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

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Civilians Caught in Crossfire

India and Pakistan are parties to the Geneva Conventions which are the keystones of International Humanitarian Law. However, notwithstanding the IHL, whenever both belligerents engage in ceasefire violations, indiscriminate firing and shelling across the Line of Control and international border, the civilians residing in these areas are subject to fearsome violence. This study points out that escalation of violence along the Indo-Pak border has enormous physical, economic and psychosocial ramifications on the lives of civilians in these areas.

Once More Unto The Breach...

This article is a (less than comprehensive) critique of the World Bank's latest estimates of global poverty and projections thereof. It argues that the Bank's approach to poverty measurement is conceptually flawed, and that the results, in terms of the poverty numbers which it presents, are largely misleading.

Exclusion within the Excluded

An investigation into the trends in economic disparities within the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for the past three decades (1983-2012) shows that the economic disparity ratio has increased substantially for both SCs and STs. The increase is much more in the case of the SCs. The economic inequality (Gini coefficient) has increased for both SCs and STs in urban India. In rural areas, it has increased for the SCs but has remained almost the same for the STs. In the post-economic reforms period (1993-2012), there is an unambiguous increase in inequality among both SCs and STs, and in the interstate inequality within the SCs and STs, for both rural and urban areas.

The Real Story behind Juvenile Crime Data

This article looks at the data, reported in the Crime in India- Statistics Report, Chapter 10, on juveniles in confl ict with the law and analyses and interprets it against the "disclaimer" and "limitations" published in the Crime in India-Compendium Report for 2013. The terminologies used by the National Crime Records Bureau are critically analysed and the authenticity of certain tables and figures with respect to juveniles in conflict with law have been questioned.

The Four Parts of Privacy in India

Privacy enjoys an abundance of meanings. It is claimed in diverse situations every day by everyone against other people, society and the state. Traditionally traced to classical liberalism's public-private divide, there are now several theoretical conceptions of privacy that collaborate and sometimes contend. Indian privacy law is evolving in response to four types of privacy claims: against the press, against state surveillance, for decisional autonomy and in relation to personal information. The Supreme Court has selectively borrowed competing foreign privacy norms, primarily American, to create an unconvincing pastiche of privacy law in India. These developments are undermined by a lack of theoretical clarity and the continuing tension between individual freedoms and communitarian values.

Public Health Facilities in North India

Following the introduction of universal access to free medicines and diagnostics at public health facilities in Rajasthan during 2011-13, we revisited the facilities surveyed by Banerjee et al (2004), and present the changes over the last decade. We find substantial improvement in infrastructure and the patient utilisation rate, but abysmally low utilisation of facilities primarily due to high absenteeism. We also present findings from fieldwork in Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to bring out striking contrasts among these four northern states.

Cheap Oil, Climate Change Mitigation and India

The oil crash of 2014 is expected to have a moderate impact on the global economy with oil importers seeing a boost in growth. The long-term impacts on climate change are difficult to predict but it is very likely that these might even be beneficial to the process of decarbonising the global energy economy. Most countries, including India, could use the opportunity to reduce fossil fuel subsidies and invest in renewable energy instead.

The Indelible Class Identity

How regular schooling unfolds for children should be an important concern in the light of the Right to Education Act, 2009 that makes schooling not just free, but also compulsory. While getting children to school is a central pillar of the state's mandate of promoting social justice and enabling improved opportunities and life-chances for all, the empirical data presented in this article shows how children, identified by their social milieu and even humiliated on that count, can be constrained within the processes and the ethos of learning.

Understanding Leakages in the Public Distribution System

This article attempts to resolve the puzzle of public distribution system leakages using the latest available data. Leakages remain high, but there is clear evidence of improvement in recent years, especially in states -- including Bihar -- that have undertaken bold PDS reforms. The main source of leakages is the "above the poverty line" quota, which is due to be phased out under the National Food Security Act.

Understanding the Lima

What happened at the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima in December 2014 is a prelude to the bigger battles that can be expected in the three or four meetings scheduled for this year in order to negotiate an entirely new climate agreement in Paris in December. If it took two whole weeks to reach consensus on a simple text in Lima, how much more contentious and difficult the negotiations will be for a new agreement?

Improving Healthcare Services at Reduced Prices

The key to improving the quality of healthcare services in India and reducing costs at the same time can be found by enacting legislation which lays down minimum standards of patient care. In the absence of such standards and the reluctance of health insurance companies to standardise either price or quality, healthcare services continue to be expensive and of doubtful quality. Developing standards of patient care by legislative mandate and a change in the attitude of health insurers can change the equation in favour of the patient who is now at the mercy of the hospital.

Improving Healthcare Services at Reduced Prices

The key to improving the quality of healthcare services in India and reducing costs at the same time can be found by enacting legislation which lays down minimum standards of patient care. In the absence of such standards and the reluctance of health insurance companies to standardise either price or quality, healthcare services continue to be expensive and of doubtful quality. Developing standards of patient care by legislative mandate and a change in the attitude of health insurers can change the equation in favour of the patient who is now at the mercy of the hospital.

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