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

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Safety of Healthcare Workers from Occupational Exposure to Infections

As India's healthcare industry has expanded continuously, the risk of nosocomial infections has increased proportionately. Measures to prevent it and put in place a mechanism to control the injuries are needed urgently, especially when there is not only an increase in domestic demand but also an impetus in health tourism. The protection of the country's skilled health workforce is a national need.

Academic Performance Indicators

The Academic Performance Indicator, the University Grants Commission's method of assessing teacher performance, curtails academic freedom, reduces all academic engagement to time spent, and has created an academic environment that is driven by competition for points.

Open Defecation in India

This study identifies 11 issues that have inhibited the spread of a comprehensive sanitation programme. It emphasises the complexity of issues and helps avoid the facile targeting of the poor as deficient citizens, whose latrine practices are viewed as a "primitive" source of social disorder and disease. Recognition that many factors are involved and interrelated might also serve as a warning against patchwork policies that disregard local context in their haste to proclaim another district an "open defecation free zone".

BJP's Victory in Haryana

The Bharatiya Janata Party pulled off a win in Haryana despite never having had a significant support base in the state or projecting a specifi c leader as its chief ministerial candidate. Aided by infighting in the Congress and the ineptness of the Indian National Lok Dal, the BJP's strategy was to sell the benefit of having the same party in power at the centre and in the state. Barring Jat-dominated west Haryana, the Narendra Modi factor and a social coalition of brahmins, other upper castes and dalits saw it win support in all regions, especially in urban constituencies and among educated and upper-class voters. Yet, it is still early days, and the Congress could prove worrisome if the BJP does not make good on its promises.

Is the Recent Reduction in India's Poverty Inclusive?

It is said that reduction in poverty has been the highest ever in India between 2004-05 and 2009-10. But evaluating the data across various population subgroups, it turns out that this reduction is not inclusive. It entirely excludes some groups with very high incidence of poverty, while there has been an increase in relative deprivation in some states.

The Poverty Line

This brief note is a critique of (solely) the money-metric poverty identifi cation procedure recommended by the Rangarajan Committee on measurement of poverty. The contention in this note is that apart from some changes in matters of detail, the analytical basis of the identifi cation methodology proposed in the report displays an essential (and unfortunate) loyalty to the flawed methodology advanced in the reports of its distinguished predecessor committees and expert groups. This is a particular pity, in view of (a) the critiques of extant procedures which are numerously available in the literature; (b) the fundamental importance of the problem of poverty in our society; and (c) the fact of yet another missed opportunity to lend some useful direction to the assessment of money-metric deprivation in India.

Cultivating Communal Hatred in Bengal

Blasts in Khagragarh in Bardhaman district in West Bengal on 2 October 2014 have led to growing anti-Muslim propaganda in the state. Such incidents related to political violence have their roots in the political-economic structure of central Bengal where rural surplus has led to uneven economic growth, paving the way to political domination of one class over another. This can be seen from the class structure of the rice belt of Bardhaman, Hooghly and part of Birbhum districts, where the proportion of agricultural labour is still very high, between 40% and 50%. There is an urgent need to separate such instances of criminal activities, related to the political economy, from those of the purported Islamic jihad.

Lady Tata Memorial Trust and Leukaemia Research in Europe, 1932-53

The Lady Tata Memorial Trust, established in 1932 in Bombay, was among the earliest philanthropic foundations created to support leukaemia research globally. Very little was known about leukaemia, a major mystery in medical science, at the time. The trust provided fellowships and grants to some of the leading international researchers and contributed signifi cantly to the advancement of knowledge about leukaemia. This article presents an account of its work during the first two decades and throws light on a little known aspect in the history of international and Indian medical philanthropy as also leukaemia and cancer research.

Nationalism, Ideology and Consensual Democracy

Since its inception, the Kuki National Organization's objective was the creation of a state, Zale'n-gam, in India and Myanmar. The KNO advocated a liberal democratic political system. However, in the course of the movement, the KNO evidently departs from this ideology. From 2013 it advocates what it calls "consensual democracy" as a new political ideology. These contours of Kuki nationalism, the KNO's political ideology and the changing political landscape post-2013 are analysed here.

Reorganisation of States

State reorganisation as an exercise needs to be pursued from a scientific perspective that looks at physiographic regions, natural resource distribution, agroclimate and river basins in addition to population distribution and cultural characteristics of the proposed new states. A new analytical framework suggests a limit on population size of a state, resulting in the creation of up to 50 states for better governance.

Silence of the Bengali Dalits of Barak Valley

This article explores the nature and attributes of caste in the Barak Valley, situated in south Assam. It draws upon the Gramscian concept of hegemony and ideological domination to illustrate the silence of the Bengali dalits there. While caste as an institution of domination shows a direct pattern in other parts of India, in the Barak Valley it shows varied patterns - domination that is well accepted by the dalits.

Trade Facilitation and 'Hollowing-out' of Indian Manufacturing

Since the early 2000s, India's manufacturing sector has been showing signs of "hollowing-out" - domestic value addition in total output has been steadily declining, both in the aggregate manufacturing as well as disaggregated manufacturing industries. This has also been accompanied by falling domestic value addition in exports, even in traditional export-oriented industries. In this context, the article discusses the likely implications of the new WTO (World Trade Organization) Trade Facilitation Agreement on India's manufacturing sector.

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