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

Amalendu JyotishiSubscribe to Amalendu Jyotishi

Gold Mining Institutions in Nilgiri–Wayanad

An exploration of the complex development of gold mining in the Nilgiri–Wayanad region of southern India demonstrates how entwined histories disrupt simple taxonomic structures of “formality” and “informality.” Drawing on the long history of gold mining in the region that dates back to the 1830s, this paper presents a counter-example to the conventional view that institutions develop in a trajectory of informality to formality. To do this, the paper identifies three distinct phases of development in the gold mining industry of this region that mark and encompass shifts in governance of the area, global economic trends, commercial investment, property rights, government funding, influx of repatriate communities, and other social issues in the local economy. The analysis concludes that institutions in the region have evolved from formal–artisanal to formal–industrial, and then to informal–small scale.

Unearthing the Roots of Colonial Forest Laws

This paper repositions iron smelting and the smelter at the centre of a revised narrative of pre- and early-colonial forest history and policy. In a medieval war economy the smelter shared a relationship of mutual interdependence with the feudal state as a provider of critical raw material for weapon manufacture. This, however, changed with the advent of the colonial state, interdependence giving way to competition over resources. It is through this multilayered perspective of environmental and military history intertwined with the anthropology of iron smelting that we can unearth one of the roots of statutory forest laws.

Reservoir Fisheries Management

In developing economies, open water inland fisheries not only play an important role in the nutrition for the poor, but also provide livelihood for many people engaged in the sector. In the case of reservoir fisheries we identify various types of institutional regimes. The Tawa reservoir in Madhya Pradesh is a classic case that has experienced various management regimes in the last three decades. It provides an ideal opportunity to comprehend the performance of different regimes and their implications for productivity (efficiency criterion), wages and employment (equity criteria) and fingerlings stocking and technology use (resource sustainability criteria) across different regimes. Further, the paper details the management practices under the Tawa Matsya Sangh and emphasises that these practices should be integrated with an understanding of the resource base.

Water Rights in Deccan Region

This paper discusses the prevailing water sharing institutions in the Deccan region. By contrasting the situation with when the Baliraja movement began in the 1980s, in the hope of ensuring an equitable share and sustainable use of water for irrigation, this paper also attempts to understand the feasibility of institutional arrangements for sharing water on an equitable, efficient and sustainable basis. At the present juncture, it does not appear feasible to address all three issues simultaneously. The need rather is to address either the equity-sustainability or equity-efficiency solution. Both require institutional arrangements different from what the Baliraja movement envisioned.
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