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Auto SMEs in Bangalore: Does Innovation Promote Employment and Labour Productivity?

The paper examines the influence of technological innovations on employment and labour productivity growth of a sample of 72 small and medium enterprises in the auto component sector of Bangalore. Innovative SMEs, engaged in both product and process innovations, could achieve a considerable increase in their sales and employment during 2001-02 to 2005-06. But in the midst of high turnover rates of employees, comprising largely skilled and unskilled workers with a marginal presence of technical employees, the incremental nature of innovations and a significant employment growth, innovation did not have a positive impact on labour productivity growth. Upgrading the quality of innovations, adopting strategies to retain the trained technical/skilled labour and undergoing training in "innovation management" to optimally employ factor inputs are suggested to enable SMEs reap "productive benefits" from their innovations.

How Might India's Public Health Systems Be Strengthened? Lessons from Tamil Nadu

The central government's policies have inadvertently de-emphasised environmental health and other preventive public health services in India since the 1950s. Diseases resulting from insanitary conditions impose high costs even among the more affluent, and rapid urbanisation increases the potential for disease spread. We analyse the central government's policies and then describe Tamil Nadu's public health system, which offers basic principles for strengthening public health within the administrative and fiscal resources available to most states. We suggest establishing a public health focal point in the health ministry, and revitalising the states' public health managerial and grassroots cadres. There needs to be phased progress in four areas: (1) enactment of public health acts to provide the basic legislative underpinning for public health action; (2) establishment of separate public health directorates with their own budgets and staff; (3) revitalisation of public health cadre; and (4) health department engagement in ensuring municipal public health.

Tribal Politics in the Assam: 1933-1947

The term "Plains Tribal" was first used by the colonial rulers in Assam to lump together a diverse set of people defined in semi-geographical and semi-sociological terms. It was taken up and crafted into an identity in the competitive politics of late colonial Assam by representatives of tribal groups who successfully welded this diverse set into a unified political and social category. This article traces the emergence of the "Plains Tribal" in the political map of Assam and shows how it came to be defined partly in opposition to other competing social categories and partly in terms of internal markers of identity.

Prices of New Pharmaceuticals in India: A Cross Section Study

There is an ongoing debate about the rationality of price controls in a regime where drugs can be manufactured through alternative processes as was the case in India before 2005. In a regime of only process patents, competition was expected to bring prices down. However, even when there was an absence of intermolecular competition, firms have been involved in intramolecular competition to charge varying levels of prices for the same drug. This study examines the role of inter- as well as intramolecular competition, apart from the extent of therapeutic advantage that a new molecule offers, in the determination of the level and rate of change in drug prices. In a regime where product patents are also recognised and the competitive pressures are going to be limited, the need for price monitoring and control would be greater for therapeutically superior drugs. Also drugs which are predominant in their class for specific indication need to be monitored.

Citizenship in India: Some Preliminary Results of a National Survey

Citizenship is a valued resource whose wide dispersal across the population enhances the resilience of a political system. While legal entitlement to citizenship under the laws of the land is a necessary condition, by itself it does not suffice for the individual to feel the full power and potential of citizenship. Other complementary factors such as rights, capacity, sentiments, and moral obligations enhance the sense of citizenship. A sample survey of 8,000 citizens shows a widely dispersed sense of citizenship that largely overcomes the differences resulting from social class, ethnicity, religion, gender and generation. However, the underlying variance, particularly at the level of citizenship across India's regions, reveals the political limits of the Indian model and the scope for policies at extending citizenship to sections of the population that are outside its reach.

The BPL Census and a Possible Alternative

This paper explores the possibility of a simple method for the identification of households eligible for social assistance. In exploring alternative approaches for identifying a "social assistance base", of which the bpl list can be seen as a particular case, this note explores possible uses of simple exclusion and inclusion criteria. It first considers the possibility of a quasi-universal approach, whereby all households are eligible unless they meet pre-specified exclusion criteria. It then looks at various inclusion criteria for drawing up a sab list. Finally, it explores four simple ways of combining exclusion and inclusion criteria to construct a sab list. The intention here is to point to possible directions of further enquiry, including experimental applications of the suggested method, rather than to present definite recommendations. Whether any convincing method of selecting sab households actually exists is an open question. Some of the findings here can be read as a reinforcement of the case for a universal approach. Indeed, the search for a "safe" way of excluding privileged households, without significant risk of exclusion for poor households, remains somewhat elusive.

