July 2018
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Official Documents: Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee Report and Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018

On Juy 31, 2017, the Government of India appointed a 10-member Committee of Experts headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India "to identify key data protection issues in India and recommend methods of addressing them". The terms of reference of the Committee were to "to study various issues relating to data protection in India", and "to make specific suggestions for consideration of the Central Government on principles to be considered for data protection in India and suggest a draft data protection bill". In addition to Justice Srikrishna (Chairperson), the members of the Committee of Experts were: Mrs. Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecom; Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO,Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI); Dr. Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY); Prof. Rajat Moona, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Raipur; Dr. Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator; Prof. Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Indore; Dr. Arghya Sengupta, Research Director, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy; Ms. Rama Vedashree, CEO, Data Security Council of India (DSCI);  and the Joint Secretary, MeitY (Member-Convener).   The full report of the Committee of Experts can be accessed at the following link: A Free and Fair Digital Economy, Protecting Privacy, Empowering Indians [PDF 1.72 MB] Source: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India   The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, which is available on the website of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), can be accessed at the following link:   Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 [PDF 723 KB] Source: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India

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The IAS Plays a Critical Role in Defending Constitutional Values

Over the last four years, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government has presided over a politics that has seen the countr

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The Politics and Governance of Social Policies in Delhi: Comparing Cash and In-kind Transfers

This Policy Report, The Politics and Governance  of Social Policies in Delhi : Comparing Cash and In-kind Transfers, acknowledges the potential contribution of social policies towards attaining a sustainable and inclusive human and social capital transformation as also social integration. Yet, exclusion errors, especially involving ineffective targeting methods, insensitive service providers, and poor public services, including the apathy of political representatives, tend to exacerbate social tensions in the community, affecting the well-being of citizens with the attendant risk of social disintegration. This study by O. Grace Ngullie highlights the decisive role of politics and governance in Delhi and its contribution towards reaping the prospective benefits of food security programmes through service delivery mechanisms of cash and in-kind transfers. It especially captures the narratives of those beneficiaries who benefited earlier from Cash Transfers programme known as Dilli Annashree Yojana and are now benefitting from the Public Distribution System under the National Food Security Programme. Resting on a two-fold attempt, the study gives the citizens’ perspective on service delivery of cash and in-kind transfers and examines the household’s access to food, education, and healthcare while evaluating the social relationships, including the nature of relationships they have with the service providers and political representatives. The study stresses the significance of psychosocial dimensions and advocates including them in the planning, implementation and evaluation of socio-economic welfare programmes. [PDF 5.76 MB]

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Subservience over Efficiency: The Prime Minister & Civil Service 'Reforms'

One consistent undercurrent that directs the actions of the four-year old Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Union governme

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The HECI Bill: Liquidating the State’s Stake in Higher Education

There is no denying that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has failed to discharge its obligations towards higher education. However, the Higher

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Event Report: 'Not holding civic polls is a violation of the Constitution' (includes video and audio)

Video: Private Advice, Public Interest: Democracy and India's Permanent Executive   Audio : 01:38:34 Minutes Private Advice, Public Interest Democracy and India’s Permanent Executive.MP3 Congress leader criticises the idea of simultaneous elections Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh on Friday slammed the Tamil Nadu government for not holding local body elections. Mr. Ramesh said it was a violation of Article 243 of the Constitution. “I was surprised. All States, including Bihar and UP and other States, which are poor, have elections once in five years. Which is what the Constitution provides for. But Tamil Nadu is the only State where elections to panchayats and nagar palikas have not been held for seven years. This is unacceptable in a democracy,” he said. The former Union Minister of Rural Development was in conversation with former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi at the Kasturi Srinivasan Hall of the Music Academy. Their discussion was on ‘Private Advice, Public Interest: Democracy and India’s Permanent Executive’ and Mr. Ramesh's latest book, ‘Intertwined Lives: P.N. Haksar and Indira Gandhi’. The event was organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy. Pointing out that elections were the only way for the citizens to make themselves heard in India, Mr. Ramesh, a senior visiting fellow at The Hindu Centre, also objected to holding simultaneous elections. “By supporting one election, one nation, you are denying yourself the ability to enforce some accountability on the executive. It is the debacle in successive elections in the last 12 months that made the current Prime Minister more aware of the concerns of farmers, the unemployed, the rural landless labour. If you had had one nation, one election to elect somebody, then you have no opportunity whatsoever of making your voice heard for the next five years,” he said. Mr. Ramesh said that a Congress government would never roll back bank nationalisation, spearheaded by Indira Gandhi and her principal secretary P.N. Haksar. Bank denationalisation “Never. Bank denationalisation, the Congress party will never do.....It should not do. The denationalisation of banks is a recipe for economic disaster,” he said. “We have to find a way to depoliticise appointment to banks. We must make the boards of public sector banks more professional and accountable. However, the experience with ICICI Bank shows that they are subject to the same pressures. So, this public-private sector debate in banks is a non-issue, as far as I am concerned,” Mr. Ramesh added. In his opening remarks, Mr. Gandhi said the running theme of the book was loyalty: Mr. Haksar’s allegiance to the Prime Minister's position as well as Mrs. Gandhi. “Monarchs everywhere have had the boon of counsellors and the bane of courtiers....Counsellors are needed leaders who do not acknowledge their need. If counsellors give good advice, leaders may take it; sometimes not. They would not appear to be taking it; they would like to appear that they do not need any counsel,” said Mr. Gandhi. N. Ravi, publisher of  The Hindu , quoted extensively from the book to talk about Mr. Haksar's many qualities. “The book is a celebration of the life and times of P.K. Haksar. It also raises questions that are very relevant to our present day. One question that arises is how a civil servant gained such power, influence and standing even if it were all for the good.....Is it at all possible for another super-civil servant to emerge? Is it even desirable? For, when civil servants have their codes and service rules, they lack a measure of democratic accountability,” said Mr. Ravi. Source:  The Hindu , July 14, 2018 .

