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

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Two-child Norm

In July 2021, Uttar Pradesh announced a population policy, the draft of the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021. While the contents of the bill are contentious, so is the timing of its tabling in the legislature. In terms of substantive population planning, the draft document is not only detrimental to long-term demographic transition, it has serious repercussions for welfare state mechanisms.

Why India’s Vaccine Companies Are Profiteering in the Pandemic

The crisis of COVID-19 vaccines in India is a consequence of government policies dating back decades. Private foundations led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have engineered a shift in research and manufacture of essential technologies such as vaccines to private biotech labs and factories. Companies such as the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech can dictate terms and prices of vaccines developed with public support because the closure of public vaccine manufacturing units over a decade ago has left the government at the mercy of the private sector.

Pandemic as Population Check?

As India undergoes massive societal transformations due to the pandemic, a potential dangerous by-product could be a worrying consensus on the need for population control. Dressed as a positive population check to “cure” poverty, such a turn in policy can enable rushed and knee-jerk public opinion that proves fatal for historically persecuted populations. The dangers of support for coercive population control policies in the garb of economic recovery are examined.

Dalit Feminist Voices on Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Justice

Previous research has addressed questions of reproductive justice and the stratifications of Indian women’s reproductive lives in terms of class position and economic status. However, the question of caste has received little attention in the literature and there has been a lack of research on assisted reproductive technologies and caste along with the absence of Dalit feminists speaking out on reproductive technologies. This paper attempts to begin exploring the significance of caste by drawing on in-depth interviews with Dalit feminists who challenge dominant understandings of surrogacy in both international and national debates on reproductive technologies. It highlights how an insistence on the wider socio-economic context of women’s lives challenges notions of reproductive rights, replacing them by reproductive justice.

The ‘Population Bomb’ of the Aged

As the World Ages: Rethinking a Demographic Crisis by Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Harvard University Press, 2018; pp 320 (hardcover), price: unstated.

A Monumental Work for Health Justice

Textbook of Global Health by Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Yogan Pillay and Timothy H Holtz, New York: Oxford University Press, 2017; pp xxxvi + 674; fourth edition, price not indicated.

India's Population Programme

As sterilisation scandals abound, a consensus is emerging for a shift away from sterilisation towards a larger "basket" of contraceptive choices and concomitant improvements in service delivery. That such a shift needs to take place is clear, but precisely how it is to come about, and who gets to determine what is in the basket of choices are questions that deserve greater attention. The neo-Malthusian resurgence, combined with the technical fixation on contraception, favours certain methods over others, but health and safety concerns related to these methods are typically downplayed or suppressed.

Draft National Health Policy 2015

This paper contributes to the debate on the Draft National Health Policy 2015 by analysing and critiquing some of its key recommendations within the prevailing social, economic, and political context of the country. This policy seems to suggest that strategic purchasing of curative health services from both the public and private sectors can enable India to achieve the goal of "universal healthcare." The draft policy is based on two assumptions. One, policy interventions since the National Health Policy 2002 have been largely successful and two, there is harmony of purpose between public and private healthcare delivery systems which allows the private sector to be used for achieving public health goals. This article argues that these assumptions are flawed, highlights the various contradictions in the policy and cautions against over-optimism on publicly-financed health insurance schemes.

Fighting and Living with Cancer

The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer by Mike Marqusee (London: OR Books), 2014; pp 106, $13, paperback.

Solidarity with Gaza

The world is once again witness to the macabre dance of death in Gaza unleashed by the Israeli aggressors, and once again the news of scores of innocent Palestinian deaths, including those of a number of women and children, is flooding in. The tragedy is compounded many-fold by the conspiracy of...

Fact Finding Report: Independent Inquiry into Muzaffarnagar "Riots"

A team of independent academics and a journalist carried out an inquiry into the communal violence that shook Muzaffarnagar district in UP this past September. The report (as a PDF) is based on the findings of the team during its visit to Muzaffarnagar district on the 9 and 10 November and again on 27 November.

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