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

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Exclusive Inequalities

This essay suggests that questions of merit, caste and discrimination in Indian higher education can be usefully analysed in a framework defined by "exclusive inequalities". Beginning with a discussion of continuing caste inequalities in higher education, the argument outlines the specificities of this sector and its peculiarities in the Indian context. The idea of merit and the modalities of the examination are evaluated in terms of their contribution to the legitimation of higher education.

Democracy, Disagreement and Merit

At this juncture, even before we discuss what effective access policies should look like, we need to clear some space and ask: How will we handle disagreement in this domain? For fundamentally, the reservations debate has become a debate about the character of democracy, in more ways than we recognise.

Paying the Social Debt

It is necessary to recognise the exclusionary and discriminatory character of our society and economy, a creation largely of differences arising from caste, ethnicity, religion and other group identities. But to design appropriate remedial policies, an understanding of contemporary forms of discrimination in multiple spheres and their consequences is very necessary. Policies adopted by other countries, such as Malaysia and South Africa, as a way of correcting centuries of historical discrimination could also serve as pointers.

Capital Movements and Currency Board in Argentina

The early 1990s currency board experiment in Argentina tamed inflation, but it eventually had other disastrous consequences. The pursuit of orthodox policies meant that within a decade the economy was in a shambles. A recounting of the Argentinian tragedy.

Convertibility: Brazilian Experience

The proponents of free capital movement claim that one advantage is the supervision of economic policies by the financial market in the direction of "prudent" policies. The Brazilian case shows precisely the opposite: inflows have not been concerned about fiscal and exchange rate "irresponsibility" and have eagerly responded to arbitrage opportunities, until the "market mood" suddenly changes, resulting in a mix of herd behaviour and a speculative attack on the national currency.

A Practitioner`s Perspective

The majority of practitioners support the measured pace with which the capital account has been opened up in India and would, at best, counsel a moderate acceleration. However, they would argue for a rationalisation of the existing system of controls to remove the â??inefficienciesâ? within the system. The move to convertibility need not be a grand policy gesture, but a steady and focused approach.

Flawed Logic of Capital Account Liberalisation

This article presents a brief summary of theoretical analysis and empirical evidence, suggesting that it is unwise to embark on further capital account liberalisation. India may miraculously avoid the boom-bust cycles associated with open capital accounts, but the costs of failure are very high. And India has very little slack with which to gamble.

Currency Sovereignty and Policy Independence

There are benefits to currency sovereignty, defined as a floating exchange rate currency issued by a sovereign government. When Argentina abandoned its currency board, it gained policy independence: its exchange rate was no longer tied to the dollarâ??s performance.

Poland`s Experience with Convertibility

In Poland, after significant external liberalisation from 1995, the resultant huge capital inflows began to impair economic growth. Appreciation of the domestic currency damaged international competitiveness, leading to high trade deficits, while the inflow of "foreign savings" eventually crowded out domestic savings.

Financial Liberalisation in Semi-Industrialised Economies

Optimistic expectations about capital account liberalisation have not been borne out in reality in Mexico. There have been negative outcomes in a number of areas - overvaluation of the currency, worsening of the current account, decline in domestic savings and many others.

Managing the Transition to Convertibility

There is little doubt that moving towards a more open capital account would benefit the country enormously. The domestic foreign exchange market is providing a leading edge in the move to convertibility. The Tarapore Committee should ensure that residual controls on foreign direct investment and external commercial borrowings are removed and sectoral imbalances in the economy are addressed.

Great Indian Story of Convertibility

Determination of fuller capital account convertibility is not based on the contemporary thinking of economists. It is essentially led by policy-makers' preferences and judgments.

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