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

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Gender Budgeting for Sustainable Development in India

The fifth Sustainable Development Goal mandates that India close its gender gap by 2030. An evaluation of gender budgeting as a whole and a diverse range of gender-sensitive interventions under the same (2005–06 to 2020–21) reveals severe shortcomings. First, a low and declining trend has been found in the shares of gender budgeting to total government expenditure, and women-specific schemes to total funds for gender budgeting. Second, the allocation of total funds for various schemes is either stagnating or declining, with some having received no funds over the last two consecutive years. Problems of design too persist, all contributing to a significant gender gap for Indian women vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

Waste Management and Cleanliness in Cities

The paper compares solid waste management revenue expenditure of 27 cities with the performance outcomes on cleanliness as measured by the Swachh Survekshan survey. Nineteen out of 27 cities spend more than the benchmark, yet none have an expected perfect score. While spending has a significantly positive impact on cleanliness, it explains only 23% of the variation.

Writing Histories of Regions in Premodern India

The Making of Regions in Indian History: Society, State and Identity in Premodern Odisha by Bhairabi Prasad Sahu, Delhi: Primus Books, 2020; pp xvi + 274, ₹ 1,095.

Territory as Political Technology

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir marks an important moment to reflect on how imagined territories determine everyday life as well as shape political realities.

Export-induced Loss in Employment and Earnings during the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented exogenous shock in the world economy unlike the global financial crisis in 2008, which was endogenously determined in the structure of capitalist financial market. Given the fact that Indian export sector significantly contributes to the Indian economy in general and employment in particular, it is worth examining how the Indian gross domestic product and exports changed in comparison with the world GDP and world exports respectively, in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–21 vis-à-vis the GFC in 2008. Which industries are affected the most, in terms of export loss, during this COVID-19 crisis? What have been the consequences of these falling export on employment and earnings in the Indian export sector? This study estimates that in the COVID-19 year 2020–21, Indian exports have fallen by `3.74 lakh crore, with a plausible loss of direct employment by 5.06 lakh and an estimated loss of earnings around `12.4 thousand crore across 85 commodities.

Is Contraceptive Prevalence Declining in India?

This study investigates the quality of the National Family Health Survey-4 data on contraceptive use by estimating investigator-induced bias. An outlier-bound approach was used to detect investigator bias, and contraceptive use was re-estimated adjusting for the bias in six study states. The findings suggest investigator bias at two levels: over-reporting of women as “never users” of contraception and a tendency to report sterilised women as current non-users and as cases of hysterectomy. Re-estimation of contraceptive use confirmed a declining trend in contraceptive prevalence in four study states. While the effect of the bias was moderate at the state level, it can potentially distort district-level estimates to a great extent.

Finding Economics in Small Things

The Economics of Small Things by Sudipta Sarangi, Penguin Random House India, 2020; pp 296, ₹ 225 .

The Pandemic and Its Discontents in India

India and the Pandemic: The First Year, Essays from The India Forum by The India Forum, 2021; Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan; pp xvii + 335, ` 695.

Fifteenth Finance Commission Recommendations

While trying to balance the competing demands from the union and the states, the Fifteenth Finance Commission has done a commendable job, but has also sacrificed objectivity at times.

Burgeoning Edible Oil Imports and Price Shock(s)

The ever-increasing import bill of edible oil has become a chronic problem for India with edible oil being the third largest among imported goods in India, next only to crude oil and gold. There are structural issues in production, productivity, and trade of edible oils. These energy-rich crops are grown in energy-starved conditions where more than 70% of the area under cultivation is rain-fed and often cultivated with low-quality seeds in a fragmented landholding and outdated agri-management practices. It further studies the trade liberalisation measures of a liberal trade policy regime, lower import duties, duty-exemptions under free trade agreements, and changes that India has witnessed in consumption as well as retail of edible oil.

Quad and Quasi-alignment with the United States

The long-term costs of quasi-alignment with the United States need to be assessed by the Government of India.

The Need to Overhaul Wasteland Classification Systems in India

The term “wastelands” originates from land governance systems in the colonial period, and it has been criticised in academia and conservation for being ecologically flawed. Although wastelands have been redefined in the post-independence period, there has been little change in the assumption that they were unproductive, degraded, and in need of external intervention for improvement. The eradication of the term “waste” and a thorough revision of the wastelands atlas, which can then meaningfully address national and global targets of sustainable development, are argued for here. This article weaves together historical contexts around wastelands and proposes a new approach for their mapping.

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