Economy and Society
The NYAY Scheme of the Congress
Apr 8th 2019, Prabhat Patnaik

Prabhat Patnaik argues that the NYAY scheme of the Congress is a form of "charity" rather than establishing an economic right to decent living conditions. But in the current neo-liberal regime, any transfers to the poor are welcome, as long as they do not involve cuts in other social spending.

The Modi Years
Apr 2nd 2019, Prabhat Patnaik

Prabhat Patnaik argues that rolling back of fascification of our society requires much more than the defeat of the Hindutva forces in the coming elections; it requires above all a programme that provides relief to the people from the depredations of neo-liberal capitalism.

Resources for Welfare Expenditures
Feb 19th 2019, Prabhat Patnaik

Prabhat Patnaik argues that wealth tax and inheritance tax, even if levied only on dollar billionaires in India, will be sufficient to finance the creation of a welfare state in India in which every citizen will enjoy basic economic rights.

Science and Subterfuge in Economics
Feb 15th 2019, Jayati Ghosh

Jayati Ghosh points out that "mainstream economics has operated in the service of power", which has made the subject less relevant and reduced its legitimacy and credibility. Economics needs to become more open to criticism of assumptions, methods, and results.

Social Responsibility of Intellectuals in Building Counter-Hegemonies 
Feb 4th 2019, Issa Shivji

In a period of upsurge of fascism, narrow nationalism and parochialism, Issa Shivji calls for the social responsibility of intellectuals to construct a counter-hegemonic project that would resonate with the lives of the vast majority.

On the Proposal for A Universal Basic Income
Feb 1st 2019, Prabhat Patnaik

Income support through 'universal basic income' has to be in addition to the existing welfare schemes and not replace these schemes. The expansion of public delivery of good quality basic services remains essential.

Here's what Modi's 2019 Budget can - but won't - do about India's Jobs Crisis
Jan 30th 2019, Jayati Ghosh

Constraints imposed by the FRBM Act on fiscal and revenue deficit are just an excuse used by the government to hide its unwillingness to act on urgent and important public issues like employment crisis. In reality, government constantly cheats on the FRBM Act, through increased "off-budget" expenditures, misstatement of receipts, and holding back payments that pushes the debt onto other entities.

The Failed Promise of Employment 
Jan 17th 2019, C.P. Chandrasekhar

Attempts by the Modi government to avoid scrutiny on employment generation by suspending or delaying official statistics and trying to use inappropriate and unreliable indicators are bound to fail. Independent assessments point to the dismal job situation in the country.

A Misleading Debate
Jan 10th 2019, Prabhat Patnaik

The government's desire to use RBI’s reserve is based on the erroneous theoretical understanding. This faulty formulation results from the need to avoid upsetting global finance

