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

Articles by Sangeeta BansalSubscribe to Sangeeta Bansal

Health and Nutrition of India’s Labour Force and COVID-19 Challenges

Can the “post-COVID-19 normal” emerge better for India’s food supply and demand management, with a clear goal of zero hunger? Presently contributing one-third of the global undernutrition burden, a daunting challenge that the country must overcome now is of resuming broader based economic growth with a healthy labour force. Given this, India needs a data-driven exit and post-exit strategy from the COVID-19 lockdown that will not only mitigate the immediate food crisis faced by millions of poor households, but also reduce the long-term structural bottlenecks that limit poor households’ access to food.

Corporate Social Responsibility Rules in India

The corporate social responsibility rules, which came into force from April 2014, make it mandatory for large Indian firms to set aside at least 2% of their average net profit for socially responsible expenditures. This paper aims to provide an assessment of the response by firms to these rules. It examines the extent to which these rules have led firms to comply and the extent to which their implementation over the financial year 2014–15 has contributed additional funds towards the social development of the country. The analysis is based on firm-level data sets of Indian firms for 2010–15. We find that following the implementation of these rules there has been an increase in the number of firms that are spending on CSR initiatives as well as the total amount spent on CSR activities. However, the distribution of CSR expenditures amongst firms is extremely unequal.

An Analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility Expenditure in India

The article analyses the trend of corporate social responsibility expenditure by firms in India, especially in the wake of the new Companies Act, 2013. It emphasises the relationship between CSR expenditure and profits of the firm and highlights how the firm size positively affects this relationship. 

Labelling of Genetically Modified Foods in India

The central government has made it mandatory to label all genetically modified foods sold in a packaged form, but the regulation does not specify the tolerance level or the range of products it will cover. Much depends on these factors, including the mechanisms for verifi cation, their cost and the market outcome. Without fine-tuning, the regulation will be hard to enforce, given that the labelling process is costly and complicated.

Labels for GM Foods: What Can They Do?

Labelling of genetically modified foods is a contentious issue and internationally there is sharp division on whether such labels ought to be mandatory. This debate has reached India where the government has proposed mandatory labels. Mandatory labelling aims to provide greater information and correspondingly more informed consumer choice. However, even without such laws, markets have incentives to supply labels. So can mandatory labelling achieve outcomes different from the voluntary type? The paper argues that this is not the case in most situations. It goes on to explore the special set of circumstances, where mandatory labels make a difference to outcomes. If these outcomes are intended, mandatory labelling is justified; otherwise not. Although the Indian context provides the motivation, the core arguments given are general and applicable to other country contexts as well.

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