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

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Reading between the Poverty Lines

The proposed Rangarajan method on measurement of poverty in India borrows elements from three earlier methods - those of Alagh, Lakdawala and Tendulkar. An important departure in the Rangarajan method is to compute the poverty line commodity basket by combining items from two fractile groups to address the relatively higher expenses for some essential non-food items. This, while being statistically plausible, poses a behavioural dilemma, as there will be no fractile group that will satisfy both. As an alternative, we suggest dual poverty lines where the fi rst is computed on the basis of average calorie, protein and fat requirements which are region- and state-specifi c and the second uses the combined median fractile group after adjusting the distribution with price differentials.

Farmers' Suicides in Maharashtra

An agrarian crisis has precipitated a spate of suicides in Maharashtra. The suicide mortality rate for farmers in the state has increased from 15 in 1995 to 57 in 2004. The rain-dependent cotton growing farmers of Vidarbha are faced with declining profitability because of dumping in the global market by the US, low import tariffs, failure of the Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme and withdrawal of the state (resulting in declining public investment in agriculture, poor government agriculture extension services and the diminishing role of formal credit institutions). The farmer now depends on the input dealer for advice, leading to supplier-induced demand, and on informal sources of credit, which result in a greater interest burden. In short, the farmer is faced with yield, price, credit, income and weather uncertainties. The way out is to merge bold public policy initiatives with civil society engagement.

Suicide Mortality Rates across States of India, 1975-2001

States of India, 1975-2001 A Statistical Note SRIJIT MISHRA Suicide data in India is compiled through police records. This is available in an annual publication Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), ministry of home affairs, New Delhi. A time series data for suicides across states by sex was compiled from this data for the period 1975 to 2001.1 To make comparison possible, the number of suicides has to be normalised with the population for the age group 5+ years, as suicide is medically not defined for the age group 0-4 years. Using population data for census years, the inter-censal population has been interpolated and adjusted for sub-group consistency. For instance, 1971 and 1981 Censuses were used to interpolate from 1972 to 1980 and similarly for 1981-1991 and 1991-2001. This has been done in the following manner.

Employment Guarantee for Rural India

A report of a round-table discussion held in Mumbai in November on the proposed employment guarantee programme.

Secluded and Proximate Illiterates among Couples

This paper uses NFHS-2 (1998-99) data to explore certain linkages between literacy status of a couple (husband and wife) with outcomes like household standard of living index (SLI) and others having implications on women and child health. An attempt has also been made to link the proximate criterion in literacy in the couple domain with outcome variables such as SLI, instances of sickness among women from specific diseases as asthma, TB, malaria and jaundice; linkages with indicators like under-nutrition in women have also been analysed. The exercise affirms the advantage of proximate illiteracy over the secluded illiterate in terms of outcome measures of women and child health as well as household SLI. On the other hand, while patterns are not distinct in terms of a comparison between proximate female illiterate and proximate male literate, indications point to the latter doing comparatively better.

Gujarat Elections 2002

This paper attempts to analyse in each constituency vote shares accruing to the two major parties in the state with the use of triplot or ternary diagram method. A triplot enables a two-dimensional display of three categories of shares or proportions, in this case vote shares, accruing to the BJP, Congress and �others�. Triplot diagrams provide a thematic representation of the fact that an increase in vote shares of BJP and to a lesser extent the Congress does have a relationship with the decline of 'other' contestants.

West and Central India HDR

on any stratum. One gets an impres- West and Central India HDR West and Central India Human Development Report; National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER); Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2002; pp xxii+418, Rs 495.

Democracy and Hunger

The Politics of Hunger in India: A Study of Democracy, Governance and Kalahandi’s Poverty by Bob Currie; Macmillan India, Chennai, 2000; (cloth) Rs 350.
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