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

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Food Subsidy

This paper counters negative advocacy about the food subsidy, the public distribution system, and farm price supports. It argues that the public food supply chain for market intervention has a favourable impact on the cost-benefit ratio, poverty reduction, calorie consumption by the poor and productivity-led agricultural growth. The paper proposes reforms for the six pillars of the public food supply chain. These include: an alternative poverty line concept that is linked to the minimum "norms" for calorie intake enabling a reduction of the exclusion and inclusion errors, procurement just for the PDS and buffer stocks to be purchased at a farm price that is fully cost-based, fair price shops with fixed and adequate time of operations, "indent" of the demand, doorstep delivery, and so on.

Economic Benefits of Futures

This article examines the economic benefits of futures. Theoretically, futures are expected to aid price discovery and risk mitigation. But empirical analysis shows that speculators drive the markets and, by virtue of their domination, abduct the price discovery process in certain commodities. The deceptive price discovery leads to suboptimal forecast of future prices. So futures markets fail to offer an effective hedge against price risk. In addition, the current public-private partnership regulation is a deterrent to the sustainable growth of futures markets.

Projected Effect of Droughts on Supply, Demand, and Prices of Crops in India

This paper assesses the effect of monsoon droughts on the production, demand, and prices of seven major agricultural commodities - rice, sorghum, pearl millet, maize, pigeon pea, groundnut and cotton. A partial generalised equilibrium model is developed to simulate the effects of deficit rainfall on acreage, yield, production, demand, and prices of different agricultural commodities in India. It is used to project the effect of rain deficits on supply, demand, and prices of monsoon session crops.

Selective Inclusions and Exclusions

Ratnagiri, a small town on the western coast of Maharashtra, is an important urban settlement in the Konkan region. This article examines the town's uneven spatial and economic development by focusing on the fishing and tourism sectors, highlighting the historically generated and socially produced contradictions and contestations within and between them. It argues that the very instruments of spatial planning meant to address uneven development end up reinforcing and exacerbating existing spatio-social and political inequalities. It goes on to trace the processes by which spatial planning becomes an arena where regulations are bent and flouted by directly influencing local and state-level actors through a negotiated approach to planning.

Rethinking Governance of Public Toilets

Based on an audit of public toilets in Hyderabad, this article argues that public-private partnership projects seem to have compounded the problems of inequitable spatial distribution and inefficient operation of toilets. They have also failed to address the problem of lack of facilities for women and differently-abled people. With the Swacch Bharat Mission, the way forward must involve a careful rethinking of public toilet governance, including revision of planning norms, providing statutory backing to these norms, and creating effective regulatory institutions. This is essential to alleviate the intensifying everyday contestations between those who desire a "clean city" and those who are forced to defecate in the open.

Mapping the Coastal Commons

Multiple, overlapping logics of urbanisation are transforming Tamil Nadu's coast. Real estate, infrastructure, tourism, and urban beautification plans are putting unprecedented pressure on the coastal commons. Fisherfolk, whose everyday life and survival is rooted in the commons, are at the centre of these processes of coastal urbanisation. Faced with the prospect of losing access to these spaces, fisherfolk are drawing upon their customary knowledge and new satellite mapping techniques to assert their rights to land and livelihoods.

Analysing Urban Growth Boundary Effects on the City of Bengaluru

Bengaluru is encircled by a green belt, instituted as an urban growth boundary to contain sprawl, ensure equitable growth, and preserve lung spaces. Urban growth boundaries the world over are typically known to drive land prices higher in the inner city area by artificially limiting the supply of land. Bengaluru has witnessed significant increases in land prices over the last decade. This paper examines whether the green belt in Bengaluru has had a significant effect on land prices through an analysis of price differentials inside and outside the growth boundaries. It also debates the relevance of a green belt as an urban containment tool in regimes characterised by ineffective provision of infrastructure and lax implementation of zoning regulations.

Delusory Transformations

Many policy experts have pointed out that the lack of capacity in urban local bodies resulted in poor implementation of projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. This paper presents findings from case studies of two transport infrastructure projects in Dehradun city to demonstrate that the reasons for the unexpected outcomes were of a more complex nature. Instead of local governments, all proposals were drawn up by consultants operating under unrealistic deadlines. Project proposals were prepared with an excessive focus on target expenditure and infrastructure creation. The paper emphasises that implementing such programmes requires an effective institutional design that bridges the gap between local governments in small cities and grant-making agencies at higher levels.

The Woman Rebel and the State

This ethnographic study of the female insurgent and her journey back from camp to the community discusses the encounter between women rebels who get trapped between the state and the organisation. Even as these former combatants cope with the messy politics of disengaging from the outfit that continues to patronise them, it does not always redress their needs and grievances in post-conflict rehabilitation. This article examines the former rebel's possible foray into peace-making and the legal/juridical and social impasses in the matter of her rehabilitation and reintegration into civil life. It also exposes the shrinking democratic space available to these former rebels who negotiate the tricky path beyond conflict.

New Fault Line in Conflict?

This article offers an analysis of the structure of women's emergence as the subject of peace - factors that bind, facilitate, and influence their participation in peace building and reconstruction processes in north-east India. What factors and structures facilitate and constrain women's emergence as public actors in the time of peace building, particularly when peace building is dominated by governmental policies and visions marked by neo-liberal developmentalism? Can we get a sense of the structure of women's emergence as the subject of peace through a careful analysis of how women have been doing in the region in the last 20 years?

'Why So Much Blood?'

To understand the nature of violence against women in Tripura, three cases from separate moments in history have been studied - the Raiabari, Gandachara, and Omanjoy Para incidents. History has left behind social tension, masculinisation lumpenisation of society and crimes against vulnerable groups. Among the last, women are primary victims and crimes against them are on the rise. Even the gender-neutral left government in Tripura has consistently enforced draconian measures. These forgotten and lost stories of violence need to be brought to wider attention.

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