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

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The Mandal System in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

The mandal system came into existence as an administrative reform, as part of reducing the size of erstwhile taluks and making them more effective and manageable. The decentralisation of taluks into mandals was done with a two-pronged strategy of modernising the revenue administration, record-keeping as well as further decentralising the panchayati raj system. It was hoped that the division of erstwhile large taluks into mandals could make them more manageable, and also that the administration of the state government, especially the revenue administration, will become modernised.

Digital Divide and the Aakash Tablet

The effectiveness of the Aakash tablet project—positioned by the Indian government as a device to “bridge the digital divide” and enable students from disadvantaged social segments to access internet-based educational resources—is examined by surveying different categories of users to find out how the tablet was used and how effective it was as a technology-based learning enabler. The hardware was reported to be unreliable and had a short life, the device was distributed without any underlying rationale, and there was hardly any substantive content development.

Unequal Access to Political Parties in India

Open access to political parties, which strengthens the democratisation process in a country, has declined in India during the last few decades. The contributing factors to this transformation are the personalisation of leadership based on family, kinship or primordial identities, lack of open membership or democratic decision-making within a party, unusually high cost of electioneering in contemporary times preventing average citizens from taking the plunge into party politics, and parties moving away from a culture of service to that of rent-seeking groups, whether in power or in opposition.

Difference, Division, Desi Breeds

A fundamental question in economics as well as in adaptive evolutionary biology is when to use difference and when to use division in cost–benefit analysis. At times, decisions taken to maximise the cost–benefit ratio can be diametrically opposite to that to maximise the cost–benefit difference. Common people intuitively know when to maximise the ratio and when to maximise the difference. The contrasting history of hybrid versus “desi” breeds in agriculture as opposed to animal husbandry illustrates this point effectively.

CAA–NRC–NPR and Its Discontents

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 is unconstitutional for its discriminatory and arbitrary provisions. The linked exercises of the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens threaten to disenfranchise crores of people, rendering them stateless and without rights. The combination ofCAA withNPR–NRC would produce consequences that are detrimental to the stable and harmonious functioning of our society and policy.

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana is the government’s flagship refinance and guarantee scheme aimed at providing access to credit for non-corporate and informal enterprises. Analysing the available data, the performance of the PMMY against its objectives is assessed, and it is observed that the PMMY has not altered secular trends in lending to the target segments. The current scheme design for its ability to create the level of impact needed is questioned, and some ideas on how to accelerate impact are also discussed.

Envisioning the India of 2047

The graduates of universities eventually fit, by and large, into social positions as solid citizens. This is in spite of the deep uneasiness some of them may continue to have with the society. Many of them continue to translate their disaffection into creative and intellectual expressions within the contours of the existing order. Even the most “radical” of our universities have, over the years, produced multiple times more teachers, researchers, professionals, civil servants, journalists and development workers than they have produced anarchists and revolutionaries.

Comparing Floods in Kerala and the Himalaya

There are important similarities and differences between the Kerala floods in 2018 and 2019 and the Himalayan floods of Uttarakhand and Kashmir in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Most importantly, floods in Kerala are likely to affect the local ecology in some parts of the Western Ghats, whereas floods in the Himalayan regions will affect North India as a whole. However, both the regions have a fragile ecology that is threatened by ecological destruction and industrial development. Thus, the Central Water Commission and other government agencies should take a holistic view towards addressing floods and dam management in these regions.

Ahmedabad’s Impact on the Sabarmati River

The Sabarmati river water quality, upstream and downstream of Ahmedabad, is analysed to assess the impact of the city on the river water quality using monthly data from April 2011 to March 2017. The quality of river water when it enters the city is in keeping with prescribed norms, but the river is “dead” downstream. The impacts of water pollution caused by the city are borne by residents in the peri-urban areas.

The University that Made a Difference

The assault on students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University has raised a number of questions about politics on the campuses of universities. When students protest the massive hike in fees and other recently formulated regressive procedures of university functioning, it cannot be dismissed as student politics. It is as much a protest against a prime university being systematically dismantled. JNU is now being reduced to a teaching shop because supporting the advancement of knowledge that it pursued, is not on the agenda of those in authority, nor is it a characteristic of the ideology that is being sought to be imposed.

Indian Statistical System in a Troubled State

The recent furore about key economic statistics in India could only dent the age-old reputation of the official statistical cadre. However, if government control continues trampling upon the autonomy and integrity of the official statistical institutions in the country in this manner, then their reputation of competence and impartiality stands the grave risk of being marred in no time.

Dominant Bodies and Their Ethical Performances

The everyday normalised brutality that dominant upper-caste bodies seem to inflict on Dalit Bahujans in elite higher educational institutions is addressed in this article. The reproduction of everyday institutional embodiment displays a direction and an intensity that allow dominant bodies to realise their undiminished being. This direction and intensity are supposedly expressed through the arts of living of the upper castes, namely the domains of cellular, intellectual, and social reproduction.

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