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

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Farmer Suicides in Maharashtra, 2001–2018

Farmer suicides are an unfortunate result of the agrarian distress plaguing the rural economy of many states of the country. Marathwada and Vidarbha regions in Maharashtra have recorded very high numbers of farmer suicides, and an attempt to calculate the number of suicides and the suicide mortality rate is the first step towards gaining an in-depth understanding of the prevalence and seriousness of the issue. An analysis of the data reveals the relationship between farmer suicides and issues such as monsoon failure, water shortage, drought, absence of social security, robust crop procurement mechanisms and increasing debt burdens.

Decoding Ayushman Bharat

The challenges before the components of Ayushman Bharat, the (ir)rationality behind raising the insurance coverage manifold are highlighted, a political economy narrative of the changing health financing scenario is drawn, and how the design of Ayushman Bharat will feed into executing the proposed public–private partnership model in public facilities and facilitate the strategic purchasing agenda of the National Health Policy is examined. Ayushman Bharat is a step towards creating a system that would facilitate in relinquishing public funds and public institutions to already dominant private players, which will have serious implications for the healthcare delivery system in India.

Impact of the Negative Interest Rate Policy on Emerging Asian Markets

In the last few years, several central banks have implemented negative interest rate policies to boost the domestic economy. However, such policies may have some unintended consequences for the emerging Asian markets. The analysis provides an assessment of the domestic and global implications of negative interest rate policy and how it differs from that of quantitative easing. It shows that the impact of nirp is heterogeneous, with differential impacts for big Asian economies (India and Indonesia) and small trade-dependent economies (Hong Kong, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand). Quantitative easing, on the other hand, has no significant impact on inflation but nominal gdp growth declines in eams. The currency appreciates and exports decline. The impact is much more severe in big emerging economies.

Divergent Responses to the Forest Rights Act in Nagarahole

The Adivasi communities of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, Karnataka have engaged with the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and have primarily responded in two divergent ways: disengagement from the fra and claiming rights over ancestral lands as a mechanism of redressal and/or assertion. These two cases are examined against the background of a long history of evictions from the forests of Nagarahole and the infrastructural and sociopolitical conditions present inside and outside the settlements, including the presence of various non-governmental organisations. The fra’s success has been limited (and even negative), as its generic, centralised framing and implementation have been unable to fully take into account specific histories, socio-economic conditions, and political discourses, especially those of conservation advocates and Adivasi rights activists.

PM-KISAN and the Adoption of Modern Agricultural Technologies

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme aims to provide income support to farmers for easing their liquidity needs to facilitate timely access to inputs. This study, based on 1,406 farmers of Uttar Pradesh, uses a binary choice model to examine the targeting accuracy and correlates of the spending pattern of farmers. Triple difference with matching estimators is used to identify the differential impact of the scheme on the Krishi Vigyan Kendra beneficiaries. Results show that the scheme reached one-third farmers in the first three months of its implementation, and has significantly helped those who are relatively more dependent on agriculture and have poor access to credit. Moreover, the scheme has significantly stimulated the Krishi Vigyan Kendra's impact on the adoption of modern cultivars.

Use of Algorithmic Techniques for Law Enforcement

The state has often sought to regulate the use of social media to prevent law and order issues or suspected criminal activities. In the light of the possibility of such state regulation and surveillance, the proposed use of the technique of sentiment analysis of social media data to guide actions of law enforcement agencies merits close scrutiny. What needs urgent attention is the existing legal standard that must govern the actions by these agencies, and how, if at all, may this standard be applied when the law enforcement action comes to be informed by the use of such techniques.

The Naga Homeland Movement

This article is a critical endeavour to situate the Naga homeland movement in the present context vis-à-vis the regional politics of the North East. It attempts to understand and (re)imagine the relevance of Naga homeland politics in the light of its expectations in the neo-liberal era. By revisiting and (re)defining the movement from the establishment of the Naga Club in 1918 to the Naga Peace Accord in 2015, it highlights the policies and procedures that have intensified existing issues and suggests that the nexus of politicians, bureaucrats, contractors and underground leaders operates by exploiting the Naga issue rather than solving it, while sustaining and reproducing systemic corruption.

Rapid Growth of Private Universities

Over the last two decades India has witnessed a rapid rise in the number of private universities. Various state governments have encouraged and justified this growth in order to increase enrolment in higher education, and private capital has welcomed this state encouragement. However, the implications of this move on access to higher education and the variety of other challenges that it presents are debated. Based on higher education enrolment data from the All India Survey on Higher Education, this paper attempts to study the social and academic character of universities to understand the consequences of the rapid growth of private universities for the university space as a whole.

Lives and Livelihood

A road map for resuming limited economic activities with necessary precautions in certain industries that can lessen economic pain, given the prevailing situation, has been drawn up in this paper. It identifies industries and districts that can start functioning in a limited manner, informed by geographical, occupational, and other industry-specific data.

Doctoral Journeys

The ways in which three doctoral scholars engaged in ethnographic research in differing social worlds are explored here. Accounting for the ethical–political dilemmas engendered by “fieldwork” and the ways in which we grappled with them, this paper reflects upon methodology and questions of power pertaining to disciplinary boundaries, social identities, and researcher–practitioner binaries that have marked key debates within scholarship on the Indian social. This reflection draws from our vantage point as doctoral students, particularly addressing our preparedness for the messiness of field participation and converting field notes into authorial accounts. The arguments in the paper feed into larger conversations around representation in the social sciences. By foregrounding our ethical–moral positions and the institutional spaces (or the lack thereof) to act upon such imperatives, the paper raises important questions about the dilemmas of authoring social worlds.

Revisiting Open Defecation

Since October 2014, the Government of India has worked towards the goal of eliminating open defecation by 2019 through the Swachh Bharat Mission. In June 2014, the results of a survey of rural sanitation behaviour in North India were first reported. The results from a late 2018 survey that revisited households from the 2014 survey in four states—Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh—are presented. Although rural latrine ownership increased considerably over this period, open defecation remains very common in these four states. There is substantial heterogeneity across states in what the sbm did and how. These outcomes suggest the need for a transparent, fact-based public dialogue about the sbm, its costs and benefits, and its accomplishments and means.

Access to Credit in Eastern India

The impact of access to credit on the economic well-being of agricultural households in eastern India is empirically evaluated. Using a large, farm-level data set from eastern Indian states and a multinomial endogenous switching regression model, the findings reveal that access to credit increases economic well-being, and farmers availing credit from formal sources are better off than those availing credit from informal sources. Finally, access to credit affects recipients heterogeneously, implying that credit policies should be adaptable to different agricultural household groups.

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