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

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Making Data Count

The Uncounted by Alex Cobham, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2020; pp 227, price not mentioned.

Reforming Public In-service Teacher Training Systems

The in-service teacher training provided in the public schooling system has often been criticised on grounds of both inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Two principles that can overcome these weaknesses are a “third-space” curriculum built around problem-solving practices of teachers and leveraging the adaptability of online mechanisms for professional development. We describe a large-scale experiment based on these principles. The main lesson is that our training establishments need to develop new technical and academic capabilities, or at least partner with institutions having the necessary expertise.

Managing Transition to a Low-carbon Electricity Mix in India

Demand for electricity in India is growing due to the increase in GDP and quality of life along with structural changes in the energy sector leading to the increase in the percentage share of electricity in the total final consumption of energy. Decarbonisation of the energy sector is a necessity, and it should be achieved without negatively affecting economic growth of the country. It can be best managed by having a diverse portfolio of technologies as diversity provides supply security, resilience, and hedging against price fluctuations. Therefore, all low-carbon technologies—hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind—should be exploited and provided with a level playing field.

Plantation Workers and the OSHWC Code, 2020

Welfare provisions for plantation workers in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 are subject to how respective state governments frame rules and can have wide variations too. A basic standard template from the central government would have been better, preventing wide variations, as well as ensuring a basic threshold. Further, there is a need to recognise the use of technology in ensuring better occupational safety and health outcomes.

Making Digital Financial Inclusion a Reality

Technology has had a disruptive effect on the delivery of fi nancial services, and adoption of digital solutions could help accelerate fi nancial inclusion. This article creates a road map for digital fi nancial inclusion in India using the framework based on the eight high-level principles of G-20 nations. While evaluating the progress under each one of these principles, the article concludes with policy recommendations both on supply and demand sides to achieve the coveted digital fi nancial inclusion.

We Need Teachers with Intellectual Humility

Teachers ought to be of flexible mind, recognising that there is no “final” conclusion in matters concerning teaching and learning.

Technology Diffusion and Competition in the Smartphone Industry

The fastest-growing technologically competitive industry, which was first revolutionised by Apple and later by Google’s Android platform is looked at. The credit for the growing competitiveness in this industry goes largely to the Android platform as it opened markets for existing, new, and low-cost manufacturers. This area of research is noteworthy, given the growing competitiveness, as it reflects the firms’ action in this industry associated with development that can provide a relative advantage for capturing the market share. The purpose of this article is to show how the technology diffusion leads to change in the market structure and strengthening of competition under incomplete market information.

‘Piloting’ Gender in the Indian Railways

Women loco-pilots in the Indian Railways, although few in number, face unique challenges as they negotiate with masculine forms of labour and technology in a male-dominated work environment. While, theoretically, they are treated at par with their male counterparts, new hierarchies are created on the job when they are expected to aspire to “masculine” standards of performance and discouraged from taking up the full range of tasks designated for loco-pilots. Thus, the entry of women in loco-piloting seems to reinforce its appearance as a masculine profession, and neither is the gendered nature of the system questioned, nor is it actively challenged.

Data Societies 2020: Demanding Accountability and Transparency from the State

A series of panel discussions titled Data Societies, organised by Economic and Political Weekly and the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, was held in Mumbai on 7 February 2020. This article summarises a few key points from the second panel discussion.

Have Uber and Ola Met Promises Made to Drivers and Commuters?

Workers' calls for governmental regulation on minimum wages and social security provisions for drivers continue to be sidestepped by Ola, Uber and other taxi aggregators.

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