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

InsightSubscribe to Insight

US Lying about Halabja: Justifying the Invasion of Iraq

The central reason for the justification of the war on Iraq by the US administration was not so much the presence of weapons of mass destruction as the 1988 poison gas attack on Kurd civilians in Halabja by the Saddam Hussein regime. However, close scrutiny reveals that the accusations made by the US that the incident was a predetermined military experiment on the Kurds are false and fabricated, deliberately made to meet US policy objectives.

Emerging Issues in the Indian Gas Sector: A Critical Review

India's gas sector is in the midst of a major controversy with potential consumers exercised about what they see as an arbitrary and non-transparent pricing policy on production from recent discoveries. This article explores all the relevant issues arising from discovery, production and pricing of gas from contracts awarded in the New Exploration and Licensing Policy regime. It calls for policies to be drafted in a transparent and inclusive manner, giving due consideration to issues such as the most efficient use of gas, the subsidy burden, the market structure and the country's energy security.

Access to Bank Credit

The earlier policy of social and development banking has given way to one of financial inclusion, albeit without compromising commercial opportunities. Rural households are thus turning to more burdensome informal credit channels, with dalit rural households facing greater marginalisation due to financial exclusion from the formal credit system.

Case for a Global Pension and Youth Grant

Given that global population projections indicate a manifold increase in the ageing population and that this is a group where poverty is highly concentrated, there is a case for setting up a global pension fund. Financial help should also be extended to another disadvantaged cohort - young people. How can such a fund be set up?

Microfinance Bill: Missing the Forest for the Trees

The Microfinancial Sector (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2007, which has attracted criticism on many counts, aims to ensure that NGOs use their social mediation skills to ensure financial intermediation. However, the bill's ambit is narrow and it fails to take major aspects of microfinance delivery into account

Capital Account Convertibility: A Neglected Consideration

In the debate on capital account convertibility, financial and macroeconomic objectives and constraints have been paramount, with much less discussion on the growth and development dimensions of CAC. This article focuses on one hitherto neglected aspect of first-order importance for long-run growth: the level of the real exchange rate or what might be called the objective of avoiding overvaluation.

Efficient Transfer of Funds for Centrally-Sponsored Schemes

The ongoing dispute between the union and state governments and among the states themselves regarding funds for centrally-sponsored schemes has severely affected the adoption of sound accounting and monitoring practices. It is essential to restore them in an amicable and acceptable manner. This article examines various issues concerning the accounting mechanism and attempts to develop a comprehensive systemic solution to the problems.

Caste and Religion in Punjab

The recent violence between Akali groups and the Dera Sacha Sauda in Punjab underscores the existence of a number of 'deras' in various parts of the state, which are but a manifestation of prevailing caste divisions and tensions. Dalits and other marginalised groups adhere to such deras for it promises them an alternative to mainstream, and in many respects, exclusionary Sikhism. Yet deras, especially in recent decades, have acquired strategic political overtones. This article looks at one such episode in Punjab's recent religious history.

What Does Budget 2007-08 Offer Women?

A closer look at the gender budgeting statement in the Union Budget 2007-08 reveals that programmes and allocations remain plagued by "mistakes", with several schemes wrongly prioritised as being exclusively for women. The fact that women have begun to figure in the annual financial exercise of the government is a laudable step, but there remains a need to prioritise women in all development schemes of the government.

Why Are Levels of Child Malnutrition Not Improving?

Results of the recently released third National Family Health Survey carried out in 2005-06 reveal that 46 per cent of India's children under three years are underweight. The NFHS-3 clearly shows limited progress in ensuring universal health services and care to children under three years of age (especially to newborns) and to mothers and women. Preliminary results confirm the continuing neglect of health, inadequate reach and efficacy of health and childcare services.

Khairlanji and Its Aftermath: Exploding Some Myths

The importance of Khairlanji lies in providing a clear illustration of the genesis, development and culmination of a caste atrocity. Khairlanji brings to the fore the irrelevance of dalit politics and politicians and rejection of them by ordinary dalits. But above all, Khairlanji helps dispel a number of myths - the myth that economic development does away with casteism, the myth of Maharashtra being a progressive state, the myth that there exists a significant progressive section of non-dalits that is against the caste system, the myth that dalits placed in the bureaucracy can orient the administration to do justice to dalits, and finally the mythology of 'bahujanwad' developed by the late Kanshiram and followed by other dalit leaders.

State of Play Six Years after Gujarat Earthquake

This article critically reviews the process of reconstruction of Kachchh district since the 2001 earthquake; it examines the urban development of Bhuj as well as the industrial development patterns adopted in rural Kachchh.

Pages

Back to Top