Rethinking Agricultural Production Collectivities

In the face of persistent rural poverty, an incomplete agrarian transition, the predominance of small and marginal farms and a growing feminisation of agriculture, this paper argues for a new institutional approach to poverty reduction, agricultural revival and social empowerment. It makes a strong case for a group approach to agricultural investment and production by promoting collectivities of the poor which, it argues, would be much more effective on all these counts than the traditional individual-oriented approaches. The collectivities proposed here, however, are small-sized, voluntary, socio-economically homogeneous and participatory in decision-making, in keeping with the principles emphasised in a human rights approach to development. The paper describes a range of successful cases of agricultural production collectivities from the transition economies and south Asia. It also reflects on the contexts in which they may be expected to succeed, and how these efforts could be replicated for wider geographic coverage and impact.

Inclusive Growth in Neoliberal India: A Facade?

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's commitment to inclusiveness is a facade that attracts the aam admi, but obscures the ugly reality - India is on track to become another oligarchy like post-Soviet Russia. The super-rich now have an important voice in the formulation of government policies. The government has failed to fulfil the common minimum programme agenda on inclusiveness. Its claim to have raised substantially the aggregate tax-gross domestic product ratio does not stand the test of scrutiny. The credit needs of small borrowers from agriculture and small-scale industry remain unfulfilled. The move to extend social audit to plug the loopholes in the rural employment guarantee programme has been scuttled, while measures for social security for the unorganised workforce financed by the budget promise to open up new markets for businesses in insurance and healthcare.

The Historical Context of Andhra and Telangana, 1949-56

This paper sets out the historical context that led to the formation of Andhra Pradesh through a merger of Andhra state with the Telangana region of Hyderabad State. It may be that some reasonably dispassionate history based on recorded texts and academic research will help understand the reasons for past policy decisions that affect current political sentiment in Andhra Pradesh. In many ways the sentiments of the people of Telangana are no different than those of the former Andhra state who fought so long and hard to separate their region from the Tamil-dominated Madras Province. Yet the same political elite which fought for an Andhra state and, then for Andhra Pradesh, seemed not to have learnt that it is not fair or sensible to "do unto others what you do not wish done unto you". It may be too late to learn that lesson now.

Moral Economy and the Indigo Movement

During 1859-61, a large portion of colonial Bengal became a site of contest between the indigo peasants and English planters, with the Bengali bhadralok and British officialdom as important stakeholders. On the face of it, the Indigo movement was against the oppressive and unremunerative system of indigo cultivation. It was perceived by the ryot as a threat to his security of subsistence, but there was much more to it than that. It was an affront to the use of customary rights held by the peasant and was a constriction or denial of choice where earlier there was complete freedom to choose the crop for cultivation. For an adequate understanding of the Indigo movement and perhaps for the historiography of the Indian peasant movements in general, both political and moral economy approaches need to be taken into consideration.

Safety First? Kaiga and Other Nuclear Stories

The November 2009 exposure of employees at the Kaiga nuclear power plant to tritiated water is not the first instance of high radiation exposures to workers. Over the years, many nuclear reactors and other facilities associated with the nuclear fuel cycle operated by the Department of Atomic Energy have had accidents of varying severity. Many of these are a result of repeated inattention to good safety practices, often due to lapses by management. Therefore, the fact that catastrophic radioactive releases have not occurred is not by itself a source of comfort. To understand whether the dae's facilities are safe, it is therefore necessary to take a closer look at their operations. The description and discussion in this paper of some accidents and organisational practices offer a glimpse of the lack of priority given to nuclear safety by the dae. The evidence presented here suggests that the organisation does not yet have the capacity to safely manage India's nuclear facilities.

Shining for the Poor Too?

The authors revisit the findings of their past research on poverty and growth in India in the light of the 14 rounds of the National Sample Survey now available for the period since economic reforms began in 1991. They find that the rate of poverty reduction has increased in the post-reform period, compared to the previous 30-year period, although it is still too early to say if this marks a new trend. In contrast to the pre-reform period, the post-reform process of urban economic growth appears to have brought significant gains to the rural poor as well as to the urban poor.

