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

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Welfare without Work or Wages

Reiterations of the state’s responsibilities have emerged at a time when the market had gained legitimacy of hegemonic proportions. This new thinking can be seen as an effort to redefine the state’s welfarist profile. Closely tied to the idea of democracy and civil society’s initiatives as means of securing the state’s obligations, these discourses and policies remain exclusively focused on welfare-related social policies, while work and work-related rights have been pushed to the margins of the framework of state responsibility. This widely shared position fails to engage with broader political economy issues, particularly with the specificity of the ever expanding domain of irregular workers, and the contradictions of talking about welfare, but not about work or wages.

Political Economy of Biomedical Technology

The growth of the biotechnology industry in India in the recent years merits a closer examination of the political economy of biomedical technology and how the epistemological advances in life sciences generated a whole sector of industry through a process of “co-production.” An elucidation of the factors of political economy also throws light on how the commonly held notions of science, scientific knowledge, and healthcare are undergoing a transformation, and the role of genomics and biotechnology in ushering in this change.

Farmer Producer Companies in India

For farmer producer companies, the determinants of performance and viability are governance structure; network with external agencies; access to capital and technology; member–producers’ contribution to business; and financial performance. These companies can become viable if they follow the stakeholder strategy for cooperation and orientation to marketing of members’ produce and business expansion. Farmer producer companies can benefit if robust performance metrics based on these determinants of performance and viability are developed; these metrics influence policymakers and apex agencies; and there is a bottom-up approach in implementation and convergence between promoting agencies and financial institutions.

India’s Electronics Manufacturing Sector

The Indian electronics industry’s high dependence on imports can be directly linked to trade and investment policy liberalisation, in the absence of vertical industrial policy measures to improve productivity and capabilities. With the failure of passive industrial policies oriented towards attracting foreign direct investment, growth in domestic electronics manufacturing will have to come from a comprehensive policy approach encompassing trade, FDI, technology, taxation, infrastructure development, environmental protection, and education and skill development. Apart from significantly increasing the public fund outlay for research and development, such an industrial policy intervention must subsidise the cost of commercialising new innovations and expand the market for domestic electronics products by interlinking the demands of upstream industries with downstream manufacturers through incentives.

Death of Democracy

What happens to democracy when capitalism becomes global? Capitalist expansion and democratisation are popularly represented by the magical term “development.” However, the unbridled development of capitalism is invariably based on the over-exploitation of natural resources, and the consequent impoverishment of tribal people, expansion of the middle class and transformation of the nation into a crony capitalist state. The latest phase of capitalism, namely techno-capitalism—with its corporate system of organisation and highly centralised top-heavy administration, or “corporatocracy”—signifies the measured death of democracy.

Newsgatherers’ Privilege to Source Protection

Despite the centrality of an autonomous press, the constituent aspect of source protection privilege has been neglected by courts and legislatures in India. Thus, newsgatherers’ interaction with sources is surrounded by legal ambiguity. To guard the vehicle of a free press, the reporter’s privilege should be recognised as a part of the right to freedom of speech and expression.

Educating Future Generals

As discussions surrounding the impending arrival of an “Indian National Defence University” gather pace with the draft Indian National Defence University Bill, 2015, the question of educating and training the future Indian military leadership hangs in the balance. The historical instances of military institutionalisation and the changing mandate and occupational profile of Indian military officership in the past decades have complicated the military educational policy framework. In addition to devoting attention to studying and recommending proposals for the smooth functioning of this space, there needs to be a more comprehensive analysis of the evolving conceptions that underlie officer education and “universities” today, and how this proposed “defence university” will emerge to meet institutional challenges.

Amendment to the LARR Act, 2013 and the Aspirations of the Rural Youth of India

India replaced its century-old Land Acquisition Act, 1894 with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. A recent attempt by the government to amend this act to exempt certain sectors from social impact assessment studies and taking consent of landowners before acquiring land is based on the assumption that the landowners in general are opposed to compulsory purchases. This assumption is questionable as landowners of peri-urban locations are generally willing to give land for development projects and the younger generation is unwilling to continue with farming as a livelihood.

Child Height in India

An analysis of child height-for-age using the newly released data from the National Family Health Survey-4 indicates that the average child height increased by about four-tenths of a height-for-age standard deviation between 2005 and 2015. Although important, this increase is small relative to India’s overall height deficit, and relative to economic progress; children in India remain among the shortest in the world. It is unsurprising that the increase in height-for-age has been modest because none of the principal factors responsible for India’s poor child height outcomes have substantially improved over the last decade. Familiar patterns of regional, sex, and caste disadvantage are reflected in child height in 2015.

Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme

This paper is part of the author's PhD work submitted to the Centre for Studies in Science Policy Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The author would like to thank the reviewers for their comments, Rohan D’Souza, Saradindu Bhaduri and Ambuj Sagar as also the Centre for Social Markets, Coffee Board of India, Karnataka Growers’ Federation, Hassan District Planters’ Association, United Planters’ Association of Southern India and Karnataka Planters’ Association for their help in the field.

Figure of the Halalkhore

Cow protection groups have been reported to engage in acts of public violence against Dalit and Muslim caste labourers. In the context of these occurrences, this article explores the relationship between caste identity and performing “stigmatised” labour—sanitation, removing refuse, and collecting urban waste—in colonial Bombay. The idea of dirt as a cultural category is not new; it is part of a hereditary system that imprints physical and moral impurity on its actors. The attacks on select castes today are part of a Hindutva ideal to purify India and remake it as a caste Hindu nation.

Are Technology-enabled Cash Transfers Really ‘Direct’?

In an era increasingly dominated by the digital, technology-enabled solutions have come to be viewed as a one-stop solution to the age-old administrative woes of corruption and inefficiency. Evidence from a detailed case study of payments under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in a region of Telangana shows that technological solutions in the domain of government-to-citizen cash transfers are far from perfect. The mechanisms of techno-utopianism suffer from many of the same flaws as the ones they replaced and, in some cases, they have introduced new flaws.

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