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

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Russia and the East

We Shall be Masters, Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin by Chris Miller, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2021; pp 384, $29.95 (hardcover).

 

Reservations: ​A Project of Nation-building

The history of reservations in India shows that it was an outcome of a long process of struggle to gain recognition and representation for the minorities, especially Dalits. It also shows that the Dalits as an important third force in politics, apart from the Hindus and Muslims, had to compromise and even sacrifice their legitimate demands in this process. Any tinkering with reservations, therefore, is in bad faith and an assault to the Indian nationhood.

 

Rural–Urban Linkages in Bihar

The growth of the manufacturing sector is important for employing a growing labour force and much is also dependent on their skill level. Enterprise surveys in six sample towns of Bihar, a state characterised by slow industrialisation and urbanisation, find evidence of fairly strong rural–urban linkages for manufacturing enterprises. Although the linkages indicate that the manufacturing sector has the maximum potential to create employment by absorbing the surplus labour in the rural areas, it was found that this sector has been languishing in the sample towns. The findings also flag the challenges and areas of growth for industries.

 

Acquiring Land in India

The Political Economy of Land Acquisition in India: How a Village Stops Being One by Dhanmanjiri Sathe, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan (Imprint by Springer Nature), 2017; pp xvi + 204, price not indicated.

Economic Impact of COVID-19-induced Lockdown on Rural Households

Through a series of data visualisations, the article attempts to illustrate the economic repercussions of the COVID-19-induced lockdown of 2020 on rural households. It focuses on how consumption, labour and income, healthcare, access to relief programmes and migration were effected by the lockdown in six major states.

 

Container Crisis and High Freight Costs

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent worldwide lockdown(s) have adversely affected the functioning of global supply chains. The restrictions on navigation of vessels across the global supply chains resulted in acute shortages of the containers, subsequently escalating ocean freight rates. High freight rates have severely affected India’s exports competitiveness in the global markets. The crisis has exposed the lacklustre approach of the government in dealing with container shortages, leading to skyrocketing freight rates.

 

Pandemic and the Patent System

This article discusses the patent system in the context of the current pandemic. It suggests that the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and the TRIPS-compliant Indian Patent Law could be used to either grant compulsory licences or they could go by the provision that allows the government to use the patent. The road block seems to be the technological capabilities than the patent system itself.

The Hunger Conundrum

India has to accelerate efforts to improve the nutrition levels of the population.

 

NEP 2020 and the Language-in-Education Policy in India

The National Education Policy of India 2020 is a significant policy document laying the national-level strategy for the new millennium. It is ambitious and claims universal access to quality education as its key aim, keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030. One of the highlights of the NEP is its emphasis on mother tongue education at the primary levels in both state- and privately owned schools. The present paper critically assesses the NEP 2020, primarily in relation to the language-in-education policy. The paper argues that it presents a “contradiction of intentions,” aspiring towards inclusion of the historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups on the one hand, while practising a policy of aggressive privatisation and disinvestment in public education on the other.

 

COVID-19 Economic Stimulus and State-level Performance of Power Distribution Companies

As part of the COVID-19 economic stimulus package, the Government of India increased the borrowing limit of the states from 3% to 5% of the gross state domestic product. The power sector reform at the state level is one of the criteria to avail this extra borrowing. The efficiency parameters of the power sector are analysed here, and it is observed that there are statewise differentials in the financial and operational parameters. The average aggregate technical and commercial losses that should have been 15% by 2018–19, presently, on average, stand at 26.15%. The average cost of supply–average revenue realised has also widened. The operational parameters indicate widening inefficiencies across states in the power infrastructure.

 

Insanity and Colonial Knowledge

The social historiography of the Tezpur Lunatic Asylum can bring interesting new dimensions and debates to critically enquire the history of psychiatry and medicine under colonialism. From the colonial medical records, the article refers to the notion of “madness” and its variants. It emphasises on the social history of the TLA, which occupies a space between knowledge and power under colonial domination. It also critiques the power relations, while categorising the “insane” and bureaucratic involvement during such report writing processes.

 

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