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

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What Causes Agglomeration— Policy or Infrastructure?

How significant are industrial dispersal policy incentives for agglomeration of organised manufacturing in India? Using plant-level data for 1997-98, the locational choices of 66 manufacturing industries in 21 Indian states are investigated. First, the degree of agglomeration (Ellison-Glaeser index) is calculated in each of these industries to ascertain in which states they are clustered, followed by an econometric investigation of industrial dispersal policy after controlling for different factors that affect agglomeration. The analysis yields that the dispersal policy has not been successful in most specifications. Factors like presence of infrastructure, coastlines, and labour market pooling determine agglomeration. The results also indicate that the nature of the product, high electricity tariff, and per capita energy gap have induced several industries to disperse.

Organised versus Unorganised Manufacturing Performance in the Post-Reform Period

This paper analyses the productivity performance of both the organised and unorganised segments of the Indian manufacturing sector using unit level data. Both partial and total factor productivity measures are employed. Our analysis reveals that labour productivity has increased for the organised sector over time, whereas both labour productivity and capital intensity growth have slowed down in the unorganised sector during the period between 2000-01 and 2004-05. The improvement in TFP growth in organised manufacturing in the post-2000 period as compared to the second half of the 1990s across most states in India is heartening as also the fact that output growth was mostly productivity-driven in the post-reform period. However, the declining TFP and the increasing capital intensity of the unorganised sector are causes of worry and raise several important questions.

Vulnerability to Air Pollution:Is There Any Inequity in Exposure?

This study tries to find evidence of environmental inequity by looking into the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and air pollution exposure. This is carried out by first computing a household specific air pollution exposure index for 347 households around seven pollution monitoring stations in Delhi. The index is then used in a multivariate regression to look into the environmental equity aspect. The analysis yields that the economically backward communities are the most affected by the exposure to air pollution. However, the study does not find any evidence of environmental inequity due to religion and social backwardness. Education facilitates defence against the exposure, when it crosses a threshold level. The separate analysis of residential and industrial areas suggests that exposure to air pollution is dependent, though not systematically, on the location of residence, besides socio-economic status.

Vehicular Pollution Control in Delhi

Delhi's CNG experiment has been hailed as among the few success stories of its kind in recent times. This paper investigates whether the enactment of policy instruments in Delhi affected ambient air quality and whether CNG conversion impinged on the pollution profile. To carry out the analysis, daily ambient air quality data was used from June 1999 to September 2003 from the busiest crossing in Delhi. The results do not indicate an all-round improvement in ambient quality as NOx rose after the conversion, whereas SPM and PM10 showed only a marginal fall; CO was the only parameter that showed a significant decline. But the problem so far has been addressed from a limited perspective and there are in fact three ways to approach it: reduction in emissions per unit of fuel used; fewer vehicle kilometres travelled in total and less fuel use per vehicle kilometre travelled. Unless all three modes are enmeshed, one would not expect the air quality to improve.

Controlling Pollution in Small Industry

Although common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) have been held up as a solution to the problem of pollution by small-scale units, the concept has been a failure in several places in India. The unsuccessful CETPs can learn from the experience of the Ankleshwar plant, where several basic parameters of functioning, such as separation of ownership and membership and use of tankers for effluent conveyance have contributed to its effectiveness.

Health System Performance in Rural India

The present study attempts to analyse the performance of rural public health systems of 16 major states in India using the techniques from stochastic production frontier and panel data literature. The results show that not all states with better health indicators have efficient health systems. The study concludes that investment in the health sector alone would not result in better health indicators. Efficient management of the investment is required.

An Assessment of EIA

the project concept stage. Figure shows An Assessment of EIA Conducting Environmental Impact Assessment for Developing Countries by Prasad Modak and Asit K Biswas; Oxford University Press, 2001.

Environmental Compliance versus Growth

Stringent regulations to control pollution due to effluents have not stifled the growth of the palm oil industry in Malaysia; rather, they have complemented the industry's efforts to innovate and remain competitive.

Health Sector in 2003-04 Budget

A number of concessions in the form of reduced excise, customs, or income tax exemptions have been announced for the healthcare industry. However, healthcare also needs to be viewed as a service. This the budget has neglected to do. Launching of an insurance scheme is a laudable beginning but overall rural healthcare has gained little in this budget.

Vehicular Pollution Control in Delhi

Many command and control instruments, such as banning old commercial vehicles and banning leaded petrol have been implemented to curb Delhi's air pollution. This paper is an attempt to investigate whether these efforts have led to a commensurate fall in air pollution in Delhi. Our analysis shows that it has not resulted in concomitant improvement in ambient air quality. One of the reasons is reliance on new vehicles, with little emphasis on in-service vehicles. The containment of vehicular pollution requires an integrated approach, with combined use of transport policies and air pollution control instruments.

Pollution: Prevention vs Control

Industrial pollution in many developing countries including India is managed/controlled using end-of-pipe (EOP) treatment. Using available evidence it is argued here that EOP treatment like common effluent treatment plant (CETP) does not fix the problem, as many hazardous persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and toxic metals remain in the treated water or in the sludge. Instead of pollution control, pollution prevention should be the aim of any policy intervention. Besides, an integrated system where prevention rather than the control is the norm along with the use of cleaner production is more relevant in a fast growing economy like India.

Delhi : Relocating Polluting Units

Whether Delhi's polluting units are relocated or not, closed down or remain functioning, the implications of any of these actions would be far greater than a mere change in the Master Plan of Delhi. In order to make an informed decision, it is imperative to look into all the benefits, costs and issues involved objectively. The present paper is an enquiry into these issues.


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