August 2007


Selection of Recent Posts and Forthcoming Events

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Parliament in Session

Daily synopsis of the proceedings of both houses of the Indian Parliament available on eSS.



Journal of Health Studies, a multidisciplinary, peer reviewed periodical

brought to you by the Centre for Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) in collaboration with eSS.  The first issue of the Journal on Health Studies will appear as an online journal in December 2007. Print publication will begin in 2008.  Our endeavour is to ensure that a large part of the journal will be open access. JHS welcomes contributions for publication on various issues in Health Studies. 'Urban Health and Health Services is the focus of the December issue.


Introducing a New column:

Goa Musings by Valmiki Faleiro by arrangement with See under Commentaries


Now available on eSS, Working Papers from:

*Institute of Railway and Transport Studies in History, York University: Historical studies on the Railways --- An eSS endeavour to open and encourage new and less popular research areas. Other papers to this section are particularly welcome.

*WOHTRAC, Baroda: Gender studies on health and health care.

*Centre for Development Economics, University of Delhi: A premier centre for research in development economics.


Conferences on eSS

International Conference on the Importance of Medical History

The first international conference dealing with theoretical and methodological issues relating to the history of medicine to be held in Mumbai.  Sponsored by SIES, Mumbai and the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, London, UK. The programme and paper abstracts available at:


Selected Papers

60 years of Independence

The Indian Economy since Independence by Vinod Vyasulu India's has been a unique path of economic development—internally decided in a democratic framework, constantly debated between different ideologies and interest groups, and increasingly engaging with the world. The ultimate result is uniquely Indian. In 60 years, the author argues, the overall balance is positive. [eSS Working Paper]


Who’s making Health Policy?

Public Health Policy Making and Drug Industry: Issues in Knowledge Legitimation by S Srinivasan. The political economy of the pharmaceutical industry defines truth significantly in medicine as much as does dominant medical practice. This mediated wisdom of medicine is purveyed across populations through public health policies affecting millions. [eSS WP]


Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines by Andrea Onori. The document attempts to foresee the consequences of this Agreement on the access to essential drugs in the DC and on the relations between the main institutions.


Migration and Movement

Tal Makeshift Camp: No One Should Have to Live Like This. Report of MSF .There seems to be no place for the stateless Rohingya people fleeing discrimination and persecution in their own country, Myanmar. A document of their living conditions in the Teknaf area highlights people’ physical and mental health.


Economic and Social Dynamics of Migration in Kerala, 1999-2004 Analysis of Panel Data by Zachariah KC An anlaysis of panel data from two studies set five years apart has yielded rich househould and migration data. [CDS WP].


Research and Education: Disarray and Disparity

On Self-financing of Institutions of Higher Learning in India. S.K. Mishra suggests that our higher education system should avoid conspicuous consumption and should try to earn money by doing some productive activities. [NEHU WP].


In Development Disparity in Education Sector: An Inter District Temporal Analysis in Kerala. V. Nagarajan Naidu aims to identify the trend and disparity in development in the education sector at the district level examining closely the factors that led to this inter district variations.[eSS WP].


Educational Innovations in Rural Tamil Nadu: Tsunami-affected Arunthatiars of Sathyamangalam Vrunda Prabhu reports on the human aspect of a 2 ½ year collaboration between mathematics teachers of the City University of New York and non-formal, community-based schools and bridge schools, in the tsunami-affected Arunthatiar community in rural Tamil Nadu. [eSS WP]

Why is so Little Spent on Educating the Poor? Tony Addison points out that on average public subsidies to secondary education are roughly three times as high as subsidies to primary education, and subsidies to tertiary education are thirty times as high. In consequence, the higher income deciles benefit disproportionately from public spending on education. [UNU-WIDER Discussion Paper ]


Institutional Influences on Human Capital Accumulation: Micro Evidence from Children Vulnerable to Bondage by Eric Edmonds. A debt-bondage institution prevalent in the western plains of Nepal is an unusually good setting in which it is possible to explore how institutions affects investments in education.

Position Papers of the NCERT National Focus Group on Education are being posted on eSS.

Aims of Education by Mrinalini Miri and others. Given the enormity and importance of this task, it is necessary to create occasions to sit back collectively and ask ourselves, ‘Is there a need to ask ourselves afresh some of the basic questions such as what ought to be the purpose of education?’


Social Science Research Methods and Knowledge-Claims by Paramjit S Judge.  This paper explores three important but interrelated issues: The power of example; the fragment as evidence; and finally, the field experience and the possibility of generalisation. These issues are central in the current discourse of social science practice in which serious doubts are being raised about the ability of sociological research to come up with the generalisations, and make knowledge-claims. [eSS WP]


Creative Leaders. Then President APJ Abdul Kalam discusses five examples of leadership that provide insights into how selfless individuals with expert knowledge and determination succeed in contributing to societal development in his address at the Post-Centenary Golden Jubilee Celebrations of University of Mumbai.


Microfinance Bill: Continuing the debate

Should NABARD be Micro Finance Regulator? Mukul Asher and Savita Shankar. NABARD is a key participant in the micro finance sector. Combining the role of service provider and regulator is not good governance practice.[eSS Policy Comment]


Agricultural Commodities

Millers, Commission Agents and Collusion in Grain Auction Markets: Evidence From Basmati Auctions in North India by Anirvan Banerji Structural estimation of asymmetric auction models in a market for basmati detects the presence of a cartel consisting of a large (in market share) local miller and commission agents purchasing for large distant millers. [CDE WP].


