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

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Reconciliations of Caste and Medical Power in Rural Public Health Services

Drawing from an ethnographic study conducted in a Karnataka village, the unfavourable differential treatments against Dalit patients in rural public health services are delineated. An analysis of medical interactions shows that as compared to non-Dalits, Dalit patients experienced more apathy, denial, and avoidance behaviours from service providers. Surprisingly, most Dalits did not attribute this to their caste, but to the flaws of the public health delivery system. Caste and allopathic medical practice are embedded in the rural public health delivery system, and both camouflage and normalise discrimination in paternalistic medical interactions. This sustains the favourable environment for caste-based discrimination in rural public health services even in places where Dalit consciousness is strong.

Is Drug Development in India Responsive to the Disease Burden?

Although the Indian pharmaceutical industry has played an important role in the development of generic medicines, it is not clear whether drug development, which is dominated by the private sector, is informed of the disease burden and public health priorities. An attempt is made to address this question by juxtaposing the therapeutic focus of the drugs approved for marketing and the new chemical entities in the pipeline with the disease burden across age groups.

Deregulation and the Fading Labour Agenda

The report of the International Commission for Labor Rights on the precarious workers in the automobile companies in Chennai reminds us of the inferior state of labour in Indian industry. While India is already in for a second round of labour law reforms, it is important to discuss the nature of the employment that the citizens are offered, often at the cost of their fundamental rights.

Lockout at Toyota-Kirloskar

The lockout at Toyota-Kirloskar Motors in Karnataka was a strategy by the management to silence the workers who put forth their demands and raised fears about their job security. Such actions challenge the ability of unions to negotiate workers' demands. The Toyota case is a possible trajectory of weakening trade union mobilisations.

Hostel Schemes for Dalit Students: Continuing Exclusion

An assessment of a government of India scheme to provide hostel facilities for dalit students finds that it suffers from deficiencies of exclusion.
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