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Special Articles

Climate Crisis? The Politics of Emergency Framing

Groups opposing climate change have been springing up in many countries, constituting a climate change movement. Several writers and movement leaders argue that climate change is an emergency that requires urgent action by governments to bring the problem under control. However, framing climate change as an emergency has several potential disadvantages. It may implicitly prioritise climate change over other important social issues. It can orient the movement towards government-led solutions rather than build popular support for long-term efforts. Finally, emergency framing may be counterproductive: it can disempower citizens because the problem seems too big, whereas providing practical opportunities for action is a better long-term approach.

Revisiting 1947 through Popular Cinema: A Comparative Study of India and Pakistan

The memorialisation of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 through popular cinema is the theme of this paper. Both in India and Pakistan, cinema as a cultural production wields immense influence in the lives of the people and mainstream cinema has been deeply affected by Partition. By offering the potential for public mourning in a public space such as a theatre, cinema confronts the trauma of that cataclysmic event and Partition cinema in particular invests heavily in the private sphere of emotions and familial relations while also demonstrating that the private domain is already political.

Social Support for Hunter-gatherers: Care or Curse?

This paper tries to understand, from an emic perspective, the different dimensions of social support among the Cholanaickan, a hunter-gatherer community of Kerala. It tries to understand why the support system extended by the state has ended as being perceived as a "curse" rather than as "care". Their experience with the social support extended to them by the welfare state especially in housing is not congenial to their emotional system. The most useful form of support is one which is mediated and internalised within a peoples' existing social support systems. The paper argues for a more responsible and responsive approach from the welfare state.

Fiscal Space for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and Implementing the Tenth Plan in Bhutan

The paper addresses the issue of financing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in a sustainable manner in a small, low income and landlocked country, the example being Bhutan. The analysis shows that although mdg financing is nested within the plan outlay, significant efforts will be needed to ensure adequate resources for financing the plan and smoothening the wide year-to-year fluctuations in revenues and expenditure flows. The paper explores the availability of additional fiscal space using the fiscal diamond framework to identify policy and institutional reforms needed for raising revenues from tax and non-tax sources, improving productivity from public spending through reprioritisation, accessing external grants and borrowing from domestic and foreign sources.

Grameen and Microcredit: A Tale of Corporate Success

The Grameen Bank's microcredit programme has been recognised internationally as a successful model. This model has become an integral part of development thinking and has earned global attention as a new form of banking. But it has been hailed more as an effective tool for alleviating poverty and empowering women. To find out if this is correct, gb's publications and studies were analysed, its declared objectives were scrutinised, and international experiments of the model were also studied. The findings from inside and outside Bangladesh contradict the current myth around the model. The model created a good opportunity for expanding the market for finance capital, thereby ensuring gb's spectacular success. However, it failed as a tool for poverty alleviation and empowerment of women.

The Changing Face of India's External Trade

India's trade profile has undergone significant changes in recent years. Engineering products have come to the fore, leading our export effort. Imports have meanwhile risen sharply to service the needs of a growing economy. The direction of trade is also changing with more exchanges taking place with developing countries. This paper looks at these changes from the turn of this decade and examines broadly how we may approach the potential growth areas in the future.

Nuclear Lives: Uranium Mining, Indigenous Peoples, and Development in India

India's nuclear programme has suffered from a shortage of uranium. As elsewhere in the world, the main uranium deposits are located on lands belonging to indigenous or tribal peoples. This paper discusses the unfolding controversy relating to uranium mining in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The government-owned Uranium Corporation of India has for long been trying to get access to the deposits of uranium, but has failed due to local opposition. During the past two years the government has stepped up its efforts to allow mining in Meghalaya and seeks to win over local people with promises of development. Although a reasonable proposition for some, there is also a strong opposition to this, usually citing either health reasons or issues having to do with ethnic sovereignty and indigenous rights. Allowing uranium mining, it is argued, would lead to the loss of indigenous lands and open the region to a large-scale influx of non-tribal people.

Trade Liberalisation and Labour Demand Elasticity in Indian Manufacturing

The hypothesis that trade liberalisation raises labour demand elasticity is tested for Indian industries, and inter-temporal changes in the elasticity during 1973-74 to 2003-04 are analysed. Econometric results indicate that trade liberalisation in India had a positive effect on the labour demand elasticity. However, the estimated elasticity for the post-reform period (1991 onwards) is found to be lower than that for the pre-reform period. A closer examination reveals a marked upward trend in the labour demand elasticity after the mid-1990s, which seems attributable, among other factors, to trade liberalisation, weakening of trade union bargaining power and labour market reforms.

