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

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Property and the Enduring State of Famines in Colonial India

A response to “Famines in India” (EPW, 26 June 2021) pushes for an interrogation of the character of the colonial state, mainly the rule of property, and its complicit role in engendering famine-like conditions.

Governing Water to Foster Equity and Conservation

The water sector in India and vested interests in it have always been averse to change. We have now reached a point where diffi cult decisions must be taken if we are to avoid an increasing number of water-related confl icts. The states must not only adopt legislation based on the central government’s groundwater model law but also make sure to adapt it to their local circumstances. The union government also has a framework legislation that attempts to highlight the importance of water, which all states would do well to replicate.

Understanding Metabolic Rift through Assemblage of Land and Intersectional Inequalities in India

Climate change has become one of the most burning concerns of our living times. Using the Marxian concept of ‘metabolic rift’, we illuminate the complex nature-society relationship in India. We do so by understanding the rift advanced by neo-liberal capitalism through the assemblage of land and intersectional inequalities. We argue that the intersecting inequalities based on social (power) relations are exacerbated during climate change ; in particular, the neo-liberal capitalist interventions have created disproportionate impacts of climate change among rural communities shaped by the unequal land relations in India. In the light of the IPCC AR6 report, we indicate few potential mechanisms of healing/repairing the metabolic rift; however, we caution the ineffectiveness of healing efforts without addressing the socio-spatial injustices. We highlight that the equitable redistributional justice challenging the existing socio-spatial power relations remains a critical concern, without which, even in the efforts of repairing the rift, the structural inequalities may still be reproduced in the new landscapes .

Argumentation by Misrepresentation

In this response to Chris J Perry and M Dinesh Kumar’s critique of the authors’ co-authored paper, “Water and Agricultural Transformation in India: A Symbiotic Relationship —I” by Mihir Shah, P S Vijayshankar and Francesca Harris (EPW, 17 July 2021), the authors seek to respond to a distortion of their views as well as what they claim is a ridiculing of powerful solutions to India’s water and agrarian crises.

Climate Change and the Miyawaki Forests

The Miyawaki method is a path-breaking initiative in the recreation of forests in India, particularly, in the context of climate change and environment conservation. A judicious conservation policy is the need of the hour as conservation initiatives are affecting people’s lives and livelihoods. Thus, this method offers an opportunity to everyone to be associated with environment conservation by growing a forest in their backyard.

The Irreversibility of Change in Climate

Climate-resilient development should be commensurate with social justice.

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).

Climate Crisis and Environmental Degradation

“Climate refugees” are on the rise with people losing their lands and livelihoods due to climate hazards. India is one of the most vulnerable countries and suffers from the severity of the climate crisis. People living along the shoreline are in jeopardy because of extreme weather events. In the last 26 years, severe erosion has changed the coastline. Appropriate policy support is necessary to build climate resilience.

Equity in Global Climate Policy and Implications for India’s Energy Future

The remaining carbon budget available to the world to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius or to “well below 2°C” very small and is being rapidly depleted. The year 2021 has witnessed a flurry of pledges by countries to achieve net-zero emissions around the second half of this century. But the analysis shows the pledges of Annex-I parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be highly inadequate to limit the temperature rise to below 1.5°C. In this context, this paper reviews India’s climate change mitigation efforts and policies over the last decade and assesses the recently declared net-zero emissions pledge against a range of illustrative emissions pathways and the implied cumulative emissions of these pathways. The ambition of India’s pledge is assessed, with a discussion of the challenges that lie ahead for India’s energy sector.

Narratives of Natural Resource Corruption and Environmental Regulatory Reforms in India

The shifting discourses on the purposes, objectives, and forms of India’s environment regulations are discussed within the broader domestic, political, and economic contexts. The environmental law reforms are being designed to legalise and protect financial investments in projects, irrespective of their environmental performance, and to monetise their impacts and damages.

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