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

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Understanding the Education System: An Eco-Behavioural Approach

The eco-behavioural approach to the study of education suggests that the achievements of students would depend on the expectations placed on them, and the support they receive from other participants in various behavioural settings. The approach is theoretically constructed and empirically verified in this paper. Using the methodology of such an approach, one can debate the reasoning behind the policy of reservation in higher education. Such an exercise is attempted in this essay.

IIM Review Committee Report: A Critical Examination

The report of the IIM Review Committee has a very poorly defined purpose and approach. Some of the basic issues have been touched upon only superficially. The report reflects the shortcomings in the constitution of the committee and its inability to take adequate inputs from stakeholders. It has slipped a few crucial terms of reference, demonstrating a casual approach to the whole issue of preparing a report on such an important topic.

Engel curve Method for Measuring poverty

While the headcount index of poverty in India has fallen, per capita cereal consumption and calorie intake have also decreased. At the poverty line, the minimum calorie requirements used for defining this line in the base year are not being met in later years. While the official poverty line used the food requirement norm from nutrition science, this paper employs the food consumption requirement derived from the Engel curve as the norm to arrive at a measure of food consumption deprivation. It is shown that food deprivation levels do not reflect the same pattern that the traditional poverty indices depict, questioning the usefulness of traditional poverty indices for measuring food deprivation.

Some Basic Issues in Statistical Modelling in Social Sciences

In a discussion on how social scientists use statistical models in their analysis, this paper uses some illustrative examples and highlights the importance of understanding the data generation process, viz, the way data are generated in the natural setting, and the way the data are selected from that natural setting through some sample selection process. The paper makes constructive suggestions on the importance of exploratory data analysis to improve the credibility of the specification of models. As there is always a likelihood that a model could be wrongly specified, and as omission of relevant variables could adversely affect statistical credibility, such exploratory data analysis would improve the statistical models.

Why Econometrics?

Econometrics is the better half of economics. It is scientific, practical and useful. And - a point not to be ignored - it provides a lot of fun to those who know how to use it.

The Nuclear Option

How are social choices made on the nuclear issue? What is the information base on the costs and benefits of generating the nuclear capabilities required to be termed deterrence? Does the nuclear option itself increase the threat of aggression from neighbouring countries which may mean additional costs without yielding any benefits? Can there be any estimate of possible damage if the deterrence fails?

Models of North-South Trade, Growth and Development as Differential Game Problems

Development as Differential Game Problems T Krishna Kumar The new international economic order has thrown open several issues of utmost importance for rigorous analytical examination, This paper tries to develop an analytical framework and to pose the major issues confronting economic policy-makers and economic policy analysts in the newly emerged global economic environment as appropriately formulated differential game problems.

Planning and Economic Policy in India-Prospect and Retrospect

Planning and Economic Policy in India: Evaluation and Lessons for the Future edited by M Chattopadhyay, P Maiti, and M Rakshit; Sage Publications, New

An Unfinished Biography-Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

An Unfinished Biography Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis T Krishna Kumar Mahalanobis may have been wrong in the basic assumption he made on the omnipotence of the planner to implement the plan in a mixed economy with a large private sector consisting millions of individual decisionmakers, in agriculture and industry, But the strategies proposed by him must be examined with respect to their fundamental determinants, that is. the objectives, the model of the dynamic economy, the constraints and the assumptions underlying the model and regarding the exogenous factors.

Silent Consensus against the Washington

Consensus T Krishna Kumar This paper discusses the theoretical and empirical considerations related to the economic reforms. It is argued that there is no alternative to each country developing its own optimal policies, whereas in the designing of economic reforms in India a country-specific perspective has been totally missing.

Minimum Needs of Poor and Priorities Attached to Them

Attached to Them V Sitaramam S A Paranjpe T Krishna Kumar A P Gore J G Sastry From an examination of the NSS data covering 1951-1991 and taking the cereal consumption deprivation as a measure of poverty the authors present an estimate of poverty in India without using the dubious concept of the poverty line. They argue that there is no need to have a poverty line to measure the degree of poverty of any community or group of vulnerable households. The method developed here reveals that cereals constitute the commodity group that occupies the top position in the hierarchy of needs, both in rural and urban areas. Next item of priority, both for rural and urban areas, is fuel and light and not clothing partly because one cannot make a 'roti' out of wheat without the cooking fuel If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle Introduction ALLEVIATION of poverty has become one of the most important items on the policy agenda of many a government, particularly in the developing countries. Economic research so far has concentrated on the issue of measuring and monitoring the extent of poverty, rather than on the issues of designing the appropriate poverty alleviation pro' grammes. Designing such programmes requires some insights into who the poor are for whom such programmes must be designed, and what their needs are. The view of a major segment of the economics profession on these two issues has been that all those who arc below the poverty line are the poor who need poverty alleviation programmes, and that their needs are based on the common, perception of hierarchy of needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, health, education, etc. There are two problems associated with these economists" views. First, the idea of identifying the poor by the poverty line is neither acceptable to the policy-makers nor is it feasible, as the poor do not have a regular and stable source of income. Also it is not based on good scientifie and objective reasoning. Second, there is no clear-cut empirical evidence that the hierarchy of needs corresponds to the oft-repeated slogan 'food- shelter-clothing' or "roti-kapada-aur makan'. These priorities may vary from community to community, and from place to place. The ordering of needs depends on the circumstances facing the people. For example, for people living in colder climates and on forest slopes, clothing and shelter may be more important than for people who live on the plains with a more favourable climate. Similarly, the food habits may vary from place to place. Hence, what one needs is a measure of consumption deprivation that is commodity specific and community specific. The economists have, in our opinion, put undue emphasis in defining first who the poor arc and then defining their poverty. It is our view that it is more meaningful and useful to define poverty as consumption deprivation, which is the opposite of welfare, and then to decide, on a case by case basis, who ought to be the beneficiaries of any poverty alleviation scheme.1 The choice of the beneficiaries should depend on social, economic, political, and administrative considerations. The targeting of the poverty alleviation schemes, in terms of the commodities for which subsidies are needed and the people who ought to receive those subsidies, should be region-specific. From this perspective, and given that the notion of poverty is basically relative, it is even preferable to call such schemes as welfare- improving schemes rather than poverty alleviation schemes.

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