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

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Jammu and Kashmir’s Open Defecation Free Status

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, now the union territory of J&K, attained 100% open defecation free status in September 2018, well before the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) deadline of 2 October 2019. However, the movement of women in flocks to fields as it gets dark portrays quite a different picture. Do the so-called individual household latrines exist only on paper, while being incomplete and non-functional in reality? Are these not being used due to cultural barriers and socialisation? What policy steps are needed to effect change in rural sanitation behaviour? To answer these questions and suggest a way forward, a micro-study was carried out in Bishnah block of Jammu district.

Impact of MGNREGA on Consumption Expenditure of Households

This study attempts to quantify the impact of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act programme on the level and pattern of consumption expenditure of rural households at the national level using a difference-in-differences method. The findings indicate an increase in the monthly per capita consumption expenditure of participant households and a change in their consumption patterns with the share of high-value and nutrient-rich food in their consumption basket going up. Further the participant households have also smoothened their consumption by investing in assets such as durable goods.

Estimates of Health Insurance Coverage in India

Financing health expenditure through health insurance is currently gaining significance as a strong social policy in countries like India where public health facilities are still inadequate. An attempt to estimate the coverage of health insurance in India shows that the coverage is low and not uniform across states and union territories, despite the fact that several public-funded schemes focus on the below poverty line population. Of the various types of health insurance schemes, public-funded health insurance schemes have a dominant position. Moreover, the likelihood of health insurance coverage is relatively higher among specific social groups and in certain areas.

Labour Market Changes in India, 2005–18

Unemployment among the young increased sharply as the gap between labour absorption and labour supply widened in India during 2012–18. During this period, the non-agricultural sectors—industry, construction and services–were unable to absorb the rising supply of young adults who were potential job seekers. The growth of rural incomes and rural construction jobs slowed down and manufacturing employment declined by one million jobs. Women responded to the labour supply—demand mismatch by withdrawing from the labour market altogether. The jobs crisis among men aged 15 to 29 years was acute, as they comprised 68.3% of all the unemployed in India in 2018.

Measles-Rubella Vaccine

The mandatory measles–rubella (MR) vaccination drive initiated in schools by the Indian government in October 2019 has raised questions regarding whether informed consent was sought from parents prior to vaccination and its legal implications. This article presents a comprehensive picture of informed consent processes, ethics, and the law, and the need for evidence prior to implementing national vaccination policies. In the case of a combination vaccine such as the MR vaccine, we see that the rubella vaccine gained entry to India’s universal immunisation programme (UIP) without clear scientific evidence on its disease burden and in the absence of public demand for such a vaccine by piggybacking on another universal vaccine (measles).

Manufacturing Slowdown in India

The real value added in the Indian manufacturing sector for the period 2011–12 to 2016–17 is measured using the double defl ation approach. It is found that the official figures understate manufacturing real value added during the period 2011–12 to 2013–14, and overstate it thereafter, as well as miss an apparent manufacturing contraction that occurred in 2014–15. The results are corroborated by the movement of high frequency indicators that are correlated with manufacturing activity.

What Drives Transitions in Milk Productivity?

The trend in milk productivity and its association with breed improvement, feeding and animal husbandry practices, and effi ciency in dairy farming at the household level are examined using the representative cost of cultivation surveys in Punjab. Although milk yield at the farm level is rising due to the increasing adoption of cross-bred cattle and changing composition of animal rations, evidence is found to support the argument to popularise cross-bred technology for realising a higher milk yield. However, the rising trend in milk yield coexists with declining effi ciency levels in milk production.

Women’s Education and Fertility in the Hindi Heartland

Using evidences from the Sample Registration System and the third and fourth rounds of the National Family Health Survey, this article shows that the fertility rate continues to be high in the Hindi heartland of the country, and that too among educated women. It also proposes some plausible hypotheses in this regard, which would require validation through further research.

Dynamic Multiplier Effects of Foreign Remittances

India continues to be the largest recipient of remittances across the world, with a tremendous growth in private unrequited transfers from just ₹12 billion in 1990–91 to about ₹1,009 billion in 2015–16. Emphasising this component of remittances that India has witnessed during the post-liberalisation period, the article investigates the demand-side macroeconomic effects of the flow of private transfers on key variables such as consumption, investment, imports, and income in India during the post-reform period of 1996–2014.

Roadblocks towards the Right to Education

A study in three slum communities in Delhi identifies and analyses the problems and challenges that parents and children from economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups face while accessing the right to education. These problems are partly on account of the apathetic administration of private schools and partly due to the lack of accountability from the state government, and the lack of awareness about the provisions of the RTE Act.

India’s Withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

India withdrew from the largest ever free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership after a multitude of stakeholders, including farmers’ organisations, trade unions, and industry associations, spoke in one voice on the adverse implications of the agreement. India has three FTAs with the members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Korea and Japan, which were expected to increase India’s exports. Exports did not increase as Indian enterprises lack competitiveness, but imports from the partner countries expanded, leading to the haemorrhaging of domestic manufacturing. Future participation in FTAs must be conditioned on improving the competitiveness of domestic entities.

Public Investment for Addressing Childhood Wasting in Maharashtra and Karnataka

Maharashtra and Karnataka are among the most financially well-off states in India. Yet, they are home to 15% of all wasted children under five years of age in the country. Over the last decade (between National Family Health Survey-3 and NFHS-4), wasting levels among children in the two states have increased sharply. Investment by the two states in select nutrition interventions for addressing wasting remains low, with inconsistent budget outlays over the period between 2014–15 and 2018–19.

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