Popular Culture and Ideology: The Phenomenon of Gaddar

The cultural sphere has its own advantage over politics in terms of pulling people into its fold. Through his songs and cultural performances, Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as "Gaddar", the Telugu poet singer, maintains the historical continuity of people's lives and their struggles. He brings politics into everyday life situations and translates terms like "working class", "new democracy", "revolution", "classless society", "bourgeoisies state", "capitalist class", etc, into concrete life experiences of people. He explains the political economy of Marx or Mao's philosophy in simple songs or words without borrowing any textual language of Marxism. This paper is an attempt to explore the emergence of the Gaddar phenomenon and its significance by focusing on the performance of people's culture.

Trade Unions and Business Firms: Unorganised Manufacturing in West Bengal

Earlier studies held the militant trade unionism of the 1970s and the early 1980s responsible for the increasing importance of unorganised manufacturing activities in West Bengal. This paper argues instead that this importance of unorganised manufacturing was not so much the result of weakening trade unionism and a vulnerable workforce, but the outcome of an implicit understanding between the trade unions and the management. This understanding allowed wage growth to continue in the absence of productivity growth, alongside the gradual reduction of permanent workers in favour of contract workers, and the farming out of production to the unorganised sector by firms.

AChakravarty-D'Ambrosio View of Multidimensional Deprivation: Some Estimates for India

In assessing multidimensional deprivation, often the only information available to the analyst is the range of deprivation, that is, the number of dimensions in which each individual is deprived. The present paper considers a simple procedure for sensitising both the identification and the aggregation problems to the range of deprivation. It provides an exposition of a class of headcount indices which were earlier investigated as a class of indices of social exclusion by Chakravarty and D'Ambrosio. Additionally, the paper presents a graphical device called the 'D'-curve which serves as a representation of 'binary-valued' multidimensional deprivation, and a measure 'M' based on this curve. Finally, the paper offers estimates of multidimensional deprivation in the Indian context, employing data from the 1991-92 and 2005-06 rounds of the National Family Health Surveys.

Understanding the Grameen Miracle: Information and Organisational Innovation

A rigorous analysis of the institutional structures underlying Grameen I yields some interesting economic insights. The essential idea is that an appropriate institutional design can help in tapping into the informational pool available at the local level among the borrowers themselves and something that may not be accessible to outsiders. We argue that such simple and unconventional contracts can harness market efficiency, even though formal and conventional contracts may fail to do so. This paper tries to demonstrate how exactly innovative features like joint liability lending, sequential lending, contingent renewal, etc, can serve the purpose.

Civil Society in the East, and the Prospects of Political Society

The western idea of civil society and Partha Chatterjee's concept of political society need to be critiqued and in doing so a case has to be made for rethinking civil society to understand the non-west. Historically, Indian society has enjoyed considerable autonomy of the state, which itself shows the possibility of an Indian imaginary of civil society. The postcolonial experience of a liberal constitution, rights and democracy has made possible the emergence of a modern, but non-bourgeois civil society within our castes and communities. Thus, if political theory goes beyond describing the present to imagining and justifying more radical futures, the idea of political society seems to come in the way.

Sardar Sarovar Project: The War of Attrition

The Sardar Sarovar Dam reached a height of 121.92 m in 2006 and at this height the dam has enough water to generate most of the promised benefits - irrigation, drinking water, and electricity. However, currently only 30% of the targeted villages receive regular water supplies, less than 20% of the canal network has been constructed and power generation remains well below the generation capacity reached. Even as the dam construction nears completion, rehabilitation of several thousand families is poor or incomplete. This, for a project that has had clearly laid out legal mandates to alleviate human and environmental costs, and has been under continuous public scrutiny and Supreme Court monitoring. The performance of this project does not seem very different from other Indian major irrigation and power projects: while main civil works somehow get completed, infrastructure and efforts necessary to realise benefits of the projects remain incomplete. The experience of people displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Project is fairly consistent with the experiences of millions displaced by other projects across the country, wherein the State uses the colonial Land Acquisition Act to dispossess people from their homes, lands and livelihoods, and consistently refuses to create just resettlement and rehabilitation entitlements and accountability frameworks to enable restoration of their livelihoods and their dignity. Instead, it promotes cash compensation (often aggressively and violently) to make people give up their homes, villages, land and other natural resources.

