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

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Child Labour Law Amendment

The proposed amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 hopes to align it with the Right to Education Act, 2009. It prohibits child labour up to 14 years and regulates the employment of children between the ages of 15 and 18 years. But the proviso that children can help in the family occupation after school hours or in the fields, home-based work, forest produce gathering or attend technical institutions during vacations, is bound to be misused. Besides, it will also lead to reinforcing the practice of caste-based occupations.

Child Marriage

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006 is apparently aimed at prohibiting marriage of any girl below 18 years of age and any boy below 21 years of age. However, according to the District Level Household and Facility Survey-3 (DLHS-3) data brought out in 2010, 43% of women in India aged...

State of Orphans in the Earthly Paradise

This is a study on orphan children conducted by Save the Children in six districts of Jammu and Kashmir, which were chosen on the basis of intensity of conflict. The article underlines the urgent need of a child protection policy in the state to ensure the rights of large numbers of orphan children.

Andhra Dumps Humanities

In the last few years schools and junior colleges in Andhra Pradesh (AP) have stopped offering humanities at the plus two level and it has now become a sort of accepted reality that children need not study these subjects any longer! The plus two level, which follows immediately after schooling lays...

Critical Appraisal of Micro Health Insurance Laws

This article critically reviews the laws (and rules thereof) related to micro health insurance, with special reference to the rural and social sector obligations of insurers and the regulations governing the sector, including those of third-party administrators. The underlying perspective is to serve those who are dependent on the informal economy for their livelihood and for whom expenses on health are a major burden.

Quality of Reproductive Care in Private Hospitals in Andhra Pradesh

An exit survey conducted in private hospitals in Andhra Pradesh on the quality of reproductive care yielded valuable insights on women's perceptions of quality of care. The information so generated is a useful input in any attempt to institute standardisation of practices in medicare institutions.

Private Health Care Legislations-Big Fish Eating Small Fish

Big Fish Eating Small Fish Alex George LEGISLATIONS to control private and voluntary health care institutions are at different stages of enactment or implementation in a number of states. These legislations in Tamil Nadu, Bihar, MP and Andhra Pradesh are supposed to regulate the functioning of private and voluntary hospitals, diagnostic centres, clinics, dispensaries, etc. No doubt, they are certainly the result of several years of consumer pressure, particularly from the by now transnationally sought-after Indian middle class articulated through various mass media. That due to its much trumpeted consumption capacity, the concerns of this class are being taken as representative of India and finding their way into international policy formulations for the country is clear from the observation of a leading international expert on health policy in his foreword to a paper on the country's private health sector. According to him "talk of India's 5,00,000 villages is giving way to attention to the country's emerging middle class of 250 million consumers, One of the things that members of this class consume is medical care" which rhcy are increasingly doing so from private providers Gwatkin D R in Bhat R 1995], The legislations discussed here are coming up against the background of increasing capitalist investment in the health sector which is being promoted by the World Bank and other international funding organisations as was clearly reflected in the WDR1993. The World Bank's prescription for public financing in the health sector in developing countries includes only public health and essential clinical services both defined in extremely narrow terms and just a sprinkling of low cost effective interventions, thus leaving the rest of the field wide open for the private sector [World Bank 1993: George 1997].

On Hospitalisation Insurance

On Hospitalisation Insurance Alex George RECENT research has shown clearly that 75 per cent of the per capita health expenditure in our country is borne by the people themselves [Berman 1995] as what is terminologically nomenclatured as household health expenditure, out pocket expenses and sometimes even private (!) health expenditure. Having arrived at that figure the thinking in policy-making circles, proceeds in two directions. One line of thinking sees in this the capacity of the people to pay for health care, and goes about building up a case for privatisation of health care and the introduction of user charges in one or the other form. The other sees this spending by the people as far too high compared to several other countries [Abel-Smith 1995] and gets concerned about the fact that the people have no other way but to mortgage or sell their meagre family property or jewellery or take loans when they are confronted with serious health problems. T N Krishnan who had been initiating a cumpaign for the introduction of a state funded scheme of hospitalisation insurance towards the last part of his life belonged to the latter category. This note is a rather belated comment on Krishnan's article 'Hospitalisation Insurance: A

