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Volume 11 Issue 1

Editorial Note

India has recently witnessed the devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. It saw greater numbers both in terms of infections and deaths. The government was once again forced to impose a lockdown but learning from the past experience, this time a balance was struck between lives and livelihoods. Although there was a lockdown, the same was not as severe as the last time. Also, the nation as a whole had evolved by the time the second wave struck, and it was comparatively easier to shift from the physical to the online mode of working wherever possible.

In addition, the vaccination drive was in full swing even during the second wave and over 40 crore citizens have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, the other side of the picture is not very bright. Despite the danger of the second wave looming heavy, the country witnessed widespread public gatherings, be it for the election campaign in the West Bengal State Assembly elections or for the Maha Kumbh Mela at Haridwar. The government seemed to have turned a blind eye towards the broken health care infrastructure grappling under the wrath of COVID and the overburdened public crematoriums and burial grounds.

The economy, still recovering from the first wave was once again struck unawares. After experiencing an unprecedented dip of 24% (real GDP) in the first quarter of 2020-21, which remained in the negative (close to -8%) for the fiscal year 2020-21, the growth until now has not been encouraging. Inflation has been beyond the permissible range of 4 ±2% as prescribed by the Monetary Policy Committee. While income levels are falling or, at best, are stagnant, the prices are sky-rocketing.

Despite this, India has been able to convert this challenge into an opportunity by following vaccine diplomacy. This has earned India international repute and appreciation for its vaccination support to countries across the world. India has supplied about 6 crore doses of vaccines to about 95 countries in the form of grant, as export or under the WHO COVAX initiative. The vaccine diplomacy of India has benefited all neighbouring countries, with an exception only of Pakistan and various other Countries primarily in Africa, South America and Europe. This has enabled India to regain some of the ground it lost to China in terms of diplomatic success.

Another issue that has caught the attention of the World is the withdrawal of NATO forces led by USA from Afghanistan. The withdrawal is coupled with negotiations with Taliban which is a concern for India. Since the initiation of the withdrawal process, Afghanistan is engulfed in an internal war between the Afghan Government and Taliban to lay claim over greater territory. If Taliban gains power in Afghanistan, it will be a serious internal security threat for India in Kashmir, while also jolting India’s diplomatic efforts in the energy-rich Central Asian Nations, Afghanistan being the gateway to Central Asia. Taliban forming government in Afghanistan would also mean better Pakistan-Afghanistan relations which will be another challenge for India’s foreign policy.

China is another foreign policy concern for India. With the Chinese expansionary foreign policy at an all-time high under the Xi regime, the competition for India is stiff. Chinese policies of the string of pearls, the Belt and Road Initiative, in which all neighbours of India (except Bhutan) are members and the shift of India’s neighbours towards China to counter the big brother approach of India require immediate attention and redressal. Also, Africa has been a constant bone of contention between India and China. The continent has suffered at hands of the colonialist Europe and Americas and hence the possibility of a healthy partnership between them is slim owing to the mistrust. This leaves a vacuum in the energy and resource rich Continent for the fast growing economies like India and China. Accordingly, both India and China have invested heavily in African Nations including Nigeria which is dealt in detail in one of the pieces in the present volume.

While the New Education Policy 2020 once again brought Education to the National Agenda, it brought in the idea of education transformation with an emphasis on expansion, excellence and equity. However, the Pandemic has brought in a transition from teacher-class based teaching to digital-education. The question that remains is whether India is prepared for such a transformation, where huge investment and infrastructure are needed not only of institutions but also for parents, students and teachers. On the other hand, the pandemic also provides an opportunity to critically examine our education system. Furthermore, with over 35 crore students, it is not clear as to how many student have access to digital device and internet and students with lesser digital access get further disadvantaged, and those without any digital access are at risk of dropping out. It therefore pertinent to not only relook at the education system but also find way to address the bigger issue of the exiting digital divide and providing equity in education.

It is these complex situations unfolding in the post-modern world that necessitate inter-disciplinary studies. The GNLU Journal of Law, Development and Politics attempts to address such issues of contemporary importance. This edition of the GJLDP covers issues ranging from UP State Assembly elections to India-Nigeria relations, from Trade Mark law in India and US to the impact of COVID-19 on education, from participatory governance to tackling cybercrimes. It also includes a critique of the approach of Supreme Court towards the issue of the migrant workers and their plight due to the lockdown imposed during the first wave.

