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

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Is Enough Being Done to Regulate Global Commodity Markets?

Commodity markets are becoming interconnected, with large global financial investors choosing to invest directly in these markets. With this comes the question of how one is to regulate markets which are truly global, with investors many a time being from outside national regulatory jurisdictions. All these issues have been acknowledged by the G-20 and governments, and regulations will have to be made keeping in mind the constantly changing trading strategies in commodity markets that are increasingly becoming systemically important.

One-Dimensional Cinema

This article addresses the transformation of dissent in Indian cinema over the past decade. In analysing two films by Vishal Bhardwaj and Dibakar Banerjee, the author argues that the incorporation of critical ideas on society and politics into the mainstream cinema reflects the diminishing potential of dissent in India, and is related to the rise of neo-liberalism and consumer culture. The present fascination with rural India and the subaltern figure in films means that the latter is being consumed as a product by the spectators of the films, as opposed to concern with social and political topics in politically committed cinema.

Politics of Tribal Land Rights

The Tribal Advisory Council constituted under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India, aimed to protect the land rights of tribals residing in the scheduled areas. The law clearly says that the governor of a state may make regulations to provide for peace and good governance of the scheduled areas but not without consulting the TACs. But in the notified scheduled areas of Andhra Pradesh, although the TAC is an independent constitutional body, in reality, it remains subservient to dominant non-tribal political interests. An exploration into the functioning of the TAC between 1976 and 2010.

Regional Inequality in India in the 1990s

This note examines changes in regional inequality in India in the 1990s using data for 210 of India's districts, spread across nine states. The methodology is that of cross-section growth regressions, which seek to explain longer-run growth rates in terms of initial conditions of development. By identifying these connections, it seeks to illuminate the role of physical infrastructure, financial development, and human capital in infl uencing regional patterns of growth. In turn, this may have implications for government policies at the national and state levels.

Price Subsidies versus Income Transfers

The impact of the price subsidy under the National Food Security Act on consumption of cereals, and, therefore, welfare, will be different from that of an unconditional direct income transfer equal to the cost of the price subsidy only if the price subsidy is regressive among the set of people covered. This note argues that restricting the subsidy to an inferior good such as coarse grains alone may work better from both the fi scal and equity points of view. It recommends raising the entitlement for coarse grains to 7 kg a person per month, but keeping it unchanged for wheat and rice at 5 kg a person per month.

Plugging PDS Pilferage

The targeted public distribution system is fraught with leakages. With the Food Security Act in place now, policymakers face a greater challenge in curtailing leakages and improving delivery on a much larger scale. This article studies a project in Uttar Pradesh which uses mobile phone SMS to monitor PDS supplies and fi nds an enthusiastic response from the users, even if the project itself has not worked well.

Women Voters in Indian Democracy

An analysis of the political participation of women by comparing the turnout of women voters to men in all the state elections from 1962 till 2012 reveals a steady and sharp decline in the gender bias in voting over time. This phenomenon is seen across all the states, including the traditionally "backward" states of north India.

Bengal Famine of 1943

Comparing the secret transcripts of the hearings of the Famine Commission that went into the reasons for Bengal's 1943 famine with its published report reveals serious omissions and obfuscations. These call into question scholars' reliance on the commission's published figures of the availability of rice in the famine year.

Microfinance: To What End?

While Pakistan's poverty reduction strategy paper emphasises microfinance as an important development tool, the sector is well on its way to becoming an important part of the country's mainstream banking industry, focusing more on achieving commercial viability and a resulting dilution in the sector's social mission, i e, poverty eradication. This comparative analysis based on the findings from fieldwork conducted during 2010-12 points out that this sector has experienced mission drift and is no longer serving the poorest.

Interstate Water Disputes

The politicisation of interstate water disputes in India is an inevitable fallout of the historical and structural conditions that obtained at the time of forming the Indian union. Looking at the 2012-13 escalation in the Cauvery river water dispute, this article examines how politics plays a part in shaping such disputes and sets limits on our responses to them through legal means. Considering the effects of politicisation, it argues that contrary to predictions of water wars, these politics may have a positive impact on accentuating interdependencies between states and deepening democratic spaces if they are supported by appropriate institutional responses.

Politics of Pre-election Riots in Kishtwar

The communal clashes that broke out in Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir on 9 August 2013 on the eve of Eid are going to cast a long shadow on the forthcoming elections as well as on communal relations. As it is, the Islamic nature of the later phase of the Kashmiri movement and the creation of the village defence committees have led to the two communities choosing sides and to the shrinking of common spaces. The division which seemed to be political in the initial phase has now entered the social and cultural spaces.

Vicissitudes in the Acquisition of Land: A Case Study

After touching on a few issues related to the increasing cost of land in the country and hence input costs, this article examines the case of Maan village near Pune in Maharashtra. There has been a sea change in the attitudes of landowners to land acquisition and compensation. Three phases can be identified in this saga and the landowners are now not only coming up with alternatives, but are also more confi dent about demanding what they want. They have become business savvy in their dealings with the authorities

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