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

Articles By Sharada Srinivasan

Agricultural Revival and Reaping the Youth Dividend

In recent years, “youth” has emerged as a distinct category of population to be governed in India. Policy efforts to realise the “demographic dividend” amidst an agrarian crisis have however not met with success as suggested by reports of jobless growth on the one hand and poor quality of employment generated outside agriculture on the other. What are the prospects of improving youth livelihoods within agriculture? Can the youth revive the prospects of agriculture? Improving incomes within agriculture while also paying sufficient attention to caste and gender relations that shape labour hierarchies, access to land, youth preferences and mobility aspirations is critical to imagining a future that sustains agriculture and youth livelihoods.

Update on Trends in Sex Ratio at Birth in India

With additional data available at more regular intervals on sex ratio at birth, it is easier to track changes without depending on the decennial censuses. However, the diversity of sources also means differences in trends across sources and regions. A brief analysis of the latest available data is presented to identify the most recent trends and concerns in states that need attention, like north-western and eastern states of India.

Daughter Elimination: Cradle Baby Scheme in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu's two decade old Cradle Baby Scheme tries to ensure that female babies who would otherwise have been killed are given up for adoption. Civil society activists are not happy with the scheme because they feel that it only encourages parents to abandon female babies and is not a substitute for tackling the crime of sex selection and female foeticide. However, until the girl child is welcome in families, such a scheme will be needed.

Girl Child Protection Scheme in Tamil Nadu: An Appraisal

The Girl Child Protection Scheme in Tamil Nadu was introduced in 1992; surveys and data analysis show that between the late 1990s and 2002-03, daughter elimination has declined sharply. However, a close look at the scheme reveals that its implementation is not targeted at districts with a high prevalence of female infanticide, that it assumes only poor families are anti-daughters, and given the sterilisation condition, that families with only daughters and strong son preference are not likely to volunteer. Also, to what extent it has altered attitudes towards daughters - one of its aims - is unclear.

Tamil Nadu and the Diagonal Divide in Sex Ratios

Between 1961 and 2001, India's 0-6 sex ratio has steadily declined. Despite evidence to the contrary, this ratio is often characterised in terms of a diagonal divide with low 0-6 sex ratios in northern and western India and normal 0-6 sex ratios in eastern and southern India. While unexpectedly high rates of female infant mortality have been reported in Tamil Nadu, it is still regarded as lying outside the ambit of states with unusually low 0-6 sex ratios. Based on an analysis of patterns in sex ratio at birth, infant mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates for Tamil Nadu, this paper traces the development of daughter deficit in the state and examines the validity of the diagonal divide in sex ratios across India. We find evidence of daughter deficit in more than half the state's districts with a majority of the shortfall arising before birth. The evidence presented here, combined with earlier work on declining 0-6 sex ratios outside northwestern India, suggests that the diagonal divide is no longer an appropriate distinction.