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

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Quest for an Indian Manufacturing Future

Industrialisation for Employment and Growth in India: Lessons from Small Firm Clusters and Beyond edited by R Nagaraj, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2021; p 260, ` 950 (hardback).

Rural–Urban Disparity in the Standard of Living across States of India

The rural–urban disparity in the standard of living in India is estimated on the basis of per capita consumption or use of non-durable goods, durable consumer goods, and house and living facilities enjoyed by the population of the rural and urban sectors in major states of India in 2011–12. This estimate shows that the rural–urban disparity in the standard of living is the highest in Jharkhand and Odisha and the lowest in Punjab and Kerala. The interstate variation in rural–urban disparity is negatively correlated with per capita state domestic product, degree of urbanisation, level of agricultural development, and per capita amount of remittances received by rural households. It is positively correlated with the percentage of state population below the poverty line.

Revisiting the GDP Estimation Debate

The National Accounts Statistics series with the base year 2011–12 raised controversy on the integrity of the gross domestic product estimates. The revised growth rates are significantly higher than the earlier figures and are out of line with macroeconomic covariates, especially for the...

Coal Woes: Are They Touch and Go?

To combat the coal shortage and prevent its recurrence, meticulous and efficient planning holds the key.

Budget 2021–22 and the Manufacturing Sector

The growth rate of manufacturing value added has been declining continuously since 2016–17 and it had become negative in 2019–20, even before the intensification of the Covid-19 crisis, suggesting that the budget needs to address the structural weaknesses of the economy. The 2021–22 budget has largely adopted the supply side corrective measures in the form of increased capital expenditure on infrastructure. The potential of infrastructure investment in reviving the sector and the implications of the proposed resource mobilisation for financing the increased capital expenditure are discussed. In the context of increased global fragmentation of production, the feasibility of promoting domestic production through tariff protection is also discussed.

India’s Slowdown

Investments in industry have slowed down considerably in the recent years, as has agricultural growth. Falling levels of capacity utilisation, building up of food stocks and the state of liquidity in the economy sufficiently prove that the problem today is the lack of demand. Rural distress, rising inequality and falling real wages are driving down demand. The government’s response to the slowdown has been woefully inadequate. The biggest impediment to policymaking is not the lack of ideas, but the blinkered vision of economics.

India’s Domestic Pharmaceutical Firms and Their Contribution to National Innovation System-building

Domestic pharmaceutical firms continue to operate under the influence of the strategy of global integration of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare. The link between domestic firms and public sector research organisations is the weakest link in the domestic pharmaceutical industry due to misguided policies in competence-building and innovation system-building after India accepted the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement in 1995. The government should rethink its strategies to get domestic firms to contribute to system-building activities and prioritise investment into the upgrading of processes of learning and building competence.

How to Make Budgets with a Dearth of Data

Given that the reliability of official data has come into question, there is no way to understand the full extent of the issues that various sectors are facing without accurate data.

Literary Cultures in North East India

The history of a community’s literature has usually been inseparable from the history of the language in which the literature is produced. In North East India, the problem arises in the case of those communities which have a rich and vibrant oral tradition, but no written texts. When writers from these communities adopt a literary language which is alien to their culture, they have to understand the historical conditions that enable them to use that language. The literary cultures in this region have witnessed a gradual shrinking of frontiers from the trans-regional vernaculars to a confined and limited regional space, where atomisation of cultures is more visible than development of cosmopolitan vernaculars.

Why Wage Differences Exist across Sectors?

Inter-industry differences in wages are substantial, and over time, they do not seem to be disappearing. Productivity is a determinant of wage differences across industries, though the association between them is not very strong at the aggregate level or for intermediate goods, capital goods, and consumer non-durables. Trade liberalisation enhances productivity and wages at the aggregate level, and also in the case of basic goods and capital goods. However, in an attempt to raise productivity, firms may extract more work from those who are already engaged, and tend to pay them less than their due share in certain industry groups. Contractualisation and feminisation show similar effects for all the industry groups except the intermediate goods industries, and has a worsening effect on wages and also productivity.

Continuous Revisions Cast Doubts on GDP Advance Estimates

Two recent press releases by the Central Statistics Office substantially revise the new series of National Accounts Statistics. The new releases are more than just routine updates, and entail methodological changes and incorporate new sources of data, perhaps in response to various critiques. Yet, on comparing the advance estimates released with past such estimates, the CSO's latest growth projections once again turn out to be far too optimistic.

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