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

Articles By Partha Mukhopadhyay

Keeping India's Economic Engine Going: Climate Change and the Urbanisation Question

Urbanisation in India is both a necessary input and an inevitable consequence of growth. However, we must accept that the existing urbanisation models are unsustainable at the Indian scale and there is no available alternative trajectory. The international climate change negotiations can be seen as an opportunity to create an environment that will help in the discovery of a more sustainable urbanisation. This paper explores a limited set of emergent issues that will have to be considered as India develops its domestic approach to urbanisation, while negotiating its international position on climate change. It is structured into three broad sections, viz, (a) the feedback loops from urbanisation to climate change and vice versa, (b) actions needed at multiple levels to influence these processes, and (c) the implications of these for India's negotiating position on climate change.

More on Direct Cash Transfers

Continuing the debate on direct cash transfers, the authors of the article "The Case for Direct Cash Transfers to the Poor" (12 April 2008) respond to Mihir Shah's criticism (23 August 2008). The six points of contestation by Mihir Shah - including those on the public distribution system and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme - are refuted. The argument in essence is that seeing the problems with anti-poverty programmes as faulty design and limited availability of resources does not recognise the culture of immunity in public administration and the weak capabilities of local governments.

The Case for Direct Cash Transfers to the Poor

The total expenditure on central schemes for the poor and on the major subsidies exceeds the states' share of central taxes. These schemes are chronic bad performers due to a culture of immunity in public administration and weakened local governments. Arguing that the poor should be trusted to use these resources better than the state, a radical redirection with substantial direct transfers to individuals and complementary decentralisation to local governments is proposed. The benefits, risks and associated reinforcement of institutions and accountability are outlined.