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Source: Centre For Science & Environment (Adapted)

6 lakh households in Delhi do not have safely managed water within their premises. This figure is based on the latest socio-economic survey (2019) by the Delhi government. Most of these households have to buy water through water tankers, with their women standing in long queues and have to pay way more than those who are connected to the piped network. In peak season, there are daily brawls and on occasions serious law and order issues. Despite Delhi Jal Board (DJB) — the water utility responsible for providing water and septage management having a fleet of 1062 water tankers, there…


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India is going through tough times. The pandemic is raging. Economic distress is in its prime. Some commentators are attributing more than the deserved share of the economic mess to COVID-19 and the stringent lockdown which we have implemented. But that’s not the case. The economy has had at least three shocks before the current crisis — the deliberate assault through demonetisation, the implementation of a flawed version of GST without building institutional structure and the NBFC crisis. All these jolts could have been avoided. We were already under treatment, but the pandemic has put us in the ICU.

It…


Lateral entry in civil services is a welcome step as long as the process is transparent, merit-based and not done based on political connections. Lateral entry is especially needed in fields of administration which entail specific domain expertise.

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Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

The Indian State is generally considered weak in state capacity. Many have argued that this gap in state capacity can be bridged by ‘lateral entries’[i]. Many factors led to the demand for more ‘open’ system and a push for lateral entry. First, economic reforms in 1991 and the change in nature of the administration. Second, the sudden leap of IAS officers’ social compatriots — graduates of IITs & IIMs in terms of both pay and perquisites, as also efficiency and expertise. Third, the increase in rent-seeking tendencies of the civil servants, thereof. Fourth, the political class and the society collectively…


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Nedumangad, India (Source: Unsplash)

Free our farmers. They can help us absorb the impact on COVID- 19. Freeing here means remove the bottlenecks in their supply chain. Yes. The same ‘supply chain’ which the Prime Minister mentioned 9 times in his speech on 12th May. Following it, Finance Minister announced the creation of ‘Rs 1 lakh crore Agri-Infrastructure Fund for farm-gate infrastructure’ and a ‘legal framework’ to amend the Essential Commodities Act and APMC Act. On paper, these are bold steps in the right direction, but in the context of the pandemic, this shall do nothing to alleviate the immediate pain of the farmers.


Excerpts from the Constituent Assembly speech by Dr B.R. Ambedkar on Friday, the 25th November, 1949.

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Source: Google.com

As much defence as could be offered to the Constitution has been offered by my friends Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar and Mr T T Krishnamachari, I shall not therefore enter into the merits of the Constitution. Because I feel, however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called…


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File photo. Photograph:( PTI )

This piece was published on Wion News with a different headline.

Delhi burnt and almost all our policymakers failed us. ‘Rajadharma’ is the construct often abused in modern Indian polity. The notion of Rajadharma in the ancient Indian political traditions, as a normative yardstick to evaluate governance, has always been all-pervasive and cherished. Mahabharata speaks of Rajadharma. Kautilya’s Arthashastra — India’s best known secular treatise on how a state and a ruler should be, separates law and religion by explicating Rajadharma.

We, the people of India should not be surprised when our elected representatives, in most cases, desert us and…


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Internet shutdown in parts of Uttar Pradesh, post protests Photograph:( AFP )

This piece was published on Wion News on 1.01.2020

This year, India has earned the dubious distinction of shutting down the internet and communication services for the largest chunk of global population and for the longest period of time. Recent media reports have indicated that India was home to 67% of the Internet Shutdowns globally in 2019. Internet Shutdowns are known to have terrible consequences on civil liberties, fundamental rights and have led to massive economic losses. These shutdowns have been used to curb protests and civil society movements, which thrive on attention and symbolism. …


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PM Narendra Modi greets US President Donald Trump upon his arrival in Ahmedabad on 24th Feb 2020

A redacted version of this article was published at CNNNews18 Blog here.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to India comes as an extension of the process of strategic partnership started by George W Bush and Barack Obama. With the Chinese economy hitting a rough patch and the Indo-US trade relations somewhat faltering, it is an opportune moment for both countries to cement their strategic relationship. Free trade is the foundation of international relations between many countries, even with the most difficult relationships. India and China are the prime example.

India and the US has had a healthy strategic trade relationship…


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Photo by Ishant Mishra on Unsplash

The abolition of Planning Commission, emergence of the Niti Aayog, the realities of the 14th Finance Commission and the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission have raised several questions than answers regarding devolution of funds to the states.

The history of devolution of funds from Centre to the States is dotted with historic milestones and is evolving from generation to generation. India’s fiscal federalism is at crossroads simply because it can choose either to significantly constrain the fiscal power of states or to follow its path of evolving systems and policy formulation to enhance its federal character.

First…


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Photo by rupixen on Unsplash

Leopold Kohr’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ phrase is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more. With this focus on mind, India’s entrepreneurs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) start their new small venture but more often than not their dreams and aspirations don’t turn out be that beautiful.

MSMEs sector in India is reeling under stress. This could be partly attributed to the present economic scenario which is beyond dim. But largely it is a fault of our own making.

It is well documented that MSMEs are unable to access bank credit because…

Rachit Seth

I speak my mind- Unafraid & Unapologetic | Policy | Political | Foodie & Cook | Architect | Views Personal

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