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

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Complicating the Feminist

Margaret Sanger’s feminism blurs the lines between the East and the West. It carries continuities and a resemblance to strands of feminism understood and promoted by contemporary liberal India and their dominant positioning vis-à-vis marginalised groups, such as Dalits, Muslims and the urban and rural poor.

Water Resource Management of the Damodar Valley Corporation

The water resource management of the Damodar Valley Corporation project for irrigation purposes has been examined to reveal that illegal canal water utilisation has been increasing over the years. Water availability (per hectare) has been declining in the tail-end area compared to the head-reach and middle-reach areas in all seasons, which has led to differentiated agricultural productivity and crop patterns across different segments of the canal command area. Further, reduction of reservoir storage capacity and increased water demand for non-agricultural purposes have reduced the share of irrigation water and increased flood hazards in the monsoon season in the downstream area of the Damodar river.

Dalit Women, Vulnerabilities, and Feminist Consciousness

Dalit women in India have faced and are facing violence in myriad forms; they are victims of inhuman treatment, brutal violence and humiliation. Despite this, they have not been mute victims resigned to their plight; they have relentlessly struggled against caste-based social oppression and exploitative material relations, against atrocities and complex and contextual forms of hierarchies. The framework of vulnerability provides a useful lens to understand this violence and powerlessness. It is also important to address the lacuna in conventional feminist movements which do not account for caste-based gender violence, as also to assert Dalit women’s quest for and claim to universal transformative emancipatory practices.

Relocating Women Insurgents in Assam

Women’s roles in combat are often overlooked in conflict studies. Their multifaceted work at designated “homes” at different points in time leave them at the crossroads of negotiated identities. Through in-depth interviews with former cadres of the United Liberation Front of Asom across five districts of Assam, the work of these former women combatants within the organisation is highlighted. Their initiation into the organisation, numerous roles undertaken, and their navigation of multiple homes and identities are analysed. These experiences, rooted in their oral narratives, have remained largely unrepresented.

Unmaking ‘Make in India’

India’s business climate has historically been considered poor, resulting in low-rankings in the World Bank’s Doing Business Indicators. The National Democratic Alliance government has attempted to reverse this situation by improving the de jure rules related to the business climate. Whether this approach will improve the ease of doing business in India is analysed by using firm-level data on the number of days it takes to get an operating licence or construction permit. De facto deals between the state and businesses, rather than de jure rules, characterise the state–business relationship in Indian states. States with weaker quality of governance provide higher proportions of good deals in terms of the speed of obtaining licences and permits, and easing the norms of business regulations need not necessarily lead to higher productivity.

Reforming Indian Agriculture

Reforms in four areas should be the priority if the current government’s agenda of doubling farmer incomes is to be accomplished in the coming years. First, the focus of agricultural policies must shift from production per se to farmers’ livelihoods. Second, policies to improve the allocation and efficiency of land and water are essential if these critical resources are to be conserved. Third, reforms are needed to help farmers cope with the growing risks of weather and price volatility. Fourth, agricultural markets must be opened to greater competition and provided with better infrastructure if farmers are to realise better returns for produce, without trading off the low-income consumers’ nutritional security.

Changing Wealth Inequalities in Child Nutrition in Indian States

How have wealth inequalities in child nutrition changed in the major states of India between the last two rounds of the National Family Health Survey? The temporal change in the likelihood of child stunting in the poorest quintile of households vis-à-vis the richer quintiles is examined. Alternative measures of wealth inequality in child nutrition, based on the ranking of the households’ wealth scores (namely the concentration index and the extended concentration index), are also used to see how the magnitudes have changed. The poorly performing states have not only retained the last ranks in terms of average stunting, but have also faltered in the reduction of stunting during the decade under study. In three of these states, the improvement in child stunting has disfavoured the poor by all measures. Comparing the concentration index and the extended concentration index for the two rounds, it is found that inequality in stunting has increased in all the states excluding Uttarakhand. This calls for immediate policy attention, since children from the poorest households in the backward states seem to suffer from the dual burden of the state effect and the class effect.

Industrial Disputes in the Indian Textile Industry

An econometric analysis has been done to identify the causes of occurrences of disputes, strikes, and lockouts in the Indian textile industry. The relative shares of strikes and lockouts in the pre- and post-liberalisation periods for both the public and the private sectors have been assessed and analysed. The incidence and impact of these disputes have also been explored, revealing significant details about the changes in the relationship of disputes, strikes, and lockouts with their determinants in the textile industry.

Long-run Performance of the Organised Manufacturing Sector in India

The Indian manufacturing sector has not increased its share in output or employment along expected lines. The aggregate trends in this sector at the 3-digit level of the National Industrial Classification from 1983 to 2017 are investigated here. Using data from the Annual Survey of Industries obtained from theEPWRFITS, it identifies three sub-periods within the overall period: 1988–96, 1996–2006, and 2006–17. A shift-share decomposition is used to show that most of the decline in the labour to capital ratio can be explained by within-industry changes. Finally, industries are analysed with respect to their capacity to deliver job and wage growth.

The Complexities of Liberation from Caste

This paper engages with the multidimensional nature and extent of manual scavenging in Maharashtra, primarily focusing on the social groups involved in this inhuman occupation. Being part of a statewide study on the practice of manual scavenging, it attempts to unravel different forms of this caste-based occupation. It follows up with a critical analysis of the role of the state towards the abolition of the said practice and touches on varied aspects of the complexities of rehabilitation premised around a comparative frame, namely the prevailing scenario at the national level. Laced throughout with theoretical implications on this subject domain, the paper concludes with specific insights and practice propositions drawn from the study on varied dimensions related to manual scavenging.

Who Is Afraid of Pakistan’s Aurat March?

Pakistan’s women are marching against patriarchy, but what is their destination and who is standing in their way? The Aurat March of 2019 faced severe backlash from both conservative as well as like-minded quarters, on account of some hard-hitting slogans and jabs raised against prevalent masculinist social norms. These have brought to the fore some paradoxes within feminist politics, which merit resolution for the sake of the emergence of stronger feminist politics in Pakistan.

Persistent Fiscal Deficits and Political Economy Transitions in India

The Indian economy has been suffering from a persistent fiscal deficit for the last four decades. With the transition to coalition politics in the 1980s, the country’s political economy characteristics have significantly affected its fiscal policies and outcomes, but this has received scant attention in the literature. The impact of macroeconomic and political economy factors on India’s fiscal deficit between 1978–79 and 2016–17—a period when the country witnessed simultaneous economic and political structural transformations—has been investigated in this study. It finds evidence of a close link between electoral cycles and fiscal populism and between government fragmentation and fiscal profligacy. Additionally, it finds that a strong opposition does not necessarily mitigate the fiscal populism of incumbent governments.

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