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

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The Budget: A Quick Look through a 'Gender Lens'

This paper examines the union budget 2001-2002 with a focus on its implications for women's empowerment. Changes in patterns of allocations to various women-specific schemes as well as to schemes of indirect benefit to women have been analysed. This preliminary analysis suggests that the standard perception of women's roles continues to be as mothers and caregivers, and has undergone little change. Investment priorities seem to reinforce this image, and do not reflect a commitment to women's empowerment.

Do We Need the AICTE?

The article by J V Deshpande (EPW, December 2, 2000) exposed the nexus between the AICTE and politicians, not a day too soon. If at all, his account of the AICTE’s working is mild. Fifteen years ago, when the AICTE was legislated, there could have been some justification for it. There were less than about 500 engineering colleges then. It is only after India gave up the bureaucrat-dictated, politicianpostulated, socialistic centralised control of every human endeavour that there has been a growing demand for engineering, business management and computer applications education. Governments and universities are in no position to undertake the massive expansion that is required in our university education, especially in the professions of engineering, medicine, business management and computers.

Cultural Stereotypes and Household Behaviour

To improve levels of girls' education, it is vital to widen the definition of child labour beyond wage employment. At present, there is little recognition of the economic contribution of girls to the economy and little effort has been made to get girls out of work and into school. There also remain long-standing stereotypes and norms that seek to discriminate against the girl child. However, the picture is not all bleak, for efforts at the grass roots level are afoot, wherein the NGOs have worked hand-in-hand with villagers to send their girls to school with very dramatic results.

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