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

InsightSubscribe to Insight

Gram Kachahary in Rural Bihar

Bihar has an innovative system of rural local governance through judicial institutions led by the people. Each gram panchayat has a gram kachahary . How these institutions work, the challenges they face, while settling disputes, and the ways these challenges could be met are examined.

From Jobless to Job-loss Growth

The unprecedented decline in the absolute number of workers in the Indian economy in recent times has been a subject of debate and a matter of public concern. A closer look at the data for the period 2011–12 and 2017–18 shows that it is the net result of a dynamic process of job creation and destruction. Those who have lost jobs are all with low education, that is, less than secondary level of education. From a gender perspective, rural women workers are the net losers. From a social point of view, the net losers belong to two groups: Muslims and Hindu Other Backward Classes. These are clear signs of rural India in distress with strong gender and social dimensions.

Sukracharjya Rabha (1977–2018)

Sukracharjya Rabha, a visionary theatre practitioner, established the Badungduppa Kalakendra in a remote village at Rampur and was also the director of the well-known “Under the Sal Tree” annual theatre festival. His theatre practice that was rooted materially, economically and ecologically at the heart of an indigenous community, creates a distinctly different political economy, which departs radically from previous attempts by the exponents of the “Theatre of Roots” movement to indigenise theatre in India and formulates a critique of it.

Livelihood Crisis and Distress

After sowing the rabi crops, villages in Maharashtra are faced with severe seasonal unemployment. To tide over the lean season, thousands of small and marginal peasant households migrate to other districts of the state, and even outside, in search of livelihood opportunities in sugar factories and brick kilns. Seasonal migration compensates for the lack of employment opportunities during the dry season and reduces seasonal income variability of the poor households in Beed district.

Gowramma’s Ghost and Bengaluru’s ‘Zero’ Out-of-school Children

The manner in which migration and education interact in often unanticipated ways in urban spaces is examined. Drawing on a fieldwork narrative from Bengaluru, questions on migrant children’s access to schooling are explored, and its interfaces with “being a migrant” in the city are located. Migrant communities’ precarious experiences of the city significantly shape the educational experiences of children. The out-of-school construct has to be understood in a nuanced and layered manner in order to envisage meaningful educational initiatives for migrant children.

Do Social Networks Facilitate the Spread of Ponzi Schemes?

Ponzi schemes, which have become widespread in some parts of the country, including eastern India and West Bengal, have inflicted heavy losses on the investors and have claimed several human lives. A primary survey shows how social networks created by self-help groups, though they provide higher incomes and social insurance to the members, also facilitate the spread of misinformation regarding Ponzi schemes and hurt naïve investors. The gullibility of potential investors can be reduced if the same networks are used to foster financial literacy.

Electoral Bonds

The introduction of electoral bonds is a retrograde measure that radically alters the transparency regime of electoral funding. By obscuring the identities of a bond’s purchaser and recipient from everyone but the State Bank of India, they give an unfair advantage to the party in power at the centre, undermine the Election Commission’s oversight role, and deprive the voters of their right to determine if the ruling party is extending undue favours to its donors.

On WhatsApp, Rumours, and Lynchings

There are two kinds of problems with rumour spread over WhatsApp: one is disinformation and the other is incitement to violence. Why the rumours leading to the lynchings are more appropriately treated as incitement to violence is explained here. The significance of WhatsApp in this context, and whether the changes made by WhatsApp in reaction to the public criticism and government pressure are likely to put a stop to the lynchings are also examined.

Making Cyclone Forecasts Useful to Emergency Managers

A relatively neglected area in hazard warnings research is the usefulness of hazard warnings in decision-making by emergency managers. Based on the interactions and interviews with various emergency managers at the state and district levels, the experience of emergency managers in using cyclone warnings for various kinds of decisions they need to make during emergency situations is analysed. The findings reveal that there are several areas—such as the content of the message, associated uncertainty, language, frequency, and timeliness—where improvements are required.

Saving the Vishwamitri

Waterfront development projects have been promoted in the name of flood control, beautification, and urban development. However, they only replace the river’s natural riparian edge with a concrete riverfront, facilitating further encroachment on and destruction of the riverbed. The Gujarat government promulgated the Vishwamitri Riverfront Development Project as a “smart” solution to the river’s deterioration, completely ignoring environmental safeguards.

Mine Closures and the Issue of Livelihood

Mining communities are the worst affected by mine closures since they derive their livelihood directly or indirectly from the industry. In order to analyse the shift in the livelihoods of people during and after mining operations, different stakeholders of Hindustan Zinc Limited in Sargipali, Odisha across 24 mining villages were interviewed, and additional evidence was taken from documents and reports. A grim picture emerges, owing to the lack of a sustainable mine closure plan or transparency between the planners and the villagers.

Pension Tension

The Jharkhand government has made Aadhaar mandatory for social security pensions. It is claimed that this has resulted in the deletion of three lakh “fake” pensioners in 2016–17. A recent household survey in Khunti town, however, reveals that fakes and duplicates make up only a fraction of the deleted pensioners, and a very small proportion of all pensions. Instead, many genuine pensioners have been excluded in the process.

Pages

Back to Top