We believe that all the publications in this edition will pique the interest of the readers and result in further discourse on these issues of contemporary relevance.


April, 2021

Conservation of Environment and Natural Resources: A Select Study

Rajiv Khare & Pratima Parihar


Our country, i.e. India, was known as a golden bird for its abundance of natural resource- base. Ours was primarily a duty-oriented society with the rich practices of conservation of natural resources and harmonious living. However, with the advent of technology & science coupled with a quest of development guided upon the anthropocentric approach —human beings having greater intrinsic value than other species—looked the nature as a means to serve the causes and convenience of mankind and the same creeped into the Indian society as well and, it once started in late 19th century, continues to dominate our interaction with nature resulting in loss of glory and rich traditions of nature conservation. This paper, in this backdrop, is divided in three parts wherein Part- I presents the constitutional and legal dimensions of conservation and management of natural resources in our country in post independent India giving a brief account of the relevant provisions and policy initiatives to understand as to how the two organs of the state i.e. Legislature and Executive have contributed in governance of natural resources. It then presents an overview of the judicial attitude/approaches by making a critical analysis of selected few judicial decisions handed down during the period 2011 to 2020. This part presents resource-specific judicial approaches and its contributions, viz. water resources, forest resources, conservation and protection of wildlife, plants & birds, management and conservation of mines and mineral resources, conservation of natural resources and environment clearances, environmental pollution creating inroads in conservation of natural resources etc. The findings of the study and emerging scenario have been presented in the last part of this paper. The judicial directions reflect a gradual transition from anthropocentric to eco-centric approach in conservation and management of natural resources. The eco-centric approach, as has been explained, elaborated, recognized and internalized as part of Indian environmental jurisprudence by Indian judiciary, is praise-worthy. The paper concludes with the view that the ‘speceisism’ and eco-centric approach must become the environmental rule of law in the contemporary scenario as while, we conserve and save nature we not only conserve our rich heritage but also make our lives meaningful and live-able in this universe.

Prof. (Dr.) Rajiv Khare, Professor of Law, National Law Institute University, Bhopal (M.P.) India. Email: rajivkhare@nliu.ac.in
Pratima Parihar, Ph.D. Scholar, National Law Institute University, Bhopal. Email: pratima.law@gmail.com

A Critical Appraisal of the Approach of the Supreme Court of India to the Issues Relating to Migrant Workers During the Covid-19 Crisis

Dr Ravindra Kumar Singh


The Covid-19 pandemic has swamped the whole world and caused severe challenges to health and economy. In order to counter the challenges arising therefrom, a well-thought-out and synchronised response, requiring cooperation and coordination of all concerned, is imperative. In this scenario, the poor, the daily wage earners and migrant workers deserve greater care and protection, as they are more vulnerable with meagre means. Indubitably, the declaration of nationwide lockdown last year was a timely measure that actually controlled the spread of Covid-19 in India. In the absence of such a measure, it is very scary to imagine what could have been the situation, given the size, population and population density ratio of India. In consequence of shutting down of commercial and industrial establishments during the national lockdown, migrant workers started leaving their urban dwellings (where they were employed or were self-employed in petty jobs) for their home-towns/villages covering hundreds of kilometres on foot, cycles, etc. Their heart-wrenching journey, coupled with agonies they underwent, shook the conscience of the entire country. This research paper attempts to critically outline the role played by the Supreme Court of India in dealing with the issues pertaining to migrant labourers during the nationwide lockdown declared by the Government of India (with effect from 25 March 2020) in order to arrest the spread of the ‘first wave’ of Covid-19 in India.

Dr. Ravindra Kumar Singh, Associate Professor of Law & Former Dean, Academic Affairs, Gujarat National Law University. Email:rsingh@gnlu.ac.in

Law, Technology and Freedom of Knowledge Production: Contextualizing Higher Education in a Globalised World

Vijay Kumar Soni & Sadananda Sahoo


New technology in the 21st century has led to proliferation of knowledge as never before. The hunger for information and knowledge could best be compared to Classical Greece, Renaissance and the 15th century zeitgeist when printing press made its way into mass production of knowledge. The emergence of new technology has led to a web of relationship between knowledge producers, consumers and those trying to control it by statutory laws. This has necessitated change in policies and approach to freedom of knowledge production in the information society. The paper attempts to answer some of the fundamental questions related to (a) law and technology in knowledge production, (b) the interface between knowledge production and technology, (c) the legal framework of knowledge production and freedom of expression, (d) the impact of technological innovation and statutory changes in knowledge production and higher education.