Contemporary Capitalism and the World of Work 
Dec 4th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Imperialism remains essential to capitalism in all its phases, although its instruments may change from one phase of capitalism to another. When we incorporate imperialism in the Marx's analysis of the dynamics of capitalism, we resolve the puzzle of fall in per capita annual total (both direct and indirect) cereal consumption despite rise in per capita real income. It is because of rise in world poverty along with rise in per capita real incomes.
A Heart-rending Episode 
Nov 14th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Bengal famine of 1943 in which 3 million persons died was the direct result of the escalation of British war expenditure on the eastern front. Such massive loss of life could have been avoided if the manner of financing war expenditure had been different. The war expenditure on the eastern front was financed by a "profit inflation" generating "forced savings". Financing war expenditure this way imposed a heavy burden, especially on the poor people of rural Bengal who were net food purchasers. The forced reduction in consumption they had to undergo, entailed a drastic reduction in their foodgrain intake, and hence the famine.
India's Wealthy Barely Pay Taxes 
Nov 6th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
India has one of the most unequal wealth distributions in the world. The annual Global Wealth Report indicates that wealth inequality in India is only slightly below Russia, which is widely recognised to be the most unequal. Data shows that the richest are paying a falling share of the income taxes. The inability to tax high net worth individuals – or to collect corporation tax from profitable companies as expected – in turn means that the government has turned to relying more and more on indirect taxation which is much more regressive and puts the burden of raising fiscal resources onto common people.
Modicare: A revolutionary step or a 'giant leap backwards'?
Oct 18th 2018, Rohit Azad and Subhanil Chowdhury
A comparison between Modi Government's Ayushman Bharat Programme and Obamacare in terms of coverage and budgetary allocation shows that the prior does not come close to Obamacare, especially with regard to effective coverage. The question of whether insurance-based healthcare system is better than public provisioning of healthcare stands at the heart of an analysis of the scheme in India.
Who's Manipulating China's Exchange Rate?
Sep 11th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Contrary to western perceptions, the Chinese government's attempts to manage the exchange rate over the past few years have actually been directed to shoring up its value, rather than forcing depreciation.
Women's work in India
Sep 10th 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The decline in workforce participation by women in India reflects shift from paid to unpaid work. In the absence of basic amenities, a greater proportion of women are engaged in fetching water, collecting fuel for cooking. Once we take into account these unpaid and socially unrecognised activities done by women, it is found that workforce participation of women is greater than men.
Emergency 2.0
Aug 30th 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Given the background of failure of the ruling party to fulfil any of its important electoral promises, the recent arrests of lawyers, scholars and human right activists represent the desperate measures by the ruling party to stifle, suppress, and divert all voices of criticism, opposition and dissent.
Changes in the Structure of Employment in India
Aug 14th 2018, Vikas Rawal
An analysis of overall trends in the structure of employment, differentiated between men and women, between rural and urban workers, and across different sectors. With an emphasis on using age-cohort analysis, the dynamics of change in the employment structure are elucidated. The paper looks at changes in the overall size of the labour force and in work participation rates between 1993–94 and 2011–12 and talks about changes in employment structure across different industries as well as impact of improvement in educational attainment on employment conditions of young workers.
Begging and Criminality
Aug 13th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The recent decriminalization of begging in New Delhi by the Delhi High Court invites a comparative look at the prevalence of begging in India today and at seventeenth century England post the "Enclosure Movement". The reactions towards the destitute today do not come from a place of assisting this part of the population but from an attempt to clean up our cities.
Ranking Universities
Aug 6th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Ranking universities amounts to detaching them from their social contexts and hence denies the social role of education.
Capitalism's Discourse on "Development"
Jul 30th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Capitalism cannot overcome unemployment and poverty in the third world countries because of its inherent tendency to generate greater technological progress, which increases labor productivity and thereby slows down the employment generation process. Because of growing labor reserves, real wages remain at subsistence level, but since labor productivity would be growing, the share of surplus would be increasing. Therefore capitalism produces growth at one pole and aggravates poverty at another.
The State of the Economy
Jul 23rd 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Indian Economy is facing remarkable combination of stagnation, inflation and a burgeoning trade deficit which has been erroneously attributed to the rise in oil prices alone.
Has There Been an MSP Hike for Kharif Crops?
Jul 16th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The government's MSP hike is just a cynical ploy, there has been no hike in real terms for major crops compared to the base year and the government not cognizing C2 in its MSP fixing while taking (A2+FL) is fundamentally erroneous and has no rationale as it leaves out the poorest landless farmers.
The Proposed Abolition of the UGC
Jul 9th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Modi government is bringing in legislation to abolish the University Grants Commission and replace it with Higher Education Commission of India. The composition of the HECI and the advisory council along with the fact that funds will be provided by the HRD ministry is a strong indicator of political interference in the country’s academic life.
Why didn't Socialism have Over-production Crises?
Jul 2nd 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The period after 2008 has witnessed prolonged overproduction crisis which was not seen in the old socialist economies. A market driven capitalist economy that has its foundations on the principle of antagonism is the source of this glut.
The Government is lying to you about the Reasons behind High Cost of Diesel & Petrol
Jun 20th 2018, Rohit Azad
With the comical cuts in oil prices in India, an international comparison with neighbouring countries shows that the petrol and diesel prices in India are the highest in the region. While a rise in crude oil prices is borne by the consumers, the benefit of a fall doesn't follow the same route. A break up of oil prices and taxation throws light at the picture.
The Invisible Class
Jun 20th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The peasantry has been dubbed as the 'invisible class' for the simple reason that it has been outrightly ignored. A basic comparison of the per capita GDP of this invisible class across two years using the Economic Survey 2017-18 gives veracity to these claims.
The Push for Privatizing Banks
Jun 11th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Historically, the push for bank privatization which has gathered momentum with a rising tendencies to take to neo-liberal policies. The arguments for privatization have been put forward time and time again, depending on economic circumstances. As international finance capital demands outright privatization to control financial resources and popularizes the conception of social interest best served through free finance, the NPA crisis in India has become the justification today.
The Misplaced Growth Discourse
Jun 5th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
A close look at the nature of recent high growth rates provides ample cause for caution. The growth shows absence of dynamism and focus is on a few service sectors. It is being driven by consumption expenditure rather than investment which signals a probably fragile and unstable growth process.
Curbing Child Rape: Are we barking up the wrong tree?
May 11th 2018, Anamitra Roychowdhury
Raising the quantum of punishment in the face of public outrage will not work without fund allocation to improve police-civilian ratio and building judicial infrastructure.
A Tale of Two Discourses
Apr 19th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Hindutva bubble has clearly burst. Mass demonstrations by peasants, traders, doctors, teachers, students and even school children in the past few days have shown that not only the fear gripping the people is over but also the Indian political discourse is shifting towards material-practical matters, again acquiring a resemblance to what it had been in the pre-Modi years.
Commoditization and the Public Sphere
Apr 2nd 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The distinction between the sphere of market and the sphere of public discourse remains central to liberalism. But under capitalism, the public sphere becomes untenable due its "spontaneous" destruction by the markets’ immanent tendency towards commoditization, as we are witnessing everywhere today. In such a world, a fight towards democracy is itself a means of advancing the struggle for socialism.
The Importance of Dissatisfaction
Mar 17th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The first step to overthrowing an oppressive system is "epistemic exteriority" or visualizing an alternative system outside of the existing one. But neo-liberal capitalism has been remarkably successful in thwarting such visualization, by proposing "epistemic closure" as an essential component of development.
State or Market?: India's telecom wars
Mar 17th 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The entry of Reliance Jio in the telecom industry has unleashed an aggressive price war, resulting in takeovers, mergers and closures owing to large debts, spectrum charge dues and falling revenues.
The UGC Directive on Autonomous Colleges
Mar 12th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Higher education in India is facing a twin danger of commoditization and communalization under the globalized capital today. This tendency is fueled further by the UGC directive that combines commoditization with a push towards centralization that is rampant under the Modi government.
The Tripura Election Verdict
Mar 7th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Tripura reverse brings out the fact that it is exceedingly difficult for an opposition party, that has an incumbent government in any state to withstand the onslaught of the BJP, and in between states the one anti-BJP opposition force is different and scattered. For the Left it means a fight for survival.
The Destruction of a University
Feb 28th 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has, in the past two years, undermined the norms and conventions that have established it as a premier institution of higher learning in India.
On the Health Scheme in Budget 2018-19
Feb 13th 2018, Subrata Mukherjee & Subhanil Chowdhury
Neither the union budget nor the National Health Policy 2017 presents any clear and convincing health sector road map. If it is serious about providing health care to even bottom 40% of the population, not only should the government increase its current budgetary allocation substantially but also strengthen the health infrastructure at all levels including a strong regulatory mechanism.
