Ethics & Integrity

21st January – Equity’s weak pulse and commodified medicine

In 1924, the Madras presidency of British-India rolled out the Subsidised Rural Medical Relief Scheme (SRMRS), which was about providing temporary annual subsidies to doctors choosing to settle down and practise privately in villages specified by local boards. The scheme was then reckoned to be an economical way of expanding health-care access in rural areas. …

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20th January – One government proposes, other deposes

Since coming to power, Andhra Pradesh State Government has cancelled or put on hold a number of high-profile State contracts and projects, many involving foreign partners who now face huge losses. Arguments in favour – Officials say reviewing commitments made by the previous government will increase accountability and decrease corruption in the State, but outside …

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13th January – Right to Information : Its use and misuse

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde cautioned last month against the abuse of the Right to Information Act, setting off a chain of indignant reactions from a variety of activists. What did he say? “There is paralysis and fear about this Act”, he stated, adding that “people are not taking decisions” because they apprehend the …

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6th January – The Kural and Ethics

The Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar, also known as the Kural is a powerful and compact Tamil text from South India which has survived and thrived over 2,000 years. The Kural deals with three concepts which in Sanskrit relate to dharma, artha and kama. Ethical connection – The matters of statecraft, governance and related topics lie embedded …

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25th December – Periyar (Person in News)

In Tamil Nadu, Vaikom is an image of Periyar E.V. Ramasamy (September 17, 1879-December 24, 1973). Vaikom is a metaphor for social justice — when scores of satyagrahis from the Tamil country joined hands with their brethren in a heroic struggle. Leadership – In Travancore, the Satyagraha in 1924 against the injustice meted out against …

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20th December – Capital Punishment

Following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of review petitions by all four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case, the four have moved one step closer to the gallows. In the light of this, and the repeated demands to punish all rape convicts with the death penalty, it becomes important to examine empirical evidence on …

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11th November – A-Z of Ayodhya Conflict

Ayodhya – In Faizabad district, Awadh, famous for its sunsets by the banks of the River Saryu. Its rich history and symbolism finds space in the writings of Tulsidas and Amir Khusrau. Buddha is said to have preached here. Jainism and Sikhism too have their imprint here. The Hindu-Muslim binary of the last century has, …

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7th November – Providing sexuality education

In a recent judgment, the Madras High Court ruled that courts should not be influenced by misconceptions that children are likely to lie in cases of sexual abuse or that they are tutored by parents to make false statements in court. Concerns – The attitude of defence lawyers reflects a structural problem in the legal …

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26th October – What lessons from the past could imply for our future?

For much of modernity, the study of history has been a largely political narrative of great men, their decisions, victories, and follies. History is in fact much broader than political history. It can involve, for example, the history of science and technology, or more specifically, the history of how water has shaped the course of …

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24th October – Fighting Fake News

The Maharashtra cyber police recently tied up with a fact-checking app, Logically, to detect fake news and bias ahead of the assembly elections; Logically was monitoring social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Instagram for violations of the Model Code of Conduct, and reporting these to the Election Commission. Threat – During the general …

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