Governance Polity

The EC’s Model Code of Conduct (MCC) need reforms

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued notifications in response to allegations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) infractions by renowned Indian figures.

Model Code of Conduct (MCC)

  • Set of guidelines: The Election Commission of India (EC) released the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) to political parties and candidates.
  • The goal is to create rules of conduct throughout election campaigns and polls.The MCC contains procedures for filing complaints with EC observers and governs the conduct of governing party ministers throughout the MCC term.
  • In 2019, an amendment was adopted to election manifestos that prohibited commitments antithetical to constitutional objectives.
  • The MCC is not legally binding because it is not a legislative document passed by Parliament.
  • While breaching many MCC criteria may not result in punishment, certain behaviours are classified as electoral offences and corrupt practices under the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act of 1951.
  • Violations of these laws will result in appropriate penalty. 

MCC’s evolution 

  • Its origin: The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) began as a short set of principles for the Kerala Assembly elections in 1960.
  • Initially, it addressed a variety of issues, including electoral meetings, processions, speeches, slogans, banners, and placards.
  • Under Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) K V K Sundaram in 1968, the EC worked with political parties and enlarged the MCC to maintain basic standards of conduct for free and fair elections.
  • By 1979, it had been routine practice for the EC to disseminate the MCC prior to each General Election.
  • MCC Consolidation: The MCC evolved throughout time as a result of negotiations between the EC and political parties. It was consolidated and reissued in 1991 with new parts, including prohibitions on the “party in power” to prevent the abuse of government for undue gain.

Features of MCC:

  • Activation of MCC: The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is activated immediately upon the Election Commission’s release of the election timetable and continues in force until the election process is completed, including the announcement of results.
  • Applicable to all elections: It applies to all Lok Sabha, State Assembly, and State Legislative Council elections held by Local Bodies, as well as Graduates’ and Teachers’ Constituencies.
  • Across India: During general elections, the MCC is imposed across India, however during legislative assembly elections, it is applied in the individual state going to polls.
  • Supported to comply with the MCC: All organisations, committees, businesses, and commissions supported entirely or substantially by the Central or State governments must comply with the MCC.
  • List of Political Parties: In addition to the listed political parties and candidates, non-political organisations that run campaigns in support of a political party or candidate must follow the Election Commission’s guidelines.

Issues relating to MCC:

  • The political atmosphere in the country has gotten increasingly heated, reducing the efficacy of the Model Code of Conduct. 
  • Violations of the MCC are constantly rising, becoming more prevalent and harsh.
  • Political leaders are leveraging their power, resources, and persuasive strategies more forcefully than ever before, frequently exploiting gaps between the literal and intended meanings of the MCC.
  • Money power has surpassed physical strength, while technological improvements have created new methods to avoid rules.
  • The MCC’s lack of clarity on the penalties of infractions undermines its capacity to discourage misbehaviour.
  • Delayed responses to violations reduce the impact of penalties and erode public trust in the Election Commission’s credibility. 

The Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is seeking suggestions to undertake a market study on artificial intelligence (AI) and its influence on competition.

About the Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  • The Vajpayee administration formed the CCI as a statutory organisation under the 2002 Competition Act.
  • It seeks to encourage and preserve competition, defend consumer interests, and secure free commerce.
  • The commission serves as a quasi-judicial entity, advising statutory agencies and deciding matters.
  • Evolution of CCI:
    • Established in response to the need to encourage competition and private enterprise, particularly following India’s economic liberalisation in 1991.
    • The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act of 1969 (MRTP Act) was replaced in accordance with the Raghavan Committee’s recommendations.

Key Features of the Competition Act:

  • The Competition Act was passed in 2002 and has since been updated to reflect contemporary competition regulations.
  • Anticompetitive agreements, misuse of dominant positions, and combinations that harm competition are all prohibited.
  • Created the Competition Commission of India and the Competition Appellate Tribunal.
  • In 2017, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) superseded the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT).

Composition of CCI:

  • CCI consists of a Chairperson and 6 members selected by the Central Government.
  • Members must have extensive experience in a variety of fields, including law, economics, finance, and management, or be prepared to serve as a High Court judge.