Budget 2018: The Finance Ministry’s Grey Shades of 'Pink'
Feb 2nd 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Even the vaguely "pink" effort in the Economic Survey is whitewashed in the finance minister's Budget speech that is heavily based on stereotypical gender roles for women, and even that completely disappears when we get to the actual budget allocations.
The Dramatic Rise in Wealth Inequality
Jan 25th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Oxfam has just produced a report in which it highlights the dramatic increase in wealth inequality that is occurring in India. The basic data it uses are from Credit Suisse which regularly brings out a Global Wealth Databook; and according to Credit Suisse the top 1 percent of the population in India cornered 73 percent of the additional wealth generated in the year 2017.
The Politics of being a Dalit Woman
Jan 22nd 2018, Jayati Ghosh
To deal with the political and economic marginalisation of Dalit women, it is necessary to recognise the significant differences among them not only according to socio-economic context, degree of education and occupation but also by subcaste.
Arun Jaitley on Electoral Bonds
Jan 15th 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Arun Jaitley had outlined a scheme of electoral bonds in his budget speech on February 2, 2017. Now, exactly 11 months later, the notification of the scheme and some details of it have finally been announced in a Press Information Bureau release on January 2, 2018.
The Demise of Bank Credit
Jan 2nd 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Growing economies generally show increasing deployment of bank credit – but in India this has been decreasing for years and recently has been almost flat. What does this suggest about the growth process and the health of the Indian economy?
The Indian Economy in 2017
Jan 2nd 2018, Jayati Ghosh
This was the year that the economy tanked. Not necessarily in terms of official growth figures: according to the CSO, GDP growth decelerated, but not by that much.
The Obscenity of Hunger Deaths
Dec 22nd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
There is no doubt that human life is cheap in India, perhaps more so now than ever before. The attacks, atrocities and killings of people from minorities and marginalised groups that have now become so common are particularly appalling because they reflect a culture of impunity.
Economic Recovery or A Statistical Illusion: Some observations on recent estimates of GDP growth
Dec 7th 2017, Vikas Rawal
On November 30th, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) came out with quarterly estimates of GDP for the second quarter (June to Sep) of 2017. Predictably, analysts and spokespersons of the government spent the evening in newsrooms of various TV channels celebrating what they claimed was a sign of revival of the economy.
Do Purchasing Power Parity Exchange Rates Mislead on Incomes? The case of China
Dec 5th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The use of exchange rates based on Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) to compare incomes across countries and over time is now standard practice. But this may lead to excessively inflated incomes for poorer countries and not capture the real changes over time.
Shopping frenzy in the new China
Nov 24th 2017,C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba creates a startling sales record on this year’s Singles’ Day, tapping into the rising consumerism of the upper middle class. The surge may not yield the home market growth needed to rebalance the country’s growth.
Neo-liberalism has been a disaster for Nepal
Nov 20th 2017, An interview with C.P. Chandrasekhar
Why is neoliberalism bad for India and Nepal? What are its major flaws? Mahabir Paudyal and Prashant Lamichhane from myRepublica caught up with Professor CP Chandrasekhar when he was in Kathmandu last week to discuss the impact of neo-liberal economic order in the two countries, and the prospects of a socialist-oriented economy in Nepal.
Not with a Bang but with a (prolonged) Whimper
Nov 16th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The German thinker Wolfgang Streeck in his brilliant book provides a cogent critique of the nature of contemporary capitalism, and describes its ongoing extended demise without surrendering to any optimism that as it fails to deliver even in terms of its own logic all the injustice it has generated must inevitably change for the better.
The Golden "Diwali Gift"
Oct 26th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
In the light of rescinding, at the behest of the clout of jewellery traders, the notification requiring KYC details for purchase of gold, the government will find it difficult to maintain its 'pro-poor' and 'anti-corruption' image as its moves seem to be, more for optics and hype than substantive change.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and its Crisis
Oct 24th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Neo-liberal capitalism is marked by the hegemony of international finance capital which has many consequences, among which is the alarming upsurge of fascism, differing markedly from the fascism of the 1930s.
The Current Upsurge of Fascism
Oct 18th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
To describe the present upsurge of fascism as nationalist or populist would be misleading. Neither is it a replication of the fascism of the 1930s. However, it is marked by four features, which have been common to all fascist upsurges in the past, namely: rise of supremacism, apotheosis of unreason, proliferation of fascism as a movement, and intertwining of fascist movement and corporate capital.
The de-digitisation of India
Oct 12th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The failure of digitisation is the result of the Central government's cart-before-horse attitude to policy, which does not take into account the wider context and the supportive and enabling conditions that must be met for any policy measure to succeed.
Widowhood in India
Oct 11th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Public policy has largely ignored specific problems of widows in India. And given their numbers, this exclusion can prove costly for society in general.
The Growing Income Inequality
Oct 5th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The conclusion drawn by Piketty and Chancel in their recent paper shows a greater income inequality in India than it has ever been in the past century. But what stands out is that the trend perfectly synchronizes with transition to neo-liberalism, a stage of capitalism wherein international finance has gained hegemony, and no longer remains a policy choice.
Winner-take-all Political Funding
Sep 28th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
By introducing the opaque and hugely problematic system of electoral bonds, the BJP-led government at the Centre has indicated that it is not really interested in fighting corruption but only concerned with expanding its hold on power.
Agrarian Conditions and Recent Peasant Struggles in Sikar
Sep 25th 2017, Vikas Rawal
Kisans of Sikar have fought many valiant struggles against oppression and against anti-people state policies. This year's struggle in Sikar has once again shown that it is only through such mobilisations of working people that anti-people actions of the current government can be checked.
The Epidemic of Vigilantism
Sep 20th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
In a situation where the secular political leadership has lost a good deal of its credibility and "grassroots vigilantism" is becoming a widespread, veritable epidemic under growing fascism, the judiciary continues to remain a credible instrument for the reassertion of the values that the Constitution associated with a "modern" India.
Deras and Evangelicals
Sep 20th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Deras, like the Pentecostal Church in the U.S. and elsewhere, are popular because they address the needs and aspirations of those socially excluded by organised religion and economically marginalised by globalisation.
Peasant Struggles in Shekhawati in the Early Twentieth Century
Sep 13th 2017, Vikas Rawal
The article is highly relevant to the ongoing peasant struggle in Rajasthan (Sikar) today. It examines the historical evidence that shows that the emergence of economically and politically dominant landlords from among Jat, and to a smaller extent Brahmin, castes in Shekhawati is a relatively recent phenomenon. Peasant struggles in Shekhawati in the first half of the twentieth century brought an end to the shackles of the Jagirdari system, which fundamentally changed the structure of control over land with tenants-at-will getting ownership rights over land.
Sanitation workers in India
Sep 9th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The deeply entrenched casteist approach to manual scavenging is part of public policy and explains why the practice continues unabated and why the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in effect relies on it.
Problems with Neoclassical Economics
Sep 5th 2017, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
While there are a few examples of successive use of mathematics in forming empirically tested mainstream theorems, excessive misuse of this tool in neoclassical economics leave little coherence between its "rational being" and realism. In fact, many examples prove that it fails to observe the tenets of its own canon, and people are compelled to consume beyond their need and capacity, even in the face of mounting unemployment.
America's Turn Towards Fascism and Its Contradictions
Sep 4th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
While the turn of the U.S. towards fascism is unmistakable, the contradictions associated with this turn, and the complexity of the process of formation of the partnership between big business and fascist upstarts within the framework of a non-fascist bourgeois State to start with, are also clearly visible.
The Triple Talaq Verdict: Victory in one battle in a much longer war
Aug 29th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The Supreme Court's welcome verdict in the Triple Talaq case should bring public attention to the problems and needs of separated and divorced women across all religious communities in India.
150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today?
Aug 24th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
After 150 years of 'Das Kapital', the seminal work of the 19th century economist still provides a framework for understanding contemporary capitalism. The unique social relations such as "free labour" and "commodity fetishism", that according to Marx, define capital, are reflected in the uneven and unstable development of the world market.
Financing Education
Aug 8th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The central governments' Draft National Education Policy promotes privatization of education to meet its target, which is not only logically absurd but also legitimizes inequality. Solutions like student loans are impractical with educated unemployment, and fee subsidies turn counterproductive. The one efficient way is to extract the private funds through progressive direct tax, but that seems impossible in this neo-liberal era.
Progressive Mobilization in Europe
Jul 19th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The G20 summit in Hamburg was an occasion for public affirmations of the continued power of progressive ideas and calls for action around issues that really matter, in the form of an alternative summit, performance art demonstrations, and marches.
Three Deaths
Jul 19th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Prabhat Patnaik mourns the deaths of three of his close friends, all brilliant people: Arup Mullick, Basudev Chatterji, and Nirupam Sen, whose outstanding character and intellectual genius will be greatly missed.
