ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Emerging New Social Status among Dalits in Bihar

The social status of Dalits in Bihar is undergoing change. A study based in a village and a town in East Champaran district of north Bihar reveals that Dalits are developing social consciousness, adopting Sanskritisation, and accessing constitutional provisions, and socio-religious movements, to change both their caste and class status.

Fourteenth Finance Commission

Preliminary evidence on the impact of the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission suggests that there has been an increase in central transfers and social sector expenditures in a number of states in 2015–16. This evidence is biased upwards due to two factors. First, much of the gains have been measured with respect to a low base year. Second, the inferences are affected by systematic differences between actuals, revised estimates, and budget estimates. Using a modified base and comparable estimates for 15 major states, it is seen that these are much smaller. Besides, in most states, social services have received a lower priority over economic services in 2015–16.

Tea Tribes of Assam

Assam’s complex social mosaic is at a crossroads with increasing ethnic tensions and alienation among various communities. The tea tribes form a distinct population of Assam and are demanding Scheduled Tribe status from the state. The politicisation and assertion of identity and ethnicity by the tea tribes to counter the unequal distribution of power and resources in present-day Assam has unleashed social and political tensions.

Agrarian Crisis

After the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the economic and political situation of Dalit agricultural workers seems to be improving. However, rising incomes of Dalit labourers vis-à-vis falling incomes of farmers make the situation difficult for farmers. Both are looking for escape routes: education, migration, mechanisation, and non-farm occupations. Casteism still prevails, although people avoid practising untouchability in an overt manner. This is the second and last part of the article which has been published in two parts.

Agrarian Crisis

The 70th round of the National Sample Survey Office estimates the average income of a farm family at₹ 6,426 per month from all sources such as cultivation, animal husbandry, wages, etc. This personal account, which has been divided into two parts, traces the developments leading to the crisis in the context of a village in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh. Needless to say, it is important to understand the ground realities as much as the statistical data for suitable policy and administrative interventions.

Constitutionality and Legality of Foreign National/NRI/NRI-sponsored Reservation Quotas

The issue of deciding fees and reservation policies has been long contested between the state, and the minority and private institutions before the courts. Most educational institutions reserve seats for foreign nationals/non-resident Indians/NRI-sponsored applicants based on their ability to pay the higher fees charged, and the privilege of either possessing a foreign passport, or just knowing someone who lives on foreign shores. The constitutionality and legality of this quota, and the form and the manner in which it is being implemented in the national law universities is examined.

Critique of Statist Narrative of Women Empowerment in Kashmir

Operation Sadhbhavana, an initiative of the Indian state to “win hearts and minds” of the people of Kashmir, is an exercise in militarised humanitarianism which effectively enables increased interference of the military in civil governance. Such statist narratives of empowerment, providing women economic opportunities or funding under various governmental schemes, are insincere as people have no real control over their lives and spaces in the face of systematic state violence.

Accessibility and Inclusivity at National Law School

Institutional support and awareness of the diversity of their student intake by institutions of higher education, particularly when we have affirmative action policies in place, is essential to reduce the influence of students’ background on their performance. A socio-economic census conducted at the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, covering 97.9% of the student body, presents the details about inclusivity and accessibility at the country’s premier law institute by analysing the correlations between background factors and performance.

Housing for the Urban Poor?

Recent modifications in the credit linked subsidy scheme—an important vertical under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)—have raised the income limits for eligibility of loans, increased the amount of subsidised loans, relaxed norms with regard to built-up area, and importantly, have included the middle-income group, diluting its core agenda of being “pro-poor.” While this would boost the housing sector, there is risk that subsidies will be cornered by real estate developers, private builders, and the urban middle class. The planners must view this development with concern.

Insights on Overweight and Obesity

India is in the midst of an epidemiological transition, whereby poverty-linked infectious, maternal and nutritional diseases exist in conjunction with non-communicable chronic illnesses. This transition is driven by rapid economic development within which people eat, move, work, and live differently than before. This analysis of the third and fourth rounds of the National Family Health Survey demonstrates that non-communicable diseases, and their risk factors are undergoing a reversal of the social gradient and are moving down the socio-economic ladder into lower-income populations.

Geographical Epistemology and the Question of Space

Epistemological issues related to space, which form the core of disciplinary enquiry in geography, remain unresolved. In classical Marxian meta-theory, “space” is not assigned any meaningful role, but is treated as noise or a complicating factor. Many neo-Marxist and cultural geographers have also adopted an ambivalent stance towards the primacy of space in social theory. As such, the lack of a meta-theory, ineffective integration of theories from other social science disciplines, and an inadequate conception of “space” have resulted in the increased marginalisation of geography and geographers in the social sciences.

Suicide or Domestic Violence?

The vulnerability of women from affluent background to domestic violence is examined by critically analysing the act of “suicide” of Bollywood actors. It argues for the adoption of a sociolegal perspective, where an act of suicide in an intimate relationship must be examined in the broader context of the social order by drawing on perspectives of domestic violence literature and the language of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. This approach is critical to recognising that victims of domestic violence exist in all strata of society and that the act of suicide is the culmination of a process of enduring violence in intimate relationships encompassing multiple forms of victimisation.


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