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

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Property Rights and the Social Costs of Transition and Development in China

There is considerable ferment over property rights in China today. This paper briefly explores important areas in which social unrest over property rights is currently under way, beginning with a discussion of the general debate about this issue in China, and then moving on to consider such rights in agriculture, intellectual property rights, and property rights in the environmental field. The objective is to indicate how the property rights debate overlaps the argument about social costs of transition, including widening income inequality, environmental devastation, and so on.

Double Movement in China

This paper traces China's move towards a market economy in the mid-1980s, the near triumph of market forces in the 1990s, and the countermovement this engendered as inequalities between the rich and poor increased and social security networks collapsed. It focuses on the country's regional and healthcare policies to illustrate how it has dealt with issues of inequality and insecurity over time. The prevailing view now is that the market is necessary but it must be embedded in society. And the state must play an active role in the market economy to prevent a disembedded and self-regulating market economy from dominating society.

Light and Shadow of an Inarticulate Age: Reflections on China's Reform

This tribute to the resilience of China's migrant workers is by an academic who lived and worked among them in Shenzhen for seven months, sharing their screams and dreams. It touchingly portrays the plight of young migrant workers, many of them women, who have been caught in the grip of capital's unscrupulous willingness to sacrifice anything in the pursuit of profit. Their efforts to organise themselves have been at best a partial success.

China's Rural Reform: Crisis and Ongoing Debate

Despite China's dramatic transformation in the last three decades, its countryside is in a state of crisis. This study examines the dark side of the country's economic "miracle", looking into the various adverse effects that have followed the break-up of communes in rural areas and analysing their causes. It also examines the contentious issue of privatising landownership, which iss favoured by those sympathetic to a neoliberal agenda, and reports on recent grass roots and government efforts to rebuild communities at the village level.

Household Deprivation and Its Linkages with Reproductive Health Utilisation

The household deprivation scores, based on the availability of some basic amenities to a household and the presence of a literate adult member, have been applied to data sets of the three National Family Health Surveys to study the trends in deprivation levels over 1992-2006 and the correlates of selected reproductive and child heath parameters with household deprivation levels. It is found that the proportion of households classified as "deprived" on the basis of the hds has recorded a secular declining trend over this period and that the quantum of decline in the proportions of the deprived is strongly associated with improvements in reproductive and child health parameters. Analysis of the data on malnourishment of children reveals that the availability of some basic amenities at the household level makes a significant contribution to children's growth and prevention of malnutrition.

Third National Family Health Survey in India: Issues, Problems and Prospects

The three rounds of the National Family Health Survey have generated vast amounts of data, which unfortunately have been subject to only limited critical examination by Indian research scholars, though the opposite is the case with scholars outside India. The nfhs-3, which was conducted in 2005-06, covered many more areas than the previous surveys and collected information in new and sensitive areas like sexual behaviour. However, there are questions about the quality of data thrown up by nfhs-3. Information on some indicators such as fertility and infant mortality remains of reasonably good quality, but the data on nutrition, immunisation, and gender violence is suspect. There have been three of these very large surveys since 1992-93, and it is perhaps time to reflect on the experience so far and plan for the next survey a decade after nfhs-3 which would be five years after the 2011 Census.

Religious Differentials in Fertility in India: Is There a Convergence?

Analysis of the data from the three rounds of India's National Family Health Survey shows that fertility transition is continuing in all the major religious groups of India. Substantial declines have occurred in fertility over the period encompassing the three rounds. The use of contraceptives has become more widely prevalent with a majority of couples wanting to stop childbearing at two or three children. Spatial variation is also noticeable with religious differentials being very small or negligible in some states. At the national level, religious differentials are narrowing though it is difficult to say when a convergence could occur. However, fertility for all religious groups is expected to fall further towards the replacement level and possibly to below this level.

Violence against Women in India: Is Empowerment a Protective Factor?

This study examines three issues related to domestic violence in India on the basis of data from the third National Family Health Survey. It shows that a significant proportion of women, regardless of their socioeconomic background, accept power differentials based on sex and that men have a right to discipline them. It also reveals that men from violent homes are significantly more likely to use violence against their wives. Most women do not seek help for the violence suffered, and the few who do, tend to steer clear of social service organisations and the authorities.

Reflections on Wealth Quintile Distribution and Health Outcomes

This study focuses on the method the National Family Health Survey-3 adopts to compute national wealth quintiles using the wealth index score of households as a basis. It argues that the survey's national wealth quintile classification does not account for interstate variations in wealth possession as well as rural-urban differences within states, which could lead to biased outcomes when applied to health indicators. It suggests that working out state-specific wealth quintiles that allow for the differentials would be more appropriate.

Sibling-Linked Data in the Demographic and Health Surveys

This paper highlights one aspect of the enormous but little-exploited potential of the Demographic and Health Surveys programme, namely, the use of data on siblings. Such data can be used to control for familylevel unobserved heterogeneity that might confound the relationship of interest, and to study correlations in sibling outcomes. It also discusses potential problems associated with the sibling data being derived from the retrospective fertility histories of mothers.

Premarital Sex in India: Issues of Class and Gender

This study is aimed at understanding premarital sexual activity in India using data from the third round of the National Family Health Survey. At the national level, reported premarital sex is still fairly low among women and somewhat higher among men. The data show that ever married women are more likely to report premarital sex compared to currently unmarried women. Among unmarried women and men who report premarital sexual activity, the distributions vary by place of residence, occupational status, level of education, and level of household wealth. Unmarried women who are aware of hiv/aids and sexually transmitted diseases are less likely to have had premarital sex. Notably, there is a significant gender dimension in reporting of premarital sexual activity, pointing the way for further research.

The Kosi and the Embankment Story

The Kosi afflux bundh breached in Kusaha in Nepal on 18 August 2008. This was the eighth incident of its kind and the first time did a breach occur upstream of the Kosi Barrage. The ones in 1968 and 1984 were no less disastrous but this year's breach has generated the most concern and its international dimension has added an edge. In an effective life of 45 years, the embankments have remained intact for 37 years. What happens to the people who have suffered the wrath of the river nearly five times more than those in the areas protected by the embankments?


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