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Carrying On a Dubious Game in Goa?

Once again at the superficial level, Goa seems to be going back to having its politics dominated by the two big national parties. Both have leaders hopping across party lines and who seem well disposed to lobbies ranging from those advocating casinos to destructive strip mining, especially once they are in power. Neither of these parties seems to be able to go beyond conservative and divisive politics, to create a vision for the future for one of India's most affluent, best educated and out-migration oriented of states.

BJP's short term score in Manipur

The electoral battle is now concluded in Manipur, and the BJP’s victory is nearly definite, pending a floor test. Even if it has scored convincingly in the short run, there is no guarantee that the new government’s problems are over. It will have to keep its own MLAs happy when a majority of the cabinet ministers are from the smaller parties that are supporting it. There is also the manifesto of one of these parties promising the division of Manipur to form Greater Nagaland, a contentious issue.

India’s Second Dominant Party System

The conflation between nationalism and Hindutva has been the backbone of the new hegemony. That is why the BJP has been so happy with intellectuals trying to problematise the nation. That particular intellectual initiative simultaneously places the BJP in a position of immense advantage and ensures that “anti-BJP” would necessarily be equated with the anti-national! Independently, both ideas—Hindutva and development—are potent political discourses. By weaving them together with nationalism Narendra Modi has bound them into an arsenal of his political offensive. Therefore, the coming times would be less about electoral victories and more about the onward march of this hegemony in the realm of popular imagination; about how democracy shapes up in Modi’s new India.

Reminiscences of D N Dhanagare

Teacher, sociologist, institution builder Professor D N Dhanagare leaves behind a rich legacy of research, learning and inspiration.

On GDP Estimates — A set of EPW articles

A set of articles from the Economic and Political Weekly scrutinise the new methodology of National Account Statistics estimates which has used new concepts and employs new sources of data

A Psephological Nightmare

Electoral outcomes in Uttar Pradesh are difficult to predict, and it has been called “Ulta Pradesh” for this reason. Looking at past predictions of election outcomes in UP, a brief analysis of this election and electoral possibilities are presented.

Some Concerns Regarding the Goods and Services Tax

The proposed Goods and Services Tax would aggravate the already high degree of inequality in the country, and would inevitably curb the fiscal autonomy of state governments significantly. Contrary to the government’s claims, the implementation of the GST would not automatically enhance growth rate, reduce inflation or improve tax compliance. The calculations of the revenue neutral rates depend on various assumptions. Different states should be allowed to set their own state–GST rates with provisions for an entry tax. More emphasis should be put on direct taxes rather than the GST for improving India’s abysmally low tax to gross domestic product ratio.

The Zero Case: Deadly Implications of the Birla–Sahara Judgment

The manner of dismissal of the interim appeals filed by Common Cause in the Birla–Sahara Papers case triggers a host of questions, legal and political. The presiding of a particular judge is also problematic as it appears to conflict with the code of conduct for judges, more so with the allegations against the chief justice of India and another sitting judge of the Supreme Court made by Kalikho Pul, former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, in his so-called suicide note.

Demonetisation through Segmented Markets: Some Theoretical Perspectives

The decision to demonetise 86% of India’s currency has been widely and substantially debated by notable scholars of political science and economics. This article wishes to add to that debate, by focusing on macroeconomic theory and how the policy decision affects the organised and unorganised sectors of the Indian economy­—provided certain assumptions remain in place. The following analysis is based on the money-multiplier theory and the segmented markets model of economic and monetary policy analysis.

Court Restrains Water Sale from Tamirabarani in Tamil Nadu

The Tamirabarani river is a part of the ecological and cultural landscape, and traditions of the people of Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, public resources like the river water are sold at throwaway prices to corporations, who in turn resell the water either in the form of packaged drinking water or as aerated beverages. The political economy of the river and the state’s industrial plans, require radical rethinking.

Can India Be A Beacon Of Hope For The World?

The Government of India is engaged in several concerted actions to address poverty: an ambitious economic reform agenda; announcement and allocation of resources for a range of social protection measures; and a strong commitment to good governance. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Right to Education Act, Food Security Act and systematic investment in public healthcare if properly resourced and implemented, will constitute a giant step in solving the problems of inequality that plague a progressive and healthy India. About 1.5% and 3.5% of the GDP respectively is what it will take to offer education for all, and universal healthcare. India has some of the most enabling economic, political and demographic conditions; and certainly the resources for it; but the question remains as to whether we have the will.

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.

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