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Corporate Insolvency Resolution in India

This paper analyses the corporate insolvency resolution procedures of India, the United Kingdom and Singapore within a common framework of well-specified principles. India, at present, lacks a single, comprehensive law that addresses all aspects of insolvency of a firm. It has multiple laws, regulations and adjudication fora, each of which have created opportunities for debtor firms to exploit the arbitrage between these to frustrate recovery efforts of creditors. This adversely affects the resolution process, the time to recovery and the value recovered. The importance of a comprehensive, well-functioning insolvency resolution framework has been documented in the literature. In India, the Bankruptcy Law Reforms Committee was constituted in 2014 with the objective of proposing a comprehensive framework for resolving the insolvency of firms and individuals. This paper undertakes a comparison of the corporate insolvency resolution framework in the UK, Singapore and India, with the underlying motivation to highlight the similarities and differences across the laws, procedures and institutional context of the three countries.

Reorganisation of Desire

Discussions about violence and safety dominate public discourse about women in 21st century India. In urban spaces, this discourse appears to have specific characteristics--such as the focus on young women's occupation of globalised workplaces, their clothing, and their movements in the city. Drawing on recent research conducted in Bengaluru, this paper argues that the links between women and social transformation are being obscured by the intensified concern with safety, and suggests that redescribing women's experience may throw up a new set of issues with which feminist scholarship might productively engage.

Reflections on B P Adarkar's 'Years of High Theory' (1934-1941)

B P Adarkar's fundamental interwar contributions to the foundations of monetary theory and the theory of monetary policy, largely from the perspective of the evolution of Keynes's thoughts and insights into a monetary theory of production, are studied here sympathetically. A case is made that the issues at the frontiers of monetary macroeconomics--particularly, the nihilistic stance on monetary policy--can be criticised for illogical and empirically meaningless propositions, reflecting Adarkar's acute analysis during what this paper calls his "Years of High Theory" (1934-1941). Some conclusions are suggested on a revival of a Monetary Macroeconomic alternative to the varieties of orthodoxies now prevalent, based on Wicksell, Keynes--and Sraffa.

Thinking Clearly about Suicide in India — I

The patterns of suicide in India are quite different to those observed in industrialised societies. Those differences must lead us to question many generalisations which almost approach sociological "law" such as the protection against suicide afforded by marriage. This paper contrasts media coverage of farmer suicides in India with the near total neglect of the suicides of housewives, though there are more than three housewife suicides for every one of a farmer.

The Real Insights of Game Theory

Game theory is a source of powerful insights into the nature of situations where people's decisions are interdependent. Among these insights, however, is the fact that in such situations it is often difficult to decide what to do on the basis of strategic reasoning alone. The limitations of strategic reasoning enhance the value of other modes of thought. They also reinforce the case for thinking beyond self-interest in social life.

'Witch-hunting' in India?

This paper discusses the findings of a socio-legal study on witch-hunting conducted by the Partners for Law in Development in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. It highlights the results of the study in order to offer a critical perspective on the increasing reliance on special laws to address the problem of witch-hunting. The socio-legal evidence from the states which already have such special laws on witch-hunting shows their inefficacy in dealing with witch-hunting and related forms of violence. Criminalisation of witch-hunting through special laws is an inadequate response to the problem which has much in common with other forms of violence. There is a need to focus on accountability and reform of the agencies that activate the criminal justice system and to plug the vacuum in relation to reparative justice.

Gender Inequality in Well-being in India

This article proposes to measure functioning-based well-being, as proposed by Amartya Sen and others, for 28 states in India based on National Family Health Survey 3 (2005-06) data. Significant differences between states were found in terms of well-being and wealth indices. Overall, women were found to be far behind men in terms of well-being. The well-being of women was found to decline with age and when they were in larger families, unlike men. While upper-caste women were not found to be doing significantly better than Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women, upper-caste men were better off. And the women in the northern mountainous regions were found to be doing better than women in the Indo-Gangetic plains. However, the well-being of both men and women was found to be significantly related to the wealth they possessed.

Faltering Manufacturing Growth and Employment

Declining growth and a stagnating employment share of manufacturing in a high-growth regime in India are disconcerting, given the pride of place assumed by manufacturing as the "engine of growth." The sustainability of high growth is linked intrinsically to a trajectory that creates gainful employment. This paper argues that the manufacturing sector, which recorded declining employment elasticity in the organised sector, will not be able to mend the gap between growth and employment. Rather the goal of rejuvenating manufacturing has to be contextualised in a larger strategy of full employment with interventions related to demand structures, technology, size structure of firms, as well as a calibrated engagement with the global market.

The Post Office Paradox

Elementary education administrators at the block level primarily perceive themselves, or report themselves to be, disempowered cogs in a hierarchical administrative culture that renders them powerless. They refer to their own roles and offices as "post offices," used simply for doing the bidding of higher authorities and ferrying messages between the top and bottom of the education chain. Using the case of education delivery, this paper attempts to probe an administrator's perspective in resolving the implementation problem at the last mile and is based on detailed primary fieldwork in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh along with some quantitative surveys conducted in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh. It endeavours to trace the "cognitive maps" of administrators by capturing how last mile public servants see themselves and their jobs, and how notions of job performance are internalised and interpreted within the administrative context of elementary education in India.

Dalits and Memories

This paper explores the various ways Cakkiliyar people, a Dalit community, relate, through memory, to their past and their history. Far from constituting a homogeneous group, the more than 60 testimonies collected among Cakkiliyars reveal a diversity of perspectives on the past, strongly influenced by the situation in the present and aspirations for the future. Three distinct ways of thinking and three prototypes emerge from the testimonies; each one is defined by a specific way of positioning oneself in relation to various historical times.

Cash versus Kind

This paper presents results from a survey on the Mukhyamantri Cycle Yojana in Bihar that provides money to purchase a bicycle to every student who is enrolled in Standard 9 of a government-run/aided school. The paper finds that the bicycle programme has performed well in terms of coverage rate and curtailing direct forms of corruption but a large majority of the beneficiaries stated their preference in favour of receiving the benefits in kind instead of cash. It analyses the determinants of beneficiaries' preference for cash versus kind and finds that the demand-side factors and village characteristics (accessibility of markets) play a dominant role in shaping beneficiaries' preferences.

Undone by Its Own Mistakes

In the 2015 Bihar elections, Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies led at the outset but lost badly to the Grand Alliance when votes were counted. The familiar themes of caste and development--along with governance, class alignments, the reservations issue, and communal polarisation--were all important, but the mishandling of them by BJP leaders turned them to their rivals' advantage. The BJP campaign suffered from the over-centralisation of power in the hands of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. A detailed account, based on fieldwork and interviews with those on the ground, explains how BJP lost in Bihar.

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