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

Articles By Nitin Bassi

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.

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.

 

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.

Rejuvenating Tanksin Telangana

"Mission Kakatiya" is an ambitious project launched by the Government of Telangana to rejuvenate 47,000 tanks in the state by 2020. This article argues that it would be the repetition of the old historical mistake to approach the issue without taking into consideration the hydrological and ecological aspects. Picking up only those tanks which have water generated in their catchments would save a lot of precious money.

Employment Guarantee and Its Environmental Impact: Are the Claims Valid?

This note questions some of the assumptions, fundamental concepts and methodologies in "MGNREGA for Environmental Service Enhancement and Vulnerability Reduction: Rapid Appraisal in Chitradurga District, Karnataka" (EPW, 14 May 2011), arguing that the analysis in the paper does not support the authors' claims of multiple benefits from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.