Key Functions of CCI:

  1. Regulating Mergers and Acquisitions:
  • Ensure that mergers and acquisitions do not reduce market competition.
  • Eliminating monopolistic behaviours and encouraging fair competition. 
  1. Investigating Anti-Competitive Practices:
  • Investigations of cartels, collusion, and exploitation of dominating market positions.
  • Taking action against organisations that engage in anti-competitive behaviour. 
  1. Market Studies and Research:
  • Conducting research to evaluate market dynamics and competitive levels.
  • Identifying trends and concerns that influence competition in diverse industries. 
  1. Handling Complaints:
  • Responding to individual or corporate complaints against anti-competitive behaviour.
  • Beginning investigations based on credible allegations received. 
  1. Adjudication and Penalty Imposition:
  • Adjudicating instances involving competition law breaches.
  • Penalties are imposed on entities deemed to be in violation of competition regulations. 

In news: Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)

  • The Allahabad High Court clarified appeal authority over orders issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in contempt cases.
  • The court determined that appeals against CAT contempt rulings must be made exclusively with the Supreme Court under Section 19 of the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971.

What is the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)?

  • The CAT is a specialised quasi-judicial body in India, formed under Article 323-A of the Indian Constitution.
  • Its principal role is to resolve disputes and complaints about government employee recruiting and service conditions.
  • CAT was established to provide a quick and inexpensive redress to government employees in situations relating to their service conditions and employment disputes. 

Establishment of CAT:

  • The Administrative Tribunals Act of 1985 authorises the national government to establish both the national Administrative Tribunal and State Administrative Tribunals.
  • There are 17 Benches and 21 Circuit Benches in the Central Administrative Tribunal in India.

Jurisdiction of CAT:

CAT’s jurisdiction and process differ from that of conventional courts.It has authority only over service matters involving the parties listed by the Act.

CAT has authority over all service matters involving the following:

  1. Member of any All-India Service.
  2. A person appointed to any civil service or civil post under the Union.
  3. A civilian appointed to any defence services or a post related to defence. 

Services NOT Covered:

The following members are NOT covered under the jurisdiction of CAT:

  1. Defence forces, Officers,
  2. Staff of the Supreme Court and
  3. Secretarial staff of the Parliament.


  • The CAT bases its decision-making on natural justice grounds and is not limited by the Civil Procedure Code.
  • It has the authority to establish its own rules of procedure and practice.
  • Section 17 of the Administrative Tribunal Act of 1985 grants the Tribunal the same jurisdiction and authority as a High Court in cases of self-contempt.


  • The CAT consists of a chairman, a vice-chairman, and additional members chosen by the President of India.
  • Members of the CAT come from both the judicial and administrative professions.
  • The term of office is 5 years or until the age of 65 for the chairman and vice-chairmen; 62 years for members, whichever comes first.
  • In between terms of office, the chairman, vice-chairman, or any other member may resign by writing to the President.

It is time for significant reforms in municipal elections

  • The Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Chandigarh Mayoral election provides an excellent opportunity to consider municipal elections in general.
  • Context: Elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies are exemplary democratic processes noted for punctuality, well-organized protocols, and smooth power changes.
  • However, when it comes to elections for grassroots administrations like panchayats and municipalities, the situation is very different.

CAG’s Performance Audit Report on Unelected Urban Local Government Councils: 

  • Regarding delayed elections, the CAG audit reports of 17 states show that approximately 1,500 municipalities did not have elected councils in place during the audit period of 2015-2021. This demonstrates a pervasive difficulty across states in carrying out timely municipal elections as required by the 74th CAA.
  • On Council Formation: Even when elections were held, there were delays in forming councils and electing mayors, deputy mayors, and standing committee members. In Karnataka, it took 12-24 months to construct elected councils throughout 11 city corporations.
  • Long Delays in Council Formation: Following the release of election results in September 2018, Karnataka experienced a 26-month wait in creating councils and electing chairpersons and standing committees for the first 2.5-year term.
    • Furthermore, after the first term ended in May 2023, some urban local governments went more than eight months without holding elections for chairpersons and standing committees.
  • On Regional Disparities: According to the report, there are regional variances in the length of delays, with Chandigarh suffering a considerably shorter delay of 12 days than other locations.
  • On Data Accessibility Issues: The report cites difficulty in getting summary data on council formation and the election of mayors, deputy mayors, and standing committees, indicating potential issues with transparency and accountability in the electoral process. 

