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

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Price Deficiency Payments and Minimum Support Prices

There is an ongoing debate on whether minimum support prices for various agricultural commodities can be replaced by a system of price deficiency payments to farmers. The main objective of the intended policy shift is the improvement in farmers’ incomes as well as a reduction in farm subsidies. An analysis of this system suggests that price deficiency payments might be a better option for both farmers and the government. However, it should be properly designed so that it can improve farm incomes, national food security, fiscal prudence and sustainability of agriculture. Unlike the Price Loss Coverage programme in the United States, covering almost all crops, and the MSP in India covering as many as 23 crops, it should be limited to a few specific commodities.

Infrastructure and Fiscal Management

In India, fiscal consolidation is rule-based and focuses on deficits and debt. Macroeconomic concerns are not integrated with fiscal targets, which have been achieved at the cost of infrastructure investment. States have to use their revenues more effectively to spend on health and education, and borrow more to fund infrastructure. The centre must incentivise states to use their fiscal space effectively. A strategy for infrastructure investment by the central and state governments is discussed, especially in the context of the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission.

Tribal Land, Customary Law, and the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act

Tribal peoples in Manipur have been maintaining their commons under customary law. Interacting with outsiders has always led to the contestation of their customs, traditions, and beliefs. Tribal societies continue to administer their villages under customary law on the tenet of equity. Their law has even resisted the policies of Manipuri kings and the British administration. In the present day, tribal customary law stands challenged by the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960.

Pesticide Usage by Cotton Farmers in India

With India emerging as a leading cotton producer in the world, and considering the large-scale adoption of Bt cotton cultivation, there is a need to understand the patterns of pesticide use by cotton farmers, especially as environmental, ecological, and health concerns surrounding pesticide use continue to be debated.

EWS Beds in Delhi

In 2007, the Delhi High Court ordered all private hospitals in Delhi having the free treatment condition for economically weaker section patients in their lease deed to provide free treatment to 10% poor inpatients and 25% poor outpatients. This article analyses the monthly reports of “percentage bed occupancy” of the ews beds in 34 private hospitals from 2012–13 to 2015–16. The bed occupancy of 41% hospitals was below 10% and only two hospitals featured more than 30%. A number of loopholes need to be plugged by the custodian of the public properties, which is the state in this case, to ensure that the public partners who are the poor patients are welcomed and provided non-discriminatory health services without any fee.

From the Linear Model to Incremental Innovation Research and Industry in India

In the course of the first 45 years of India’s post-independence development, the focus of research activity was changed from research into methods of raw material survey and extraction, oblivious of any industrial imperative, to research into the process of material production, aimed at inducing technological awareness within industry. This change in focus was accompanied by policy hesitation, and faced reverses. The result was a diversified industrial base together with considerable, albeit highly uneven, levels of technological competence. The subsequent 25-year period is characterised by a reliance on the market mechanism as the channel directing research activity and industrial energy. Market fundamentalism is dismissive of the necessity of creative thought on the contemporary dialectics of the science and industry relationship. This, let alone providing the basis for further advance, has led to the degradation of achieved capabilities in comprehension of the changing dynamics of this relationship.

Scrutinising the Hindu Method of Tribal Absorption

Nirmal Kumar Bose’s idea of the Hindu method of tribal absorption, which is still regarded as an established anthropological theory, stands on weak methodological foundations and insufficient field data. Bose’s theory not only served the ideology of the privileged class, but also foreclosed the growth of an indigenous, nationalist, and secular Indian anthropology. Ironically, more empirically sound and materialist field findings of anthropologist Tarak Chandra Das, who was a contemporary of Bose, were marginalised in the discipline.

Index of Industrial Production

Small business organisations need short-run estimation and forecasting, and a model that has limited data requirements. Statistical techniques currently used are linear in approach, depend on the choice of the data set’s start–end period, and have low statistical reliability. The ensemble empirical mode decomposition approach is not constrained by these limitations or by the non-stationarity and non-linearity attributes of data. As an illustration, the Indian Index of Industrial Production time series is used to develop a coincident indicator of movements in the index that is simple to model, uses real-time data, and makes accurate forecasts.

Patterns of Marriage Dissolution in India

Data from the Census and District Level Household Survey-3 (2007–08) are used in this paper. The factors of marriage dissolution in India and its regions are investigated using multivariate hazard analysis. The results show that dissolution rates are higher in North-east, South, and West India than in other regions. The risk of marriage dissolution is twice as high for women in urban areas than rural, and higher among the poor than the non-poor, and among the childless than among women with at least one child.

Urban Transport Planning in Bengaluru

Transport planning in Bengaluru is characterised by institutional fragmentation, increasing private modes of transport, and questionable investment decisions in the transport sector. What are the possibilities of implementing a polycentric governance system in such a city? Answering this question requires exploring the characteristics of polycentric governance systems as part of the larger discourse in institutional economics and reflecting upon how far Bengaluru satisfies such characteristics and where changes may be required.

Religious Identity at the Crossroads

​ The religious identity of the Hindu fisherfolk of Kerala—the Dheevaras—has been a site of multiple and contradictory interpretations by agents and institutions with varied interests. While their caste association—the Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha—is urging them towards Sanskritisation and allegiance to Hindutva, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is engaging them in their communal propaganda. At stake is a host of religious practices and philosophies evolved by the Dheevaras through their occupation of fishing, and the contribution of early Dheevara reformers in critiquing the Brahminic domination of Hinduism and the caste system.

Changing India’s Urban and Economic Landscape

India’s urban landscape needs new city forms, alternative economic arrangements, and universal social welfare to survive in the coming era. Instead, urbanisation policies are driving the dysfunctional 19th-century colonial metro cities towards absorbing enormous migrations that will make India a fragile state. Three initiatives are proposed as an alternative to macroeconomic policies that no longer prioritise human development. This position has been largely ignored due to the conflicts between theories and ideologies of economic and cultural development.

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