ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Simultaneous Elections in Plural Societies

The contentious proposal of “one nation, one election” is critically examined. The interwoven relationship between elections, social cleavages, federal balance, and the potential implications of simultaneous elections for democratic (in)stability in India is explored. In doing so, comparative literature on concurrent elections is studied to assuage its merits and demerits, and better understand the implications for a country like India.

The Selective Misinterpretation of Article 370

In its judgment upholding the constitutional validity of the abrogation of Article 370, the Supreme Court makes two claims: a historical one arguing that Article 370 was meant to be “temporary” and an interpretive one arguing that Article 370’s text allowed its unilateral abrogation by the President of India. This column examines the two claims made in the judgment, looking to see if a firm basis for either is made out.

Indian Democracy and Simultaneous Elections

Electoral reforms ought to uphold the democratic values of federalism and an active citizenry.

Delhi’s Conundrum and the Need for Collaborative Federalism

India’s federal structure is distinguished by differentiated and weighted equality. However, when we begin to discuss the union territory paradigm in Indian federalism, federal design takes a substantial turn. Governance of the megacity of Delhi maintains and coordinates intricate intergovernmental relations. In lieu of a conflict between Parliament’s legislative supremacy and Delhi’s executive supremacy, it would be preferable to strengthen the consultative mechanism between the union government and the Government of Delhi.

COVID-19 to Lockdown (Mis)-management

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned out to be the biggest humanitarian disaster of the century. This crisis has been effectuated due to the authoritativeness of the state that has used its powers under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the hitherto Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 without paying heed to the decentralisation of powers, devolution of duties, and building community resilience.

Critical Importance of Cooperative Federalism

In addition to the three-pillar framework suggested by the Fifteenth Finance Commission, we suggest four constituents, namely the finance commission, NITI Aayog, goods and services tax, and de facto decentralisation, which will help strengthen the “cooperative” element—a key factor for Indian federation to work effectively. Further, the article focuses on finance commissions empowering the local governments and, in particular, assesses the Fifteenth Finance Commission’s thrust to empower the local bodies.

 

Technological Federalism

“Technological federalism” or the interface of the landscape of technological and data governance with the federal structure, as enshrined in the Constitution of India, needs to be ideally adjudicated upon. Till the time it happens, it needs to be theorised and understood in detail. The centralisation of data, digital architectures as well as decision-making will be inevitable in the absence of a new perspective.

 

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