What are the challenges of municipal elections?

  • The first difficulty addressed is the necessity for aggressive enforcement to guarantee that urban local governments hold their elections on time. According to Article 243U of the 74th Constitution Amendment Act, urban local governments have a five-year term, and elections must be held before this time limit expires.
  • Noncompliance by State Governments: Despite the Supreme Court’s explicit stance on timely elections, state administrations do not comply.
  • Discretion of Government officials: One component of the difficulty is government officials’ discretion in arranging elections on time. There is concern that officials may have the authority to postpone elections, which might weaken the democratic process.
  • Undue Influence: There is fear that state administrations may exercise undue influence on officials to delay elections for a variety of reasons, jeopardising the electoral process’s impartiality and integrity.
  • The usage of a manual ballot paper-based process for elections is also cited as a problem. Such a procedure may be prone to errors and manipulation, emphasising the importance of modernising and digitising voting processes.
  • Issues with Short Terms: Term lengths of less than five years make it more difficult to organise regular elections. This is especially pertinent given that 17% of Indian cities, including five of the eight largest, have mayoral terms of shorter than five years. 

Suggested measures 

  • Empowering SECs. To deal with the difficulties successfully, SECs need to play a more substantial role in regulating the electoral process. SECs are mandated by Articles 243K and 243ZA of the Constitution to supervise, direct, and manage the production of electoral rolls as well as the conduct of panchayat and urban local government elections.
  • Empowerment in Ward Delimitation: Only 11 of the 35 states and union territories have allowed SECs to conduct ward delimitation. Ward delimitation is critical to guaranteeing fair and equitable representation in municipal elections. SECs should be given increased authority, including the ability to perform ward delimitation.
  • SECc vs. ECI: The courts have emphasised that SECs have the same standing as the Election Commission of India in terms of panchayat and urban local government elections under Parts IX and IXA of the Constitution. This demonstrates the importance of SECs and their authority in ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections at the local level.
  • Electoral Oversight: SECs should actively monitor the electoral process, which includes the creation of electoral rolls, election administration, and election law enforcement. This proactive role is critical to ensuring the integrity and credibility of local elections. 

Conclusion: Comprehensive reforms are required for Indian municipal elections, including addressing delays, enforcing constitutional mandates, empowering State Election Commissions, and modernising electoral processes to promote openness, fairness, and accountability. 


Karnataka moves the Supreme Court over NDRF funds for drought management

  • The Karnataka government has filed a Supreme Court petition against the Union government, requesting that drought relief monies be released from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
  • This is the second big controversy, following allegations of ‘injustice’ in tax devolution and other allocations. 

Extent of Drought and Water Scarcity in Karnataka

  • Karnataka’s drought and water scarcity have worsened due to severe rainfall deficits during the past monsoon season, negatively impacting agricultural productivity.
  • Drought conditions: Karnataka is experiencing widespread drought, with 223 out of 236 taluks (mandals) designated as drought-hit areas, resulting in significant crop loss.
  • Compensation Sought: The state has requested hefty financial help from the Centre, totaling Rs 18,171 crores, to address drought-related damages.

What is the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)?

  • The NDRF is a statutory agency established under the Disaster Management Act of 2005.
  • It complements a state’s State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in the event of a major disaster, as long as appropriate money are not available in the SDRF.
  • According to the July 2015 rules, natural calamities such as cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, hailstorms, landslides, avalanches, cloud bursts, pest attacks, cold waves, and frosts will be eligible for rapid relief aid from NDRF.
  • The NDRF is administered in the “Public Accounts” under “Reserve Funds Not Bearing Interest”.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the NDRF’s accounts. 

Disaster Relief for Indian States

  • The 2005 Disaster Management Act provides no definition of catastrophes.
  • It can refer to any occurrence that occurs due to natural or man-made causes and significantly disrupts people’s lives, exceeding their ability to cope.
  • The 15th Finance Commission developed a new approach for state-specific allocations that took into account characteristics such as historical expenditure, risk exposure, hazard, and vulnerability.

Institutional Mechanism: 

  • States have State Disaster Relief Funds (SDRF).
  • The Centre contributes 75% of the cash (90% for Himalayan and Northeastern states), while the states contribute the remaining.
  • The overall amount is determined as part of the financial allocations and disbursed monthly by the Centre.

