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

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Payment for Ecosystem Services to Sustain Kudimaramathu in Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu government is attempting to revive the institution of kudimaramathu by leveraging a scheme sponsored by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Developmentto rejuvenate small waterbodies in the state. How a payment for ecosystem services system can incentivise village panchayats to engage in tank management and, in turn, ensure the sustainability and longevity of the community-based programme beyond the life of the project is explored.

Perception-based Evidence for Climate Change Policies

Understanding public perceptions can greatly influence socio-economic policies, which may alter decisions of climate change policies. This article analyses information from villages of Garud tehsil in Bageshwar district, Uttarakhand, where agriculture and forest-based resources are the main sources of livelihood among communities.

NOTA and the Indian Voter

This article looks at the use of the “none of the above” option in elections in India from 2013 to 2016 using data from the Election Commission of India to reveal certain patterns of NOTA votes. These patterns signal that Indian voters seem to use NOTA not just to show their disapproval of the candidates in the fray but to express their disenchantment with the existing political system.

Garbha Sanskar and the Politics of Masculinity in West Bengal

Garbha sanskar is a politico-cultural project to create ideal Hindu, male babies towards the creation of a strong nation abetted by a superior progeny who are mentally, physically, and spiritually strong. This political design of the Sangh Parivar seeks to establish Hindu hegemonic masculinity, by disrupting existing forms of intellect-based masculinity in Bengal.

Human Rights vs Contract Law in Arbitration Mechanisms

The consideration of human rights is often kept out of international investment arbitration proceedings. This can be related to the privileging of contract law in a market society and the differences in values underlying contract law and human rights. The tension between different kinds of laws can be viewed as being irreconcilable or as reflecting a Polanyian “double-movement.”

National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, which aims to overhaul medical education in India and replace the 83-year-old Medical Council of India with a government-appointed NMC, has several worrying features. While the long-term implications of the bill have not been satisfactorily debated and addressed, the bill itself is in danger of causing similar or even worse outcomes than the previous MCI Act. The NMC Bill remains a questionable remedy, and it has drawn criticism from several quarters, including the country’s medical fraternity.

Growing Financial Hardships of State Universities

Amidst stagnating government grants and out of sync governance structures, affiliated state universities emphasise student-centric funding, putting higher level institutions in a precarious situation. This undermines their functional autonomy and regulatory processes.

‘Surge’ Pricing for Railway Tickets as Tax by Stealth

The Indian Railways’ implementation of the “surge” pricing of tickets for its fast trains is unfortunately an ill-conceived policy and a “tax by stealth” measure. It flouts basic microeconomic rationale and real-world relevance as the railways is a monopoly with no flexible and immediate capacity for a rise in supply of traveller coaches and/or fast trains.

User Charges Onslaught on Public Health Services

Healthcare as a public good should be available free of charge at the point of service delivery. This was the case across India until a flurry of reforms from the early 1990s onwards notified user charges for various health services in public health facilities. Since then, public expenditure on healthcare has seen a decline from a high of 1.5% of gross domestic product in the mid-1980s to a low of 0.7% of GDP in the mid-1990s, recovering to 1.2% of GDP presently. However, out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure has risen dramatically with increased user charges in public health facilities, which leads to further inequities.

Politics of Dominance in Meitei Society

The play of domination and subordination between men and women in segregated spaces conveys a “flexible” patriarchal social structure, which does not impose complete male dominance or complete subordination of women but permits cross-gender role play by women in select spheres.

From Superstar to CM?

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has announced his long-awaited entry into politics. This article charts his rise to superstardom and long dalliance with state politics to analyse his political prospects. It is argued that the leader-centric nature of his party is a mere continuation of Tamil political norms, and that his ambivalent “spiritual” politics must be wedded to material concerns if he is to succeed.

A Reply from the Mahatma

One year ago in January 2017 the chief economic adviser to the Government of India, Arvind Subramanian, in the Economic Survey, 2016–17 included a chapter entitled “Universal Basic Income: A Conversation With and Within the Mahatma.” While there continues to be significant publicity and debate about Universal Basic Income, there has been no focused reply to Subramanian’s conversation from the perspective that M K Gandhi might have taken. Here is a response as the Mahatma might have replied.

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