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

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Persistence of Solid Fuel Use in Rural North India

Survey evidence from rural North India showing persistent solid fuel use despite increases in liquefied petroleum gas ownership is presented. Although three-quarters of survey households in these states had LPG, almost all also had a stove that uses solid fuels. Among those owning both, almost three-quarters used solid fuels the day before the survey. Household economic status, relative costs of cooking fuels, gender inequality, and beliefs about solid fuels were important contributors to high solid fuel use. To realise the full health benefits of the LPG expansion, attention must now be turned towards encouraging exclusive LPG use.

Revisiting Factor Proportions in the Indian Economy

The underestimation of factor intensities when only direct factor contents are used is addressed in this paper. It expands the scope of measurement to include the indirect effects of factor use, which remain unaccounted for otherwise. It examines the structural coherence of factor proportions with output, exports, and foreign direct investment separately for each tradable sector. Using Semi-Input–Output modelling, factor proportions show a significant underestimation of capital intensity for the economy when compared with direct proportions. The analysis thus reveals that output and export distributions are largely aligned with factor endowments, whileFDI distribution is skewed towards sectors with high capital proportions.

Trade Mis-invoicing

Trade contributes to one-third of India’s gross domestic product. Thus, the impact of fraudulent trade practices as a percentage of GDP is a matter of serious concern and should be paid close attention. Using disaggregated data for the period 2007–17, the existence of trade mis-invoicing in India is shown. The pattern varies by the product as well as the trading partner. For some products, the discrepancy did not seem too large upfront. However, in terms of percentages, the data presents a dismal picture.

Multidimensional Poverty in Tripura

The changes in multidimensional poverty are analysed for the states of the north-eastern region in general, and Tripura in particular, from 2000 to 2015. Special emphasis is laid on the household characteristics in Tripura and the rural–urban, gender, social, and religion subgroups. The value of the multidimensional poverty index fell by 4.6% during the study period and the proportion of the multidimensionally poor by 1.7% per annum. The reduction in the MPI and the incidence of poverty was significantly higher in the rural areas of Tripura considering the social and religious subgroups.

Sustainable SRI and Rice Production

In Tamil Nadu, the extreme variation in rainfall had reduced the availability of water to agriculture and caused the groundwater table to fall by 37%. The production of rice, an important crop, had became particularly precarious. A well-designed upscaling strategy boosted and sustained the production of rice; it also helped the build-up of organic matter and improved soil fertility. This experience shows that the System of Rice Intensification offers an attractive opportunity for increasing food production per unit of water and improving efficiency.

The Continuing Practice of Untouchability in India

The caste (jati)-based practice of untouchability in India, shifting the focus from the victims of this practice, the ex-untouchables (Dalits), to the perpetrators, the non-Dalits is examined by identifying and disaggregating communities that continue to practise untouchability. The second wave of the India Human Development Survey data has been used to generate a socio-economic profile of those who practise untouchability in India, and check the hypothesis that households with a wider network outside the community than with one within the community are less likely to practise untouchability, and uses a logistic regression model to measure this effect at the all-India level.

Probing into the Freedoms of Queer Liberation in India

Reception of the reading down by the Supreme Court of Section 377 should be more circumspect, since there is much in the decision that offers reasons for concern. Rather than making a rupture with the contemporary majoritarian political climate, the decision is, in fact, a continuation of a longer nationalist project aimed at consolidating the ideal citizen subject of the Indian nation state.

Where Is All Our Health Data Going?

Multiple initiatives going on in India regarding the collection of digital personal health data are analysed, and the question of how the data is being used is examined. While such data could facilitate healthcare and referral services, a strong and sensitive governance structure is needed to be in place to enable its optimal use and to ensure that the data is not used to further the agendas of surveillance and control.

Interpretations and Implications of Increasing Obesity in India

The National Family Health Survey-3 and 4 data show that in the past 10 years, overweight/obesity among women in terms of Body Mass Index has increased quite sharply. In the Indian context, undernutrition and obesity are not separate problems. A large proportion of overweight/obese women are undernourished, with small stature, food transition towards more fats and increasingly sedentary lifestyles making them vulnerable towards being overweight/obese. More diversified diet reduces the risk of overweight/obesity. It is suggested that adequate and good quality diversified diets need to be ensured for comprehensive energy and nutrient adequacy. This requires an overhaul of India’s food programmes.

Marx’s Concept of Socialism

Although the work of Karl Marx continues to cast an enormous influence on debates concerning the nature of capitalism, one of the least theorised dimensions of his body of thought is his conception of the society that must supplant capitalism. While Marx never devoted a specific work to a discussion of life after capitalism, in large part due to his aversion to indulging in utopian and speculative reflections about the future, his distinctive critique of the central realities of capitalism—such as the dual character of labour, socially necessary labour time, and the law of value and surplus value—intimates a form of future social relations that is far more liberatory than has generally been appreciated.

Reservation Policy for Backward Classes

This paper examines the extent and determinants of popular support for reservation policy for the Scheduled Castes and the Other Backward Classes in India, using an individual-level opinion survey data set. It argues that the reservation policy, as well as its longitudinal extension and expansion into the private sector, is more supported than opposed, even though public opinion is polarised regarding its expansion to the private sector. Aside from the control variable of reservation status, those who are highly educated, female, rich, caste conscious, or have inter-caste friendships are likely to support reservation, whereas upper castes are less likely to support it.

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Elections 2019

Despite the Bharatiya Janata Party’s conscious efforts to colour the state election campaign with national-level issues such as Article 370, or invoke the popular welfare schemes throughout the campaign in order to turn the beneficiaries into its loyal vote bank, it did not gain as much traction this time as it did in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The election results have shown that caste still continues to remain one of the significant factors at the level of local politics. The role of caste and shifting social bases of the political parties in this election can be analysed with specific focus on the consolidation of Maratha votes and shifts in the voting patterns of the Other Backward Classes.

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