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

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Myths and Realities of Child Nutrition

In his article Arvind Panagariya argues that (a) the prevailing narrative of child malnutrition being worse in India “than nearly all Sub-Saharan African countries with lower per capita incomes” is false, (b) that this notion is an “artefact of a faulty methodology”, and (c) that the nutrition...

Methodologically Deficient, Ignorant of Prior Research

Are Indian statistics on the extent of under-nutrition exaggerated and based on faulty yardsticks? Is there a case for moving away from the World Health Organisation standards? Can "genetics" really explain the low heights and weights among Indian children? Is it a puzzle and does it say something about the Indian estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa shows lower levels of under-nutrition than India though the former suffers from higher infant mortality? A set of six articles addresses these and many other questions in the light of the arguments presented in the paper "Does India Really Suffer from Worse Child Malnutrition Than Sub-Saharan Africa?" by Arvind Panagariya (EPW, 4 May 2013). The articles also critically comment on the methodology, analysis and findings of the paper.

Stunting among Children

Indian children are very short, on average, compared with children living in other countries. Because height reflects early life health and net nutrition, and because good early life health also helps brains to grow and capabilities to develop, widespread growth faltering is a human development...

Reconstructing Facts in Bt Cotton

The case that the "triumph narrative" of Bt cotton in India comes mainly from economists, the biotech industry and their academic allies is a difficult one to sustain when dozens of studies show the positive effects of insect resistance in Bt cotton. Yields are driven by numerous factors, and there will be variance - field-to-field, season-to-season. Despite this, Bt cotton has been agro-economically successful because of the lower cost of production per unit and thus higher net returns - facts that are consistent with the near universal adoption of Bt technology by farmers.

Bt Cotton Yields and Performance

This article rebuts the argument that shortcomings in Bt cotton studies and divergence between yield gains and extent of adoption of Bt hybrids make it impossible to conclusively say anything about the impact of genetically modifi ed seeds. Further, it points out that there have been numerous studies that have controlled for selection and cultivation bias, and concluded that Bt cotton has had statistically significant positive yield effects.

United Front of the Oppressed

Bernard D’Mello’s clinical analysis of India’s “rotten liberal political democracy” from the perspective and standpoint of the oppressed and exploited “underclass” compels him to focus attention on the reasons for the continuation, survival and “stability of this form of democracy”, and on the goal...

Kashmir: A Tale of Two Communities, Cloven

Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal's review ("A Moon of Many Shades", 27 April 2013) of Rahul Pandita's book, Our Moon Has Blood Clots, led to responses from Pandita ("Selective Memory, Collective Amnesia", 1 June 2013) and Sualeh Keen ("Inconvenient People", 8 June 2013). Two more articles engage with the contentious issue of the migration/exile of Kashmiri Pandits in early 1990 and the responsibility for the same, which this discussion has opened up.

'Insulting Facts With Fiction to Suit One's Narrative'

The other day an acquaintance from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district wanted to know my opinion on the issue of “migration” of Kashmiri Pandits in the early 1990s. He asked about my view through Facebook chat – the preferred communication tool in today’s age of information and technology – and I...

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