May 24, 2024

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 176
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Is waiving farm loans an effective policy?

Daily | 20 May 2024

Farmers across the country, particularly medium and marginal landholders, spend years under crippling debt. Several states have taken it upon themselves to introduce farm loan waiver schemes. At the central level, it’s been quite barren. Does waiving off farm loans make economic sense? Is it fundamentally sound policymaking? Read more on this here.

Does the SC’s DMRC vs DAMEPL ruling set a good precedent?

Daily | 21 May 2024

A Supreme Court case involving the Delhi metro not paying its dues to an Ambani-owned Reliance infrastructure company might not sound like a headline-grabber. But this one’s different. The court’s ruling in favour of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) surprised many. We discuss it here.

Is the government right in its demands from WhatsApp?

Daily | 22 May 2024

Meta, the owner of WhatsApp, recently stated in the Delhi High Court that if it’s asked to break the end-to-end encryption for messages, it would have no choice but to cease its operations in India. The issue has sparked a discussion on the fine line between the right to privacy and the government’s task to ensure national security. Who’s in the right? We unpack this here.

Will the forest certification scheme help preserve Indian forests?

Daily | 23 May 2024

To help preserve the forests, the government launched the Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme (IFWCS) last December. It offers voluntary third-party certification on timber and non-timber forest products (NTFP) from forest and private land harvested sustainably. The government hopes this would promote agroforestry and enhance the market value for forest products. Would this work? Find the debate here.

Will more autonomous institutions help India’s education sector?

Daily | 24 May 2024

The University Grants Commission (UGC) granted the “autonomous status” to several universities. That might not sound headline-grabbing, but it’s pertinent for the country’s education sector. From the universities’ point of view, this might come as a welcome surprise as it’s seen as a feather in their caps. Autonomy can help them diversify and expand their offerings and faculty. However, some have pointed out that granting autonomous status doesn’t always translate to better learning outcomes or quality education. More on this story here.