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

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Voluntary Sector: Complementing or Replicating the State?

The 2007 National Policy on the Voluntary Sector aims at creating an enabling environment for voluntary organisations and facilitating their partnership with the government. But it suffers from a major lacuna in that it fails to comprehensively address the central aspects of autonomy, credibility and the nature of partnership itself. Instead of assisting the voluntary sector to take on roles distinct from and complementary to the state's development agenda, it encourages activities commensurate with state approaches.

Tibetans in Exile in a Changing Global Political Climate

Many organisations campaigning on behalf of the Tibetan community persist in seeking some form of independence, self-determination or autonomy. In light of the evolving position of China in the world it seems that this stance (and indeed the stance of the Dalai Lama's government in exile) is becoming ever more unrealistic. Tibetan reactions to China's changing position in the world and the dwindling of western attention to their cause are changing the way Tibetans articulate their problems, priorities and indeed select their government. What are these concerns and how did they come to be so pressing?

Doing a Rashomon on the Hindutva Cases

The Hindutva cases regarding corrupt electoral practices, decided by the Supreme Court in 1995, can be seen as events with many symbolisms, narrated differently from the perspectives of the liberal, the secularist, the Sangh parivar, and the author. These narratives with the same characters but much that is different bring to mind the Akira Kurosowa classic Rashomon which tells the story of a woman's rape and a man's murder from the point of view of four different narrators. In both, the analysis depends on the particular viewpoint and the questions to which answers are sought.

India Needs a Refugee Law

The Indian state has treated a few refugee communities reasonably well but has not formulated a well-defined refugee law and judicial interventions have been case specific. The absence of clearly defined statutory standards subjects refugees and asylum seekers to inconsistent and arbitrary government policies.

India's Citizen's Charters: In Search of a Champion

This paper presents an assessment of the progress and effectiveness over the past decade of the citizen's charter initiative that is an effort to make public service providers more open, citizen-friendly and accountable. This reform has failed to deliver on its promise. Though the underlying model has much relevance to the Indian context, the lack of a sound strategy and the absence of champions at the central and state levels to see it through have contributed significantly to this outcome.

Estimating Costs of Achieving Global Goals

Estimates of the costs of achieving intermediate or long-term global development goals are subject to uncertainties that go well beyond those in applied economic contexts, and exceed the level that is tolerable. It therefore seems inappropriate that such estimates should be relied on heavily to determine global resource mobilisation targets and priorities for action for lengthy planning horizons. Consequently, an alternative planning and resource allocation framework that is flexible and learning-oriented is needed. In this note, we explore one important class of reasons for uncertainties concerning the validity of recent estimates of the intermediate or long-term cost of achieving global goals, which stem from the unknown nature of the "development production function" and its (dual) cost function.

Mentha Oil Futures and Farmers

An analysis of futures trading in mentha oil suggests that excessive speculative interests lead to spurious price discovery and distortion in spot prices. Initiatives towards a judicious balance between genuine hedging and speculative interests will lead to excellent prospects for mentha farmers.

Discourses on the Nuclear Deal: Persistence of Independence

In the course of public contestation and debate, political parties in India have attempted to garner acceptance for their respective positions on the Indo-US nuclear deal by drawing on key historical norms. Notions of freedom, which have historically constituted a primary feature in Indian foreign policy discourse, continue to feature in foreign policy debate and form a focus of consensus and dissent even today in India as it was during the dawn of independence.

Labour under Stress: Findings from a Survey

Restructuring, cost-cutting and other associated trends in Indian industry in recent years have had a major impact on workers in organised industry in India. This article presents the results from a primary survey conducted during 2004-06 in pockets of Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Tamil Nadu GovernmentIntervention Intervention and Prices of Medicines

This article examines the approach of the government of Tamil Nadu towards drug procurement and supply, which is undertaken through an autonomous agency. This agency has formulated detailed procedures for the procurement of quality essential drugs that are supplied to the government healthcare providers according to their needs. The analysis shows that such a system has been effective in purchasing select drugs at low prices. The article suggests that such government intervention may be adopted in other states to keep the prices of medicines in check.

Modern India's Pioneer Economic Adviser

India is the unique domain of the economic adviser, which goes back to the legendary Kautilya, minister to Chandragupta Maurya. The pioneer economic adviser of modern India, however, was a little known American economist Ralph Whitenack, who served with distinction the Gaekwar of Baroda, Sayajirao III during 1906-09 and 1918-19 and was the prime architect of the Bank of Baroda. This article reviews his work in Baroda and its contemporary lessons.

Farmers' Suicides in Maharashtra

This article argues that the loss in competitiveness of the Indian cotton farmer after the opening up of India's agricultural economy in the mid-1990s was a major reason for the increase in farmers' suicides. Recently, in Maharashtra, there was a suicide epidemic owing to a decline in profit incomes to levels that were significantly negative.

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