From Informal 'Co-adventurers' to Formal Workers? ILILO's Work in Fishing Convention, 2007

After a gap of 40 years the International Labour Organisation has adopted a new labour instrument - Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No 188) - for fishers on board fishing vessels through three discussions at the International Labour Conference between 2004 and 2007. Contrary to the earlier practice of a compartmentalised approach to fishing labour standards, a consolidated approach has been achieved by ilo in adopting this convention. In a single legal instrument it provides flexible and prescriptive standards with respect to minimum requirements for fishing, conditions of service, accommodation and food, occupational safety and health and social security. The scope of the convention, also for the first time, includes all types of vessel-based fishing, both large and small. However, it does not deal with non-vessel based fishing activities. This article provides a backdrop to the employment and labour dimensions, and to earlier ilo labour standards of relevance to fishing. It discusses the process which led to the adoption of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 and its salient aspects. Being an important instrument in establishing principles and criteria and in proposing a mechanism to improve labour conditions related to fishing, the article argues that the ilo member-states, in consultation with representative organisations of fishing vessel owners and fishers, should initiate a process to ratify the convention, develop national legislation to implement, and to apply its provisions, as appropriate, to benefit all fishers.

Trends in Urban Poverty under Economic Reforms: 1993-94 to 2004-05

Urban poverty, when directly measured by counting the persons unable to access the official nutrition norm of 2,100 calories through their total monthly spending on all goods and services, declined between 1983 and 1993-94, but rose substantially between 1993-94 and 2004-05 while poverty depth has increased. This is particularly evident in the states with the conurbations of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, while states with smaller urban centres have fared better. This paper presents the estimates for urban areas at the all-India level and the individual states. The official method has been underestimating actually existing urban poverty in the same manner that rural poverty has been underestimated. The energy intake accessible at the all-India official urban poverty line has fallen to 1,795, but in many states it is below 1,450 calories at the state-specific official poverty lines. The data also record a small decline in average protein intake and a small rise in fat intake per capita over the same period.

Beyond Caste Voting: Modasa, Gujarat Revisited

The intensity and nature of caste sentiments have changed in the last four decades, and they have come to have a limited influence in voting behaviour. In the course of the political process, agglomerations of different jatis, sometimes even of unequal social status, have evolved a common political identity. But perceptions of identity, common interests and political preferences among the members are not monolithic or static. In Modasa, Gujarat, primordial sentiments of oneness and honour have transformed into "secular" economic interests. In the entrenched Hindutva setting, nourished by Narendra Modi, vikas (development) and governance were the central issues that influenced voters in the 2007 assembly elections.

Rural Drinking Water Reforms in Maharashtra: The Role of Neoliberalism

Even as the recent financial crisis has led to a questioning of the ideological regimes that have been dominant since the 1990s in India, the processes that have already been set in motion - for instance, as a result of reforms in the water sector - are yet to be completely understood. This paper attempts to draw on the critical literature to understand the role and meaning of neoliberalism, particularly in the context of the rural drinking water reforms in Maharashtra. While the influence of neoliberalism cannot be understood as something that determines the course of the reforms in an absolute sense, its varied and often insidious channels of operation imply that its influence cannot be taken lightly either. This, in turn, has implications for the kind of political position that one takes on the reforms as well as for future research directions.

Left in the Lurch: The Demise of the World's Longest Elected Regime?

Losses by the long ruling Left Front in a series of local and national elections since 2008 cannot be explained without an understanding of the nature of "party-society" in rural West Bengal. The preponderance of the party over the social space, the transformation of the party from a hegemonic force into a violative one and ultimately the ruptures in the "party-society" have all gone on to loosen the dominance of the Left Front in West Bengal. As marginalised civil society reasserts itself and as the opposition coalesces around the resentment engendered against the ruling coalition, a new kind of oppositional politics is emerging in West Bengal, possibly on identitarian lines.

An Assessment of Growth Forecasts for India

The quality of growth forecasts for India over the past dozen years is assessed using the publication Asia-Pacific Consensus Forecasts, which provides a rich data set of forecasts made by leading Indian think tanks, academic institutions and corporations as well as multinational firms. Errors made in forecasting Indian growth a year ahead are similar in magnitude to those made for industrialised countries, but current-year forecasts errors are larger. This may reflect more the greater scale of variation in Indian growth as well as challenges posed by the large revisions in the official real gross domestic product data. The speed with which forecasters of India's growth absorb new information compares favourably with performance in industrialised countries: domestic news is absorbed into forecasts within four months and news from other countries such as the United States and China within six to seven months. There is great similarity between the Asia-Pacific Consensus Forecasts and International Monetary Fund forecasts for India.

