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

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Extreme Flooding Events and Land Cover Change

This discussion is a response to Aniket Navalkar’s article “Extreme Flooding Events and Land Cover Change: An Empirical Assessment of Western India” (EPW, 16 October 2021).

Hydrology versus Ideology

Telling farmers to adopt low-productivity crops while promising to extend irrigation to all with imaginary water is not a strategy that India can afford.

Agricultural Transformation or Compromising Food Security

A response to the paper “Water and Agricultural Transformation in India: A Symbiotic Relationship—I” by Mihir Shah, P S Vijayshankar, and Francesca Harris (EPW, 17 July 2021) argues that the solutions proposed in the paper will neither revolutionise India’s agriculture sector nor minimise the water and soil problems listed.

Kerala Deluge

The role of the dams in reducing the damage during the 2018 floods in Kerala is looked at. Responding to the critiques, the authors note that the dams have produced enormous social, economic and even several ecological benefits and point out that benefits of the dams can be enhanced by improving weather forecasting capabilities.

Managing Groundwater–Energy Nexus in India

The fresh arguments made by Shilp Verma and others in support of the “SpaRC” model, as a solution for India’s multiple problems of groundwater depletion, farmer distress, poor financial working of the power sector and growing carbon footprint in agriculture are misleading, and the analyses presented to back them are flawed.

Remembering B D Dhawan (1938–2020)

The literary expertise and journey of late B D Dhawan are detailed upon, along with a look at his contributions to the Economic & Political Weekly .

What Drives Annual Agricultural Growth Rates in India?

In India, the agricultural growth rate is linked to rainfall, and medium-term growth to technology adoption, policy frameworks, and institutional interventions. But, growth in a year may be poor as much due to the good monsoon or abnormally wet conditions in the previous year as the poor monsoon during that year, or it may be high due as much to the poor monsoon in the previous year as to a good monsoon of the year or to policy reforms. As the rainfall fluctuates annually, medium-term growth rates should be assessed; the annual rainfall in the base year should be close to normal.

Solar Irrigation Cooperatives

This article challenges the analysis and arguments presented in Tushaar Shah et al (2017). It shows on the basis of empirical data that solar photovoltaic systems for well irrigation are economically unviable, and offering high capital subsidies for such systems and then guaranteeing a higher feed-in-tariff for the electricity produced than the market price would ruin the state electricity utilities and distort energy markets, while incentivising farmers to pump excess groundwater to raise water-inefficient crops and sell the excess water for a profit.

New ‘Water Management Paradigm’

This article critiques theMihir Shah Committee report and the articles about it in this journal (24 December 2016). It says that although the report has intended to be an attempt at restructuring of water institutions, it has, unfortunately ended just as an exercise in restructuring “water organisations,” and its contents get reduced to a mere “preface” rather than a serious analytical attempt towards a practical approach to institutional restructuring in the water sector.

Economics of Dairy Farming in India

Pointing out the analytical and conceptual flaws in the paper, “Do Producers Gain from Selling Milk? An Economic Assessment of Dairy Farming in Contemporary India” (EPW, 24 June 2017), this article explores the economics of milk production in India. It highlights, in particular, the need for any analysis of the dairy sector in India to take into consideration the interactions between crop and livestock production systems.

Rejuvenating Tanksin Telangana

"Mission Kakatiya" is an ambitious project launched by the Government of Telangana to rejuvenate 47,000 tanks in the state by 2020. This article argues that it would be the repetition of the old historical mistake to approach the issue without taking into consideration the hydrological and ecological aspects. Picking up only those tanks which have water generated in their catchments would save a lot of precious money.

Irrigation Sector 'Turnaround' in Madhya Pradesh?

A critique of Tushaan Shah, G Mishra, P Kela, P Chinnasamy's "Har Khet Ko Pani? Madhya Pradesh's Irrigation Reform as a Model," (Economic & Political Weekly, 6 February 2016).

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