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

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Touch, Untouch, and the Depositions of Ucchishta

Complex sensory and linguistic underpinnings of caste come into play when touchables, with all their senses, touch objects made by untouchables. Here, ethnographic insights have been used about the devotional percussion instrument, khol , which is made by untouchables, but touched, heard, relished, and understood, by all castes.

History of Anxiety and Possibility

The developed world faces a new bout of anxiety given the current status of technology development. To understand the anxiety, the historical perspective on the short- and long-run effects of technological progress on labour substitution, post the Great Depression, is traced. The present technological progress stands in contrast to what Keynes called the “Economic Possibilities” of technological unemployment. The probable policies for tackling contemporary issues of technological unemployment are discussed.

Road Map for Agricultural Technology Transfer and Commercialisation

The management and transfer of agricultural technologies for commercialisation purposes is considered to be a new concept in India. However, there is an upward surge in the technology protection, incubation and other commercialisation activities in recent times. This can be attributed to the recent transformation of the agribusiness ecosystem in the country due to policy initiatives and more focused research in applied and frontier areas.

Troubles with Cash Food Subsidy

A pilot project of cash food subsidy to replace the public distribution system in Nagri block of Ranchi district in Jharkhand is analysed to highlight the problems experienced by Jharkhand in implementation of cash food subsidy through the direct benefit transfer system in the PDS. Further, the limitations of cash transfer as a means to replace the PDS are highlighted as also the infrastructural and institutional constraints to impose digitalisation in rural Indian conditions.

Stares of the Blind

The ways in which blind people connect to the art of seeing without the ocular equipment of the eyes are explored, recognising that seeing is as much a political act as it pertains to human bonding.

Planting of Illegal Crops

The need for technology in agriculture is often confused with giving farmers access to genetically modified crops. Rarely is the performance of the country’s first GM crop, Bt cotton, examined under a critical lens. Instead, the backdoor entry of illegal GM seeds is gaining momentum in the name of progress and of giving farmers a choice. The absence of a strict regulation regime is sorely felt. Research on agriculture and sustainability is the need of the hour.

NITI Aayog’s Health Index

Based on a critical review of the NITI Aayog’s recently published “Healthy States, Progressive India,” it is argued that the report provides only a superficial insight into the overall health attainment. Much deeper and careful analysis is required if one aims to unfold the complexity and varied contexts provided by Indian states, let alone ranking them on health attainment. The method of calculating the index in the report compromises scientific rigour, and the inferences drawn are highly misleading.

Nuances of the Left Debacle in Tripura

The electoral and political debacle of the left in Tripura is a culmination of long-term social churning. Discontent among the tribal population as well as the divide between tribal and Bengali communities were effectively utilised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has led to precipitous erosion of the base of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Lessons from Kolkata’s East–West Metro Disaster

The disasters faced during the construction of the east–west metro corridor in Kolkata have brought to the fore various contentious issues of urban infrastructure development, such as limited know-how of executing agency, low or no disaster preparedness, and precedence of narrow political interests over the safety considerations of such high-risk construction projects. These accidents reiterate the need for redefining the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in such projects.

India’s Slowdown

Investments in industry have slowed down considerably in the recent years, as has agricultural growth. Falling levels of capacity utilisation, building up of food stocks and the state of liquidity in the economy sufficiently prove that the problem today is the lack of demand. Rural distress, rising inequality and falling real wages are driving down demand. The government’s response to the slowdown has been woefully inadequate. The biggest impediment to policymaking is not the lack of ideas, but the blinkered vision of economics.

Virtuous Cycle and Economic Growth in India

A critique is offered after examining the claims in the Economic Survey that the concept of virtuous cycle is of recent origin and that during the planning period, the planners were unaware of such a way of imagining economic progress. The evidences provided to support the presence of the virtuous cycle in China and the East Asian countries are also questioned.

Reflections on the Disciplinary Credibility of Business History

Can a change of nomenclature generate a new approach that may help reconceptualise the story, the history of Indian business? Business studies must take the archive much more seriously than it does, not as an inert repository of facts, and engage with the historical method with much greater rigour. Unless the practice and protocols of history writing are considered seriously and their location understood, it would be impossible for business history to have the productive conversation that it seeks.

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