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

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A Note on Autorickshaw Fare Regulation in India

Autorickshaws are one of the only privately-owned public modes of transport in Indian cities to be tightly regulated by the state. An investigation into the nature of regulation, wages and fares in the autorickshaw industry reveals some elementary and glaring oversights.

Why Does the UGC Want to Drop the ‘M’ from AMU?

A University Grants Commission panel went beyond its mandate to suggest that Aligarh Muslim University drop the word Muslim from its name. Such a recommendation has been made by government authorities and parliamentarians in the past as well. But in the highly vitiated and polarised atmosphere prevailing in the country today, it can be seen by Muslims as yet another assault on their symbols and institutions.

The Politics behind Criminalising Triple Talaq

The government is intending to override a well-established norm that laws for minority communities must be enacted after holding discussions with community leaders/representatives, legal experts, and other stakeholders, and after striving to reach a consensus, by tabling the bill to criminalise triple talaq. Behind this hasty move is the formulation that the Muslim woman must invariably be projected as devoid of rights and lacking agency, and the Muslim male as premodern, lustful, polygamous, and barbaric.

Class–Caste Differences in Access to Agricultural Credit in India

Looking at the class and caste differences in access to agricultural credit in India, it is seen that large proportions of farmers are still outside the fold of formal credit. Farmers from smaller farm-size class and socially marginalised castes face difficulty in accessing credit due to lower asset valuations, compounded by social discrimination. There is a need for asset creation and reorientation of the present agricultural credit policy for greater inclusiveness.

Whatever NEXT?

The proposal of a National Exit Test as an exit examination for MBBS graduates to ensure a minimum quality standard is desirable in a country with large gaps in healthcare. However, in its current form it could be reduced to just another examination that can be gamed and one that does not ensure basic skills. Sound designing, increased investment in testing infrastructure, and phased planning and implementation are needed to ensure that NEXT serves as a panacea to the lack of standardised medical graduate output in the country.

Food Sovereignty under WTO

The interim solution to the problem of whether to allow public stockholding of food stocks for food security purposes in the World Trade Organization was arrived at during the Bali Ministerial Conference held in 2013 and subsequently by the General Council of the WTO in November 2014. However, the commitment to agree to a permanent solution by the 11th Ministerial Conference did not materialise. The United States and some other members reneged on their commitment to finding a permanent solution, effectively undermining the WTO itself. Developing country members have to persist for a permanent solution.

Multilevel Failure of WTO Ministerial at Buenos Aires

The World Trade Organization’s 11th Ministerial Conference at Buenos Aires witnessed multiple failures on all fronts. The United States blocked the only mandated outcome on the permanent solution for public stockholding programmes for food security at the meeting, a priority issue for India and other developing countries. But the chair of the meeting and the WTO director general claimed gains from controversial new plurilateral initiatives announced by groups of countries that seek to wipe out the unfulfilled Doha multilateral trade negotiations.

Putting a Price on Tiger Reserves

The attempts by economists in India to estimate the economic value of tiger reserves must be seen in a context in which inviolate tiger reserves have imposed enormous social costs on local people. There is relative silence around the question of why one should value tiger reserves when they are already protected and who might benefit from such valuations. We call on scholars and activists working in conservation and development to question valuation approaches, given their problematic outcomes.

Narrative History Writing

A comparative analysis of Natalie Davis’s The Return of Martin Guerre (1983) and Partha Chatterjee’s A Princely Impostor (2002) is undertaken to identify the possibilities and limitations of narrative history writing.

Domestic Tourism in India (2014–15)

What is the intensity and level of domestic tourism in rural and urban India? What are the key reasons for households’ domestic tourism trips? What can we understand from domestic tourism patterns in India? Using National Sample Survey Office data on domestic tourism (2014–15), some of these questions are answered.

Loss and Gain for Both Parties

Politics in India has been driving the economy wheels, but post liberalisation, economic issues have started influencing the outcome of electoral competitions in the country. The results of the Gujarat assembly elections also seem to have a heartening message for both, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Cross-border Trafficking of Bangladeshi Girls

India, a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking, does not explicitly recognise and punish all forms of labour trafficking to the extent required by the United Nations Trafficking Protocol. A study conducted on human trafficking in five districts of West Bengal highlights urgent need for cooperation between the governments of India and Bangladesh, for participation of governmental institutions and civil society organisations, the importance of monitoring of the implementation of anti-trafficking laws, and the need for a database of victims as well as the specific safeguards to protect victims, etc.

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