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

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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.

‘Old’ and ‘New’ Trade Union Activism

Drawing on primary research on trade unions that mobilise women workers in the informal sector in Tamil Nadu, the possibilities for diverse union strategies to emerge, sustain themselves over time, and even win contingent victories in particular contexts are enquired into. Ethnographic accounts of union struggles highlight when trade unions resort to workplace-based activism for wages and when they prioritise agendas such as skill-enhancement, “development,” or workers’ welfare rights. What conjuncture of local contexts and circumstances enables one and which makes the other necessary? A discussion on three case studies shows how both “old” and “new” forms of collective organising co-constitute trade union activism involving women labouring in precarious livelihoods in the informal sector.

Decoding the Million Death Study

The lack of reliable, cause-specific mortality statistics is considered a major obstacle to the improvement of public health in many low- and middle-income countries. Researchers and government officials in India have set up the Million Death Study to address this situation. First, how the study produces quantitative estimates of the burden of mortality in India is explored by collecting symptomatic data, using that data for diagnostic purposes, and aggregating those diagnoses into an overview of mortality in India. Second, the limitations of the perspective on public health based on discrete and specific diseases that result from this approach are addressed. Numbers alone cannot solve the public health issues India faces, rather cognitive justice towards a broader range of perspectives on major public health problems is required to develop effective political interventions.

Revisiting the City–Capital Symbiosis

The urban is related to the capital through the very notion of accumulation. What goes into building the urban, both materially and perceptively is the accumulated capital, which in turn gets both (re)produced and consumed within the same set-up. The present circulation and accumulation of global capital has resulted in the creation of First World spaces within Third World cities, heterotopias which complicate claims to urban “city”zenships. The emergence of capital-infected cities and heterotopias is explored along with differential claims to urban “city”zenship using an interface with the Indian city as a context.

School Choice in Rural India

Indian parents are faced with more choices of schools, but with less information on schools and schooling. The study across four states in rural India suggests that perceptions of teaching–learning, discipline, and safety of children in schools determine school choice among parents. Expenses are a critical consideration for parents who send children to public schools, while the English medium is important for parents of children going to private schools. However, parental choices of low-fee private schools are often not based on accurate information, and parents emphasise many educationally unimportant but aspirational factors. The marketing efforts of schools and cultural aspirations of parents reinforce each other, allowing for a situation in which actual educational outcomes can be subordinated, or worse, undermined.

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