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

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Credibility of Equal Access to Credit: Does Gender Matter?

This article examines the National Sample Survey Organisation unit record data pertaining to debt and investment (59th round) and highlights inequality in access to credit by certain segments of society. In particular, it shows that weaker sections such as female-headed households have a much lower access than their male counterpart even when they are involved in similar economic activities and consequently face significantly higher rates of interest.

Flawed Idea of Justice

The questions of antagonism, hegemony and imperialism are missing in Amartya Sen's treatise The Idea of Justice. One cannot comprehensively understand the notions of justice and injustice without addressing these core issues.

Global Political Economy of Migrant Remittances

This article explores the negotiations in the Doha Round on Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services to understand the global political economy of migrant remittances. Global institutional arrangements on migrant remittances are the least institutionalised area of the global economy since the developed countries want it so. The flexibilities allowed under the GATS Mode 4 are examined under three issues - low-skilled workers, removal of quotas for the highly-skilled migrants, and totalisation of taxes for all migrants.

Community Monitoring of Rural Health Services in Maharashtra

What happens when villagers are allowed to monitor their local public health facilities? India's National Rural Health Mission is making such accountability a reality through its community-based monitoring initiative. This article presents the first three rounds of data collected by village health committee members in Maharashtra's 225 pilot villages. The obstacles encountered by the process and its strengths and limitations are also discussed.

Political Economy of Land and Development in India

Land has emerged as one of the bigger constraints on development in recent years. Particularly contentious is access to "appropriate land", which the non-agricultural sector requires for its expansion, and which is scarce because the State is not creating conditions conducive for farmers to sell their land. This article discusses the different phases in land acquisition since Independence, issues of adequate compensation, and the space this has created for different kinds of activism by members of civil society.

The Dialectics of Globalisation in Arunachal Pradesh

The processes and ideas which are together referred to as "globalisation" have made deep inroads into the social, political and economic life of Arunachal Pradesh. However, it would be erroneous to read this as merely a one-way street where local cultures placidly submit to the global juggernaut. This article explores the nature and impact of globalisation with local cultures using this relatively remote north-eastern state of India as an example.

Identifying BPL Households: A Comparison of Competing Approaches

Two approaches are available for identifying households below the poverty line - the score-based ranking approach proposed by the N C Saxena Committee and an alternative proposed by Jean Dreze and Reetika Khera. Comparing these approaches for Udupi district in Karnataka shows that the former does a fair job of revealing how households are placed on the economic spectrum but excludes more deserving households than the latter. Also, when it comes to implementation, the latter is transparent and relatively much faster.

The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity: An International Assessment

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity reports were born out of an initiative in 2007 to produce an analysis of the economics of biodiversity loss parallel to that of existing analysis of climate change. The reports do not preach to the committed environmentalist who already values nature. They are geared instead to the sceptical public administrator and to the practical businessperson, aiming to make these actors realise - by means of convincing examples - that economics should go beyond its existing boundaries.

Violence Inflicted on Muslims: Direct, Cultural and Structural

Recognition of the various forms of social, economic and political violence that have been inflicted on Muslims in India is a prerequisite for ensuring equality to the community. This article utilises the frame of reference in Johan Galtung's theory of violence to explore the interaction between cultural, direct and structural violence against Muslims. It points out how direct violence reinforces structural violence, and how cultural violence is used to justify both direct and structural violence on Muslim men, women and children. Consensus to such violence is found in a new understanding of the "self" forged in opposition to a common "other". The Gujarat pogrom of 2002, the most recent, massive and extensive use of violence against Indian Muslims, serves as a good example because it contained within it the multidimensional forms of violence defined by Galtung.

Payments for Environmental Services: Issues and Implications for India

Programmes on payments for environmental services aim to provide economic incentives for the conservation of natural resources. They are expected to generate a continuous flow of environmental services in the long run, along with maintaining their quality. This essay elucidates the conditions required for the successful implementation of PES schemes and considers how well they may do in the Indian context. It foresees a number of formidable challenges in the schemes producing the desired outcomes in India.

Conflict of Interest and Parliament

The Indian Constitution and many of India's laws, rules and customs address conflict of interest among parliamentarians, but it is clear that many are either not used, are underused, or are sidestepped by various means. Law-making bodies in other countries offer examples of how they can be made to work - such as the informal, behind-the-scenes work of the ethics commissioner in Canada and the explicit and vast list of prohibitions in the United States. While India can, and should, develop a system that will best suit its unique needs, it is clear that a more enforceable, practical system for dealing with conflict of interest is needed. Public disclosure of interests - including investments, employment and business ties - for members of both houses would be a constructive and trust-building first step.

Gender, Space and Development: Tribal Women in Tripura

This article focuses on the nature and dimensions of change in the lives and status of tribal women in Tripura. Rural tribal women stand marginalised in the growing modern economy of the state. Socio-economic changes during the last few decades have introduced new gender and class issues into the purportedly egalitarian society of the tribals. Though urban tribal women have lost some of their traditional rights, the gains they have made in the spheres of education, employment or personal mobility are significant compared to rural tribal women.

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