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Behavioural Economics Perspective of ‘Demonetisation’

How does one understand demonetisation from a behavioural economics perspective? Would a better understanding of cash holding behaviour and tax evasion have helped policymakers? What does behavioural economics offer for large-scale public policy decisions?

India’s Access to International Climate Finance

India has long argued for more direct control over international climate finance through a mechanism called enhanced direct access. Yet, it has a poor track record, and weak institutional structures to identify large-scale transformational changes that are compatible with enhanced direct access. As the Green Climate Fund moves towards full operationalisation, it is argued that India’s engagement with the GCF could achieve multiple goals of development and climate change through more national control over the uses of climate finance.

Sanitation in West Bengal

Literacy and public education rather than economic growth are integral to eradicating open defecation, suggests this study of sanitation practices in three districts of West Bengal and nine bordering districts of Bangladesh. While the number of households with a latrine on the premises grew by 15.1% in West Bengal from 2001 to 2011, Bangladesh made more rapid progress, highlighting the importance of the shame vs subsidy social marketing programme employed at the grass roots to improve sanitation coverage.

Thinking Kashmir

Waiting is so much a part of everydayness, including waiting for peace, waiting for your loved ones to come home, waiting for curfew to end, waiting for the army to go home. Between silence and waiting one can create a narrative of the Kashmir conflict. Unlike the Holocaust or partition, which have the gigantism of epic memories, the sadness of Kashmir is forged, crafted out of thousands of little memories, unwritten diaries merging quietly together. It is this alchemy of memories that is struggling against government policy, which sanitises violence and erases memory to create this strange machine that moves from violence to violence in facile amnesia.

The Provocations of the Public University

What are the pasts and futures of the public university in India? This question has come to the fore over the last year, when a series of events at some of India’s leading public universities and institutions brought a new focus on the achievements and problems associated with these spaces of higher education. This article argues that any insightful assessment of the public university in India today must take account of its histories, its achievements, and its possible futures. That alone will go a long way towards asserting its continued and vital relevance in a society such as ours.

Disabled Schoolchildren and Their Challenges

Disability, a socially defined global phenomenon, varies from state to state in India, and is based on gender and rural–urban backgrounds. A study conducted in Sipajhar block of Assam shows that physically and mentally challenged schoolchildren face severe discrimination. As the existing policies and programmes are insufficient to wipe out the stigma attached to their lives, we need widespread awareness programmes to give the persons with disabilities a dignified life and to include them in the mainstream development processes.

Gendering Sports in Colonial Bengal

The early 20th century witnessed important shifts in the Bengali Hindu elite’s images of women’s public role. The number of educated women increased even if it was within the limited domain of urban communities. The “games ethics” influenced the women and it was placed in the broader perspective of their emancipation. Different schools and colleges with their motto of holistic education and the contemporary magazines highlighted the importance of women’s health for future motherhood. Their role in the sporting field remained gendered and female agency in this sphere had to negotiate with forms of patriarchy.

The Caste Question and Songs of Protest in Punjab

The popularity of “mission singing” and Chamar songs in recent times, in response and retaliation to Jatt pop music, in Punjab harks to the larger caste conundrum of the region and its complex historical location as a frontier society. The lower castes that migrated from Hinduism to new faiths, attracted by the latter’s textual claims of egalitarianism and non-hierarchical world views, over the centuries found that there was a huge gap between its theoretical premises and everyday practices. Dalit singers who produce songs valorising their history and heroes emerge as powerful expressions of rebellion against entrenched caste hierarchies.

The Many Misogynies of Malayalam Cinema

In the context of the recent sexual molestation of an actor in a public space in Kerala, this article analyses Malayalam cinema’s language of neo-liberal governmentality that seeks to police gendered subjectivities and regiment them within its diegetic and social terrains. It looks at the new kinds of networks forged between culture industries, the ideological state apparatus, a transformed civil society, corporate agendas, and individual actors in evolving newer forms of surveillance and punishment of bodies marginalised by gender and sexuality. The aporia of Kerala’s modernity that results in certain retrograde tendencies is most evident in its cinematic discourses, especially those built around its current investment in male superstardom.

Migration, Gender and Right to the City

Since the 1970s, urbanisation across the globe has been shaped by corporate capital under the neo-liberal policies of the state. Cities are treated as consumer products with massive private investment in real estate, corporate and public infrastructure, entertainment facilities, and security, to promote corporate urban development. The urban poor, slum dwellers, and migrants are dispossessed as a result of urban restructuring and gentrification. This article evaluates women’s migration to urban areas, identifies exclusionary processes against migrants in cities, and suggests strategies for implementing the “right to the city” perspective.

Treatment Gap in Mental Healthcare

There is a wide treatment gap in Indian mental healthcare. This article discusses the treatment gap and the contributing factors, and suggests ways to reduce it. The political (policy perspective), social (stigma, discrimination, and gender), cultural (beliefs, explanations, and help-seeking behaviours), and economic (direct and indirect costs of treatment) factors addressed have long impeded mental healthcare. A policy and research review reflects that mental illness in India contributes significantly to the global occurrence of mental illness. The treatment gap causes substantial losses to individuals, families, society, and the nation. Innovation and capacity building are necessary to develop and implement locally relevant, feasible, and effective community-based mental healthcare models.

Conning Humanity in the Name of Disarmament

One of the biggest failures of the United Nations since its founding has been its inability to halt the nuclear arms race and take any significant step towards elimination of nuclear weapons. On the contrary, the UN—wittingly or unwittingly—became a victim of a series of con games played by the nuclear weapon states. On the face of it, the latest attempt of the UN to adopt a so-called Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons appears to be no different. India’s decision to stay away from the proceedings is shocking since it has historically supported the cause of disarmament.

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