eSocialSciences Newsletter

February-March 2007


Selection of Recent Posts


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Theme of the Month 1:Union and State Budget 2007-08



eSS Editorials by

Mukul Asher, Vinod Vyasulu, S.Srinivasan and others.


Related Commentaries/Papers

State Budget: Kerala: New Development Agenda: Will the State Overcome Obstacles?  K.Ramachandran  Nair points out that while Budget has done reasonable justice to support the Plan and take Kerala on a higher growth path external constraints remain.


Union Budget 2007-08: Continuing Neglect of Public Health Care by Vinish Kathuria. Allocations to the budget for health appear to be impressive but a closer look shows that Millenium Development Goals have not been prioritised.


Budget 2007-08 and Children: A First Glance. HAQ Centre for Child Rights. Of every 100 rupees in the Union Budget 2007-08, only 4 rupees and 84 paise will benefit children. The promised allocation of Rs. 4761 crore is not sufficient to meet even the cost of existing operational Anganwadi centres. [Prepared by Enakshi Ganguly Thukral, Bharti Ali, Abhijeet Nirmal and Madhumita Purkayastha.]


Turnaround of Indian Railways: A Critical Appraisal of Strategies and Processes. G.  Raghuram attempts a diagnosis of the 'turnaround, followed by a critical assessment of the strategies and key processes and the sustainability of this 'turnaround'.



Monetary Policy

Does Capital Account Openness Lower Inflation? Abhijit Sen  Gupta investigates the relationship between capital account openness and inflation since the 1980s arguing that widespread capital account liberalization during the last two decades appears to have contributed to the worldwide disinflation observed during the same period.


Theme of the Month 2: Farming and Agriculture

Corporate Farming in India: Is it Must for Agricultural Development? Sukhpal  Singh profiles cases of corporate farming practice and examines the rationale for allowing corporate farming in India. [IIMA WP]


Lease Farming in Kerala: Findings From Micro Level Studies. K.N.  Nair

examines some micro-level studies on tenancy in Kerala making a case for institutionalised arrangements for the expansion of lease cultivation, rather than sterner measures to check it. [CDS WP]


Transaction Costs and Institutional Innovation: Sustainability of Tank Aquaculture in Sri Lanka by Athula Senaratne.  Freshwater community-based aquaculture was introduced to village irrigation tanks in the dry zones of Sri Lanka in order to off-set the limited supply of animal protein available to residents in inland areas. An assessment. [SANDEE Working Paper 18]


Selected Book Reviews

Anand  Chandavarkar reviews Paul Samuelson and William A. Barnett's Inside the Economist's Mind: Conversations with Eminent Economists'. [Book at: ]

Mohan Rao discusses Soosantha Goonatilake's Recolonisation: Foreign Funded NGOs in Sri Lanka  (Sage). [Book at: ]

V. V. Bhatt reviews United Nations Development Aid: A Study in History and Politics' by Digambar Bhouraskar, (Academic Foundation). [Book at: ]



Education: Equity and Efficiency

Public Expenditure on Education : A Review of Selected Issues and Evidence by Anit N  Mukherjee. How effective and efficient has been the resource allocation by the government in education?


Agriculture and Land Relations in History

Agriculture: A Perspective from History, the Metrics of Comparative Advantage, and Limitations of the Market to Understand the Role of State in a Globalising World.   Sebastian Morris  brings together historical experience of agricultural development to draw insights that can usefully inform the content of state intervention. [IIMA WP]


Farmers And Rulers State Intervention In The 19th Century Deccan Country Side. Neeraj Hatekar analyses Robert Keith Pringle's experiment---after the British conquest of the Deccan---of applying Ricardian theory of rent to several villages in order to understand the causes of its failure. [Mumbai University Economics Department WP 95/3]


Coffee, Tea Or Pepper? Factors Affecting Choice Of Crops By Agro-Entrepreneurs In Nineteeneth Century South-West India by Michael   Tharakan. Though small coffee cultivators in the early plantation regions of Southern India and Ceylon were affected by the widespread blight in the late 19th century that almost wiped out coffee, they seem to have played important role in the survival of the crop. What advantages did the small holder have?




Report of the Technical Expert Group on Patent Law Issues: Chairman R.A.  Mashelkar .  The Technical Expert Group was set up by the Government of India, to examine whether it would be TRIPS compatible to limit the grant of patent for pharmaceutical substance to new chemical entity or to new medical entity involving one or more inventive steps. The report was subsequently withdrawn .


AIDAN Statement on the Report of the Technical Expert Group on Patent Law Issues All India Drug Action Forum.   Welcoming the move to withdraw the Report of the Technical Expert Group on Patent Law Issues AIDAN has issued a statement that the group must not be allowed to re-submit the report and must be referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee .



Campaign Issues in Child Health: Jan Swasthya Abhiyan


Gender Studies

Women Politicians, Gender Bias, and Policy-making in Rural India. In this background  paper for the UNICEF's State of the World's Children report Lori  Beaman presents some insights on the causal impact of women as policy makers examining India's mandated political representation for women in local governments.


Education: Equity and Efficiency

Public Expenditure on Education : A Review of Selected Issues and Evidence by Anit N  Mukherjee. The effectiveness and efficiency of resource allocation by the government in education has generated considerable debate, both from ideological and technical points of view. An exploration.


Secondary Education in India: Determinants of Development and Performance. Geetha Rani P examines the inter-state variations by constructing an educational development and performance indices.. Comparisons from 1990s to 2000-01/2003-04.


Educational Development and Wastage in Tripura by P.  Nayak evaluates the educational scene in Tripura using three indicators, literacy rate, enrolment ratio and wastage rate. [NEHU WP]


Knowledge Studies: Literary Social Science

The series represents an attempt to find a different voice to talk about some important themes in social sciences.

Leena Pascal: 'Grounding the Spirit: Revival of Irula Art as a Form of Narrative Tradition'. Meera Baindur: 'When it Rains on the Sand Dunes' . Sahana Udupa: 'The Offshored World' . Kishor G. Bhat: 'Maria's Dilemma'


Urban Studies

Reforming Delivery of Urban Services in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Case Study in India by Kala Seetharam  Sreedhar . Is there a need for reforming public service delivery in Ludhiana (chosen as leading urban initiative), judged against national benchmarks?


Labour History

Bondage In Freedom Colonial Plantations in Southern India c. 1797-1947 K. Ravi Raman attempts to unravel the constituents of changing forms of bondage and the coercive/disciplinary strategies adopted by the planters that gave rise to a new labour regime.


International Trade

Identifying Models of Best Practices in the Provision of Technical Assistance to Facilitate the Implementation of TRIPS Agreement by Rajesh Sagar. Recommendations to provider and recipient nations for undertaking any technical assistance programme in a recipient nation. [IPDEV Project, Queen Mary London].   Other IPDEV reports available on eSS.


Challenges Facing Fair Trade: Which Way Now? Anne  Tallontire. Who should supply the Fair Trade market? What support do producers require and what is the impact of the relationship between Fair Trade organisations and producers? [DSA conference paper]


Editorial Team: Padma Prakash (Editor), Lakshmi Priya and Savita Kulkarni. []

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