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

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Investigating Democracy and Social Capital in India

Social capital refers to trusts, networks and norms shared by a group of actors that enable them to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives. The study of civil society and social capital allows for the study of conflict over resources or group domination. The theoretical significance of social capital is not that it will necessarily lead to societal peace and harmony, nor does its study necessarily exclude politics and political conflict. The point is to focus attention on non-material resources at the micro-level and their possible impact on the macro-level. Whether these resources, the social capital, are structured on the basis of class, caste, religious group or geographical belonging is open to empirical investigation.

Institutionalising Microfinance in India

There has been an increasing tendency to use the term microfinance - seen to be the most effective intervention towards poverty alleviation, to refer solely to formalised institutions - leaving aside a large informal section, that could include individuals and informal associations as well. Current efforts to mainstream microfinance operations in the non-financial sector of the country, while acknowledging the failure of state-owned credit institutions, should also take into account, among others, the programmatic success of several intermediary developmental institutions like the small savings and credit groups that have proved not only profitable but an effective poverty alleviation measure.

Bank Response to Capital Requirements

The increased emphasis on capital regulation has raised a number of interrelated questions. First, is focusing on capital an efficient way of regulating banks? Secondly, what is the best way to structure capital regulation? Thirdly, how do banks respond to different types of capital regulation? This paper focuses on the last two questions, examining bank responses and the costs associated with these responses to capital requirements. The discussion draws heavily on international experience and concludes with an attempt to bring to bear empirically these experiences in the Indian context.

Financing Capital Investments in Urban Infrastructure

In recent years arranging funds for infrastructural facilities, particularly urban basic services, has become the major plank of urban development policy in India. In the absence of a current account surplus, governments have been forced to look for alternative sources of financing long-term investments needed for urban basic services. This paper examines the nitty-gritty of alternative/unconventional modes of financing infrastructure, particularly, urban basic services in the country and analyses their feasibility in the current urban context.

Macroeconomic Policy and Asset Markets

Bank-based and stock market-based systems are compared from the viewpoint of macroeconomic policy. The author suggests that the former has desirable properties with reference to the objective of increasing output and employment.

On India's Poverty Puzzles and Statistics of Poverty

The greater availability of NSS data sets has prompted a flurry of studies on poverty in India generating much debate. Some of the controversy relates to issues to do with quality of data. This article surveys the debate on poverty and the key issues raised in the debate, discussing the construction of the original poverty lines. The authors present new evidence on the divergence between calorie-based poverty measure and the official poverty line, and explore alternative explanations for this divergence.

Declining Infant and Child Mortality in India

Declining infant and child mortality levels are sure indicators of development. But these may not evenly benefit male and female children especially if the girl children are unable to access the improved health infrastructure and nutritional support. The consequent gender gap in mortality is a good index of discrimination against the girl children. Analysis of time series data on infant and child mortality of major Indian states indicates a more rapid decline in male mortality rates as mortality levels decline. However, many states known for their gender bias do show evidence of the 'substitution effect', i e, more rapid decline in female infant and child mortality rates in the wake of increasing incidence of pre-natal selection. It is argued here, however, that a mere improvement in mortality rates among 'surviving' girl children does not mean an improvement in the quality of their survival.

India and the WTO

An alliance of diverse sectarian interests is claiming that India’s acceptance of the results of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations is threatening the sovereignty of the nation and the supremacy of its parliament. The fallacy of this wild propaganda needs to be exposed and the people educated on the benefits of a liberal and competitive trade regime.

Plight of Power Sector In India - I

True to the spirit of a social democratic state, India originally evolved her power development policy in line with the state's professed commitment to honouring and ensuring social security equations. Although the State Electricity Boards (SEBs) were to function as corporations, they became agents of the state governments. This article attempts to throw light on the significant aspects of inefficiency costs involved in SEBs' functioning. Part I deals with physical performance focusing on such aspects, as technical efficiency, T and D losses, and their possible underestimation as well as some aspects of institutional and organisational inefficiency. Part II, to appear next week, will deal with the supply cost of electricity, tariff and revenue, as well as financial performance.

Perspective for Economic Development of Bangladesh

The objective of this paper is to examine the possibility of Bangladesh achieving self-sustained growth for its economy, and its likely relations with the Indian economy in this context.

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