[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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[Premium] Blockchain Technology – In a Nutshell

Blockchain technology, also known as the decentralised, distributed ledger technology, has gained popularity in India in the last 2 years. According to studies, in the next 5 years, Blockchain has the potential to add value to the tune of USD 5 billion across all sectors in India.

Various banks in India have been increasingly adopting this technology. Utilising this distributed ledger technology, a group of India’s 11 largest banks including ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, RBL Bank, South Indian Bank, and Axis Bank have launched the 1st ever blockchain-linked loan system in the country. This not only guarantees transparency in loan disbursement but also eliminates any communication challenge among the different banks.


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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:

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.

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.

Official Secrets Act – Transparency Vs National Security

The Official Secrets Act (OSA) has been in the news recently due to the debate over ‘stolen documents’ in Rafale case. The Attorney-General has suggested “criminal action” against those responsible for making ‘stolen documents’ public.OSA is a colonial-era law that seeks to ensure secrecy and confidentiality in governance especially on national security and espionage issues.However, successive governments have faced criticism for misusing the law against journalists and whistleblowers thus violating their right to freedom of speech and expression.