A Messy Confrontation of a Crisis in Agricultural Science

The 2008 food crisis sets the stage for this paper, which explores the processes involved in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development. The insights drawn are situated in an historical recognition of the interface between agricultural crises and agricultural knowledge. The paper offers a window on both ongoing debates in agricultural science and the experiences of other recent international assessments of energy, the environment, and climate change. It is concerned with analysing how the iaastd was designed and written, for what it can tell us about the conclusions drawn and controversies raised. The democratic practices underpinning the set of iaastd reports and the integrated approach to agricultural knowledge, science, and technology, commodity production, and environmental and social goals, are central for understanding contemporary debates about agricultural knowledge.

In Search of Ashe

It has been almost a century since Robert William D'Escourt Ashe, acting collector of Tirunelveli, Madras Presidency, was killed by R Vanchi Aiyar, an ex-forest guard on 17 June 1911. In 1908 Ashe was stationed in Tuticorin where the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company led by V O Chidambaram Pillai was giving its British rival a run for its money. Workers, merchants and the middle class enthusiastically supported the swadeshis. Ashe was seen as playing a leading part in the government's repression of the swadeshi company and the uprising that followed made national headlines. Vanchi Aiyar who killed himself after shooting Ashe is a patriotic martyr in Tamil Nadu and many radical characters in Tamil fiction and cinema have been named after him.

Institutional Dysfunction and Challenges in Flood Control: A Case Study of the Kosi Flood 2008

The Kosi flood disaster of 2008 in Bihar and also in Nepal highlights two key issues relating to flood control. The first is the failure of the structural approach to flood control on the Kosi and the second is institutional dysfunction with respect to trans-boundary flood management. This article discusses the key reasons for the failure of flood management in the Kosi, through stakeholder interviews and observations in the aftermath of the flood. The institutional context comprises several challenges such as trans-boundary politics between Nepal and India, the internal politics of Nepal, intra-state politics in India, the inherent weaknesses of the Kosi treaty, structural flood control strategy and the lack of connection between governmental decision-making bodies, implementation agencies and civil society.

Resolution of Weak Banks: The Indian Experience

This paper analyses the theoretical framework for bank resolution, general methods of br and relevant crosscountry experience. The primary objective, however, is to estimate the cost of br in India based on three recent compulsory mergers and two voluntary mergers. Evidence suggests that barring one compulsory merger, all other mergers yielded value. Compulsory mergers were found to be costlier than voluntary mergers, though the overall cost of the three compulsory merger cases was, by and large, neutral.

A Scrutiny of the MP-LALADS in India: Who Is It For?

This paper attempts to analyse the pattern and determinants of fund utilisation under the Members of Parliament-Local Area Development Scheme by the Lok Sabha mps. It indicates that there are political business cycles in spending by mps. Moreover, it shows that the degree of competition faced by an mp in the last election, his/her age, and political affiliation significantly affect fund utilisation. It also concludes that a higher level of awareness of general citizens and better law and order conditions in states restrict the mps from misusing funds to gain political mileage.

Towards New Poverty Lines for India

This paper presents the result of an exercise prepared for the Planning Commission's Expert Group to Review the Methodology for Estimation of Poverty to draw up new poverty lines and, correspondingly, new poverty estimates based on the National Sample Survey consumption data. The exercise begins by accepting the official all-India urban poverty estimate of 25.7% for 2004-05, then derives the all-India urban poverty line that corresponds to this head count ratio by using the multiple rather than uniform reference period distribution from the nss data. It then recalculates, based on this modified poverty line, new state-wise urban and rural poverty lines that reflect spatial variations in the cost of living in 2004-05. The resulting estimates of the incidence of rural poverty show a head count ratio of 41.8% for 2004-05 as against the official estimate of 28.3%. The estimates reveal much larger rural-urban differences but less concentration of either rural or urban poverty in a few states. Although the new poverty lines preserve the official estimate of all-India urban poverty in 2004-05, there are significant changes at the state level.

