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

Articles by Chetan ChoithaniSubscribe to Chetan Choithani

Towards the Instrumentality of Inequality

What has been the nature of work and discourse on inequality in India? Has it been more anecdotal and ordinal? Does it sidestep the conceptual and refl ective? Is it an elite discourse even within the subaltern? Does it remain blind to both the subtleties and the macro forces that generate, fuel, and reproduce the condition of inequality? And importantly, has it seriously considered the issue of what inequality does to those at the margins? The recent Dadabhai Naoroji conference at NIAS, on the instrumentality of inequality raised these conceptual, ethical, and practical dimensions of inequality.

Assessing Bihar's Coupon-Based PDS

The public distribution system remains the bedrock of India's food security system and the Food Security Act (2013) has only increased its importance. At the same time, the PDS administration has been subject to reform, change and experimentation. States have been experimenting ways to reduce leakages and maladministration. Since 2007, Bihar has used coupons to administer the PDS in order to curb leakages at the fair price shops. How effective has this reform been? Drawing on a primary survey of 350 households from 10 villages in a western district of Bihar, this article suggests that while the coupon system is a potentially effective operational reform, setting the PDS right requires reforms that take into consideration the local politics of resources and rights.

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