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Read 7 Best Socio-legal Reads by Academike: An Autumn Special Compilation

“I could not agree with those who called the autumn a decline, and that I, for my part, referred to it as a beginning.”  

-Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a French writer
must reads

Why are we all so poetic, you ask? Well, it’s the season.

Seasons offer more than just change. They offer a chance to begin, forget and grow. Thus, we dedicate Academike’s September reading list to Autumn and to the end of September. 

Academike, Lawctopus writing portal, has arranged everything must read before the dawn falls short and dusk grows darker and lengthier. 

FCRA 2020 Amendment: Is the State Going Overboard With Its New Restrictions?

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Soon after its promulgation, the FCRA 2020 Amendment received massive criticism.  Several aspects of the Act are currently challenged ahead of the Indian Court. For instance, three joint petitioners recently challenged the ‘severely restricted use of foreign funds’ and the mandatory condition of receiving funds in the New Delhi Branch of the State Bank of India. In the light of increasing government control and politically charged policies, the FCRA 2020 Amendment seems to indicate the state’s intentions.

Aeshita Singh explains FCRA 2020 Amendment, tracing FCRA’s history and how it impacted the NGO-state relations over the years.

Read the entire piece here.

Meera Santosh Pal Vs Union of India: Testing Limitations of Abortion Laws in India

In September, addressing the limitations of abortion laws in India, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 came to force. The case, Meera Santosh Pal vs Union of India, further exposes the issues with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 and explains why there was a desperate need for an amendment.

Harsha Singh writes a case analysis for Meera Santosh Pal vs Union of India. Harsha also highlights other such cases that visibilised the issues with the 1971 Act.

The analysis of MTP and abortion laws in India need critical feminist analysis. Read the case analysis and about the intervention of laws here.

Relocating RWAs’ Role in Delhi NCR: Why They Need To Protect and Feed Stray Dogs?

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In July, the Delhi High Court laid down guidelines, emphasising the need to protect and feed stray dogs. The High Court also pressed for care and caution towards stray dogs, restoring their right to food. However, this judgment comes amidst many incidents of atrocities against stray dogs, which continue to persist.

Ananya Y locates the responsibility of Resident Welfare Associations (or RWAs) responsible for gatekeeping societies. Ananya understands how RWAs could deter instances of violence and protect stray dogs.

Why the state and its micro-units must be held accountable to be caregivers for street dogs? Read this compelling argument here.

Caste Census In India: Why Is the Indian State Reluctant To Include OBCs?

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The central government’s repulsion towards the inclusion of Other Backward Classes in the caste census in India has exposed the state’s casteist notions. Moreover, the tussle within BJP party lines and the push from the opposition has only politicised this demand. But the real question remains: why such a census is crucial? And how can OBCs claim themselves and their space through caste headcounts?

Aeshita Singh presents a nuanced understanding of the caste census in India, explaining its need. She also highlights how the reluctance towards the same stems from the upper caste imagination of caste and an attempt to invisibilise it.

Read the full version of your piece here.

Evaluating Madhya Pradesh’s Anti-Conversion Law: Is It Abrogating Individual Freedom?

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Many have argued against a slew of anti-conversion laws passed in several Indian states. These laws pose a fundamental challenge to individual autonomy and freedom and doubts women agency to exercise their will. Further, they are deemed problematic as they are born out of a political narrative that preceded them. 

In this context, Anshula Sinha understands the Madhya Pradesh anti-conversion law, which resurrected as a harsher version of the earlier implemented anti-conversion law in the state.

This one is a must-read by Anshula. Click here to read it.

Payments Banks in India: Can They Promote Social Inclusion?

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The motivation for introducing payments banks in India came from the lack of access and prevalent financial literacy.

Before initiating and setting payments banks, the Reserve Bank of India went through several policy considerations to promote financial inclusion.

Aditee Dash explains the meaning and advent of payments banks in India. Aditee also understands its function and its contemporary role in democratising banking systems.

This one offers an accurate understanding of payments bank. Read the entire piece here.

Tobacco Control Laws in India: Its Ambit, Failures and Successes

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Do tobacco control laws in India have any real impact on tobacco consumption and consumer behaviour?

To what extent can the state be held responsible for increased tobacco consumption?  The Indian state has tried to address both these questions by decreeing on choice and restricting consumption. However, one can’t be sure if it has had any tangible impact on production or consumption. Moreover, most of these laws affect and proscribe small retailers, utterly negligent of the big players that promote tobacco implicitly. 

In such a scenario, Harshita Jain questions if tobacco control laws in India are capable enough to be effective?

Please read this article and tell us what you think here.

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