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

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A Novel Approach to Understanding Delhi’s Complex Air Pollution Problem

With rising concerns about the steep increase in air pollution in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, several factors—particularly motorised transportation, construction, and stubble burning in neighbouring states—are being identified as contributing to this hazard. However, in order to make effective policy decisions, there is a need for a holistic approach that identifies the root causes of the problem. The use of system dynamics simulation offers a novel systems thinking approach to understand Delhi’s air pollution, taking into account the dynamic nature of the air pollution system as well as the complex interdependencies among the various factors and sources of air pollution.

Millets in the Indian Plate

Millets can play a role in providing nutrition security as they are rich in various macro and micronutrients, and can help to fight various non-communicable diseases. Hence, a suggestion was made to include them in the basket of goods provided through the public distribution system. The findings of this article suggest that, with the present level of production, millets can be provided in some states of India which have culturally grown as well as consumed them. However, scaling this policy to the national level may not be possible unless rigorous measures are undertaken to improve production as well as consumer acceptability.

Fiscal Federalism and Regional Inequality in India

In all federal structures, the composing units are not self-sufficient financially. But, in India, the economic dependence of states on the centre is rather high because of widespread disparities in their levels of economic development. The federal transfers to the states through the Finance Commission, Planning Commission and centrally-sponsored schemes are investigated. The role of the union government in equitable direct investment, subsidy, and private investment policy for unbiased regional development is also underlined . The data proves that although the Finance Commission’s transfers are progressive, the share of devolution for low-income states is gradually decreasing. Unfortunately, all other transfers and efforts by the centre are regressive to address the regional inequality issues.

Community Participation in Effective Water Resource Management

The initiation of the growth process in the rural economy in India, which is predominantly agriculture-based, needs optimum allocation and careful management of scarce water resources for irrigation. Using primary data, the impact of a tripartite institutional framework—comprising a non-governmental organisation, the funding agency, and the people (forming a community-based organisation)—on rural sustainability is examined. Tobit analysis is used to evaluate the impact of participation on rural sustainability. The results establish that community participation is critical in enhancing rural sustainability in terms of managing indigenous water harvesting structures like johad s.

Barber–Johnson Technique to Assess the Efficiency of India’s Apex Tertiary Care Hospitals

Scarcity of beds and long waiting lists is a challenge for public hospitals worldwide. This study uses the Barber–Johnson technique to analyse the efficiency of five hospitals of India’s apex medical institute. Four hospital efficiency indicators based on annual hospital statistical reports from 2005–06 to 2015–16 were studied and compared with the respective figures of other countries. Though the results reveal a high efficiency of the five hospitals, there is a high probability of poor health outcomes in future. There is thus a need to redesign processes and to innovate better care models to improve healthcare service delivery.

India’s Domestic Pharmaceutical Firms and Their Contribution to National Innovation System-building

Domestic pharmaceutical firms continue to operate under the influence of the strategy of global integration of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare. The link between domestic firms and public sector research organisations is the weakest link in the domestic pharmaceutical industry due to misguided policies in competence-building and innovation system-building after India accepted the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement in 1995. The government should rethink its strategies to get domestic firms to contribute to system-building activities and prioritise investment into the upgrading of processes of learning and building competence.

Census Towns in Uttar Pradesh

An understanding of the emergence of new census towns, as reported by the 2011 Census, necessitates an investigation, specifically at a micro level, into the factors behind the shift of the male working population from the farm sector to the non-farm sector. The emergence of census towns at an all-India level and the history of census towns in Uttar Pradesh are examined. Census towns in selected districts of UP have been analysed to comprehend the trends and patterns of urbanisation resulting from the transformation of rural areas into urban settlements. A case study of Soraon, a census town in Allahabad district of UP, has also been undertaken to further understand the urbanisation process along the rural–urban continuum.

Groundwater, Gurus, and Governmentality

Temples and religious organisations undertaking community projects and welfare work have been a part of the history of South Asia. However, in the neo-liberal era, international governmental platforms, international funding agencies, multinational corporations, central and state government bodies, and international Hindu religious organisations are coming together to effect large-scale developmental efforts. The nuances of this shift are traced by comparing the groundwater management and conservation projects undertaken by the Swadhyay Parivar in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat in the early 1990s, and Art of Living across the country in the last decade. While many would argue that non-governmental organisations and faith-based organisations have occupied the void created by a neo-liberal state disappearing from the public sector, this paper shows that the state–international bodies–MNC–religion complex has regimented a large population in an all-pervasive governmentality.

Restricted and Unrestricted Fiscal Grants and Tax Effort of Panchayats in India

The impact of restricted and unrestricted fiscal grants on tax effort of panchayats is examined using nationally representative panel data on finances. Three pathways are proposed through which these impacts accrue: wages, profits, and incentives. In order to deal with the simultaneities of grants received and taxation, a system of equations is estimated simultaneously, where the first stage equations predict the grants. The results show that a wage impact on taxation exists, but is very small and the productivity impact of grants on taxes is negligible. This means that incentive effects associated with the specifics of the intergovernmental fiscal system in the states are the main determinant of village taxation. Several policy conclusions are advanced.

From Mobile Access to Use

The digital divide is the disparity between individuals with respect to access to information and communication technologies. The growing prevalence of mobile phones in India is often linked to phones becoming access points to various government schemes and services. However, ICTs have various features that are not uniformly operated by different users. The use of mobile phones is examined using micro-level data to highlight how the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals (age, gender, literacy, etc) influence their engagement with the various features of a mobile phone.

Redesigning the Fiscal Transfer System in India

An overwhelming proportion of the poor live in low-income states in India. These states are home to over two-thirds of the children in the 0–14 age group. Therefore, provision of comparable levels of basic social services and physical infrastructure is important to ensure balance and stability in the Indian federation. This underlines the importance of intergovernmental transfers. Conceptually, general purpose transfers are given to enable the states to provide comparable levels of public services at comparable tax effort, and specific purpose transfers are given to ensure a minimum standard of public services. The shortcomings in both the design and implementation of the transfer system in India hinder its ability to achieve the objectives.

Determinants of Wage Differences between the Inmigrant and Local Labourers in the Construction Sector of Kerala

The wage determinants of inmigrant and local labourers in the construction sector of Kerala exhibit varied intensity in influencing their wage and wage gap. The predominance of interstate migrants in the labour market of Kerala has resulted in high incidence of wage difference, necessitating a revisit of the labour laws and wage policies of the state.

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