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

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Do Self-Help Groups Transform the Lives of Poor Women? A Reading List

While self-help groups are seen as vital to successful anti-poverty policies , they have failed to develop the collective bargaining power of women and comprehensively incorporate the demands made by beneficiaries.

From Jobless to Job-loss Growth

The unprecedented decline in the absolute number of workers in the Indian economy in recent times has been a subject of debate and a matter of public concern. A closer look at the data for the period 2011–12 and 2017–18 shows that it is the net result of a dynamic process of job creation and destruction. Those who have lost jobs are all with low education, that is, less than secondary level of education. From a gender perspective, rural women workers are the net losers. From a social point of view, the net losers belong to two groups: Muslims and Hindu Other Backward Classes. These are clear signs of rural India in distress with strong gender and social dimensions.

The Future of Globalisation

An analysis of globalisation in a historical perspective can help us understand how the past or the present may shape the future. In so doing, this article outlines the contours of the present era of globalisation since its inception, circa 1975, to find that the successive epochs of globalisation during the second millennium came to an abrupt end because of their own consequences embedded in the process. Given this, the article seeks to focus on the present conjuncture, at the intersection of economics and politics, when globalisation is again in crisis to reflect on its future.

Farmer Suicides

Unravelling Farmer Suicides in India: Egoism and Masculinity in Peasant Life by Nilotpal Kumar, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017; pp xv + 309, ₹ 995.

Means to Augment Human Well-being

Post-growth Thinking in India: Towards Sustainable Egalitarian Alternatives edited by Julien-François Gerber and Rajeswari S Raina , Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2018; pp xxii + 365, ₹ 1,075 .

Muslims, Affirmative Action and Secularism

Religion-based preferential treatment in the services of the state is generally argued to be in contradiction with secularism. As a result, the Indian state has relied on a non-preference, non-discrimination framework to address the issues of backwardness and under-representation of Muslims. This article attempts to partially reconcile the contradiction between religion-based preferential treatment and secularism, and it is argued that the determination of welfare policies for religious minorities, particularly Muslims within the non-preference, non-determination framework, either has to be justified in the public philosophy of the state or social justice has to be given a relative preference to secularism, especially when the policies formulated within the non-preference, non-discrimination framework have not proven to be effective in targeting the relative backwardness of Muslims.

What Is the Effective Delivery Mechanism of Food Support in India?

The public distribution system is the cornerstone of anti-poverty initiatives in India to address the issue of hunger and malnutrition, but is plagued with leakages and corruption. Though several possible reasons account for these problems, one factor that is generally overlooked is the lack of assessment of the preference of the beneficiaries in terms of product portfolio, selection, and delivery mechanisms. Through a mixed methods analysis across Bihar, Odisha and (eastern) Uttar Pradesh, this paper assesses the factors explaining the diversity in the preference for the delivery mechanism. What would be a straightforward choice problem among delivery mechanisms turns out to be far more intricate when mediated by contextual heterogeneity and unequal power relations at different levels. The results highlight the centrality of demand and build a case for demand assessment in improving the effectiveness of the system.

Indian Car Industry

Global Players and the Indian Car Industry: Trade, Technology and Structural Change by Jatinder Singh, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2019; pp xvii + 240, ₹ 995.

India’s Civilisational Identity and the World Order

As the neo-liberal world order declines, non-Western powers are uniquely equipped to manage the power transition and contestations over the basic tenets of the emerging system. India’s civilisational ethos of reconciling different ideas will be of immense value in navigating the uncertainty and turmoil at a critical juncture of world history.

Narrating an Epic Life

Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914–1948 by Ramachandra Guha, Gurgaon: Penguin Allen Lane, 2018; pp xx + 1129, ₹ 999.

Economic Independence and Social Security among India’s Elderly

Given that a majority of India’s elderly population lacks adequate social security or old-age pension, India needs a robust social security system that addresses decisive ageing challenges such as decent living arrangements, economic independence and social support to ensure active ageing. India needs to facilitate interstate convergence in old-age pensions under social security schemes for the elderly population, and revisit and re-evaluate existing multisectoral policy initiatives aimed towards their welfare.

India's Trade Outreach Needs to Pivot Towards Latin America

While Narendra Modi and the BJP government have been eager to project Indian power across the globe, trade potential with Latin America remains unfulfilled.

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