Urban Transport Policy as if People and the Environment Mattered: Pedestrian Accessibility the First Step

The rapid growth in motor vehicle ownership and activity in India is causing a wide range of serious health, environmental, socio-economic, and resource use impacts, even as it provides mobility to millions, and contributes to employment and the economy. The loss of accessibility for pedestrians is one of the most important of these negative impacts, which remains neglected by policy. Urban transport planning is fundamentally about moral and political choices - about what kind of cities we want for ourselves and our future generations, whether urban space is primarily for people or motor vehicles, and what we owe each other. While motor vehicles play a vitally important role, as do planning and infrastructure for them, and technological measures to mitigate their impacts, an urban transport policy that focuses on these measures to the exclusion of infrastructure for walking and other non-motorised modes is likely to prove futile, even counter-productive. There is, therefore, an urgent need for an integrated approach that addresses multiple impacts, caters to multiple modes and road users, and is sensitive to the needs, capabilities and constraints in the Indian context.

Piped Water Supply to Greater Bangalore: Putting the Cart before the Horse?

Cities in India are moving towards commercially viable models of urban water and sanitation delivery to fill the widening gap between demand and supply. Cost recovery through upfront beneficiary contributions is increasingly becoming a key consideration in the provision of piped water and sewerage. This paper examines the Greater Bangalore Water and Sanitation Project, a project that aims to extend piped water from the Cauvery to over two million residents in peri-urban Bangalore. The paper critically evaluates the project and makes four interlinked arguments: (1) Upfront payments from citizens have not guaranteed timely and satisfactory service. (2) The project's financial model is disconnected from actually existing settlement and urbanisation patterns, thus delaying water delivery and undermining accountability. (3) The project's highly centralised decision-making process has resulted in low political buy-in and public acceptance. (4) Modifications to the original financial model have been crucial in sustaining credibility and getting the project off the ground.

Do Stock Markets Allocate Resources Efficiently? An Examination of Initial Public Offerings

This paper examines the pricing of Initial Public Offerings in relation to their future operating performance and risk. ipo firms have lower profitability but receive higher valuation than their industry peers on the expectation that their earnings will grow in the future. The expectation of superior growth is not realised in the post-issue period. It thus appears that low profitability firms conduct ipos when investors are excessively optimistic about their growth potential. The paper concludes that stock markets in India have suffered from excessive optimism and poor evaluation.

What Does the Recent Indian Consumption Behaviour Tell?

The paper presents alternative estimates of poverty lines and head count ratios for India and its states and union territories, not only with respect to the fixed all-India calorie norm, but also by considering the state-specific benchmarks. These alternative estimates are found to be much higher than the official estimates. Given the extent of divergence of such a large magnitude, it is high time to revisit the methodological issues of estimation of poverty lines and head count ratios.

Corporate Retail: Dangerous Implications for India's Economy

Rather than being a panacea for Indian agriculture, corporate food provision will likely accelerate many key elements of India's agricultural crisis. It will produce a decline in land productivity, reduce food security, adversely affect price stability and will tend to negatively impact employment and credit relations. This paper explores the changes in class and social relations that come about with the transition to a corporate system of food provisioning. It considers the potential impacts of such changes in the Indian context.

Regulation of Retail: Comparative Experience

India perhaps has the highest retail density in the world. Economies of scale drive the retail sector towards rapid growth in terms of size of outlets and dominance in geographical and product markets, posing challenges for preservation of genuine competition. Growth in size also has consequences for manufacturers, wholesalers and dealers in the supply chain who face a loss of alternative marketing/retail outlets as monopolies emerge. The growth of large format retail raises serious issues for the urban environment and town planning in dense and rapidly urbanising countries like India. The need for intelligent regulation, therefore, cannot be overemphasised.

Intellectual Property Rights: Excluding Other Rights of Other People

This article interrogates the claims of intellectual property to be a right. Drawing on the political theory of rights, it argues that information, ideas and knowledge fail to meet the basic test of rights and intellectual property right prevents those who do not own it from accessing and exercising their own diverse rights. Thus, it violates the very idea of individual autonomy on which it bases its claims. The article further looks at the contested areas of traditional knowledge, farmers' rights and health rights to illustrate the unsolved contradiction intellectual property rights poses to the liberal doctrine of rights.

