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The Media, the University, and the Public Sphere

Looking at the uneven phenomenon that higher education in India is, this paper focuses on the ways in which the mainstream English-language media represents issues related to the university. In particular, it looks at press coverage of the “controversy” that surrounded the introduction of a four-year undergraduate programme in Delhi University, and the ways in which it constructed a notion of the university in the public sphere. It also considers some of the television coverage on the rollback of the programme, while pointing to the substantial issues that seem to have been overlooked by the med

Increased Derivatives Trading in India

Based on a study of the futures and options on the National Stock Exchange’s benchmark index NIFTY and 10 other randomly selected NSE stocks, it is found that the spot market has been dominating the futures and options markets. The dominance of the futures market over options has diminished after the increase in the Security Transaction Tax. It is proposed that the STT on protective put and hedged call positions should be reduced to give a boost to the options market. Whether introduction of financial derivatives led to better price discovery in India is explored. Price discovery is analysed simultaneously in the three markets for the individual stocks—options, futures, and spot.

Theatrical Counter Publics

This article is an effort to formulate a more nuanced and textured view of “publics and counter publics” in the wake of the insightful revisionist public sphere discourse through theatre. A historic play in Malayalam You Made Me a Communist by Thoppil Bhasi and its five responsive “counter plays” appearing over 50 years in the second part of the 20th century are studied. Also, it looks at how theatre interacts with the sociocultural problems of an age in its process of bringing an active public discourse in a definite place and space limit.

Poverty and Health Status of Beedi Workers in Andhra Pradesh

A study of beedi-rolling households in Andhra Pradesh reveals that workers continue in this informal industry despite poor wages, exploitation by middlemen, absence of social security and adverse impact on health simply because they have no alternative. This study offers a people’s perspective on the design and implementation of suitable and sustainable alternative livelihoods for thousands of workers, predominantly women, who depend on beedi rolling to augment household income.

The Thucydides of the Russian Revolution

Leon Trotsky’s The History of the Russian Revolution (1930) remains the best detailed introduction to the revolution, its social complexities, its narrative, and its class dynamics. Embedded within the narrative of the three-volume tome is a contribution to the development of the tools of a materialist understanding of history and a number of theoretical and analytical issues. Importantly, Trotsky shows that only through crises and interactions between masses, cadres and leaders could the revolutionary process go forward. The ultimate success of the Russian Revolution however depended on a wider context—it had to be a part of a bigger international socialist revolution.

Equity in Oral Healthcare in India

Oral health is a critical but overlooked component of overall health and well-being. Although there have been impressive advances in both dental technology and in our scientific understanding of oral diseases, significant disparities in both the prevalence of dental disease and access to dental...

Healthcare Consumption in Uttar Pradesh

C S Verma ( verma.cs@gmail.com ) is a senior fellow and Shivani Singh ( ssshivani15@gmail.com ) is a research associate at the Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow. Alok Ranjan (alokranjancmc@ gmail.com) is a junior research fellow at the Indian Council of Medical Research and T Sundararaman ( sundar2016@gmail.com ) teaches at the School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Economic Reforms and Agricultural Growth in India

It was argued that economic liberalisation would ensure a favourable shift in the terms of trade for agriculture in India, enabling producers to plough back surplus from cultivation to make long-term improvements on land, and raise agricultural productivity and growth rate. Contrary to expectations, there was no noticeable improvement in the terms of trade for agriculture during the reform period. Moreover, decline in capital formation in agriculture, inadequate expenditure on irrigation and extension services in rural areas, and a dearth of cheap institutional credit, resulted in a slowdown of agricultural growth and heightened livelihood insecurity for a substantial proportion of those dependent on agriculture.

Inequality, Gender, and Socio-religious Groups

Being of the female gender could mean a little less inequality in the Indian labour market now than belonging to a marginalised socio-religious group, observes this paper. It shows that more women are now in high-paid jobs, while groups such as Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Muslims are still engaged in menial low-paid jobs. Over the years, there has been a decline in gender inequality and a rise in socio-religious inequality. A decomposition analysis reveals that education and type of employment contribute most to income inequality.

Revisiting Bank Mergers

The central government’s policy favouring bank mergers assumes enhanced efficiency of the merged banks through economies of scale and scope. An econometric analysis of India’s scheduled commercial banks, however, establishes that in the Indian banking sector, mergers may actually be detrimental to efficiency. This paper argues that public sector banks were set up to serve the welfare needs of the underprivileged and to promote financial inclusion, not to make profits. In the case of bank mergers, economies of scale and scope are being used to veil the promotion of economies of exclusion.

View from the Other Side

A different kind of understanding took shape among certain sections of the Bengali elite, that is, the professional middle- and upper-classes, which gave a primacy to the norms of society and the needs of the locals over the commercial interests of the colonial state. The local ideas tried to jostle for space with the dominant colonial ideas of the city and manifested in various forms. Also, unlike the colonial ideas, the local ideas about the city space were not identical and unitary, but tended to vary from person to person. However, in all these, the interests of the society were also kept in mind. Some of these writings provided a sharp critique to the colonial administration and its views about the city, be it on the sanitary measures adopted by the administration or the mindless commercialisation in the city. The larger focus of the local views was to provide a critique of the colonial administration, as well as the critique of the social decay brought by it.

Estimating Unaccounted Income in India

An alternative methodology to measure the scale of unaccounted income in India (shadow economy) using transport as the universal input is developed. Based on input –output tables and National Accounts Statistics, annual demand for road freight transport is estimated. Correspondingly, annual supply of road freight transport is obtained based on availability of diesel for road freight transport, stock of goods carriages, average freight transport capacity per vehicle, average annual distance travel, and average fuel efficiency per vehicle. The mismatch of supply and demand is broadly considered the unaccounted for portion of the gross domestic product. The methodology is tested for two successive input–output tables and three consecutive financial years. Since the analysis is based on assumptions, a comparative static analysis is carried out to check the sensitivity of estimates to changes in the assumptions.

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