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

Commentary

The differences in the patterns of indebtedness across social groups in India are examined based on the All India Debt and Investment Survey. The relatively adverse terms of access to credit among lower-caste households leading to high debt vulnerability are underscored.

An eminent expert on India’s economy and a major contributor to South Asian studies in Australia, Raghbendra Jha passed away in New Delhi at the age of 70. His legacy includes a large body of work on the Indian economy, from the macroeconomics of inflation to microeconomic issues such as anti-poverty initiatives.

With increasing investment opportunities in the alternative investment funds sector and to penetrate the global financial markets, structural reforms to the governance standards are mandatory. We suggest these structural changes to the existing framework to make India a leading asset and funds management hub.

The agricultural export policy was announced in 2018 to transform the ecosystem of India’s agricultural exports. However, the country’s agricultural exports have faced several policy-induced restrictions. This article explores the ambiguities in the policy by citing empirical data on trade policy instruments used for export restrictions.

The rise of the Zoram People’s Movement earmarked a political change by ending the duopoly of the Mizo National Front and Congress in Mizoram. This rise needs to be understood within the long history of the Mizo public political agency—in terms of exercising their right to “choose” and an understanding of the vernacular politics that informs Mizo political culture.

The failure to reimagine federalism for our times has led to elections being perceived as zero-sum competitions between national and regional parties. A differentiated strategy which selectively emphasises or deflects the national–regional divide is called for, as non-alignment and post-poll bargaining is a decreasing possibility for regional parties.

The impact of foreign direct investments on the expansion of export-based foreign trade in emerging economies is explored. Examining data over 20 years, it is observed that FDI has a significant positive influence in promoting foreign trade in India in the long run. There exists no significant relationship between FDI and exports in the short run.

The multidimensional poverty index computed by the Niti Aayog suffers from several methodological shortcomings as well as wrong or improper selections of indicators. The most glaring mistake in the report is the inclusion of multidimensional deprivation index estimates for urban areas for all districts. This reduces the validity of the findings for policy intervention as well as international comparison.

In the 2023 Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged victorious with a landslide majority. This electoral triumph, characterised by a significant mandate for the BJP, has undoubtedly reshaped the political dynamics of MP. In this context, the various strategic factors that cleared the BJP’s path from incumbency to dominance in MP are analysed.

The revenue sources of urban local governments are too small to meet their expenditure needs. Own source revenue generation of ULGs is weak and the increasing dependency on transfers from the higher governments has declined the autonomy of municipalities. The goods and services tax has adversely affected municipal finance. The extent of loss due to implementing GST is examined and ways to streamline municipal finance in India are proposed.

Excessive litigation by government entities is a major contributor to India’s pendency crisis, with over three crore cases pending nationally. To tackle this challenge, digitally transforming litigation management in state governments through comprehensive case management systems can bring substantial improvements. Harnessing technology and analytics can help states overcome inefficiencies, delays, and knowledge gaps in managing legal cases. With comprehensive case management systems, India can digitally transform litigation processes to deliver speedier justice.

The dynamic pricing practice resulted in a modest increase in revenue but kept more people away from using it. This therefore raises questions on the purpose of public sector undertakings, which is to maximise more users along with revenue generation. The ticket price must also compete with the alternative transportation segment, such as air travel. Evidence suggests the rail transport to be comparably more expensive than air travel due to dynamic pricing. The railways must also consider reducing its mounting subsidy on the passenger segment by raising its fare to increase revenue from the passenger segment and go further in the way of inevitable modernisation.

Trends in public expenditure related to the agriculture sector in India are recategorised and analysed to understand the spatial and temporal trends in expenditure, the extent to which it has shifted across various subsectors, and assess if the sectors, prioritised and promoted, receive commensurate allocations.

There is very low farmer participation in the commodity futures markets. In addition, it has been banned in several instances, depending on their contribution to overall inflation and price volatility. This indicates a need for government regulations on the restriction of futures trade on commodities with high price instability.

Reforming multilateral institutions by reversing the trends towards an increasingly unequal world order has remained the primary focus of the BRICS. The grouping has strived to democratise the global financial system by reforming the functioning of the Bretton Woods institutions. In the same vein, the BRICS has voiced its support for an inclusive, equitable, non-discriminatory multilateral trading regime that would meet the aspirations of the South. As the BRICS completes 15 years of its existence and becomes an expanded and more representative organisation of the South, has this forum been able to succeed in realising the objectives it has set for itself?