India has the largest percentage of undernourished people in South Asia and is also one of the most undernourished countries in the world. Schemes aimed at nourishment, such as the Food Security Act, have not fulfilled their purpose yet. This is because they are implemented in disconnected silos.
Developing countries want patent protections to be temporarily removed for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. But this will destroy the incentives that made these vaccines possible in the first place. Pharma companies and global institutions have shown that there are other ways to make medicines affordable.
As of 9 March 2021, India has supplied about 60 million doses of vaccine globally. On the other hand, China has supplied only about 12-15 million overseas. And deeper analysis of India's supply of vaccines to different countries shows that New Delhi has been using its vaccine diplomacy very strategically.
China and Russia have long exercised outsized influence over Mongolian affairs. But under Mongolia's 'third neighbour' policy, India has an opportunity to help Mongolia balance China. In return, India will gain crucial access to Mongolian energy reserves and leverage against China in its sphere of influence.
In the absence of any spending by industry or consumers, the government wants to say that it is now spending in their place. But many spending allocations in the budget seem opaque when analysed by sector. This year too, there was some smart wordplay and marketing wizardry at play.
India could soon become the first country in the world to introduce legislation on non-personal data protection. But the draft framework leaves more questions than answers on the rights of individuals and the duties of data businesses, and the feedback received on the draft law has been kept confidential.
The newly planned Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force is meant to reduce the workload of the Uttar Pradesh Police and Pradeshik Armed Constabulary. But the law introduced by the Uttar Pradesh government protects the Force from being prosecuted for any excesses or criminal violations.
Breakdown in communication and trust between the government and citizens resulted in heavy hardship as citizens lost access to basic services. There are lessons to be learnt from Punjab, Kerala and Odisha. We need to build enabling infrastructure that helps communities to act freely to meet their own needs.