Skip to main content
Menu Menu Close
Africa
Americas
Asia and the Pacific
Europe
Western Asia
Flag

India

Monthly Event Reports

February 2024 | Supreme Court strikes down controversial Electoral Bonds Scheme

On 15 February, India’s Supreme Court (SC) struck down a fund-raising mechanism that allowed for individuals and companies to send unlimited anonymous political donations by receiving so-called “electoral bonds” from the State Bank of India (SBI) in exchange for donations to a political party or candidate. Critics of the system had long maintained that it favoured the ruling party by providing it with a significant financial advantage over its rivals, and by enabling SBI, and consequently the government, to track donations that influence political processes. In response to a petition brought by opposition members and a non-governmental organization, the court declared the electoral bonds scheme as “unconstitutional,” violating citizens’ right to government-held information. The decision mandates the SBI to immediately halt the issuance of electoral bonds. Political analysts and the opposition have praised the SC decision as a step towards transparency and strengthening democracy. Meanwhile, the ruling party has emphasized the importance of respecting every SC decision and accused opposition parties of politicising the matter.

January 2024 | Supreme Court overturns early release of 11 men convicted of gang rape

On 8 January, India’s Supreme Court (SC) reversed the Gujarat state government’s decision to release 11 men convicted of gang-raping a pregnant Muslim woman (Bilkis Bano) during the 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots, ordering their return to jail. The decision follows a controversial order by the Gujarat government to set the men free in August 2022, which drew widespread condemnation. The verdict is premised on the ground that the Gujarat government had acted beyond its jurisdiction in granting the assailants early release, emphasizing that only the state government where the crime occurred (Maharashtra state) has the authority to release them. Human rights groups and legal experts have welcomed the SC’s decision to uphold the rule of law and protect women’s rights, although the question remains as to whether the Maharashtra government will later extend the convicts’ relief. There has been no immediate response from the Gujarat government on the matter.

December 2023 | Controversial bills passed amid mass suspension of opposition lawmakers
Watch flag

On 20 December, the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) passed several key bills, including the contentious Telecommunications Bill 2023 and three criminal law bills. The bills were passed after parliament suspended an unprecedented 146 members of opposition parties for allegedly disruptive conduct. The suspended MPs demanded a debate and statement from the government concerning a parliamentary security breach that occurred on 13 December, in which intruders set off smoke canisters in its lower house. The government rejected calls for a debate but ordered a probe into the incident. Rights organizations have criticized the hasty passage of bills without room for proper deliberation. Speaker of the lower house Om Birla argued security is within his purview and he is investigating the matter, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the security breach “very serious” but did not see the need for a parliamentary debate. 

October 2023 | Crackdown on media outlet NewsClick raises concern
Watch flag

On 3 October, Indian authorities arrested two journalists from the independent news outlet NewsClick under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, after raiding 46 journalists’ homes. This follows allegations that NewsClick received illegal foreign funding, partly prompted by a New York Times investigation connecting NewsClick to a network supporting Chinese propaganda. Rights groups and media watchdogs note that the raids, carried out under misused counterterrorism laws, pose a broader threat to press freedom – further prompting serious concerns from the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. The Union Minister responded to criticism by saying that “investigating agencies are independent and act according to law,” adding that no justification for the raids was needed. The Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal from the detained employees challenging their arrests.

Explore past monthly event reports

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

Chevron

Basic Information

Chevron
Population Tooltip
1 393 409 030
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (since 2014)
Head of government party
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
First Past the Post
Women in lower or single chamber
15.1%
Women in upper chamber
13.8%
Last legislative election
2019
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
3.73
Head of state
President Droupadi Murmu
Selection process for head of state
Indirect election (assembly + regional/local representatives)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
04/05/2017
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
60.80%
Tooltip text

Human Rights Treaties

Chevron
State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Signatory
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
Signatory
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
No Action
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
No Action
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
in
Tooltip text

Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rights
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rule of law
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Participation
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024

Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

Use the slider below to see how democratic performance has changed over time

0 10