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

Vineetha MenonSubscribe to Vineetha Menon

Self-reliance versus State Responsibility

Drawing insights from the management of lift irrigation systems–established prior to and in the early stage of decentralisation of governance in Elamkulam gram panchayat in Kerala—how water users and local self-government have not taken full responsibility for sustaining the systems despite irrigation management transfer and decentralisation campaigns to develop local initiatives is examined. Despite the differences in water users’ associations in terms of genesis and self-reliance, many are seeking state support for sustaining the systems. In obtaining state support, associations that are capable of adapting to new decentralised institutional arrangements appear better-positioned, compared to those that lack such capabilities.

Migration Matters in South Asia: Commonalities and Critiques

Migration within and out of south Asia has been a practice steeped in historical processes. This article identifies commonalities such as the significant macroeconomic role of migration and similar main destinations for south Asia's mobile populations. It critiques popular themes in the discourse on migration, like the focus on economic benefits of moving populations and the nation state as a reference point. The article questions the existing views of what it means for people to move from their homes, many times (but not only) across international borders. This

Lease Farming in Kerala

The Land Reforms Act in Kerala rendered tenancy invalid and prohibited the creation of future tenancies in the state. But tenancy still exists. It is a consequence of the simultaneous increase in two categories of people, ?those who have land but are unable to cultivate? and ?those who have the labour and skills, but have no lands or not enough lands of their own to cultivate?. This paper examines some micro level studies on tenancy in Kerala, more specifically, its prevalence across locations and crops, characteristics of lessors and lessees, the terms of lease and the income derived from lease cultivation. It argues for institutionalised arrangements for the expansion of lease cultivation, rather than sterner measures to check it. Among other factors, large-scale entry of self-help groups into the lease market to take up lease cultivation, often bringing hitherto fallow lands into production, prompts such a positioning.

Dynamics of Irrigation Institutions

Based on field work in a village panchayat in Kerala that analysed the complex issues concerning the development and working of irrigation institutions, the present study reveals that successful management of irrigation is contingent upon the level of participation of the water users in management. By comparing irrigation institutions under different property rights, the study identifies the significant factors that contribute to the success and sustainability of irrigation institutions. It is found that albeit the physical characteristics of irrigation systems and the heterogeneities of the members of the user groups do have an impact on the outcome, it is the institutional environment as reflected in the presence of clear as well as flexible systems of rules and regulations, enforcement mechanisms, nesting and networking of such institutions, etc, that have become the most crucial determinants.
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