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

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Electoral Exclusion of Muslims Continues to Plague Indian Democracy

This analysis of electoral data from the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer’s website and the single-person household estimates from the Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy, New Delhi shows that nearly one quarter of Muslim adults in Karnataka were out of the electoral rolls. Overall, about 15% of all adults were not listed in the voter lists in Karnataka. Evidence of non-listing of Muslim electorate in large proportions is found in other states as well. The lack of consistent efforts to enroll all eligible adults by the electoral institutional structures enables political parties to achieve undemocratic and unethical goals.

Rural Non-Farm Employment in India

In this paper an attempt is made to assess the contribution of the non-farm sector to household income across population quintiles. The correlates of employment in the non-farm sector have also been examined. The study is based on rural data from 32,000 households in 1,765 villages across India, collected by the NCAER in 1993-94. Analysis shows that non-farm incomes account for a significant proportion of household income in rural India, with considerable variation across quintiles and across India's major states. Education, wealth, caste, village level agricultural conditions, population densities and other regional effects influence access to non-farm occupations. The direct contribution of the non-farm sector to poverty reduction is possibly quite muted as the poor lack assets, but it has been found that the growth of certain non-farm sub-sectors is strongly associated with higher agricultural wage rates.

Indian Education Scene and the Public Gap

Despite expert advocacy of an increase in the share of public expenditure on education in India's GNP, the share declined from 4.1 to 3.8 per cent between 1990-91 and 1991-96. Of this expenditure elementary education accounts for less than half - against the two-thirds plus deemed necessary. At least in respect of elementary education it should be possible, given political will, to bridge the resources gap.

Dynamics of Food Intake and Nutrition by Expenditure Class in India

In spite of early apprehensions, the foodgrain production in India has kept pace with population growth. Acute large-scale famines, which used to occur periodically before independence, have now been eliminated. In spite of this, a large proportion of poor households across India does not have access to adequate food due to lack of purchasing power. About 35 per cent or around 325 million Indians are classified as 'poor'. Over 70 per cent of the family income in this category is spent to meet food and nutritional needs alone. The quinquennial consumer expenditure surveys of the NSSO make the estimation of the per capita intake of different food items and consequent supply of energy, proteins, fat, iron and calcium, possible. In this paper these estimates are presented at the all-India level according to expenditure class categories. According to this analysis food and nutrition deficiencies are much larger than what one would conceive by looking into poverty estimates.

Socio-Economic and Demographic Differentials between Hindus and Muslims in India

between Hindus and Muslims in India Abusaleh Shariff This paper reviews the socio-economic and demographic data according to religion available from various censuses, National Sample Survey and academic publications since the independence of India. Indicators such as, the structure and levels of employment, of living and of education according to religion arc discussed. The fertility and mortality indicators, distribution and growth of population are also presented. The paper emphasises the need to strengthen the data based which would allow a study of ethnic and religious differentials in socio-economic and educational achievements.

Demographic Variables and Structure of Poverty

Demographic Variables and Structure of Poverty Abusaleh Shariff Population Growth and Poverty in Rural South Asia edited by Gerry Rodgers; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1989, pp 249; Rs 195 (hardbound).

In Search of Holistic Medicine

Abusaleh Shariff Strategies for Public Health: Promoting Health and Preventing Disease, edited by Lorenz K Y Ng and Devra Lee Davis; Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, New York, 1981; pp viii-416, $ 8.95.

State-Adjusted Public Expenditure on Social Sector and Poverty Alleviation Programmes

This paper presents trends in public expenditures on social sector and poverty alleviation programmes from 1990-91. A considerable proportion of these expenditures is undertaken by the states but the central share seems to be increasing over time. This paper analyses trends in state expenditure, expenditure by the central government and central and state adjusted combined expenditures. Overall, expenditure on social sector schemes is increasing in real terms but mainly through increased expenditure of the central government. The state governments seem to be easing out of their constitutional commitment to sustain programmes in the social sectors, which is a matter of concern. Secondly, there are large inter-sectoral reallocations of funds in the poverty alleviation sectors. One major development has been that large funds that were allocated to employment generation have now been diverted to the rural road construction programme. This reallocation may have serious implications for employment generation.
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