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

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Fifteenth Finance Commission Award for 2020–21

The first report of the Fifteenth Finance Commission has allayed many fears that arose after the notification of the terms of reference of the commission. The main report for the period 2021–22 to 2025–26 will have to factor in the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy and provide adequate fiscal space to the states for socio-economic response and recovery.

COVID-19, Public Health System and Local Governance in Kerala

Kerala has been successful in containing COVID-19 and in achieving a low rate of spread, high recovery, and low fatality. The importance of the public health system, social capital and the active involvement of the people through local governments that played a significant role in Kerala’s success is highlighted. A brief historical review of the evolution of public health system and local governments in Kerala is also attempted.

Challenges to Indian Fiscal Federalism

The state of cooperative federalism in India is analysed by focusing on the trends in vertical fiscal imbalances between the centre and the states, the impact of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management acts on the fiscal space of the states, the implications of the Terms of Reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, and the need for empowering local governments in the context of centre–state relations.

Intergovernmental Transfers: Disquieting Trends and the Thirteenth Finance Commission

The way in which the terms of reference of successive finance commissions have been framed, including that of the Thirteenth Finance Commission, has diluted the basic constitutional rationale of having such a statutory commission. Various deficiencies in the transfer system require correction not through a heavy reliance on tied and conditional grants (as we have seen in recent years), but with an alternative approach which accommodates and protects the objectives of equity, efficiency and autonomy of the recipient state governments.

Why Do the States Not Spend?

This paper investigates the unusual phenomenon of state governments currently maintaining large cash balances even as many important sectors call for substantial outlays. Is it a governance issue, as the union finance ministry makes it out to be, or is it something more fundamental affecting the fiscal powers of state governments? We argue that the constraint on expenditure is imposed by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management Acts passed by the centre and most state governments; the cash surplus phenomenon is a perverse outcome of such legislation. This essay also investigates the price paid by Kerala, an outlier where receipts do not keep pace with expenditure growth, because of the mechanical constraints imposed by the fiscal responsibility legislation.

E M S Namboodiripad Revolutionary Intellectual

EMS was a special type of a thinker - an organic intellectual who combined theory and practice. His intellectual pursuits were closely linked to the organisational and agitational tasks of the radical movement Two major initiatives of EMS during the last decade of his life were the International Congress on Kerala Studies and the ongoing People's Campaign for Ninth Plan. Both showed an ever- alert mind open to new ideas and searching for new solutions. The People's Campaign, the last battle of EMS to set a new agenda for the Left in carrying democratisation to the farthest grass roots, will be a fitting tribute to this great visionary of India.

Planning for Empowerment-People s Campaign for Decentralised Planning in Kerala

People's Campaign for Decentralised Planning in Kerala T M Thomas Isaac K N Harilal Despite the acclaimed advantages of decentralisation of planning and repeated commitments made in its favour, the planning process in India has remained a highly centralised affair. None of the departmental exercises - so-called district plans, block level planning or area level programmes has been able to ensure genuine planning from below, sensitive as such planning should be to complex local-specific problems and felt needs of the people.

Kerala Elections, 1991 Lessons and-Non-Lessons

Kerala Elections, 1991: Lessons and Non-Lessons T M Thomas Isaac S Mohana Kumar This essay seeks to bring out the basic differences between the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala not merely with regard to their national alignments and perspectives on long run political transformation in India but also with regard to their short run response to the problems facing the state. The significance of the LDF platform and the new policy initiatives of its government (1987-1991) becomes evident against the background of the deep contemporary crisis of Kerala's economy, society and polity.

From Caste Consciousness to Class Consciousness Alleppey Coir Workers during Inter-War Period

Alleppey Coir Workers during Inter-War Period T M Thomas Isaac The formation of the working class cannot be considered complete till workers become aware of the social relationship which defines their common identity as well as the conflicts arising therefrom. The emergence of political consciousness, unlike trade union consciousness, requires conscious intervention and is related to the totality of social relations and traditions in which the wage-labour relationship is embedded.

Communist Movement in Kerala In the Electoral Mirror

In the Electoral Mirror T M Thomas Isaac IN a sense, the title of T J Nossiter's book "Communism in Kerala A Study in Political Adaptation'" is rather misleading. If you really ask what the communis; movement was trying to adapt: itself to the speci- licities of the changing socio-econo- mic structure of Kerala

Class Struggle and Structural Changes-Coir Mat and Matting Industry in Kerala, 1950-80.

This paper attempts to describe and explain the structural changes that have occurred in the coir mat and matting industry of Kerala since the end of the nineteen forties.

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