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

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Speaking of Abuse

In India, most women who experience domestic violence do not share their experience with anybody or seek help. Among those who do, a “pyramid of reporting” exists. Informal sources (natal family and friends) are favoured; very few report violence via institutional routes (non-governmental organisations and police). The conditions under which incidents of domestic violence are reported, and/or help is sought through different routes—along with the reasons why such conditions often do not occur—are highlighted using large-scale secondary survey data and primary ethnographic data. The findings have implications for mitigating domestic violence through institutional routes.

Social Compliance Audits in Garment Factories

The violent clashes between workers and employers in India during the recent decade are testimony to a new terrain of labour struggle unleashed by the neo-liberal economic system. These clashes speak of the demise of the workers’ freedom of association and consequent waning of collective bargaining in the context of the phenomenal growth of private regulation of labour. Various private voluntary regulations introduced in the name of corporate social responsibility, potentially to protect workers from capitalist exploitation, have actually yielded contrary outcomes. By examining the example of social compliance audits, this paper brings out the trade-off between capital and labour in the global supply chains, and the corroborating demise of workers’ rights, which CSR initiatives do not mitigate.

Traders’ Participation in Commodity Futures Markets in Kerala

Traders’ participation and barriers to participation in the commodity futures markets of rubber and pepper in Kerala are explored in the context of increasing debate over the use and benefits of commodity futures markets in India. Rubber and pepper traders depend highly on the futures markets price signals to trade in the spot markets and relate it to spot market prices. Factors like education, income, trading experiences in futures markets and in other financial markets influence traders’ participation in futures market. Lack of networking, risks, difficulty in managing spot and futures markets, lack of adequate technological knowledge and skills are the major constraints faced by the traders in futures markets participation.

Subsidy and Efficiency of Groundwater Use and Power Consumption in Haryana

High power subsidy, along with assured minimum support price and procurement by public agencies, has changed the cropping pattern in favour of water-intensive crops, especially paddy, in Haryana and Punjab. This has placed groundwater resources under severe stress and also increased the demand for energy for extraction of water. The continuation of high levels of power subsidy is not allowing crop diversification programmes to take off. It is argued that there is a need for redesigning this subsidy in such a way so as to encourage a sustainable cropping pattern suited to the agroclimatic conditions in the region, and save both water and energy.

Socio-spatial Stigma and Segregation

Caste-based spatial segregation, largely assumed to be a characteristic of rural societies, is reproduced in urban spaces as well, and a large population of Dalits continue to inhabit segregated settlements in the metropolitan cities of the country. Fieldwork conducted in one such segregated neighbourhood of Balmikis in central Delhi is drawn upon to explore how they perceive the urban space and how they think they are perceived by others.

Re-examining Vertical Sharing and Horizontal Distribution of Fiscal Resources in India

Previous efforts to decompose intergovernmental transfers made by the Twelfth and Thirteenth Finance Commissions into vertical and horizontal components estimate the extent of horizontal fiscal equalisation achieved through transfers at around 90%. But other channels of central transfers and spending, mostly bypassing state budgets, also have implications for regional welfare and horizontal fiscal equalisation. A comprehensive view is preferable for all central transfers and spendings having implications for regional welfare in examining vertical sharing and horizontal fiscal equalisation in India. Some methodological concerns over the decomposition of central transfers into vertical and horizontal components are addressed.

Child Undernutrition in India

Analysing the latest National Family Health Survey-4 (2015–16) data, an assessment of the prevalence and decline in child undernutrition in India between 2005–06 and 2015–16 is undertaken. Despite a moderate decline in child undernutrition during this period, more than one-third of children under five years are stunted and underweight. A large, graded socio-economic disparity in child undernutrition continues. Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Mizoram emerge as better performers in reducing child undernutrition. While north-eastern states have done well in reducing underweight prevalence, Tripura, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh have performed better in reducing stunting. About 80% of high stunting prevalence (above 40%) districts belong to eight states, that also house 90% of high underweight prevalence districts.

Waste Pickers and the ‘Right to Waste’ in an Indian City

Waste belongs to households and then to the municipality once it enters the public collection/disposal system. What does this mean for informal waste pickers? Despite their numbers and importance, they lack a “right to waste” and are vulnerable to processes of accumulation. This paper presents the counter-narrative of Solid Waste Collection and Handling, India’s first wholly self-owned cooperative of waste pickers, which has been contracted by the Pune Municipal Corporation for door-to-door waste collection. The initiative legitimises a “right to waste” for waste pickers by allowing them direct access to waste from households, and has reconceptualised waste and work for waste pickers, while altering their engagement with other stakeholders.

Evaluating Institutional Disruption

In India, from the late 1960s to the early 2000s, a consortium of three premier financial institutions gave projects long-term loans based on tangible assets. The consortium was abandoned in 2001. A transition away from the institutional logics of consortium financing is associated with a rise in the research and development activity of pharmaceutical firms. Changes in financial sector rules impacted Indian firms’ capability transformation. Management research needs to consider institutional logics changes in assessing the influence of financial factors on firms’ capabilities creation.

Paranoia or Prudence?

To assess whether the Reserve Bank of India is overcapitalised, two approaches are employed. First, the methodology and risk tolerance parameters used by major central banks are applied to the RBI’s balance sheet. Second, a simple cross-country econometric framework relating optimal capital to its possible determinants is used. Both suggest (conservatively) that the RBI has substantial excess capital—in excess of ₹4.5 lakh crore—which could be profitably deployed elsewhere, not for financing general government operations or the deficit but, for example, to recapitalise the public sector banks conditional on them being reformed.

North-South and East-West Keynesian Paradoxes

In his introduction to the Brandt Commission's report, the Commission's chairman, Willy Brandt, emph,a,sises that the report cannot be a technical document but that it nmust offer far-reaching "bold initia- tives" of political education. Yet the only significant bold initiatives to fo.iVge new instruments of mu- tual North-Souith interest are limited to short-run technical financial problems. The Commission believes that present and foreseeable medium-run difficulties are more serious than past recessions or crises and that it would be "dangerous and insincere to suggest they can be overcome with the conventional tools of previous de,cades". Yet the principal remedy proposed is the global application of the most conventional Keynesian remedies of the previous decla(des. As for the Brandt Commission's proposals for long-ruln program'lmes, and most particularly with re- gard to armaments, the mutual interest of North and Souith or East and West or indeed even within the West (or South or East) militates against their recognition and implementation. With nothing better than ideological survival prograinmes, Keynes was probably right' to say that in the long-run we are all dead.

The Assam Question

This article attempts to consider the present situation in Assam in its historical perspective. It argues that the ruling classes in Assam have tried to exploit certain historically determined weaknesses that have hampered the emergence of a distinct and well-defined Assamese nation to create among the Assamese people a lack of confidence in their cultural destiny. The problem in Assam is not whether the linguistic, religious and ethnic minorities will swamp the Assamese, but whether the Assamese people will see clearly the strength of their numbers and the maturity of their culture to gain the confidence of these minorities so as to peacefully integrate them into the Assamese nation.

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