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

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Convention on Biological Diversity

A response to “Critiquing Narrow Critiques of Convention on Biological Diversity’’ (Alphonsa Jojan et al, EPW, 3 November 2018) discusses how the Convention on Biological Diversity puts restrictions on research and warns about the unintended consequences of the regulations designed to prevent global inequalities in the use of genetic resources which may end up promoting global injustice.

Solar Irrigation Pumps and India’s Energy–Irrigation Nexus

A response by the co-authors of the article “Promoting Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop” (EPW, 11 November 2017), to Meera Sahasranaman et al’s discussion article “Solar Irrigation Cooperatives: Creating the Frankenstein’s Monster for India’s Groundwater” (EPW, 26 May 2018), enables a proper assessment of the Dhundi experiment and reiterates the critical role that solar irrigation pumps can play in India’s agricultural future.

Crop Residue Burning

A response to “Crop Residue Burning: Solutions Marred by Policy Confusion” (Sucha Singh Gill, EPW, 8 September 2018) discusses how in situ utilisation of crop residue is not only the best option, but also a feasible one, evident in the practices of organic farmers of even Haryana and Punjab, where residue burning is the most prevalent. Off-farm usage of crop residue may be better than burning as it addresses the issue of air pollution, but it is only the second-best option as it leads to soil fertility depletion.

Mapping and Measuring Media Ownership and Control

A response to the paper “Mapping the Power of Major Media Companies in India” (EPW, 21 July 2018) by Anuradha Bhattacharjee and Anushi Agrawal highlights its inability to analytically explain the construct of “media market,” the consequent mischaracterisation of the extant scholarship on the Indian media industry, and engages with the gaps and inconsistencies in collating empirical details in the paper.

The Bru–Mizo Conflict in Mizoram

A response to the article “The Bru Conundrum in North East India” (EPW, 28 April 2018) by Roluahpuia presents the history of exclusion and oppression of the Brus in Mizoram, and suggests that they are the real victims in the state.

Thwarting Water Sector Reforms

A water bureaucrat’s response to the critique of the Mihir Shah Committee report by M Dinesh Kumar et al (“New ‘Water Management Paradigm’: Outdated Concepts?” EPW, 9 December 2017) contends that by opposing the much-needed restructuring of the central water agencies, Kumar et al want to preserve the status quo and derail the attempt to reform the water sector.

What Does CORE’s The Economy Offer Students and Teachers?

Responding to the special issue, “CORE’s Economics Textbook” (EPW, 16 June 2018), a teacher who has used the book in class explains why the book has proved useful in conveying concepts in economics and inculcating an interest in the study of social sciences at large. The Economy is not only a well-thought-out and ideologically eclectic textbook, but an interactive and dynamic teaching and learning tool that incorporates digital resources.

Faith, Heresy and Economic Theory

John Rapley’s recent book Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a Religion and How It All Went Wrong is a riveting tale of the development of economic thought. “This fundamental critique of economics,” writes Avinash Persaud in his review (“The Corruption of Economics,” EPW , 24 February 2018...

The Real Status of Rural Sanitation

A response to the article “Open Defecation in Rural India, 2015–16: Levels and Trends in NFHS–4” (EPW, 3 March 2018) points out that the NFHS–4 data on open defecation in rural India is neither the “best” nor is it “new.” Rural India is well on its way to becoming open defecation free before the proposed deadline of 2 October 2019.

Formalising the Informal

The article “Tech in Work: Organising Informal Work in India” (EPW, 20 May 2017) by Aditi Surie fails to critically examine the tall claims made by platform economy companies like Uber and Ola. A field study in Mumbai points towards the increasing precarity for drivers therein, in stark contrast to the claims of these companies of “formalising the taxi system,” instituting transparency and regulation, and creating the new category of “driver–entrepreneur.”

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.

Need for Change in Forest Management and Silviculture

The special issue on the promise and performance of the Forest Rights Act (EPW, 24 June 2017) failed to explore the extent to which people’s livelihoods and incomes improved in the districts where the act has been implemented. Providing forest management and ownership rights to communities is not enough. The government should actively aid the livelihoods of forest dwellers through higher production of gatherable biomass, and enhanced opportunities for its collection and marketing.


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