Quotas and a verdict

The story so far The introduction of a 10% quota for the economically backward through the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The principal grounds cited in support of the challenge are mainly found in a 1992 judgment of a nine-judge Bench in Indra Sawhney vs Read More …

What is the Belt and Road Initiative, and why is China pushing it hard?

The story so far: Six years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a mammoth infrastructure project straddling many countries and continents. Of the projects, the most ambitious is the $60+ billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, aimed at linking China’s Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea. What is it? The Belt and Road Read More …

A model policy for women in the police

Context: Women constitute about 7% of the police strength in India. This number is expected to rise, with many States and Union Territories providing for 30% (and more) reservation for women in the police in specific ranks. However, this is not enough.  The discourse on mainstreaming women in the police Read More …

The Frontiers Report 2019

Context: The annual Frontiers Report 2019 published by the United Nations (UN), has included a chapter on nitrogen pollution in its latest edition. Pollution caused by the reactive forms of nitrogen is now being recognised as a grave environmental concern on a global level. The Frontiers Report 2019 The report was released by Read More …

The search for a Lokpal

Context: The Supreme Court “requested” a search committee to suggest by February-end a panel of names for appointment of the country’s first Lokpal, an anti-corruption ombudsman. A look at the long history of India’s efforts to appoint a Lokpal: Background Amid repeated demands for such an ombudsman, many attempts were Read More …

India’s education sector needs a quantum shift

Context: The quality of education has a direct bearing on any economy. Quality of education has been a prickly issue: With some 240 million students or nearly 20% of the Indian population in school, their quality of learning or lack of it assumes significance for the competitiveness of the country. Read More …

National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)

Context: In 2013, India’s skill agenda got a push when the government introduced the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). This organises all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude, just like classes in general academic education. For each trade/occupation or professional qualification, course content should Read More …

New quota and basic structure

Context: In the 124th Constitutional Amendment recently passed by both Houses of Parliament, providing for 10% reservation to economically weaker sections, the newly inserted Clause 6 in Article 16 enables the state to make such a provision. Because of this, the government is confident that the Supreme Court is unlikely Read More …

ASER surveys since 2010 show

Attendance patterns by state Overall, enrolment for the age group 6-14 has been above 96% in every year since 2010. Attendance, however, varies across states. The all-India figure for attendance is 70% to 74%. Proportion of girls out of school falling The percentage of out-of-school girls aged 11-14 has fallen Read More …

What warmer oceans mean for the planet?

Context: Our oceans are much warmer than we previously thought, according to a new study. They are also heating up faster than was believed, driven by climate change caused by humans. The study, published this week in the journal Science, showed that the world’s oceans have got much warmer since the Read More …