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

Articles By Pulapre Balakrishnan

A House for the Social Sciences

For the first time since the creation of the Indian Council of Social Science Research in the 1970s, the Government of India set up, in 2010, a committee to review the functioning of the council. The four articles in this special section, three of them by directors of ICSSR institutes, discuss different aspects of the report of the committee. The first article commends the quality of analysis and the recommendation to correct the current niggardly government financing of the ICSSR but asks why there has been no discussion of the quality of research and accountability in the social science institutes.

Imagining an Economy of Plenty in Kerala

Land reforms in Kerala, far from being a remarkable success, have been a major failure. They were meant to redistribute land and not to improve productivity. It is time the state government considered ordering that redistributed land should be returned if the beneficiaries do not cultivate it and also reversing the existing anti-tenancy law. Kerala's food security demands that the state think afresh about its policies for land and production.

Social Science Research in India: Concerns and Proposals

The ICSSR is not responsible for the torpidity of social science research in India. Viewed from a perspective on research in economics, this article identifies two concerns (the inability to speak truth to power and the lack of autonomy) and makes three proposals (on apprenticeship, rank and leadership of institutions).

The Recovery of India: Economic Growth in the Nehru Era

This paper investigates the relationship between the policy regime and growth during 1950-64, termed here "the Nehru era". While there exist valuable early appraisals of the period, access to new data and fresh information allows for a longer and more comparative view of the outcome. We find overwhelming evidence not only of resurgent growth, but also of a lasting transformation of a stagnant colonial enclave into an economy capable of sustained growth. It is useful to recognise the economic policy of this period as distinct, not only from what preceded it but also from what came after, for it facilitates an understanding of the political conditions needed for economic interventions that are growth inducing. The paper also addresses some lingering perceptions of policy of the time, notably its impact on agriculture and the governance of the public enterprises.