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Well done ABBA?

The Aadhaar-based Biometric Authentication system was introduced in all Public Distribution System outlets in Hyderabad between February and March 2016. A survey of 80 households (284 persons) in November finds that despite the introduction of technology-intensive authentication and payment systems, a significant number of those vulnerable and dependent on PDS for food grains are failing to realise their right to food. It is alarming that these sophisticated systems fail even in locations where connectivity and technical know-how are relatively advanced.

Ten Ways MGNREGA Workers Do Not Get Paid

Recent evidence suggests that a significant number of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act workers are not paid at all for their work. An analysis of this phenomenon revealed that the increasing dependence on technology in the implementation of the act is creating new hurdles for wage payments.

Survey of the Effects of Demonetisation on 28 Slum Neighbourhoods in Mumbai

The immediate impact of and reaction to demonetisation are documented and examined through a survey of around 200 families living in 28 slum or lower-income neighbourhoods in Mumbai in early December 2016. A drop in family income is recorded with wide variation across different groups and occupation types. There is also a drop in consumption as well as changes in the families’ savings in November. Finally, we find that the majority of respondents view the policy overall as positive, including the majority of those who experienced some loss of income in November. 

Does Counterfeit Currency Data Conceal More than It Reveals?

A response to J Dennis Rajakumar and S L Shetty’s article titled, “Demonetisation: 1978, the Present and the Aftermath” (EPW, 26 November 2016). The extent to which one can measure the effect of counterfeit currency in our economy is through the use of detailed information on seizures, by authorities. 

Aam Aadmi Party as Third Player in Punjab Politics

 Despite huge organisational and political blunders, the Aam Aadmi Party is still a substantial player in Punjab's electoral politics. It does not have the organisational network that the Akali Dal has nor a popular leader such as the Congress' Amarinder Singh. However, its emergence in the state has brought to the fore the issue of regional versus Delhi-centric control of party decisions and politics

From 13 Years Ago —​ A Tribute to Former EPW Editor Krishna Raj

As editor for 35 years (1969-2004), Krishna Raj gave EPW the reputation it now enjoys. On his 13th death anniversary, we reproduce the tribute published in EPW on 24 January 2004, a week after Krishna Raj's sudden death. 

Sectarian Appeal Judgment — Interpreting Representation of the People Act to its Intended Effect

​Supreme Court’s judgment on sectarian appeals during election campaigns interprets the Representation of the People Act, 1951 correctly and to its intended effect. The dissenting judgment conflated the substance of the appeal with the identity of the person who is making it, and did not address the scope of the case. The majority judgment’s regulation of election speech is not only necessary to ensure free and fair elections and uphold the secular ethos of the Constitution, but also needed to fulfil the constitutional goal of fraternity. 

Adani Group Accused of Evading ₹1,000 Crore Taxes in Diamond Trade

The corporate conglomerate headed by Gautam Adani has been accused by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence of having allegedly evaded taxes and laundered money to the tune of around ₹1,000 crore while trading in cut and polished diamonds and gold jewellery. The DRI has claimed that companies in the Adani Group misused export incentives and indulged in high-velocity circular trading through a complex web of front companies located in different parts of the world. The government seems strangely reticent about filing a review petition in the Supreme Court that could protect its revenue interests.

Notebandi takes the sauce out of Nashik’s tomatoes

Farmers in Maharashtra’s Nashik district – where one in every four tomatoes in India comes from – are destroying standing crops on a scale never seen before, following persistent rock-bottom prices since the November 8 demonetisation

Economic Rationale of ‘Demonetisation’

The government’s claims about the fruits of “demonetisation” of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes are analysed. The five claims—fighting terrorism, “black money,” gaining fiscal space, reducing interest rates, formalising informal economy—are scrutinised from an economics perspective. 

Governing Water to Foster Equity and Conservation: Need for New Legal Instruments

Noting that the central government has taken constructive steps to prepare the water sector to address the multiple challenges ahead of it, this comment points out that it is the states that have the primary constitutional mandate over water. States have to not only adopt legislation based on the centre’s groundwater model law, adapting its principles to local circumstances, but also framework legislation on the lines proposed by the centre.

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