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 …

Quota for poor: Constitutional and social issues, implications

Context: The decision of the Union Cabinet to provide reservation of 10% for “economically weaker sections of the people who are not covered by any of the existing schemes of reservation” and to bring in amendments to Articles 15 and 16 for this purpose has to be examined from the Read More …

The Amendment procedure

Context: During the Lok Sabha debate on the Constitution amendment Bill to provide a quota in jobs and education for the “economically weaker sections”, Congress’s K V Thomas said “this Bill has to be passed by a two-thirds majority, and then, 50 per cent of the states have to approve Read More …

What is Universal Basic Income?

Context: Sikkim will be the first state in India to roll out the Universal Basic Income or UBI, with the ruling party Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) including it in its manifesto ahead of the state’s Assembly election this year. The Universal Basic Income: The Universal Basic Income, implementation of which has repeatedly Read More …

National Clean Air Programme

Context: The Centre launched what it described as a “war against pollution” across the country — a Rs 300-crore National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). It proposes a “tentative national target” of 20%-30% reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison. NCAP will be rolled Read More …