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

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Incongruence between Announcements and Allocations

A scrutiny of the Indian economy and the state of public finances reveals that while there are a few areas of improvement under the current government, the economy remains fragile and, worryingly, the situation has worsened in some other respects. It was hoped that the Union Budget 2018–19 would take measures to address some of these concerns but these expectations have been belied. Budget 2018–19, possibly with an eye on elections, has made grand announcements instead of taking hard decisions and making adequate allocations towards key sectors of the economy.

Analysing Coalition Politics through a Narrative Lens

Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India by Sanjay Ruparelia; New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015; pp 520, ₹995.

Voices of Dissent

Words Matter: Writings against Silence edited and introduced by K Satchidanandan, Gurgaon: Penguin Books India, 2016; pp 260, ₹399.

Left Front Victory in Kerala

Political conditions under the Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala provided considerable opportunities for both the Left Democratic Front and the National Democratic Alliance to muster people's support on a number of issues ranging from rampant corruption to social conditions of women and marginalised communities. While the LDF effectively reaped the windfall of several graft cases in which many ministers as well as the personal staff of the chief minister's office were directly or indirectly involved, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA has steadily succeeded in making inroads into the support base of both the fronts, as well as among new voters, though the party won just one seat.

Is NITI Aayog Even Thinking about Health?

The NITI Aayog has effectively stalled the finalisation and tabling of the National Health Policy 2015 in Parliament. The document, including the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare's report, should be revived to put forth a concrete plan for transforming the healthcare system in India.

From LPG Connections to Use

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, to provide concessional LPG connections, is a step in the right direction but much more needs to be done by 2019 and beyond to ensure homes in India cook using modern fuels. This article explores the issues of providing connections, subsidy provisioning and ensuring sustained use of LPG and other modern fuels, so as to displace solid fuels from Indian kitchens. It also highlights the need for planning for increased demand and addressing institutional gaps to ensure that the benefits of modern fuel adoption, especially health benefits, are realised.

Prospects of Peace in Assam

ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia’s extradition and release seems like a careful electoral strategy in a poll-bound state. His release may have a moral impact on the peace talks, though the strategic gains could be minimal.

BJP: Without Direction

If indeed the BJP had held back its full approval for the prime minister’s invitation to Pakistan’s president Musharraf and for the Agra summit, there was little evidence of self-congratulation over the failure of the summit at the national executive meeting of the party. However, the resolution on the matter typically displayed no hesitancy about apportioning blame and there appears to have been some satisfaction about having ‘done our best’. Whether this nonchalance is sufficient backing for future forays into India-Pakistan parleys, remains to be seen.

NDA: Electoral Performance and Future Strategies

The BJP finds itself in a serious bind as the UP elections approach. Should it take up the temple issue, as advocated by certain hardcore elements, it might risk losing the support of key allies at the centre. On the other hand, for the BJP to win the elections on its own looks increasingly onerous.
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