Gandhi and the Standardisation of Gujarati

The process of linguistic standardisation usually sets up one dialect as the yardstick to judge the correctness of a language. It not only relegates other dialects to the periphery but also actively produces and reproduces structures of inequalities. Gandhi initiated a systematic effort to standardise the Gujarati language in the 1920s through the Gujarat Vidyapith which published a dictionary with a set of rules for correct Gujarati writing. It is this form of Gujarati that has been recognised by the state government as the standard language. This article explores the notion of language standardisation and the inherent inequalities within that process, the context of Gujarati standardisation, Gandhi's role in it, and the problems and contestations involved in the linguistic standardisation in Gujarat.

Government Spending on Public Goods: Evidence on Growth and Poverty

Using panel data from 14 Indian states between 1990 and 2002, this paper empirically examines how the share of government spending on public goods such as health, education and basic infrastructure affects per capita gross domestic product growth and poverty reduction at the state level. Consistent with similar studies based on national-level data sets, the findings from this study show that the share of public goods expenditures in total government spending has a large, positive and significant impact on per capita gdp growth, and that the share of spending on social public goods such as education and health contributes significantly to poverty reduction. Especially, reallocation of expenditures to raise the share of public goods spending could on average increase per capita gdp growth rate by up to 2.7 percentage points, and reallocation of funds to increase the share of social public goods expenditures could on average reduce poverty headcount index by up to 6.6 percentage points.

Rabindranath's Gora and the Intractable Problem of Indian Patriotism

For various reasons, in modern India, patriotism has found it very hard to establish a convincing locus for itself. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Indian patriotism was projected as Hindu nationalism. Rabindranath Tagore's Gora, published in 1909 in the immediate aftermath of the anti-partition Swadeshi movement of 1903-08, overcomes the ethnocentricities that led to such a distortion, but, in it, the particular comes too close to the universal - patriotism dissolves into love for all the helpless peoples of the world, offering a radically new way of being an Indian patriot.

Production of the South: Incongruities and Loss of Meaning

The half century after the second world war was marked by the division of the world into North and South, with the latter often taking on the politically charged selfidentification of third world. This was paralleled by the divisions of "civilised" and "barbarian" and of development and poverty. This article argues that such division of geopolitical space is no longer valid and there has been a dissolution and blurring of lines which identified one with the other. Through a review of different countries in the South, this article shows how both objective criteria and self-identification often do not follow the North-South binary. Rather, there is now a "South" in the developed world while solvent consumers of the South are increasingly indistinguishable from the North.

Fertility Decline in India: Contributions by Uneducated Women Using Contraception

India's fertility transition is driven by major fertility declines among women who are illiterate. Consequently, the earlier emphasis on women's education and socio-economic conditions as determinants of fertility decline is shifting to research on the study of reciprocally initiated positive contributions of fertility decline to the improvement of the health of women and children. This analysis indicates that illiterate women and their children are the greatest recipients of the benefits of health and socio-economic advancement. The standardised percentages of women without education who received three antenatal care check-ups and whose children received full immunisation are sharply higher for women with two children and less than for those with more than two children. Child mortality reductions for women of lower parities are steeply higher for uneducated women compared with educated women. These cumulative benefits of low fertility, in effect, have speeded up the health improvement and socio-economic advancement of the states.

The Market in Higher Education: Concern for Equity and Quality

This paper brings to the fore problems associated with application of market logic to higher education, which is poised to play an important role in India's pursuit of inclusive growth. In a context where marketisation of higher education continues unabated and the government is keen to encourage private sector involvement, it is necessary to analyse their impact on the three stated objectives of expansion, inclusion and excellence. It is therefore crucial to understand how the market for higher education works and to critically examine the actual impact of the market on education in India. This paper argues that the market logic seriously compromises value and quality of higher education and this weakens our ability to build an inclusive society.

