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

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‘Illegal’ Bangladeshis in Akhand Bharat

Both the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party respond aggressively to the issue of “illegal” Muslim Bangladeshis, the largest “illegal” migrant group in India. Such a response is rooted in the racial underpinnings of Hindutva ideology, which right-wing political formations have attempted to bring into mainstream discourse, especially after the BJP came to power at the centre in 2014.

Why Is Unemployment Higher among the Educated?

The unemployment rate among the educated is not only higher compared to the uneducated, it also increases with higher levels of education. This article explores whether the factors responsible for unemployment among the educated differ from the uneducated based on a multinomial probit model. Results indicate that youth, both educated and uneducated, are more likely to be unemployed than older age groups. One of the reasons for higher unemployment among the educated is that the educated are not willing to join in low-grade informal jobs, but at the same time, sufficient regular salaried jobs are also not available for them. Both educated and uneducated individuals with vocational training (formal or informal) are more likely to find jobs. Besides promoting skills through technical and vocational education, creation of jobs through enhancing capital formation is important to reduce both educated and uneducated unemployment.

Caste and Power in Villages of Colonial Bengal

An exposition of four court cases demonstrates that by the late 1920s, the educated middle classes wielded the colonial state apparatus. Moreover, the colonial state had partially delinked the premodern affiliation of local muscle to the local hubs of power. Therefore, at the village level, local malcontents were isolated and booked for lawbreaking. Villagers/village communities were located within a caste-based social structure, though caste hierarchies in Tamluk seemed more fluid. They also had the option to activate the (ideally) caste-neutral state apparatus, which sharpened their perceptions of legal subjectivity, and increased their stake in the government.

Indo–Russian Energy Cooperation

This article analyses India’s quest for energy diversification and its consequent presence in the Russian hydrocarbon market. It examines New Delhi’s balancing approach in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, the ramifications of sanctions for Russia, the United States’ shale resources as a factor in Indo–Russian hydrocarbon trade, and the India–China factor in the Russian energy market. India’s energy requirements and greater geopolitical clout have resulted in it importing more hydrocarbon resources from Russia. However, ongoing tensions between Russia and the West, fluctuating crude oil prices, and the falling value of the rouble will test Indo–Russian cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.

Power and Politics of Portraits, Icons and Hagiographic Images of Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, an arresting and appealing figure, whose appearance adds to his politics and ideology, was iconised long before his martyrdom. This article on the official and popular iconography of Gandhi explores which visualisations of Gandhi have lived on, why they came to be imagined and constructed, and their roots in traditional and modern Indic iconology. Select works of modern and contemporary artists such as Nand Lal Bose, Ram Sutar, M F Husain and Atul Dodiya are examined to reveal the evolution of Gandhian iconography through its dialogue with concepts of power, nationalism, dharma, sainthood and renunciation.

The Aftermath of Farmer Suicides in Survivor Families of Maharashtra

How do survivors cope in the aftermath of a farmer suicide in their family? Detailed interviews with around 30 families in various villages of Nanded district, Maharashtra reveal that surviving family members battle with themselves and society to overcome impediments of all sorts for their basic existence. What emerges is a pressing need for a policy framework that focuses on these individuals by supporting them through alternative livelihood, education, and nutrition programmes. Pravin

Need to Rationalise Rising Interest Burden on Central Government Public Debt

Interest payments are a significant component of expenditure of the central government. A substantial amount, nearly one-fifth to one-third of tax collection of the Government of India, is accounted for by interest payments. In 2014–15, interest payments were 3.3% of the gross domestic product. In 2015–16, net interest payments (difference between the interest payments and interest receipts) pre-empted over 34% of the revenue receipts. High interest payments can shelf other developmental activities due to non-availability of funds. It is, therefore, imperative to examine measures to reduce interest payments. This paper explores two approaches to reduce interest expenditure incurred by the central government inflation indexed bonds and restructuring of existing debt.

Ambedkar’s Lessons, Ambedkar’s Challenges

R Ambedkar’s methodological and substantive insights on the nature of Hinduism, caste and Indian history anticipated much contemporary scholarship on the subject. Even so, from his writings there is much to learn about the energetic rigour required in the attunement of political will and scholastic analysis. His powerful and persuasive argument has been at variance not only with those of figures such as Lokmanya Tilak and S Radhakrishnan but also with what has become the larger common sense on these issues, a common sense that informs political as much as jurisprudential discourse. This paper raises questions on the relationship between conceptualisations of the constituent bases of the nation and history in India as much as the means for and the stakes involved in negotiating collective pasts and collective futures.

Global Financial Crisis and India’s Private Corporate Sector

The global financial crisis that hit the world economy in 2007–08 has had the most intense and widespread impact in the history of the modern economy. Although India stayed relatively insulated from this crisis for the most part, growth has faltered nonetheless. While a lot has been said about the impact of the crisis on macroeconomic indicators like gross domestic product growth, inflation, etc, this study examines the same specific to the Indian private corporate sector. We find that there are three channels—debt servicing costs, foreign inflows, liquidity crunch—through which the economic recession played out to create significant challenges for the corporate sector and its profitability.

The Evolution of the Election Commission of India

This paper traces the evolution of the Election Commission of India through five phases since its formation. Its effectiveness is studied across four parameters—inclusiveness, rule of law, efficiency, and accountability of the election process. Within the changing sociopolitical and legal context, the institutional characteristics of the ECI (role, powers, independence, structure, and functioning) have allowed it to ensure free and fair elections with varying success. Variations in the ECI’s success during the five phases offer clues as to how it can address more complex problems, and the direction to take in structuring and supporting other apex oversight institutions.

Spatial Reproduction of Urban Poverty in Global City

The study explores the impact of displacement and resettlement on slum dwellers evicted from two slums in Bengaluru to facilitate the construction of the metro rail in the city. The study documents the changes that have occurred in the socio-economic profile, livelihood status, and mobility of the slum dwellers, especially women, after the implementation of the rehabilitation package by Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation. Findings from this study clearly show that relocation to new areas has seriously affected the occupational and economic mobility, particularly of uneducated and elderly women. As a result, women’s contribution to the family’s income has drastically reduced, thereby exacerbating spatial reproduction of urban poverty.

Consumer Culture and Shopping Decisions

Based on an empirical study, this article addresses critical concerns surrounding shopping decisions of the middle class in Delhi and the National Capital Region. Using exploratory factor analysis, four factors that influence shopping decisions are extracted, namely peer pressure, money matters, shopping site, and brand value. These factors are examined at both aggregated and disaggregated levels according to income, age, and sex. The article reflects on how shopping decisions, consumption profiles, and aspirations are negotiated in reshaping social life. It projects that far from being materialistic, hedonistic, and self-centred, the middle-class shopper is cautious, price-sensitive, and seeks value for money.

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