Demography and care in Europe: The impact of social relations
Jul 18th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Trends in social relations are both affected by and impact upon economic changes. These in turn have an important bearing on desirable patterns of spending in the care economy, as suggested by an examination of recent marital trends in Europe.
On the Economic Implications of Restrictions on Cow Slaughter
Jul 11th 2017, Vikas Rawal
India's livestock economy is among the biggest in the world. A ban on cow slaughter would either result in more and more unproductive animals being killed in most unscientific and cruel ways or would entail such a high cost for maintaining unproductive animals that cattle rearing would cease to be a profitable enterprise for farm households. Restrictions being imposed on cow slaughter and the actions of the cow vigilantes would deal a serious blow to the agrarian economy and in particular to the livelihoods of the poor and middle peasants in rural India.
The Rights of the Child and the G20 Summit
Jul 3rd 2017, Sir Richard Jolly
Fresh research from UNICEF shows that the number of children in poverty, in rich countries has increased as a result of austerity policies. An average of one in five children in 41 high income countries lives in poverty. Children and their rights do not even seem to feature in the G20 manifesto, even as it stresses the ending of austerity policies and encouraging public budgets that promote development and poverty eradication.
Computer Outages
Jun 22nd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
While our dependency and vulnerability towards computers is becoming almost universal, the false resilience and reliability of the cyberspace is being exposed through recent system breakdowns caused due to extremely minor human errors and absence of adequate backup. In these days of cost cutting, CEOs and governments see cyber maintenance as a luxury, which itself has become a reason for its fragility.
Imperialism Still Alive and Kicking: An interview with Prabhat Patnaik
Jun 20th 2017, C. J. Polychroniou
Imperialism is the arrangement that the capitalist system sets up for imposing income deflation on the working population of the third world for countering the threat of inflation that would otherwise erode the value of money in the metropolis and make the system unviable. A delinking from globalization by an alternative State, based on a worker-peasant alliance, is required for improved living conditions of the third world working population.
Growing Class Resistance Against "Globalization"
Jun 19th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Universal non-class use of the term “globalisation” and its “other” “nationalism” by the bourgeoisie has enabled them to show the former as progressive and latter reactionary for all classes. But recent election results in major countries reflect the rise of resistance of the worker class against the hegemony of "globalised" finance capital everywhere. Even in India, for the first time in three decades, anti-labour policies are being challenged by strong peasant movements in many states.
Why Workers Lose
May 30th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The IMF's push to delink the decline in the share of labour in national income from the rise of finance, neoliberalism and globalisation leads to a set of banal prescriptions on how to deal with a problem that is at the centre of the crisis of capitalism today.
The Illusion of an Economic Spring
May 17th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
While policy makers, analysts and observers paint a picture of an ongoing global economic recovery, the numbers seem to drag the optimists down.
The Ways of the Judiciary
Apr 26th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
There is a disturbing common pattern underlying the cases of Babri Masjid and the location of liquor shops and bars; and it is that the proverbial blindness of justice appears to be absent in both cases.
Communalism and Working Class Struggles
Apr 10th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Neo-liberalism creates the condition for the growth of majority communalism by making mobilizations along class lines more difficult, despite the squeeze it imposes on the toiling classes.
The Persistence of Child Marriage
Mar 29th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Despite all the talk of modernisation the prevalence of child marriage still continues across most parts of the country.
Narendra Modi on Poverty
Mar 20th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
When Narendra Modi talks of shifting away from giving doles to the poor, what he has in mind is that the money being currently used for welfare schemes for the poor should be withdrawn from such schemes and handed over to the corporate magnates.
The Consequences of Legal Impunity
Mar 15th 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The way the state dealt with the two communal massacres and their aftermath in Bihar and Gujarat is a stinging commentary on India's justice system in an area where it possibly matters the most.
The Latest GDP Estimatess
Mar 13th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The article discusses the possible reasons for the latest GDP estimates provided by the CSO not capturing the recessionary impact of demonetization which is an indisputable and established fact.
Quarterly GDP Estimates: Curiouser and curiouser
Mar 2nd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
CSO's latest GDP estimates for the third quarter throw up some real surprises as these run counter to all the evidence of depressed demand, of massive drops in sales, of job losses and of a significant hit especially on small scale and informal manufactured goods producers following demonetisation.
Marital Breakdown in India
Feb 28th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Although divorce rates are low in India, separation is the dominant form of marital dissolution, and this is especially problematic for women because of the uncertain legal status and lack of rights.
In the 2017 Budget, the Government has Compounded its Folly
Feb 6th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Not only has the damage caused by demonetisation remained unaddressed, but even the opportunity provided by demonetisation has remained un-utilised in the 2017 Budget.
A Universal Basic Income in India?
Feb 3rd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of basic income that is very much part of the idea of a universal social protection floor, cannot be seen as a substitute for public provision of basic goods and services; rather it must be an addition to it.
Budget 2017-18: Utterly ordinary
Feb 2nd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Coming soon after the drastic demonetisation, there were many expectations riding on this Budget, but none of these expectations has been met in this utterly ordinary budget.
A Disappointingly Ordinary Budget for Extraordinary Times
Feb 2nd 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Budget 2017 is remarkable in its absence of any of populist measures that are directed towards the welfare of the masses. What is surprising is that it does not address some of the most important macroeconomic concerns today.
Budget 2017 must Support those Worst Hit by Demonetisation
Jan 31st 2017, Jayati Ghosh
To counter the contractionary forces unleashed by demonetisation, Budget 2017 should direct fiscal resources to informal activities that have seen the greatest decline and to poor people who have been hardest hit.
Will We Miss the Budget Opportunity?
Jan 31st 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The economic slowdown, induced almost entirely by demonetisation, necessarily requires significantly enhanced public spending; but it doesn't appear to be forthcoming.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and India's Nationhood
Jan 30th 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The era of neo-liberalism has seen a retrogression when it comes to the material pre-requisites for the nation-building project that had been launched with the anti-colonial struggle.
No Digital Base for a Cashless Economy
Jan 27th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In the absence of a digital base for a cashless economy, India's road to a near-cashless economy seems fairly long and the journey is likely to be slow and tedious.
Buckling under Pressure
Jan 18th 2017. Jayati Ghosh
There has been a depressing erosion in the credibility of the major institutions that in different ways are vital for the functioning of our democracy as they are bent to the will of the ruling dispensation.
Waning Stimuli
Jan 17th 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Banks strapped with stressed assets are holding back on lending, dampening in the process the principal stimulus to growth in recent years. And there are no alternative routes to growth in sight.
Digital Dreams
Dec 21st 2016. Jayati Ghosh
The government's mad rush towards a cashless economy ignores the presence of the large unbanked population that will not gain from incentives being offered for digital transactions.
Money and the Social Contract in India
Dec 13th 2016. Jayait Ghosh
We are now in relatively uncharted economic territory in India. But this also means that we may be entering an entirely new phase of our social contract as well.
The Political Economy of Demonetising High Value Notes
Nov 15th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The November 8 announcement by the Prime Minister is an ill-conceived and even more poorly executed move that appears to be an attempt by the government to display a lot of sound and fury, but signifying very little.
Understanding the American Right
Oct 26th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
One of the reasons for the solid, intense support that Donald Trump commands is his complete disdain for political correctness, which appears exhilarating and liberating to such people who have felt suppressed for so long.
The Growing Resistance against Globalization
Oct 21st 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
All across the world the tide is beginning to turn against globalization through the growing resistance of the working people and remarkably, nowhere it is being led by the Left.
Recognising Different Skills and their Uses
Sep 14th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Definition of skill with reference of economic activities is more complex, involving different kinds of skills that are not always easily recognised, since purely technical skills seem to get all the attention in the discussion about skill formation.
India and Indians at Seventy Plus
Sep 8th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
For the majority of Indians aged 70 or more, their sheer survival may be the most positive aspect of their lives since the state, instead of taking any measures of social protection, puts the burden of their care on families without considering their economic situation.
The Flawed Premises of GST
Aug 30th 2016, Chirashree Das Gupta
The author in this article takes a second look at the biggest tax reform in a long time and points out where the rationale for the goods and services tax is flawed.
Care Work as the Work of the Future
Aug 16th 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
As technological change threatens many different kinds of jobs, the significance of direct face-to-face interaction required in much care work means that it is unlikely to be as adversely affected. What does this mean for the future requirements of care workers?
Managing the Corporate-Communal Alliance
Aug 2nd 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
To keep the corporate-communal alliance going, the recalcitrant elements on both sides have to be managed carefully and the alliance must deliver to the partners who constitute it.
National IPR Policy and Innovation
Jul 18th 2016, Reji K. Joseph