Vijay Kumar Soni, Ph.D. Scholar, School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies, IGNOU, New Delhi, Email: veejay.soni@gmail.com
Dr. Sadananda Sahoo, Assistant Professor, School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies, IGNOU, New Delhi. Email:, ssahoo@ignou.ac.in

Participatory Governance through women’s representation in Gujarat: Assessing the role and relevance of government initiatives since 2000

Ahmed Raza


The underrepresentation of women in the decision making process always amounts to be sensitive and patriarchal issues in a society as it totally violates the notion of equality. After 74 years of independence in India, the issue of poor representation of women in political system remained same or inadequate as compared to their population ratio, although, efforts in the form of reservation, awareness and laws are continued. The paper has chosen Gujarat as a case study in order to explore the rationales behind decreasing trend towards women representation in Gujarat state assembly election and Lok Sabha election held in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Though, representation of women through 50 percent reservation has been a successful in local bodies including Gujarat. This paper also made an analysis of legal and institutional steps carried by Gujarat government since 2000 towards empowering women for ensuring their inclusiveness in the decision making process.

Ahmed Raza, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, MANUU (a central university), Gachibowli, Hyderabad, India Email: ahmedraza@manuu.edu.in

Protection of Trademarks: A Comparative Analysis of India and the United States of America

Varsha Dogra

“Because [dilution] is largely a theoretical and almost Ephemeral concept, the legal theory of “dilution” Is exceedingly difficult to explain and understand. Misunderstanding is rampant” — J. Thomas McCarthy


“Trademarks are one of the most valuable intellectual property because ordinary citizens explicitly identify and work with these trademarks in their day-to-day lives, without even understanding the truth of how important these trademarks are. The first nation that ultimately germinated the idea of dilution in the picture was the United States of America. The dilution of a trade mark occurs when any other individual or company uses a trade mark or trade name which resembles the famous or well-known trademarks or reputed trademarks, granting the creator of a popular trade mark has the right to bar any person from using the trade mark in such a way that his identity is diminished. The principle of trademark dilution is reflected in India by section 29(4) of the Trademark Act, 1999, while the doctrine of trademark dilution is established in the United States of America by TDRA (Trademark Dilution Revision Act, 2006). India did not use the expression “dilution” anywhere in statute whereas The USA framed TDRA, a separate statute dealing which deals with two types of dilution; first is dilution by blurring and second is dilution by tarnishment. Research paper pinpointed the comparative analysis of the doctrine of trademark dilution of India and The United States of America”.

Varsha Dogra, PhD Research Scholar, Punjab University, varshahpu@gmail.com

Law to tackle select cybercrimes amid COVID 19 pandemic: Indian Legal Perspective

Anad N. Raut


COVID 19 pandemic was looked as an opportunity to perpetrate cybercrimes. India which was shattered due to high rise in COVID 19 cases, natural calamity, and migrant labour issues also battled cyberattacks. Laws in India tackling cyber-crimes may just fall short of delivering justice owing sluggish legislative response. The paper takes stock of select cybercrimes perpetrated in the background of COVID 19 pandemic and existing Indian legislative framework to regulate the same. It’s concluded that immediately certain legislative amendments/reforms ought to be carried out in India to prevent cyber pandemic.

Anand N. Raut, Assistant Professor of Law, Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai, Maharashtra. Email: advanandraut@gmail.com

Causal Analysis of Credit Risk, Declining Bank Lending and Rising NPA levels in Education Loans in India

