Policy Briefs

Niti Aayog

ContextSince the BJP-led NDA government came to power in 2014, it has actively pursued the cause of a free-market economy, starting withlabour reforms, dilution of land acquisition safeguards, coal deregulation and insurance reforms. All these moves correspond toproviding a better climate for the corporates. Advisors to the BJP-led NDA government are of the opinion that India is a marketeconomy and that there is no place for planning in it. On eof the reputed media commented that, “The thought behind restructuring thePlanning Commission was mainly to align the policy making process with the economic philosophy of the Modi government, whichshuns central planning and welfarism.” (The Huffington Post, 2015)

Union Budget 2015-16- An Analysis

OUTLINEPart I: Macro OverviewPart II: The Budget’s Adverse Impact on Middle-class and PoorPart III: The Budget’s Impact on Equality, Equity and Social ChangePart IV: The Budget’s Impact on Vulnerable and Marginalized SectionPart V: The Budget’s Impact on Environment

Union Budget 2015-16: Pre-Budget Analyses

The highlights of the 'Union Budget 2015-16: Pre-Budget Analyses'  includes Macro-Economic Concerns in India, Inaction on the Policy Front: All Talk and No Action, Anti-People Economic Policies; Dismantling UPA Flagship Programmes and the Role of the Union Government in Progressive National Socio-Economic Transformation and People’s Demands, Concerns and Expectations.

Saffronization of Education

Prof. Romila Thapar  (Third Nikhil Chakravarti Memorial lecture delivered on 26 October 2014) said, “The ultimate success of a democracy requires that the society be secular. By this I mean a society that goes beyond the co-existence of all religions; a society whose members have equal social and economic rights as citizens, and can exercise these rights irrespective of their religion; a society that is free from control by religious organisations in the activities related to these rights; a society where there is freedom to belong to any or no religion. Public intellectuals would be involved in explaining where secularisation lies and why it is inevitable in a democracy and in defending the secularising process.”

MTP (Amendment) Bill 2014

Worldwide, 210 million women become pregnant every year, of which 42 million women faced with unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, terminate their pregnancy voluntarily. According to WHO data 20 million abortion (nearly half) are unsafe. Ninety five per cent of unsafe abortion takes place in developing countries.1 In India, there is no data on unsafe abortion after 2002-03. Country director of Ipas, an international NGO working on increasing access to safe abortion services said, “Abortion deaths are under-reported.” Quoting data from a research paper published in Lancent in 2007, he said there were 6.4 million abortions, of which 3.6 million or 56 per cent were unsafe. As per SRS data of 2001-03, abortion related death contribute to 8 per cent of all maternal death in India2. As per the estimate of Ipas, unsafe abortions are killing a woman every two hours in this country. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 regulates abortion largely to provide safe medical termination for married women under certain circumstances in India. However, number of factors including provisions of existing law forces women to opt for unsafe abortions.

Agriculture

                                          OVERVIEW 

  • Indian agriculture significantly has become more robust with record production of food grains and oilseeds. The UPA policies on public investment like increased procurement, consequently has added huge stocks of food grains in the granaries. India is, now, one of the world’s top producers of rice, wheat, milk, fruits, and vegetables.
  •  However, given that India is still home to a quarter of all undernourished people in the world and since on an average almost half the total expenditure of about half the households is on food, increasing the efficiency of the farm-to-fork value chain is crucial for eliminating poverty and malnutrition. (Economic Survey 2013-14)
  • The year 2011-12 witnessed a remarkable performance by Indian agricultural sector with a record production of 259.3 million tonnes of food grains. The credit for the performance may be attributed to benevolent weather conditions, effective Government policies like National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Second Green Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI), push given to agri-investment and the Minimum Support Price (MSP) Policy.

The Indian Institute of Information Technology Bill 2013

The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Bill, 2013 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 18, 2013 by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr. M.M. Pallam Raju.  Under the NDA government The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) Bill, 2014 was introduced by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Ms. Smriti Zubin Irani, in the Lok Sabha on August 12, 2014.  

The Constitution-115 Amendment, GST Bill-2011

PART I : Need For GST in India: UPA Initiative The effort to introduce GST in India for the first time was seen in the UPA regime in 2006-2007 Union Budget speech made by the then Finance minister P. Chitambaram stating that there is a national level consensus on introducing GST. He further stated that GST will be introduced on 1April 2010. The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers agreed to work with the Central Government to prepare a roadmap for introducing a national level GST with effect from 1st April 2010. In May 2007 Empowered Committee (EC) of State Finance Ministers in consultation with the Central Government, constituted a Joint Working Group (JWG), to recommend the GST model. (PIB, 2009). However, GST could not be implemented due to Modi’s protest. This was so because of complex sharing of power between centre and state as mentioned in the constitution which further requires its amendment.

Road Transport & Safety Bill, 2014

For more than three decades, after India’s independence, the basic legislation relating to motor vehicles remained the pre independence era Motor Vehicles Act, 1939(4 of 1939). Taking into account the changes in road transport technology, pattern of passenger and freight movement, development of the road network in the country, improved techniques in the motor vehicles management as well as the recommendations of various expert committees the Parliament passed The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988(59 of 1988). 

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