This article seeks to analyse critically the relationship between innovation and IPRs with a view to understand the implications of the IPR Policy for India.
Globalization and the World’s Working People
Jul 11th 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Contrary to the impression that Globalization would benefit all, it has actually worsened the conditions of the broad mass of the working people in both parts of the world.
Broken Promises to India's Youth
Jun 10th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Quite contrary to its original promise, job creation no longer seems to be a major policy priority of the Modi government, which has shown itself to be remarkably anti-youth.
Two Tales of Contrast
May 26th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Among the terrible legacies of the Modi government’s first two years, are its double standards, as evidenced by the recent experiences, which will have negative repercussions.
Societal Involution in the North
May 16th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Recent social and political trends in the US and in parts of Europe point to the regressive tendencies that seek to recreate a past that seems less complicated, but manages to intensify unhappiness.
Against the Assault on Thought: A lesson for the Left
Apr 28th 2016, Rohit Azad
When the state cannot hide behind a facade of national performance, the government looks for an alternative category of us versus them which is used to divide the people and rule.
A Singular Person
Apr 27th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The new collection of Ashok Mitra's essays gives a sharp analysis of contemporary India and a sentimental journey that provides an evocative and memorable tour of some aspects of its making.
The State of the Economy
Apr 8th 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
There is a remarkable constriction of the size of the domestic market and stagnation of industrial sector in India due to inadequate purchasing power in the hands of the people.
Exclusion from Public Service, Indian Style
Mar 30th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Even with a limited focus on three essential public goods the India Exclusion Report 2015 brings out the comprehensive and overlapping character of exclusion in Indian society.
Anti-national Economics
Mar 16th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The author here argues that the policies that go against the interests of the people are anti-national and NDA's economic policies are profoundly anti-national in that sense.
Budget 2016-17: Hype is all
Mar 15th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Behind all the hype about a pro-poor budget, the actual provisions of the government for the major social sectors are found to be too paltry to improve the lives of the poor.
Why do we have Unemployment?
Mar 14th 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Under neoliberal capitalism, where the level of activity requires bubbles to sustain itself, the existence of unemployment must be attributed to the paucity of aggregate demand.
A Sinister Pattern Underway
Mar 7th 2016, Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey
The ruling party is doing its best to establish that being critical of its government is tantamount to being anti-national. It is time for us to realise that the freedom won so hard, is under threat unless we collectively protect our constitutional rights.
Growth through Redistribution
Jan 21st 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Contrary to the portrayal by the neoliberal spokesmen, the Left position does not accept the growth versus redistribution dichotomy, rather asserts that growth can occur in a sustained manner through redistributive measures.
MNREGA under the Modi Regime
Jan 21st 2016, Jayati Ghosh
The continuous cutting down of the financial outlays for the programmes like MNREGA clearly indicates the central government's appalling disregard for its legal obligations.
The Heavy Price of Economic Policy Failures
Jan 7th 2016, Jayati Ghosh
While the citizenry pay a heavy price for economic policy failures, those responsible for the implementation of this are never blamed and they continue to impose their power and expertise on economic policies and on governing institutions.
A Candid Assessment?
Jan 6th 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Finance Ministry's mid-year review talks of positives, that are more in the nature of disappearing negatives, but it cannot conceal the fact that there has been little advance on the development front.
The Seventh Pay Commission Report
Dec 14th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
A drastic squeeze on salary increases and a widening of disparities within the real emoluments of the central government employees imposed by the 7th Pay Commission typically characterizes a neo-liberal regime that must be resisted.
Of Polls, Politics and Punditry
Nov 30th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
Bihar election results have proved to be an outstanding example of the limits of the English speaking national media, both in terms of predictions and analysis.
The Stench of Counter-Revolution
Nov 13th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Today we witness an attempt to change the nature of the Indian State to a Hindu Rashtra, which is a hallmark of the counter-revolution and needs to be resisted with all strength.
The Slogan of "Make in India"
Nov 10th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Although apparently the "Make in India" campaign appears innocuous, it is actually a dangerous one since the potential thrust of the campaign is in the direction of constricting democracy and squeezing the working people.
The Nobel Committee for Economics Makes Amends, at Least for Now
Oct 16th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The choice of Angus Deaton as winner of the 2015 Economics Nobel comes at a time when there is increasing global concern about rising inequality.
The Question of Learning
Oct 15th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The abysmal state of school education in Rajasthan is symptomatic of a deep and cynical neglect of public education that is likely to have devastating consequences for the future of our society.
Cutting off Aid to India is more about Selfishness than Sense
Oct 12th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The cessation of foreign aid to India symbolises Britain's lack of empathy for the less fortunate and the absence of any sense of accountability for its own past actions.
The State as Fiefdom
Oct 6th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Using the State machinery for settling personal scores must qualify as corruption and must be opposed.
Giving Water Workers their Due
Sep 11th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The workers who ensure the treatment, delivery and conservation of water across societies are the vast majority who are informal workers, often unpaid and largely unrecognised.
Educational Matters
Sep 4th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
The general absence of any intensity of intellectual engagement in the Indian institutions of higher education today makes the overall situation extremely and indubitably bleak.
From "Development" to "Poverty Alleviation": What have we lost?
Aug 19th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The perspective of development has shifted in the neoliberal marketist paradigm and the place of development economics has been replaced by a focus on poverty alleviation.
Black Notes in the Stock Market
Aug 17th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Even though SIT strongly recommends that PNs should be phased out if they cannot be made more transparent, they are unlikely to be banned as the government fears investor exit.
The Socio Economic and Caste Census
Aug 5th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The Socio Economic and Caste Census provides more comprehensive household listings, but the method of determining the poor that has been adopted in the Census is deeply flawed.
The Internet in "Digital India"
Jul 24th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
According to the latest NSSO data, the proportion of Indian households in which at least one member had access to the internet is far short of the near universal connectivity envisaged by the Digital India mission.
The Search for India's Bulky Middle
Jul 22nd 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Pew study estimates suggest that in the most successful years of the neoliberal project, the expected expansion of the global middle class, which is required to sustain high growth has not been realised.
The Dismal State of Rural India
Jul 10th 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
The recently released socio economic and caste census paints a dismal picture of rural India where more than half of the total rural households survive on manual casual labour.
Power Tariff Hike in West Bengal
Jun 16th 2013, Prasenjit Bose
One of the necessary steps towards tackling the problem of power tariff hike in West Bengal is to break the monopoly of the CESC in Kolkata and adjoining areas.
North Cyprus: Complicated, contradictory, charismatic
Apr 15th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The historical strife between the Turks and the Greeks has led to a peculiar dilemma for North Cyprus that can only be resolved by the very cosmopolitanism that defines it.
India's Daughter: Since the Delhi rape things have got worse
Mar 9th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The banning of the BBC documentary points to the fact that the Indian government's real concern is the international image of the country rather than the safety of women.
Growth and Hunger
Feb 23rd 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
The declining foodgrain absorption in India is indicative of growing hunger- a symptom of deprivation, caused by the privatisation of services like education and health.
In Search of Clean Air
Feb 20th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The worsening atmospheric pollution in India threatens the basic health and well-being of people but sadly, almost nothing is being done in terms of effective public policy.
India's Rural Employment Programme is Dying a Death of Funding Cuts
Feb 6th 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The historical rural employment programme that was started ten years ago is being slowly weakened by lack of adequate funding and State neglect.
Revisiting Rural Indebtedness
Feb 5th 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The distribution of rural credit disbursement is skewed and biased towards the rich and warrants better access to all sections for improved capital formation in agriculture.
Skills Mismatch and All that
Feb 2nd 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The challenge of good quality employment generation requires an approach which sees skill development as part of a broader macroeconomic and development strategy.
The Phenomenal Increase in Wealth Inequality
Dec 16th 2014, Prabhat Patnaik
The recent Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse shows inequality growth in India since 2000 has been the highest with the top one percent controlling 49% of total wealth.
The Land of Exclusion
Nov 28th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The findings of a recent report on inequalities in India provide a sobering reminder of how far we are from reaching even the most basic promises of our Constitution.
The Nehru Legacy
Nov 27th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Although the Congress is using the Nehruvian tradition to win political legitimacy, it has actually rejected the essentials of the Nehruvian economic trajectory.
Turning Citizens into Mendicants
Nov 18th 2014, Prabhat Patnaik
The shifting of responsibility of sanitation infrastructure from the state to corporate sector is a breach of the rights and dignity of the common citizenry.
Is the Swachch Bharat Mission the Way to a Cleaner India?
