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

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T N Srinivasan (1933–2018)

T N Srinivasan was one of the most distinguished economists of post-independence India and contributed immensely to academic research and public policy. Although he is better known for his extensive scholarly work in various areas of economics, he has also written on energy policy, nuclear power, and other topics that few would associate him with. Equally important was his unflinching commitment and generosity towards students and young researchers throughout his long career.

In the Name of Charity

In the context of a renewed interest in the functioning of charitable hospitals in Maharashtra, and the intention of the state charity commissioner to ensure compliance with the Indigent Patient Fund scheme, some related issues have been revisited and suggestions forwarded for modifying the scheme. Attention is drawn towards the misuse of trust hospitals and the consequences of having no ceiling on charges for close to 80% of the beds in these hospitals.

A National Law for Urban Trees

Trees become the first victims of infrastructure expansion in urban areas. Laws and institutions for the protection of trees have not kept pace with the increasing developmental pressures. A fundamental reform in the law is needed, so that it is able to comprehensively protect trees in an urban landscape.

Metro Rail Expansion

The evolving policy context of metro rail expansion, particularly in the last five years in India, the concerns emanating due to public–private partnerships in financing and developing metro projects, and the possible implications of these on patterns of urban land use are discussed.

Below the Guard Rail

The “1.5 Degree Report” from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes scenarios and potential actions to pull the earth away from the brink of catastrophic climate change. The report’s findings are stark but it shows that there are pathways to achieve climate security. The study nevertheless repeats some common errors in framing the ways forward and does not fully explore the potential for transformative change. Some options from the literature that deserve serious consideration are discussed.

FDC Ban and Endless Rounds of Litigation

Despite the recommendation of two expert committees to ban fixed dose combinations, the issue remains unresolved. Manufacturers of banned FDCs have approached Delhi High Court and sought to question the rationale of the ban on tendentious grounds. This also raises questions over the extent of judicial involvement in deciding upon the content of scientific matters.

War in Yemen

Civil war in Yemen cannot be seen merely from the prism of sectarian conflict as its roots go into the historical political positions of different groups and geostrategic interests of regional powers. Hegemonic designs of Saudi Arabia backed by the United States have intensified the conflict, leading to thousands of deaths and acute humanitarian crisis. It remains to be seen how far the recently concluded Stockholm Agreement between warring camps would contribute to a durable peace.

The Costs of the Agrarian Crisis

The closely fought assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress hinged primarily on the issue of farmer suicides and agricultural issues. However, the electoral battle between the two parties and their respective campaigns drew attention to other significant issues.

Histories, Academic and Public

Changes in historiography and historical methods challenged the professional historian’s obsession with the state archive from the late 19th century, but the distance between academic and public histories continued to grow wider in the 20th century. The possibility of bringing public and academic histories together to make history-writing a meaningful activity for both the public and the historian has been done by treating the visual as an archive which no historian can ignore in the age of smartphones, internet and fake news. By imaginatively integrating the visual and literary archives, the historian can reclaim a social relevance denied to him by the very practice of professional academic history.

Political Crisis in Sri Lanka

The ongoing political and constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka has opened up a period of uncertainties that jeopardise the agenda of democratic renewal. Stemming from the conflict between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and their political formations, recent events constitute a strange political story of how a regime with so much reform promise has ultimately decayed into a political ragedy of unbelievable proportions.

China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ Revisited

The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s foreign policy hallmark, faces problems over magnitude, mismanagement, and excessive indebtedness for the recipient countries. Notwithstanding its opposition to China–Pakistan projects traversing Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, India’s hopes for using Chabahar port investments in Iran can be valorised only via China-built rail and road links to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Incipient India–China cooperation in Afghanistan might provide a platform for an Indian reassessment.

AAP’s Health Policy Reforms in Delhi

Against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding privatised healthcare system, the Aam Aadmi Party government’s health policy reforms in Delhi are scrutinised.

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