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

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Spatio-temporal Variations of Crop Diversification

Crop diversification has been found to augment farmer’s income and employment, and to reduce poverty. An analysis of the nature and extent of crop diversification with spatio-temporal variations in the Damodar Valley Corporation command area in West Bengal is presented and the factors affecting crop diversification are identified. The spatial effect has been captured by segregating the DVC canal water course into three segments—head-reach, middle-reach and tail-end—according to the location of the area with respect to the water course. Uncertainty in respect of canal water availability in the tail-end area induces farmers to resort to higher crop diversification. The number of rural markets, distance of cultivated land from farmer’s home, and the number of adult family members engaged in agriculture significantly influence the nature of crop diversification.

Making Ash Disappear

The Indian government has been pushing for a target of 1.5 billion tonnes of coal production annually by 2020, most of which will be used in the electricity sector. In this context, current issues—status, policies, regulations, and bottlenecks—regarding the disposal of fly ash generated by thermal power plants are examined. Scenarios of ash generation and utilisation are presented. Blending fly ash in cement is the most environmentally sustainable and financially attractive method of its utilisation. Finally, key technical, regulatory, pricing, logistical, and behavioural issues that need to be urgently addressed to reach complete fly ash utilisation are discussed.

Does India Need a Caste-based Quota in Cricket?

In India’s 85-year-long Test history, only four of the 289 male Test cricketers have reportedly been Dalits. While concrete steps have been taken to address a similar under-representation of non-white players in South Africa, Dalit under-representation in Indian cricket has received scant attention. There is a need to understand this as a function of systemic barriers arising from corporate patronage post-independence and the urban stranglehold of the game, instead of attributing it to choice, inherent inability or upper caste “tastes.” The grass-roots development approach of Cricket South Africa can serve as an example to address this anomaly.

Rohtang Tunnel and Its Consequences in Lahaul and Spiti

Lahaul and Spiti, a remote district in the north-western Himalayas, is on the brink of a major socio-economic transformation due to the construction of the Rohtang tunnel. While this tunnel is highly significant for the influx of people, ideas and technology that it will usher in, it has serious consequences for life in the valley, altering both the society and the environment in notable ways and raising several issues that need to be addressed urgently.

Price Deficiency Payments and Minimum Support Prices

There is an ongoing debate on whether minimum support prices for various agricultural commodities can be replaced by a system of price deficiency payments to farmers. The main objective of the intended policy shift is the improvement in farmers’ incomes as well as a reduction in farm subsidies. An analysis of this system suggests that price deficiency payments might be a better option for both farmers and the government. However, it should be properly designed so that it can improve farm incomes, national food security, fiscal prudence and sustainability of agriculture. Unlike the Price Loss Coverage programme in the United States, covering almost all crops, and the MSP in India covering as many as 23 crops, it should be limited to a few specific commodities.

Infrastructure and Fiscal Management

In India, fiscal consolidation is rule-based and focuses on deficits and debt. Macroeconomic concerns are not integrated with fiscal targets, which have been achieved at the cost of infrastructure investment. States have to use their revenues more effectively to spend on health and education, and borrow more to fund infrastructure. The centre must incentivise states to use their fiscal space effectively. A strategy for infrastructure investment by the central and state governments is discussed, especially in the context of the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission.

Tribal Land, Customary Law, and the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act

Tribal peoples in Manipur have been maintaining their commons under customary law. Interacting with outsiders has always led to the contestation of their customs, traditions, and beliefs. Tribal societies continue to administer their villages under customary law on the tenet of equity. Their law has even resisted the policies of Manipuri kings and the British administration. In the present day, tribal customary law stands challenged by the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960.

Pesticide Usage by Cotton Farmers in India

With India emerging as a leading cotton producer in the world, and considering the large-scale adoption of Bt cotton cultivation, there is a need to understand the patterns of pesticide use by cotton farmers, especially as environmental, ecological, and health concerns surrounding pesticide use continue to be debated.

EWS Beds in Delhi

In 2007, the Delhi High Court ordered all private hospitals in Delhi having the free treatment condition for economically weaker section patients in their lease deed to provide free treatment to 10% poor inpatients and 25% poor outpatients. This article analyses the monthly reports of “percentage bed occupancy” of the ews beds in 34 private hospitals from 2012–13 to 2015–16. The bed occupancy of 41% hospitals was below 10% and only two hospitals featured more than 30%. A number of loopholes need to be plugged by the custodian of the public properties, which is the state in this case, to ensure that the public partners who are the poor patients are welcomed and provided non-discriminatory health services without any fee.

From the Linear Model to Incremental Innovation Research and Industry in India

In the course of the first 45 years of India’s post-independence development, the focus of research activity was changed from research into methods of raw material survey and extraction, oblivious of any industrial imperative, to research into the process of material production, aimed at inducing technological awareness within industry. This change in focus was accompanied by policy hesitation, and faced reverses. The result was a diversified industrial base together with considerable, albeit highly uneven, levels of technological competence. The subsequent 25-year period is characterised by a reliance on the market mechanism as the channel directing research activity and industrial energy. Market fundamentalism is dismissive of the necessity of creative thought on the contemporary dialectics of the science and industry relationship. This, let alone providing the basis for further advance, has led to the degradation of achieved capabilities in comprehension of the changing dynamics of this relationship.

Scrutinising the Hindu Method of Tribal Absorption

Nirmal Kumar Bose’s idea of the Hindu method of tribal absorption, which is still regarded as an established anthropological theory, stands on weak methodological foundations and insufficient field data. Bose’s theory not only served the ideology of the privileged class, but also foreclosed the growth of an indigenous, nationalist, and secular Indian anthropology. Ironically, more empirically sound and materialist field findings of anthropologist Tarak Chandra Das, who was a contemporary of Bose, were marginalised in the discipline.

Index of Industrial Production

Small business organisations need short-run estimation and forecasting, and a model that has limited data requirements. Statistical techniques currently used are linear in approach, depend on the choice of the data set’s start–end period, and have low statistical reliability. The ensemble empirical mode decomposition approach is not constrained by these limitations or by the non-stationarity and non-linearity attributes of data. As an illustration, the Indian Index of Industrial Production time series is used to develop a coincident indicator of movements in the index that is simple to model, uses real-time data, and makes accurate forecasts.


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