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

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Economic Independence and Social Security among India’s Elderly

Given that a majority of India’s elderly population lacks adequate social security or old-age pension, India needs a robust social security system that addresses decisive ageing challenges such as decent living arrangements, economic independence and social support to ensure active ageing. India needs to facilitate interstate convergence in old-age pensions under social security schemes for the elderly population, and revisit and re-evaluate existing multisectoral policy initiatives aimed towards their welfare.

Inclusive Fiscal Adjustment for Reviving Growth

Unrealistic revenue projections leading to strong expenditure compression is primarily responsible for India’s growth deceleration. Growth will decelerate further without a programme of deep fiscal adjustment. How a fiscal space, amounting to over 6% of the gross domestic product, can be freed through such an adjustment programme is demonstrated. This space can be potentially used for an inclusive public expenditure-led strategy for reviving growth.

Governing Mass Migration to Dhaka

For a clear framework of governance of population flow affecting Dhaka and its peri-urban areas, it is important to identify and distinguish the climatic and non-climatic issues. For the first set of issues, scientific data on sea level rise, salinity and the degree and frequency of natural disasters need attention, while the second set of issues requires an examination of the politics of exclusion and extortion, filling-up of wetlands, pollution and death of waterbodies, lengthy legal disputes on agrarian property and iniquitous access to pedestal natural resources like char (alluvial landforms).

Disrupting Boundaries of Politics in Kerala

By invoking the controversy around the March 2018 cover of the conservative Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi , it is argued that there are certain paradigmatic shifts in how the imagined extents and limits of politics seem to be at the centre of a set of transformations in the dominant practices of media today. These practices have come to be shaped by a mode of imagining politics and politicisation as incessant and boundless, and as desirably so.

Easing Mumbai’s Suburban Train Congestion

Mumbai’s suburban trains have been plagued with the issue of overcrowding during peak hours. Big ticket projects—like the Mumbai Urban Transport Projects that have been funded by the World Bank—were implemented with the aim of creating new capacity and bringing down congestion in coaches during peak hours, but have failed to meet their stated per rake passenger targets. The folly of the singular focus on creating extra passenger capacity is highlighted and instead an integrated approach is suggested, wherein non-motorised transport infrastructure can take the load off the suburban system by weaning short-distance travellers away from it.

Can India Raise Its GDP Per Capita to $5,000 by 2030?

The ebbs and floods of investment and growth in the Indian economy in the past two decades are rooted in the movements in steel prices. Short-cuts used in the compilation of macro statistics obscure the policy debate by creating incongruous images: real investment growth is rising, but the rate of investment is sliding; doing business is easier, but business activity is growing slower. If policies are pursued to facilitate business activity, and better methods are used to measure it, India can raise its gross domestic product per capita to $5,000 by 2030 (from $1,965 in 2017).

In Quest of Inclusive Growth

Economics needs an integrated approach for inclusive growth. But, this purpose is lost in the excessive focus on the separation of the subject into micro and macro and the obsession with rationality and general equilibrium for theoretical perfection. In such a context, the analysis of the factors contributing to the changes in the gross domestic product overlooks the distributional aspects, whereas statistics focuses on distribution in its search for approximating the regularity in data generated in a multivariate space. The feasibility of a new multidisciplinary framework for organising economic data in the quest of a paradigm inclusive growth is explored.

Food Subsidy in Cash or Kind?

The need for the public distribution system varies widely across states and districts. In some districts, the poor draw more than 80% of their grain from thePDS, but in other districts this share is less than 10%. A wide diversity of relationships with the PDS exist, suggesting a need for alternative modes of provisioning. A variable geometry of food provisioning might emerge, with cash working better for the needs of some districts and grain supply continuing to work better in other districts. Only a well-designed empirical test of the alternative modes will help ascertain the preferred shape of the PDS for a particular state or district.

HRIDAY in Amravathi

While the Andhra Pradesh government’s efforts to build a new capital city, Amaravati, is in national focus, a government scheme to preserve the heritage of a nearby village with a rich history is floundering. Amravathi, the imagined heartland of the Andhra people that the new capital seeks to represent, has received little benefit from the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana, which has been plagued by failures in capacity-building and community engagement.

An Academic’s Response

The acceptance of the draft National Education Policy in its current form may prove disastrous for many of the gains made in education so far, at different levels. It will also mean an increased political control over educational institutions, undermining its stated goal of providing autonomy to them.

Unmoved by Stability

The electoral promise of transformational economic change had potentially played a role in the decisive victory of Narendra Modi, particularly in the 2014 general elections. In power, his government actively pursued macroeconomic stability and a business-friendly regulatory framework. However, the investment rate of the economy has actually slid, and has remained mostly at a level that is lower than what it was when the government assumed office in 2014. This outcome is interpreted as the result of the pursuit of macroeconomic stability, in the belief that it is conducive to growth, however it may be achieved.

Why India Needs a Crime Victimisation Survey

To be effective, policies on sexual violence against women must be evidence-based. In India, the National Crime Records Bureau publishes crime statistics based on first information reports. These constitute a useful summary, but do not provide policymakers the understanding to formulate a crime-fighting strategy. A national crime victimisation survey would supplement the NCRB data with critical inputs. Survey data could be used to further research in criminology and police reforms, assess the impact of punitive measures such as of the death penalty on the crime rate, and make informed decisions on legalising offences such as marital rape.

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