ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Discourses on the Nuclear Deal: Persistence of Independence

In the course of public contestation and debate, political parties in India have attempted to garner acceptance for their respective positions on the Indo-US nuclear deal by drawing on key historical norms. Notions of freedom, which have historically constituted a primary feature in Indian foreign policy discourse, continue to feature in foreign policy debate and form a focus of consensus and dissent even today in India as it was during the dawn of independence.

Tamil Nadu GovernmentIntervention Intervention and Prices of Medicines

This article examines the approach of the government of Tamil Nadu towards drug procurement and supply, which is undertaken through an autonomous agency. This agency has formulated detailed procedures for the procurement of quality essential drugs that are supplied to the government healthcare providers according to their needs. The analysis shows that such a system has been effective in purchasing select drugs at low prices. The article suggests that such government intervention may be adopted in other states to keep the prices of medicines in check.

Modern India's Pioneer Economic Adviser

India is the unique domain of the economic adviser, which goes back to the legendary Kautilya, minister to Chandragupta Maurya. The pioneer economic adviser of modern India, however, was a little known American economist Ralph Whitenack, who served with distinction the Gaekwar of Baroda, Sayajirao III during 1906-09 and 1918-19 and was the prime architect of the Bank of Baroda. This article reviews his work in Baroda and its contemporary lessons.

Farmers' Suicides in Maharashtra

This article argues that the loss in competitiveness of the Indian cotton farmer after the opening up of India's agricultural economy in the mid-1990s was a major reason for the increase in farmers' suicides. Recently, in Maharashtra, there was a suicide epidemic owing to a decline in profit incomes to levels that were significantly negative.

India's Capital Adequacy Regime

This note presents an analytical review of the Basel I capital adequacy regime and the current level of the capital to riskweighted asset ratio (CRAR) of India's banking sector. Under Basel I, the banking system is performing reasonably well, with an average CRAR of about 12 per cent, that is higher than the internationally accepted 8 per cent. A discussion from the Indian perspective of several issues relating to the Basel II norms that are to be introduced in March 2008.

Land Distribution and Tenancy among Different Social Groups

Not much is known about the distribution of land and tenancy among the various social groups, especially in rural India. This article examines recent National Sample Survey data on house ownership holdings to determine the pattern of land distribution and tenancy among these groups.

World Trade Organisation at the Crossroads:The Legitimacy Dimension

The World Trade Organisation, created for the specific purpose of trade liberalisation, is faced with multiple problems that undermine its legitimacy. The article addresses this specific issue and delves into the policy initiatives undertaken by the organisation to counter criticism about its lack of legitimacy. There are doubts whether the organisation, with the meaningful participation of stakeholders, will effectively discharge its functions while ensuring that the rules of international trade lead to equitable outcomes.

South Asia's Free Trade Agreement: Strategies and Options

The implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Area agreement in 2006 suggests that regional economic integration is being seriously pursued in south Asia. Given the economic asymmetry in south Asia and the predominant position of India in the region, the article proposes India as an anchor economy that can connect south Asia with east Asia to form an Asia-wide free trade arrangement. It suggests a review of the existing agreements like the Bangkok Agreement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation in terms of membership and sectoral coverage as these can act as potent instruments in facilitating the south Asia-east Asia economic integration.

Issues in Canal Infrastructure Development and Canal Irrigation Management

The Gujarat government is experimenting with different approaches to develop canal infrastructure and manage canal irrigation below tertiary (minor) canal in the Sardar Sarovar Project. Though the project is based on the principle of participatory irrigation management, hardly any water users' associations have taken over canal management below the level of the minor canal. This study attempts to understand the dynamics of canal irrigation management at the village service area in the absence of proper infrastructure development and institutional arrangements.

Maternal Deaths in India:An Exploration

The latest estimate of the maternal mortality ratio for India stands at 301 for every 1,00,000 live births. Though there has been a decline, reaching the set goal of 109 by 2015 remains a challenge. Maternal mortality is strongly associated with rural areas and low standards of living. For these women, access to quality healthcare services is difficult. In general, efficient antenatal services would help in identifying high-risk women and providing referrals.

Accountability to Whom?

The institutional set up embedded in the World Bank's Accountability Framework reconfigures and fragments the sites of political negotiation within and across the nation state. Additionally, key development actors' mobility across institutional and geographical sites of political negotiation escapes any form of accountability. Once assessed in specific social contexts, institutional models are thus subject to transgressions and negotiations, opening up spaces for resistance.

Preference Erosion

It is hoped that the World Trade Organisation's Doha round of negotiations will result in significant reductions in tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods and services. However, least developed countries fear that tariff reduction deals amongst developed countries may erode the preference margin they enjoy as far as their exports are concerned. How will this "erosion of preference" affect Bangladesh's exports?

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