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Question of Land, Livelihood and Development

The setting up of the Tribal Resettlement and Development Mission was a landmark event in the annals of A divasi land struggles in Kerala. Although the mission has been successful in providing land to a large number of Adivasi families, it has failed to cater to all the land-related needs of these families, ranging from livelihood to preservation of cultural identity. A field study exposes such issues and advocates the need for a broader interpretation of “land” in policymaking.

Perfect Strangers

Pakistan has a very large non-profit sector, which operates autonomously and without any meaningful oversight by government agencies. This article is a critique of the existing legal and institutional framework for regulating non-governmental organisations in Pakistan. In most cases, registration comprises the first and last contact between an NGO and the regulator. Government agencies emerge as disinterested regulators and the emphasis clearly is on form, rather than substance. There is also disagreement on what is legitimate for the regulator to demand and for NGOs to provide.

From Nautch to Nritya

This article positions the women’s question in terms of performance within the larger ongoing nationalist concern and freedom movement in the early part of the 20th century. It reads Rabindranath Tagore’s experiments in his dance drama as embodying a postcolonial aesthetic, not always in harmony with the nationalist ideals churned out at the time, often jostling with contending notions about art, femininity and sexuality.

Babu’s Camelot

Three key dynamics have come to the fore in the fresh cycle of capitalism that is unfolding in the new state of Andhra Pradesh. First, capitalist accumulation is happening with a weak articulation and incorporation of labour. Second, capitalist development is being visualised in a city-centric paradigm with a weak vision of integrating the hinterlands. Third, these two dynamics are perceived by the state and the ruling elite to have little opposition, a kind of thesis with a weak antithesis. This paper provides a critique of these emerging dynamics in the hope of imagining a more inclusive Andhra Pradesh.

Inflation Targeting amidst Structural Change

The interconnection between relative price movements, structural change, and inflation targeting in a developing economy like India is studied through a simple macroeconomic model. Different sectors of a developing economy belong to distinctly different stages of development and grow at different rates. It is argued that changes in relative price and structural change are endogenously determined by imbalances in sectoral growth rates.

Regional Divergence and Inequalities in India

The question of regional development holds special significance for India, given that the regions are not entirely homogeneous. The high growth rate of the economy as a whole has not led to a similar growth pattern for its regions. An analysis on regional convergence across 15 major states in India suggests that there is divergence of the aggregate economy for the period 1970–71 to 2013–14. The findings therefore do not lend support to the expectations of the neoclassical convergence hypothesis according to which poor regions tend to catch up with the advanced regions in the long run leading to regional convergence.

India’s Urban Landscape

The new Indian urban landscape is being designed around grand concepts such as smart cities and export-oriented industrial corridors. In our desire to be global, we are emulating outdated models of urbanisation and economic progress borrowed from nations that have grown rich through questionable means. Our cities remain bloated extensions of the early capitalist, modern European city, dogged by poverty and the concentration of wealth. We need to search for a future from our own capabilities and geographies.

Rehabilitation Policy

In the early 1990s, after decades of political discontent, thousands of Kashmiri men travelled across the Line of Control for arms training to seek independence from India. However, soon many became disillusioned and looked at the possibilities of return. In 2010, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir announced a rehabilitation policy for them. However, the ex-militants generally avoid the designated points mainly to evade possible arrest by the Indian security forces and the cumbersome documentation process. This article argues that the criterion for return through these points is flawed, since it has failed to attract ex-militants, and those who returned through other points were not entitled to the benefits of the rehabilitation policy.

Contours of Access to Water and Sanitation in India

Improving the access to water and sanitation for all sections of society has been a significant development priority in recent decades in India and the same has been juxtaposed with advocacy for water and sanitation to be recognised as the legal human rights. However, very limited attention has been paid to seeing water and sanitation as a legal right for the populace, despite the debate over the abysmally low indicators of hygienic parameters for the vulnerable sections of society. Whereas Article 21 of the Constitution enunciates Right to Life in its multidimensional manifestations, including the right to safe drinking water, reflections on the findings of the NSS 69th round (which looks at the conditions of drinking water and sanitation in India, among other things) critically examines the availability of the water and conditions of sanitation for Indians. The right to water does not mean mere availability of water but water of standard quality so as to ensure healthy life of an individual. This article attempts to assess the hygienic conditions from the point of view of international benchmarks as also the effectiveness of rights provided under the Constitution and in other statutory documents with regard to water and sanitation.

Evacuation during Cyclones Phailin and Hudhud

An examination of public evacuation carried out during the cyclonic storms Phailin and Hudhud, both of which struck the east coast of India on 12 October 2013 and 2014, respectively, argues that in both cases there was lack of clarity over the nature of risk posed by the cyclones. Consequently,...

Decentralising Accountability

Ensuring good governance while devolving the 3Fs— functions, funds and functionaries—is a formidable challenge. An action research conducted in Sikkim from 2010 to 2016 focused on four questions: where is the corruption, what are the different types of corruption, how much is the quantum, and how do we reduce it effectively? A set of anti-corruption tools was integrated in the programme delivery, and corruption practices were broadly grouped into “easy to prevent,” “difficult to prevent but easy to detect,” and “difficult to prevent and detect.” By applying this strategy, we found that the corruption level dropped more than three times from 1.74% to 0.55%, and the savings from sanctioned cost rose to 20% (₹30.16 crore). This reduction was achieved despite weak enforcement, highlighting that a dynamic anti-corruption strategy that increases the probability of being caught can significantly reduce corruption by decentralising accountability.

Not Quite Black

From Frantz Fanon, via Edward Said, to Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy, we have learnt how, in instances of encounters between people of different national, ethnic and racial provenances, skin colour has been held up as a conspicuous marker of culture (or thereby lack of), as well as a parameter for measuring vice and virtue. There are, however, shades of difference among the people who thrive within this hierarchical arrangement of skin colour. These debates are analysed by looking at Indian popular culture, especially Hindi cinema.

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