Food first: Addressing poor child nutrition

Context: The central principle that should guide the Centre in improving maternal and child nutrition is that early childhood is the foundation for the health and well-being of an individual.  Cause of Concerns: Tinkering with the existing national programme of providing hot-cooked meals to children three to six years old, Read More …

Billed for change: amendments to the National Medical Council Bill

Context: The union cabinet approves changes in the National Medical Commission (NMC) bill. Changes in the NMC Bill: These changes address some of the loudest criticisms of the Bill. Among them, the final year MBBS exam is now merged with an exit exam for doctors, and a contentious bridge course Read More …

Reimagining governance

Context: The 115 Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) conceived by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is radical not because this is the first time that a government in India has focussed on India’s most backward districts but because the exercise envisages a serious re-imagination of government and governance, and deepens cooperative federalism. Read More …

An alternative to privatization of public sector banks

Context: The troubles of the banking sector, and public sector banks (PSBs) in particular, are well known. Reform proposals have focused largely on ownership and have issued strident calls for privatization. Even if there was political support for this idea, there are a few important challenges. Confidence of Customers The Read More …

The risks in fracking

Context: Many scholars believe that fossil fuel energy will decline markedly by 2050. Such conclusions have been challenged by others who say that the earth has enough resources to quench humankind’s thirst for development for many centuries to come. Among other energy supplies, shale gas and oil are likely to be abundant Read More …

Draft mission to kick-start renewable energy storage

The draft National Energy Storage Mission expects to kick-start grid-connected energy storage in India, set up aregulatory framework, and encourage indigenous manufacture of batteries. The draft has been submitted to the Ministry, and will be released for public feedback in the next few months. The draft sets a “realistic target” of 15-20 gigawatt hours (GWh) of Read More …

Reforming defence planning in India

Context: • The government has decided to establish an overarching defence planning committee (DPC) under the national security adviser which is being seen as a significant change in India’s defence planning architecture. • The aim is to leverage this cross-governmental body—comprising the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, three Read More …