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

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Progressiveness of Finance Commission

The implications of the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission on finances of Bihar as a result of changes in the tied, untied and overall union devolution are identified. The data reveals that there is an increase in tax devolution, but its share in grants, plan and non-plan, has come down drastically, hardly reflecting any increase in the total resources transferred. In reality, there has been a decrease of 1.3 percentage points in the share of tax devolution for Bihar between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Finance Commissions. Along with the revenue loss due to liquor ban, this loss has huge financial implications for Bihar’s exchequer.

Kashmir after Article 370

The abrogation of Article 370, after a year, continues to elude democratic experience and aspirations.

Strange Alliances

Shankar Gopal, in ‘American AntiGlobalisation Movement’ (EPW, August 25-31), forcefully argues that American groups protesting in Seattle in 1999 often ignored the concerns of developing nations about the inclusion of a labour rights ‘social clause’ in trade agreements. Too often, concerns of economic protectionism expressed by developing nations’ governments and trade unions were dismissed as elite driven and overly nationalistic. No doubt this is true. At the same time, however, I believe that activists and scholars in the developing world who are engaged with these issues also need to question their own assumptions about the motivations behind western support for a social clause. By sticking firmly to conventional wisdom (on both sides), unintended and strange political alliances are formed that cannot be helpful for workers. Instead, a new international dialogue needs to take place about how trade might be used to improve the lives of workers everywhere.

Anthropological Perspectives on Prostitution and AIDS in India

Increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS across wider sections of the Indian society has focused attention on particularly vulnerable groups, such as sex workers. Thus far, attempts to rehabilitate and to arouse social awareness have been sporadic and isolated. This paper argues for the need to evoke a wider awareness by looking to the historical circumstances surrounding prostitution and argues for a multi-pronged effort to combat HIV/AIDS.
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