Report of the Inter-ministerial Task Force on Convergence of Securities and Commodity Derivative Market. With the abolition of prohibition on forward trade in all the commodities at the beginning of 2003, the commodity derivatives market has been totally liberalized. An inter-ministerial Task force was constituted to examine the idea of convergence of markets, institutions, players and regulators.


Can Horticulture be a Success Story for India? By Surabhi Mittal. In spite of being one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world, the export competitiveness among the Indian producers remains low. A case study of the successful SAFAL Market. [ICRIER WP]


Health Spending

Explaining the Incidence of Catastrophic Expenditures on health care: Comparative Evidence from Asia by Owen O’Donnell. Out-of-pocket (OOP) financing of health care leaves households exposed to the risk of unforeseen expenditures that absorb a large share of the household budget. Catastrophic medical expenditures across households in six Asian countries/territories. [EQUITAP WP].


Social Affiliation and the Demand for Health Services: Caste and Child Health in South India by Nancy Luke.  In the controlled setting--tea estates in the South Indian High Range --- low caste households spend more on their children’s health than high caste households and health expenditures do not vary by gender within either caste group, in contrast once again with the male preference documented throughout the country.  [BREAD Working Paper]


Book Reviews

Vijay Laxmi Pandey reviews Mahesh Rangarajan edited Environmental Issues in India: A Reader, Pearson Longman, New Delhi, 2007.

Amita Sinha reviews Indigenous Modernities: Negotiating Architecture and Urbanism by Jyoti Hosagrahar, Routledge,New York; 2005.

Barnita Bagchi on Organizing Empire: Individualism, Collective Agency, and India by Purnima Bose, Duke University Press and Zubaan, 2006.

G Narasimha Raghavan comments on Bimal Jalan’s The Future of India – Economics, Politics and Governance, Penguin Books.


Gender Studies

In Women and Food Security in South Asia: Current Issues and Emerging Concerns Nira Ramachandran suggests that the educated and socially empowered Asian Woman is the key to improving the nutrition and mental acuity of young children. [WIDER Research Paper]


Dowry and Property Rights by Siwan Anderson The historical instances of dowry can be classified according to a model the implications of which are also tested using current data from Pakistan; a country of some relevance because dowry legislation is currently an active policy debate [BREAD WP]


Cities, Gender Budgeting and Civic Governance. Vibhuti Patel points out that budgetary policies need to keep into considerations the gender dynamics operating in the economy and in the civil society. A checklist.[eSS WP].


Understanding HIV/AIDS: A Gender and Rights Perspective by Renu Khanna looks at the current and future trends in HIV/AIDS care from a gender perspective [WOHTRAC Report Series]


Chinese Economy

Monetary Policy: Satisfy China’s Demand for Money Hugo Restall talks with Nobel economics laureate Robert Mundell on how Beijing can keep the yuan’s value fixed and still avoid inflation. [FEER Essay]


Poverty and Employment

Discussions Among the Poor: Exploring Poverty Dynamics With Focus Groups in BangladeshPeter Davis reports findings from 116 focus group discussions in eleven districts in Bangladesh in mid-2006 as part of an integrated qualitative and quantitative study into poverty dynamics. [CPRC WP]


Employment and Poverty in India: 2000-2005 by K. Sundaram.  This paper is principally focused on the changes in the size and structure of work force and the changes in labour productivity, wages and poverty in India in the first quinquennuim of the 21st century. [CDE WP]


Impact of Special Economic Zones on Employment, Poverty and Human Development by Aradhna Aggarwal. There are three channels through which SEZs address these issues: employment generation, skill formation and technology and knowledge upgradation. An examination of the impact of SEZs passed through each of these channels. [ICRIER WP]


Participatory Equity, Identity, and Productivity Policy Implications for Promoting Development by Kaushik Basu advances the perspective that the poor and the marginalized in society lack a sense of “participatory equity,” by building a new model where a person’s community identity matters, ex post, in determining if he or she will be poor, even though all persons are identical ex ante. [BREAD WP]


Chronic Poverty in India: Policy Responses summarises the characteristics of and explanations for the continuing phenomenon of poverty despite efforts, and proposes a series of recommendations for policy changes that would move India towards eradicating poverty. [CPRC Policy Brief]


The Sudoku Of Growth, Poverty and Malnutrition: Policy Implications for Lagging States by Arvind Virmani. The data on inter-State variations in growth and poverty between 1993-4 to 2004-5 analyzed with a view to improving planning and policy formulation. [PC WP]


Business studies

Modern Indian Business History: A Bibliographic Survey by N Benjamin of business history books in English language pertaining to the colonial and modern period.[GIPE WP].


Predicting Indian Business Cycles: Leading Indices for External and Domestic Sectors by Pami Dua This paper evaluates the real-time performance of the growth rate of the DSE-ECRI Indian leading index for exports for predicting cyclical downturns and upturns in the growth rate of Indian exports.


Journals: New issues

FEER: June 2007

Health e-newsletter: August 2007





Comprehensive Sports Policy, India 2007 . The participant/athlete shall occupy center-stage with all other stakeholders playing a promotional, supportive and convergent role.

National Curriculum Framework 2005  as a means of evolving a national system of education, recommending a core component derived from the vision of national development enshrined in the Constitution.

RBI Annual Report for 2006-07

 Report of the Task Force on Medical Education for the National Rural Health Mission

Eighth Report on Foreign Exchange Reserves. Reserve Bank of India’s compilation of quantitative information with regard to external reserves.



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