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A concerted attack on RTI -Amrita Johri and Anjali Bhardwaj

-The Hindu The worst blow to the right to information regime has come in the form of a persistent attack on the transparency watchdogs This year marks 15 years of the enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) law, which has empowered millions to assert their citizenship and show truth to power. It was a vibrant grassroots movement, led not just by the educated elite but the working poor across the country,...

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Where reforms and federalism clash -Yamini Aiyar and Mekhala Krishnamurthy

-Hindustan Times The Centre’s attempt to bulldoze the states on agriculture weakens the entire reform process Days after Parliament passed the controversial agriculture bills, several state governments have begun crafting strategies to avoid its implementation. This is a predictable consequence of a process of law-making that undermines India’s federal consensus. Agriculture is a state subject. The passage of national laws, on a state subject, marks a rupture in India’s federal trajectory. There is...

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New Labour Codes and Their Loopholes

-Economic and Political Weekly Every successive reform in labour laws fails to plug the loopholes. The passage of the three labour code bills by Parliament —the Industrial Relations Code (IRC) Bill, 2020, the Code on Social Security (CSS) Bill, 2020, and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code (OSHWCC) Bill, 2020—and the Code on Wages (CW) Bill enacted in 2019 is the first major milestone in labour market reforms in over...

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In first, Jharkhand gets social audit team to boost NREGA work demand -Abhishek Angad

-The Indian Express According to officials, this is a big shift in the work demand process—separating demand generating and implementing agencies—and is likely to change the way MGNREGA functions in the state. In what the Jharkhand government says is the first such move by any state, the Rural Development Ministry has started capturing work demand under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) through its social audit unit (SAU), generating nearly...

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MGNREGA : A case for rural regeneration -Debmalya Nandy

-The Telegraph The economic distress caused by unilaterally imposed lockdowns has brought the focus back on the rural job programme Narendra Modi’s cocky statement in Parliament in 2015 about the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act being a monumental failure of the Congress regime may have been a political jibe, but it showed that the government had no intention of boosting a programme which, since its inception, has suffered from the...

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