ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Is the Special Category Status Really Dead?

Though the Fourteenth Finance Commission report gives an impression that the special category status given to some states has de facto been abolished, the reality is that the benefi ts enjoyed by these states remain well protected. The biggest flaw of the special category mechanism is that the benefits flow in perpetuity without any accountability or performance monitoring of the states. This has made them overwhelmingly dependent on central funding. It is therefore imperative to bring in more accountability into the mechanism of such liberal transfer of funds and their end use.

Justice Rajindar Sachar (1923–2018)

Justice Rajindar Sachar was a man of unshakeable integrity. His erudition, humility, and warmth captivated everyone who came into contact with him. The report of the high level committee he chaired, which popularly came to be called the Sachar Committee, made him a household name throughout India. Till the very end of his life, he was deeply concerned about public matters, especially those that affected Muslim minorities.

Tamil Nadu’s Summer of Discontent

Not a day passes in Tamil Nadu without a protest by common people. In fact, some protests have been going on for months. Why is Tamil Nadu in ferment? Why are more and more people hitting the streets in anger? It is all because of a general distrust of the central government and the popular media. The people’s agitations crossed a certain line in the case of the demand to stop the Indian Premier League matches being played in Chennai, thus creating a divide in Tamil Nadu.

Renaissance Man

A tribute by a close friend and associate of Ashok Mitra reveals the academician, politician, columnist, littérateur, and the affectionate friend he was. Having an equal flair for academia and policymaking, the notable economist and inimitable columnist was also perfectly at home in the world of arts and letters

A Life of Rare Richness

A fellow economist and friend looks back at Ashok Mitra's intellectual contributions and the wide range of his experiences, associations, and interests.

Death in the Midst of Plenty

There remain misconceptions regarding farmer suicides. There is a need to set right these erroneous ideas based on scientific studies that have been conducted seeking to devise solutions to address the prevailing crisis of the peasantry in Punjab.

Last Lap of the Karnataka Elections

Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah faces no severe criticism for his tenure, but there are constituents of Karnataka that are unhappy with the incumbent government. Sections of the Lingayats firmly back the Bharatiya Janata Party in parts of central and northern Karnataka, which challenges the Congress’s prospects of a second term. The Janata Dal (Secular) is also a force to reckon with in south Karnataka. However, overall, the contest will probably be a close one, primarily between the Congress and the BJP.

Forecasting Crude Oil Prices

The history of oil forecasting has shown that no oil expert has been successful in predicting oil prices. This is due to the inability to either anticipate or accurately predict geopolitical scenarios, world oil supply/demand, and the impact of the spare capacity of oil exporters. Moreover, the oil futures market has not only failed to predict prices, but caused higher volatility and converted the oil market into a veritable gambling casino.

Technologies to Alleviate Pollution

Technologies are believed to be problem-solving. However, this may not always be true, especially in terms of their influence on the environment. The emphasis on purification technologies to solve issues arising due to environmental pollution raises the question as to whether short-term solutions, like air and water purifiers, can result in salvaging the health of people and the environment.

Chinese Party–State under Xi Jinping

The abolition of the two-term limit on the President’s tenure in China has generated a lot of debate. Portraying this as the return to hard authoritarianism in China does not fully take into account the gamut of changes that are taking place at the political, economic, and societal levels. Newer studies and research suggest that the mainstream Western projections of China as a repressed, controlled society, suffering under the iron grip of the party, cannot be taken at face value and must be explored in greater depth.

Americana and the March against Gun Culture

The recent incident in a school in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year-old school dropout randomly gunned down several innocents, raises pressing questions about a “gun culture” that has become an intrinsic part of Americana. While this is, by no means, the first incident of its kind, its significance lies in the large-scale mobilisation of students who have emphatically come out demanding gun control and questioning deep-rooted institutional support within the American establishment for a mindless culture of violence.

When the Fence Begins to Eat the Crop

A jan sunwai on the death anniversary of a teenager from a denotified tribe brings forth horrifying cases of institutional brutality and violence against these communities.

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