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

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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.

Has the National Health Mission Improved Utilisation of Maternal Healthcare Services in Bihar?

Based on data from the National Sample Survey Office’s surveys on healthcare, this study critically evaluates the impact of the National Health Mission on improving utilisation of maternal healthcare services in Bihar, which had very poor maternal and child health outcomes at the start of the mission. In particular, it investigates factors affecting the utilisation of maternal care services and choice of facilities between the pre- and post-NHM periods; assesses the success of the Janani Suraksha Yojana in enhancing institutional delivery, particularly in public facilities; and estimates the out-of-pocket expenditure on maternal care in the pre- and post-NHM periods and identifies factors affecting such expenditure levels.

Designing a Framework for Benefit Packages

Development of an essential health package requires explicit prioritisation on the basis of a country’s characteristics. A practical framework is presented to determine an EHP, considering coverage and equity perspectives for service delivery, financial protection and morbidity burden in the population. An analysis of morbidity data, unmet need for treatment, and impoverishment due to out-of-pocket spending reveals that a significant reduction in oop expenditure and impoverishment is possible through targeted inclusion of potentially high impoverishment-causing morbidities in EHPs. Such an approach may offer the desired flexibility in decision-making to policymakers, without compromising on benefits transferred to the needy.

The Tightening Ideational Regimentation of China’s Higher Education System

The operation of the contrary forces of diffusion and control in China’s higher education system is critically examined, highlighting the distinctiveness of China’s internationalisation of higher education. The history of internationalisation of higher education in China, including crucial phases from the Deng era, beginning in 1978 to the Xi Jinping regime is described. The ideational regimentation is discussed in detail and its implications brought forth, and important questions that emerge from the dualism in China’s higher education system are considered.

Elementary Education in 19th-century Bengal

In order to analyse the educational policy of 19th-century Bengal, two factors should be studied and evaluated critically. These are the changing notions of British imperialism and the educational development of contemporary Britain. The reasons for the neglect of natives’ education are many. These included keeping the Indians dependent on foreign rule for as long as possible, a fear that education would encourage liberal ideas and create a large class which would demand independence, or perhaps because Britain was backward in the development of education in the 19th century.

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.

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