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

Articles By M Dinesh Kumar

Investigating Interstate Variations in the COVID-19 Outcomes in India

The variations in COVID-19 infections and deaths reported in Indian states as of 31 March 2021 have been analysed. While the proportion of people living in densely populated areas, per capita net state domestic product, and proportion of aged people explained the variations in COVID-19 infections, in the case of deaths, an additional contributing factor was identified in per capita public health infrastructure. The curious situation of income increasing COVID-19 transmissions and deaths could probably be explained by the considerable proportion of people in some high-income states living in congested slums under extreme poverty with poor access to basic infrastructure, and the high mobility and exposure of some of these states to domestic and international travel footprint, and large migrant population, all resulting in increased risks.

Agricultural Transformation or Compromising Food Security

A response to the paper “Water and Agricultural Transformation in India: A Symbiotic Relationship—I” by Mihir Shah, P S Vijayshankar, and Francesca Harris (EPW, 17 July 2021) argues that the solutions proposed in the paper will neither revolutionise India’s agriculture sector nor minimise the water and soil problems listed.

 

Managing Groundwater–Energy Nexus in India

The fresh arguments made by Shilp Verma and others in support of the “SpaRC” model, as a solution for India’s multiple problems of groundwater depletion, farmer distress, poor financial working of the power sector and growing carbon footprint in agriculture are misleading, and the analyses presented to back them are flawed.

 

What Drives Annual Agricultural Growth Rates in India?

In India, the agricultural growth rate is linked to rainfall, and medium-term growth to technology adoption, policy frameworks, and institutional interventions. But, growth in a year may be poor as much due to the good monsoon or abnormally wet conditions in the previous year as the poor monsoon during that year, or it may be high due as much to the poor monsoon in the previous year as to a good monsoon of the year or to policy reforms. As the rainfall fluctuates annually, medium-term growth rates should be assessed; the annual rainfall in the base year should be close to normal.

Solar Irrigation Cooperatives

This article challenges the analysis and arguments presented in Tushaar Shah et al (2017). It shows on the basis of empirical data that solar photovoltaic systems for well irrigation are economically unviable, and offering high capital subsidies for such systems and then guaranteeing a higher feed-in-tariff for the electricity produced than the market price would ruin the state electricity utilities and distort energy markets, while incentivising farmers to pump excess groundwater to raise water-inefficient crops and sell the excess water for a profit.

New ‘Water Management Paradigm’

This article critiques theMihir Shah Committee report and the articles about it in this journal (24 December 2016). It says that although the report has intended to be an attempt at restructuring of water institutions, it has, unfortunately ended just as an exercise in restructuring “water organisations,” and its contents get reduced to a mere “preface” rather than a serious analytical attempt towards a practical approach to institutional restructuring in the water sector.