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The Maulana Who Loved Krishna

This article reproduces, with English translations, the devotional poems written to the god Krishna by a maulana who was an active participant in the cultural, political and theological life of late colonial north India. Through this, the article gives a glimpse of an Islamicate literary and spiritual world which revelled in syncretism with its surrounding Hindu worlds; and which is under threat of obliteration, even as a memory, in the singular world of globalised Islam of the 21st century.

Determinants of Marital Violence

Substantial proportions of married women in India report experiencing physical and sexual violence within their households. Most studies examining the risk and protective factors of marital violence have used crosssectional data to understand the determinants of physical and sexual marital violence. To identify determinants of recent experiences of physical and sexual marital violence, this survey collected data from 4,880 rural women of four states - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Bihar - drawn from the National Family Health Survey-2 conducted in 1998-99 and a follow-up study for a subgroup of women carried out in 2002-03. The findings underscore the need to support programmes that aim to increase the education level of women and girls, make parents aware of the effects parental violence has on their children's well-being and improve married women's financial autonomy by increasing their financial literacy and awareness regarding various savings and asset-building options. Further, programmes and laws targeting dowry exchange and alcohol consumption need to be simultaneously developed.

Political Economy of the Arab Uprising

The Arab Uprising is the consequence of the structural crisis of the rentier state engaged with a neo-liberal regime implemented by authoritarian rulers. The people have removed the authoritarian rulers but does that change the nature of the state and its preference for a neo-liberal regime?

Imperialism and Self determination

This essay examines the nexus between self-determination, imperialism and the importance of Marxist theory in Lenin's writings. It argues that the three strands were inseparably connected in Lenin's thinking. The breakdown of the unity of the three strands of thought has impeded our understanding of contemporary imperialism

Social Ecology of Domestic Water Use in Bangalore

The rapid growth of urban India has added new saliency to the resource conflict between the burgeoning cities and village India that continues to be the home for vast majority of Indians. Cities, like living organisms, depend on external metabolic flows to keep them alive. Among all the metabolic flows of matter and energy none is more important than water - especially water used for meeting basic drinking water and other domestic consumption needs. This paper develops a metabolic framework for domestic water use in Bangalore, one of the fastest growing urban agglomerations in India. Our urban metabolism framework treats the city as a tightly-coupled social-ecological system and shows that a spatially explicit understanding of consumption patterns is crucial to addressing three central aspects of the water conundrum - equity, ecological sustainability and economic efficiency.

Has India's Growth Story Withered?

This paper analyses the growth performance in India over the past two decades. It uses several statistical and economic methodologies to estimate the growth rate of potential output. The annual growth rate of potential output is estimated for 2011 to be in the range of 7.7-8.2%. All the estimation techniques suggest that there was a big boost to potential growth between 2002 and 2007, but since then it has not increased significantly. Based on statistical approaches and conditional on moderate annual growth forecasts of 7-7.5% between 2012 and 2014, there is some evidence that the recent decline in growth is likely to be driven by structural factors. Most of the methodologies indicate that the output gap continues to be positive, suggesting caution in further loosening of the monetary policy stance. Overall, while the Indian growth story may/may not have withered, the evidence does give indications that the growth story may have faltered.

Higher Education in the BRIC Member-Countries

The BRIC member-countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are experiencing a very high rate of growth in the demand for higher education. But they do not have the fiscal resources to meaningfully meet the key challenge of catering for the exploding demand without compromising on quality and equity. Each of them has adopted a stratified system of higher education - a few high-quality, elite institutions coexisting beside a large number of low-quality, mass institutions - to address the problems of access, quality, and equity, all at the same time. This paper focuses on this aspect of development of higher education, and examines its real effects on access, quality, equity and funding, and attempts to draw a comparative picture among the BRIC member-countries.

Nation State in the Age of Imperialism

The first theories of nationalism, drawing on Marx's insights, worked through the integrated concepts of empire, capitalism and military conflict. The nation and its state could not be viewed separate from the critique of political economy and the crisis of capitalism. Thus the first world war was anticipated and understood, not just by Marxists but others as well. This perspective has, however, been largely lost in the century since, with a certain valorisation of the nation-form cut off from the global political economy, but situated within culture. This article engages with the debates initiated by Marx, Lenin, Luxemburg and Hilferding to critique the dominant terms of theorising the nation and attempts to foreground a revived Marxist understanding of nationalism.

Why Were Some Indian States So Slow to Participate in the Turnaround?

In earlier research we identified the start of the growth turnaround in the late 1980s. This is consistent with the pattern of (particularly trade) policy liberalisation at the time. Since then there has been a remarkable improvement in per capita incomes. But a puzzle remains. The change in policy should have had a symmetric effect across India. Yet the participation of different states in the turnaround has been very uneven. In this paper we examine whether the relative size of shifts in growth across states could have been predicted from data on state characteristics, measured before the turnaround. We use the "robustness" techniques first proposed by Sala-i-Martin. As might be expected, higher initial literacy, urbanisation and access to ports all predicted stronger growth. But we also find that relatively high shares of both agriculture and registered manufacturing predicted weaker growth across all sectors of a given state, suggesting negative externalities. We guess, along with some other evidence, that this reflects the negative impact of state intervention.

Healthcare Inequity and Physician Scarcity

The massive scarcity of physicians in India, mainly in rural areas, prompted the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to propose a three-and-a-half year Bachelor of Rural Health and Care degree designed exclusively to serve rural populations. The fierce opposition by powerful medical lobbies forced the proposal to fade away. This paper emphasises the importance of "task shifting" and "non-physician prescribing" in the global context and argues that non-physician healthcare providers would not only increase availability and accessibility to rural healthcare, but also provide an empowered second line of authority, adding to the checks and balances to the exploitative prestige-based hierarchy that pervades this knowledge-intensive service.

Estimating India's Skill Gap on a Realistic Basis for 2022

The window of opportunity called the demographic dividend is available to India only till 2040. Realising the demographic dividend brings to the fore the very serious challenge of skilling our labour force. But before devising the skill development strategy for these coming years, a task of great importance is to estimate the magnitude of the challenge and to assess the skill gap. This paper tries to estimate the skilling requirements, sector-wise, under different scenarios to arrive at a realistic and desirable target. No matter which scenario one ends up believing, the challenge of skill development - both in quantitative and qualitative terms - is enormous and requires a careful policy stance.

Equity in Hospital Services Utilisation in India

Studies from a number of low-income countries have found that the wealthy often use publicly financed health services at a higher rate than the poor. To examine the situation in India, the use of public and private sector hospital services by economic class was analysed and the relationship between utilisation and public spending on health services and the reported out-of-pocket payments were assessed. Not surprisingly, hospital services in the private sector were found to be significantly pro-rich. In contrast to previous studies, it was found that India's poor report using hospital services in the public sector at a higher rate than the wealthy, particularly in urban areas. However, this varied across states. High OOP expenditure correlated with higher degrees of inequity, and was a likely barrier to accessing care for the poor. Further work is required to explore the significant variation seen between states and to understand the history of its development. A number of policy options are discussed to reduce inequities in access to public health services in India.


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