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Special Articles

Uncanny Networks

Cities have borne the brunt of the new globalisation both in transformative and imaginative terms. Yet at the very moment that scholarship seems ready to engage with the Indian city, contemporary globalisation has in fact slowly eroded the old modernist compact of 'the city'. This splintered urbanism has become a significant theatre of elite engagement with claims of globalisation. Using Delhi's media networks as an example this article suggests that new domains of non-legal practices could pose significant problems for classic strategies of incorporation and management in political society. These non-legal domains open up new spaces of disorder and constant conflict in Indian cities that threaten the current self-perceptions of the globalising elite.

Nation as Nostalgia

Vengal Chakkarai's efforts to Indianise Christianity in the early 20th century were preceded by numerous other efforts to 'indigenise' Christianity. However, while the earlier efforts sought to contend mainly with missionary domination within the church, Chakkarai had to address the demands of majoritarian/Hindu nationalism; Christianity was viewed as 'the last act of surrender to the foreigner'. This (im)possibility of being a Christian and an Indian Hindu at the same time appears in much of Chakkarai's writings. Much though he wished his Christianity to be recovered as Indian, majoritarian nationalism recovered him as a Christian despite his nationalist credentials. Chakkarai's failure represents an instance of nationalism asserting itself by creating external Others and also producing internal Others.

Handmade in India

In recent years, Indian handicrafts have emerged as a major exportable, illustrating the potential that these apparently obsolete technologies possess for meeting new kinds of consumer demand. And yet, the potential remains vastly underutilised, given the myriad problems on the supply and demand side. This paper gives a brief overview of craft production and marketing in India, examines why the potential has not so far been realised and discusses some interventions.

E-banking: Challenges and Opportunities

E-banking has the potential to transform the banking business as it significantly lowers transaction and delivery costs. This paper discusses some of the problems developing countries, which have a low penetration of information and telecommunication technology, face in realising the advantages of e-banking initiatives. Major concerns such as the 'digital divide' between the rich and poor, the different operational environments for public and private sector banks, problems of security and authentication, management and regulation; and inadequate financing of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) are highlighted.

NGOs in Joint Forest Management and Rural Development

As a result of new initiatives to include NGOs in the JFM system, new groups have stepped in to work on forest management issues and the older established NGOs have begun to put the 'forest' component on their agendas. This paper discusses the work of two NGOs, working on rural development forestry in Bengal and Jharkhand, respectively. It finds that villagers, on involvement with institutions from outside, begin to expect multisectoral and integrated rural development agendas to be included in the NGOs' work plan. For an NGO to have an impact, a mere populist agenda will have to give way to readjustments that takes into consideration a more strenuous regime seeking new allies and a new legitimacy.

Estimates of Value Added per Worker from Enterprise Surveys

Cross-validation of data collected on various parameters, through independent sets of data from alternative sources, is desirable as it enhances data credibility and enthuses confidence among data users. Such an exercise for estimates of household consumption expenditure from the consumption expenditure surveys (CES) of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) and National Accounts Statistics (NAS) is available in the literature. A similar exercise for the estimates of value added per worker derived from the results of Enterprise Surveys. The non-availability of information on value added per worker through more than one source is the reason for the paucity of such exercises. An attempt has been made in this paper to examine the feasibility of using estimates of per worker consumption expenditure available from the CES 1993-94, in which information on the activity status of members of the same households was also collected.

Poverty among Social and Economic Groups in India in 1990s

This paper examines the levels and changes in poverty indicators of the rural and urban population in India disaggregated by social and economic groups. The analysis is based on the comparable estimates of poverty for the mixed reference period computed from the unit record data for the 50th (1993-94) and the 55th (1999-2000) rounds of the Consumer Expenditure Surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation. The issue is how far different social and economic groups shared the overall decline in poverty in the 1990s. The social groups most vulnerable to poverty have been identified to be scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households with both these groups having above average levels of poverty indicators in the rural and the urban population. Among the economic groups, the most vulnerable groups are the agricultural labour households (rural) and the casual labour households (urban) each having the highest levels of poverty indicators in their respective population segments. In terms of changes in poverty in the 1990s, it is found that while scheduled caste, agricultural labour (rural) and casual labour (urban) households experienced declines in poverty on par with the total population, scheduled tribe households fared badly in both the segments.