Nov 13th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
If Bharat is to become Swachch, it cannot achieve this without proactive concern for the lives and working conditions of those who are responsible for keeping our spaces clean.
What Exactly is Work?
Oct 31st 2014, Jayati Ghosh
If the way of recognising and measuring work in India is changed according to the new ICLS definition, the picture of female work participation trend would change remarkably.
IPR Policy Must Drive Innovation
Oct 8th 2014, Biswajit Dhar
Making a national IPR policy entails a balance between public policy objectives and the private rights of creators; otherwise it may serve only narrow corporate interests.
Is Rising Income Inequality Inevitable?
Sep 16th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
In spite of globalisation and technological change, patterns of inequality within a country reflect internal political economy, and can be changed by political choice.
India: The global laggard in meeting the MDGs
Sep 11th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
Most of the eight Millennium Development Goals given by the UN will not be achieved due to lack of progress in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia, particularly in India.
Social Spending under the Modi Government
Jul 25th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
A decline in real terms in the budget allocations to the crucial areas of public spending is a sign of the new government's lack of respect for the rights of their citizens.
How "Buoyant" are Central Government Taxes?
Jul 22nd 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The authors here suggest that the fiscal optimism is misplaced while projecting substantial increases in tax revenues despite many tax sops in the Budget for this year.
Onward March towards Privatisation and Insecurity
Jul 21st 2014, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
The trend towards privatising public assets in order to augment private profits at public cost continues unabated, as is evident from the first budget of the Modi government.
The Missing Honeymoon
Jul 9th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The government's decisiveness in ensuring quick clearances for big, infrastructure projects would please the corporate sector and private capital, but not the rest of India.
On the Indian General Election 2014 Results
May 22nd 2014, Jayati Ghosh
India witnessed the victory of religious majoritarianism with corporate funding, and promises an authoritarian right wing State that might undermine Indian democracy.
A Political Economy of the Elections
May 6th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Blind faith on economic growth took the Congress away from inclusiveness and public opinion but the BJP follows the same lead and does not provide any economic alternative.
The BJP's Election Manifesto
Apr 17th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
One of the most dangerous aspects of the BJP's vision for India is that it envisages the enforcement of an aggressively pro-big business agenda.
Big Business and Mr. Modi
Apr 16th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar
If India is not to be handed over to big business and a rabidly communal fringe, it is best to keep Narendra Modi out of the Prime Minister's office.
Have Workers in Gujarat Benefited from "Development"?
Apr 9th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
In the backdrop of a much talked about Gujarat model, the authors examine the state of casual workers in Gujarat only to find them to be among the worst of anywhere in India.
Seasons of Migration to the North
Apr 9th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The dismal condition of the migrant workers, depicted by a recent study, raises a question on the argument that migration in India is no longer distress-driven but demand-led.
What about the Aam Aurat?
Feb 12th 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The increasing evidence of patriarchal attitudes towards women among the AAP leaders is the most compelling reason for the growing wariness about the party among many people.
Is Social Discrimination in Indian Labour Markets Coming Down?
Feb 4th 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Indian labour markets are segmented by gender, caste and other social categories. But recent evidence of the wage gaps suggests some improvement, especially in rural areas.
Understanding the "Mango People"
Dec 31st 2013, Jayati Ghosh
People's aspiration for alternative, symbolised by AAP's success, creates progressive political possibilities if the left can see the changing realities and think creatively.
Animal Spirits
Dec 24th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
As GDP growth slows, the government focuses on ways of raising investment in the economy. But evidence from the CSO suggests that the source of the problem may lie elsewhere.
Is There a Case for Fiscal Stringency in India Now?
Dec 11th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The authors examine the evidence on central government's receipts and expenditure thus far and consider the validity of the case for fiscal stringency at this point.
Democracy, Neoliberalism and Inclusiveness
Nov 26th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
A strategy of inclusive development is required instead of the rhetorical ''inclusive growth'' propagated by two main political parties in the run-up of next general election.
Where have All the Women Workers Gone?
Nov 14th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
By using recent Indian employment data, the authors examine the evidence on women's work participation in rural and urban areas and consider some possible explanations.
Goliath's Nasty Ways: Chevron and the people of the Amazon
Nov 14th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
In the Ecuador environment damage case, Chevron’s act of influencing the verdict in a counter-suit filed in the US shows the universal lack of accountability in global firms.
On Vinod Raina
Nov 1st 2013, Jayati Ghosh
In spite of having the choice of living a comfortable academic life, Vinod Raina dedicated his entire life to people's education and various other people's rights movements.
Tripura's Tryst with Literacy
Oct 24th 2013, Subhanil Chowdhury and Gorky Chakraborty
While all kinds of development model are debated furiously, the small state of Tripura is making rapid strides in improving literacy and other development indicators.
Class War at the Capital
Sep 19th 2013, Prabhat Patnaik
Indian State's treatment of workers under neoliberalism is not a normal "class war," but a "class war" in which the ruling classes are fast moving in the direction of fascism.
Open Access vs Academic Power
Sep 18th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
While open access helps democratise the distribution of peer-reviewed research, it is not clear whether this would rid the system of journal branding and journal hierarchies.
The Scam that NSEL Spells
Sep 4th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In its drive to promote liberalisation and deregulation, the Government has created space for scams like the National Spot Exchange Limited fiasco to occur.
Jeff Bezos could be Wrong
Aug 27th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Jeff Bezos' acquisition of "The Washington Post" has led to speculation on the reasons and on the opportunity it presents for the ailing daily and the industry in the U.S.
Reducing Inequality: Learning lessons for the post-2015 agenda – India case study
Aug 26th 2013, ERF & Save the Children, UK
Economic Research Foundation (ERF) in association with Save the Children, UK undertook this study on the impact of inequality on children in India.
Growth versus Redistribution
Aug 19th 2013, Prabhat Patnaik
In reference to the recent Sen-Bhagwati debate, the author argues that redistribution is a fundamental right in a democracy and is not necessarily dependent on growth.
The Sen-Bhagwati "Debate" on Economic Policy in India
Aug 14th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
The recent Sen-Bhagwati debate is not about a choice between economic growth and social sector spending; rather it is more about the economic strategy of growth.
Science, Education and Research: Problems and prospects
Jun 19th 2013, Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
Referring to the suboptimal state of science, education and research today, the author asserts India has not learnt to develop the necessary ''first-rate technology'' at home.
Privatising the ICDS?
May 30th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
The government's proposal to hand over the supply of supplementary nutrition to NGOs is an invitation for private profiteering on the back of the supposedly public scheme.
The Corruption System
May 29th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The greater corruption witnessed under liberalisation reflects an aggravation of the systemic tendency towards primitive accumulation of capital characteristic of capitalism.
The Bursting of the Asian Housing Bubble
May 28th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Housing prices in many developing Asian countries soared after the Global Financial Crisis, but the recent trends suggest that they may be tapering off and even declining.
The Business of News in the Age of the Internet
May 7th 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In the context of the digital revolution, the author discusses some possible implications of the impact of the internet on the print business and the directions they point to.
Small Savings Schemes in India and the Saradha Scam
Apr 29th 2013, Subhanil Chowdhury
The erroneous policies of the central government in terms of changing the incentives for small savings have helped the expansion and consolidation of the Saradha group.
How Not to Urbanise
Feb 6th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Although recent urbanisation in China is associated with several positive features, it has also generated problems that are making this process unsustainable.
The Plight of Domestic Workers in India
Jan 24th 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Domestic work takes place under extremely difficult and oppressive conditions with low pay, no limits on working hours, lack of dignity and no protection or social security.
Mad about Cash Transfers
Jan 1st 2013, Jayati Ghosh
Cash transfer is seen by the Congress Party as the vehicle that will lead it to electoral victory. But, in no case should it be seen as substitute for public service delivery.
Gujarat: A growth story retold
Dec 14th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The benefits of Gujarat's economic growth have not been shared with the State’s poor and working population, even as the sustainability of the growth trajectory is in doubt.
Changing Patterns of Domestic Works
Nov 14th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Domestic work is emerging as an important activity for women workers in several developing countries as well as recently in urban India.
India Wants More than Crony Capitalism
Nov 14th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Revelations of corruption are engulfing the country's leading Congress party. But what will replace it?
Does the Left have an Alternative?
Oct 31st 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
Left trajectory, an alternative to the policy being pursued in India, can sustain only if it reverses the neo-liberal policies and carries forward the interests of the people.
Redefining the Nation
Sep 6th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Growth achieved under the UPA regime as a result of the reform pursued relentlessly by them has benefited a few while excluding the majority. So to argue that such growth is in the interests of national security is to redefine the nation itself.
Gender, Property and Institutional Basis of Tax Policy Concessions: Investigating the Hindu Undivided Family
Sep 1st 2012, Chirashree Das Gupta

