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

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India and the War against Terrorism

India's foreign minister has described the war against terrorism as between a coalition of democracies and terrorism. But that does not isolate terrorism. There are many countries which are not democratic or are semi-democratic whose support needs to be enlisted. India's main enemy today is not Pakistan, or Afghanistan, but terrorism. It should contribute in building the broadest possible anti-terrorist coalition.

War as Failure of Imagination

The war against terrorism threatens to make reason its first casualty and demands for justice are in danger of being reduced to thirst for revenge.

Leadership in Science and Technology

The evolution and development of science and technology institutions in India, involving some of the visionaries and pioneers of scientific development, have thrown up a wide range of experiences. This aricle traces in a historical perspctive the evolution of leadership styles in this area. The study provides some pointers for the development of an effective leadership style. Innovative organisations, such as those in science and technology, require strong personalised leadership. To develop institutions, it is important to place an individual at the centre of institution-building efforts. Leadership actions have to nurture trust, and create interactions within and outside an organisation. Importantly, leadership qualities cannot be acquired 'on the job'. They have to be developed and honed through participation in formal training programmes.

In Pursuit of Enlightenment

My hearty congratulations to Meera Nanda for her ‘Case for Indian Enlightenment’ (EPW, July 7, 2001). Though she is correct in criticising Marxists in India and outside for their total neglect even of class enlightenment, her criticism of Marx on the same point is not justified. He had given relatively the most advanced philosophical and methodological tool to Marxists and communists world over to develop and innovate, in order to make it capable of revolutionising their respective societies.

Equality and Universality

The distinction between equality and universality is important theoretically as well as in matters of policy. With the example of education, the author shows the limits to which universality can be taken and beyond which inequalities are bound to come into play. Sometimes it serves the public interest or at least the interest of the most disadvantaged sections better if inequalities are allowed to increase instead of being artificially reduced. A strongly competitive system of higher education may be to the general social advantage rather than one that discourages competition on the ground that it encourages inequalities.

India's Trade Database:A Comment

SS Roy deserves congratulations for his article on ‘India’s Trade Database’ (EPW, January 6, 2001). The various dimensions of this aspect are discussed at length critically there. In this note, we seek to pursue it, with special reference to the problem of weight allocation while constructing index number. We had earlier undertaken an exercise of constructing a quantity index, which in literature is also termed as volume index, for India’s imports, for the period 1960-61 to 1970-71. An article containing the results of it was published, titled ‘Trends in India’s Imports’ in EPW issue dated May 9, 1981. Against this backdrop, the following is an attempt to clarify the concept of index number. It appears to be simple but perhaps is not so when examined little closely.

On Nationalism and Ethnicity

Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka, and the Question of Nationhood by Sankaran Krishna; University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis and London, 1999; pp 296, $ 22.95, paperback.

Lessons from Agra

After the trumpets and the fanfare has come the mournful dirge lamenting the ‘failure’ of the India-Pakistan summit at Agra. An expected reaction perhaps, but a trifle hasty. For after all, it would seem that the summit floundered on two old issues, cross border terrorism and the centrality of a resolution on Kashmir to the mitigation of IndiaPakistan tensions. Given this it is hard to see why there is such a desperate urgency about issuing a final report card on the summit. Surely, the two days of president Musharaff’s visit were not expected to unravel the many snags and snarls in the fabric of India-Pakistan relationship? Then again, in the light of the history of other high-level meetings between the two countries, the success or failure of a summit can only be reckoned by what happens afterwards. And in that sense surely it is too early to issue a report card on Agra?

Study in Transition

Building Democracy in South Asia: India, Nepal, Pakistan by Maya Chadda; Vistaar, New Delhi, 2000;

Census of India 2001 and After

It goes to the credit of the 2001 Census Commissioner that he could at once see a shocking aspect of this Census, namely, a sharp decline in the female-male ratio in several states. Migration cannot explain this phenomenon which must be the consequence of female foeticide on a massive scale, if not female infanticide and higher female child mortality rates. It is unfortunate that even in the progressive south Indian states, except Kerala, the child sex ratio has declined.

Civil Aviation Environment in India

The Indian civil aviation sector that showed impressive profits in the pre-liberalisation era has been adversely affected since the onset of the government's open-sky policy in the late 1980s. Attempts to modernise and streamline the airlines' functioning remain stymied due to technological obsolescence, successive changes in government in the mid-1990s; lack of a coherent policy on private participation as well as recalcitrance on the part of politically affiliated unions of pilots and controllers. However, as borne out by several expert recommendations, a reverse in the fortunes of India's beleaguered airlines can only occur with the dawn of professional management.

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