Gandhi's Hinduism and Savarkar's Hindutva

The present national crisis of violently conflicting communal identities represents a choice between the inclusiveness of Gandhi and the exclusions of Savarkar. Gandhi did not separate religion from politics. He brought a religious ethic to politics rather than political militancy into religious communities. Meanwhile, Savarkar's Hindutva ideology was narrow and exclusivist in its conflation of janma bhoomi (motherland) and punya bhoomi (holy land). In spite of its pretensions to be nationalist and modern, its militant chauvinism and authoritarian fundamentalism make Savarkar's Hindutva the antithesis of Gandhi's Hinduism. Hindutva defines India as Hindu and wants all Indians to be Hindus. In contrast, Gandhi's Hinduism gives space to all. This paper argues that the future of our multicultural, pluri-religious people can only be even bloodier with the preclusions of Savarkar's Hindutva. Only Gandhi's sarva-dharmasamabhava can possibly be an effective basis for a tolerance on which to premise a just inter-religious peace and harmony.

Fan Bhakti and Subaltern Sovereignty: Enthusiasm as a Political Factor

The problem of popular sovereignty has to be investigated beyond the confines of the republican institutions themselves, in fields where supplementary, virtual formations of sovereignty create community effects that compensate for their lack in the political structure proper. In this essay, the emergence of sovereignty formations around film stars is discussed with particular reference to Rajnikanth, in the context of the challenge posed to such formations by a newly triumphant commodity logic. Far from solving the problem of sovereignty, however, the corrosive power of the economic logic may be expected to create new political crises. An

Fuel Pricing Policy Reform in India: Implications and Way Forward

This paper undertakes an examination of the differential impact of international oil prices on domestic inflation and output growth in India under two alternative scenarios. One scenario is, when domestic fuel prices are allowed a formula-based automatic alignment with international oil prices and the second, when as per current policy, fuel prices have evolved as a consequence of revisions specified periodically by the government. The differential impact analysis has been undertaken in a structural Vector Autoregressive framework using the technique of innovation accounting.

Terrorism and Human Rights: Indian Experience with Repressive Laws

Terrorism is growing and no amount of power in terms of the use of force and severity of punishment has been helpful in containing it. This paper examines the ways that the Indian State has been responding to these challenges and scrutinises the experience over six decades of the use of repressive laws and their impact on the very notion of unrestrained freedom which a liberal state is supposed to guarantee.

Hindu Triumphalism and the Clash of Civilisations

This essay examines the emergence of Hindu triumphalism which openly and unapologetically celebrates its conception of "superiority of Hinduism over the alleged depravity of Semitic monotheistic religions", namely, Islam and Christianity. It focuses on the publishing house called Voice of India which has emerged as the most vocal source of Hindu triumphalism. It takes a closer look at who the VOI ideologues are, what they are saying, how they are making connections with the European New Right and how they are influencing the political culture of India.

Gendered Mobility: Women Migrants and Work in Urban India

This article focuses on the changing work profile of migrant women and the avenues available to them. The central question posed is whether women's posturban continuation in the workforce as well as fresh work status destabilises any of the established stereotypical gendered codes woven around familial and domestic responsibilities and if caste, class and accessibility to human resources (education in particular) intersect with such codes.

The Twilight of 'Chimerica'? China and the Collapse of the American Model

"Chimerica" illustrates the interactions between a Chinese model of high savings, over-investment and export-led growth and the us model of leveraged investment, credit consumption and finance-led growth. The collapse of the us model, linked with the unregulated derivatives market, has driven China to redirect its growth towards domestic consumption, despite the strengthening of regionalisation in east Asia. Yet, China's stimulus plan, based on investment, is limited by both income disparities and the underdevelopment of social protection. Land reform, or the collective redistribution of the remaining state assets, could stimulate domestic consumption. But the first solution deprives the local state of financial resources, and the second solution collides with the interests of the state-party system. However, stronger social movements could lead to a better income distribution. Like two faces of the same coin, credit consumption and a high savings rate reflect the crisis of a global accumulation regime, tailored for a financial oligarchy in the us, or for a party-state oligarchy in China.

China's Reforms: The Wuxi Story

Based on a 30-year micro-study of economic reforms in Wuxi city and Hela township, this paper points out that development through political urbanisation the Wuxi way may achieve fast economic growth but has its social, environmental and political costs. It traces the three phases of reforms the region has passed through, attaining a spectacular rise in gross domestic product and household incomes. But later developments have negated some of the achievements of the earlier stages of reform. It proposes that the authorities initiate genuine grass roots democracy so that local people will have the power to decide on matters that affect them.

