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

Amitabh KunduSubscribe to Amitabh Kundu

Dichotomy or Continuum

Spatial dimension of development continues to be a neglected area in economic analysis. As a consequence, the traditional models of development fail to explain the growing imbalance in space as also the widening gaps in levels of socio-economic development between the city and its periphery. The objective of the present paper is to analyse if indeed the distance of a village from the nearest town has a systematic impact on its socio-economic characteristics.The distributional pattern of the indicators of economic well-being, health, education, etc, shows that their values do not necessarily decline along smooth gradients, as we move from the city/town to its periphery.

Politics and Economics of Credit Rating

Rather than being carried out in an objective manner, the credit rating exercise has been used as an instrument to persuade the local bodies to follow market-based financial discipline.

Globalising Gujarat

Both proponents and cirtics of new development strategy agree that urban growth in the post liberalisation phase would be very high, although the critics hold that this will be associated with low productive employment and poverty and a negative effect on quality of life in the cities. It is important therefore to assess empirically the impact of economic liberalisation on the nature and pattern of urban growth. This article attempts an analysis of the trends and patterns of urbanisation in Gujarat, a rapidly industrialising state, taking account of the changes in labour market and those in the systems of urban governance, land management/ development practices, and the commercialisation of basic services.

Regional Distribution of Infrastructure and Basic Amenities in Urban India

A state and size class wise analysis of the level of urban basic amenities reveals that disparities are extremely high in the nineties. The government and para-statal institutions have not exhibited sensitivity in favour of backward states, small and medium towns and the poor. Presently, privatisation, partnership arrangements and promotion of community-based projects have emerged as the only options for undertaking investments in basic amenities due to resource crunch in the government. This changed perspective and a consequent decline in public investment, however, are likely to accentuate the disparity in the levels of amenities across the size class of urban settlements.

Migration, Urbanisation and Regional Inequality

Amitabh Kundu Shalini Gupta An analysis of migration patterns using data (on male migrants) from the census indicates a slowing down of population mobility over the decades since independence. This article focuses on the dynamics of migration and urbanisation in the context of the changing structure of economic development.

State and Social Security

The country has made a conscious but unproclaimed choice of allowing people to live in a manner that degrades human life slowly but systematically. This is because the political economy of the country does not offer an alternative irrespective of whether the development strategies it pursues are with or without a human face.

Poverty and Planning

Amitabh Kundu The proposal to dispense with the use of the poverty index in funds disbursal, on the ground of difficulties in its computation, amounts in a way to delinking poverty from planning. Simplification and standardisation of the methodology of measuring poverty should therefore receive the urgent attention of experts if ad hoc political pressures and vested interests are not to take over under cover of the New Economic Policy.

Urban Bias in PDS-Reexamination of NSS Data

public enterprises arc inefficient or that public sector managers are all incompetent, but that in a comparative advantage sense government resources and talent ait better used elsewhere. I do not deny that for historical or tactical reasons, some departures from this approach or a phased move in this direction is all that can be attempted given the democratic setting in which we operate. It is important, however, to be conceptually clear as to what is to be retained in the public sector and why. An implication of this approach, for example, is that a government that has taken over a textile mill or engineering firm at some point will, after the needed corrections or changes are made; be prepared to sell it to others, even if profits begin to be made as its limited resources and talents arc urgently required to address, say, human resource development issues. The concept of opportunity cost is relevant to government too! A final point on why it is essential to encourage the shift of private goods production to the private sector. The indiscriminate expansion of the public enterprise sector at the central and state levels has not only caused an overload and poor public accountability in the government system, but also has contributed to the neglect of important functions which only a government can perform. In India, basic public functions such as maintenance of law and order, legal and judicial reform to facilitate contract enforcement and justice and to reduce transaction costs, human resource development of the poor (in which a recent UN Report ranks us lllth in the world) and reduction of inequalities with special attention to backward areas and the expansion and upgrading of the basic infrastructure facilities needed for economic and social development are examples of priority tasks to which government needs to give urgent attention. The function of supervision and corrective action taking which is a key function in any govern ment is weak in many of our public agen cies with disastrous consequences for implementation as we have just seen from the recent banking sector fiasco. There is no shortage of suave bureaucrats, but monitoring, and supervision are often left to some lowly clerks. Furthermore, as Rudra has rightly emphasised, government's regulatory and information role assumes special significance in the context of the production of goods with monopolistic features, externality effects, environmental impacts and other factors that producers (whether public or private) are likely to exploit and that the public is unable on its own to rectify. In this sense, a major task of the government is to make the market system work efficiently and effectively. This is only a partial but by no means a minimalist agenda of challenges for the state, I would rather have a government address these problems with the best talent

Variation in Sex Ratio-Development Implications

submitted recently to the union government by the state government's directorate of sugar and Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Sangh has brought out relevant data on the manufacture of by-products based on sugarcane molasses. There are as many as 38 distilleries which are in operation in the state. Of these, 29 are in the co-operative sector. The number of distilleries which are under erection in the co-operative sector stands at 14. As many as seven paper plants are working and one is under construction, in the co-operative sector. The co-operative sugar factories have also set up seven chemical plants. They are setting up four particle board plants.

Micro Environment in Urban Planning-Access of Poor to Water Supply and Sanitation

Access of Poor to Water Supply and Sanitation Amitabh Kundu Environmental degradation poses problems for urban populations both at the macro as well as micro levels. The macro problems, that affect the entire population in a city, are of late receiving attention from academics and policy-makers. It has generally been held that the poor are not interested in resolving macro level problems of the environment While this is certainly not true, it is a fact that micro level problems, such as access to water and sanitation are more immediate and specific problems for the urban poor This paper attempts to examine the nature and magnitude of disparity in the access to water supply and sanitation of people in different levels of consumption expenditure in urban areas.

Reservationists, Anti-Reservationists and Democracy

the search for alternative energy sources was intensified, and in addition conservation became the watchword. Programmes for fuel-efficient vehicles were undertaken. Gas guzzlers gave way to small- engined, less thirsty cars.

Housing No Hope for the Poor

Amitabh Kundu Shelter for the Poor in India edited by Michael Dewit and Hans Schenk; Manohar, New Delhi, 1989; pp 147, Rs 135. FOR several reasons this is a useful and an interesting addition to the current literature. Useful because it is not a mere collection of seminar papers, written under pressure to meet a deadline, the likes of which we have seen in plenty in recent years. In the present volume, each paper, contributed, all except one, by young Dutch scholars, is a chapter on a specific theme and the eight papers together present a comprehensive view of the major issues in the subject. Interesting because it makes a departure from the market-oriented thinking, which by now has become the dominant viewpoint in the field, and makes a critical appraisal of the latter using empirical data.


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