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

Special ArticlesSubscribe to Special Articles

Child Undernutrition in India

Analysing the latest National Family Health Survey-4 (2015–16) data, an assessment of the prevalence and decline in child undernutrition in India between 2005–06 and 2015–16 is undertaken. Despite a moderate decline in child undernutrition during this period, more than one-third of children under five years are stunted and underweight. A large, graded socio-economic disparity in child undernutrition continues. Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Mizoram emerge as better performers in reducing child undernutrition. While north-eastern states have done well in reducing underweight prevalence, Tripura, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh have performed better in reducing stunting. About 80% of high stunting prevalence (above 40%) districts belong to eight states, that also house 90% of high underweight prevalence districts.

Waste Pickers and the ‘Right to Waste’ in an Indian City

Waste belongs to households and then to the municipality once it enters the public collection/disposal system. What does this mean for informal waste pickers? Despite their numbers and importance, they lack a “right to waste” and are vulnerable to processes of accumulation. This paper presents the counter-narrative of Solid Waste Collection and Handling, India’s first wholly self-owned cooperative of waste pickers, which has been contracted by the Pune Municipal Corporation for door-to-door waste collection. The initiative legitimises a “right to waste” for waste pickers by allowing them direct access to waste from households, and has reconceptualised waste and work for waste pickers, while altering their engagement with other stakeholders.

Evaluating Institutional Disruption

In India, from the late 1960s to the early 2000s, a consortium of three premier financial institutions gave projects long-term loans based on tangible assets. The consortium was abandoned in 2001. A transition away from the institutional logics of consortium financing is associated with a rise in the research and development activity of pharmaceutical firms. Changes in financial sector rules impacted Indian firms’ capability transformation. Management research needs to consider institutional logics changes in assessing the influence of financial factors on firms’ capabilities creation.

Paranoia or Prudence?

To assess whether the Reserve Bank of India is overcapitalised, two approaches are employed. First, the methodology and risk tolerance parameters used by major central banks are applied to the RBI’s balance sheet. Second, a simple cross-country econometric framework relating optimal capital to its possible determinants is used. Both suggest (conservatively) that the RBI has substantial excess capital—in excess of ₹4.5 lakh crore—which could be profitably deployed elsewhere, not for financing general government operations or the deficit but, for example, to recapitalise the public sector banks conditional on them being reformed.

North-South and East-West Keynesian Paradoxes

In his introduction to the Brandt Commission's report, the Commission's chairman, Willy Brandt, emph,a,sises that the report cannot be a technical document but that it nmust offer far-reaching "bold initia- tives" of political education. Yet the only significant bold initiatives to fo.iVge new instruments of mu- tual North-Souith interest are limited to short-run technical financial problems. The Commission believes that present and foreseeable medium-run difficulties are more serious than past recessions or crises and that it would be "dangerous and insincere to suggest they can be overcome with the conventional tools of previous de,cades". Yet the principal remedy proposed is the global application of the most conventional Keynesian remedies of the previous decla(des. As for the Brandt Commission's proposals for long-ruln program'lmes, and most particularly with re- gard to armaments, the mutual interest of North and Souith or East and West or indeed even within the West (or South or East) militates against their recognition and implementation. With nothing better than ideological survival prograinmes, Keynes was probably right' to say that in the long-run we are all dead.

The Assam Question

This article attempts to consider the present situation in Assam in its historical perspective. It argues that the ruling classes in Assam have tried to exploit certain historically determined weaknesses that have hampered the emergence of a distinct and well-defined Assamese nation to create among the Assamese people a lack of confidence in their cultural destiny. The problem in Assam is not whether the linguistic, religious and ethnic minorities will swamp the Assamese, but whether the Assamese people will see clearly the strength of their numbers and the maturity of their culture to gain the confidence of these minorities so as to peacefully integrate them into the Assamese nation.

Delivering a Global India

The high volume of capital flow from India to Africa is often enclosed in the political rhetoric of a shared future shaped by shared histories of colonial exploitation and anti-colonial resistance. Scholarly discussions on the Indian networks in Africa portray them as either a re-scramble or a win–win partnership, but little is known of the ground practices surrounding them. This ethnographic study of two Indian mining corporations in South Africa testifies to cautious engagement by Indian capital negotiating corruption scandals, commodity–price fluctuations, and the conflicting expectations of state bureaucracies and mining communities. It transcends the depictions of South–South capital flows as win–win situations, re-scrambles, or enclave economies.

The Afterlife of Things in a Delhi Junkyard

The trajectory of “things” that are declared obsolete is mapped to argue that a junkyard is not merely a repository of the redundant, but also a liminal space between waste and trash, as well as use and reuse. An exploration of a junkyard in the Mayapuri neighbourhood of Delhi reveals how value is extracted from waste, bypassing the imposed norms of planned obsolescence in order to induce life into the lifeless. A complex set of relationships between the imposed rules of obsolescence and actual practices of a junkyard are observed to argue that “waste” is not merely matter out of place or matter without place, but it is essentially matter on the move.

The Grey Shades of Sugar Policies in India

India’s sugar industry is in the grips of a deep-rooted crisis. Pricing policies that had been designed to favour farmers have left them in severe distress. Sugar millers have also lost business and accumulated large amounts of debt. Consumers, however, have barely been affected due to the cap on the price of sugar. The impact of current policies on the problems plaguing India’s sugar industry is analysed here, and an attempt is made to determine whether partial decontrol was a real solution. Other policy measures—such as reviving sugar mills, addressing policy loopholes, and removing price caps—are suggested that could potentially help the sugar sector overcome the crisis.

Social and Systemic Determinants of Utilisation of Public Healthcare Services in Uttar Pradesh

Building on an earlier publication using the same data set plus case studies of three facilities, the reasons for the low utilisation of public health facilities in Uttar Pradesh despite the prohibitively high costs of care in the private sector are explored. The likelihood of choosing a public provider for hospitalisation care was 4.8 times higher in the poorest quintile and 3.4 times as high for women. Where access to public sector services is an issue, many go without any treatment and this could appear in the data to be a higher proportion of private sector utilisation. Inadequate facility density is one barrier to access. Facilities, which are by policy designed to offer very limited types of services—to collect user fees and prescribe drugs and diagnostics to be bought outside, and with no continuity of care between primary and secondary levels—lead to the diminishing of credibility of the public healthcare services. When services are available and there are incentives that facilitate access, like for childbirth, the choice shifts in favour of public services. Market-defined perceptions of what is good healthcare and an understaffed and demoralised workforce also contribute to poor utilisation.

Fandry and Sairat

Sairat (The Wild, 2016 ), and Fandry (Pig, 2014), by Nagraj Manjule have been widely celebrated for portraying narratives of caste marginalisation in rural Maharashtra. This paper argues that marginal narratives and subjectivities in Fandry and Sairat posit moments of resistance, that bring into question mainstream cinema, its tropes of romance, and the region in transition. Apart from presenting a reading of the subjective experience of being socially marginal, the paper deliberates on how the films emblematise a certain social entanglement, and are instrumental in affirming their own objectified versions.

Between ‘Baksheesh’ and ‘Bonus’

How is class experienced by domestic workers when they come together for collective action? Using ethnographic data, this paper argues that the collective action efforts by some unions of domestic workers in Bengaluru to demand “bonus” reveals the struggles over class that they engage in, struggles that make them conscious of their in-between class status as self-employed workers in a precarious informal economy. The collective action of demanding bonus in Bengaluru entails a cultural–political struggle away from a gift economy relationship and towards a more commodified economy under conditions of precarity in the informal economy.

Pages

Back to Top