ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Call for Review: Supreme Court’s Decision on Reliance Jio

The Supreme Court has ignored evidence of apparent forgery and auction-rigging while dismissing a petition seeking to quash the government's decision permitting Reliance Jio to provide voice telephone services over fourth-generation spectrum. The company, headed by India's richest man, has also failed to meet its roll-out obligations. The apex court should review its decision.

When Donald Trump Came to Mumbai

Mumbai's real estate is among the most expensive in the world. What transpired when Donald Trump decided to invest in the "unbelievably cheap" real estate of Mumbai is an example of how real estate developers, who now dominate the political economy and public culture of great cities, operate.

The MGNREGA Crisis

A decade after coming into force, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is suffering from a decline in employment, budget caps, delays in wage payments and rampant violations of workers' entitlements. An examination of the case of Jharkhand points to reasons for this crisis, including the absence of a strong grievance redressal system, weak financial institutions, acute shortage of functionaries and indiscriminate use of technology. However, some initiatives taken by the state government and civil society in the recent past open up new possibilities for improving the programme.

Why Flyovers Will Fall

The coal secretary recently blamed the "5Cs"-- Central Vigilance Commission, Central Information Commission, Central Bureau of Investigation, Comptroller and Auditor General and the courts--for inhibiting quick and effective decision-making and impeding the country's development. The steady and continuing decline of the civil engineering profession in India has its roots in policies mandated by the Comptroller and Auditor General in regard to the procurement of consultancy services.

Writing Alternative Histories

Since the 1990s, historiography in India has experienced a shift which has led to directing academic focus on different regions in the country. This historiography shared its predecessor's concern with social and economic processes but departs from the latter in identifying trajectories of transformations in regions, subregions and localities. This article describes some of the landmarks that marked this shift towards regional history and also engages with the seminal works that marked this endeavour.

Public University in a Democracy

The modern public university in a democracy faces the challenging task of producing and disseminating knowledge. Though the public character and universality of knowledge seem to be threatened today by both the state as well as the market forces, the university cannot afford to remain an apolitical institution in a democracy. There are lessons to be learnt in the debates surrounding the development of German universities and the idea of a university as the idealist philosophers have conceptualised.

Dreaming in English

With the resurgence of nationalism in this age of aggressive globalisation, the call to &ldquodream in English&rdquo is often a demand for conformity with what are declared to be national mainstreams. The demand for unilingualism and conformity is complicated by the idea of &ldquodreaming in English&rdquo as articulated by colonised and subordinated groups in other contexts. What should give us pause, however, is any easy equation of the English language, or Western democracy, with fixed notions of science, rationality, progress and modernity. How might we think through these conundrums and challenges?

Is an Atheistic Defence of God Possible?

This article argues that both the arguments--that "God exists" and that "God does not exist"--fall within the realm of belief, and hence, religion; for the existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. It stresses that atheism is not a belief in the non-existence of God but an inability to believe in the existence of God. Finally, the essay sets out to examine if there can be an atheistic defence of the concept (not existence, which cannot be proved) of God, and concludes by arguing that it is the only kind of defence of God that is rationally possible.

On Democracy, Corporations and Inequality

Infusing the institution of democracy with the ideology of higher growth without considering the fate of the majority results in a dangerous mutualism between private corporations and the government. The inclusive democracy of "one adult, one vote" is reconciled with the economic power of corporations by price rationing out the poor from any possibility of direct representation. Choice is closed through the institution of democracy and an ideology which equates higher growth with development.

The Republic of Reasons

Discourse within a constitutional framework alone can be the foundation for a possible solidarity in societies which are vibrant with real diversities and differences.

Housing for All by 2022

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, a central government scheme of subsidies for low-income housing, is singularly unimaginative and poorly thought-through. It is unlikely to deliver worthwhile results. The promised funds could be far more effectively deployed if used differently. This article examines the scheme's deficiencies and suggests options that should be explored. It also considers the Model Tenancy Act of April 2015 and the National Urban Rental Housing Policy (Draft) released in October 2015. The article argues that these policy statements are unlikely to lead anywhere, at least in regard to increasing the supply of rental housing to low-income groups.

Looking Back at the South Commission

A member of the erstwhile South Commission (1987-90) describes its genesis and journey while critically examining, in retrospect, not only its composition and its political economy framework but also the very notion of the South as a political economy configuration. It is contended that the concept of South does not exist today in the sense as it did in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s.

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