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

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India's Human Development in the 2000s

The India Human Development Report 2011 undertakes a disaggregated analysis of a large set of indicators and is unhesitating in its criticism of our failures in human development outcomes even while recognising that there is empirical evidence of achievement in many dimensions. The main fi ndings of the report point out that the states are converging on important indicators of human functioning and that the indicators among the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and Muslims are converging with the national average. But low absolute values of various social indicators among these groups continue and the pace of convergence can improve only if these low levels are addressed.

R&D Strategies of MNCs in India

India has emerged as one of the major destinations for foreign direct investment in research and development. As a host country, does India gain from the FDI infl ow into R&D? Does it help build its innovation capabilities? It appears that the R&D centres of the MNCs operate in isolation and use India as a human resource hub for the MNCs' global R&D activities.

Healthcare through Community Participation

This study of the operation of the Accredited Social Health Activist programme of the National Rural Health Mission in one of the tribal blocks of Thane district in Maharashtra fi nds that incentives given to ASHAs generate a bias in their work activities and shift the attention of these community health workers from the community to the health services system. Moreover, the poor socio-economic background of ASHAs makes them depend on the incentives offered since this is their main source of income. Additionally, due to the excessive focus of ASHAs on curative care, the community considers them more an extended arm of the health service system, not as change agents as envisaged in the programme.

Inequalities in Literacy in Jammu and Kashmir

Regional disparities in literacy levels were rightly emphasised in the recent Jammu and Kashmir Finance Commission report, with Jammu having achieved a literacy rate of 73% and Kashmir only 65%. However, this note argues that differences between districts and education zones, and more importantly, between different socio-economic groups are more real and sizeable. These can be traced to high dropout rates among schoolchildren, owing to the numerous direct and indirect effects of over two decades of conflict.

Structural Change and Inter-sectoral Linkages

This article analyses the trend in sectoral shares in state domestic product and inter-sectoral linkages in north-east India for the period 1981 to 2007. The causality test reveals that there exists bidirectional causality among the sectoral output of north-eastern states, at least in the short run. In the long run, there exists a unidirectional causality running from the agricultural sector and industrial sector to services sector.

A Note on the Methodology for Measuring Labour Input from Company Databases

Studies on firm-level productivity based on Indian corporate data usually make their estimates on the number of employees using the Annual Survey of Industries or the compensation to employees approach, with the predicted employment approach being another relatively new methodology. This note compares the different approaches and finds that no particular one dominates the rest in yielding estimates of labour coefficients that lie close to those in the actual data. The results of the analysis highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

Is India a Case of Asymmetrical Federalism?

The Indian case of federalism has "postmodern potential" in the manner in which it has de facto and de jure asymmetries in its construction. Normatively, some of the asymmetries have served it well against opinion that these could lead to secessionism.

Reforming the Campaign Finance Regime in India

Distortions in the current campaign finance regime in India, state funding proposals made in various government committees and literature are assessed and an alternative system based on matching grants is devised. This system provides a matching grant based on funds raised by a candidate, who secures a minimum amount of contributions from a certain number of people. These contributions are capped and the grant is deemed to be a loan, until the expenditure receipts for the sum of contributions and the grant are provided. Such a system will help in removing the distortions in the current regime and enable a more corruption-free environment.

Private Space in Public Transport: Locating Gender in the Delhi Metro

Gender has not been fully integrated into the mainstream of either the infrastructure debate or the debate on transport services. This article attempts to locate gender in public transport through an ethnographic study of the Delhi Metro services. Delhi Metro has not only promised women comfortable travel but has also provided private space for them in public transport. Thus a distinct power dynamics has been created, which has reproduced or transformed the internalised meaning of public space for women.

Market Concentration in Indian Manufacturing Sector: Measurement Issues

The article attempts to examine the accuracy of the conventional additive measures of market concentration by using the criteria as suggested by Ginevicius and Cirba. It is found that the GRS Index of Ginevicius and Cirba is a more accurate measure of market concentration. The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, the most widely used measure of market concentration, deviates far from accuracy. Hence, examining market concentration on the basis of the conventional indices may result in misleading conclusions and hence guide policy formulations in wrong directions.

Is Education News?

This article reports the findings of a study that examined the nature of school education-related reporting in the Mumbai edition of a national newspaper for the period September 2008 to 2009, the period in which the Right to Education Act was debated and passed by Parliament. Content analysis of all stories pertaining to school education and appearing in all sections revealed that education news accounted for a mere 1.6% of all news on an average annually, and a mere 3% of this reporting pertained to rural areas. The news was overwhelmingly related to the concerns of the middle-class English-medium education readership. The RTE Act itself received very limited reporting.

Scientific Expertise in a Representative Democracy: Bt Brinjal

The case of Bt brinjal reveals the inability of scientific expertise to provide unambiguous and complete answers to policy questions. Concerns regarding public interest, trust and legitimacy emerge as expert advice appears increasingly biased and/or incompetent. And yet, at the same time, we also see an ever-increasing role of experts in democratic politics, their specialised judgment forming the basis of policy decisions.

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