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

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Food Insecurity and Malnutrition among Santhal Children in Jharkhand

Despite several strategic interventions, India is struggling hard with the many issues contributing to child mortality and malnutrition. This study is an exploration of various dimensions affecting the nutritional status of children in Gandey block, Jharkhand, a populous tribal belt in India. It makes an attempt to evaluate the food security within this community by exploring predominant variables operating in the area leading to malnutrition: socio-economic, demographic and political factors, pattern of food consumption, and coverage of government schemes.

Clans, Tribes and Unions of Tribes

The people of North East India are often identified by the outside world on the basis of the nomenclature associated with their clans, tribes and union of tribes. Yet, contrary to popular belief, this notion of “oneness” asserted by people embracing a particular nomenclature does not imply a common language or culture. Far from tribal or ethnic identity corresponding to linguistic or cultural identity, this notion of oneness arises out of a shared history or common political aspirations.

Excluding the Poor from Credit

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have become no-go areas for microfinance institutions due to the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Ordinance, 2010 and, later, the Andhra Pradesh Microfinance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act, 2010. Contrary to their laudable objectives, these legislations have neither served public interest nor improved access to finance for the underprivileged sections. Instead, access to finance has contracted, and financial distress and fall in consumption levels of underprivileged households have increased. The law has hit the poor and the marginalised, by constricting their choices in accessing alternate modes of non-collateralised credit.

Western Influences in ‘Agyeya’s’ Shekhar Ek Jeevani

S H Vatsyayan “Agyeya,” a pioneer in introducing modern sensibility to post-Chhayawadi Hindi literature, is heavily influenced by Western literary aesthetics, fiction, poetry, and ideology. In his first and most famous novel Shekhar Ek Jeevani (Shekhar: A Biography) the influence of the West is sufficiently evident. The shades, contradictions, and enrichment that is born from this literary union are explored. Also examined is whether the influence of the West on Agyeya leads to assimilation into the mainstream Hindi novel writing, or if this venture by the author leads to a separate/parallel stream created by subverting the former.

How Demonetisation Affected Informal Labour

​ The impact of demonetisation on the informal economy in India went far beyond cash shortages. This article examines the informal waste chains in the Pune Metropolitan Region, and outlines the tussles that emerged between informal labour and informal capital in the days following demonetisation. The resulting loss of trust in transactions continued to linger long after the cash shortages had eased. It diverted some of the backlash of the informal, urban poor from the government towards the more immediate nemesis—informal capital—which saw an opportunity of accumulation in the mayhem of demonetisation

Predicting Food Price Inflation through Online Prices in India

Food and beverages price data from a leading online marketplace is used to compute an online price index. This index successfully tracks the offi cial consumer price index not only at the aggregate level, but also at the subgroup level. The results indicate that online prices can be a quick and effi cient source of price data, which can provide a cheap, but credible, signal of infl ationary pressures on a real-time basis.

What Has the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Achieved So Far?

The central government’s flagship programme to provide free liquefied petroleum gas connections has been in operation for two years, providing more than 3.5 crore free LPG connections to poor women. This much-needed scheme is a major step to reduce indoor air pollution, drudgery faced by women, and one that promises to extend LPG access. However, little is known about the progress of the scheme. Has it led to sustained use of clean fuels among poor households? There is need for more information about the scheme in the public domain for a comprehensive evaluation and mid-course correction.

Atal Pension Yojana

The Atal Pension Yojana—an old-age pension scheme for informal sector workers—is a major initiative to ensure fixed monthly pension for the elderly. This is guaranteed by the government through the provisioning of assured rates of interest during the accumulation and distribution period. An analysis of the benefit patterns and recommendations to make the scheme more attractive for the informal sector workers is presented.

Forest Rights Act, 2006

The customary rights of indigenous forest-dwelling communities over their forests were first constitutionally recognised under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. However, mainly individual rights have been recognised under this act, while community rights—its main strength—have been neglected. The act impacts, among other communities, the Tharu Adivasis living in forest villages of Uttar Pradesh, but how far has it been successful in addressing their needs?

Politicising the Street

​ As the Kashmir conflict entered a low-intensity armed phase and saw greater street protest in the 2000s, new expressions of political dissidence have emerged in the Valley. Political graffiti has found resonance, across urban and rural areas, as a form of resistance against state narratives whilst also shielding participants from direct persecution. After initial concessions, the state has now begun to respond with counter-graffiti.

Emerging New Social Status among Dalits in Bihar

The social status of Dalits in Bihar is undergoing change. A study based in a village and a town in East Champaran district of north Bihar reveals that Dalits are developing social consciousness, adopting Sanskritisation, and accessing constitutional provisions, and socio-religious movements, to change both their caste and class status.

Fourteenth Finance Commission

Preliminary evidence on the impact of the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission suggests that there has been an increase in central transfers and social sector expenditures in a number of states in 2015–16. This evidence is biased upwards due to two factors. First, much of the gains have been measured with respect to a low base year. Second, the inferences are affected by systematic differences between actuals, revised estimates, and budget estimates. Using a modified base and comparable estimates for 15 major states, it is seen that these are much smaller. Besides, in most states, social services have received a lower priority over economic services in 2015–16.

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