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

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Changing Characteristics of Villages in Tamil Nadu

Illustrating the imaginative use of the Primary Census Abstract for Tamil Nadu from the 1991 to 2011 censuses, this paper separates villages that are chronically backward from those that are more developed in terms of demographic and economic characteristics. It also makes use of the data to describe changes in spatial distributions over time.

Cow Slaughter Ban and the Welfare of Cattle

In recent years, state after state, under the rule of parties with diverse ideologies, has enacted legislation banning cow slaughter without serious consideration of the rationale and content of the laws or the practical problems of implementing them. Now we have aggressive attempts by vocal sections of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliates to insist on extending the ban to cover production, sale and consumption of beef. This article looks at the issue of management of cattle and buffalo livestock in its entirety to shed light on what needs to be done and what shouldnot be done.

Greenpeace Ban: Violation of Rights

(The following are extracts from an open letter sent to the Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, protesting against the decision to freeze Greenpeace India’s accounts.) The move by the central government to freeze Greenpeace India’s bank accounts and block sources of funds, is a blatant...

Dialogue Needed on Sardar Sarovar

The following is an Open Letter to Uma Bharti, Minister for Water Resources, Government of India: We the undersigned believe that the recent decision of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam by 16.76 metres (m) taking the height to the designed final...

Some Notes on the Indian Economy in Crisis

There is no sign of recognition among the political class and policymakers of the implications of the persistence of many adverse trends in the Indian economy and their underlying causes. That the socio-economic consequences of allowing present trends to continue will be serious is already manifest in widening disparities between castes and communities, classes, rural and urban areas, and individuals. Measures meant to counter this have not been pursued seriously and have had little effect on the ground reality of persistent inequality, slow growth, and an unacceptably high incidence of mass poverty and unemployment. This article calls for a radical retuning of policies aimed at achieving inclusive economic growth and a more egalitarian distribution of income.

Use and Abuse of the Poverty Line

Irrespective of how the poverty line is defined, it is not possible to arrive at a definitive estimate of the incidence of poverty. Nor can strategies to address the myriad and varied disabilities of the poor be decided on the basis of the overall incidence of income poverty alone. It holds that it makes more sense to focus on gaining a fuller picture of the living conditions of the poor with the Planning Commission preparing a comprehensive report on the state of poverty every five years, as suggested by the Lakdawala Committee in 1993.

Future of Cooperatives in India

The web version of this article corrects a few errors that appeared in the print edition. The cooperative movement in India was started by far-sighted colonial offi cials and later became an instrument of the development state in the post-Independence era, never really becoming a popular movement driven by its members. As the cooperatives have become central to government policy on rural credit, they have come to be entrenched power centres for doling out patronage, financial help and political support. This article proposes some measures for their successful reform.

Reviving the Economy: Problems and Prospects

Measures to relax the fiscal constraint to permit a significant increase in investment necessary to arrest and reverse the current deceleration of growth without sacrificing programmes for improving social services and providing social protection have become more compelling and urgent than ever. This calls for a strong restraint in acceding to numerous demands for tax reliefs, special assistance and "bailouts" from different groups claiming to be affected by the crisis. Such relief must be discriminating, temporary and kept to the minimum. The focus of fiscal policy must be on reviewing policies and making such changes as will protect the interests of growth over the longer term.

An Overview

An overview of the main recommendations of the Fourth Review Committee of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Farmers' Suicides and the Agrarian Crisis

There are growing disparities between the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors and a deterioration in the quality of public services in rural India. However, the Planning Commission is mistaken if it thinks an acceleration in the growth of manufacturing and services will pull agriculture out of its present crisis. And contrary to much common belief, indebtedness, low levels of investment and import liberalisation are not the causes of the agrarian crisis. A radically different approach is required to make the farm sector grow by 4 per cent a year.

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