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

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Impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs

Micro, small, and medium enterprises contribute a third of India’s gross domestic product and provide employment to over 110 million workers. Using a mixed methods design to ascertain the level of sectoral distress at the peak of the nationwide lockdown in May 2020, we found production falling from an average of 75% of capacity to just 13%. On an average, firms retained only 44% of their workforce, and 69% of firms reported inability to survive longer than three months. Distress measures were more severe for smaller firms by employment size.

Research Radio Ep 12: How Effective are Institutions for Climate Policy in India?

In this episode, we speak to Navroz K Dubash and Shibani Ghosh about the effectiveness of Indian institutions and policies to address the global environmental crises.

Demographic and Health Diversity in the Era of SDGs

Despite the progress achieved in demographic and health-related indicators, achieving targets in the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 remains a demanding task. This study acts as a perfect benchmark for monitoring several demographics and health-related indicators in the era of the SDGs. There is a need to advance the right sources of data and cutting-edge tools for measuring and monitoring progress. The efforts to reduce regional disparities in demographic and health-related indicators are hindered by the lack of adequate funding to the programmes and the absence of reliable micro-level evidence-based policy.

Interpretations and Implications of Increasing Obesity in India

The National Family Health Survey-3 and 4 data show that in the past 10 years, overweight/obesity among women in terms of Body Mass Index has increased quite sharply. In the Indian context, undernutrition and obesity are not separate problems. A large proportion of overweight/obese women are undernourished, with small stature, food transition towards more fats and increasingly sedentary lifestyles making them vulnerable towards being overweight/obese. More diversified diet reduces the risk of overweight/obesity. It is suggested that adequate and good quality diversified diets need to be ensured for comprehensive energy and nutrient adequacy. This requires an overhaul of India’s food programmes.

A Novel Approach to Understanding Delhi’s Complex Air Pollution Problem

With rising concerns about the steep increase in air pollution in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, several factors—particularly motorised transportation, construction, and stubble burning in neighbouring states—are being identified as contributing to this hazard. However, in order to make effective policy decisions, there is a need for a holistic approach that identifies the root causes of the problem. The use of system dynamics simulation offers a novel systems thinking approach to understand Delhi’s air pollution, taking into account the dynamic nature of the air pollution system as well as the complex interdependencies among the various factors and sources of air pollution.

Policy and Regulatory Changes in Teacher Education in India: Concerns, Debates and Contestations

The article reviews and discusses policy and regulatory changes or reforms in teacher education in India that have taken place in the last one decade, arguing that it is a highly contested arena in India that is closely tied with the way the academic networks and coalitions operate in the field.

The Political Future of Childhood Studies

​ Childhoods in India: Traditions, Trends and Transformations by T S Saraswathi ,Shailaja Menon and Ankur Madan, London: Routledge, 2018; pp 450, ₹1,395.

‘Surgical Strikes’ on Policies of Liberalisation

A response to Amit Bhaduri’s article titled “Danger Zones of High Economic Growth” (EPW, 22 October 2016). Important questions of policy and economic understanding are raised.

Migrant Crisis in Kerala

The Kerala government is under pressure to enforce action to deal with the rising migrant population in the state after the arrest of a migrant labourer as the suspect of rape and murder of Jisha, a Dalit law student. Keeping track of the migrant population in the absence of an identification database would violate the constitutional provisions of the right to work. By launching an insurance scheme to incentivise migrants to voluntarily register themselves, the government is planning to track migrant workers. Profiling by the state, even under the garb of welfare schemes, will further justify the existing middle-class ire against domestic and regional migrant labour.

School Education

The proposed National Policy on Education 2016 has important implications with respect to school education in India. While acknowledging some of its positive features, attention must be focused on objectives of education as espoused in the policy: key amendments suggested in the Right to Education Act, 2009; position and importance of Early Childhood Care and Education and reforms proposed in the curriculum and assessment practices in schools.

A Half-baked Attempt at Revamping Environmental Law

The Environment Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 is a major policy attempt to make structural changes in environmental governance. But the bill fails in bringing any change to the institutional mechanism for enforcement of the law. Moreover, the bill attempts to introduce a monetary penalty for environmental damages, which is not in consonance with the well-established polluter pays principle.

Evolution of Institutions for Climate Policy in India

The growing focus on climate policy in India is not matched by an equivalent level of attention to institutions . Effective institutions are also needed for the design, coordination and implementation of policy. This paper examines the functioning of institutions, organised around three periods: pre-2007; 2007 to 2009 and 2010 to mid-2014. Several key themes emerge: First, the formation of climate institutions has often been ad hoc and is inadequately geared to India's co-benefits based approach to climate policy. Second, there is a lack of continuity in institutions, once established. Third, coordination across government has been uneven and episodic. Fourth, while various efforts at knowledge generation have been attempted, they do not add up to a mechanism for sustained and consistent strategic thinking on climate change. Fifth, the overall capacity within government remains limited. Sixth, capacity shortfalls are exacerbated by closed structures of governance that only partially draw on external expertise.

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