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Ethos as a Gendering Device

Learning is a complex product of schooling, upbringing and ethos. This study examines, with a critical perspective, the crucial role played by the home-school overlap in the lives of Muslim girls. It describes and analyses the ethos surrounding their impoverished lives and education. A hermeneutic interpretation is offered for a stock phrase they frequently use to represent their lives and aspirations. This analysis takes us to deeper, hidden layers of the girls' own discourse. By focusing on the learner's perspective, the study captures a conceptual inadequacy of prevailing policies dealing with girls' education.

Explaining Employment Trends in the Indian Economy: 1993-94 to 2011-12

This paper explores employment trends in India since the mid-1990s based on study of various rounds of National Sample Survey unit level data. The major findings are of a structural transformation with an absolute fall in agricultural employment and a rise in non-agricultural employment, increasing participation in education, decline in child labour, mechanisation of agriculture and rising living standards in rural areas due to a growth in real wages which led to a decline in workforce, most of which was of women leaving the workforce. A fall in demand for manufacturing exports and increasing capital intensity also resulted in a decline in manufacturing employment during 2004-05 - 2009-10. The paper estimates that approximately 17 million jobs per annum need to be created in non-agriculture during 2012-17. Based on these estimates, the paper makes policy suggestions to increase non-agricultural employment in India.

The Colonial Origins of Indian Foreign Policymaking

This paper looks at three aspects of India's foreign policymaking. First, it argues that the institutional history of the foreign office in India is as old as the colonial project. Second, that the first world war was a major tipping point in Indian diplomatic history as the country gained a quasi-international status. While internationally it meant that India's status was closer to that of a dominion than a colony, domestically it catapulted more and more Indians into positions of influence in foreign policymaking. On major strategic issues Indian foreign policy was still conducted from the India Office in London. However, on a number of other important, even if normative, issues, Indians increasingly determined the agenda. Third, the paper discusses how in its post-Independence foreign policy India projected itself as a continuous international entity, rather than a new one, thus choosing to continue rather than close the colonial legacy of foreign policy.

The Last Sahibs

Little has been written about the role of provincial governors in the closing period of British rule in India with all the emphasis being on the Viceroys. This article instead considers the sahibs in the provinces. When British India came to an end on 15 August 1947, it had 11 provinces under 13 governors (11 Britons, two Indians). These last governors of British India, located in a subjective space, found themselves straddling the dichotomy of the coloniser and the colonised. Based on the hitherto unused private papers and correspondences of Mountbatten and the governors, this article seeks to throw a different light on the engagements of the last days of the British in provincial India, where the rulers of the past (British governors) and rulers of the future (Indian ministers) jostled with each other.

Sheikh Abdullah and Land Reforms in Jammu and Kashmir

One of the reasons attributed to the poor agricultural situation in post-Independence India was its unequal land relationship. The Congress Party opted for land reforms as that would transform India into a progressive nation. As the 1949 Constitution decided in its favour, the responsibility of implementation was left to the states. One state which emerged as the leader in agrarian reforms was Jammu and Kashmir, led by Sheikh Abdullah. This article reviews the land relations and agrarian reforms in Jammu and Kashmir and suggests implications this had for the politics of the state.

Social Welfare and Household Consumption Expenditure in India - 2004-05 to 2011-12

This paper uses a modification of the well-known statistical concept of the Lorenz curve - the Generalised Lorenz curve - and its associated social welfare properties to measure changes in well-being of households in India during the last decade using the National Sample Survey data on household consumption expenditure for 2004-05, 2009-10 and 2011-12. The paper shows that at the all-India level, there has been an unambiguous fall in poverty during these years. This pattern is also observed in most (but not all) states. It also compares the rate of growth of per capita consumption expenditure of the bottom four deciles and that of the population as a whole. The scatter diagram of the rates of growth for these deciles and of average consumption shows an upward trend, providing some indication that the trickle-down hypothesis may have worked.

Sikhs of the Hyderabad Deccan

This paper is an attempt to profile those Sikhs who made the Deccan (in India) their home. They claim to be the descendants of the Lahori Fauj dispatched by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab at the request of the Nizam of Hyderabad. Many of them stayed there, married locally and adopted the local culture, but remained true to their religion.

Should Real Wages of Workers Go Up in Indian Manufacturing?

This paper argues why it is important for real wages of workers in Indian manufacturing to go up. During 1998/99-2010/11, the growth in nominal wages appears to have been crowded out by a consistent increase in the consumer price index for industrial workers, rendering a scenario of temporally stagnant real wages in the manufacturing sector. There appears to be a discernible disparity between wage rates of directly employed and temporary workers. Moreover, trend growth rates of wages of supervisory and managerial staff, notwithstanding variation across industries, are significantly higher than that of workers, indicating that the stagnation of the real wage is presumably a stylised fact for workers but not for managerial and supervisory staff. The institution of minimum wage in India seems to be lackadaisical in enforcing a floor wage that compensates for a rise in prices, and providing a premium for the skill. The elasticity of real wages to average productivity of workers appears to be of a perceptibly lower magnitude.

Gandhi before Gandhi

This paper attempts to show that certain practices and symbols which have become prominent and pan-Indian only after their association with Gandhi were nonetheless available for retrieval as they were always indigenous and pre-Gandhian. Gandhi's triumph lay in his "rediscovery" of India after decades of life away from it. Upon his return from South Africa, he did not want to come across as an alienated Indian; and tried to adopt a cultural semiotic around himself, both in words and deed. How successfully he did this is clear from the way latter-day historians have identified those very symbols as "Gandhian".

Unhealthy, Insecure, and Dependent Elders

India faces an exponential growth in the proportion of its elderly in the near future, but there is no specific policy of substance to deal with the many ramifications of this development. What little exists hardly does justice to the country’s elderly poor, who are forced to contend with daunting challenges late in life when they have few resources and are partially or entirely dependent on others. More alarmingly, reliable data on the elderly and their situation is lacking. Unless the state acknowledges its responsibility to the elderly, without hoping that the market will come to its aid, today’s inexcusable callousness to the aged may seem mild when the crisis that is waiting to happen hits us.

Existence, Identity and Beyond

This paper traces the development and emergence of Punjabi dalit literature as a part of dalit assertion and effervescence in postcolonial India. Today, Punjabi dalit literature is well established despite its very short history. The two significant features of dalit literature – powerful narratives constructed about the existential conditions of the dalits and an overarching emphasis on dalit identity – are examined, so too Punjabi dalit literature in terms of the agenda of dalit liberation that is articulated in various genres.

Gendered Labour in India

The processes of economic restructuring during the last two decades have witnessed a massive spurt of opportunities in the labour market which have, withholding the periodic shifts, facilitated women's workforce participation. Although the relationship between economic restructuring and occupational/ industrial diversities is fraught with ambiguities, it may generally be hypothesised that such enhanced openings would contribute towards the reduction in the often observed gendered segregation of labour in industries. Based on the unit level National Sample Survey Office data for various rounds, this study attempts to identify the industries in which women have stereotypically been bunched, and traces whether any changes have come about therein. The study also examines the role of education in diversification of industries in terms of men-women workforce composition. Even as the horizon of the labour market widens, it has not been able to provide women with expanded economic spaces.


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