ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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China's Skill Development System

The sustained rates of China's economic and industrial growth, along with the country's ability to become the world's factory, can be attributed, at least in part, to its educational reforms. China was able to realise the potential benefits of its demographic dividend by prudent reforms in technical, vocational education and training system. Policymakers in India are grappling with a similar set of constraints and it is crucial to undertake critical reforms in our skill development ecosystem to be able to realise the demographic dividend that is available till about 2040. The Chinese system, its major features, the periodic reforms undertaken, its financing, and the participation of industry, are discussed here. Further, the similarities and distinctions with the Indian system are highlighted along with key lessons from the Chinese experience.

Role of Mobile Money in Replacing Cash

This paper attempts an empirical understanding of the role of mobile money in replacing cash among migrant workers in South India. The study finds that four distinct outcomes explain why both agents and clients trust these systems. They are the clients' potential to save in their home bank accounts through remittances; the clients' attraction to the product; employers creating a sub-ecosystem of mobile money by remitting money on behalf of clients; and messages that clients receive on transfer of money. The paper also proposes a model for financial inclusion of migrant workers, which is a revenue model for mobile operators as well.

Institutional Communalism in India

The fight against institutional communalism in India alerts us to a challenge bigger than merely inflicting electoral defeats on Hindu communal parties and organisations. Even if such parties are defeated electorally, institutional Hindu communalism remains pervasive in varying degrees in India's Constitution, judiciary, civil services, electoral and parliamentary institutions, security forces, prisons, academia, media, corporate business, and even non-governmental organisations, it will continue as a social, cultural and politico-economic force to disadvantage the lives of minority communities in India.

Fragmented Citizenships in Gurgaon

This paper examines the fragmentary production and governance of Gurgaon, Haryana. Based on fieldwork carried out in 2012, it asserts an epistemology of the "exception" as the central mode of urban production in the city. To do so, the paper examines three spaces of Gurgaon: the workers' neighbourhood, the urban village and the gated colony.

Integrated Resource Planning for Electricity Distributing Utilities in India

Identifying the barriers that discourage the adoption of integrated resource planning by Indian power distribution companies, this paper points to feasible conditions in which these could be overcome. Using the case of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company and the available documentation, these barriers have been classified as financial, technical and operational; for each, a possible solution is suggested. The study also identifies conditions that would be sufficient for integrated resource planning to be practised, including providing at least a specified level of electricity services, and minimising costs, environmental impacts and additional investments.

Women at Risk in the Unregulated Surrogacy 'Industry'

In recent times India has become a haven for commercial surrogacy, a controversial assisted reproductive technology. Acute poverty means that there are always women ready to rent their wombs. But lack of laws and regulations means there is no transparency in the business of surrogacy and the surrogate mothers are prone to exploitation. The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill 2013 aims to mend matters. This exploratory study conducted in Kolkata brings to light challenges that any legislation dealing with surrogacy must address. It shows how poor women who rent their wombs for money--ignoring social stigma, health hazards, fear and mental stress--are vulnerable to exploitation.

Institutional Framework of MFIs and Economic Benefit to Clients in Mumbai Slums

The microfinance movement has experienced economic transition over more than four decades across the world. In the 1990s several microfinance institutions were forced to change their institutional structures to face competition from for-profit organisations. Most studies focus on the relations between the institutional structures and the performance of these MFIs. However, there is little focus on the relations between the institutional framework and the benefits to the clients. This article aims at understanding how clients in the slums of Mumbai have fared.

Workers' Lives, Walmart's Pocket

In its spatial expansion, capital has globalised the production and distribution chain. The division of labour has been restructured throughout the world, factories have shifted from North to South, structural unemployment has increased in the North and cheap labour has been exploited to the hilt in the South. Bangladesh has thereby become the second-largest ready-made garment exporter in the world after China, supplying garments to major Western clothing brands. On 24 April 2013, the collapse of Rana Plaza that housed five garment factories killed at least 1,134 workers and injured many more. It exposed the vulnerability of the industry as well as the global lack of responsibility and accountability. This article investigates the global chain of the industry in order to understand the linkages between the lives of workers in the South and the profits of the monopolies of the North. The article also makes an attempt to understand the roles played by the local and global profiteers in the supply chain.

Ebola Virus Disease

The Ebola virus disease, which spread in four West African countries, brought to light the feeble health governance system not only in these countries but also at the global level. Weak health infrastructure, resource crunch, non-viability of preventive and curative medication, and distrust of foreign interventions among people not only aggravated the crisis but also led to a schizophrenic portrayal of the disease across the world. A lack of any preventive medication for Ebola--despite a history of recurrence over the last four decades--is a big question confronting health research communities, pharmaceutical companies and global health governing agencies. The recent outbreak of Ebola and a global security threat perception associated with the disease have given rise to many debates, one of them being the debate on medical ethics in a public health emergency. All the ethical issues related with the unavailability of medication, launch of untested medicine in affected areas and also the delay in decision-making and response are the core arguments which this article tries to analyse.

Strategic Lives

Based on extensive fieldwork in Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, this article attempts to chart the migratory life of the Indian knowledge worker who having worked in the West returns to the country. The article focuses on the different aspects of this return back home. It tries to understand how migrants reconstruct their personal and professional life all over again. There is also an attempt to assess the impact made by the knowledge workers on their work environment in India.

Analysing the Structural Change and Growth Relationship in India

Examining the link between structural change and growth in India, this study constructs indices of structural change, and performs a panel data analysis using data for India's 16 major states. It finds that there is a one-way positive effect of structural change on growth during the 2000-06 period. This finding emerges when one allows the disturbances to be heteroscedastic, contemporaneously cross-sectionally correlated, and autocorrelated. The results are mostly reinforced when the sample is divided into richer and poorer states.

Psychology, Cyclicality or Social Programmes

Analysing the wage rise for Indian rural unskilled male labourers and its effect on inflation, this study tests theoretical priors derived from concepts of fair wages using a state-level panel, correlation of inflation peaks, and sectoral changes in employment, wages, and productivity. Food price inflation and the fiscal deficit are consistently significant in dynamic panel regressions, with the effect of the first three times larger. More than the spread of employment insurance, overreaction to high food prices raised wages. Productivity increased in agriculture but less than in other sectors. The results support psychological causal factors alongside cyclical ones.

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