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

Articles By N C Narayanan

Confronting the Elephant in the Room

More than three decades of reforms in Kerala’s drinking water sector have neither resulted in greater decision-making autonomy nor improved the fi nancial status of public utility. In addition to stymying the devolution of responsibility to local bodies, reforms have critically unsettled the role of the state leading to erosion of institutional capacity in public utility. The greater prominence of non-state players combined with institutional denuding of the state points to an emergent crisis of democratic accountability in the governance of this sector.

A Brief History of Blue Revolution 2.0

This paper maps out the key drivers, actors, and policies that have shaped the shrimp aquaculture industry in post-independence India. While the existing aquaculture regulations vilify the farmers for the industry’s socioecological disaster, this paper—through its analysis—shifts the liability to the multilateral consultancies and technical research institutions that were arbitrated by the postcolonial developmental state with the help of international aid under the guise of food security and alternate livelihoods while the shrimps were being exported.

Rural Water Access: Governance and Contestation in a Semi-Arid Watershed in Udaipur, Rajasthan

A significant focus of policy in recent years has been to devolve decision-making and management of water systems to the community level. This paper is based on a study of a minor irrigation project in the semi-arid Udaipur district of Rajasthan, where the livelihoods of people in the watershed are dependent on canal water and there are serious inequalities in the distribution of water within and between villages. This study points to both the social and spatial dimensions of inequalities in access to water. It also focuses on governance arrangements and highlights inequalities that arise from the delegation of management of water systems to communities. These reflect the democratic deficit in local governance institutions and, in turn, the larger political economy.