State of Health Care in Maharashtra-A Comparative Analysis

Health indicators of Maharashtra and Punjab show that they have attained relatively high growth against the background of a high per capita income (PCI) and good economic development while Kerala shows a good development in the health sector in the context of low PCI, low level of industrialisation but relatively good infrastructural indicators. While the first pattern could be attributed to the trickling down effect of capitalist modernisation of the industrial-cum-agrarian variety in Maharashtra and of predominantly agrarian variety in Punjab, the second is rooted in socio-political, geographic and demographic particularities of Kerala. This article looks into the specifics of Maharashtra's development in health in the context of other socioeconomic indicators to examine the relationship between health sector development and capitalist growth.

Sultan and the Saffron

Sultan and the Saffron Alex George The controversy which has been raised about Tipu Sultan's patriotic and secular credentials draws sustenance from colonial historiography on the one hand and Muslim histories of the period on the other, neither of them wholly dependable.

Congress(I) Victory in the South-Reaction to Frustrated Federal Ambitions

Reaction to Frustrated Federal Ambitions THE Congress(I)'s sweep of the Lok Sabha elections in south India when it was routed in atl other regions of the country except in the micro states of north east and in Maharashtra where it made just a face saving performance is generally attributed either to a vote for change against the respective state governments or to a vote for stability. Success in any election is the result of multiple factors and to that extent the antipathy of south Indian voters to their respective state governments is reflected in their verdict. But what is noteworthy here is the near-total rejection of state rulers in all four southern states with little variation amongst them. In Tamil Nadu the DMK ended up without any seat. The CPI its alliance partner got one seat. In Karnataka the Janata Dal succeeded in just a single seat. The Tblugu Desam, the major opposition party in the eighth Lok Sabha was reduced to just two seats and in Kerala the LDF managed only three seats. In Karnataka and Andhra the JD and Telugu Desam respectively failed to retain their state assembly majorities. Such a total rout of all the south Indian ruling parties indicates that there was an over all voting pattern in the south in favour of the Congress(I) in the Lok Sabha elections, which perhaps influenced the two simultaneously held assembly polls. If there was no pro-Congress(I) ground swell all over the south, the voting pattern would have shown greater state-wise variation in tune with the degree of alleged corruption or inefficiency of the respective state governments.

Malabar Khalasis Traditional Technology to the Rescue in Perumon

bank of the Ashtamudi lake haunting the memory of many a rail traveller who passes through the Perumon Bridge near Quilon from where nine bogies of the Island Express plunged into the lake on July 8 last year killing 106 passengers. It is a strange coincidence that only in the face of such a tragedy, should the potential of traditional technology for certain operations be demonstrated. When several techniques of contemporary engineering supported by massive machinery were struggling in vain to lift the bogies1 from the depths of the lake it was the khalasis of Beypore and Chaliyam who lifted them with relative ease. The khalasis withdrew from the lifting operation proper only when the Armed Recovery Vehicle (ARV) of the army took over the task. Even then, they assisted the army in tying the iron ropes to the bogies which lay several feet under water.2 The khalasis were pressed into the operation at the instance of the chief minister of Kerala, E K Nayanar and the Kerala public works department minister, T K Hamza, There was much scepticism about what these village folk with a wooden winch, some iron pulleys and iron ropes could achieve where experts of contemporary engineering had failed. But by July 16, two days after they had been brought in one bogey had been brought close to the shore. In fact but for the Railways 'assistance' this would have happened at least a day earlier. On the very first day itself the bogey had been pulled about five metres towards the shore. In their enthusiasm to assist them the Railways tried to lift the bogey from that position using their crane. But the iron rope tied to the bogey broke and with the result the bogey fell back to the former position, demanding more work from the khalasis. The second bogey was pulled to the shore in a single day by the khalasis working from 8 am to 10 pm with a short break at noon. The distance covered was 40 metres at a point where the lake was about 18 feet deep. A bogey weights about 45 tonnes and with water it would weigh about 50 tonnes. After salvaging these two bogies the khalasis co-operated with the army by tying iron ropes on the bogies under water. Two more bogies were brought ashore thus.

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