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

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Discrepancies in GDP Data

I am writing in connection with your editorial titled “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics” (EPW, 11 June 2016), in which issues relating to “discrepancies” in gross domestic product (GDP) data, growth rates in manufacturing sector and comparison of Provisional Estimates (PE) of current year with PE of...

The Draft Higher Education Bill, 2010: A Critical Review

Three years after the National Knowledge Commission submitted its report suggesting that there is a need to create an overarching regulator in higher education, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has finally come out with a draft Bill. This article reviews this Bill and finds that it seeks greater centralisation of power, essentially in the appointment of vice chancellors and on issues which traditionally should fall within the domain of universities. Although there is a need for a new regulatory system in place, this has to be more like a facilitator and as a catalyst in enabling universities to pursue teaching and research within an autonomous, and yet, accountable framework of self-governance.

An Economic Analysis of Judicial Activism

Over time it is not just the rights of the 'socially excluded' that have been put up for judicial review and intervention; a whole gamut of issues such as the environment, consumer affairs, property rights, the practices of municipal corporations, educational institutions, politicians and political parties, to name a few areas, have been presented before the courts to prescribe public policy outcomes. This widening of subject matter has caused Indian judicial activism to be celebrated as a device of engineering social change. We propose an examination of judicial activism using the positive tools of economic analysis. The singular value of such an analysis lies in placing judicial activism in relation to the norm of economic efficiency. This enables a discussion in which one does not present the problem as one of contesting ideologies, but in terms of the impact of judicial activism on the allocation of resources. In the first section of the paper we outline the tools for the analysis. We establish a link between the doctrine of separation of powers and the notion of transaction costs and use this to define activism. In the second part we use the definition to perform a heuristic economic analysis of judicial activism. Our conclusions are mixed: while we see some virtue in what we call interpretational judicial activism, other forms of judicial activism that encroach on legislative or executive decision-making on grounds of privilege can result in social costs that outstrip benefits.

India and the WTO

The consequence of the government's approach to the WTO and to trade negotiations is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our flawed rejectionist approach to negotiations, with the absurd threats to leave, imply that we are unable to address our own immediate trading concerns, and end up with agreements which do not meet our concerns and which we are ill-equipped to implement.
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