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Lateral Entry into Senior Bureaucracy: A Flawed Approach

The Union government stunned the nation on June 10, 2018, when it opened up 10 senior civil services positions at the level of Joint Secretary for lat

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Higher education in India is not mature; disbanding UGC is welcome: M.R. Doreswamy

Even after 70 years of Independence, India has not stabilised in the sphere of higher education. It continues to grapple with problems of unemployment

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Event: Public discussion on Private Advice, Public Interest: Democracy and India’s Permanent Executive

The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy and Simon & Schuster, India, invite you to a Public discussion on Private Advice, Public Interest: Democracy and India’s Permanent Executive by Jairam Ramesh MP, Former Union Minister, Senior Visiting Fellow, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, and author of Intertwined Lives: P.N. Haksar and Indira Gandhi   in conversation with Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former administrator, diplomat, and Governor. Date: Friday, July 13, 2018. Time: 6.00 p.m. Venue: Kasturi Srinivasan Hall, The Music Academy, No.168, T.T. Krishnamachari Road, Royapettah, Chennai 600014. Please send your Name, Email ID, Phone Number and Postal Address to email: [email protected] or call +914428524445 / 28538153 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Issue Brief 9 Front Page
Governance by Fear in Tamil Nadu: A Template from Thoothukudi

Thoothukudi, in southern Tamil Nadu, found its place in recorded history preceding even that of the State’s capital, Chennai. Famed as one among the world’s ancient seaports documented by the likes of Ptolemy, it is now in the news for all that can go wrong in the dynamic interplay of the state and citizenry, industrialisation and the environment, and governance and public interest. On May 22, 2018, police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators who had been protesting against a copper smelter plant, which for close to two decades was mired in controversy over its impact on the environment, public health, and the manner in which the state was seen as siding with corporate interests overriding public concerns. The police action on the 100 day of the protests went down as an emotive experience in which public voices were stilled by bullets, governance was all but abdicated by civil authorities, and, in a seeming response to the popular outcry, the smelter, run by Sterlite Copper, a subsidiary of Vedanta, a global mining conglomerate was shut down. In this Issue Brief , M.G. Devasahayam, former Indian Army and Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, puts together the pieces and focusses the spotlight on the failure of state mechanisms, leading to the government resorting to “Governance by Fear.” Drawing from his experience as an administrator and soldier he points out the serious flaws in the handling of the entire issue by the political leadership, executive and the judiciary. He dissects the order under Section 144 CrPC and exposes its illegality, draws attention to the procedural blunders and the disproportionate role played by the uniformed force of the State, and the manner in which what started out as an expression of collective dissent ended in a tragedy which claimed the lives of 13 people and the limbs of many more. The Issue Brief also delves into the growing trend of the seemingly democratic state becoming brazenly autocratic to facilitate the “ruling oligarchy grow richer while their less fortunate brethren suffer and starve” a sure sign of the State not being governed as per the mandate of the Constitution of India. Click to read this Issue Brief (HTML)

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Governance by Fear in Tamil Nadu: A Template from Thoothukudi

Thoothukudi, in southern Tamil Nadu, found its place in recorded history preceding even that of the State’s capital, Chennai. Famed as one among the w