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Indian Council of Historical Research

Indian Council of Historical Research Sudhir Chandra THE state of historical research in India has not been terribly satisfactory all these years. The quality of both writing and teaching has left a great deal to be desired. Little co-ordination of effort and purpose has been visible. Barring a couple of exceptions, historical journals in the country appear intermittently with a fare unlikely to cheer many. The annual tamasha at the Indian History Congress has to be seen to be believed for its banal academic proceedings and inverted perspective in which petty profiteering acquires the pride of people's attention. The Indian Historical Records Commission can scarcely boast of a more edifying performance. Sporadic seminars attract more or less the same set of" bigwigs most of whom, too busy to read, desperately try to say pompously the same trivial things over and over again. The freak work of quality has been the result of individual enterprise scarcely motivated and aided by organisations.

Kissinger in Peking

Kissinger in Peking Dhananjoy ALTHOUGH the declared objective of Kissinger's third visit to Peking was to discuss issues of bilateral relations between China and America, it is obvious that it was intended primarily to carry conviction to the Chinese leaders that whatever Washington might do with Moscow, it would not hurt the "legitimate interests'' of China. In fact, the White House appears to be quite keen to periodically reaffirm that it now recognises China as the third Super Power which deserves as much of attention and respect as does the Soviet Union.

GNP

GNP! Bimal Jalan IT can only be the intellectual bankruptcy or ennui that seems to have gripped the country which explains why a fetchingly written, but rather obvious, essay by Mahbub Ul Haq should have generated the excitement that it has. For the Prime Minister to have quoted it without attribution is certainly noteworthy and one should not begrudge the merriment that people feel at the discomfiture of the mighty, However, it is really extraordinary that learned economists and commentators should see in this event the emergence of a new messiah, or attempt to find the ingredients of "new economics" in the half-baked and half-hearted propositions of a popular article.

Is There a Choice

of the population: crash programme for rural employment, minimum wage guarantee schemes, scheme for the small farmers, marginal farmers and landless labourers, for soil and water conservation, for custom service needed for the new technology and for credit and input supply? This would be more genuine evidence of one's so cialist faith than merely trampling on the monopoly houses. There is no need to 'stand economic theory on it head' for reduction of poverty. It is more a question of economic workmanship, ideological orientation and, above all, empathy for the poor, which the Father of the Nation vainly tried to instil in our political leadership.

Socialism at the Grassroots

Socialism at the Grassroots M L Dantwala THE hot wind of radicalism which is blowing this summer is almost unprecedented in India's political history. Hardly a day passes without a fresh round of radical salvoes being let off, all from the arsenal of the Congress election manifesto, The Prime Minster's belated attempt to counsel moderation is not likely to be of much avail. Only when the whirlwind blows over will the dust settle down and clear the vision.

Need We Stand Economic Theory on Its Head

Need We Stand Economic Theory on Its Head ? Phiroze B Medhora IN his article entitled "Let Us Stand Economic Theory on Its Head" (Insight, January 1972), Mahbub ul Haq has called for rethinking on the accepted theory of economic development. According to him, the accepted theory stands for maximising the rate of growth (of income or production) leaving the benefits of growth to percolate through to all classes of the population. Mahbub ul Haq argues that such a system creates its own vested interests which prevent the percolation of the benefits to all classes of the population. He also argues that given the specificity of factors, factors devoted to the production of (or transformed into) high- income consumption goods, cannot be used to produce mass-consumption goods and do not lead to the economic welfare of the poorer classes.

The International Monetary Crisis

The International Monetary Crisis (From a Special TH E international monetary system has been faced with recurring crises over the last few years. As is usual with bourgeois analysis, the form of the crisis is allowed to hide the content, with the result that symptoms are mistaken for causes. For instance, we find it said that the cause of the crisis is shortage of gold, or that it is the lack of confidence in the dollar.

Who Won in West Bengal

Who Won in West Bengal? Ashok Rudra EVEN the most optimistic political forecaster could not have forecast, and none did forecast, the surrealistic electoral victory of Indira's Congress in West Bengal. Even the most confirmed CPM hater can hardly explain to himself how it has been possible for the giant party to be defeated so abjectly. And, of course, nobody is in a position to say how much of a loss of mass support for the CPM this defeat in elections indicates.

