ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Weavers of Banaras

A switch from the handloom to the powerloom has altered the livelihood, ethos, and lifestyle of the weavers of the Banaras silk industry. This article is an attempt to understand how these artisans have coped with the transformation wrought by technology, how they perceive changes occurring in Banaras’s composite culture, and their reactions to the current political dispensation led by Narendra Modi.

Understanding the Potentialities

This ethnographic study of Dalit women from the villages of Allahabad district assesses their identification with Dalit politics, the impact that the Bahujan Samaj Party has had on their political and social aspirations, and what makes them identify with Mayawati.

RSS, BJP and Communal Polarisation in Uttar Pradesh Polls

Ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its allied organisations are making concerted efforts to achieve better coordination on the ground to consolidate the Hindu votes and crack the complex caste arithmetic of the state. With the Hindutva card unlikely to cut much ice with the backward castes and Dalits, it is crucial for the BJP, to calibrate its campaign strategy to offer these less empowered communities more political representation to reap electoral dividends in the impending polls.

Third Democratic Upsurge in Uttar Pradesh

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh point to an electoral battle between the incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With a decline of identity politics in the state, the major political parties are trying to outdo each other in engineering alliances, reaching out to hitherto neglected, marginalised groups, under the garb of inclusive politics. Sensing an opportunity, these backward groups are turning away from their identity-based political anchors and being drawn towards parties that promise political and economic empowerment, signalling the beginning of the “third democratic upsurge” in UP.

Deciphering Growth and Development

Uttar Pradesh’s growth and development is increasingly becoming part of the political discourse as the 2017 state elections approach. The Akhilesh Yadav government has showcased its strategies and achievements through public advertisements. Given that all major parties in the fray have been in power in the state at some time or another, this article examines UP’s record of growth and development over the long run, and over specific sub-periods linked to various political regimes. It specifically examines how growth strategies, focused on industrial and infrastructure growth, have evolved since the early 1990s, poor governance has influenced the general development scenario as well as the impact of “social justice” oriented governments on socially inclusive development.

New Structures of Governance Needed

India’s existing structures of water governance, which focus on constructing supply systems, need a radical transformation to be able to address new challenges. This article points out that the proposed National Water Commission could help by initiating steps that assert crucial aspects of the new culture of water management structures in the country.

All Is Not Lost, But Water Sector Reforms Must Go Ahead

There is a growing awareness that water endowments in India are severely under the threat of exhaustion and degradation. The focus since independence has been on intensifying utilisation of water through building more and more dams on rivers or extracting groundwater through wells and tube wells...

Sustaining the Liquid Mosaic

This critique assesses if the National Water Framework Bill 2016 and the Mihir Shah Committee report are truly interdisciplinary and based on the principles of integrated water systems governance. The question still remains whether the recommendations are enough to bridge existing gaps and address future challenges in water governance.

Welcome First Step to Much-needed Change

While welcoming the Mihir Shah Committee report for seeking to bring about a very important change in the current institutional structure of water management in the country, this article draws attention to some of its major shortcomings. It also observes that some of the report’s recommendations need a word of caution.

Focusing on the Essentials

Welcoming the debate on the assumptions underpinning water resource monitoring in India triggered by the Mihir Shah Committee report, the authors suggest that the proposed National Water Commission should focus on providing integrated data and science to help water managers and policymakers, avoiding getting directly involved in planning or regulation.

21st Century Water Governance

The Mihir Shah Committee report analyses the complexity of the water sector in a finely nuanced manner and understands what needs to be done, but it fails to convince how its ideas could fructify. The report’s prescriptions, executed through a new structure, could fetter the water sector instead of setting it free to innovate.

From Policy to Practice

The Mihir Shah Committee report lays a solid foundation for restructuring water governance in India. Yet, a few supplementary provisions could reinforce the report’s recommendations, nudging the effort towards improved water resources management.

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