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

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The Bru–Mizo Conflict in Mizoram

A response to the article “The Bru Conundrum in North East India” (EPW, 28 April 2018) by Roluahpuia presents the history of exclusion and oppression of the Brus in Mizoram, and suggests that they are the real victims in the state.

Thwarting Water Sector Reforms

A water bureaucrat’s response to the critique of the Mihir Shah Committee report by M Dinesh Kumar et al (“New ‘Water Management Paradigm’: Outdated Concepts?” EPW, 9 December 2017) contends that by opposing the much-needed restructuring of the central water agencies, Kumar et al want to preserve the status quo and derail the attempt to reform the water sector.

What Does CORE’s The Economy Offer Students and Teachers?

Responding to the special issue, “CORE’s Economics Textbook” (EPW, 16 June 2018), a teacher who has used the book in class explains why the book has proved useful in conveying concepts in economics and inculcating an interest in the study of social sciences at large. The Economy is not only a well-thought-out and ideologically eclectic textbook, but an interactive and dynamic teaching and learning tool that incorporates digital resources.

Faith, Heresy and Economic Theory

John Rapley’s recent book Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a Religion and How It All Went Wrong is a riveting tale of the development of economic thought. “This fundamental critique of economics,” writes Avinash Persaud in his review (“The Corruption of Economics,” EPW , 24 February 2018...

The Real Status of Rural Sanitation

A response to the article “Open Defecation in Rural India, 2015–16: Levels and Trends in NFHS–4” (EPW, 3 March 2018) points out that the NFHS–4 data on open defecation in rural India is neither the “best” nor is it “new.” Rural India is well on its way to becoming open defecation free before the proposed deadline of 2 October 2019.

Formalising the Informal

The article “Tech in Work: Organising Informal Work in India” (EPW, 20 May 2017) by Aditi Surie fails to critically examine the tall claims made by platform economy companies like Uber and Ola. A field study in Mumbai points towards the increasing precarity for drivers therein, in stark contrast to the claims of these companies of “formalising the taxi system,” instituting transparency and regulation, and creating the new category of “driver–entrepreneur.”

Solar Irrigation Cooperatives

This article challenges the analysis and arguments presented in Tushaar Shah et al (2017). It shows on the basis of empirical data that solar photovoltaic systems for well irrigation are economically unviable, and offering high capital subsidies for such systems and then guaranteeing a higher feed-in-tariff for the electricity produced than the market price would ruin the state electricity utilities and distort energy markets, while incentivising farmers to pump excess groundwater to raise water-inefficient crops and sell the excess water for a profit.

Need for Change in Forest Management and Silviculture

The special issue on the promise and performance of the Forest Rights Act (EPW, 24 June 2017) failed to explore the extent to which people’s livelihoods and incomes improved in the districts where the act has been implemented. Providing forest management and ownership rights to communities is not enough. The government should actively aid the livelihoods of forest dwellers through higher production of gatherable biomass, and enhanced opportunities for its collection and marketing.

Resistance to Reforms in Water Governance

This article provides a response to the critique of the Report Submitted by the Committee on Restructuring the CWC and CGWB, by M Dinesh Kumar et al (“New ‘Water Management Paradigm’: Outdated Concepts?” EPW, 9 December 2017). Their critique misrepresents what the report says, and is part of an ongoing attempt to thwart reforms in the governance of India’s water sector, which, in crucial respects, has remained unreformed for the last 70 years. Without these reforms, however, India’s water crisis will only deepen by the day.

Land Acquisition

This rejoinder to Dhanmanjiri Sathe’s article “Land Acquisition: Need for a Shift in Discourse?” (EPW, 17 December 2016) points to the mistaken logic of viewing land as a commodity and farmers as economic agents willing to give up their land for fair compensation, arguing that a settlement of the land question purely in market terms would be disastrous for a developing society struggling to address agrarian distress.

Cultural Capital, Reference Group, and Social Mobility in India

The article “Rags to Riches? Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in India” (EPW, 4 November 2017) by Iversen, Krishna and Sen examines intergenerational occupational mobility in India. This comment links this study with Krishna’s earlier contribution, “Making It in India: Examining Social Mobility in Three Walks of Life” (EPW, 7 December 2013), and interprets these works alongside Bourdieu’s (1986) and Merton’s (1949) established theories of social mobility.

New ‘Water Management Paradigm’

This article critiques theMihir Shah Committee report and the articles about it in this journal (24 December 2016). It says that although the report has intended to be an attempt at restructuring of water institutions, it has, unfortunately ended just as an exercise in restructuring “water organisations,” and its contents get reduced to a mere “preface” rather than a serious analytical attempt towards a practical approach to institutional restructuring in the water sector.

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