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  • Author: Ashwini K. Swain, Parth Bhatia, Ira Sharma, Prasanna Sarada Das, Navroz K. Dubash
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, released on April 17, 2020, is an improvement from its predecessors. It has dropped some significant proposals that were resisted and has added new provisions. Are these reform proposals adequate and appropriate to address India’s long-standing electricity challenges? Are these prescriptions based on a proper diagnosis of current trends and future challenges? How will these reforms proposals affect India’s ongoing transition to 21st century electricity? While we appreciate the endeavours and intent, in our comments we focus on some serious concerns the draft raises, vital gaps and issues that need serious consideration.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Governance, Legislation, Electricity, Public Service, Utilities
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Mridusmita Bordoloi, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to add to the given literature by undertaking a detailed analysis of school consolidation process in Rajasthan. It seeks to answer the following questions:- First, what are the specific criteria and conditions for closure of schools and their consolidation with other schools and whether they were adhered to by the state administration? Second, whether school consolidation led to improvements in enrolment, availability of teachers, and essential school infrastructure facilities as mandated by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2010.
  • Topic: Education, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashwini K. Swain, Parth Bhatia, Navroz K. Dubash
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The proposed amendments to the Electricity Act 2003, released on 7th September 2018, are most critical among the set of planned reforms in the power sector. With significant changes, it seeks to provide an enabling framework for transformations in electricity market, pricing reforms, regulatory oversight, quality of supply and energy security. While we appreciate the endeavours and intent, in our comments we focus on some serious concerns the draft raises, vital gaps and issues that need serious consideration. These comments have been drafted based on an internal discussion at the Centre for Policy Research, and should not be considered an institutional position, as CPR does not take institutional positions on issues. Rather, these comments reflect the result of internal deliberations, aimed at understanding and reflecting on the draft amendments, with the aim of constructive feedback to the Ministry of Power.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Social Policy, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Bhanu Joshi, Kanhu Charan Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Financial incentives including government support grants for infrastructure creation, health and education development in many countries is contingent on where people live. In India, the allocation of critical government subsidies explicitly recognises urban population as a criterion for budgetary allocation. Yet, the fundamental question about what is an urban area and what does it entail to be recognised as an urban settlement in India remains understudied. This paper aims to understand the definitional paradigm of statutory towns in India. We create a novel dataset of all state laws in India on the constitution of urban local governments. We analyse the eligibility criteria that would qualify any area to become urban local bodies under the law in different states and find large variation among states. In our dataset, only fifteen of the twenty-seven states explicitly define and have laws on urban settlements. Within these fifteen states, we find that many small and transitional urban areas violate the eligibility criteria laid down by the state laws constituting them. We further find that states which do not provide statutory laws rely on executive fiat, i.e. it is the prerogative of the state government to declare the creation of a statutory town. What then becomes or “unbecomes” urban in these states is open to dispute. The full extent of this variation and reasons thereof can open up new avenues of scholarship.
  • Topic: Government, Infrastructure, Urbanization, Budget, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Kanchi Kohli, Debayan Gupta
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Even as the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s report on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) is awaited, several states have already brought about changes that severely compromise the scope of clauses related to consent, Social Impact Assessment (SIA), food security and higher compensations. These changes also restrict the applicability of the 2013 law at state level. States have executed these changes through Rules under Section 109 of the Act, or have enacted their own state level land acquisition legislations using Article 254(2) of the Constitution of India. States, which have exercised the latter option, have managed to override the provisions of the central law. In the present case this has meant doing away with the provisions of consent and Social Impact Assessment. This paper traces how, and to what extent, the provisions of the central law have been diluted by the states.
