ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Promoting Clean and Affordable Cooking

The health effects of cooking with biomass and coal are now well-recognised. Although more people use LPG, the number of those using biomass and coal has remained static for nearly 30 years. While LPG subsidies have played an important role in expanding access to this cooking fuel, directing the subsidies to the poorest and the most vulnerable remains a fraught matter. This article proposes that consumers opt in for the subsidy by self-certifying that their household income is less than an amount set by the government, instead of the opt-out approach followed today.

From Opposition to Acquiescence

The debut of Nagaland People's Front in the 2015 district council elections in Manipur with the tacit support of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) and United Naga Council marks a change in Naga politics--a change from politics of opposition to politics of acquiescence. These elections also underscore a new pattern of localisation of politics, where localised ethnic agenda and armed groups have infl uenced the distribution of tickets and electoral outcomes. It is contended that this prevailing trend may redefi ne the electoral politics in the state and open up new sites of confl ict in Manipur not only between the hills and valley people but also between hill communities.

Culture, Gender Bias and Beliefs Surrounding the 'Nakusa' Girls of Maharashtra

In rural Maharashtra, many parents have named their daughters "Nakusa/Nakoshi." In Marathi that means "unwanted." The parents hope the next child will be a boy. Most of these girls are the third or fourth daughters of their parents and their names have caused them socio-psychological problems. A study of such families in the villages of Satara District forms the basis of this article.

Revealed Comparative Advantage and Decomposition of Export Growth

Using the revealed comparative index and the method of constant market share analysis, this article attempts to identify the relative advantage/disadvantage of select rubber products exported from India and decompose the contributory factors behind export growth of these products.

Families of Murder Victims

This article examines the psychological conditions of the surviving family members of murder victims in India and points out the inadequacies in the formulated and reactionary responses of the state and community. These responses are often exclusively focused on harsh punishments for offenders while failing to consider the circumstances faced by the family members of the murdered. These secondary victims are in need of a holistic response from the state and society.

Services Growth in India

Macroeconomic data shows a lack of improvement in the incremental capital-output ratio along with diminishing total factor productivity in India's services sector--surely a warning. If far-reaching measures are not taken, India may soon be unable to compete in the global market in this area.

Respondent, a Key Factor in National-Level Surveys

Statistics holds paramount position as a scientific tool to translate relevant data into information for effective policymaking. But the data collector does not receive adequate cooperation from respondents. At times, the respondents are incapable of providing information. The 61st, 66th and 68th rounds of the National Sample Survey have brought these problems to the fore. Lack of clarity marred the information received from about 20% respondents. This analysis presents some ways and means to make a survey/census more productive and useful for development planning.

Understanding the Political Shift in Assam

Assam was a Congress stronghold in the post-Congress era. However, the 2014 Lok Sabha elections marked a signifi cant political shift with the Bharatiya Janata Party making significant inroads. The trend continued with the recent elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council and urban local bodies. This article explores the changing political dynamics of the state which assume added significance because elections to the state assembly are slated for early 2016.

Pakistan and the Nasr Missile

Pakistan's nuclear planners have sought to develop and plan deployment of the short-range Nasr tactical missile to deliver nuclear weapons against advancing Indian armoured forces. This article explores the limited utility of the use of tactical nuclear weapons which could still prove to be catastrophic by triggering the escalation of a conventional conflict into nuclear war. An alternative could be that Pakistan and India revive the idea first proposed by India in 1949 and 1950 of a No-War Agreement. The actions forbidden could include support for cross-border militancy and military incursions across the border, as well as subversion, blockades, and disruption of river waters. 

'Demerger' and Statehood

The Darjeeling Hills and surrounding areas were merged with West Bengal in 1954. This article argues that the formation of Telangana opens the door for accepting the century-old demand of the Indian Gorkhas for a separate homeland. It also argues against the use of the term separatism to describe the demand of the Indian Gorkhas and instead suggest the terms "merger" and "demerger." Darjeeling, whose merger with West Bengal was, at best, a post-independence administrative exigency, could now be demerged, much like Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.

Caste among the Indian Diaspora in Africa

Caste consciousness is common among the Indian diaspora worldwide, so is the practice of the caste system. This article looks at the Indian diaspora in Africa and tries to understand how Indians of various castes responded to life there. It argues that caste has changed form in the new social and geographical context but it has not been eliminated. A majority of the Indian diaspora in Africa still looks to marry within caste and endorses caste identities. This article also touches upon Gandhi's role in organising Indians in South Africa and tries to interrogate his understanding of the caste scenario there.

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