On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union.
Withdrawal Agreement between UK and EU
Under this agreement, the EU and the U.K. agreed on a transition period, until the end of 2020 at least.
U.K. will continue to participate in the EU’s Customs Union and in the Single Market, and to apply EU law, even if it is no longer a Member State
During this period, the U.K. will also continue to abide by the international agreements of the EU, as we made clear in a note verbale to our international partners
By leaving the Union, the U.K. automatically, mechanically, legally, leaves hundreds of international agreements concluded by or on behalf of the Union.
The EU and the U.K. are bound by history, by geography, culture, shared values and principles and a strong belief in rules-based multilateralism.
Today’s global challenges — from climate change, to cybercrime, terrorism or inequality — require collective responses.
The 27 Member States will continue to form a single market of 450 million citizens and more than 20 million businesses.
Together, EU remain the largest trading bloc in the world.
Together, at 27, we are still the world’s largest development aid donor.
The European Union will continue to be a partner you can trust.
A steadfast defender of rules-based multilateralism, working with our partners to make the world more secure and fair.
Camel in the tent
Budget: those States that fully allow the facilities of the hospital to the medical college and wish to provide land at a concession would be eligible for viability gap funding.
Centre pushes to attach medical colleges to existing district hospitals in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
NITI Aayog: lack of fund in the hands of governments
Necessitating the formation of a PPP model
Allowing private parties could seriously dent public health services.
Private sector is motivated by profit rather than public interest.
NITI Aayog envisages the creation of “free” patients versus others.
In some States, health-care network is running reasonably efficiently.
The government must consider raising health-care spending beyond the usual under 2% of GDP, and ensure more resources are available to provide free, quality health care to all.
Towards cooperative federalism
As of January 28, the Chief Ministers of at least 11 States have expressed their unwillingness to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Two of these States, West Bengal and Kerala, have stayed all work on the National Population Register (NPR).
NPR is the foundational register from which the NRC will be built.
Punjab: passed a resolution seeking amendments to the NPR form to ensure that it does not seek data that may be used for verification of citizenship.
The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, provide for the process by which taluk level officers will prepare a National Register of Indian Citizens after filtering Indian citizens from the NPR — a register enumerating all residents in the country, by family.
Officers may identify citizens and even whole families as “doubtful” without any just cause and demand evidence of their citizenship. The rules also permit any person to object to the inclusion of a name in the draft register. This is not a case of weaponising citizenship; it is weaponizing citizens against one another.
The drafters of the Constitution were more anxious to give the Union Government the power to bring errant States in line with the Constitution.
For example, Article 355 enjoins the Union to “... ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.
President’s rule in the State under Article 356.
No equivalent power rests in the hands of States to hold the Union Government to the Constitution.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar reckoned with in saying “however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it happen to be a bad lot”.
The oath of constitutional functionaries of States is to be understood in light of Article 1 of the Constitution, which locates India’s identity as a “Union of States”.
S.R. Bommai judgment: States are not mere “appendages” of the Centre. The Union, in compelling States to implement the NPR by ignoring the widespread dissent against it will be interfering with these exclusive powers of States.
The Constitution bars States from “impeding” the Union’s work and rightly requires them to comply with central laws.
In abiding by their oaths, States may require the Union to find a constitutional way to fulfil its purported objective, by withholding cooperation in a federal scheme.
Immigration laws in Australia and Canada empower provinces to nominate immigrants seeking to settle within their territory.
The Union government can include States in how decisions are made and enforced, or it can depend on archaic emergency provisions to enforce its will.
My journey across the living bridge The former England captain, Nasser Hussain, was born in Chennai and master blaster Sachin Tendulkar was Yorkshire’s first ever overseas player. Cricket connects the UK and India, but it is certainly not the only one.
Five Indian authors have received the Booker prize and there were 61 Durga Puja centres in 2019 from Aberdeen to Bournemouth, Belfast to Middleborough.
Talented contemporary Indian designers, like Anita Dongre, who continue to inspire the UK’s fashion industry today.
‘living bridge’: phrase was coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to describe the unique phenomenon of what the India-UK partnership is all about.
It is the people-to-people connections, the myriad institutional linkages, free flowing exchange of culture and ideas that sits separate from our government-to-government relations.
The UK’s 1.5 million strong Indian diaspora – spread across British society – has been a constant reminder that the UK-India relationship is not just about trade statistics and bilateral agreements.
I am very proud of the fact that there are 15 Indian origin MPs in our parliament – including three cabinet ministers. 30,000 young men and women who received UK study visas last year. Global Talent visa opening next month will offer top scientists, researchers and mathematicians a fast-track route to come to the UK.
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS), which celebrated its 70th birthday a year-and-a-half ago, could never have succeeded without the extraordinary contributions of its over 21,000 Indian healthcare professionals.
Challenge For SC A nine-judge Supreme Court bench poised to frame issues for deliberation regarding discrimination against women in various religions and at places of worship has a tough task at hand.
Created upon reference from a bench hearing review petitions in the Sabarimala judgment in November last year.
Entry of Muslim women into mosques, denial of worship rights to Parsi women married to non-Parsis, and female genital mutilation in Dawoodi Bohra community.
Like the Sabarimala dispute heard by SC at great length before arriving at a decision in September 2018, the other three matters also require detailed hearings.
Religious issues are complicated by varying interpretations among theological scholars, constitutional freedoms, vested community interests and patriarchal mindsets.
SC may still decide to address some issues suggested by the referring bench like the interplay of Article 25 (freedom to practise religion) with Article 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs).
Another issue is the extent to which court can enquire into particular practices for violations of equality (Article 14).
Answering these “larger questions” could offer guidance to courts in years to come.
Deliberating on the larger questions instead of looking at each issue like female genital mutilation (FGM) or temple/mosque entry separately poses a tricky challenge for SC.
India will be watching keenly the ongoing SC hearings.
Non-violence as an art of resistance
Violence continues to have tremendous appeal to the average person’s consciousness.
It tempts us because it activates and nurtures our egos.
It excites the surface personality.
It is appealing because it does not demand the honest labour of self-reflection.
It satisfies the urge to find quick ‘solutions’.
It encourages one’s sadistic thrill of being seen as ‘superior’ to others.
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