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Current Account Fallout of FDI in Post-Reform India

Examining trends of foreign exchange use of a consistent sample of foreign affiliated manufacturing firms over the post-reform years, it is found that these firms have a tendency to cause net foreign currency losses at the aggregate level, as well as at the firm level. A shift in preference for outflows through finished goods imports and intangible transaction payments is noted. The firm-level expense intensity has risen for different routes as well, while the export intensity did not vary significantly over the period. The propensity towards foreign exchange use was dissimilar in various ways for comparable local firms. Such patterns raise serious concerns regarding the impact of foreign direct investment on current account of India's balance of payment in direct and possibly shielded ways.

How a Participatory Process Can Matter in Planning the City

While Indian cities experience newer challenges, and city visions are increasingly grandiose, planning continues to be straitjacketed. Looking specifically at the process so far in the creation of Mumbai's third Development Plan, the article traces people's collectivisation around the DP, as well as the nuances and outcomes of this participation. While highlighting larger challenges in planning for the city, it has emphasised the importance of local government autonomy and its responsibility to respond to local needs.

Marginality and Historiography

Keeping Kashmir's history at the centre of debate, this article makes a brief survey of some of the popular history textbooks of modern India. Arguing that modern Indian historiography has been replete with various "silences" when it comes to writing Kashmir history, it tries to look for the reasons for such "silences." From distortions/silencing of facts to management of archives and sources of history writings, it then shows the way in which history writing is controlled in modern India. Looking for the reasons of such distortion/silences, the article argues that Indian historiography of the 19th and 20th centuries has remained confined to the twin pillars of Indian nationalism/national movement and anti-colonial struggle, and, thus, all other struggles that remain outside this dual framework are, more often than not, ignored. The article further states that the problem of history writing increases manifold when one is thinking and talking of writing history of various conflicts zones, like Kashmir, where nationalism slips into jingoism and history becomes the most important site for playing "national politics."

Between Daughter Deficit and Development Deficit

Drawing on research in Namakkal District in Tamil Nadu on the Kongu Vellala Gounder community, which has a history of daughter elimination, it can be seen that the effects of daughter deficit unfold, not in isolation, but amid changing economic processes, development gains made by women, and shortcomings among men in marriage. These are evident in women's bargaining position in negotiating marriage. Whether daughter deficit increases violence against women or enhances their value depends on its interaction with development processes, gender inequality, and successful challenges to traditional gender norms.

Rural Credit Cooperatives in Maharashtra

Examining the different phases of growth and distribution of cooperative credit in Maharashtra between the 1960s and 2000s, this paper tries to understand the multiple dimensions of the phenomenon in the state—across regions, crops, ownership and size classes of land, and social groups. Although Maharashtra has been leading in the expansion of credit cooperatives, this has been marked by a distinct bias in favour of Western Maharashtra where cash crops, particularly sugar cane are grown. The process has largely eluded Eastern and Central Maharashtra, where cotton and other crops are grown.

Catastrophic Failure of Public Trust in Mining

Minerals are a commons, held by state governments in public trust for the people, especially for future generations. With mining, states dispose of minerals for money, and have so far lost more than half their value. As this study shows, over the last eight years of iron ore mining in Goa, each family of four in the state has lost the equivalent of Rs 13.51 lakh, while the average Goan private household's assets are estimated to be Rs 10.44 lakh. This is catastrophic.

Non-linear Relationship between Inflation and Growth in Developing Countries

While the orthodox consensus is that there is no trade-off between inflation and output in the long run, there is no unanimity on the short-run effect of inflation on economic growth. We attempt to estimate the non-linear relationship between inflation and economic growth for 54 developing countries over the 1971-2010 period. Our results suggest a positive association between inflation and gross domestic product growth up to a rough inflation threshold; we did this separately for Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The threshold rate of inflation is found to be 23.5% for Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 11% for Asia, and 23.6% for Sub-Saharan Africa. These results have important policy implications for developing countries, which often struggle to find the right balance between low inflation and high economic growth.

Mergers and Acquisitions of Banks in Post-Reform India

A major perspective of the Reserve Bank of India's banking policy is to encourage competition, consolidate and restructure the system for financial stability. Mergers and acquisitions have emerged as one of the common methods of consolidation, restructuring and strengthening of banks. There are several theoretical justifications to analyse the M&A activities, like change in management, change in control, substantial acquisition, consolidation of the firms, merger or buyout of subsidiaries for size and efficiency, etc. The objective here is to examine the performance of banks after mergers. The hypothesis that there is no significant improvement after mergers is accepted in majority of cases--there are a few exceptions though. Therefore, the strategy of M&A to consolidate banks for purposes of efficiency seems flawed. Future banking policy must take note of this empirical reality and long-drawn experience of the past two decades.

Science and Theories of Caste Origins

This article delineates three phases of scientific enquiry into caste origins and identifies a set of social and political agendas which were, and continue to be, affected by the results of those enquiries. It examines debates between colonial administrators which led to a "racial theory" of caste origins at the turn of the 19th century; various refutations of and modifications to the racial theory, largely by Indian scholars, in the 20th century; and contemporary genetic studies. It concludes that scientific studies of caste origins should be subject to particularly careful scrutiny in light of the social and political context in which their results are deployed.

Opportunities and Challenges of Regulatory Convergence in India's Financial Sector

Various opportunities accompany the merger of the Securities Exchange Board of India with the Forward Markets Commission, as announced in the 2015-16 union budget. At the same time, important regulatory and developmental challenges have to be overcome for instilling efficiency in the market, along with promoting investor protection. Whether the merger is the beginning of financial market regulatory convergence or merely a "one-off" incident can only be known with developments over time. Similar types of opportunities and challenges may arise in generally adopting regulatory convergence in India.

Indian Urbanism and the Terrain of the Law

In the controversies around, and legal and political challenges to, the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor being constructed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises, one can see signs of a new historical stage and urban form. Court judgments between 1997 and 2006 relating to land acquisition for infrastructure projects such as NICE tell us about the new urban form, which the courts feel obliged to bring into being, displaying a proselytising zeal in promoting corridor urbanism. The corridor project has seized hold of the planning, bureaucratic, and judicial imagination in ways that signal a consensus about the imperatives of rapid capitalist growth, uncontaminated by any early postcolonial notions of developmentalist growth.

Non-Food Expenditures and Consumption Inequality in India

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about economic inequality in India during the post-reform period. It analyses consumption inequality through the hitherto neglected lens of non-food expenditure. Using household level consumption expenditure data from the quinquennial "thick" rounds of the National Sample Survey, the paper shows that inequality within food and non-food groups has declined, even as overall expenditure inequality has increased over time. The analysis suggests that the rise in overall expenditure inequality is due to the increased weight in the household budget of non-food spending, which tends to be more unequal than food spending. The paper also shows that inequality is very different across broad non-food items. Durables, education, healthcare, and consumer services show the most rapid increases in real expenditure, and also display the highest levels of inequality. Finally, the paper offers some possible mechanisms for this phenomenon and suggests policy measures to deal with this form of inequality.

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