CSOs Demand an Overhaul of the World Bank Following the DBR Scandal

By CSOs | Statement | October 12, 2021

More than 100 civil society organisations, including Madhyam, have sought a major overhaul of the World Bank’s governing structures and policies following the scandal that led to the scrapping of its flagship publication, the ‘Doing Business’ report. This report ranks 190 countries on the Ease of Doing Business index. Following is the full text of the statement issued by CSOs on October 12, 2021:

In September, the World Bank announced that it would discontinue the publication of the Doing Business Report and Ranking (DBR). This overdue decision came after a series of internal audits and an investigation that revealed serious ethical improprieties, conflicts…

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No Quick Fixes for India’s Ailing Healthcare System

By Biswajit Dhar | Commentary | June 25, 2021

Even though the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has partially subsided across India, the extent to which citizens of the country have been affected continues to remain unclear. Official statistics show that the total number of those infected since the outbreak of the pandemic is pushing towards the 2.5 crore mark and more than 3 lakhs have lost their lives, figures that several prominent experts have questioned.

Well beyond these cold statistics is the cruel reality of human suffering that the COVID-19 pandemic has heaped on every affected family. Countless families have been left traumatised, having witnessed their suffering kin choking for want of…

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EU-India FTA: Who Wants a Deal?

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | March 23, 2021

The European Union (EU) is keen to enter into a trade agreement with India. EU was formed in 1993, and India was amongst the first countries to establish ties with this political and economic group. A cooperation agreement was signed between them in 1994. A decade later, in 2004, the relationship was upgraded to a ‘Strategic Partnership.’ The 2005 Joint Action Plan that followed committed both sides to develop trade and investment. Ever since then, both sides have been trying to agree on a trade and investment deal.


In 2007 EU-India launched negotiations for a bilateral trade and investment agreement (BTIA). But negotiations did not…

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Can the “Third Way” Ensure Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for All Countries?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | March 5, 2021

On March 1, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala took over as Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She is the first woman and the first African to serve as the Director-General of the WTO. These are indeed remarkable achievements that need to be noticed and celebrated. As she holds dual Nigerian and US citizenship, Okonjo-Iweala is also the first American to hold this position.

Addressing the WTO General Council immediately after taking office, Okonjo-Iweala outlined numerous challenges faced by the WTO in the post-pandemic world and the need to pursue necessary reforms to keep the organization relevant.

She also called upon members to shun business as usual approach and…

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India’s Vaccine Diplomacy: A Potent Tool to Fight COVID-19 in the Global South?

By Biswajit Dhar | Commentary | February 15, 2021

For over two decades, India has acquired the reputation of being the ‘pharmacy of the world’ as its strong generic pharmaceutical industry has supplied affordable medicines to the global markets. Exports of medicines from India, which were around a billion dollars at the turn of the century, had increased to over $20 billion in 2019-20.

Indian companies had made critical interventions during the HIV/AIDS pandemic by supplying affordable antiretroviral medicines to African countries when the major pharmaceutical producers had demanded excessively high prices for these medicines. Subsequently, after the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria took shape as a multi-stakeholder initiative to reduce…

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