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

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National Health Policy, 2017

The National Health Policy, 2017 reflects the perfunctory attitude towards public health, so deeply entrenched among the mandarins of the health ministry. The policy paves the way for the contraction of public healthcare systems, thereby reducing the government’s involvement in the delivery of health services, and facilitates the dominance of the private sector in curative care. However, in the absence of a robust public healthcare system, the goal of achieving “healthcare for all” becomes even more onerous.

Forest Shrines and Sacred Groves

The article delineates the life-affirming values of caring for the earth among the Kodavas in Kodagu district, Karnataka. It argues that the coffee economy under colonial rule depleted the forestland, a trend exacerbated by the post-independence economic and forest policies. The full impact of these policies are apparent from the growing conflict in the area between wild elephants and humans.

Genealogies of Nagaland’s ‘Tribal Democracy’

Compared to the bulky literature on caste and democracy, we still know little about the form and functioning of democratic politics amongst tribes. This is a serious lacuna, one which, at the level of sociology, impedes the kind of careful comparison that has long proven fruitful to capture the inner logic and intricacies of social life. If caste is deemed central to any understanding of contemporary Indian politics, what about those states and constituencies in which tribes preponderate numerically?

Legal Violence and Its Unacknowledged Terrain in Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court

A critical take on the film, Court, with respect to the legal discourse through which it weaves its narrative of the failure of legal activism. The film is critiqued through a particular branch of critical legal scholarship that associates the activities of the lawyer or legal activist with that of the translator or the interpreter. As activities pertaining to justice and the survival of human beings, acts of misreading and mistranslation are therefore not innocent or incidental to the legal process or legal activism.

Penalising Poverty

The unconstitutional Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959 criminalises begging and targets people for being homeless or unemployed despite “the relief of the disabled and unemployable” being a state responsibility. The state penalises the poor for being poor. Instead, it must identify and understand the reasons that lead people towards begging and alter laws and policies to provide for structures and an institutional framework that build people’s capacities to move out of destitution. Myths around begging must be broken to effect a change in perceptions and attitudes to achieve this end.

Japanese Occupation of Nicobar Islands

Primarily based on archival research, especially an unpublished diary of Nicobarese stalwart leader John Richardson, this article gives a glimpse of the sufferings that the Nicobarese endured under the Japanese colonial regime during World War II. The regime exposed the indigenes to war, slavery, torture, and executions. At the same time it engendered leadership in the Nicobar Islands which consolidated these historically isolated people into a community and ended their prolonged economic and sexual exploitation.

Some Issues in External Sector Management

The Indian external sector has undergone radical changes post 1992. Against this background, an attempt is made to look at the role of the exchange rate, level of current account deficit, adequacy of foreign exchange reserves and capital flows, and capital account convertibility. The balance of payments in India has been managed well so far. There is a need to increase export competitiveness, which requires among other things an efficient, well-knit infrastructure. To prevent a rise in the real effective exchange rate, we should keep domestic prices stable. The surpluses in the services sector will also need nurturing.

Himalayas in the Western Mind’s Eye

Disillusioned with developments in the West, counter-culturists looked to the Himalayas as the (hoped for) last bastion of pre-industrial human wisdom and dignity. From the Tibetan “Great White Brotherhood” of Helena Blavatsky’s Theosophy, to Hilton’s Lost Horizon and “Shangri-La,” to the 1950s yeti-hunting craze, to today’s dharma tourists, Westerners have sought elusive “missing links” between themselves and their (imagined) pasts that might still exist in the world’s most remote terra incognita.

Puzzle of Indian Urbanisation

In India, unlike other countries, migration started to decelerate when the urban population was well below a quarter of the total population. This principal puzzle contains within it other intriguing issues, including, for instance, why more Indians do not migrate voluntarily in response to the growing divergence in economic opportunities between rural and urban areas. There may be better explanations for our low migration rates than wage differentials.

A Village in the Midst of a Forest Ecosystem

Settled villages on the fringes of a national park earn their livelihood not only from collecting forest produce but also from agriculture within the forest ecosystem. However, this relationship between the settlers and the forest is constantly mediated by institutions such as the state and the market. The settlers have to contend with risks of rain-fed agriculture, depredations from wild animals, and also with the forest establishment, which is mostly hostile to cultivation. This article attempts to show the complex relationship between the forest and the people living in it.

Crisis in Indian Agriculture

The crisis in Indian agriculture, which has been building up for decades, is not one of declining profitability but of non-viability of the bulk of landholdings. The number of these holdings is fast increasing, and even the extent of non-viable land in the total cultivable area is expanding. Merely boosting the productivity of smallholdings is not sufficient, and their non-viability hinders capital formation in agriculture. The main reason behind the crisis is that employment opportunities in non-agricultural sectors are not growing fast enough.

Vocational Training in Indian Prisons

The vocational training programmes offered in Indian prisons with the intention of rehabilitating offenders are not only supposed to train prisoners in vocational knowledge and skills, but also strengthen their will to work, sense of self-help, and spirit of cooperation by having them work with others in a regulated environment. However, with the criminal justice system laying undue emphasis on the incarceration of criminals alone, the goals of reformation and rehabilitation of lawbreakers get undermined.

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