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

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Data Soldiers

Researchers and academia seldom think about the foot soldiers who collect data by travelling to villages, blocks, or districts and interviewing households and communities.

The Macro Frames of Microwork

Based on a qualitative study of women microworkers on Amazon Mechanical Turk, this paper explores the gendered modus operandi of global platform capitalism. For women from households negotiating caste and class status in small-town South India, digital labour platforms like AMT are the optimal choice; an answer to both economic necessity and familial validation. Women must, however, endure the platform’s coercive disciplining, striving to meet its unknowable metrics. With the pandemic, even as they are forced to contend with the oppressive precarity of digital labour—reducing job availability, falling pay, longer hours and the risk of suspension—work on AMT, paradoxically, becomes non-negotiable. The artificial intelligence-based regimes of the platform economy urgently need a norm shift towards gender equality and redistributive justice.

Misconceived Measures for Malnutrition

The recent Government of India recommendation for monthly length/height measurements by anganwadi workers promises to be a disaster in its current form and might lead to a severe derailing of the existing system of data collection and management, leading to further chaos and misreporting on malnutrition.

A (Re)look at the Proposed DNA Regulatory Board

A law that allows deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profiling and databasing of people is in the making in India. It was introduced as the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha by the minister for science and technology on 8 July 2019. The bill has been referred to...

Disastrous Decade for Data

In recent years, the Indian official data has been challenged for many reasons, most of them arising out of the perception that the government is reluctant to release unfavourable data. These doubts have been exacerbated by the controversy posed by the debate around Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register, and National Register of Citizens and the weakening of established institutions like the National Statistical Commission. The COVID-19 pandemic has further upset the data collection so that the first phase of the decennial population census and the proposed NPR exercise now stand postponed. Questions on credibility of official data and the pandemic-induced problems have come at a time when technology offers solutions to data collection, processing and dissemination. The initiatives launched by the government to improve the statistical system utilise these possibilities.

Quality of Data in NFHS-4 Compared to Earlier Rounds

As the quality of data from the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey is likely to be affected both by the overstretching of the number of questions administered as well as the increased involvement of commercial agencies for data collection, rethinking both these aspects of survey management is the need of the hour.

Environmental Damage to Land Resource

The main objective of collecting land use statistics in India has been to facilitate agricultural accounting. Rise in human and livestock population and development of modern agriculture have led to degradation of land and environment. If unchecked, the land resource may become increasingly less productive and may get irreversibly damaged. It is important therefore that a systematic data base is built to assess changes in land use and the type and extent of environmental damage to land resource. This paper describes the existing system for generating land use data and shows that it is not adequate to enable environmental assessment of land use. It makes a case for technological advancement and institutional changes to improve the land use data base in the country.

Rainfall and Run-Off

Ecological changes in the catchment area of the Gandhi Sagar Dam have led not only to changes in the quantum and pattern of rainfall, but also its relationship with the run-off in the reservoir. Erratic water flows have rendered the dam unsafe and arrangements for surplus storage insufficient.

Demographic Data

What has been done with the enormous amount of demographic data that have become available during the last decade? How many scholars have analysed the data and published research papers? How many in the government have used the data for policy-making? The answer to these questions are certain to be disappointing.
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