Old Classes and New Spaces

Critical perspectives on globalisation acknowledge the need for mitigating the inegalitarian impact of marketisation upon disadvantaged sections on social security and welfare measures. However, scant attention has been paid to the fact that today the political leverage of the traditional protagonists of welfare - the welfare state, social-democratic parties and trade unions - has been eroded. As such, the discourse on welfare and social security is unanchored in any kind of politics. This paper looks at the activities of the National Centre for Labour. Its relationship to traditional trade unions and leftist parties frames the discussion of the limits of the effectiveness of new unions in empowering the poor.

Scaling-Up Participatory Watershed Management

This paper presents a post-project evaluation of an award-winning joint forest management programme in Shiwalik Hills in Haryana. The central research question posed is: how do changes in state policies and spatial differences in implementation of natural resources management strategies by state parastatals influence the evolution of farmer participation in watershed management as it transits from project to post-project phase?

Patterns of Consumption and Poverty in Delhi Slums

This study aims to determine the extent of poverty in Delhi slums through consumption patterns, employment and educational status of the slum population. The study brings out significant social and economic aspects of the people living in Delhi's slums, including low level of education of the migrants, gender disparity in economic status, and significant number of households below the poverty line. The results emphasise the need for a positive employment generation policy among urban slum dwellers. There is also a need to generate employment and provide facilities at the origin of migration in order to check the influx into Delhi.

Falling into Poverty in a High-Growth State

In 20 villages of Vadodara and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat 9.2 per cent of all households have escaped from poverty over the past 25 years, but another 7.3 per cent of households in these villages have fallen into poverty at the same time. Different reasons account, respectively, for escaping poverty and for falling into poverty, and different policies will be required to deal with each of these separate trends. Growth alone will not suffice to deal effectively with poverty. Reasons for falling into poverty will need to be tackled separately through suitable public policies and appropriate non-government actions.

Economics and Policy Implications of National Biodiversity Legislation

This paper examines the critical issues involved in operationalising the National Biodiversity Legislation in India. It discusses the structure of 'prior informed approval' envisaged in the legislation, and examines the provisions on the protection of traditional knowledge and suggests measures to enhance it. The paper also highlights the significance of the decision-making process relating to bioprospecting contracts, including balancing concerns for conservation with bioprospecting.

Changing Perspectives in Public Health

From Population to an Individual This paper focuses on the overriding influence of methodological individualism in the historical construction of public health. While evidence of a holistic approach to health is observed in the writings of people like Hippocrates, the developments subsequent to the establishment of the Cartesian paradigm, contained strong elements of individualism. In fact, systematic epidemiological studies in the 19th century rightly justified epidemiology

Growth of SDP and Structural Changes in State Economies

This study attempts to compare economic performance across states over the period 1980-81 to 2000-01 using state domestic product (SDP), per capita SDP and sectoral composition of SDP as measures of interstate disparities for the period 1980-81 to 2000-01.

For a Cultural Politics of Natural Resources

This collection of essays makes a case for the study of natural resources through the lens of cultural politics. A focus on the complex material and symbolic dimensions of how 'natural resources' come to be imagined, appropriated and contested, enables one to move away from the dull rigours of economic determinism that dog political ecology. The conceptual strengths of this approach also enrich political practice. This introductory essay delineates some of the contours of cultural politics and situates the following essays within its rubric, organising the discussion around prominent keywords used in discourses around natural resources.

Water and Waste: Nature, Productivity and Colonialism in the Indus Basin

This article explores differing uses of the term 'waste' in late 19th and early 20th century British irrigation administration in the Indus basin. The article compares the term's usage within the framework of professional engineering and within the framework of British property law and village administration. Differing concepts of 'waste' point towards deep-seated conflicts in British thinking about the relationship between the state, nature and the social body of Indus basin society. While engineers saw control over a wasteful nature as the key linking technical experts to a society composed of individual producers, revenue administrators saw the existence of unproductive land, labelled as 'waste' (or commons), as key to a vision of society as composed of village communities defined not by their roles in production, but by 'blood' and genealogy. The article explores how the tensions between these conceptions of 'waste' and community shaped the long-term development of irrigation.

