Dear Reader,

The constitutionality and advisability of the abrogation of Article 370, that provided special status to Jammu & Kashmir has been hotly debated since August of 2019, when it was revoked. Finally, on December 11, 2023, a five-judge Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India applied closure on the question of constitutionality when it upheld the Union's action to abrogate the Article.

Supreme Court Observer analyses the Bench's arguments and rationale behind the judgment, including the fundamental bone of contention – were the provisions of Article 370 temporary and transitory in nature?

The quest for bolstering the participation of women in all aspects of the national effort has been ongoing. Yet, in science and technology institutions, the number of female scientists is an abysmal 16.6 per cent – making women the "largest minority group in science."

The India Forum reports that an analysis of the government's attempt to bridge this gender gap finds that patriarchy and diffidence in adopting diversity have diluted the effort. The deeply entrenched cultural attitudes which associate specific sciences as "masculine" and fit only for men, add to the inertia in surmounting the gender deficit.

The brutal gangrape in December 2012 of a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in Delhi, the Nirbhaya case, described by the Supreme Court as a "barbaric" act, led to a national outcry. Faced with public anguish and anger, the government responded by passing several new laws. This included a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years for gang rape and six new fast-track courts created solely for prosecution in rape cases.

The Supreme Court also directed the establishment of over seven hundred 'one-stop centres' (OSCs) in court premises to assist women who have been abused or assaulted. The OSCs were to render, among other facilities, legal and medical help. However, Article 14 finds that in Delhi, India's least safe city, the facility is far from what was expected and mandated, and in some cases, even non-existent.

The ease of doing business is a critical incentive in India's quest for investments and high growth. Potentially a harbinger of job expansion, it caters to the aspirations of India's bulging youth population. But the quest for clearing the decks to create comfort for business, however well-intentioned, has, in some cases, come at the expense of the environment and dilution of compliances.

In Haryana, "home to the second highest grossly polluting industries" in India, The Reporters' Collective investigates and finds that the anxiety in going up the rankings for 'Ease of Doing Business' has impacted the environment. The state's Pollution Control Board, mandated to monitor and control pollution, has turned into a facilitator for fast-tracking approvals for the very industries they oversee. Overambitious deadlines for approvals and penal action on officials not toeing the line have raised concerns, causing unease on the pollution and environment front.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Abrogation of Article 370 | Judgement Summary

Supreme Court Observer analyses the Supreme Court's judgement on Article 370, which abrogated the special status given to the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Read Here

Why Are There So Few Women Scientists In India?

The gender gap between male and female scientists in India, in its scientific and technology institutions, is significant. The India Forum tells us why and what we need to bridge the chasm.

Read Here

How Delhi's 'One-Stop Centres In Courts, Meant To Assist Women With Medical, Legal Help, Are Failing Or Flailing

The 'one-stop centres' (OSCs) in court premises for providing legal and medical assistance to women who face abuse or attacks, mandated by the Supreme Court after the outrage over the Nirbhaya attack in 2012, are virtually non-functional, Article 14 finds.

Read Here

Haryana weakens pollution watchdog and rules in race for ease of doing business supremacy

The ambition to fall in line with the Centre's ease of doing business quest has forced Haryana to circumvent environmental and pollution norms, The Reporters' Collective investigates.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Kashmir's Apple Industry Struggles to Survive
Kashmir is justifiably famous for its apples. But the apple growers and traders in the state are facing uncertain times after the tariff revision by the Centre, down by 20 per cent, on imported apples from the US, says The Citizen.
ग्राउंड रिपोर्ट: पलामू के पीढ़े गांव के 54 आदिम जनजाति परिवारों को अगस्त महीने से नहीं मिला राशन
Janchowk reports from Peedhe village in Bansdih panchayat of Ramgarh block in Jharkhand's Palamu on how the families of the Khatiani tribes, who are far away from the delivery of government services, are deprived of even basic Anganwadi facilities.
‘നവകേരള’ത്തിൽ മത്സ്യത്തൊഴിലാളികളുടെ സ്ഥാനം എവിടെയാണ്?
The fisher population in Kerala is a significant component of its 'blue economy'. Over 10 lakh fishers live in about 335 coastal and inland fishing villages in the state, contributing about 6,400 crore to India's earnings from fish export in 2021-22. Keraleeyam Masika analyses the challenges and opportunities that the community faces.
पूर्णिया के इस गांव में दर्जनों ग्रामीण साइबर फ्रॉड का शिकार, पीड़ितों में मजदूर अधिक
Dozens of villagers in the Bengdah village of Amour block of Bihar's Purnea have been the victims of cyber fraud. मैं मीडिया reports that petitions to the banks and the local administration have fallen on deaf ears.

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