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

Zakir HusainSubscribe to Zakir Husain

Self-fulfilling Equilibrium and Social Disparities in Urban India

This article examines the persistence of group-based disparities in education and labour market outcomes in India. It argues that a possible reason responsible for this phenomenon is the existence of a self-fulfilling equilibrium trap. The social belief that certain groups are inferior leads to discrimination against them; over time, however, these communities start behaving in a manner that justifies society's perceptions about them, reinforcing and perpetuating initial disparities. The study uses NSSO data from the 68th round.

Grandparental Childcare and Labour Market Participation of Mothers in India

This paper examines whether the presence of grandparents increases the probability of mothers going out to work in India. Analysis of data from the Demographic Health Survey (2005-06), supplemented by a primary survey covering 750 graduate women in Kolkata shows that though conservative grandparents may oppose the mother's decision to work, support of grandparents--particularly maternal grandparents--is important in enabling these women to seek paid work in metropolitan cities. The type of care services provided by grandparents is also examined. The findings indicate the importance of multigenerational ties within the family.

Health of the National Rural Health Mission

The National Rural Health Mission was introduced as a flagship scheme of the United Progressive Alliance government in 2005-06 to address the needs of the rural population through an architectural correction of the health system. With the completion period drawing to a close in 2012, this paper critically evaluates the success of the intervention strategies under this scheme. Based on rapid appraisal surveys in selected districts, three common review missions by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and data reported on the nrhm website, this paper attempts a desk review of the progress of the mission with respect to its core strategies - provisioning of health services to households through accredited social health activists, strengthening rural public health facilities, enhancing capacity of panchayats to control and manage provisioning of health services and positioning of an effective health management information system.

Primary Completion Rates across Socio-Religious Communities in West Bengal

Primary completion rates of Muslims in West Bengal are substantially lower than that of upper caste communities as well as backward castes, scheduled castes and tribes. Further, analysis of age-specific pcr indicates that differences in pcr between Muslims and other communities may have actually increased in recent years. An econometric analysis reveals that age, gender, household size and expenditure levels, education and gender of decision-maker, etc, are important determinants of these differences in pcr. But use of Census data and District Information System for Education statistics indicates that deficiencies in infrastructural facilities in Muslim-concentrated districts also have a significant role in the low pcrs of Muslim children.

Analysing Demand for Primary Education

The low level of literacy within the Muslim community is traditionally explained in terms of the conservative values characterising Muslim society. Based on a field survey of slum dwellers in selected areas of Kolkata, this article argues that economic factors and uncertainties in the labour market combine to create a different perception of the cost-benefits of education. It also examines other facets of educational decisions: its cost and components, the choice of educational institutions and the preferred medium of instruction, presence of gender bias, and the relation between dropouts and child labour.
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