Modern Indian Historiography-Urgency and Risk of Micro Studies

 In its loan operations, the company could adopt the general principles of farm finance enunciated in the Crop Loan Manual Of the Reserve Bank of India, The crop loan system envisages the provision of credit on the basis of a rational assessment of the need of the agriculturist in relation to his agricultural activity, subject to his repaying capacity and with a view to minimising the possibility of the loan's misuse. It provides for the issue of a minimum amount of loan in cash, with the major requirements of the agriculturist being met in kind. The cash part of the loan is intended to meet the wage-bills and consumption requirements of the period during which the crop is still in the field. It may also include expenses incurred for inputs such as for additional weeding, additional watering, etc. The components of the loan would depend on the willingness of the farmers to take up farm practices recommended by the agricultural extension service. The capacity, of the agriculturist to repay his short-term loans and the annual instalments of his term-loans is roughly estimated to be 50 per cent of the total yield. The timings of the disbursements and the recoveries should be adjusted to the agricultural season. The advances should be synchronised with the various stages of cultivation, and the repayment schedules should be arranged such that they synchronise with the harvest after allowing some time for the agriculturist to market his produce.

Taming the Army in Pakistan

Taming the Army in Pakistan Dhananjoy AS expected, Pakistan is going through a phase of crises and convulsions. And there is no light yet at the end of the tunnel which Bhutto has entered. What precisely the latest changes in the Pakistani armed forces mean is anybody's guess and many of the theories propounded in the Indian Press may be more in the nature of expression of the instinctive distrust and suspicion of anything that takes place across the borders. All that one can say with any degree of certainty is that the political instability in Pakistan continues and that many more dramatic developments could take place before the new Pakistan finds its feet as a state.

The Small Car A Waste of Resources

wiping off the accumulated loss last year, is now paying a maiden equity dividend of eight per cent for the year to August 1971. Looking to the fourfold cover for the distribution and the fact that shareholders had to wait for 9 years to get a return on their investment, the payment looks modest. But the Board's decision has been influenced by a number of factors. So far, the company has not had to pay income-tax. With the set-off of development rebate and relief under Section 80 J of the Income-tax Act now almost fully recouped, future profits would be liable to taxation. Secondly, the company has been operating consistently at more than rated capacity. Production and sales increased by 14 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, over the previous year on top of increases of 20.5 per cent and 46.2 per cent, respectively, recorded in the preceding year. The improvment in production techniques alone is not likely to bring about any sizeable increases in output and sales. At the same time, costs are on the rise and the bearing industry is becoming competitive. The situation will materially improve only when the proposed expansion to manufacture 29 lakh bearings per annum on a two-shift basis is implemented. Owing to stringency of foreign exchange, the company has been asked to ascertain whether the imported machinery required for expansion could be obtained from rupee currency areas. This would cause some delay in implementing the expansion which is estimated to take about two years of the receipt of industrial and import licences. The expansion would involve a capital outlay of Rs 1.5 crores, and the management's intention is to employ the company's internal resources to the maximum possible extent, since the financial institutions now insist that they be given an option to convert part of their loans into equity shares. It is also not likely that the company would get permission to issue 'rights' shares at par, since the market price of the share is high. The new chairman, James S Raj, has assured shareholders that barring unforeseen circumstances the generation of funds is expected to he sufficient to provide for adequate return on investment, repayment of loans, and funds needed for growth. His assessment of the immediate future is based on the satisfactory raw-material supply and the healthy order-book. The ball bearing industry is now attaining self- sufficiency in the raw materials field; excepting tubes, all other raw materials are manufactured in the country. Dependence on tubes also will, to an extent, be reduced since TISCO has com menced production of Forged rings. PBI obtained a licence for the import of balancing plant and has installed bulk of the machines. This should also help raise output to some extent.

Notes towards a China Policy

how have a friendly Bangla Desh and in the West a weak Pakistan, the strength of the Indian Army is unlikely to he reduced. As already Indicated, a weak Pakistan, because of its internal instability, is likely to be seen as a continuing threat to India. Any attempt by Pakistan to get aligned with Iran and Afghanistan on the basis of Islam will also create disquiet in India. Moreover, suspicion of China has been aroused again in India. Under these circumstances no political leadership will risk a reduction in troop strengths.

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