Governance

This year could well be seen as a sort of a showcase for democracy, as over 60 nations around the world gear up for elections, parliamentary, presidential or regional. India, followed keenly around the world for its rising geopolitical stature, is just one of them. In a matter of weeks from now, we will be queuing up to elect our chosen member of parliament, or the MP from our constituency.  But how do we make that decision? When we vote for a candidate, what should we expect him to do for his constituency? Build better roads? Create more jobs in…

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As we all know, Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, followed by the Vidhan Sabha elections and then possibly by the municipal elections in Mumbai. All of these are crucial for us to to live a comfortable life. And the results of these elections are determined by how we, the people vote. The Lok Sabha makes crucial laws, allocates the national budget, shapes our standard of living due to taxes like GST and defines our employment situations due to the investments it makes or does not make. The percentage of resources the central government allocates to issues like healthcare,…

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The Lok Sabha Elections (General Elections) 2024 are coming up in a matter of months. Elections are crucial in a democracy like India, as it allows citizens to choose the leaders, who will govern the country for the next five years. How we vote has a direct bearing on the formation of the government at the Centre, and therefore, it is important for all eligible voters to exercise their franchise. If you are gearing up to vote in the parliamentary polls in April-May, it is essential to ensure that your name is the electoral rolls. Have you registered as a…

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With the aim of bringing the government to citizens' doorstep, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister, D K Shivakumar organised a 10-day Janaspandana programme in 10 constituencies, starting from January 3rd, this year. Grievances are registered on the spot and Shivakumar has promised to address the issues himself.  As per reports, nearly 4,000 complaints were registered from only two constituencies: K R Puram and Mahadevapura. The programme included access to officials from civic agencies like Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), among…

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The Karnataka government introduced new rules on the use of Kannada on signboards in Bengaluru last week. The move follows protests by the group Kannada Rakshana Vedike (KRV), on December 27th, during which shops without Kannada signboards were vandalised. But this is not the first time that Kannada activists have demanded Kannada signage nor is it the first time that the government has tried introducing rules regarding Kannada. Signage rules in 2008 Activists promoting the Kannada language have repeatedly noted that the majority of Karnataka speak, read and write in Kannada and the people of the state deserve signage in…

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In September 2023, the Government of India constituted a high level committee (HLC) to examine the feasibility of holding simultaneous elections to the Parliament (Lok Sabha), all state legislative assemblies, municipalities and panchayats in the country — a proposal floated as One Nation One Election. The panel, headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind, has now invited members of the general public to send their suggestions in writing for making appropriate changes in the existing legal and administrative framework to enable the same. One can post suggestions on the Committee's website or send an email to se-hlc@gov.in (as mentioned in…

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The basic necessities of democracy are timely elections, as well as formation and continuance of an elected government without any delays or truncated tenures. The idea of 'one nation, one election' has caught the attention of the people as the Government of India wants to adopt a policy of simultaneous elections across the country. It has formed a high level committee (HLC), headed by the former president of India, Ram Nath Kovind, to examine the matter comprehensively and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, the state Legislative Assemblies, the Municipalities and the Gram Panchayats. Even though…

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The latest figures from the National Crime Records Bureau show a sharp rise in cyber crimes across India. In 2022, 65,983 cases of cybercrimes were registered, an increase of 13,009 from 52,974 in 2021. Although Bengaluru, India’s IT capital, has the highest number of cyber crime cases registered in India, every single city and town are seeing increased instances of cyber frauds, cyber bullying, threats - sometimes resulting in tragic suicides of the victims. Cyber crimes range from a simple financial scam of syphoning money from people’s bank accounts by asking for OTPs on phone to gullible customers to far…

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In September 2023, our citizen-led organisation—Govandi New Sangam Welfare Society—had its first major win when Bombay High Court ordered the removal of a biomedical waste incinerator from Shivaji Nagar in Govandi. We had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in October 2022 seeking immediate action, and the Bombay High Court has ordered that the plant be shifted to an industrial area within two years. Govandi is part of the M-East ward, which is infamous for housing Mumbai’s largest dumping ground and its only biomedical waste incinerator. These factors have contributed to a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB), bronchitis, and other…

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As I write this, Hyderabad is gearing up to vote in the Telangana state assembly polls scheduled for November 30th. Political rhetoric and slugfests have both been at a peak over the last few months leading up to these elections. But in the usual noise, what is often lost are the real needs of the city and its people. What Hyderabad needs most urgently is good governance. There is a vacuum of participatory governance, ethical governance, transparent governance, and accountable governance. The city faces several social, economic, environmental and other challenges, the resolution for which can come about only through…

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