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

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Subnational Diplomacy

Regional cooperation in South Asia is difficult not only because of the geographical, historical and cultural complexity of the region, but more so because of the lack of stable leadership emanating from the bigger states like India. India’s foreign political and economic policies are being increasingly shaped by regional governments, political parties and leaders. The increasing ease with which regional players consult, exert pressure and influence the centre poses both opportunities and risks for India’s foreign policy strategy.

Raising the ‘Bar’ for India’s Power Sector

Two prominent infrastructure companies belonging to Adani Group and Tata Group had sought the assistance of electricity regulators to hike the rate at which they sold power to several state power utility and distribution companies. They claimed that compensatory tariffs to the tune of nearly ₹8,000 crore were due to them as they had to absorb an increase in the price of coal imported from Indonesia used to fuel their power plants. But this was denied to them by the Supreme Court.

The Zero Case

The manner of dismissal of the interim appeals filed by Common Cause in the Birla–Sahara Papers case triggers a host of questions, legal and political. The presiding of a particular judge is also problematic as it appears to conflict with the code of conduct for judges, more so with the allegations against the Chief Justice of India and another sitting judge of the Supreme Court made by Kalikho Pul, former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, in his so-called suicide note.

The Hidden Universe of Non-profit Organisations in India

Systemic reform of the institutional and legal framework for non-profit organisations in India is long overdue, but its absence does not imply that their societal, developmental and professional contributions should be ignored, decried, or devalued.

Did Adani Group Evade ₹1,000 Crore Taxes?

The authors would like to clarify that the first paragraph in the “Conclusions” section (p 40) should have read as follows: “The DRI filed an appeal against the CESTAT order in the Supreme Court on 6 April 2016, which was eventually disposed of on 22 July 2016. The Ministry of Finance now has to file a review petition against this decision. The question that remains unanswered: what has dissuaded the ministry from filing this review petition even though more than five months have gone by?” This is the corrected version of the article. The corporate conglomerate headed by Gautam Adani has been accused by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence of having allegedly evaded taxes and laundered money to the tune of around ₹1,000 crore while trading in cut and polished diamonds and gold jewellery. The DRI has claimed that companies in the Adani Group misused export incentives and indulged in high-velocity circular trading through a complex web of front companies located in different parts of the world. The government seems strangely reticent about fi ling a review petition in the Supreme Court that could protect its revenue interests.

Exclusionary Conservation in the Sundarbans

An ethnographic survey on the island of Satjelia in the Sundarbans shows how exclusionary conservation practices are intensifying the vulnerabilities of the local population. An inclusive conservation policy would privilege both biodiversity and people’s livelihoods.

Water Crisis in Punjab and Haryana

After the Green Revolution, Punjab and Haryana have become water-scarce states due to the introduction of paddy as the main kharif crop, a massive increase in cropping intensity, and rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. However, the real issue--of reverting to sustainable cropping patterns and improving water-use efficiency--remains unaddressed. An improvement of 15% to 20% in water-use efficiency from the present level can provide each state with the increased water share it is demanding.

Look East Policy, Subregional Connectivity Projects and North East India

Many native scholars and social activists concerned about peace and development in landlocked, peripheral, conflict-ridden northeastern states have been pinning hopes on India's Look (Act) East Policy. They expect the proposed subregional connectivity projects to contribute to economic development of the region and address its problems of underdevelopment. Interrogating the assumptions on which the connectivity projects are conceived, the article throws light on hindrances in realisation of the set objectives.

Genetically Modified Mustard and India's Future

Genetically modified mustard, if approved, will be the first such food crop to be commercially released in India. This will open the floodgates for other such crops making India one of the largest users of genetically modified crops in the world in the next 10 to 12 years. Given that its agriculture is largely in the hands of multinational seed and agrochemical companies, India will end up bartering its freedom for the benefit of a few and the misery of the rest.

Wages of Communal Violence in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli

Three years after the communal carnage in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in Uttar Pradesh, in which close to a hundred people died and an estimated 75,000 were displaced, thousands of survivors have not been able to return to their villages. Even those not directly affected, who fled in the wake of the violence, continue to live in slum-like conditions without basic services. The Aman Biradari team that surveyed these affected villages concludes that the permanent divisions between communities who once lived together peacefully represent the triumph of communal politics.

Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio is disrupting the working of India's telecommunications industry by taking on incumbents like Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone which together control almost three-fourths of the market for mobile voice and data services. Although some of its services are "free," RJio's pricing may not be considered predatory even if its behaviour certainly is.

India's Air Traffic System

Examining the multidimensional patterns of network characteristics for scheduled Indian airlines between 2006 and 2014, this article goes on to discuss their evolutionary paths. The well-known skewed traffic distribution, which spatially concentrates traffic around a few airports, serves as the starting point for dividing the system into its constituent route types. This analysis points to inferences that can be drawn about the development path of the Indian commercial air traffic system.

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