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

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Labour of Children

Children’s Lifeworlds: Gender, Welfare and Labour in the Developing World by Olga Nieuwenhuys; Social Science Press, New Delhi, 1999; pp 228, Rs 425 (hardback).

India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Pact

The impact of the agreement to remove trade barriers and tariff walls between India and Sri Lanka on Kerala requires careful consideration as the state's production of cash crops has a significant overlap with Sri Lanka's major exports.

Recent Reforms in the Panchayat System in West Bengal

The experience of West Bengal under the panchayat system stands in sharp contrast with that of other states and, together with land reform, it has been credited for playing an important role in the impressive economic turnaround of the state since the mid 1980s. West Bengal is the first and the only major state to have had timely panchayat elections on a party basis regularly every five years since 1978. However, despite its pioneering status in terms of reforms of the panchayat system, West Bengal lags behind several other states today in terms of devolution of power, finances and functions to the panchayat. Also, the extent of people's participation in the planning process is significantly less compared to that in Kerala. This paper studies a particular component of a set of recently introduced reforms of the panchayat system in West Bengal that is aimed precisely at addressing this concern - the introduction of mandatory village constituency (gram sansad) meetings.

Panchayati Raj : Unnecessary Confusion

Out of plan funds devolved to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) in Kerala some amounts have been found to have been deposited with certain government institutions for works which the PRIs want them to take up in their areas. These institutions are government bodies such as the electricity board or the water authority. The PRIs in Kerala were doing this under direction from the state government. Now the making of these deposits has been objected to as a financial irregularity by the audit department.

Kerala - Aquarian Reforms: Will 'Actual' Fishermen Benefit?

The Kerala government's move to grant exclusive fishing rights in the common property fisheries will be economically unsound even if politically expedient. It is also likely to result in the elimination of many marginal and subsistence fishermen, who will be forced to sell their fishing rights to big business.

Matriliny and Women's Status

Matriliny Transformed: Family, Law and Ideology in Twentieth Century Travancore by K Saradamoni; Sage Publications India, New Delhi and AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, 1999; pp 177, map, index; Rs 32.5

Sexual Violence and Predicament of Feminist Politics in Kerala

In the run up to the assembly elections in Kerala, the Left government made pointed effort to focus on the women's issues especially in terms of their gains through such new initiatives as its decentralised development programme. On the other hand, it dithered in taking action on issues that were agitating women across the state as for instance on the several incidents of sexual violence all of which involved directly or indirectly the use of political clout against women. This essay is a beginning towards understanding the 'possibilities' of autonomous feminist politics in the state and emerging Left perspectives on women's issues, specifically in the context of the issue of the agitation around the cases of sexual harassment.

Government Health Services in Kerala

One of the reasons cited to justify government intervention in health care is to correct the inequities in service provision that might arise if services are provided by private sector. But in practice government decisions are taken by a few individuals and groups and these decisions might reflect their interests than that of the community. The paper examines the role government provision of health services has historically played in Kerala

Kerala - Grasim: Polluter Does Not Pay

The Grasim Industries unit, long tagged the "most pollutant industry in Kerala", has shut shop without paying compensation for the damage it inflicted on the environment. There is also resentment among the workers on the severance package offered, and the lack of social amenities at their workplace.

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