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

West BengalSubscribe to West Bengal

Measuring Social Capital

A framework for the measurement of social capital at the local level applied in four forest protection committees in Midnapore district of West Bengal shows that mere establishment of institutions is not a guarantee that localised natural resources will be managed in a sustainable manner. The process of social capital formation is important. Increase in social capital of an institution is important for the achievement of its objectives in a sustainable manner.

The Vernacular in Sports History

A study of sports history is crucial not only to understanding the evolving sporting heritage of a nation, but to appreciate seemingly unrelated political processes such as nationalism, colonial culture, etc. Moreover, vernacular sources present a fundamentally different understanding of history as this paper demonstrates in its study of Bengali tracts on sport which sheds light on imperialist-nationalist politics in late colonial Bengal.

Rural Health Care in West Bengal

Health care institutions in West Bengal are in a state of flux, with new privatisation initiatives proposed by the World Bank posing a direct contrast to still-existing not-for-profit, traditional health systems. This essay based on a field study in West Bengal's Birbhum district looks at the dichotomy that prevails in rural health care initiatives, the juxtaposition of private vs public health care systems, and probes the villagers' resistance to innovations and the enduring popularity of traditional institutions.

Movements from Below

Peasant Revolts and Democratic Struggles in India by Suprakash Roy (translated by Rita Banerjee); ICBS, Delhi, Calcutta, 1999; pp 238, Rs 250.

Women Second in the Land Agenda

This study on two districts of West Bengal focuses on the status of rural women, and their equal right to productive resources, especially land, keeping in view the fact that the implementation and scale of land reform in the state has surpassed that of any other in India. Given the overwhelming desire of the women to be considered as individuals above all other classifications, and for direct ownership of property, to be able to emerge from the shadows of dependence, much needs to be done in the legislative, executive and legal spheres to address the issues pertaining to women's rights.

Enrolment, Dropout and Grade Completion of Girl Children in West Bengal

This paper studies the impact of household demand factors on the school participation and performance in four villages and two urban wards of West Bengal. The aim of the study was to assess the relative importance of these factors on the schooling choices made for girl children. The results indicated that some of the strongest enabling factors with regard to girls' school participation and grade attainment were household resource factors such as parental, especially maternal schooling, father's occupation, and family income. Urban residence, as expected, had a strong positive association, and significant cohort effects were observed with regard to the schooling outcomes. A girl child's labour force participation significantly reduced the demand for schooling, and the amount of schooling obtained. Religion and caste factors emerged as important determinants of schooling, as well.

Education: Panchayat and Decentralisation

Since the 1950s, primary school education has seen a significant decline across certain regions of West Bengal. In this paper that focuses on three districts of the state, the sorry state of affairs that prevails in the panchayati system is largely to blame for the debacle. Panchayati raj institutions, instead of spearheading the decentralisation of the educational process, became a tool in the hands of the major political parties, which sought to implement populist policies like 'no detention' rather than bringing in a thorough revamp of the entire system.

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