Satya Ranjan Mishra


Education loan is an enabler for education. It facilitates meritorious students in accessing quality higher education. Due to increase in population, demand for higher education, reduction in higher education spending by governments, privatization and increase in cost of education, it becomes increasingly difficult for meritorious students from poor financial backgrounds to access higher education. Banks lend educational loan to students in lines of their socio-educational conscious and profitability considerations. The model education scheme which governs education loans is prepared by the Indian Banks Association (IBA), in consultation with banks. The scheme takes care of the interests of the student and the lending bank. However, it is observed that there is a constant decline in rate of growth in the educational loan books of the banks. On analysis of data from 2001-2018, an increasing trend is observed in the Non Performing Assets (NPA) in the education loan portfolios. On the other hand, there is an abysmal participation of private banks in lending in education loan segment. Approximately 95% of the educational lending is done by the public sector banks only. This paper through extensive study of secondary data attempts to undertake a causal analysis of the underlying trends. The study is significant in suggesting future directions for all the stakeholders. The paper aims to draw strategies to achieve right balance between access to education for meritorious students and profitability of banks. It offers pragmatic reforms and suggestions for the lenders to minimize their default risk and maximize lending.

Satya Ranjan Mishra, Assistant Professor of Commerce, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat – Email: smishra@gnlu.ac.in

2017 UP State Assembly Elections: Caste, Campaigning and Governance

Dr. Siddhartha Mukerji


In the age of heightened political competition, parties need to innovate to showcase their relative credibility. This is particularly important in a state where social divide runs deep, underdevelopment is chronic but political consciousness is high. 2017 assembly elections in UP is a mark of such innovation and new social management that brought BJP into power after a credible gap of 20 years. The newly devised electoral strategy had three critical components: intra-caste alliance management; high-tech technology campaign coupled with traditional means involving unique styles of mass communication and noticeable governance and development drivers. The success does not simply explain the rise and fall of parties but the emerging social dynamics that assume political significance in elections. A good illustration of this is the deepening intra-caste stratification and its repercussions for party preference.

Siddhartha Mukerji, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow- 226025 Email: butku9@gmail.com

Public Policy and Human Rights: Towards Inclusive Society

Jagannatham Begari


The chapter attempts to elucidate the importance of public policy and human rights, as both are important spheres in a nation striving for the welfare and wellbeing of its people. There is a significant impact of human rights on policy making and its implementation. Human rights i.e., the right to life, right to liberty, right to association and be part of decision making implicitly or explicitly. A large majority of countries in the world are signatories of international Agreements, Conventions and covenants. Therefore, it is the fundamental duty of all States to respect and follow the provisions of such agreements. India has strived to be at the forefront of promoting human rights of its people. The Constitution of India strengthens the obligation of the state to uphold the rights and welfare of the people. Since India is a welfare state, the viewpoint of the people and their human rights has to be crucially incorporated while formulating the policies. Further, it must be ensured that policies are efficiently implemented, and their advantages reach to the intended beneficiaries. India, being a developing country still faces problems like poverty, unemployment, agricultural crisis in a rural based economy. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the state to take measures to eliminate poverty and provide welfare policies. The paper proposes to study and evaluate policy and human rights and its significance in contemporary times.

Dr. Jagannatham Begari, Assistant Professor, Centre for Gandhian Thought and Peace Studies, School of Social Sciences, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Email: jaganmss@cug.ac.in

Assessing the Future of Indo-Nigeria Relations - A Victory or a Doom?

Ningthoujam Koiremba Singh & Sanjali Mitra


With the outgrowth of globalization, countries have twisted their foreign policies by targeting their focus on economics at the same time many countries do have neo-imperialist tendency for the greater benefits. The Chinese political economy is now directing towards the neo-imperialist tendency with the motive of creating a cloud of dependency. However the relations between India and Nigeria, as economics has started to command attention on foreign policies with a very different approach towards promotion of cooperation and coexistence, India has started several initiation and strategies that will suffice India’s developmental needs from the continent while at the same time India promises Africa for sustainable development with dignity. In this pretext Indian companies have substantial investments in Nigeria making it the largest market in Africa for Indian exports and Nigeria is responding with great expectation. However the relation is not going to be smooth due to the significant challenges from strong political-economic presence of China in the region as well as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region emerging from the coasts of Nigeria. The paper reflects current neo-imperialist mode of politico-economic expansion strategy by China in Nigeria. Providing theoretical backing to it, this paper tries to highlight the major areas of growth between Nigeria and India and how far India can prove to be an alternative to China in Nigeria, for sustainable growth and development.

Dr. Ningthoujam Koiremba Singh, Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Sikkim University, Email: nksingh@cus.ac.in
Sanjali Mitra, Research Intern, OP Jindal University, Email: sanjali.mitra@law.christuniversity.in