Contexts and Constructions of Water Scarcity

What makes water scarce? This paper argues that water scarcity is both 'real' and 'constructed'. While manufactured through political and policy processes, a combination of socio-political, discursive and institutional factors, water scarcity is experienced in terms of real, tangible effects. By focusing on the case of 'water-scarce' Kutch and its relationship with the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project, this paper argues that state discourses and programmes essentialise scarcity as a natural phenomenon that enables the political legitimisation of large dams. In the process, they also marginalise local knowledge systems and livelihood strategies that are adapted to conditions of uncertain and limited water supply.

Environmental Insecurities:Geopolitics, Resources and Conflict

In the aftermath of the cold war, the environment has emerged as a major area of concern as a potential cause of political conflict. This paper critically reviews the concept of 'environmental security' and examines the assumptions underlying debates around environmental conflicts from the perspective of political ecology and global political economy. It argues that attention to the specificities of local contexts must be combined with an appreciation of the continued salience of the structures of imperial knowledge and power.

Investing in Nature around Sylhet

Geographical histories around the region of Sylhet, in north-east Bangladesh, indicate that transactions between mobility and territoriality, which typify globalisation, have long operated in diverse spatial and temporal registers - ecological, religious, demographic, economic, and political - to transform the social and cultural spaces where people invest in nature. Scholars, policy-makers and activists would thus do well to abandon the idea that national maps alone constitute the geography of modernity.

Economies of Violence

Petroleum in the Nigerian context has produced a combustible politics marked by violence. Rather than see oil-dependency as a source of predation or as a source of state military power, this paper explores how oil capitalism produces particular sorts of enclave economies and governable spaces characterised by violence and instability. While the biophysical qualities of oil matter in this analysis, so do the powers of transnational oil companies, the character of the 'the oil complex', and the ways in which oil as a territorially-based and nationalised commodity can become the basis for making claims.

Natural Resources and Capitalist Frontiers

The late 20th century saw the creation of new 'resource frontiers' in every corner of the world. Made possible by cold war militarisation of the third world and the growing power of corporate transnationalism, resource frontiers grew up where entrepreneurs and armies were able to disengage nature from its previous ecologies, making the natural resources that bureaucrats and generals could offer as corporate raw material. From a distance, these new resource frontiers appeared as the 'discovery' of global supplies in forests, tundras, coastal seas, or mountain fastnesses. Up close, they replaced existing systems of human access and livelihood and ecological dynamics of replenishment with the cultural apparatus of capitalist expansion. This essay explores the making of a resource frontier in the eastern part of South Kalimantan, Indonesia, in the 1990s.

Cultural Theory, Climate Change and Clumsiness

Cultural theory offers an approach for understanding and resolving the disputes that characterise environmental policy. Its fourfold typology of forms of social solidarity is able to make explicit the different social constructions of nature, physical and human, on which environmental debate is premised. This paper applies cultural theory to the 'policy stories' around climate change and makes the case for 'clumsy' institutional arrangements that forgo elegance to accommodate the diversity of social solidarities, harnessing contestation to constructive, if noisy, argumentation.

Who's in Charge?

The present era can be called the 'Age of Scientific Assessment'. Governments on both sides of the Atlantic, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, and private firms have all increasingly resorted to a variety of techniques, such as probabilistic risk analysis, pollution dispersion models, urban planning models, traffic-flow models, dose-response curves, and so on, ostensibly to guide the prudent use of resources to generate social and welfare and, increasingly, the natural environment. At the same time that the span of technocratic assessment has expanded, there has been a disconcerting decline in electoral participation in many industrialised countries. This paper suggests that there is a direct link between these two phenomena. Critics suggest that the science informing such assessments should be subjected to effective democratic participation and control. Social scientists have responded to this situation by designing ingenious ways to reconcile the conflicting demands of technical competence in making scientific judgments with popular participation in assessment and decision-making processes. Such techniques individualise values and represent the challenge of democracy as that of aggregating individual preferences. The paper opens the question whether these techniques are really the solution or, perhaps, might be part of the problem? It suggests that an answer to this question requires a radical rethink of our ideas about the institutions of science, democracy, and resource management.

