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Your Voice - Your Issues

Your Voice - Your Issues


The role of an active civil society in forming public opinion and effective public policy interventions is well established. Your Issues, Your Voice is an attempt to tap into the knowledge resource of you, the voting public and use your emotions, thoughts and ideas to create consensus for action. I will ask you questions on this forum through our ‘Poll’, give my views on issues of contemporary relevance through the interactive blog and ask for your inputs every step of the way. I want you to stand up and get counted, give your aspirations an expression, reach out and connect.


Your Voice - Your Issues
16 May 2013

Integrated Child Development Scheme – the progress of children’s health in India

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Written by Saanya Gulati

Integrated Child Development Scheme – the progress of children’s health in India

Painting a picture of progress:

Health indicators are often used as a benchmark of a nation’s progress, and more often, statistics related to the health of children–malnutrition, maternal and infant mortality being some common reference points. Home to the largest number of children, India has long since declared the health and nutrition of children a national priority. This commitment dates back to the first National Policy for Children of 1974, after which the Government launched the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in 1975.

Even today the ICDS is considered the flagship national scheme that looks at the health of children under 6 years as well as pregnant mothers across the country. It is“one of the largest and the longest running child development programmes in the world,” according to our Twelfth Five Year Plan.In 2000, India also ratified the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which place a special emphasis on the welfare of children, to whom the future belongs.Two of the goals we adopted are related to child and maternal health, with the same common reference points as the quantitative benchmarks here: reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds, and maternal mortality by three-quarters, from what they were in 1990.

These targets of course can only provide larger framework for where we may want to position ourselves as a nation. But, it is the implementation of social policies and programmes that can ultimately determine how and whether we will actually achieve these goals. Replies to several Parliamentary Questions that have been asked on the ICDS,throw upsome of the larger challenges that remain unaddressed our national discourse on maternal and child health.

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Your Voice - Your Issues
09 May 2013

Parliamentary Q&A on Police reforms in India

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Written by Saanya Gulati

The history behind police reforms in India

Deficiencies in our police forces remain a missing link in our criminal justice system. Recently reported in the rape of a 5-year old girl that sparked protests across the nation, police officials allegedly offered a bribe to the victim’s father in an attempt to not register her case. This episode highlights deep-seated problems of corruption in our police force, and once again begs the question of police reforms, which have a longstanding history in our political and legal discourse.

The history of police reforms dates back to 1979, when the National Police Commission was constituted. Various bodies since – including the Riberio, the Padmanabhan, and Soli Sorabjee Committees have submitted their recommendations on reforming the police system. Few of these were implemented. The Justice Verma Commission that recently submitted its report on amendments to the criminal law also acknowledges that police reforms are the need of the hour.

Seven Directives on Police Reform by the Supreme Court

In 2006, the landmark judgment of the Prakash Singh case –a Public Interest Litigation filed by two former Director General’s of Police on the non-implementation of police reforms –was heard in the Supreme Court, which issued a set of seven directives for all States and Union Territories to implement. Each of these directives aims to plug the different loopholes that plague police systems. Unlike the non-enforceable recommendations made by past Committees, these directives are binding on States and Union Territories.

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