Ethics & Integrity

20th November – ‘Nudge’ in public policy

Nudge – A desirable public policy tool This is a classic example of businesses using behavioural foibles to upsell products to customers. There is now a school of thought that the understanding of human behaviour can be used by policymakers to nudge citizens to act in a way that is good for them or for …

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16th November – Western bias in Science

Western bias in Science Recently NASA released a news about the discovery of molecular water on the sunlit side of moon by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), piggybacked on a Boeing-747 aircraft at approximately 45,000 feet above the ground. The finding of 100-412 parts per million water (equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle) in …

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30th October – Deepfakes

Countering Deepfakes Disinformation and hoaxes have evolved from mere annoyance to high stake warfare for creating social discord, increasing polarisation, and in some cases, influencing an election outcome. What are ‘deepfakes’? Deepfakes are a new tool to spread computational propaganda and disinformation at scale and with speed. Deepfakes are the digital media (video, audio, and …

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14th October – Regulating Gene Editing

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2020 has two women scientists as its recipients. The two scientists have pioneered the use of CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) – Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) system as a gene-editing tool. In a short period of eight years since its discovery, the method has already made a …

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3rd October – Mahatma Gandhi

The Mahatma as an intercultural Indian Gandhi’s idea of non-violence was not a dream; it was a realistic hope, armed with a dose of practical idealism; that of the global welcoming of the law of love. By saying this, he presented himself, at the same time, as an Asian who was influenced by Hinduism, Jainism …

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1st October – Public Order

A demarcation in the interest of public order The reiteration by the Supreme Court in the Shaheen Bagh case of the right to protest, within reasonable restrictions, helps in understanding the breakdown of public order in Delhi over a three-month period. Outlining the bureaucratic roles – First, distinction between independent actions, for which no political …

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Welfare of animals

19th September – Welfare of animals

For the welfare of animals For a country that claims adherence to ahimsa, India’s treatment of its animals betrays a moral failure. Over the past year alone, there have been reports of animals being subjected to sexual abuse, acid attacks, being thrown off rooftops, and being burnt alive. A major factor that enables such violence …

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Administrative Reforms

16th September – Administrative reforms

Transforming public administration – Administrative reforms Every government since 1947, irrespective of political affiliation, has expressed frustration at the inefficiency of India’s vast bureaucracy and the maze of red-tape. Hundreds of committees have provided recommendations but the basic structure of public administration has remained unaltered. Therefore, it is no small matter that the government has …

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Menstrual Leaves

5th September – Menstrual Leaves

Menstrual Leaves Recently, Zomato, an Indian food delivery firm, announced that all its women employees (including transgender employees) can avail up to 10 days of paid menstrual leaves each year. While this is notable for such a large company in India, countries like Japan and South Korea and closer home, Bihar, have been providing period …

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Corporate India

25th July – Dynastic Governance in Corporate India

Dynastic Governance in Corporate India The succession of Roshni Nadar Malhotra as chairperson of HCL Technologies, replacing her father, Shiv Nadar, who turned 75, is another example of an Indian corporate tradition. The move attracted little comment because the practice of founder-owners passing the baton to their children is the old normal. A normal tradition …

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