Goods and Services Tax in India:An Assessment of the Base

One of the most contentious issues in the discussions surrounding goods and services tax is the likely and feasible rates at which the new regime can be implemented. There have been a number of attempts at estimating the size of the tax base and the corresponding revenue neutral rate. The latest in the series is the report of the Task Force on gst of the Thirteenth Finance Commission. Most of these exercises throw up incredibly low revenue neutral rates resulting in apprehensions about the validity of these estimates and the consequent revenue risk. This paper seeks to estimate the base for the proposed gst on conservative assumptions to arrive at a more realistic estimate of the revenue neutral rates across states.

Is There a Twist in the Tale? Reinterpreting Economic Ascendancies through a Geographic Lens

Should the study of economic ascendancies be restricted to a sequencing of the rise of nations over time? Such a chronological emphasis sidelines the geographies involved, and the spaces integral to a nation during its ascent. This paper argues that the geographic dimension is the key to understanding the "individual" and "collective" rise of nations; a differentiation that gets blurred when spaces are assumed constant. It seeks to establish how geographies create the very paradigms in which ascendancies have emerged. For this purpose, the paper creates an alternative framework that factors in the impact of global spatial rearrangements on ascendancies. The temporal-historical sequence of the rise of nations remains the same. But using geography as a tool, it tries to deduce the logic behind such a sequence. In other words, why did it happen the way it happened?

FDI Spillovers and Export Performance of Indian Manufacturing Firms after Liberalisation

The spillovers from foreign direct investment through multinational enterprises have attracted considerable attention in recent times. Existing empirical studies on fdi spillovers largely look at the productivity enhancing effects and horizontal spillovers of foreign firms in the same industry sector ignoring the possibility of spillovers through buyer-supplier or backward linkages. The present study examines the impact of horizontal as well as backward spillovers from the presence of foreign firms, on the export performance of domestic firms in the Indian manufacturing industry during 1993-2008. Increased competition in the domestic market post-liberalisation through sales of foreign firms is forcing domestic firms to look for export markets. The results indicate that domestic firms are not benefited in improving their export performance through any buyer-supplier linkages with the mnes.

Indian Labour Movement: Colonial Era to the Global Age

This paper attempts to situate labour movements of 20th century India - agrarian and industrial - in the context of the changing contours of the country. Many scholars have focused exclusively on industrial labour, ignoring the fact that the overwhelming proportion of labour in India is predominantly agrarian. The prospect of a unified labour movement is unlikely because of the many categories and internal differences within each. This, however, does not mean that labour mobilisation and struggles will cease. Sectoral mobilisation against deprivations specific to each group will continue, and along with equity, identity, security and dignity will be important for the labour movement(s).

Alien Construct and Tribal Contestation in Colonial Chhotanagpur: The Medium of Christianity

Taking the case of the Mundas and Uraons of Chhotanagpur, this essay looks at the encounter between the colonial state and the tribals of India. It first examines how the term "tribe" evolved to designate a set of negative traits, shaped under colonialism's response to escalating tribal resistance to their rule. It then studies Christianity in its dual role of providing support to colonial rule as well as succour to the "tribals". The paper argues that the colonial state merely transformed pre-colonial prejudices of brahmanical texts and gave them a social Darwinian twist. Unfortunately, the view of tribals as a lower evolutionary form of civilisation continues in nationalist India.

Value, Enchantment, and the Mentality of Democracy: Some Distant Perspectives from Gandhi

This essay integrates metaphysics, science, politics, political economy, and moral philosophy in order to explore the ways in which some Gandhian ideas, when given a genealogical reading in the dissenting thought of Early Modernity in Europe, might provide a deep basis for (a) diagnosing the religiosity of our own time, (b) making our secular ideals grounded in a more democratic mentality and culture towards such religiosity than modern liberalism permits, and (c) more generally, theorising a much more radical set of Enlightenment ideas than is found in the widespread and dominant liberal orthodoxies of the last 200-300 years of political theory.

Displacement in Singrauli Region: Entitlements and Rehabilitation

Loss of livelihood and displacement has become a recurring feature for the people of Singrauli, on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, due to the construction of dams and power and mining projects over the last five decades. These communities are again in the process of being displaced with private players setting up five super thermal power and three mining projects in the area. This time, however, the project-affected people seem to be in an advantageous position with project managements competing to offer them better rehabilitation and resettlement packages. This is a change brought about by the sustained struggle of oustees and civil society groups all over the country for a better deal.

