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

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Governing Sacred Groves

Sacred groves are widely recognised for their religious, cultural, and ecological value. They are an intrinsic part of traditional and indigenous practices of forest governance. However, the contemporary sacred forest system is not an autonomous world. Its sociopolitical landscape is not confined only to the village either. Based on extensive fieldwork in Jharkhand, this paper argues that sacred groves have evolved to be dynamic spaces of multilevel institutional interactions and contestations. Their conservation is contingent on the intersectional dynamics of indigenous, state, and institutional processes. Classical approaches of sacrality of the nature and forms of forest worship need to be combined with the concerns of the local environment, democracy, gender, caste, conservation, and culture.

Why India Needs a Coal Mines Environment Authority

Given India’s continued dependence on coal to supply power for industrial and residential consumers at affordable prices, the country needs a unified coal mines environment authority staffed with multidisciplinary expertise to assess and minimise the adverse environmental impacts of coal mines with an integrated approach to ensure more efficient, effective, and transparent environmental governance. This authority must be created by enacting a sustainable coal mining bill before private sector commercial coal mines commence operations.

Memories of the Father of Our Movements, Father Stan Swamy

A researcher and activist remembers the time spent with Father Stan Swamy at Bagaicha, a community training centre that was started by the Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist.

Just Transition in Coal

The article discusses why it is an imperative for India to begin deliberation on a just transition from coal in light of some of the compelling factors. It then evaluates what a just transition in India might entail building on an on-ground study of a coal district in Jharkhand, one of India’s top coal mining states. And finally, it outlines the planning and policy considerations that will be necessary to support a just transition.

Status of Tribal Domestic Workers in Jharkhand

The status of the tribal domestic workers in Jharkhand is explored. It is evident that large numbers of tribal women are engaged as domestic workers inside and outside of the state, and the sector provides a large chunk of employment apart from the cultivation and agricultural sector. The data show differential engagement in the sector by age, urban–rural location, gender, and tribe.

Risky Insurance: The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in Jharkhand

A ground-level survey of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in Jharkhand reveals that the scheme nudges patients towards the private sector under the guise of free healthcare only for them to incur exorbitant expenditure over the course of treatment.

The Namesake: Human Costs of Digital Identities

This article presents a case study from Jharkhand documenting a particularly distressing case of two women of the same name who have a bank account in the same branch.

Troubles with Cash Food Subsidy

A pilot project of cash food subsidy to replace the public distribution system in Nagri block of Ranchi district in Jharkhand is analysed to highlight the problems experienced by Jharkhand in implementation of cash food subsidy through the direct benefit transfer system in the PDS. Further, the limitations of cash transfer as a means to replace the PDS are highlighted as also the infrastructural and institutional constraints to impose digitalisation in rural Indian conditions.

A Big Pay-off for BJP’s Aggressive Campaign in Jharkhand

The success of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Jharkhand in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was enabled by the popularity of Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate, people’s perception of the BJP being the saviour of the nation, and a sense of satisfaction with the performance of its government at the centre. However, most of these factors will not be able to mobilise the voters in favour of the party in the forthcoming assembly elections.

Ethnicity, Religion, and Identity Politics among Tribes in Jharkhand

The underlying causes for the ethnic, religious, and political divides among the tribals of Jharkhand have been examined. Tribal leaders have failed in uniting the tribal society of Jharkhand, leading to divisive and fragmented politics among them. The tribal leaders of today need to realise and understand that any further divide will weaken their collective voice and identity.

Has the Right to Education Been Realised in Jharkhand?

This article focuses on the status of implementation of various provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in six tribal-dominated districts in Jharkhand.

Tyranny of MGNREGA’s Monitoring System

The management information system of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 was hailed as a pioneering tool for enhancing transparency and accountability. However, it is now being used with impunity to centralise the programme and violate workers’ legal entitlements, causing frequent disruptions on the ground and opening new avenues for corruption in the programme.

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