Urban Spaces, Disney-Divinity and Moral Middle Classes in Delhi

A presentation of an ethnography of the relationship between urban spaces, new cultures of consumption, the state, and the making of middle class identities in India. Firstly, the discussion explores the making of new urban spaces by focusing upon the Akshardham Temple complex on the banks of the Yamuna river in Delhi. Surrounded by a network of flyovers, highways, toll-ways, and residential developments, the complex is designed as a hi-tech religious and nationalist theme park. The Delhi government-sponsored bhagidari (sharing) scheme that brings together representatives of the Residents' Welfare Associations, Market Traders Associations, and key government officials at periodically organised workshops forms the second site of focus.

The Politics of Civil Society: Neighbourhood Associationism in Chennai

Scholarly work portrays Residents Welfare Associations as constituting an exclusively middle class "civil society" in urban polities structured overwhelmingly by class. In this view, rwas belong to a new politics representing an emerging partnership between civil society, the reforming state and private capital, aimed at reclaiming urban governance from the messy dealings of electoral democracy. The urban poor, meanwhile, are perceived as organised predominantly through the sphere of politics. This paper, using survey and ethnographic data on neighbourhood associations in Chennai, argues that these accounts are over-schematised. There are considerable overlaps between civil and political society: the urban poor increasingly resort to civil associational forms to claim urban citizenship, and middle class associations are more deeply engaged with the sphere of formal politics than their own or scholarly accounts convey.

Limits and Possibilities of Middle Class Associations as Urban Collective Actors

Studies on Resident Welfare Associations draw attention to their predominantly middle class and exclusive character. Based on survey and ethnographic data on such associations across diverse neighbourhoods in Bangalore, this paper reveals the fractured, often contradictory, nature of claims made by different sections of middle class. The category urban "middle class" is too homogeneous to account for the multiple locations, interests, and varied access to power of different sections. Homogenising the middle class produces a "middle class-urban poor" dualism which elides critical factors shaping middle class mobilisation, internal conflicts, and local histories and geographies of development of specific neighbourhoods that are integrally linked to land values. This mapping of middle class action also contributes to our understanding of the process of structuration of urban spaces as new strategies are deployed to transform Indian cities.

Women's Mobilisation in the Jammu Agitation: Religion, Caste, Community and Gender

The widespread protests in 2008 in the Hindudominated Dogra belt of Jammu on the subject of land for the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board saw protestors asserting their "Hindu" identity. The most striking factor of the demonstration was the massive participation of women in a region where they had so far been politically passive. But the liberation of women from purely domestic chores and their elevation to a political level under the communal Hindutva banner did not emancipate them.

Bourgeois Categories Made Global: Utopian and Actual Lives of Historical Documents in India

When the state acts as a mechanism that abstracts documents from their points of origin and make them into the signifiers of an abstract entity called "history", and the market performs this function of abstraction, we have the processes, respectively, of reification and commodification of documents. The process of creating "unfettered" access to historical information can be seen as the prying open of information that was otherwise accessible only to a "privileged" community. This is a tension that is central to the very idea of the public sphere: it can act simultaneously both as a utopia of "bourgeois" equality and as an ideology of domination. It can be simultaneously democratic and undemocratic. The agents and advocates of the public sphere are often the bearers of this tension for we never find a society where all its members, inspired by the social value of what we call "history", volunteer to convert willingly all "private" documents into "public" records. The rendering of private papers into public documents must remain, in the end, a political question. This paper illustrates this proposition by looking at a fragment of the history of history in colonial India in the 20th century. At the centre of the story is the historian Jadunath Sarkar who may be regarded as one of the earliest proponents in the subcontinent of the Rankean ideals of "scientific" history.

The Fiscal Situation and a Reform Agenda for the New Government

The fiscal situation of the central government is worrisome. The problem is largely structural and not cyclical. Indeed, the slowdown of the economy has only partly contributed to the deterioration in 2008-09. The new government at the centre is faced with the formidable challenge of containing the worrisome fiscal deficit, while continuing to provide a stimulus necessary to revive the economy. It also has to institute a restructuring programme towards achieving fiscal consolidation in the medium term. Such a programme should draw lessons from the past and design a plan for the centre as well as the states.

Octroi - A Tax in a Time Warp: What Does Its Removal Imply for Greater Mumbai?

