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

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The Story of a Peasant Struggle in Jiwandesar, Rajasthan

Farmers of Jiwandesar, a village in Rajasthan have waged a struggle for the past two and half decades for getting irrigation water from Gang canal. However, due to the larger political economy of the region where large and influential farmers resist any cutback in their water allowances from the Gang canal and the inert attitude of successive state governments which do not want to antagonise the large farmers’ lobby, the struggle of has not led to a fruition.

Decoding Ayushman Bharat

The challenges before the components of Ayushman Bharat, the (ir)rationality behind raising the insurance coverage manifold are highlighted, a political economy narrative of the changing health financing scenario is drawn, and how the design of Ayushman Bharat will feed into executing the proposed public–private partnership model in public facilities and facilitate the strategic purchasing agenda of the National Health Policy is examined. Ayushman Bharat is a step towards creating a system that would facilitate in relinquishing public funds and public institutions to already dominant private players, which will have serious implications for the healthcare delivery system in India.

Persistent Fiscal Deficits and Political Economy Transitions in India

The Indian economy has been suffering from a persistent fiscal deficit for the last four decades. With the transition to coalition politics in the 1980s, the country’s political economy characteristics have significantly affected its fiscal policies and outcomes, but this has received scant attention in the literature. The impact of macroeconomic and political economy factors on India’s fiscal deficit between 1978–79 and 2016–17—a period when the country witnessed simultaneous economic and political structural transformations—has been investigated in this study. It finds evidence of a close link between electoral cycles and fiscal populism and between government fragmentation and fiscal profligacy. Additionally, it finds that a strong opposition does not necessarily mitigate the fiscal populism of incumbent governments.

Speaking Truth to Power

A fellow economist reminisces about the personality traits and contributions of Ashok Mitra, a towering intellectual of his time, thereby revealing his powerful and multifaceted persona.

Problems of Market Economy

Economic Challenges for the Contemporary World: Essays in Honour of Prabhat Patnaik edited by Mausumi Das, Sabyasachi Kar and Nandan Nawn, New Delhi: Sage, 2016; pp 324+xvii, ₹1,195.

Political Economy of US-Pakistan Relations

Hamza Alavi, in this journal, offered the most pronounced presentation of US-Pakistan relations in terms of a patron-client model. In an attempt to further the understanding, it is noted that Alavi discounted the role of the internal political economy of Pakistan. The canonical patron-client formulation is scrutinised to reformulate the role of Pakistan as an "estranged client." The attempt is to internalise the interplay of the geostrategic and political-economy interests of the Pakistani military in US-Pakistan relations.

The Political Economy of Drug Quality

This paper presents an analysis of the political economy forces underlying the new conceptualisation of drug quality in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, consequent upon the process of globalisation and liberalisation and a stricter IPR regime. It examines how these forces have shaped the increasingly complex construction of drug quality, both globally and in India. It also comes up with a comprehensive multidimensional definition of drug quality incorporating a range of parameters.

Political Economy of National Security

This paper highlights the high cost of military security in Pakistan over the past 20 years. With the single agenda of its policy-makers being to neutralise India's military might, defence spending has always got a higher priority than development expenditure. More importantly, the military has had a major role in the division of national resources. The military's role as the key player in power politics and decision-making has allowed it to take a major chunk of the financial pie.

D R Gadgil on Political Economy of Planning

This essay deals, selectively, with the political economy aspects of D R Gadgil's ideas on planning. The focus is on how Gadgil looked at some of the issues that continue to engage us today, namely, the roles of the state, the domestic private sector and foreign capital against a background of severe socio-economic inequalities and unemployment.

A Political Economy of Education in India - II

The paper explores the political economy factors that influenced the evolution of educational institutions and shaped the legislation that now governs the education sector in UP. The study focuses on the extent of and reasons for teachers' participation in politics, the evolution and activities of their unions, the size of their representation in the state legislature and the link between these and other factors such as the enactment of particular education acts in UP, teacher salaries and appointments, and the extent of centralisation in the management of schools. It attempts to draw out implications for the functioning of schools. The first part of this paper looked at the role of teacher's associations and their evolution as a powerful political pressure group in UP. The second part now analyses the impact the teacher's associations have had on the system of finances in UP, and its impact on general educational levels in the state. Even as strikes, demonstrations, sit-ins in support of more emoluments and benefits have become powerful tools in the hands of these associations, schools see a large degree of absenteeism and apathy towards students, while the state government remains unable to meet non-salary expenditure. [The paper has been published in two parts, this being the second part. The first part appeared last week.]

A Political Economy of Education in India - I

The paper explores the political economy factors that influenced the evolution of educational institutions and shaped the legislation that now governs the education sector in UP. The study focuses on the extent of and reasons for teachers' participation in politics, the evolution and activities of their unions, the size of their representation in the state legislature and the link between these and other factors such as the enactment of particular education acts in UP, teacher salaries and appointments, and the extent of centralisation in the management of schools. It attempts to draw out implications for the functioning of schools. [The paper is published in two parts, this being the first part.]

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