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

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Corporate Governance in Banks in India

While several committees have examined and suggested ways to improve corporate governance in banks in India, this study makes an attempt to prepare a benchmark index for the board composition aspect of corporate governance. A comparison between the indices for public sector banks with private sector banks reveals that differences in governance structures cannot be explained fully in terms of ownership only. This is a welcome feature, as with some efforts on the part of the majority shareholder, corporate governance in all the banks can be brought on par with the best-performing bank, by ensuring greater compliance with corporate governance benchmarks.

How Much Public Debt Is Too Little?

Virtually, the entire literature on public debt is on determining “how much is too much,” beyond which it becomes a systemic threat to the economy. On this basis, about 80 countries, including India, have fiscal rules designed to steadily reduce public debt. This article argues that there is a minimum stock of public debt, below which it is also a systemic threat, and outlines some of the considerations which should be taken into account. It further argues that the composition of public debt is equally important, but has been totally neglected. Both the level and composition of public debt, therefore, should be taken into account while framing fiscal rules.

Socialism Is Dead, Long Live Socialism

Faced with an existential economic and political crisis in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba launched reforms that were aimed at making its socialist system more sustainable. Self-managing cooperatives, which were to be independent of state control, started getting promoted as the preferred instruments for Cuba’s transition to 21st-century socialism. Drawing on fieldwork in Cuba and on secondary material, it is argued that these cooperatives have a fair chance of success, but that uncertainties exist, especially with respect to the project of “downsizing the state.”

Construing the Indian Middle Class Ideology

In this age of globalisation, many Hindi films are centred around the diaspora, non-resident Indians, and North Indians from the upper class and upper castes.The adoption of a market economy and the rise of majoritarian religious politics in India have had an impact on film scripts. Most Hindi film stories revolve around affluent Indians and endorse the social, religious, and cultural values of the Hindu middle class. By doing so, such films are also trying to construct a new form of nation and nationalism that is not fully inclusive.

Middle-class Women’s Labour Migration in Post-liberalised Cities in India

Despite the growing visibility of middle-class women in diverse service sector jobs in Indian cities post 1991, scant research has been directed to study the linkage between their migration dynamics and post-liberalisation changes in the country. This article investigates the patterns and trends of urban migration of middle-class women through the period of pre- and post-liberalisation (1983 to 2007–08); and the socio-economic correlates of their contemporary migration using the data from the National Sample Surveys. Contrary to the dominant stereotypes around women’s “unproductive” migration, the middle-class women’s employment- and education-linked migration turns out to surpass their marriage and family associated movements. The multivariable regression analysis shows that labour migration of educated middle-class women becomes more probable for single, Scheduled Tribe women, aged 21–59 years, having a certificate/diploma, and work experience as a regular/salaried employee at the origin, and coming from rural areas of another state.

Fiscal Challenges in Scaling Up Nutrition Interventions

Four states—Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh—together account for around 45% of stunted children in India. The existing literature makes a case for delivery of a host of specific interventions referred to as the direct nutrition interventions, along with sector-wise or systemic interventions, to bring about significant reductions in prevalence of stunting among children. An analysis of the delivery of DNIs in the said states shows that apart from the decline in fiscal priority for the DNIs during 2014–15 to 2017–18, there are also significant resource gaps for some of these interventions, which underscores the need for enhancing fiscal priority for these interventions.

Intra-industry Trade of India

The structure of India’s intra-industry trade, more specifically, decomposition of IIT into horizontal and vertical trade is analysed using support vector machines as the existing approaches to disentangle IIT into horizontal and vertical trade suffer from some limitations. For the period 1978–2013, at the SITC 5-digit disaggregated level, more of India’s IIT is of the horizontal type when compared to the Greenaway-Hine-Milner approach. This has important policy implications as far as trade-induced adjustments costs are considered. However, over time the share of HIIT in total IIT is declining, whereas the share of VIIT is rising which may indicate technological improvement.

Financing Disaster Management

The present arrangements for financing disaster management in the country do not provide for disaster mitigation. They are neither comprehensive nor adequate. There is a dichotomy between the guidelines issued by the Government of India on disaster management and the mandate of the Disaster Management Act. A national consensus is required on how to fund all the three components of disaster management–mitigation, response, and reconstruction. Other issues to be addressed include the scope of disaster management, the creation of mitigation funds, the financing of such funds, the procedure for states to draw from these funds and accepting foreign aid for disaster relief. This article examines these and related issues. It may not be desirable to complicate the GST structure by levying a cess on either state GST or central GST or integrated GST for funding disaster management. The option of increasing the yield of the present national calamity contingency duty or introducing a cess similar to the GST compensation cess may be preferable.

International Relations Impeding Equity and Global Climate Justice

By drawing heavily from neoclassical economics, game theory, and rational choice theory, mainstream international relations ends up adopting a managerial approach to the issue of climate change, wherein international politics becomes structurally similar to a market economy in which states are rational, self-interested actors. Consequently, cost–benefit calculations rule out the normative moral arguments for an equitable sharing of future carbon space that do not converge with the material interests of states.

Dalit Desires and the City of Surat

Based on voices coming from the Mahyavanshi community of Surat, and drawing from the intersection of urban studies and recent debates on Dalit experience, the relationship between Dalits and the city is examined. These voices and their narratives of desire and aspiration do not take shape as bereft of sufferings and discriminations. Yet, in their articulation, they allow us to engage with the ignored dimensions of Dalit personhood and reveal facets of city life that are less attended to.

Deteriorating Quality of Education in Schools

The role of government school teachers in India is being questioned because of the deteriorating learning levels of children. There is constant criticism of teachers’ performance on the grounds that despite paying high salaries to teachers, children are not performing well in examinations because the majority of teachers are not competent enough. An analysis of six Indian states offers the opportunity to address this debate from the lens of public provisioning for teachers in the school education system. The performance of teachers needs to be judged on the basis of factors like their training, working conditions, and, above all, resource allocation by the government.

Marx and the Politics of Emancipation

In the first part of the 1860s, Karl Marx’s journalistic and scholarly interest in diplomacy and international politics drove him to focus his attention towards two prominent historical events. The first was the outbreak of the American Civil War, when seven slaveholding states declared their secession from the United States. The second was the uprising of the ­Polish people against Russian occupation. Marx’s analysis of these historic episodes also influenced his political efforts through the International Working Men’s Association. How Marx’s studies of both these events were relevant for his theoretical development and his political engagement is examined.

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