Vestigial octroi posts can now be found in the country only in a few cities of Maharashtra. These "legendary customs walls" yielded an easy finance for the city and town development and thus, many local bodies continued with this tax despite its debilities. The fiscal composure of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai can be singularly attributed to the contribution of octroi, which serves around half of its total revenue income. This paper discusses the fiscal significance of this tax in Greater Mumbai and deliberates on various alternative sources of revenue.

The Ravi Dasis of Punjab: Global Contours of Caste and Religious Strife

The attack in May on two visiting religious leaders of Ravi Dasis in Vienna, presumably by a group of local militant Sikhs, sparked off widespread violence in Punjab. Though most of the violence by Ravi Dasi dalits was directed against public property and reflected their general anger at the Vienna incident, the mainstream media was quick to interpret it as yet another instance of caste conflict within Sikhism, viz, between dalit Sikhs and upper caste Sikhs. Such misrepresentations of caste and religious realities of Punjab today could lead to a communal divide between dalits and mainstream Sikhism. Based on an empirical study of the Punjabi Ravi Dasis, the paper tries to provide a historical perspective on caste and religion in Punjab today.

Contextualising Muslim Identity: Ansaris, Deobandis, Barelwis

This paper argues against a monolithic, essentialised reading of the Indian Muslim identity. Drawing from research in Mubarakpur, Azamgarh, it highlights the various schisms within the Muslim identity. Telling the story of identity through the eyes of lower caste Muslims, the paper shows that caste, class and maslaki affiliations remain important markers of identity within Muslim society. The very notion of "Islamic identity" is itself a matter of fierce interpretative debate among the Muslims. Drawing on evidence from madrasas, the paper argues that the "other" within the madrasa is not a Hindu but a fellow Muslim from another maslak.

Globalisation and Regionalisation: Mapping the New Continental Drift

How far have regional organisations in the south been successful in struggling against neoliberal policies initiated in the northern countries, and actively aided by the international financial institutions? How far have they succeeded in establishing an alternative global regime of development? An assessment of these regional formations in Asia, Africa and Latin America is undertaken to find whether they could fulfil the aspirations for an alternative and just globalisation.

The Giants Awake: Higher Education Systems in China and India

With India and China aiming to build more sophisticated economies, both countries are giving priority to higher education to produce highly educated personnel and high quality research. This paper makes a comparative assessment of the development of the higher education system in the two countries, the challenges being faced and what the future holds for both countries. China has made considerable progress with its top institutions and India has illustrated with the Indian Institutes of Technology and a few other institutions that high standards are possible. Yet, the problem of quality, and the related issues of whether the graduates are qualified for the labour market, remain. It seems that China and India will, at the least, not see significant reform in the overall academic quality of higher education. An effective quality-assurance system can help to ensure standards, but neither country has such a system in place currently capable of overall supervision. The systems will probably become more stratified, with a small number of research universities at the top and very large numbers of fairly unselective colleges and universities at the bottom.

Conflict and Coexistence in a National Park

The aim of this paper is to trace the emergence of a subculture of resistance following a strict management regime of the state institution of forestry in Kanha national park of Madhya Pradesh. It illustrates how the state as an institution has been limited in its capacity to protect these enclosed spaces simply through the policy of "fences and fines". The main tenet of the national park model was the complete removal of humans resident within the park area and to preserve the area in its pristine form in order to protect wildlife. This case study of Kanha examines how relatively powerless groups unite in their hopelessness to protest against a system or institution that has its own agendas in conservation.

Understanding the Education System: An Eco-Behavioural Approach

The eco-behavioural approach to the study of education suggests that the achievements of students would depend on the expectations placed on them, and the support they receive from other participants in various behavioural settings. The approach is theoretically constructed and empirically verified in this paper. Using the methodology of such an approach, one can debate the reasoning behind the policy of reservation in higher education. Such an exercise is attempted in this essay.

Neoliberalising the 'Urban': New Geographies of Power and Injustice in Indian Cities

An adequate understanding of the contemporary neoliberal urban process requires a grasp of its politico-economic ideological framework, multi-scalar institutional forms, diverse socio-political links and multiple contradictions. This paper examines the active engagement of neoliberalism that is not only moulding the concept of "urban", but is simultaneously intensifying unevenness in inter-urban and intra-urban development. It focuses on the National Urban Renewal Mission, the official carrier of neoliberal urbanism, and its various implications. The paper illustrates the process of restructuring in a few cities in different states, most importantly, in Mumbai, the country's budding "international financial centre", with a focus on specific "development" projects.