Situating Resource Struggles

To analyse resource conflict, this article proposes a conceptual framework which operates at two levels: a conceptualisation of power in terms of sovereignty, governmentality and politics; and a repertoire of terms (projects, practices, processes, positions) that enable the empirical examination of particular sites of struggle. The framework is applied to conflict over a national park in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The Real Exchange Rate, Fiscal Deficits and Capital Flows

India should use the opportunity presented by high reserves and low domestic inflation to now fully open the capital account (with a proviso about borrowing in foreign currency), make the rupee fully convertible and allow it to float freely. For in a world of fluctuating capital flows it is impossible for the authorities to predict, let alone implement, the requisite movements in the nominal exchange rate required for a managed float. If this is done, none of the fears that the authorities seem to have about absorbing capital inflows would be realistic and India could very quickly raise its growth rate, which continues to be suppressed by the misalignment of the real exchange rate.

Violence and Political Culture

Violence, no matter in what name it is courted - tactic, expediency or compulsion - blurs the distinction between emancipatory and retrogressive, the Left and the Right. As a political method it functions on the principle of absolute dualism, permanent war between the good and the evil god and satan. The Ultra Left in Bihar began its career by following the violent path already taken by a number of individuals between 1967 and 1971. It picked up the argument of the 'inevitability of violence' involved in individualised cases of resistance and turned it into a 'party-line', a generalised political wisdom, into a social good. Not surprisingly, in the Ultra Left's extreme vision there was little space for self-criticism, doubts, ambivalence and thus for dialogue and democracy itself. Today the Ultra Left, unable to break the vicious circle of violence, is doomed to follow the politics of marginality.

Spatial Distribution of Rural Poverty

The spatial distribution of poverty in India has emerged as a matter of urgent concern in recent times. This paper presents evidence on the poverty experiences of 75 NSS regions for the quinquennial rounds of 1987-88, 1993-94 and 1999-2000. The results presented here facilitate easy identification of lagging areas on which anti-poverty policy must concentrate. The economic reforms programme has been unable to make any significant dent on the spatial distribution of expenditure poverty.

Through the Life Cycle of Children

This exploratory and illustrative study focuses on children, their family, larger community, the available education and health services in an effort to understand the causality and social processes that affect, partially or wholly, children's full participation in schooling. It explores the continuous and cumulative nature of social and economic exclusion that poor children face and the impact this has on their ability to complete primary schooling. Areas that could make a difference, the study suggests, are well-functioning schools with basic facilities and motivated teachers; an adequate pre-school education component within the ICDS programme; heightened public awareness of health and nutrition and equally importantly, strengthening of traditional community structures.

Dudekula Muslims of Andhra Pradesh

An ethnographic profile of Dudekula Muslims, a little known community in Andhra Pradesh finds that the community, converting to Islam generations ago, continued to follow old traditions for a long time earning harsh criticism from both religious communities. In recent years however, the younger generations have increasingly taken to adopting Islamic rituals, traditions, customs and manners in the hope of securing a higher social status.

Hindi Musalman: Vangujjar Transhumance in Uttaranchal

Vangujjars are traditionally buffalo keepers and claim to have been converted to Islam by Taimur and his followers. They are spread over the north and north-western Himalayas comprising parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. They live a precarious nomadic life following the teachings of Islam but continuing to practice Hindu customs including its social stratification.

Dynamics of Debt Accumulation in India

Accumulation of debt can be seen as the resultant of the balance between cumulated primary deficits and the cumulated weighted excess of growth over interest rate. Decomposing the change in the central governmentâ??s liabilities relative to GDP since 1951-52, it is seen that but for three recent years, the accretion to debt relative to GDP was due to the cumulated primary deficits. A significant part of the effect of the cumulated primary deficits could be absorbed in the sixties, seventies, and the nineties due to the excess of growth over interest rate. However, there were large unabsorbed parts in the fifties and the eighties. The cushion provided by the excess of growth over interest rate may not continue to be available for long. For three years, viz, 2000-01 to 2002-03, the interest rate exceeded the growth rate. This, together with the continuing primary deficits though at a reduced level, led to acceleration in the increase in the debt-GDP ratio in recent years. For stabilisation of the debt-GDP ratio at current or reduced levels, focus on primary balance becomes necessary.

Performance Agreements in US Government

A performance agreement is a document summarising the understanding between the US president and his cabinet secretary regarding the expected results and performance indicators for the concerned department. This article argues that performance agreements are an effective instrument for promoting a culture of accountability in the government and lauds the attempt by the US administration to introduce them systematically in the highest echelons of the government. However, due to technical flaws in their design, these instruments have proved to be ineffective. This experience provides valuable lessons for developing countries in search of effective instruments of accountability. A well-designed system of performance agreements can be a great instrument for transforming development goals into reality.

