Social Movements and Political Parties: Governance Lens

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Last week’s Delhi assembly election results seem to have ‘surprised’ the established national political parties. AAP is a new political party barely one year old, and has captured 40% of the seats in Delhi assembly. Its roots are in the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare about 30 months ago. Most of its key leaders […]

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Governance of Conflicts in India Today

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Stories of violent conflicts abound in contemporary India. Hardly any day passes when media reports do not capture some form of collective conflict, either between communities or vis-à-vis the state machinery or both. To a casual observer, such persistent conflict may appear to be dangerous for democracy. Quite the contrary, some degree of manifest and […]

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Governance of Disasters

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Despite increased institutional capacity for preventing and addressing disasters in the world today, new disasters continue to expose governance deficits. India’s own track-record in preventing and responding to disasters is less than exemplar. In the past month, three different disasters have seen three different types of responses. The Cyclone Phailin hit the coast of Odisha […]

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Governance of Roads in India Today

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On my way to work the other morning, I traveled on a part of the highway. When the car was moving on a clear road, it almost crashed into a wheel-barrow placed on the topmost lane by a sweeper who himself was just a few yards away. There was no advance warning that such a […]

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Governance From Below

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The contestation around use of natural resources is long-standing in human history; access to land, forests, water and minerals have led to rise and fall of civilisations. As large societies like India and China began rapid economic growth in recent decades, such contestations have intensified. Local inhabitants, especially tribals and indigenous communities, access these resources […]

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Electoral Democracy in Panchayats in India

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Two decades ago, Indian constitution provided for elected local self- governance institutions—municipalities in urban areas and panchayats in rural areas. These changes in Indian constitution were made to provide for guaranteed electoral formation of local government institutions, just as their counterparts at provincial and national levels. To conduct these elections, the constitution provided for formation […]

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Governance of Regulators

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Over the past decade, Indian government has adopted a strategy of creating a number of regulators for taking policy decisions with respect to different sectors of Indian economy. Regulators in the field of education and health did exist for decades, because private sector was already participating in these sectors of Indian economy. AICTE is the […]

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Governing Conflict of Interest

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One of the major challenges facing accountability in governance in countries like India is to create mechanisms for governing conflicts of interests. The Chairman of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Mr Srinivasan has yesterday appointed a committee reporting to him to investigate the illegal and criminal acts of his son-in-law Meiyappan arrested […]

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Making Panchayats Work as Local Democracy

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India celebrated 20 years of National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24, 2013. A ceremony of sorts was held in Vigyan Bhawan where Hon’ble Prime Minister distributed some awards and made some innocuous remarks like “bureaucracy is holding panchayats down”. He has been making similar remarks on this Day for the past several years. Ironically, […]

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Making Democracy Work—For All Citizens

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The euphoria of recent ‘Arab Springs’ is beginning to die down; the newly elected president of Egypt has forcibly ‘voted in’ a new democratic constitution, without concern for its secular, Coptic and other sections of society. The recently elected government in Tunisia is ceding political space to ‘jihadi’ ideologues to propagate sectarian parochialism, and the […]

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