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

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Understanding Recent Trends in Inflation

This article aims at providing a comprehensive analysis of the trends in the current surge in inflation. It tracks the movements in the wholesale price index over the past two years to understand when inflation began to accelerate, asks if this is the result of an across the board price increase and compares consumer prices with wholesale prices.

Need for an Integrated Energy Modelling Institution in India

India's several interlinked energyrelated challenges can only be met by long-term planning and coordinated action by various stakeholders. By highlighting the Planning Commission's Integrated Energy Policy report, this article proposes the creation of a government-supported statutory energy modelling institution - the Bureau of Energy Information and Analysis - that works under the guidance of the Planning Commission to develop an in-house modelling and analysis capacity for India. It argues that such an institutional approach will strengthen India's existing energy modelling efforts and help create a community of committed energy specialists.

Pollution in the Mahanadi: Urban Sewage, Industrial Effluents and Biomedical Waste

The discharge of municipal sewage, industrial effluents and biomedical waste into the Mahanadi has raised concerns about environmental sustainability and also posed a serious threat to the health of people living on the banks. This article critically examines the river pollution caused by the spiralling urbanisation and industrialisation along with dumping of waste by many medical facilities. There is an urgent need to address this enormous challenge which is a direct outcome of inefficient planning and management.

Rethinking Tibet?

Why and for what are the Tibetans - the people who have silently coexisted on our soil for over half a century and with whom we otherwise profess to have close cultural ties - struggling? Indians have by and large remained unaffected by their agonised cries. It is the attitude of liberal left thinkers in this country that is in particular a matter of grave concern. How are we to understand the apathy and outright aversion of the "egalitarian left" towards the Tibetan movement?

Board Level Remuneration in Central Public Sector Enterprises: Myth and Reality

There is a huge disparity between the compensation packages of the board level functionaries of central public sector enterprises and their private sector counterparts. For making these public undertakings more efficient, the remuneration of their top level executives must match those of private industry. This article argues that to avoid the flight of talent, attractive incentives by way of increased pay packets and perquisites will make executive directors of CPSEs perform better and reduce attrition rates.

Voluntary Sector: Complementing or Replicating the State?

The 2007 National Policy on the Voluntary Sector aims at creating an enabling environment for voluntary organisations and facilitating their partnership with the government. But it suffers from a major lacuna in that it fails to comprehensively address the central aspects of autonomy, credibility and the nature of partnership itself. Instead of assisting the voluntary sector to take on roles distinct from and complementary to the state's development agenda, it encourages activities commensurate with state approaches.

Tibetans in Exile in a Changing Global Political Climate

Many organisations campaigning on behalf of the Tibetan community persist in seeking some form of independence, self-determination or autonomy. In light of the evolving position of China in the world it seems that this stance (and indeed the stance of the Dalai Lama's government in exile) is becoming ever more unrealistic. Tibetan reactions to China's changing position in the world and the dwindling of western attention to their cause are changing the way Tibetans articulate their problems, priorities and indeed select their government. What are these concerns and how did they come to be so pressing?

Doing a Rashomon on the Hindutva Cases

The Hindutva cases regarding corrupt electoral practices, decided by the Supreme Court in 1995, can be seen as events with many symbolisms, narrated differently from the perspectives of the liberal, the secularist, the Sangh parivar, and the author. These narratives with the same characters but much that is different bring to mind the Akira Kurosowa classic Rashomon which tells the story of a woman's rape and a man's murder from the point of view of four different narrators. In both, the analysis depends on the particular viewpoint and the questions to which answers are sought.

India Needs a Refugee Law

The Indian state has treated a few refugee communities reasonably well but has not formulated a well-defined refugee law and judicial interventions have been case specific. The absence of clearly defined statutory standards subjects refugees and asylum seekers to inconsistent and arbitrary government policies.

India's Citizen's Charters: In Search of a Champion

This paper presents an assessment of the progress and effectiveness over the past decade of the citizen's charter initiative that is an effort to make public service providers more open, citizen-friendly and accountable. This reform has failed to deliver on its promise. Though the underlying model has much relevance to the Indian context, the lack of a sound strategy and the absence of champions at the central and state levels to see it through have contributed significantly to this outcome.

Estimating Costs of Achieving Global Goals

Estimates of the costs of achieving intermediate or long-term global development goals are subject to uncertainties that go well beyond those in applied economic contexts, and exceed the level that is tolerable. It therefore seems inappropriate that such estimates should be relied on heavily to determine global resource mobilisation targets and priorities for action for lengthy planning horizons. Consequently, an alternative planning and resource allocation framework that is flexible and learning-oriented is needed. In this note, we explore one important class of reasons for uncertainties concerning the validity of recent estimates of the intermediate or long-term cost of achieving global goals, which stem from the unknown nature of the "development production function" and its (dual) cost function.

Mentha Oil Futures and Farmers

An analysis of futures trading in mentha oil suggests that excessive speculative interests lead to spurious price discovery and distortion in spot prices. Initiatives towards a judicious balance between genuine hedging and speculative interests will lead to excellent prospects for mentha farmers.

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