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

Prabhu GhateSubscribe to Prabhu Ghate

Waking Up from the Nightmare

As a response to the criticisms of microfi nance institutions' mad rush for growth and numbers (23 October 2010), this comment presents some possible solutions instead of writing off for-profi t microfi nance altogether.

Consumer Protection in Indian Microfinance

This paper first outlines a case study of the episode in 2006 in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh when the state government temporarily closed down all the branches of microfinance institutions there. The case study helps provide insights into the kind of consumer protection issues of relevance to Indian microfinance. The article then examines two developments - a code of conduct promulgated by Sa-Dhan, the main network of Indian MFIs, and the draft microfinance bill. The first entails self-regulation, while the second introduces for the first time external regulation of the sector. Among other things, the bill seeks to enable MFIs to offer savings and not just credit. The article looks at the savings promotion objectives of the bill, including two important aspects in which the bill might be improved.

The Peace Process

The India-Pakistan peace process may have made several encouraging moves in recent weeks, but in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, old suspicions and fears still linger. For too long, militarism has been the preferred political solution. The people in divided Kashmir, separated by decades-old animosity, are now looking to both governments to take proactive steps in the shape of soft borders, open up trade links between the two regions and to ensure a transparent government.

Serving Migrants Sustainably

For historical reasons, and in order to minimise search costs, areas sending out migrants tend to specialise in particular destinations. Once the number of migrants from any particular area of origin reaches a critical minimum in a particular destination, it becomes feasible for a microfinance institution (MFI) to provide remittance services sustainably by establishing a presence in both areas.

Sri Lanka: An Interim Administration for the North-East

The peace process in Sri Lanka is at yet another crossroads. In mid-June the government forwarded through the Norwegians its latest proposal for an interim administration. This draft has not been rejected outright by the LTTE unlike earlier ones. But whereas the government sees the interim administration as a way of enabling the LTTE to participate primarily in the management of donor-financed reconstruction, the LTTE wants to get much more out of it - it is seeking legitimacy, without, critics say, having to face elections.

Sri Lanka : A Different Peace This Time?

Unlike previous ceasefires, the current round has a monitor and the talks are being held in radically changed international conditions, are multistage and involve the creative use of a third party. The LTTE stands to gain much from a negotiated settlement. But will the current peace process really be a win-win situation for all concerned?

Kashmir: The Dirty War

If the jails are full in Kashmir, it is not because of preventive detention. The number of detainees is reported by official sources to be less than 500, and by non-official sources as about 1,500. These are very small numbers considering that 35,000 people have been arrested since January 1990 (official figure). When I pointed this out to someone, the answer seemed pretty obvious to him. He asked "how can the number of detainees increase if instead of being detained, people are deliberately killed?" In the context of Kashmir, if this is the only choice, detention, for all its abuses, seems positively benign. Indeed it could be argued that in Kashmir the immediate task of human rights groups should be to focus attention on preventing custodial deaths, even if in the short term this means accepting greater use of detention.

Micro-Enterprise, Mega Gain

Micro-Enterprise, Mega Gain Public Services Through Private Enterprise: Micro-privatisation for Improved Delivery by Malcolm Harper; Vistaar (a division of Sage) Publications, New Delhi, 2000; pp 370, Rs 450 (cloth).

Peace Process and Palestinian Economy

Two of the most important conditions for the development of the Palestinian state and economy, which further negotiations will have to ensure, are free movement of goods through Israel and assurance of access to Israel for Palestinian labour. All this hinges on the resumption of the peace process and a return of the relative optimism that prevailed during 1993-96. The situation arising out of the Israeli elections will therefore be watched with much interest in the ensuing months.

Civil Service Reform

Goody, lack (1996): The East in the West, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Hodgson, Marshall G S (1993): Bethinking World History edited by Edmund Burke III, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. McNeill. William (1990): The Rise of the West After Twenty Five Years' Journal of World History, 1 I: 1-22. Marks, Robert (1997): Timers, Rice, Silk and Silt Environment and Economy in Lite Imperial South China, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Reforming the Civil Service-Meeting Crucial Need for Expertise

Meeting Crucial Need for Expertise Prabhu Ghate Lack of emphasis on specialisation, and the doctrine of rotation and transfers, made all the more oppressive by frequent political interference, have inhibited higher civil service from adapting to the changed environment since the British days. Though need for specialised expertise is now recognised in economic ministries, it is still not deemed necessary in areas of health, education, agriculture, etc. By ensuring longer tenures and promoting de-cadreisation through lateral recruitment of expertise, the higher civil service will be able to maintain its federal character, insulate itself from political pressure and become more professional.

Pages

Back to Top