Public Distribution of Rice in Andhra Pradesh: Efficiency and Reform Options

This paper explores various efficiency aspects of the Rs 2 a kg rice scheme, which has been relaunched in Andhra Pradesh. The statistical analysis suggests a substitution of demand between the open market and public distribution system purchase in response to changes in the open market price of rice in the state. An examination of the consumer benefit and subsidy burden involved in the rice scheme during 1983-2007 indicates that the gap between the two typically remained small. In the light of the central government's pds reform package, the paper suggests strategies for a cost-effective pds management in Andhra Pradesh.

Ghadar Movement and Its Anarchist Genealogy

The Ghadar movement virtually came out of nowhere and rapidly took over the consciousness of an entire Indian diaspora. What was so compelling in its message that it could uproot an entire project of migration and settlement and turn it upside down? Why would thousands of migrants, from different regions of India, but predominantly the Sikhs from the Punjab, suddenly become interested in waging an armed struggle against British colonialism? These questions can be better addressed if we switch the Ghadar movement from the cultural register of Indian nationalism to the revolutionary theories and practices of the Russian anarchists. What is also striking about the Ghadar Party was that unlike many contemporary militant organisations, it was actively hostile to religion.

New Policy Framework for Rural Drinking Water Supply: Swajaldhara Guidelines

This article discusses the central government policy for drinking water supply in rural areas. It examines its evolution from the 1970s onwards and focuses, in particular, on the reforms of the past decade, looking more specifically at the Swajaldhara Guidelines. These reforms are of capital importance because they seek to completely change the rural drinking water supply policy framework.

Social and Economic Inequalities: Contemporary Significance of Caste in India

Social and Economic Inequalities: Contemporary Significance of Caste in India Rajnish Kumar, Satendra Kumar, Arup Mitra In an attempt to revisit the caste issue in the Indian context this paper analyses a sample of households from the slums of four cities. Vulnerability conceptualised in terms of several socio-economic and demographic indicators exists among most of the social categories though the relative size of deprivation varies across social groups. In a binomial logit framework, based on the pooled sample, the extent of decline in the probability of experiencing well-being beyond a threshold limit is sharper for the socially backward classes than the others. However, in individual cities such a pattern is not so conspicuous implying that all the social categories are equally vulnerable. These findings have important policy implications, indicating that policy initiatives for deprived areas irrespective of caste factor are more important than the caste-based support measures.

Displacement and Relocation of Protected Areas: A Synthesis and Analysis of Case Studies

Relocation of human populations from the protected areas results in a host of socio-economic impacts. In India, in many cases, especially relating to tribal communities that have been relatively isolated from the outside world, the displacement is traumatic from both economic and cultural points of view. This paper provides brief case studies of displacement (past, ongoing, or proposed) from protected areas, number of villages/families displaced, the place where these villages/families were relocated to, governance of the relocation process, and the kind or nature of relocation (voluntary, induced or forced). It finds that not even a single study shows the ecological costs and benefits of relocation, comparing what happens at the old site to what happens at the rehabilitation site. This is a shocking gap, given that relocation is always justified from the point of view of reducing pressures and securing wildlife habitats.

Nehru and the Nagas: Minority Nationalism and the Post-Colonial State

The Naga problem presented the first major crisis of understanding and the understanding of crisis that confronted the post-colonial Indian state. Nehru believed that maximum autonomy could neutralise sovereignty aspirations but the Naga insistence on independence combined with armed opposition to the Indian state compelled him to send the army and hardened his stance. The non-resolution of the Naga issue made him introspect as to why he was unable to "win them over" and he admitted that he may have erred in his approach. Yet, despite his failure, Nehru's model of dealing with the Nagas has become the standard mode for dealing with minority nationalisms in south Asia.

Mainstreaming Time Use Surveys in National Statistical System in India

Time use surveys are emerging as an important data set at the global level. It is now widely recognised that these data help in understanding the different socio-economic problems faced by economies, and are important, particularly for developing countries, as some of their major concerns can be understood well only through time use statistics. The pilot time use survey, conducted by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in 1998-99, has paved the way for mainstreaming this survey in our national statistical system. This paper discusses why and how the process started in 1998-99 needs to be carried forward.