Poverty in India in the 1990s

This note corrects an inadvertent but key error in the authors' estimates of poverty for 1993-94 on the mixed reference period and presents the impact of the correction on the conclusions stated in their earlier papers. At the all-India level, except in respect of the number of urban poor, all the earlier results on the direction of change, namely, a clear and unambiguous decline in poverty in India in the 1990s, continue to hold good. However, the size of the decline in poverty between 1993-94 and 1999-2000, in terms of percentage change over the 1993-94 levels, is reduced by between 7 and 10 percentage points depending on the indicator and the population segment considered. Despite this, the average annual reduction in poverty was higher in the last six years of the 1990s than that recorded during the ten-and-a-half years preceding 1993-94.

Sensitising Grass Roots Leadership on Health Issues

In 1998 a pilot training project to orient panchayat members on health issues took off in Karnataka's Chitradurga district. The â??experiment' received wide acclaim, as the methodology employed was participatory and post-training evaluation revealed higher levels of awareness and self-confidence in local participants in the programme. This paper analyses how a follow-up training project was developed soon after to create awareness on reproductive and child health issues using the medium of television. Informal channels such as television proved effective in initiating important attitudinal and behavioural changes at grass roots level, where a majority of people may have had little formal education.

Democratisation of Indian Muslims

The upper class/caste Indian Muslim leadership has historically and consciously focused on the politics of identity, centred on a few cultural-emotive issues - a process that by its very nature has stymied attempts towards democratisation within the community. As a critical appraisal reveals, such attempts only serve to perpetuate the domination of a minuscule elite who present such grievances as issues held in common by a 'uniform monolithic' Muslim community. In reality, the Muslim community remains diversified, fragmented and as caste-ridden as any other community.

A Different Jihad

This article discusses the issue of caste, in the context of the backward Muslim communities of Bihar elucidated in Ali Anwar's book, and the complete marginalisation of the groups at the bottom of the pecking order. The book, by focusing on the plight of backward and dalit Muslims, has the potential to redefine the very grammar of Muslim politics in favour of a progressive agenda, thus moving away from the now-prevalent reactive politics.

Social Structure, OBCs and Muslims

Although the Muslims in India form a single religious community sharing basic Islamic precepts, they do not form a 'community' in anthropolitical/sociological terms. They are differentiated into various groups and sub-groups along ethnic, social and cultural lines and are organised in a stratified social order. Only in recent years have various marginalised Muslim groups begun to struggle for empowerment and self-development. The nature of their struggle has created a complex situation under the pluri-cultural set-up of the Indian nation state.

Islam, Social Stratification and Empowerment of Muslim OBCs

This paper looks at the issue of social stratification among Muslims of north India from a historical perspective. It identifies caste as a system of such social stratification and compares the social and economic backwardness of Muslim OBCs with other OBCs. The article suggests separate reservations for Muslim OBCs within the existing reserved quota, as a means to achieve equality and social justice.

Muslim Kinship in Dravidian Milieu

This study explores the institutions of kinship and marriage in a Karnataka Muslim community. In this region though Muslims retain their separate identity by following their own customs and practices, using their own language and maintaining strict endogamy and commensal restrictions, there is clear tendency on their part to fall in line with the local dominant non-Muslim socio-cultural practices.

Problems of Identification of Muslim OBCs in West Bengal

The classification and categorisation of OBCs in general and Muslim OBCs in particular is not a simple task. The variations in criteria for identification of OBCs reflect the absence of a uniform basis of backwardness. West Bengalâ??s list of Muslim OBCs has several loopholes, due to which certain select communities have managed to gain maximum benefits, leaving many others disadvantaged. Therefore, more ethnographic information about the communities is needed for proper categorisation of backward clas

Long-Term Population Projections for Major States, 1991-2101

The authors decompose the prospective population growth in 16 major states between 1991 and 2101 into three components to estimate the contribution of each of them individually. The decomposition of population growth in different states seeks to estimate the impact of growth momentum built into the age distribution of population and the share of prospective growth attributable to (a) the unmet need for family planning and (b) high wanted fertility.

