Can India’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council be used to strengthen multilateralism?
For a foreign policy and strategic affairs establishment obsessed with permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India’s election as one of the 10 non-permanent members is an opportunity to demonstrate what the country can do and will not do to push for an independent approach towards promoting peace and development in the world. India has come to occupy this position after a gap of 19 years. India’s election comes with an enormous amount of goodwill – 177 nations supported its candidature and just five nations cast a negative vote, compared to the vote of only 60 odd countries the last time around. India failed in its attempt in 1996 to be elected to the UN council, but has succeeded this time and has begun serving the two-year post.
The government falls short of constitutional requirements even after it indexes wage rates in MGNREGA to inflation.
As a sop to the millions of Indians who work on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MgNREGA) programmes, the central government has decided to index the wage rate in the scheme to the official Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labourers (CPIAL). This decision was announced within days of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh making it clear that the government cannot set the MGNREGA wages at the statutory minimum in each state in accordance with the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act of 1948.