Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutional validity of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and the Supreme Court of the United States likewise upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010. The two pieces of legislation attempt to expand, to a greater or lesser degree, the provision of education and health services, respectively.

The debate on the design of the Lokpal has been premised on the questionable assumption that what is needed to combat corruption is a powerful national institution to prosecute and convict the corrupt, but the debate has not drawn on the experience with the existing institutional models, namely the Lokayuktas in the states. An empirical analysis of the performance of the Lokayukta in Karnataka between 1995 and 2011 suggests that any anti-corruption agency, no matter how powerful, that is oriented towards criminal conviction is bound to fail in the absence of judicial reforms.

The fi rst report of the Mashelkar Committee on patent issues was accused of plagiarism and the committee was asked by the government to rexamine its recommendations. The second report of this committee poses a different set of problems.