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

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Gender Responsive Budgeting in India: What Has Gone Wrong?

The manner in which the Indian initiative on gender responsive budgeting has panned out appears to be a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. This article analyses the two prime strategies adopted by the Government of India for institutionalising GRB, namely, the "Gender Budget Statement" and Gender Budgeting Cells to highlight what has gone wrong, and what needs to be fixed. The authors also draw on experiences from other countries, to argue that GRB in India needs a completely different rhythm if it has to translate into better outcomes for the women of our country. With the formulation of the Twelfth Plan under way, the moment is opportune to push for groundbreaking changes in the policy discourse on GRB.

Ladlis and Lakshmis: Financial Incentive Schemes for the Girl Child

A desk review of 15 girl child promotion schemes relying on conditional cash transfers across the states and discussions with a few non-governmental organisations, implementing officials and beneficiaries show up some of the shortcomings. The eligibility criteria, conditionalities and registration procedures need to be simplified. Despite the pumping in of huge financial resources, there is no field-level monitoring to study the impact of such schemes nor is there a grievance redressal mechanism. An in-depth analysis would help in assessing whether in the long run conditional cash transfers could lead to a significant change in the parental attitude towards daughters.

Beyond Feminine Public Altruism

The rapidly changing urban scenario seems to have important implications for gendering governance in Kerala. Thus, besides the different histories mediated by caste and community, the spatial location of women leaders in local governance appears to be of central importance in shaping their agency. This article which is based on the research about women leaders in local governance in Kerala in 2005-10 explores the extent to which success in local governance allowed these women entry into politics and gave them a greater presence within the public life. Generally it is seen that successful women leaders are often the bearers of a specific form of power that has been historically associated with the deployment of sentiment and affect, and ideal femininity, and that such power is understood to be crucial to local governance as well. However, an entirely different picture emerged from this study on women leaders of urban governance. Besides gentle power, successful women attribute their success equally to knowledge - of official norms and procedures.

Third Assembly Elections in Uttarakhand

seats since the previous election. How- Third Assembly Elections Uever in terms of vote share, both the parties ended up adding votes. The in Uttarakhand Congress

Sixth Assembly Elections in Goa

failed to open its account. Five inde- Sixth Assembly Elections in Goa pendent candidates were elected to the Asingle day poll for 40 assembly seats in Goa was held on 3 March 2012. At nearly 83%, the voters

Tenth Assembly Elections in Manipur

vote share secured by all the PDF con sti- Tenth Assembly Elections tuents (MPP, RJD, NCP, JD(U) and CPI(M)) in Manipur Asingle day poll for 60 assembly seats in Manipur was held on 28 January 2012. This 10th general election to the State Legislative Assembly witnessed a lower turnout compared to previous elections. At 80%, the voters

Fourteenth Assembly Elections in Punjab

SPECIAL STATISTICS: 2012 STATE ELECTIONS SPECIAL STATISTICS: 2012 STATE ELECTIONS contestants, from 1,045 last time to 1,078 Fourteenth Assembly Elections candidates in this election (Table 1A). As always, the main contest in this in Punjab Aelection was between the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD+/ SAD-BJP) alliance and the Indian National single day poll to elect the 14th women voters at 79% exceeded that of Congress (INC/Congress) which contested Assembly in Punjab was held on men voters by 1 percentage point. There the elections on its own fi elding candi30 January 2012. The election was also an increase in the number of dates in all 117 seats. The Bahujan Samaj witnessed high participation. A record Table 1B: Summary Results: Seats Contested, Won and Votes Secured by Major Parties and Alliances, 79% of a total of 1,76,82,363 registered Compared to the Assembly Election (2007) Seats Seats Won Gain/Loss Vote Share Vote % Per Vote Swing voters turned out to vote, the highest Contested of Seats (%) Seat Contested since 2007ever, and up by 3 percentage points since since 2007 (% Points) the last assembly election. Turnout of Shiromani Akali Dal + (SAD+) 117 68 0 41.91 41.91 -3.46 Table 1A: Summary Electoral Participation: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) 94 56 +7 34.73 42.40 -2.36 Electorate, Turnout and Number of Candidates Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 23 12 -7 7.18 39.73 -1.10 Compared to the Assembly Election (2007) Indian National Congress (INC) 117 46 +2 40.09 40.09 -0.81 Assembly Election Change from

Human Resources in Health

A close look at the major recommendations on human resources in the report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India shows that most of them are timely and have been made in the right spirit. Some lacunae do exist, especially on medical education and specialisation. But the most important issue is whether the recommendations can and will be efficiently implemented to give shape to a non-competitive, high quality medical system that provides all possible preventive and curative services to every citizen in the country.

Thailand's Universal Health Coverage Scheme

Thailand achieved universal health coverage by 2002 with three public health insurance schemes covering the entire population. Of these, the Social Health Insurance scheme for private sector employees has been run on a capitation contract model since 1991. The Universal Coverage Scheme followed its example, with capitation payments for outpatient services and a global budget with diagnosis-related group-based payments for inpatient care. There are several arguments in favour of this closed-end payment system such as administrative simplicity, efficiency, prevention of supplier-induced demand and long-term cost containment.

Medicines for All

The recommendations on access to medicines, vaccines and technology made in the report of the Planning Commission's High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India are welcome and should go a long way towards rectifying many existing problems. Yet, it would have been reassuring if a few more details had been spelled out. Given the array of vested interests that stand to lose out if they are implemented, it also remains to be seen if they will be accepted in full.

A Limiting Perspective on Universal Coverage

The report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India reaffirms the principles of universality and equity in access to healthcare and the central role public services have to play in bringing this about. However, the HLEG pays inadequate attention to regulating the deeply entrenched private health sector, which is not only embedded within an intricate and interdependent web of power relations, but also has a marked influence on policy.

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