In case a state needs the Centre’s assistance, it must follow a procedure:

  1. The degree of the harm should be detailed in a memorandum and submitted.
  2. If this is acknowledged by the Centre, an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) performs on-site inspections to examine the damage.
  3. A National Executive Team reviews the IMCT report.
  4. Based on its recommendations, a High Level Committee will approve the immediate distribution of NDRF relief funds. 

Furthermore, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs monitors the use of NDRF releases.


The Supreme Court has formed a group to conserve the Great Indian Bustard

  • The Supreme Court has made a major step by establishing an expert group to solve the critical issue of saving the endangered Great Indian Bustard.

About the Great Indian Bustard (GIB)

  • GIBs are the largest of the four bustard species found in India, the others being MacQueen’s bustard, smaller florican, and Bengal florican.
  • It is the state bird of Rajasthan.
  • It is regarded as the flagship bird species of grassland.
  • Protective Status: 
  1. Birdlife International upgraded its classification from Endangered to Critically Endangered in 2011. 
  2. It is protected under CITES Appendix I, the IUCN status of Critically Endangered, and Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.

Threats against GIBs

  • Overhead power transmission: Due to their poor frontal vision, they are unable to notice powerlines in time, and their weight makes in-flight manoeuvring difficult.
  • Windmills: Coincidentally, the Kutch and Thar deserts have seen the development of significant renewable energy infrastructure.
  • Noise pollution influences the GIB’s mating and courting practices.
  • Changes in the landscape: farmers cultivate land that was formerly fallow due to Kutch’s regular droughts.
  • Cotton and wheat cultivation, rather than pulses and feed, has also been identified as a cause of declining GIB numbers.

Hate Speech: Interpreting Section 153A of the IPC

  • The Supreme Court emphasised that in order to commit an offence under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), two or more groups or communities must be at odds with one another.
  • Politicians are frequently arrested under Section 153 A of the IPC for allegedly inciting hatred. 

Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

  • Section 153A of the IPC prohibits fostering hatred between various groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, domicile, language, and so on.
  • The fundamental goal is to avoid the spread of disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred, or ill will among different groups in society.
  • It was added to the penal code in 1898 and was not originally part of it.

Prohibited Acts:

  1. The provision prohibits the following acts:
  2. Participating in actions that encourage or attempt to foster feelings of hostility or hatred between different religious, racial, linguistic, or regional groups.
  3. Committing activities that undermine the maintenance of harmony among diverse groups or communities.
  4. Doing anything that disturbs or disrupts public peace or causes dissatisfaction among numerous groups. 

Essential elements:

  1. To create an offence under Section 153A, the following components must be established:
  2. Encouragement of hostility or hatred amongst various groups.
  3. Religion, race, location of birth, domicile, language, and other factors must all be considered when promoting.
  4. The act must be intended to disrupt public tranquillity or to cause discord among groups. 

Punishment for violating Section 153A 

  • Includes imprisonment for up to three years, a fine, or both.
  • Cognizable and Non-Bailable: The offence is cognizable, and the punishment can range from three years to a fine or both. Furthermore, the offence is non-bailable, and the accused will be tried by a first-class magistrate.
  • Burden of Proof: The prosecution must demonstrate that the accused’s statements, acts, or conduct were intended to promote animosity or hatred between different groups on the enumerated grounds. 

Ram Nath Kovind’s group proposes simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections

  • A high-level group chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind has advocated holding simultaneous elections.


  • It has advocated conducting simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies as the initial phase.
  • Municipal and panchayat elections would be held within 100 days of the national election. 

Recommendation as per Committee-

  • The group advocated synchronising elections by setting a ‘Appointed Date’ after the general elections. State assemblies constituted after this date but before the end of the Lok Sabha’s mandate would expire before following general elections, allowing for simultaneous voting. 
  • Tenure and Fresh Elections: The committee advised that if the House is hung or there is a no-confidence motion, new elections could be held. However, the House’s tenure would only be for the remainder of the preceding full session.
  • Continuation of New Assemblies: If new Legislative Assemblies are elected, they will serve until the end of the Lok Sabha’s complete term, unless they are dissolved earlier.
  • Constitutional Amendments: Amendments to Articles 83 and 172 of the Constitution are advocated to permit changes in the tenure of Parliament and State legislatures.
  • Implementation of Changes: An implementation group is proposed to oversee the committee’s recommended adjustments.

