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

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The Market for Cryptocurrencies

The growing market for cryptocurrencies, when viewed through the lens of Nobel Laureate F A Hayek’s radical idea of abolishing governmental monopoly over currency and introducing unregulated private currencies, reveals fascinating insights. Though over four decades apart, the resemblances and the dialectics of the two radical developments are uncanny.

Flaws of Insurance-based Healthcare Provision

Tamil Nadu is recognised for its achievements in human development, especially in the area of healthcare. In light of the central government’s recent move to launch insurance-based targeted healthcare provision, a case is made for paying attention to building public health infrastructure based on Tamil Nadu’s experience with healthcare provisioning. The pitfalls of insurance-based provisioning and targeting, and the need to recognise regional trajectories and institutional innovations in this regard are highlighted.

Remembering Mrinal Sen (1923–2018)

Mrinal Sen became a part of the milieu he had depicted in his films. He had direct knowledge of middle- and lower-middle-class existence, and never observed reality from a distance. He moved with the crowd, but was, perhaps, a lonely traveller in his journey towards discovering the meaning and potency of cinema.

T N Srinivasan (1933–2018)

T N Srinivasan was one of the most distinguished economists of post-independence India and contributed immensely to academic research and public policy. Although he is better known for his extensive scholarly work in various areas of economics, he has also written on energy policy, nuclear power, and other topics that few would associate him with. Equally important was his unflinching commitment and generosity towards students and young researchers throughout his long career.

In the Name of Charity

In the context of a renewed interest in the functioning of charitable hospitals in Maharashtra, and the intention of the state charity commissioner to ensure compliance with the Indigent Patient Fund scheme, some related issues have been revisited and suggestions forwarded for modifying the scheme. Attention is drawn towards the misuse of trust hospitals and the consequences of having no ceiling on charges for close to 80% of the beds in these hospitals.

A National Law for Urban Trees

Trees become the first victims of infrastructure expansion in urban areas. Laws and institutions for the protection of trees have not kept pace with the increasing developmental pressures. A fundamental reform in the law is needed, so that it is able to comprehensively protect trees in an urban landscape.

Metro Rail Expansion

The evolving policy context of metro rail expansion, particularly in the last five years in India, the concerns emanating due to public–private partnerships in financing and developing metro projects, and the possible implications of these on patterns of urban land use are discussed.

Below the Guard Rail

The “1.5 Degree Report” from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes scenarios and potential actions to pull the earth away from the brink of catastrophic climate change. The report’s findings are stark but it shows that there are pathways to achieve climate security. The study nevertheless repeats some common errors in framing the ways forward and does not fully explore the potential for transformative change. Some options from the literature that deserve serious consideration are discussed.

FDC Ban and Endless Rounds of Litigation

Despite the recommendation of two expert committees to ban fixed dose combinations, the issue remains unresolved. Manufacturers of banned FDCs have approached Delhi High Court and sought to question the rationale of the ban on tendentious grounds. This also raises questions over the extent of judicial involvement in deciding upon the content of scientific matters.

War in Yemen

Civil war in Yemen cannot be seen merely from the prism of sectarian conflict as its roots go into the historical political positions of different groups and geostrategic interests of regional powers. Hegemonic designs of Saudi Arabia backed by the United States have intensified the conflict, leading to thousands of deaths and acute humanitarian crisis. It remains to be seen how far the recently concluded Stockholm Agreement between warring camps would contribute to a durable peace.

The Costs of the Agrarian Crisis

The closely fought assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress hinged primarily on the issue of farmer suicides and agricultural issues. However, the electoral battle between the two parties and their respective campaigns drew attention to other significant issues.

Histories, Academic and Public

Changes in historiography and historical methods challenged the professional historian’s obsession with the state archive from the late 19th century, but the distance between academic and public histories continued to grow wider in the 20th century. The possibility of bringing public and academic histories together to make history-writing a meaningful activity for both the public and the historian has been done by treating the visual as an archive which no historian can ignore in the age of smartphones, internet and fake news. By imaginatively integrating the visual and literary archives, the historian can reclaim a social relevance denied to him by the very practice of professional academic history.

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