Economic Globalisation and Its Advance

Economic globalisation has made tremendous strides in recent decades as evidenced in the huge expansion in world exports, vast FDI flows and transnationalisation of production, among other factors. The first wave of globalisation was witnessed on a massive scale in the 19th century. However, there are several parameters distinctive to the contemporary process of globalisation, making it the kind of deep integration that was not seen in the previous period.

Is Caste System Intrinsic to Hinduism?

This paper, citing evidence from the ancient scriptures, attempts to establish that Hinduism - its vedic and classic variants - did not support the caste system; it rigorously opposed it in practice and principle. Even after the emergence of the caste system, Hindu society still saw considerable occupational and social mobility. Moreover, Hinduism created legends to impress on the popular mind the invalidity of the caste system - a fact further reinforced by the constant efflorescence of reform movements throughout history. The caste system survived in spite of this because of factors that ranged from the socio-economic to the ecological, which helped sustain and preserve balance among communities in a non-modern world.

Globalisation Traumas and New Social Imaginary

Without being able to identify with either the upper castes or the lower castes on caste questions, or with left ideologies or rightist forces on the political front the visvakarma community of traditional artisans in Kerala aimlessly wanders from one shelter to another. The changes that are taking place in the self-identity of this community buffeted by new economic forces provide a clue to the process of reformulation of community identities by middle caste groups in recent times.

Land Degradation in India

In several regions of India, especially the arid and semi-arid regions, environmental degradation is nearing irreversible levels even as replacement costs continue to rise. Land degradation occurs mainly in the form of water-induced soil erosion, though agrochemical and wind erosion have also made an impact. This paper seeks to measure the extent of damage due to land degradation of various types and their expected trends in the future. Besides examining trends in land-use pattern across states and estimating the extent and costs of degradation, it also explores the linkages between degradation and policy and institutional environment in the context of agro-climatic regional planning.

Relative Profitability from Production and Trade

Based on the results of a two-year market survey, this paper studies the phenomenon of low prices received by potato farmers in West Bengal even as traders make huge profits. The paper argues that the differential profit earned by producers and traders, especially large traders, is due to the informational advantage enjoyed by the latter and suggests the formation of small sellers' cooperatives to ensure proper flow of information.

Future of Mid-Day Meals

Spurred by a recent Supreme Court order, many Indian states have introduced cooked mid-day meals in primary schools. This article reports the findings of a recent survey which suggests that this initiative could have a major impact on child nutrition, school attendance and social equity. However, quality issues need urgent attention if mid-day meal programmes are to realise their full potential. Universal and nutritious mid-day meals would be a significant step towards the realisation of the right to food.

Marine Fish Production in Karnataka

This paper attempts to assess the long-term trend in marine fish production in Karnataka using two different growth functions and analyses the changes in species composition during the past three decades. It argues that not only has there been a falling trend in production but also a change in species composition resulting in the decline of hitherto commercially important fish as well as those consumed by local communities. It suggests that this decline is not just a seasonal fluctuation but an indication of fish famine in terms of both production and accessibility.

Trade Policy, Agricultural Growth and Rural Poor

This paper attempts to examine (i) how changes in trade policy introduced during the nineties have influenced the domestic inter-sectoral terms of trade, being the mechanism through which the impact of macro policies such as monetary, exchange rate and trade are transmitted to the agricultural sector; (ii) the impact of terms of trade and trade policy among others on aggregate crop output and private investment in agriculture over the period; (iii) whether trade policy and devaluation of rupee among others have helped in raising agricultural exports; and (iv) how the aggregate crop output and terms of trade have influenced rural poverty and real agricultural wages of unskilled workers over the period.

Truth about Hunger and Disease in Mumbai

This paper measures the incidence of malnourishment among under-five children in slums in Mumbai and compares it to the incidence in Jawhar tehsil of Thane district known for high levels of malnourishment. Severe malnourishment is found to be higher in Mumbai than in Jawhar. A connection is postulated between characteristics of urban informal labour markets, specially for women's labour, and the high observed incidence of malnutrition among children. The paper discusses policy mixes for minimising the incidence of malnutrition in this population. A policy that combines income improvement with greater public health facilities and legislation is most likely to succeed in Mumbai. The existing policy of 'slum re-development', if not combined with these other policies, will only induce cosmetic changes and solve the 'problem' of slums only from the point of view of the non-slum population.