Examining Simultaneous Elections: 

  • The Law Commission’s Action: The 22nd Law Commission, which is currently investigating the topic of simultaneous elections, is expected to deliver its report to the Law Ministry shortly. It is anticipated to recommend simultaneous polls beginning with the 2029 general election cycle.

Ratification by States-

  • The committee suggests amending Article 324A to allow for simultaneous elections in panchayats and municipalities. Amendments to Article 325 are proposed to allow the Election Commission of India (EC) to engage with state election authorities in the preparation of a single electoral roll and voter identification cards.
  • Article 324A: This article pertains to the recommendations for amendments to enable simultaneous elections in panchayats and municipalities.
    • It implies that amendments to Article 324A would allow the Election Commission of India (EC) to hold municipal elections concurrently with state and national elections.
    • The proposed amendment intends to streamline the electoral process and reduce election frequency, which is consistent with the larger goal of synchronising elections at all levels. 
  • Article 325: It deals with the right to vote and preparation of electoral rolls.
    • The proposed revisions to Article 325 would allow the Election Commission of India (EC), in cooperation with state election authorities, to create a uniform electoral roll and issue voter ID cards.
    • This amendment aims to establish a unified and standardised voter registration process at all levels of elections, promoting uniformity and efficiency in voter identification and participation. 

Meaning of “One Nation, One Election”:

  • Governance Efficiency: Elections at all levels can be held simultaneously, streamlining the electoral process and avoiding interruptions caused by repeated elections. This results in more stable administration and allows elected officials to focus on their responsibilities rather than campaigning.
  • Simultaneous elections can greatly lessen the financial burden of holding several polls at different dates. It aids in resource optimisation, campaign cost reduction, and total budgetary savings.
  • Voter Engagement: Coordinating elections at all levels increases voter turnout by combining electoral efforts. It makes voting easier for citizens and encourages them to participate more actively in the political process.
  • Policy continuity: Simultaneous elections improve policy planning and implementation by ensuring that elected governments at various levels serve concurrently. This continuity fosters policy stability and consistency, which leads to more effective government.
  • Reduced Political Polarisation: By synchronising electoral cycles, simultaneous elections might reduce the high political polarisation that occurs during election seasons. It promotes a more collaborative political atmosphere and constructive interaction between political parties.


The plan for simultaneous elections necessitates constitutional reforms and meticulous implementation. Cooperation among states and the Election Commission is critical to its success.


Unpacking the CAA Rules

  • The long-awaited Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been put into action by the Centre, signalling a fundamental shift in India’s legislative landscape.
  • The CAA, enacted in December 2019, proposes to provide citizenship to some migrants from neighbouring countries, prompting national debate and issues. 

New Citizenship Law: Eligibility and Required Documents

  • Beneficiaries: The CAA primarily assists Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.
  • Documentation: Applicants must submit proof of their country of origin, religion, date of arrival in India, and knowledge of an Indian language.
  • Birth certificates, educational institution certificates, identity documents, licences, certifications, and any other document issued by Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan are all acceptable proof of country of origin.
  • Establishing the Date of Entry: Applicants can show their entry date with a variety of papers such as visas, residential permits, census slips, driver’s licences, Aadhaar cards, ration cards, or any letter given by the government or court.
  • Generational Proof: Applicants can also produce documentation establishing familial ties to certain nations, such as ancestry, which broadens the eligibility criteria.

Application Processing Mechanism

[A] Empowered Committees

  • The Empowered Committee’s role is to oversee the entire process, from receipt to processing of applications. It guarantees that all procedures are followed correctly and efficiently.
  • Membership: The Empowered Committee is chaired by a Director (Census Operations) and includes representatives from various government agencies such as the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO), the National Informatics Centre (NIC), and the Postmaster General.
  • The committee members’ responsibilities include checking the authenticity of documents presented by applicants, performing background checks, and making final decisions on citizenship petitions.

