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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.

The Politics of Industry in Nehru's India

The paper argues that at the time of independence Indian managing agencies, controlling most industrial firms and their associated enterprises, were in themselves embodiments of pre-industrial forms of capital accumulated through trading and moneylending. This militated against technological dynamism within the industrial firms because the managing agencies applied a profit-maximising calculus across their various business activities, rather than in relationship to any individual firm. The group structure, in fact, facilitated the leakage of surpluses generated in industrial activity into the parallel speculative and moneylending interests of the managing agents. After independence, the government's attempts to reform the industrial sector met resistance from politically influential businessmen who had supported the anti-colonial movement. The British government also interceded here. The social engineering that these reforms entailed, embodied in legislation, was thwarted by the combined pressures exerted by affected businessmen, but this should not prevent an appreciation of what the government was attempting.

Class Struggle, the Maoists and the Indigenous Question in Nepal and India

This article compares the Maoist movements in Nepal and India, with a focus on their respective relationship to indigenous politics. The unprecedented rise of indigeneity and ethnicity in post-war Nepal was, in large part, a consequence of the Maoists' People's War, which paid special attention to the case of Nepal's Janajatis through, what we call here, the "indigenous question." In comparison, the Indian Maoists have paid less attention to the indigenous question than their Nepali counterparts, though they have created their guerrilla zones in Adivasi-dominated areas. While the Indian Maoists' relative lack of attention to the indigenous question creates a situation in which class struggle can be presented primarily as an Adivasi movement, the danger in Nepal is that the sole focus on identity has undermined more radical demands for state restructuring. In both cases, a limited politics based on rights for particular groups has had the effect of replacing broader--even international--struggles, which have the potential to address more fundamental socio-economic inequalities by challenging the dominant politics of production, reproduction and redistribution.

Productivity in Indian Manufacturing (1999-2011)

Studies on total factor productivity growth in Indian manufacturing that apply the growth accounting methodology do not distinguish between domestically sourced and imported intermediate inputs, which could bias TFP estimates. Using Annual Survey of Industries data, estimates of TFP growth in Indian manufacturing industries during 1999-2000 to 2011-12 are presented. TFP estimation was done by constructing separate series on domestically procured and imported materials input. Productivity estimates obtained in the study indicate that TFP growth in manufacturing industries during 1999-2011 tends to get understated if imported materials are not separated out from domestically procured materials. For aggregate manufacturing, TFP estimates, corrected for aggregation bias, indicate that there was a rapid growth in productivity.

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