  • Topic: Security, Constitution, Land Law, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Navroz K. Dubash, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Radhika Khosla, Shibani Ghosh, Ankit Bhardwaj, Swetha Sridhar
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Draft National Energy Policy released by the Niti Aayog in June 2017 was a roadmap describing the priorities of the government with regards to India's energy future and a critical reference document for all actors working in this field. This working paper reflects the result of internal deliberations, aimed at understanding and reflecting on the draft NEP, with the aim of constructive feedback to NITI Aayog.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Government, Finance, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Krithika A. Dinesh, Kanchi Kohli
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Between March 15 2017 and June 15 2017, 207 projects that violated the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification applied for an environmental clearance. These applications have come as a result of a notification that the Environment Ministry had passed on March 14th 2017 which gives an opportunity to projects that have violated conditions of the EIA Notification to apply for a clearance within a period of six months, ie by September 15. This notification was passed despite much criticism of the draft notification that was issued on 10 May 2016. The CPR-Namati Environmental Justice Program has analysed these applications to see what are the kind of geographical and sectorial spread of these violations and whether there are any trends emerging out of the applications that have come in till June 15. The Environment Ministry has already started looking at the applications through a Committee that has been set up for this. This Committee is headed by Dr SR Wate and had its first meeting on 22 June 2017. The Committee in its first meeting has examined ten applications. Out of these ten applications, the committee has already recommended seven for grant for a Terms of Reference subject to conditions. This working paper would be updated with the analysis of the applications that are coming in as well as the progress of these applications.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Natural Resources, Courts, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Daljit Singh
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Introduction of competition and providing consumers choice of supplier have been two of the main aims of reform of the electricity sector in India. This paper examines the experience with three measures to fulfill these aims: (1) open-access to the transmission and distribution system; (2) allowing multiple distribution licensees in an area; and (3) proposed Electricity Act Amendments (EAA) for separation of carriage and content in the distribution system for electricity. Open access and multiple distribution licenses have not been very successful for two main reasons. First, there is a mismatch between the perspective of the Centre and the States; the Centre has a long-term perspective focused on competition and efficiency while the States are concerned about more immediate issues of protecting the discoms’ revenues and maintaining affordable tariffs. Second, incomplete and/or faulty legislation and regulations have resulted in ad-hoc rule-making and the Courts having to step in to fill the legislative and regulatory gaps. Two particularly significant examples are: (1) provision in the Electricity Act allowing multiple distribution licensees in the same area that has led to duplication of resources and high tariffs for consumers in Mumbai; and (2) the lack of comprehensive regulations defining the relationship between discoms and open access consumers that has led to difficulties for discoms in managing load swings and in power procurement planning; development of model regulations would be useful. The paper also identifies difficulties in achieving retail competition due to fragmented fuel markets, and suggests ensuring effective wholesale competition first. The proposed framework for separation of carriage and content in EAA is very cumbersome and may not achieve the stated goals. In addition, there are concerns about the impact on small consumers and the finances of the provider of last resort. The implications of EAA should to be thought through more thoroughly before implementation.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Legislation, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shibani Ghosh
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In October 2015, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released a Draft Environment Laws (Amendment) Bill 2015 proposing amendments to the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and the National Green Tribunal Act 2010. The stated objective of the Bill is to provide ‘effective deterrent penal provisions’ and to introduce the concept of monetary penalty. It also aims ‘to minimise the exercise of discretion and make an unambiguous framework’. This paper summarises the text of the Bill and analyses whether it will complement the environmental objectives the parent laws espouse. It discusses some of the major concerns relating to the proposed amendments under three broad themes: environmental damage and penalties, adjudicating authorities and rule making powers. It concludes that although penalties that effectively deter violators are certainly the need of the hour, the proposed amendments are unlikely to achieve this objective.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Law Enforcement, Law, Legislation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Neha B. Joseph
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Several countries have embarked on nationwide processes to devise their ‘contributions’ towards a new global climate agreement set to be adopted at Paris in 2015. Sixty-two countries have already communicated their contributions to the UNFCCC, in pledges covering around 62.9% of global emissions in 2012. These contributions, formally known as ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) are expected to be the bedrock of post 2020 climate action and the building blocks of the 2015 climate deal, that is currently being negotiated by Parties. This paper discusses the emergence of this concept and outlines some of the legal and technical aspects of a contribution and their implications on ambition, adequacy and political feasibility. Section 3 analyses pledges in the submitted INDCs, with a special focus on G20 countries. The term ‘INDC’ first emerged in 2013 at the Warsaw negotiations of the Conference of Parties (COP) in a decision inviting Parties “to initiate or intensify domestic preparationsfor their intended nationally determined contributions….. and to communicate them well in advance of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so)” For developed countries, INDCs will replace their Kyoto Protocol commitments; for developing countries, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) will continue to be in force as implementation tools supporting the mitigation component of their INDCs. Over the past year, countries have been negotiating to iron out differences on issues like differentiation, legal nature, scope, form and review of contributions with varying levels of success on each front.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Diplomacy, Environment, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, Global Focus