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

Articles By R Ramakumar

Public Agricultural Science and Yield Barriers in Foodgrains

A descriptive analysis of the building of a national agricultural research system and its role in increasing yield and production of foodgrains in India between the 1950s and the contemporary period is presented. The changing emphases of the scientific establishment in guiding plant breeding efforts given the refinement of technological tools and the larger policy and socio-economic context are traced. Assessing the long-term outcomes of India’s green revolution, selected contrary views on the subject are responded to. Even in the absence of a transformation of production relations and the recent policy shifts that have fostered a crisis of profitability for small and marginal farmers, the achievements of the NARS facilitated a growth of productive forces in India’s agrarian economy.

Exhausting the Limits of the Possible

In his age group, Vineet Kohli was surely one of the finest heterodox economists in India. With deep interests in structuralist and post-Keynesian macroeconomics, he researched the linkages between financial markets and the real economy, the impact of financial liberalisation on credit flows to the disadvantaged, and the mutual causality between income distribution and growth. A popular teacher, staunch Marxist and warm friend, Vineet will be dearly missed.

Why Do the States Not Spend?

This paper investigates the unusual phenomenon of state governments currently maintaining large cash balances even as many important sectors call for substantial outlays. Is it a governance issue, as the union finance ministry makes it out to be, or is it something more fundamental affecting the fiscal powers of state governments? We argue that the constraint on expenditure is imposed by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management Acts passed by the centre and most state governments; the cash surplus phenomenon is a perverse outcome of such legislation. This essay also investigates the price paid by Kerala, an outlier where receipts do not keep pace with expenditure growth, because of the mechanical constraints imposed by the fiscal responsibility legislation.