Exclusionary Urbanisation in Asia: A Macro Overview

Studies on internal migration are constrained by the fact that no international organisation systematically collects or tabulates even the basic demographic information on internal migration in a cross-sectionally and temporally comparable manner. Researchers have surprisingly concluded that internal migration within Asian countries is high and increasing over time. This alarmist perspective could be attributed to the projection of urban population made by the Population Division of the United Nations and other national and international agencies. This has guided governments of several countries, leading to measures to control inflow of people for security concerns or to reduce pressure on limited amenities in the destination regions. In this context, the paper examines the proposition that rural-urban migration has accelerated over the recent decades in the Asian countries, particularly during the 1990s, incorporating the history, social fabric and political environment in the explanatory framework.

Through the Magnifying Glass: Women's Work and Labour Force Participation in Urban Delhi

A study conducted in urban Delhi through a household survey between September and November 2006 estimates a greater female workforce participation rate than recorded in the National Sample Survey. It indicates undercounting and reflects the informality that surrounds women's work. This paper seeks to explore the nature of women's workforce participation and attempts to identify key factors influencing women's decision to work, the type of work they do, the constraints they face, and the perceived benefits and costs of engaging in paid work outside the home. In doing so, issues surrounding the methodology and underestimation of women's work within the urban context are also tackled. The study also suggests the need to understand the familial and household context within which labour market decisions are made. The role of family and kinship structures to determine women's work-life choices emerge as an important area for further study.

Playing with Numbers: Critical Evaluation of Quantitative Assessments of South Asian Regional Integration

Quantification of gains and losses of South Asian Regional Integration has become a visible contribution to the literature on South Asian trade policy. Two main empirical techniques - the gravity model and the computable general equilibrium model - have been used in the growing number of empirical studies, which have generated numbers related to very large welfare gains and a three or four times increase in intra-regional trade. In this paper, I critically evaluate such quantitative studies by comparing and contrasting the results systematically. The evaluation demonstrates that there is considerable uncertainty about the reliability of empirical assessments. The diversity of the results suggests that these studies are not capable of convincing policymakers and negotiators about the impact of preferential trading within the region. Therefore, repeating similar exercises is not worthwhile without improving the reliability of empirical analysis by addressing the limitations of previous studies.

Writing 'Realism' in Bombay Cinema: Tracing the Figure of the 'Urdu Writer' through Khoya Khoya Chand

In the years following independence, Bombay's popular films sought to create a unified, seamless nation where ruptures like Partition were made invisible and the hero figure remained Hindu and upper caste. Realism remained at the margins of this celluloid text since it did not fit this dominant discourse. Urdu writers, many of them Muslims, who were often part of the leftist progressive writers' movement, questioned these seamless narratives. This paper tries to reopen the history of realism in Bombay's popular cinema by exploring the role of the Urdu writer of this period by engaging with a recent film, Khoya Khoya Chand and its protagonist who appears to have been moulded on Saadat Hasan Manto.

Regional Sources of Growth Acceleration in India

Gujarat, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were the major contributors to the growth acceleration in India after 1991-92. Although regional disparity may increase temporarily, the causality test provides support to the hypothesis about spread effects. The regional growth targets assigned by the Eleventh Plan in India seem to rely on the spread effects of economic growth acceleration in the better-off states to achieve its 9% growth target and reduce regional disparity in the long run. To strengthen the spread effects, the domestic economy should be further integrated and interlinked with free flow of goods, services and factors of production.

Political Architecture of India's Technology System for Solar Energy

This essay makes a case for embedding the analysis of institutions for technological change in an understanding of the politics of markets. In turn, this needs knowledge of institutions and of their relations. The first stage that is needed to explain the retarded development of apparently appropriate solar energy technology in India is developed; and the implications for technology theory, analysis and policy are outlined. India's technology system was created precociously early to facilitate research and development. Technology is available. It is not obstructed by intellectual property rights so much as by the structure of domestic energy subsidies and support measures, the risk aversion of banks and the coordination failures of the system of market- and state-institutions for renewable energy technology. As a result, the state is seriously hampered from acting in the long-term public interest. In general, policy reform may require institutional destruction as well as creation, adaptation and persistence.