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

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Women's Experience of Childbirth in Rural Jharkhand

This article seeks to enhance our understanding of childbirth-related practices among rural women in Jharkhand and the obstacles they face in seeking appropriate care. It documents women's experience of childbirth from their own perspectives, and the perceptions of providers regarding birthing practices. It also describes women's perceptions of complications experienced during childbirth and the actions taken to address these problems, and explores the obstacles women face in accessing appropriate and timely care. The findings are intended to bridge the gap between policy and programme makers (and implementers) on the one hand, and poor, rural women - for whom the services are provided - on the other.

Quality of Abortion Care: Perspectives of Clients and Providers in Jharkhand

This paper explores the quality of care received by women seeking abortion services in Jharkhand, a state in which access is limited and evidence about abortion-related care sparse. It explores clients' perspectives of the quality of services as well as their experiences of seeking abortion care. It also discusses perceptions of abortion providers on the quality of care.

Sexual and Reproductive Health among Youth in Bihar and Jharkhand: An Overview

Young women in India are less likely than young men to be aware of sexual and reproductive health matters or be able to negotiate safe/wanted sex with spouses and partners. This special issue explores the sexual and reproductive health situation among youth in Bihar and Jharkhand, two states that are rarely studied from this perspective.

Exploring Safe Sex Awareness and Sexual Experiences of Adolescents in Patna

This article reports findings from a study of school- and college-going adolescent girls and boys in Patna that explored their awareness of sexual matters and safe sex, and their experience of sexual relations. The article correlates this awareness and experience at the individual, family and peer levels. Maternal education and parental supervision of adolescent activities played an important role in promoting awareness among girls, suggesting that parenting issues are critical. Further, programmes that apprise parents of the role they play are needed.

Migration, Youth and HIV Risk: A Study of Young Men in Rural Jharkhand

This article analyses the sexual practices of young migrant and non-migrant men in Palamu district of Jharkhand in the context of hiv awareness. Based on a field study and using statistical analyses, the authors find that, contrary to popular stereotype, both migrant and non-migrant youth lack hiv awareness and practise "risky" sexual behaviour. They argue that hiv awareness policy must sensitise itself to the prevalence of "sexual networks" and concentrate advocacy drives in these areas.

The Legacy of Social Exclusion

This article examines the prevalence of discrimination in the job application process of private sector enterprises in India. The study is based on a field experiment where authors replied to job advertisements in major English dailies sending three applications to each call - as an upper caste Hindu applicant, as a dalit and as a Muslim. Using statistical analysis they assess the data and find that discriminatory processes operate even at the first stage of the application process.

Caste and Economic Discrimination: Causes, Consequences and Remedies

This paper provides a theoretical introduction to the study of discrimination with particular reference to the caste system. It sets the stage for the four empirical papers that follow, by highlighting the ways in which caste persists as a system of inequality that burdens the Indian economy with inefficiencies in the allocation of labour and other critical resources, reducing the full development of human capital in society. Far from disappearing as the economy modernises, discrimination remains a problem which, for reasons outlined here, is not amenable to self correction, but rather requires interventionist policies to remedy.

Where the Path Leads

This study attempts to trace the differential pathways that dalit and non-dalit students from comparable elite educational backgrounds traverse in their journey from college to work. While the training they receive in the university world is quite comparable, dalit students lack many advantages that turn out to be crucial in shaping their employment outcomes. Dalit students support the affirmative action policy completely, which allows them to break their traditional marginality. Our findings suggest that social and cultural capital (the overlapping of caste, class, family background and networks) matter a great deal in the urban, highly skilled, formal and allegedly meritocratic private sector jobs, where hiring practices are less transparent than appear at first sight.

In the Name of Globalisation

This paper draws on interview data to analyse the attitudes of employers/hiring managers in India's organised private sector towards the caste and community attributes of their potential employees. We focus on the role ascriptive qualities play in employer perceptions of job candidates, arguing that they persist despite a formal adherence to the importance of merit. Antagonism toward reservations, as a mechanism for promoting employment for scheduled castes, is articulated as a principled commitment to the modern virtues of competition and productivity.

Caste Discrimination in the Indian Urban Labour Market: Evidence from the National Sample Survey

This paper uses National Sample Survey data to examine the wage gap between higher castes and the scheduled castes/tribes in the regular salaried urban labour market. The main conclusions we draw are (a) discrimination causes 15 per cent lower wages for SC/STs as compared to equally qualified others; (b) SC/ST workers are discriminated against both in the public and private sectors, but the discrimination effect is much larger in the private sector; (c) discrimination accounts for a large part of the gross earnings difference between the two social groups in the regular salaried urban labour market, with occupational discrimination - unequal access to jobs - being considerably more important than wage discrimination - unequal pay in the same job; and (d) the endowment difference is larger than the discrimination component.

India's Growing Services Sector: Database Problems and Issues

The increasing importance of services in the Indian economy prompted the organisation of a seminar, 'Growing Size of the Services Sector in the Indian Economy' , in 2006. After briefly touching on the problems of collecting data relating to the size of the sector, this article introduces the content of the papers that were presented at the seminar and that follow in this issue.

Measurement of GDP of Services Sector in the New Series of National Accounts Statistics

The rising share of the service sector in the gross domestic product marks a structural shift in the Indian economy and brings it closer to a developed economy. In view of its rising importance, an attempt has been made in this paper to present the salient features of changes in the methodology and coverage of this sector in the new series (base 1999-2000) of national accounts statistics.

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