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

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Quality of Surveys in NFHS

I am referring to the following two sentences appearing on page 37 of the article by S Irudaya Rajan and K S James “Third National Family Health Survey in India: Issues, Problems and Prospects” (EPW, 29 November 2008). (1) “Assigning data collection to consulting agencies that had no capacity-...

Disinvestment and Outsourcing in Coal

The government has been looking for a roundabout way to privatise the industry without amending the nationalisation act. One such way is through 'outsourcing' which has been a major source of conflict between the government and the workers. The apex court's ruling on disinvestment will now sharpen the debate on the government's position on privatisation through such backdoor means.

Closure of Sindri Fertilisers

Sindri fertiliser plant, the first public sector unit in the country was recently closed down by the government citing its techno-economic non-viability. Interestingly, the various committees engaged by the BIFR and the government had all recommended its revival till recently. The decision to close Sindri is not techno-economic, but political.

Voice of the Unorganised Sector

The march of thousands of unorganised sector workers in Tamil Nadu has brought to the fore the plight of this huge, neglected workforce and helped raise some of their long-pending demands.

Why Not Coal-Based Fertiliser Plants?

Why has the technological option of coal-based fertiliser plants been given up? Although such plants at Ramagundam and Talcher have been inefficient, the technology has not been indicted nor found unsuitable. Given that petroleum-based feedstock for the manufacture of fertilisers is expensive and unreliable, isn't it time that the coal-based option was given a second look?

Bagdigi Mine Disaster:Another Watery Grave

Over the years a bundle of safety legislations have been put in place for mines, prescribing safety procedures and norms covering a wide range of situations. Flooding of mines, especially in an eventuality to prevent which extensive regulations have been mandated. So why do so many miners continue to die in flooded mines?

Jharkhand: From Separation to Liberation

Jharkhand is not a Mizoram or Meghalaya, not only because of its vastness but because of its very composition. Jharkhand is a mini India or, more correctly, a concentrated India. The making of Jharkhand is thus a part of the making of India. It has two simultaneous objectives: struggle and construction. Struggle against divisive forces and construction of the new state.

Fighting the Dhanbad Mafia

Frustrated with the ineffectiveness, and worse, of government agencies, Gurudas Chatterjee started intervening directly in the affairs of the mafia by rousing the people against them. He stopped illegal coal trading and got two top mafia leaders arrested. This was too much and a plot was hatched from the jail itself. Gurudas could be neither bought nor cowed down. So he had to be removed. And removed he was. On G T Road on April 14 the sun set at 3 pm.

Quit WTO: Agenda for Mid-Term Election

India's major parties are agreed on accepting privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation. Economic reforms are not only alien to the ethos of India's freedom movement, they have not brought any practical benefit either. Perhaps the mid-term election should be converted into a referendum on economic reforms.

Pokhran Tests and Memories of Emergency

Just a year after Pokhran I Internal Emergency was declared in the country. Then too as now, the ruling leadership in New Delhi needed some 'shock treatment' to bring disgruntled elements in line. And again, then, as now, the business classes were talking of a 'national government' and of the need to review the Constitution.

Can Courts Run the Country

emerged in the state (Hindustan Times, November 26, 1996; Pioneer, December 23, 1996). The tact that the BJP-BSP coalition almost broke down in September 1997 proves the point further. The status quo ante continues in UP because the largely imperceptible historical undercurrents are more resilient than floating contemporary events upon which, like a crowd lining the banks of a river in spate, the publicity hungry media loves to focus attention. In the event the coalition would have failed not because UP was more or less badly governed during the previous six months but because during these months neither Hindutva nor the BSP could develop a 'historic bloc' capable of steering the state out of its present sociopolitical confusion. Neither the 'savarnas' nor dalits were willing to sacrifice some of their caste preferences either in the long- term interest of the state or in the quest to evolve electoral or political stability. This only proves the critics of Hindu society right and its apologists wrong because the forces of hindutva due to their chauvinist nature arc incapable of forming such a 'bloc' in the long run.

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