ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Inequality, Gender, and Socio-religious Groups

Being of the female gender could mean a little less inequality in the Indian labour market now than belonging to a marginalised socio-religious group, observes this paper. It shows that more women are now in high-paid jobs, while groups such as Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Muslims are still engaged in menial low-paid jobs. Over the years, there has been a decline in gender inequality and a rise in socio-religious inequality. A decomposition analysis reveals that education and type of employment contribute most to income inequality.

Revisiting Bank Mergers

The central government’s policy favouring bank mergers assumes enhanced efficiency of the merged banks through economies of scale and scope. An econometric analysis of India’s scheduled commercial banks, however, establishes that in the Indian banking sector, mergers may actually be detrimental to efficiency. This paper argues that public sector banks were set up to serve the welfare needs of the underprivileged and to promote financial inclusion, not to make profits. In the case of bank mergers, economies of scale and scope are being used to veil the promotion of economies of exclusion.

View from the Other Side

A different kind of understanding took shape among certain sections of the Bengali elite, that is, the professional middle- and upper-classes, which gave a primacy to the norms of society and the needs of the locals over the commercial interests of the colonial state. The local ideas tried to jostle for space with the dominant colonial ideas of the city and manifested in various forms. Also, unlike the colonial ideas, the local ideas about the city space were not identical and unitary, but tended to vary from person to person. However, in all these, the interests of the society were also kept in mind. Some of these writings provided a sharp critique to the colonial administration and its views about the city, be it on the sanitary measures adopted by the administration or the mindless commercialisation in the city. The larger focus of the local views was to provide a critique of the colonial administration, as well as the critique of the social decay brought by it.

Estimating Unaccounted Income in India

An alternative methodology to measure the scale of unaccounted income in India (shadow economy) using transport as the universal input is developed. Based on input –output tables and National Accounts Statistics, annual demand for road freight transport is estimated. Correspondingly, annual supply of road freight transport is obtained based on availability of diesel for road freight transport, stock of goods carriages, average freight transport capacity per vehicle, average annual distance travel, and average fuel efficiency per vehicle. The mismatch of supply and demand is broadly considered the unaccounted for portion of the gross domestic product. The methodology is tested for two successive input–output tables and three consecutive financial years. Since the analysis is based on assumptions, a comparative static analysis is carried out to check the sensitivity of estimates to changes in the assumptions. 

Question of Land, Livelihood and Development

The setting up of the Tribal Resettlement and Development Mission was a landmark event in the annals of A divasi land struggles in Kerala. Although the mission has been successful in providing land to a large number of Adivasi families, it has failed to cater to all the land-related needs of these families, ranging from livelihood to preservation of cultural identity. A field study exposes such issues and advocates the need for a broader interpretation of “land” in policymaking.

Black Money and Politics in India

The issue of black money in politics in India is multifaceted. A number of questions about its role in politics, how it is generated, its volume, its ill effects, and how it can be eliminated do not have answers that are always specific or clear-cut, and are often interlinked. A few of the answers can at best be partial or anecdotal and circumstantial. This article is an attempt to clarify some of these issues.

Is the ‘Pink Tide’ Ebbing?

Starting from Hugo Chávez’s electoral victory in 1998 to the resounding victory of the Bolivian indigenous leader Evo Morales in 2006, a sequence of leftist governments with explicitly anti-neo-liberal programmes rose to power in various regions of Latin America. But a little more than a decade later, there are indications that the “pink tide” is beginning to ebb. In Argentina, the centre-right is in power, ending 12 years of left rule. Even in Venezuela and Brazil, recent trends point towards an unmistakable resurgence of right-wing forces. How does one interpret these changes? Does the current crisis mark the end of the Latin American left? While seeking to answer some of these questions, an understanding of the achievements and limitations of the “left turn” in Latin American politics is presented.

Mothers-in-Law and Son Preference in India

Mothers-in-law are often portrayed as the most powerful entity in the household in Indian popular culture and media. In most literature too, the influence of Indian mothers-in-law is often taken for granted. However, most of the empirical evidence relies on qualitative data or on small samples. Looking at stated son preference and using the third National Family and Health Survey data set, the authors show that mothers-in-law do indeed have an influence on their daughters-in-law. Given the stronger son preference among mothers-in-law, this contributes to the high imbalance in the male to female sex ratio observed among children in India.

Indebtedness among Farmers and Agricultural Labourers in Rural Punjab

The paper examines various hitherto unexplored aspects of indebtedness among farmers and agricultural labour households in rural Punjab. It analyses the extent and distribution of indebtedness among farmers and agricultural labourers, their sources of debt and the per household debt incurred for various purposes. The paper also compares and contrasts variations in the rate of interest paid by different categories of farmers and agricultural labourers.

Quality of Rural Education at Elementary Level

A study of rural schools in Mansa district of Punjab reveals the dismal quality of education and academic performances at both government and private unrecognised schools. Though private schools are mushrooming and preferred by the poor, there is no evidence that they provide better school infrastructure or quality of education. Quality of education is especially crucial in rural areas where the majority of children are constrained by parental illiteracy, poverty and poor facilities. The neglect of government and government-aided schools is further marginalising the marginalised.

Determinants of Child Malnutrition in Tribal Areas of Madhya Pradesh

A research study conducted in three tribal districts— Alirajpur, Barwani and Khandwa—of Madhya Pradesh, based on a sample of 294 women with their last child in the age-group of six months–five years analyses the status and determinants of malnutrition and child death.

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