government’s failure to provide subsidies effectively to poor people. Moreover, the persistent farm distress and poor wage growth across occupations also highlight the need for an income support scheme in India.
The Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers has recently released the Drugs (Prices Control) Amendment Order, 2019 which prescribes that the drugmaker who has brought in an innovative patented drug will be exempt from the price control rules for 5 years from the date of marketing. It is meant to strike the right balance between consumer and producer interests. However, it falls short of addressing certain concerns regarding the drug pricing regulation in India.
Recently, the union government has introduced 124th Constitution Amendment Bill (10% Quota Bill) in the Parliament to provide for 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) among the general category candidates in higher education and government employment.
NITI Aayog in its recent ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ document, suggested for the establishment of All India Judicial Service. However, the number of different shortcomings and concerns in its implementation necessitates a relook on the proposals.