Market Integration, Transaction Costs and the Indian Wheat Market: A Systematic Study

This paper examines whether the wheat market is integrated across states in India, and concludes that the market is integrated in the long run. This long run integration, however, does not come from the free flow of goods across states in the country, but from the sharing of similar production technologies by farmers across states. The paper also shows that the market for wheat is not integrated in the short run. This implies that at a given time period there exist two prices for the same commodity, since transaction costs are the main barriers to market integration. The paper also estimates such transaction costs using transport and communication infrastructure indices across states, and concludes that there exist large variations resulting in high transaction costs.

The Making of the Middle Class in Western India: Age at Marriage for Brahmin Women (1900-50)

In spite of the recognition of the importance of the middle class, its historical fashioning has not so far been empirically studied. This study is a part of a project that examines the factors that influenced the behaviour of the contemporary middle class in western India using time series data constructed from unpublished sources. A substantially higher age at marriage, which was reached much earlier than other classes, is one of the distinguishing features of the middle class. The current paper examines reasons behind the rapid increase in the marriage age over 1900-50 among the Chitpavan brahmins of Maharashtra. In particular, the project of fashioning the emerging nation, an ideology widely shared, is highlighted as an important factor behind the increase in the age at marriage for middle class women in western India.

Dalits, Praja Rajyam Party and Caste Politics in Andhra Pradesh

The formation of the Praja Rajyam Party in Andhra Pradesh has been received with conflicting attitudes and expectations by the two major dalit castes in the state. While the Malas embraced the party as the champion of social justice, the Madigas opposed it as the party of the Kapus. Rather than seeing the prp in these binary and oppositional lenses, it is necessary to view the party as a new choice for dalits. A brief history of caste politics in Andhra Pradesh is also undertaken in this essay.

Adjustment of Pricing: Evidence from Indian Manufacturing

This paper analyses the pricing behaviour in the Indian manufacturing sector, considering both domestic and external variables. Price adjustment models are developed based on industrial organisation literature and are examined with 28 manufacturing industries at the 3-digit level over the period from 1963 to 2001. Domestic structural factors are found to be important in determining the speed of price adjustment.

Kosambi the Mathematician

Apart from his more popular work on numismatics and genetics, D D Kosambi worked on path geometry, exploring the foundations of general relativity. He also worked on statistics in infinite dimensions, computing, and probabilistic number theory. His whole mathematical career appears as one long clash of values. A rejection of the value of specialisation saw him leave Harvard. The high value he placed on research saw his exit from Banaras Hindu University and Aligarh Muslim University. His attempt to impart real knowledge of mathematics saw him sacked from Fergusson College, Pune. His insistence on ethical and relevant research led to his exit from the Tata Institue of Fundamental Research where, too, the diversity of his interests was portrayed negatively, though he continued his mathematical research till the end of his life. His mathematical career raises a number of questions regarding science management in post-independence India. These questions are vital today when the state is again making huge investments in science and technology.

An Index to Assess the Stance of Monetary Policy in India in the Post-Reform Period

The Reserve Bank of India has formally adopted the "multiple indicator approach" in the conduct of monetary policy since April 1998. During this period, sole reliance on traditional indicators of monetary aggregates or policy rates is not adequate to reflect the stance of monetary policy. This paper develops a monetary policy index by synthesising the extracted signals from the policy documents and quantitative information embedded in key indicators. The mpi so constructed was used to assess the impact of monetary policy on macroeconomic variables such as interest rates, bank credit, inflation, and output growth during the post-reform period. It was observed that while monetary policy has an instant influence on interest rates, the impact on inflation and output was realised with a lag of around 6 to 18 months.

The Logic of Community Participation: Experimental Evidence from West Bengal

Social capital has been defined as a set of informal norms that promotes cooperation among the members of the community. Where there is repeated interaction, the members are able to get better information about the activities and intentions of other members in the community than outsiders, thereby promoting collective action or community participation supported by peer monitoring and social sanctions. In order to verify the logic of community participation, three sessions of a public goods classroom experiment were conducted with students and villagers at Kolkata and South 24 Parganas in West Bengal. The results show that even though the group contributions have in all cases been above 50% of the initial endowment, the contributions by the villagers who were members of the same community-based organisation were always higher than those by the students. This may be attributed to the fact that the villagers, being members of the same cbo have a common history of social interaction leading to better group cohesiveness.