ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

PerspectivesSubscribe to Perspectives

Himalayas in the Western Mind’s Eye

Disillusioned with developments in the West, counter-culturists looked to the Himalayas as the (hoped for) last bastion of pre-industrial human wisdom and dignity. From the Tibetan “Great White Brotherhood” of Helena Blavatsky’s Theosophy, to Hilton’s Lost Horizon and “Shangri-La,” to the 1950s yeti-hunting craze, to today’s dharma tourists, Westerners have sought elusive “missing links” between themselves and their (imagined) pasts that might still exist in the world’s most remote terra incognita.

Puzzle of Indian Urbanisation

In India, unlike other countries, migration started to decelerate when the urban population was well below a quarter of the total population. This principal puzzle contains within it other intriguing issues, including, for instance, why more Indians do not migrate voluntarily in response to the growing divergence in economic opportunities between rural and urban areas. There may be better explanations for our low migration rates than wage differentials.

A Village in the Midst of a Forest Ecosystem

Settled villages on the fringes of a national park earn their livelihood not only from collecting forest produce but also from agriculture within the forest ecosystem. However, this relationship between the settlers and the forest is constantly mediated by institutions such as the state and the market. The settlers have to contend with risks of rain-fed agriculture, depredations from wild animals, and also with the forest establishment, which is mostly hostile to cultivation. This article attempts to show the complex relationship between the forest and the people living in it.

Crisis in Indian Agriculture

The crisis in Indian agriculture, which has been building up for decades, is not one of declining profitability but of non-viability of the bulk of landholdings. The number of these holdings is fast increasing, and even the extent of non-viable land in the total cultivable area is expanding. Merely boosting the productivity of smallholdings is not sufficient, and their non-viability hinders capital formation in agriculture. The main reason behind the crisis is that employment opportunities in non-agricultural sectors are not growing fast enough.

Vocational Training in Indian Prisons

The vocational training programmes offered in Indian prisons with the intention of rehabilitating offenders are not only supposed to train prisoners in vocational knowledge and skills, but also strengthen their will to work, sense of self-help, and spirit of cooperation by having them work with others in a regulated environment. However, with the criminal justice system laying undue emphasis on the incarceration of criminals alone, the goals of reformation and rehabilitation of lawbreakers get undermined.

Remembering Osmania University’s Contribution to Public Life

For over a 100 years Osmania University has been a global centre of learning that served as a mirror and conscience keeper of society. Through its history it has not only educated the young, empowering them to find better employment, but it has also been a space that inculcated radical ideas in students who fought for systemic change and a more equal society. The university remains the most important institution for first-generation students from downtrodden backgrounds in the region. Today, the university is facing significant challenges, which must be addressed to safeguard this historic institution.

Learning from the American and Mexican Experiences

The massive pendency of cases in Indian courts is a denial of fundamental right to life, shaking the faith of the individual in the judicial system. The Mexican judiciary too was burdened with pending court cases. The suitability and necessity of reintroducing the jury trial system in India can reduce the pendency of cases at lower courts in the light of the American and Mexican experiences.

In Search of Non-tangential Premises

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 marks a significant shift in the discourse on commercialisation of surrogacy. This article explores issues of altruism, repugnance, paternalism, marketability, exploitation, and assumptions of the moral inviolability of motherhood, with respect to surrogacy in India. It offers close perspectives on the ramifications of altruism in assisted reproduction based on field research and interviews conducted in the cities of Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Anand, and Howrah.

Interstate Cooperation for Climate Change Adaptation in Indian Himalayan Region

Mainstreaming climate concerns in cross-sectoral planning and teamwork among neighbouring states in the Indian Himalayan Region are persistent hurdles in addressing climate adaptation at the state and regional levels. The authors propose interstate cooperation facilitation through a specific knowledge network, decentralised and coordinated approach for capacity building, joint adaptation project formulation and implementation, high-level coordination mechanism, and the creation of an adaptation portal as a novel way forward.

Challenges before the Fifteenth Finance Commission

The terms of reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission are significantly different from those of earlier finance commissions. Some of these changes are within the mandate of the Constitution. Some do not appear to be so. Others appear extraneous. Some appear to urge the commission to asymmetrically treat a group of states. This article examines the challenges the XV-FC will face while addressing these changes.

Should States Target a 3% Fiscal Deficit?

India’s current fiscal rules target a 3% fiscal deficit for the central and state governments. Though states have largely adhered to their borrowing ceilings, subnational debt is proliferating. A significant reduction in subnational borrowing is required to stabilise the states’ debt around the desired level of 20% of gross domestic product. Symmetry should not be forced on central and state borrowing flows, given their widely divergent levels of debt stocks.

The Sugar Industry in Maharashtra

Sugar cane and the sugar industry are an indisputable backbone of the rural economy in Maharashtra. Barring a few exceptions, this agro-industry is bound towards financial unsustainability. The causes and potential solutions out of this impending crisis have been detailed here.

Pages

Back to Top