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ILO report

Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM

The entry into force of the landmark global convention that legally recognises domestic work as economically productive activity makes it even harder to countenance the long official neglect of this sector in India. This new standard adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) mandates states to promote the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining between domestic workers and their employers, and the effective abolition of child labour in this sector. But the t...

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Health coverage

Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

For a government dragging its feet on the question of providing universal health cover for all, the Centre has shown great alacrity in deciding that members of the All India Services and their families will be eligible for medical treatment abroad at the taxpayer’s expense. It obviously matters little that even in 1946, the report of the Health Survey and Development Committee headed by Sir Joseph Bhore, on which the national health system was to be built, recommended that “public...

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Starving to live, not die

Posted by vikasjaiswal on March 30, 2013 at 6:00 PM



When the Supreme Court has recognised the right to go on hunger strike, why is Irom Sharmila’s protest against impunity of the armed forces a criminal act?


Over the past 12 years, Irom Sharmila Chanu has carried on an inconceivable hunger strike, which has seen her body wither and her skin turn pale. During this period, she has emerged as the face of the civilian resistance to the immunity, and impunity, granted by the Armed Force...

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Posted by vikasjaiswal on March 23, 2013 at 3:15 AM Comments comments ()





An action plan


The J...

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Going from Zero FIRs to e-FIRs

Posted by vikasjaiswal on January 22, 2013 at 8:00 AM

On January 18, 2013, Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar announced that Zero First Information Reports (FIRs) may be registered on the basis of a woman’s statement at any police station irrespective of jurisdiction. This means women can file an FIR at any police station and the complaint is required to be registered on the basis of the woman’s complaint verbatim. Mr. Kumar stated: “The woman’s statement has to be taken as gospel truth and a probe needs to be initiated on i...

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Cash transfers can help make India less unequal, but are not a magic bullet?

Posted by vikasjaiswal on January 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM Comments comments ()

It is not the modality of cash transfer that is the only issue, but also how much, and for whom, and also, instead of what, asks Amartya Sen.


The Union Government has launched the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) programme to give benefits like scholarships, pensions, NREGA wages, etc. directly to the bank or post office accounts of beneficiaries. There are also talks of direct transfer of subsidies for food, fertilizer and kerosene at a later stage. Will the scheme work?

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Posted by vikasjaiswal on January 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Ujjwala is a comprehensive scheme that was launched in 2007 for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation


What is human trafficking?


Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings mainly for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labour. These are mainly divided as:


Bonded labour - Victims become bonded labourers when the...

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National Policy For empowerment of women

Posted by vikasjaiswal on January 17, 2013 at 5:10 AM Comments comments ()

As a follow up action to the commitments made by India during the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing during Sep. 1995, the Department has drafted a National Policy for the Empowerment of Women after nation-wide consultations to enhance the status of women in all walks of life on par with men and actualize the constitutional guarantee of equality without discrimination on grounds of sex.


The goal of this Policy is to bring about the advancement, development and...

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Sabala Scheme

Posted by vikasjaiswal on January 17, 2013 at 5:00 AM Comments comments ()

With the objective of improving the nutritional and health status of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years and empower them by providing education in life-skills, health and nutrition, the Government of India has introduced the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls - SABLA in November, 2010. The Scheme also aims at equipping girls with information on family welfare, health and hygiene, existing public services, etc., and to draw out-of-school girls into the formal...

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Maternal Mortality- A battle half won

Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 16, 2012 at 5:30 AM Comments comments ()


THE high rate of maternal mortality in India has been a cause for national concern, especially on account of the focus on reaching the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Although there is a growing realisation that it will be difficult to meet the MDG targets by that deadline, there is a renewed interest in the government schemes that attempt to arrest maternal mortality.

According to the U.N., India accounted for 19 per cent of all maternal deaths ...

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Bangladesh Shining Story

Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 8, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments ()

Bangladesh is very much in the news these days in our country, but for the wrong reasons. In the unfortunate Bangladesh-bashing that seems to have become somewhat of a pastime, we seem to have...

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Winning the case for Quota

Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 7, 2012 at 7:20 AM Comments comments ()

The decision to amend the Constitution to ensure reservation in promotions for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes has been the subject of much scrutiny without paying sufficient critical attention to the discourse of the Supreme Court on the issue. While the Court is not opposed to reservation in promotions per se, it has left many critical questions unanswered and has not clarified the precise content of the conditions on which it is willing to permit reservation in promotions. It...

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environment, biodiversity, Gandhiji

Posted by vikasjaiswal on October 2, 2011 at 2:55 AM Comments comments ()


The world is preparing to celebrate yet another milestone in 2012 through the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). This marks the 40th anniversary of the Stockholm Summit (1972) on human development and environment, and the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, or the Earth Summit 1992). There cannot be a more important event in this decade to define sustainable development and what it means for the common man, as we ...

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Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 15, 2011 at 4:25 AM Comments comments ()


The foreword — to the Draft National Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2011 — that says “urbanisation is inevitable” (I.p.1) signifies danger. The Bill, if enacted in its present form, is likely to worsen, and not stop, displacement of tribal, Dalit and other backward communities. The Bill states: “The issue of who acquires land is less important than the process of land acquisition, compensation for land acquired and R&R p...

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