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

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Innovations in Public Administration in India

Innovations in public service could be a core driver for ensuring that public administration becomes competitive, efficient, cost-effective and accountable to the citizenry. This state of innovation in India is analysed through the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for the period 2005–06 to 2016–17. The analysis shows that most of the innovations are management innovations, followed by technological innovations. They indicate some degree of direction in good governance and replicability. There is also need for some scouting mechanism for public administration innovations and for providing a replicable yet flexible template to promote them across the country.

Braverman’s Legacy

Capitalism has countered the possibility of organised labour’s opposition to the deskilling and degradation of labour in terms of wages and labour power. This has occurred due to the implementation of global information technology and the imposition of international policies that ensure the free movement of capital and, to a lesser degree, the free movement of labour. This article attempts to explore, through the lens of Harry Braverman’s seminal work, the idea that skill degradation is not about the replacement of total aggregate labour by automation, but rather one of the means by which capital ensures that there is continued division and internal conflict of labour itself within and between national borders, and that labour competes with automated systems in terms of profitability.

Has Disability Risen among the Elderly in India?

An analysis of disability among the elderly and its covariates during the period 2005–12 is provided using data from the two rounds of the nationally representative India Human Development Survey, conducted in 2005 and 2012. The increase in life expectancy has not translated into a healthier life, as prevalence of disabilities, their severity, and their association with non-communicable diseases have risen. Given the lack of access to assistive devices, specialised medical services, rehabilitation, and stigma attached to disability, the temptation to offer simplistic but largely medical solutions must be resisted. Instead, a multidimensional strategy is needed that helps the elderly overcome physical and socio-economic barriers as well as address the issues related to prevention and treatment of their underlying health conditions.

Gold Jewellery Making and Migrant Labour Force in Kerala

The extent of the gold jewellery market in Kerala has widened and consumption patterns have drastically altered. The increasing presence of migrant workers in the industry is a direct consequence of the deregulation of the gold industry in the early 1990s. While resorting to a labour process framework, this paper elucidates the process of recruitment and the composition of workforce. The empirical data is based on the findings and observations gathered through intensive fieldwork conducted during the course of three years, from 2010 to 2013, in the gold jewellery making industry in Thrissur and Kozhikode districts. This work also relies on a larger data set, the Inter-State Migrant Survey conducted by the Centre for Development Studies in 2012, which collected data on migrant workers from four districts of Kerala.

The Question of Organisation

The “Organisation question” necessarily devolves into two others—Organisation for What? Organisation by Whom? This question is faced by those whose goal is to carry out, in perhaps the very long term, the project of dramatically reducing, even seeking to completely eliminate, various human relations of oppression and exploitation while establishing an ecologically stable balance between human society and nature. Then, how are we to go about this given that our current context is marked by a dynamic and interacting economic-political duality of a capitalist process of globalisation and a persistent multiple nation states system? Since the nation state is and will remain for the foreseeable future the most important political unit, progressive transformations in some major countries are necessary to kick-start and accelerate the desired transformation at the global level.

Corporate Governance in Banks in India

While several committees have examined and suggested ways to improve corporate governance in banks in India, this study makes an attempt to prepare a benchmark index for the board composition aspect of corporate governance. A comparison between the indices for public sector banks with private sector banks reveals that differences in governance structures cannot be explained fully in terms of ownership only. This is a welcome feature, as with some efforts on the part of the majority shareholder, corporate governance in all the banks can be brought on par with the best-performing bank, by ensuring greater compliance with corporate governance benchmarks.

How Much Public Debt Is Too Little?

Virtually, the entire literature on public debt is on determining “how much is too much,” beyond which it becomes a systemic threat to the economy. On this basis, about 80 countries, including India, have fiscal rules designed to steadily reduce public debt. This article argues that there is a minimum stock of public debt, below which it is also a systemic threat, and outlines some of the considerations which should be taken into account. It further argues that the composition of public debt is equally important, but has been totally neglected. Both the level and composition of public debt, therefore, should be taken into account while framing fiscal rules.

Socialism Is Dead, Long Live Socialism

Faced with an existential economic and political crisis in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba launched reforms that were aimed at making its socialist system more sustainable. Self-managing cooperatives, which were to be independent of state control, started getting promoted as the preferred instruments for Cuba’s transition to 21st-century socialism. Drawing on fieldwork in Cuba and on secondary material, it is argued that these cooperatives have a fair chance of success, but that uncertainties exist, especially with respect to the project of “downsizing the state.”

Construing the Indian Middle Class Ideology

In this age of globalisation, many Hindi films are centred around the diaspora, non-resident Indians, and North Indians from the upper class and upper castes.The adoption of a market economy and the rise of majoritarian religious politics in India have had an impact on film scripts. Most Hindi film stories revolve around affluent Indians and endorse the social, religious, and cultural values of the Hindu middle class. By doing so, such films are also trying to construct a new form of nation and nationalism that is not fully inclusive.

Middle-class Women’s Labour Migration in Post-liberalised Cities in India

Despite the growing visibility of middle-class women in diverse service sector jobs in Indian cities post 1991, scant research has been directed to study the linkage between their migration dynamics and post-liberalisation changes in the country. This article investigates the patterns and trends of urban migration of middle-class women through the period of pre- and post-liberalisation (1983 to 2007–08); and the socio-economic correlates of their contemporary migration using the data from the National Sample Surveys. Contrary to the dominant stereotypes around women’s “unproductive” migration, the middle-class women’s employment- and education-linked migration turns out to surpass their marriage and family associated movements. The multivariable regression analysis shows that labour migration of educated middle-class women becomes more probable for single, Scheduled Tribe women, aged 21–59 years, having a certificate/diploma, and work experience as a regular/salaried employee at the origin, and coming from rural areas of another state.

Fiscal Challenges in Scaling Up Nutrition Interventions

Four states—Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh—together account for around 45% of stunted children in India. The existing literature makes a case for delivery of a host of specific interventions referred to as the direct nutrition interventions, along with sector-wise or systemic interventions, to bring about significant reductions in prevalence of stunting among children. An analysis of the delivery of DNIs in the said states shows that apart from the decline in fiscal priority for the DNIs during 2014–15 to 2017–18, there are also significant resource gaps for some of these interventions, which underscores the need for enhancing fiscal priority for these interventions.

Intra-industry Trade of India

The structure of India’s intra-industry trade, more specifically, decomposition of IIT into horizontal and vertical trade is analysed using support vector machines as the existing approaches to disentangle IIT into horizontal and vertical trade suffer from some limitations. For the period 1978–2013, at the SITC 5-digit disaggregated level, more of India’s IIT is of the horizontal type when compared to the Greenaway-Hine-Milner approach. This has important policy implications as far as trade-induced adjustments costs are considered. However, over time the share of HIIT in total IIT is declining, whereas the share of VIIT is rising which may indicate technological improvement.

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