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

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Sector and Cluster Effects of FDI in R&D in India

India has been attracting foreign direct investment in research and development over the past decade. This article provides a quantitative assessment of the FDI in flow for R&D from 2003 to 2009, and the sector and cluster preferences of multinational corporations investing in R&D in India. FDI in R&D is limited to the information technology, pharma/ biotechnology, and automotive sectors. This infl ow of FDI has not caused growth, but rather has chased growth-oriented sectors.

Western Ghats Conservation

While no one can disagree with the Gadgil Committee on the Western Ghats that we need to "develop sustainably - conserve thoughtfully", we must disagree with them that the strategy adopted so far has been to "conserve thoughtlessly", at least as far as the forests and wildlife are concerned. We need not fear that the Western Ghats will vanish if the expert panel recommendations are not accepted in toto: the forest area is still in safe hands, and the people's organisations (the village forest committees) are fully aware of the importance of conservation to their own survival and for serving global interests. The government has to set up workable arrangements that have the acquiescence of the population at large, so they need not feel rattled by the hard stance adopted by the environmentalists in public.

Cost and Benefit of Disinflation Policy in India

The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy stance is based on assertions that there is no trade-off between inflation and growth and that disinflation will result in more growth. This note examines recent empirical evidence on the direction of causality for growth and infl ation, and the short-run costs and long-run benefits of a deliberate policy of disinflation. There is no support for the first assertion because a regular trade-off does exist in India, imposing substantial short-run costs for deliberate disinflation. There is strong evidence for causality from growth to inflation, but the reverse cannot be ruled out. Under such conditions, the RBI should hold nominal growth of money supply and allow supply-side policies by the government to bring down inflation.

Strategy for R&D in Indian Industry

India has the advantage of high quality researchers and growing markets at home and abroad. However, it is, at present, a very minor player in the global research and development arena. If the right steps are taken, such as enhanced R&D spending by industry with the government providing better incentives and a focus on fundamental research in the sciences and engineering, India can become an important R&D power. This article analyses the present scenario and suggests policy steps to achieve this goal.

Revisiting Drought-Prone Districts in India

The Drought-Prone Areas Programme and the Desert Development Programme launched by the Government of India during the 1970s used rainfall and irrigation as the two criteria to ameliorate the impact of drought in the targeted districts. This article revisits the eligibility criteria in light of the recent climatic classification and irrigation statistics.

Some Notes on the Indian Economy in Crisis

There is no sign of recognition among the political class and policymakers of the implications of the persistence of many adverse trends in the Indian economy and their underlying causes. That the socio-economic consequences of allowing present trends to continue will be serious is already manifest in widening disparities between castes and communities, classes, rural and urban areas, and individuals. Measures meant to counter this have not been pursued seriously and have had little effect on the ground reality of persistent inequality, slow growth, and an unacceptably high incidence of mass poverty and unemployment. This article calls for a radical retuning of policies aimed at achieving inclusive economic growth and a more egalitarian distribution of income.

Developments in the Workforce between 2009-10 and 2011-12

After a disappointing performance between 2004-05 and 2009-10, the Indian labour market showed some improvement between 2009-10 and 2011-12. During this two-year period, around 11 million jobs were created at an annual growth rate of around 1.1% per annum. Both rural and urban India witnessed a sharp decasualisation of employment, especially of females, and a significant improvement in the creation of regular wage employment as compared to previous rounds of the National Sample Survey. There was a faster decline in the share of workers in the farm sector during this period, while manufacturing and service sectors witnessed high growth rates in employment.

Performance-Based Incentives of the ASHA Scheme

A study of Accredited Social Health Activists in Shahapur taluka of Maharashtra, a drought-prone adivasi-inhabited area, shows that the remuneration of ASHAs is a growing concern both for them, as well as their families. Recognising their contribution to public health services, the government should provide fixed payment to them, beyond which task-based incentives should continue to be given, though at a revised rate. The current system of remuneration is making it difficult for ASHAs to meet their family's needs and the community's expectations. Further, payment and reimbursement procedures need to be simplified.

Democratic Decentralisation and Citizenship

This article discusses the scope of democratic decentralisation to deepen democracy for the poor. While processes and platforms for citizen engagement like the gram sabha have been incorporated into policy and operational guidelines, the capability of the poor and marginalised to access them is severely compromised, leading to a subversion of development initiatives meant for the poor. The article attempts to understand the local citizen space and governance space as distinct from and complementary to each other, and demarcate the role of panchayats and community-based organisations with respect to these spaces.

An Engagement with Camus

Existentialism and writers like Albert Camus have influenced literature and thought, including in India, since the 1960s. This account of the engagement of an Indian writer - from his teens to maturity - with Camus tries to look at this influence, its validity and its relationship with the Indian social imaginary. It argues that the content of "the absurd" and the realisation of the limitations of "modernity" were very different in Indian conditions from those prevalent in post-war Europe, even though there were overlaps.

Social Security Pensions in India

Social security pensions in India have acted as a vital source of stability for approximately 2.6 crore elderly, disabled and widowed persons today. A 10-state survey in 2013 revealed that the pension scheme was running reasonably well. There is strong evidence to support the fact that the money is reaching the intended benefi ciaries without any major leakages. The patterns of usage of the pension are indicative of its importance in the lives of the benefi ciaries. An evaluation of the scheme also brings to the fore issues related to the diminutive amount, inefficient disbursal mechanism, cost of collection and the lack of a fixed pattern of payment.


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