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

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Rural Industrialisation and Spatial Inequality in China, 1978-2006

This study analyses the impact of rural industrialisation in China on poverty and spatial inequality at the county level between 1982 and 2000. The most positive consequence of industrialisation has been its contribution to absolute poverty reduction, especially in the coastal provinces. Much less clear is whether migration - mainly from west to east and driven by rural industrialisation - has contributed to poverty reduction in the interior. For, remittances have accrued mainly to the relatively well off rather than to the rural poor. More negatively, counties which were large exporters of labour have suffered a skill drain. However, the main adverse effect of rural industrialisation has been its exacerbation of spatial inequality, which has also resulted in a rise of inequalities in per capita gdp among China's counties.

A House Divided: China after 30 Years of 'Reforms'

The 30 years of Chinese capitalistic "reforms" now exceeds the 29 years of socialist revolution under Mao. A "new" China has emerged, economically powerful, showcased by the Olympics and spurred by nationalistic sentiments. But beneath this shiny surface there is growing polarisation between those with extreme wealth at the top and hundreds of millions in the working classes who have lost power and face a bleak struggle for survival in the global capitalist market. Despite ameliorative measures by the current leadership, there is no fundamental plan to reverse this ever widening divide. In the face of the deepening global economic crisis, these divisions are swelling. China is suffering its most severe downturn in decades, and working class protests are spreading. The Chinese left is re-emerging, but remains largely isolated from these popular forces. Only by beginning to bridge that gap, can China once again find a socialist alternative.

Socialism, Capitalism, and Class Struggle: The Political Economy of Modern China

This essay traces the evolution of the political economy of China from the 1949 revolution up to the triumph of Chinese capitalism in 1992. It first describes and discusses the tremendous achievements in the first quarter century after the revolution, and also the struggles during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The essay outlines the context of the tussles that followed the death of Mao, the role of the "intellectuals", the alliance or the lack of it with the urban working class during Tiananmen 1989 and how the forces represented by Deng Xiaoping were able to impose their writ on the economy and society of China.

Globalisation Meets Its Match: Lessons from China's Economic Transformation

The sustained and rapid growth of the Chinese economy in the last three decades has been in sharp contrast to the prolonged stagnation in most parts of the nonwestern world. The persistence of a mixed economic system despite market reforms further contradicts the orthodox doctrines of globalisation. This study argues that China's economic transformation has been mainly based on productivity improvement and is thus to a significant extent a real development. It has been achieved mainly through a process of "governing the market" by a set of structural-institutional factors that are China-specific but can be of general importance for late development worldwide.

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.

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.

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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