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

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Reforming the Campaign Finance Regime in India

Distortions in the current campaign finance regime in India, state funding proposals made in various government committees and literature are assessed and an alternative system based on matching grants is devised. This system provides a matching grant based on funds raised by a candidate, who secures a minimum amount of contributions from a certain number of people. These contributions are capped and the grant is deemed to be a loan, until the expenditure receipts for the sum of contributions and the grant are provided. Such a system will help in removing the distortions in the current regime and enable a more corruption-free environment.

Private Space in Public Transport: Locating Gender in the Delhi Metro

Gender has not been fully integrated into the mainstream of either the infrastructure debate or the debate on transport services. This article attempts to locate gender in public transport through an ethnographic study of the Delhi Metro services. Delhi Metro has not only promised women comfortable travel but has also provided private space for them in public transport. Thus a distinct power dynamics has been created, which has reproduced or transformed the internalised meaning of public space for women.

Market Concentration in Indian Manufacturing Sector: Measurement Issues

The article attempts to examine the accuracy of the conventional additive measures of market concentration by using the criteria as suggested by Ginevicius and Cirba. It is found that the GRS Index of Ginevicius and Cirba is a more accurate measure of market concentration. The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, the most widely used measure of market concentration, deviates far from accuracy. Hence, examining market concentration on the basis of the conventional indices may result in misleading conclusions and hence guide policy formulations in wrong directions.

Is Education News?

This article reports the findings of a study that examined the nature of school education-related reporting in the Mumbai edition of a national newspaper for the period September 2008 to 2009, the period in which the Right to Education Act was debated and passed by Parliament. Content analysis of all stories pertaining to school education and appearing in all sections revealed that education news accounted for a mere 1.6% of all news on an average annually, and a mere 3% of this reporting pertained to rural areas. The news was overwhelmingly related to the concerns of the middle-class English-medium education readership. The RTE Act itself received very limited reporting.

Scientific Expertise in a Representative Democracy: Bt Brinjal

The case of Bt brinjal reveals the inability of scientific expertise to provide unambiguous and complete answers to policy questions. Concerns regarding public interest, trust and legitimacy emerge as expert advice appears increasingly biased and/or incompetent. And yet, at the same time, we also see an ever-increasing role of experts in democratic politics, their specialised judgment forming the basis of policy decisions.

Credibility of Equal Access to Credit: Does Gender Matter?

This article examines the National Sample Survey Organisation unit record data pertaining to debt and investment (59th round) and highlights inequality in access to credit by certain segments of society. In particular, it shows that weaker sections such as female-headed households have a much lower access than their male counterpart even when they are involved in similar economic activities and consequently face significantly higher rates of interest.

Flawed Idea of Justice

The questions of antagonism, hegemony and imperialism are missing in Amartya Sen's treatise The Idea of Justice. One cannot comprehensively understand the notions of justice and injustice without addressing these core issues.

Global Political Economy of Migrant Remittances

This article explores the negotiations in the Doha Round on Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services to understand the global political economy of migrant remittances. Global institutional arrangements on migrant remittances are the least institutionalised area of the global economy since the developed countries want it so. The flexibilities allowed under the GATS Mode 4 are examined under three issues - low-skilled workers, removal of quotas for the highly-skilled migrants, and totalisation of taxes for all migrants.

Community Monitoring of Rural Health Services in Maharashtra

What happens when villagers are allowed to monitor their local public health facilities? India's National Rural Health Mission is making such accountability a reality through its community-based monitoring initiative. This article presents the first three rounds of data collected by village health committee members in Maharashtra's 225 pilot villages. The obstacles encountered by the process and its strengths and limitations are also discussed.

Political Economy of Land and Development in India

Land has emerged as one of the bigger constraints on development in recent years. Particularly contentious is access to "appropriate land", which the non-agricultural sector requires for its expansion, and which is scarce because the State is not creating conditions conducive for farmers to sell their land. This article discusses the different phases in land acquisition since Independence, issues of adequate compensation, and the space this has created for different kinds of activism by members of civil society.

The Dialectics of Globalisation in Arunachal Pradesh

The processes and ideas which are together referred to as "globalisation" have made deep inroads into the social, political and economic life of Arunachal Pradesh. However, it would be erroneous to read this as merely a one-way street where local cultures placidly submit to the global juggernaut. This article explores the nature and impact of globalisation with local cultures using this relatively remote north-eastern state of India as an example.

Identifying BPL Households: A Comparison of Competing Approaches

Two approaches are available for identifying households below the poverty line - the score-based ranking approach proposed by the N C Saxena Committee and an alternative proposed by Jean Dreze and Reetika Khera. Comparing these approaches for Udupi district in Karnataka shows that the former does a fair job of revealing how households are placed on the economic spectrum but excludes more deserving households than the latter. Also, when it comes to implementation, the latter is transparent and relatively much faster.

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