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

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Caste, Religion, and Health Outcomes in India, 2004-14

There has been little investigation into whether the “social gradient to health”—whereby people belonging to groups higher up the social ladder have better health outcomes than those belonging to groups further down—exists in developing countries like India. The relative strengths of economic and social status in determining the health status of persons in India is evaluated using the National Sample Survey Office data set for 2004 and 2014. This is evaluated with respect to two health outcomes: the age at death and the self-assessed health status of elderly persons.

The Killing Fields of Assam

Assam has been in turmoil since the 1970s over the issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh. This has frequently manifested itself in attacks on the state's Bengali-speaking Muslims who are accused of not only occupying land belonging to the native population but also diluting and debasing the traditional Assamese Hindu culture through the instrument of a foreign language (Bengali) and an alien religion (Islam). Since the issue of immigration into Assam raises several questions like what is the scale of the problem, what is the division of immigrants between Hindu and Muslim, and how many illegal migrants are there in the state, this paper attempts to look for answers by applying communityspecific reproduction rates to the Muslim and non-Muslim sections of Assam's population and comparing the derived numbers with the actual number of Muslims and non-Muslims in the state. It also evaluates the contribution of Assam's immigrants to its polity and its economy.

Incumbency and Parliamentary Elections in India

A recurring theme in commentary on parliamentary (Lok Sabha) elections in India since the 1990s is that of "anti-incumbency": at every election since 1991, voters have cut a swathe through incumbent members of Parliament by choosing to replace a large number of them with a fresh set of faces. In this paper, the author refines the concept of "antiincumbency" and then, based on this concept, measures the extent of anti-incumbency, in the ten Indian parliamentary general elections between 1967 and 1999 towards the historically most significant of political parties in India - the Indian National Congress. In addition, the paper examines the electoral performance of the INC in its marginal constituencies, both as an incumbent and as non-incumbent. Lastly, the paper examines the effectiveness of vote mobilisation by the INC in constituencies in which it was the incumbent and in constituencies in which it was not the incumbent. Based on all these approaches, there is little evidence of incumbency bias against the INC.
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