Policy Briefs

Talking Points- Interaction with Students-Sept 2013

The population of the Northeast according to census data is going to be youth dominated in 2020 as is the case with the rest of India. This youthful workforce if harnessed well can be national asset and be the key positive driver for the NER. However if adequate opportunities are not provided for their development and empowerment to achieve their full potential the youthful population of the region could create obstacles leading to uncertainties about the future.
 The world today witnesses substantial change in terms of the nature of opportunities, choices, career paths that are available for youth. Therefore there is a need to orient our educational system to suit the changing demands of time. The rigid education system in terms of methods of teaching, content, transmitting existing knowledge should move towards research & innovation and rewarding creativity extensively. There is a strong political will (UPA efforts Higher Education Sector) to do so and the students must actively join to change the education system and ensure that the academic committee reflects on it.
 There have been many institutions for higher education created for students in the north east to expose them to new ideas and opportunities. There is a long standing tradition of students from the north east travelling to other parts of India and abroad to seek newer different avenues of learning.

Street Vendors Bill- 2012

The street vendors form a very important segment of the unorganized sector in the country. Accoridng to the report on National Policy on Street Vendors (2006-07) by the National Commission on Enterprise in Unorganised Sector (NCEUS), 2 percent of urban population is engaged in the street vending activities in different cities in India. The number of street vendors varies from one city to another ranging from 1.5 lakhs to 2 lakhs in metropolis like Mumbai and Kolkata to 30,000 in small cities like Bhubaneshwar (NCEUS, 2006-07). The country’s capital city has has more than 6 lakh street hawkers, of whom only about 5 percent have the tehbazari permit to hawk their goods on public space.iv

Sex Selective Abortion In India

India has largely shown a masculine composition which was earlier attributed to higher mortality among females than males. However, with the 1990s, a steep rise in the sex ratio at birth became visible owing to the practice of sex selection due to an acute preference for sons with the easy availability of prenatal sexdetection and access to medical termination of pregnancy, at least in some parts of the country.1 People realise smaller family sizes with relatively greater number of sons by abuse of medical technologies.
Sex ratio, in India, is defined as the number of females per 1000 males in the population whereas, internationally, Sex ratio is defined as number of males per 100 females. According to the 2011 census, the sex ratio in India was 940 per 1000 males seeing a marginal increase of 7 points from the 2001 census.2

Registration of Births and Deaths Amendment bill

The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 regulates the registration of births and deaths with the aim to collect and compile vital statistics which is necessary for planning and administration. Births and Deaths are the vital events in any population. Knowledge about these events is essential for understanding old demography, health and civil needs. The Act has given statutory authority to the Registrar General, India to coordinate the work of civil registration throughout the country.
The Registration of Births and Deaths Amendment Bill, 2012 seeks to amends the Act to include the registration of marriage and rename it as “Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths Act”. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on May 7th, 2012 by the then Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Salman Khurshid. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on May 9th, 2012 which submitted its report on February 27, 2013. The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on the 13th August, 2013

The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities Bill, 2013

According to the Census 20011, there are 26.8 million people with disabilities in India who constitute 2.21 per cent of the total population. This includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, movement, mental retardation and mental illness. Percentage of disabled person in India has increased both in rural and urban areas during the last decade. The absolute increase in population of disabled people is around 4.9 million in last one decade. Around 66 per cent of disability in India is related to seeing, hearing, movement and multiple disabilities. The Census 2011 collected eight different types of disability data which is more comprehensive than the earlier censuses.

Rectification Inclusion of Communities in ST Category in India

According to the Clause (25) of article 366 of the Indian Constitution “Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.”
The Scheduled Tribes are notified by the Presidential Order under Clause (1) of the article 342 of the Constitution, which is as follows:-
(1) The President may with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that State or Union territory, as the case may be

Political Participation of Women in Assam

The nature of society or state has a decisive impact on the extent and effectiveness of women’s political presence and participation. Notions of democracy, governance and the state are often not gender neutral constructs but result from both historical factors and experiences. The state and its organizational entities reflect the same social forces as other social organizations. It is thus necessary to examine the gender balance in women’s participation in the political process, decision making and policy formulation.i
Where women constitute half the population their lack of space for participation and representation in political bodies has not only resulted in their presence in meagre numbers in these decision making bodies but also in the neglect of their issues and experiences in policy making. The number of women parliamentarians has never exceeded 15 per cent of all seats. At the state level, their membership in the legislatures is abysmally low, lower than their numbers in the parliament.ii This signifies deep flaws in Indian political democracy.

Piracy Bill, 2012

India is one of the states most affected by the crime of piracy. As a traditionally sea-faring nation, Indians crew many of the ships in international transit and have suffered as a consequence. Between 2007 and 2011, 495 Indian seafarers were held hostage by Somali pirates. In addition, international efforts to protect the Gulf of Aden have pushed Somali pirates to seek out new targets across the Indian Ocean. In 2010, there were a dozen attacks around the Lakshadweep area in India. The Indian Navy has intensified efforts to combat piracy by participating in EU Naval Force and patrolling off of its own shores. As a result, the Indian Navy and Coastguard captured 120 pirates in the Arabian Sea and held them in custody in Mumbai. However, the legal framework was not yet in place to fully prosecute these pirates under Indian law.
Legislations against Piracy in India
Currently, ship safety and security are handled by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, which itself is an amendment to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) of 1974/78 and came into force in 2004. At the international level, Sections 101 to 107 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) relate to sea piracy. But India has still been unable to adopt and form any express municipal legislation to tackle this issue. Hence to fill this

Need of Reservation for Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians

Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians are caught in the vicious circle of lack of formal recognition as a social category leading to absence of authoritative data (especially statistical data), which in turn leads to difficulties in making a strong evidentiary case for their need for reservation.
The original rationale for including only Hindu castes in the SC list (as per the first such list prepared in 1936 by J.H. Hutton, the Census Commissioner for the 1931 Census) was directly linked to the practice of untouchability and other caste sanctions against the lowest castes. Since caste as an institution was said to be native to Hinduism, not being part of the scripture or core beliefs of any other religion, only Hindu Dalits qualified to be designated as SCs. However, the later extension of this designation to Sikhs and then to Neo-Buddhists seems to have been justified on the grounds that these groups were recent converts, and their caste was still the predominant aspect of their social identity.