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Draft EIA Notification does not adhere to the polluter pays principle in letter or spirit

Objections to the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2020 issued the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Maharashtra: *** The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra Unit, firmly objects to the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2020 (Draft EIA 2020) issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on March 12, 2020. The Draft EIA 2020, set to replace the EIA Notification, 2006 currently in force, goes on to dilute the existing provisions of the law which itself were far from ideal, at a time when it needed strengthening in the wake of the environmental crises faced by the country. Conducting this exercise during this difficult time when the nation is dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, the public is under tremendous strain making it impossible for them to be able to effectively participate in the process and the courts and democrat…
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Challenge of uneven organizational practices in delivery of legal services across India

Excerpts from the chapter “Legal aid: Justice for all?” by Nupur, Centre for Social Justice; and Madhurima Dhanuka, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in the study “India Justice Report: Ranking States on Police, Judiciary, Prisons & Legal Aid” published by Tata Trusts:
***  The expanse of the legal-aid system’s mandate is such that almost 80 per cent of India’s over 1.25 billion population is eligible for free legal aid including women, children, disabled people, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, those with mental illnesses, victims of mass disaster or ethnic violence, persons in custody, etc. Yet, since 1995, barely 15 million people have been provided legal services and advice by legal services institutions (LSI) established all across the country under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (the Act).
These LSIs are functional at the national (1), state (36), district (664) and sub-divisional (2,254) levels. LSIs have also been setup at the Supreme Court (1) and High C…

Arrested development: Absence of adequate personnel impacts police’s diversity profile

Excerpts from the chapter “Police: Arrested development” by Akhilesh Patil, Common Cause; Radhika Jha, Common Cause; Devika Prasad, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative; and Devyani Srivastava, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, from the study “India Justice Report: Ranking States on Police, Judiciary, Prisons & Legal Aid” (2019), published by Tata Trusts:
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Public outrage associated with coal ash pollution remains limited to big disasters

Excerpt from “Coal Ash in India: A Compendium of Disasters, Environmental and Health Risks”: Compiled and Written by Dharmesh Shah [Community Environmental Monitoring] and Shweta Narayan [Healthy Energy Initiative, India] Healthy Energy Initiative India.
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Caste in NCERT textbooks: Social identities, lived realities of students and teachers

Caste has been a persisting form of stratification that continues to evade equality and social justice in Indian society. Among the routes to tackle the menace of caste has been the education system. In this regard, the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 came with a resolute to engage the students with different issues, including that of caste with a critical and empathic eye.

Role of caste in disposal of dead cattle and share of carrion among Gujarat Dalits

Edited and abridged version of the paper written by Vienna-based sociologist Prof Shalini Randeria*, “Carrion and corpses: Conflict in categorizing untouchability in Gujarat”, published in European Journal of Sociology/ Archives Européennes de Sociologie/ Europäisches Archiv für Soziologie, Vol 30, No 2, Sentiments moraux, effets sociaux, 1989, pp 171-191):  *** The Dalit castes who are the subject of this paper were (in descending order of rank) the Garo (priests), Vankar (weavers), Chamar (tanners, identified as Rohits), Tidagar (bow- and arrow-makers), Turi (musicians and genealogists), Šeņavā or Cenava (basket-makers) and Bhangi (scavengers, identified as Valmikis). These castes lived together in a settlement (väs) usually at the southern edge of the village. They were denied access to temples, wells, cremation and burial grounds and the services of ritual specialists in the village.
According to the non-Dalit castes, the impurity of all these castes was derived from their occupatio…

Caste played major role in Ahmedabad’s controversial struggle to procure sewers

Excerpts from “Coprology and Caste: The Status of Sewerage in Ahmedabad, India”, by Stephanie Tam, published as Working Paper No. 12-002 February 2012, published by the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, Northwestern University:
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Modeling analysis to prevent, stop plastic pollution from entering the ocean

Excerpts from the report “Breaking the Plastic Wave: A Comprehensive Assessment of Pathways Towards Stopping Ocean Plastic Pollution”, published by the Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ, presenting an evidence-based road map that describes how to radically reduce ocean plastic pollution by 2040:
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Report on oil well blowout, explosion at Oil India Ltd well in Assam in May, June 2020

Preliminary report of the Committee of Experts constituted by the National Green Tribunal headed by Justice Brojendra Prasad Katakey by former judge Guwahati High Court submitted on July 24, 2020:
*** The constitution of the Committee was in response to the oil well blowout on May 27, 2020 and subsequent explosion on June 9, 2020 at an Oil India Limited (OIL) well in Baghjan, district Tinsukia, Assam.

India divided between Mahommedan and Hindoo, tribe and tribe, caste and caste

Karl Marx has gone down in history as perhaps one of the world’s most influential intellectuals and revolutionaries. Reproduced below is Marx's view about what Britain was doing in India, which he wrote on July 22, 1853, and published in the “New-York Daily Tribune” on August 8, 1853, and reprinted in the “New-York Semi-Weekly Tribune”, No 856, August 9, 1853: ***