August 12, 2023

Good morning. Every Saturday, we publish the results of polls from feature stories that were published the past week. We also give a brief overview of the topics that were discussed.

🗳️ POLL RESULTS – Week 137
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Is the US’s credit rating downgrade bad news for the global economy?

Daily | 7 August 2023

Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency, has lowered the US Sovereign rating from AAA to AA+, citing anticipated fiscal decline, escalating government debt, and prolonged governance erosion. Credit rating assessments are seldom without controversy. Predictably, the White House has been highly critical of it. On the domestic front, there’s the question of its effect on markets and the economy. Will its effects percolate, or are they shortlived? Read more on this here.

Is India right to limit imports of laptops, tablets, and PCs?

Daily | 8 August 2023

Recently, it was a ban on the export of non-basmati white rice. Now, it’s restricting the import of laptops, tablets and PCs. On the surface, it’s understandable. The government wants to ensure domestic players are comfortable. Make in India, vocal for local etc. But will restricting the import of these specific consumer electronic goods help us? The ‘us’ in this scenario is the economy and consumers. Is there something beneath the surface we’re not seeing, or is this an own goal? We discuss it here.

Is expanding Aadhaar’s scope a good idea?

Daily | 9 August 2023

Not long ago, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the IT Ministry proposed amendments to the Aadhaar (Sharing of Information) Regulations, 2016 and Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance Rules, 2020, respectively. Together, these amendments propose widening the scope of the use of Aadhaar, and address the restrictions that govern entities that use and share this information. Has the Aadhaar become a quagmire for citizens over the years? Yes. But do the proposed changes etch a path out of the confusion, in a manner that protects citizens’ privacy? The verdict is split. We unpack this here.

Is SEBI’s BRSR Core reliable and effective?

Daily | 10 August 2023

SEBI introduced the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) requirement in 2021. It requires the top 1,000 listed companies in India to disclose their ESG-related information in their annual reports. SEBI then went further with the BRSR Core, which deals with specific performance indicators. It’s good to see a top regulator take ESG seriously enough to introduce something this comprehensive. However, will it make companies happy? Will it accomplish what it sets out to do? Find the debate here.

Silicosis Prognosis: Has Rajasthan’s 2019 Policy on Pneumoconiosis been effective?

Daily | 11 August 2023

There’s a fine line between occupational health hazards and human rights abuse. Careful not to cross it, the Rajasthan government launched the Policy of Pneumoconiosis in 2019. Doing so, it became the first state to formalise a principle of action for those afflicted by Silicosis, and their families. Three years later, has it made the grade? Or are there more lessons to be learned? More on this story here.