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My notes 20-06-2015

20 June 2015

Country terrorism report of USA

 

India s enforcement of anti-Money Laundering and counter terrorism financing laws are weak.

 

The restrained riot of Atali

  1. The major reason for the communal violence in Atali in Haryana appears to be an upward economic migration of Muslims.
  2. The changing nature of rioting shows that, there is an attempt to impose conditionalities limiting the extent and quality of citizenship of minorities.

 

Media

 

Invoking the right to reply

Bill Kovach and tom rosentiel - The elements of Journalism -

  1. Journalisms first obligation is to the truth
  2. Its first loyalty is to citizens
  3. Its essence is a discipline of verification
  4. Its practitioners shall maintain an independence from those they cover
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power
  6. It shall provide a forum for public criticism and compromise
  7. It must strive to keep the significant interesting and relevant
  8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional
  9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience
  10. Citizens too have the rights and responsibilities when it comes to the news

 

 Social Media

Social media users double in rural India

  1. Rural India shows an 100% growth in accessing social media with 25 mn.
  2. Urban India showed a growth of 35% with 118 mn.
  3. Accessing social media is one of the key reasons for the people to access the internet.

20 June 2015

Evaluation of judges

Judicial accountability promotes three discrete values - rule of law, public confidence in the judiciary, institutional responsibility.

  1. Roman law -  judge could be held liable for damages if he failed: to appear in court at the agreed time; to adjourn for just cause; to hear both sides equitably; to give judgment in good faith, without animosity or favour.
  2. Sweden - In Sweden, till 1976, judges were subjected to mild criminal sanctions for breach of duty, and the ombudsman could initiate action or even prosecute them.
  3. Denmark -Denmark has a Special Court of Complaints since 1939 to hear complaints against judges.

On quality of judgements

USA -  Many states in the U.S. have a ‘merit plan’ under which not only are judges appointed on merit but their continuance in office is decided on the basis of non-partisan elections.

Some states such as Arizona, California and Utah have Judicial Performance Review Commissions or Councils, which consist of not only judges and lawyers but also lay persons. New York and Alaska have a system of evaluation by trained court observers who make unscheduled court visits. Judges are evaluated on their knowledge of law, integrity, communication skills, sentencing, impartiality and so on…

 

In India, no performance evaluation is done for the judges.  Ideally, leading national law universities in India should take up this job by at least publishing in their journals a critical evaluation of judgments. Lord Denning of England used to say ‘there is court superior to the House of Lords called the Law Quarterly Review’. American judges too eagerly wait for the Harvard Law Review to see juristic response to their decisions. Our law schools could undertake this task.

 

  1. The judges enquiry act includes willful and persistent failure to perform duties is with in the definition of misconduct.

 

Affordable housing

Need

 

  1. The deficit is around 62.5 mn units and in Urban India, it is touching around 18.9mn units (pronab sen committee)
  2. 0n employment side, housing sector is the second largest employment generator and contributes 5% of GDP.

 

Problem

  1. Absence of land - The urban land ceiling act and unfavorable land management policies are still prevalent in certain states. The low floor space index ceilings , FSI/Floor area ratio have led to horizontal expansion of houses.

 

(Floor area ratio = (total covered area on all floors of all buildings on a certain plot, Gross Floor Area) / (area of the plot)

 

From <http://www.99acres.com/ask-what-is-floor-space-index-fsi-or-floor-area-ratio-far-124173.html>

 

  1. Weak Buyer protection - In India, Registration of sale of land, will not give guarantee on the history of ownership of the land. So, registration is a fiscal instrument for the state instead of being a statutory support to the certainty of title. (NLRMP - can find a solution)

 

  1. Regulatory complexity - A housing project needs a minimum of 34 permissions and it takes 18-36 months. 

 

  1. Affordability - weak and marginalised do not have affordable homes to live in.
  2. Finances - Banks do not offer long term financing for real estate projects.

 

Solution

 

  1. NRLMP
  2. Smart regulator in Hong Kong - It merged eight procedures involving six different agencies in one stop Centre. In India, National building code 2005 needs to be for automatic approvals.
  3. RBI has set a 15% threshold for banking exposure to real estate. Granting infrastructure status will open up additional financing.
  4. Rationalization of tax, which adds up to 30-37% of cost, curtailing of flow of black money will increase the overall affordability if the house.
  5. Singapore public housing model can be adopted in India. ( The National Housing Board constructions are described as mixed income developments. Here , The plan is to make well off and poor live side by side. ) it is a mix of incentivisation, subsidization and proper regulation that made housing for all a possibility. Increasing the access to long-term loans for all income groups is  the success formula.  In India too, affordability gap funding can be introduced.
  6. Revisiting the rent control act can free up a significant portion of 20 million unoccupied housing units.
     

 

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