[B] District Level Committees (DLC)

  • The District Informatics Officer or District Informatics Assistant, as well as a central government nominee, make up the DLC.
  • Functions: DLCs are the first point of contact for applicants, receiving their submissions and verifying they are complete and accurate before sending them to the Empowered Committee for further processing.
  • Oversight: While DLCs manage the initial phases of application processing, they are overseen and guided by the Empowered Committee. This hierarchical structure ensures that decisions are made uniformly and consistently across regions.

[C] Electronic Submission and Processing

  • To streamline processes and reduce paperwork, the application procedure is carried out electronically. Applicants submit papers and applications through a government-managed internet portal.
  • Efficiency: Electronic submission allows for speedier processing times while lowering the possibility of errors associated with manual data entry. It also allows for real-time tracking of application status, ensuring transparency for applicants throughout the process.
  • Data Security: The government takes strong cybersecurity measures to protect the sensitive information given by applicants. Encryption techniques and secure servers provide data integrity and secrecy.


  • The implementation of the CAA represents a substantial policy shift aimed at alleviating the condition of persecuted minorities in adjacent nations.
  • While the laws have provoked debate and opposition, they also demonstrate India’s commitment to humanitarian ideals and providing shelter to those in need.
  • To respect the principles of justice and inclusivity, the citizenship application process must be transparent, fair, and follow legal regulations. 
International Relations Polity

France enshrines the right to abortion in its Constitution

  • France’s historic decision to include the right to abortion in its constitution represents a watershed moment in the global fight for women’s reproductive rights.
  • Against the backdrop of International Women’s Day, this ground-breaking legislation demonstrates France’s commitment to protecting women’s autonomy and healthcare choices.

Why are we discussing this?

  • The legislative process that led to this momentous legislation, as well as its ramifications, have repercussions far beyond France’s borders, resonating with ongoing arguments about reproductive rights around the world. 

Abortion in France: Legislative Progress

  • National Assembly and Senate Approval: The amendment was first enacted by the National Assembly in January and won unanimous approval from the Senate last week, culminating in a joint parliamentary session for final ratification.
  • Bipartisan Consensus: With an overwhelming majority of parliamentarians voting in favour, the change demonstrates strong bipartisan support for protecting women’s reproductive rights.
  • Constitutional Amendment: The amendment raises abortion from a statutory right to a constitutionally given freedom, providing legal protection against future legislative changes. 

Amendment Provisions

  • The amendment amends Article 34 of the French constitution, stating that women’s right to terminate pregnancies is constitutionally protected.
  • Preservation of Existing Rights: By requiring future legislation to respect existing abortion regulations, the amendment ensures continuity and stability in reproductive healthcare policy.
  • Global Context: Recognising global tendencies of encroaching on abortion rights, the legislation confirms France’s commitment to opposing regressive measures that limit women’s choice.

The global implications

  • Unprecedented  precedence: France becomes the first country to include abortion rights in its constitution, establishing a breakthrough precedence for international reproductive justice movements.
  • European Landscape: Amid growing moves to restrict abortion access in several European countries, France’s brave initiative serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for reproductive rights supporters across the continent.
  • European Charter of Fundamental Rights: The amendment’s alignment with basic rights principles may spark broader moves to include abortion protections in the European Charter of basic Rights. 

Public Reception and Political Landscape

  • Public Support: According to opinion polls, 81% of respondents support constitutionalizing abortion rights.
  • Political Consensus: In contrast to some countries’ polarised abortion debates, France’s political spectrum stands united in its support for women’s reproductive liberty.
  • Criticism and allegations: While some detractors see the reform as President Macron’s political manoeuvre to appease left-leaning elements, its substantive impact on women’s rights is evident. 

Global Abortion Landscape

  • European Context: Against the backdrop of increasing abortion restrictions in several European countries, France’s progressive attitude stands in stark contrast to regressive measures implemented elsewhere.
  • Global Reverberations: France’s pioneering endeavour may have far-reaching consequences, emboldening groups to improve abortion rights and resist legislative regressions around the world.

India’s Abortion Policies: 

  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act was adopted in 1971, allowing abortions up to 20 weeks. Recent modifications have increased the limit to 24 weeks in certain situations.
  • Recent Amendments: The 2021 amendment increases the permitted gestational age for abortions and streamlines the clearance process for certain types of pregnancies.
  • Continued Advocacy: While India’s abortion laws are rather progressive, ongoing advocacy initiatives aim to improve countrywide access to safe and legal abortion services.
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