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

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Unpacking the Black Box of Urban Governance in India

Governing Locally: Institutions, Policies and Implementation in Indian Cities by Babu Jacob and Suraj Jacob , Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2021; pp xxv + 293, $110 (hardback) .

Adaptation and Political Ecology

The discourse on environmental sustainability and political ecology raises several questions on material inequality, poverty, increasing population and disproportionate allocation of resources, but we often overlook the critical question of what we need to sustain and to what extent? The lack of financial resources and its constant interplay with the developmental goals of the states have created economic uncertainties and provided us with a solid rationale to not act on curtailing carbon emissions. However, the relevance of ecological sustainability compels us to move beyond the instrumental reasoning of materialistic economic goals and strengthen the discourse on prioritising the subsistence rights of poor and marginalised societies. There is no doubt that the unprecedented vulnerability and inadequate coping capacity of least developed nations cause massive damage and hinder the prospects for risk aversion strategies simply because they cannot bear the cost of implementing adaptation policies.

Exploring Conflicts in Development: A Socio-Economic Perspective to the Major Forms of Land Dispossession in Post-Colonial India

This article introduces the problems caused by development projects (the major forms include hydel power, extractive mining, industrial development, and, currently, the special economic zones) in India. It seeks to explore the process of land appropriation, dispossession, and displacement faced by the poor and marginalised groups (Dalits and Adivasis) of the Indian society. This article is an effort to explore the historical cycles of displacement caused by such projects since independence and the active role of the government in addressing these scenarios. It further provides an overview of the various scholarly literature actively involved in this subject and how these projects ultimately lead to further marginalisation of the marginalised in the name of development.

‘Fixing’ the River: Political Ecology of Changing Water Flows and Infrastructuring along the Godavari Riverscape in Nashik

Technocratic managerialism has a long legacy of infrastructuring the Godavari river to maintain the hydraulic order of Nashik city. The implementation of hard infrastructures in the riverscape has been the dominant governmentality in the city. As the city started expanding and began to spatially fix itself with more permanent roads, housing complexes, and other public infrastructures, the moments of overflow and no flow of water in the river flood and drought became incongruous with Nashik’s emerging modern urban life. In other words, they became disruptions giving rise to the need to fix the...

Making Sense of the Manipur Assembly Election Results

It is argued that it would be naïve to explain the Bharatiya Janata Party’s success as a wholehearted endorsement of its Hindutva agenda as there are substantial local reservations on this. Unlike Uttar Pradesh or other parts of North India where it aggressively pushed its Hindutva agenda, the BJP knows the limitation of this agenda and has instead used a combination of strategies like the promise of development and peaceful settlement of armed conflicts. These electoral strategies intersect with and are driven by a set of factors that, in turn, determine the BJP’s success: first, the increasing electoral insignificance of the Congress, and second, the continuing salience of complex and cross-cutting social cleavages.

A Perspective on ‘Modern Development Economics’

Development, Distribution, and Markets edited by Kaushik Basu, Maitreesh Ghatak, Kenneth Kletzer, Sudipto Mundle and Eric Veerhoogen, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2021; pp vii + 328, ` 1,495.

Urban History of Atmospheric Modernity in Colonial India

Dust and Smoke: Air Pollution and Colonial Urbanism, India, c1860–c1940 by Awadhendra Sharan , Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2020; pp xxiv + 319, ` 895.

Population, Health Status, and the Sustainable Development Goals

The fact sheets with key results of the National Family Health Survey-5, conducted in 2019–21, from 36 states/union territories were released recently by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In this article, the authors highlight the emerging population and health issues from the NFHS-5 to monitor the country’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the key policy issues to strengthen the population and health programmes in the country.

Sustainable Development Goals

The article notes that the north-eastern states have taken many initiatives to implement and localise the Sustainable Development Goals. But achieving the targets require a multipronged approach, concerted and coordinated efforts, and focus on sectors where the region has inherent advantages. Unfortunately, the pandemic has cast some doubts on the feasibility of achieving the goals as per the original timelines.

Revamped Poverty Estimates

The widening poverty within and across the region and states demands reorganisation of development priority.

Regional Variations in Multidimensional Poverty

Regional variations in multidimensional poverty and inequality are analysed for the two different administrative regions of Tripura—village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council and gram panchayats under the panchayati raj institutions—using a primary survey. Special emphasis is laid on the deprivations of households with regard to health, education, and the standard of living across these two administrative regions as well as the rural development blocks. The level of multidimensional poverty and incidence appears to be higher in village committees than gram panchayats even though the average deprivation among the poor is around 40% for both the areas with robust between-group inequality.

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