This discussion note is an attempt to situate the development of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) as a legal tax entity recognised by tax law, separate and distinct from individuals and corporate entities. Over the years this tool has been used by the family-owned business groups for evading tax. In fact in the era of neoliberal globalisation, the laws of the land have been altered suitably to facilitate the transformation of family-owned business groups into multinationals without an increase in their total corporate liability.

A Scandal in Kerala
Aug 24th 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
Passing a legislation permitting plantation owners in Kerala to use up to five percent of the land under their control for purposes other than growing plantation crops, including growing other crops and real estate projects, legitimises the illegal land occupations of the big plantation owners and opens up huge tracts of land for the operation of the real estate mafia. Crucially, it will also eliminate any scope for an extension of land reforms, which was a major component of the trajectory of egalitarian development in the state.
Pranab Mukherjee as Finance Minister
Jun 26th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Although he has been awarded as the best Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee has failed to manage the economy that has been reeling under decelerating growth, rising prices of essential goods and stagnant employment along with high youth unemployment. He did little or nothing to ameliorate any of these problems, instead, in some cases he exacerbated them.
Consumption Inequality in India
Jun 26th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
An analysis of the mean per capita monthly consumption expenditure data from the NSSO large surveys gives evidence of stagnation of consumption of the lower proportions of the population and significant increases in inequality across deciles, especially in the most recent period.
Curbing Conflicts of Interests
Jun 6th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Among the many other forces that have proliferated in the economic boom of the brash new India is conflict of interest. It is widespread, comprehensive and has almost become the rule rather than an exception. This is resulting in cronyism and other form of malpractices in almost all spheres of our lives.
Of Profits and Growth
May 29th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The period between 2002-03 and 2008-09 saw India's economy grow at an unprecedented rate, with manufacturing too witnessing a revival. However, the rate of growth of the manufacturing sector would be reduced due to the effects of the recent developments of reduction and even reversal of foreign capital inflows, the liquidity crunch and the large scale corruption in India.
Is a Universal Pension Scheme Feasible in India?
May 16th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
In an economy like ours, a universal pension scheme must be part of a broader development strategy that focuses on public investment in physical and social infrastructure, which will ensure supply of necessary goods and services while increasing demand from the population in a stable and inclusive way.
Factor Shares in the Indian Economy
Apr 17th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The functional distribution of national income is relatively ignored by researchers interested in income distribution in India. An analysis of CSO's data on factor shares in the past three decades shows that the the period of most rapid acceleration of growth was also the period of the sharpest fall in the share of the unorganised sector in GDP. Although this change is to be welcomed, the concern is that it has not been accompanied by any increase in the organised sector's share in total employment.
An Inequitable Path: The ritualistic exercise in fiscal management 
Mar 23rd 2012, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Ignoring all the evidences of the fact that growth does not trickle down, the Budget 2012-13 has emphasised the target of raising the rate of growth at any cost without bothering about the majority of Indian population. Instead what was needed for managing the economy was a progressive system of taxation, employment creation and universalisation of the public distribution of food grains.
Employment and Social Spending in Budget 2012-13 
Mar 21st 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Highly regressive in both taxation and spending terms, the Budget 2012-13 has managed the remarkable feat of upsetting almost everyone and making no aam aurat and aam aadmi happy. It provides conclusive proof of the UPA government having lost its way as it seems to have forgotten the importance of its own ''flagship schemes''.
Budget 2012-13 
Mar 17th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
Highly regressive in terms of taxation, the Budget 2012-13 will obviously lead to rising prices with continuing shortfalls in employment. Hence it emerges that the greatest losers from this budget will be the Indian consumers, particularly the poorer sections.
Don't Shoot the Interpreter  
Mar 7th 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Supreme Court judgment on Vodafone case is a godsend for the government, which can now pretend that it is the court that is responsible for an increasingly lax tax policy in the country where there are, as the government claims, inadequate resources to ensure food security, address deprivation and provide employment.

Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Urban India

Feb 28th 2012
This report is an update of Food Insecurity Atlas of Urban India that was developed by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in October 2002 and a companion exercise to the Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India of 2001. Reviewing the relative position of the major states with respect to food security, the Report reveals an alarming situation of a permanent food and nutrition emergency in urban India. Hence in order to promote food and nutrition security for all, the Report offers certain policy recommendations emphasizing that urban food security is impacted by the macroeconomic policies and therefore, economic reforms needs to be re-formed to provide inclusive urban development.
Chronic Famishment 
Feb 21st 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The recently released report of the National Sample Survey Organisation on the average calorie intake per person in Indian households, points to a much higher incidence of poverty in the country than reflected in estimates of the proportion of the population below the official "poverty" line. The detailed evidence on nutritional trends suggests that the extent of malnutrition in India not only remains extremely high, but is also increasing over time.
Concentration in Global Food Markets 
Feb 14th 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The growing power of multinational firms within the global food system has implications for both producers and consumers of food and it poses serious threats to global food security. Therefore, enforcement of some regulation and control is necessary to prevent concentration of market power in the hands of a few large retailers that leads to various malpractices.
From Food Security to Food Justice
Feb 7th 2012, Ananya Mukherjee
Millions of Indians suffer from the twin violence of hunger and injustice. However, most of the Indian governments are neither willing nor able to deliver food justice. Therefore, the need of the hour is the devolution of power and resources to the local level so that with their knowledge of local needs and situations they can create a just food economy, as has been shown by the women in Kerala.
Lies, Damned lies, and Statistics: On Arvind Panagariya's Kerala adventure
Jan 5th 2012, R. Ramakumar
This is a response to the article titled ''Cracking the Kerala Myth'', published in the newspaper Times of India dated 2 January 2012. The author refutes the claims that the development of Kerala was not state-led success, and highlights the statistical fallacies in the argument.
Democracy and the Financial Markets
Dec 1st 2011, Jayati Ghosh
In the last few decades, it has become increasingly common for various developing and “emerging” markets to give greater importance to appeasing the interests of financial markets over the requirements of political democracy. Now, this is afflicting developed countries as well, where governments are sacrificing democracy in favour of the markets.
The End of Europe?
Nov 30th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The crisis in Europe has recently claimed many political victims, with the governments in Greece and Spain, two of the worst hit countries, being changed. The newer governments promise to implement stringent austerity measures that are being proposed as a solution to the crisis. However, how much of austerity can actually be implemented, and what good such measures will do to resolve the crisis is highly doubtful.
Why are Women's Health Outcomes in India so Poor?
Nov 29th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Women's health outcomes in India are generally much worse than in comparator countries, despite two decades of very rapid growth in India. Public spending on health as a share of GDP has not increased, and per capita spending on immunisation and primary health centres has actually gone down.
Pills, Patents and Profits
Nov 16th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
It is widely accepted that regulation and control in India's pharmaceutical sector had resulted in India ensuring access to cheap medicines for its population. However, liberalisation policies have eroded away much of the benefits. The newly proposed National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Policy, 2011 can do further damage by weakening the current price control regulations.
Protest in the Age of Crises
Nov 2nd 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
If the Occupy Wall Street movement is to acquire strength to actually confront the might of finance capital and the state it controls, it must find greater cohesion, with an organisational structure and a programme that goes beyond anger against the capitalist system and the condition to which it has reduced the majority.
Much More Needed to Help the Poor
Oct 19th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The Planning Commission's Approach Paper to the Twelfth Plan is not only disappointing, but also disturbing in its attitude towards poverty reduction. Multidimensional approach to poverty, which any sensible government would adopt today, is ignored in the Approach paper and the policy interventions that have been proposed are pathetic.

India's New High Growth Trajectory: Implications for demand, technology and employment

Oct 12th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Evidence on trends in surplus generation and utilisation suggests that India's recent transition to a high-growth trajectory has been accompanied by and partly based on tendencies towards profit inflation and increased inequality. This paper offers an explanation as to why the net implications for employment and conditions of work of this growth trajectory have been adverse.
How Little can a Person Live on Today?
Oct 3rd 2011, Utsa Patnaik
The Planning Commission's laughable estimates of the ''poverty line'' follow from a mistake in method which it made thirty years ago and has clung to ever since. On the basis of the officially accepted nutritional norms, the true poverty lines show that 75 percent of the population is in poverty. With this high level of destitution, the sensible policy is to revert to a universal distribution system with an urban employment guarantee scheme.
Poverty Lines and Poor Minds
Oct 3rd 2011, Himanshu
There is much academic debate on the appropriate estimates of poverty line. Poverty lines are benchmarks for policy makers to measure progress over time. The use of such measures for targeting social assistance is arbitrary. The Planning Commission's use of narrowly defined poverty line estimates restricts access of the poor to basic entitlements such as food and health. What is required is universal provisioning of these entitlements without recourse to any targeting.
Nix to Both Teams: People's power can only work within a structured
Sep 12th 2011, Ashok Mitra
Although people's power is a beautiful idea, it can work only within the format of a structured system. While the Anna Hazare movement leaves lessons for the government and the Parliament, it should also make the nation realise the perils from excesses indulged in the name of the people's will.
Higher Education: Dealing with higher expectations
Sep 7th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
There has been a significant increase in enrolment in higher education in developing countries (especially Asia) in the past decade. However, this positive change also brings forth certain challenges, the most obvious of which is the challenge of generating enough employment to meet expectations of growing numbers of new graduates.
Afterword on a Movement
Sep 7th 2011, Prabhat Patnaik
Any undermining of parliamentary democracy represents a huge social retrogression. But a positive fall-out from the Hazare movement hopefully is self-rectification by the ''democratic State'' in the face of this challenge. However, the Hazare group's assault on parliamentary institutions and exclusive emphasis on corruption within the state machinery, to the exclusion of the corporate sector and civil society groups, could turn out to be a part of an agenda of converting Indian democracy into a ''corporatocracy''.
The Consequences of Increasing Access to Education
Sep 1st 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Globally, there has been a rise in student enrolments in educational institutions, which is a welcome improvement. However, this development gives rise to newer challenges of providing productive employment to meet the aspirations of the newly educated youths. Failure to do so can generate discontent and social tensions that can be destabilizing factors for all societies in the near future.
The Urbanisation Challenge
Aug 10th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Addressing the problems posed by growing ''urbanisation'' is one of the major challenges for India at present. The country faces a potentially deadly combination of growing population in small urban areas with poor or possibly non-existent facilities and inadequate good quality employment generation.
Women's Work in India: Has anything changed?
Aug 9th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
One of the striking features of the latest National Sample Survey round results is the apparent decline in female employment in 2009-10 compared to 2004-05. The other depressing feature that emerges from the survey is that economic growth has still not generated a process of employment diversification for women.
Deciphering Employment Trends
Jul 26th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
One distinctive feature of the labour market in India is the fact that casual work in the construction sector has been the main source of employment during a period when India transited to its much-celebrated high-growth trajectory.
The Latest Employment Trends from the NSSO
Jul 14th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The results of the latest NSSO large survey on employment and unemployment provide crucial evidence on the pattern of inadequate job creation in this phase of high economic growth.
Public Spending on Education in India
Jun 29th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The failure of the government to provide universal access to quality schooling and to ensure equal access to higher education among all socio-economic groups as well as across gender and region has significant implications for equitable socio-economic advancement. Ensuring a reasonable quality of education to all children will necessarily require a significant expansion of the public resources to be provided.
Why is India Suddenly so Angry about Corruption?
Jun 18th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Post liberalisation, market-oriented reforms have delivered higher aggregate growth but also significantly increased economic inequality and material insecurity for the majority of India's population. The recent outrage against corruption in India reflects a great betrayal felt by a populace that had been told that the era of neoliberal economic policies would end vices that were supposedly associated with greater government involvement in economic activity.
Food Price Transmission in South Asia
Jun 14th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
The recent increase in global food prices has once again set off alarm signals in developing countries, especially in South Asia, where food inflation has been a major problem for some years now. Evidence from South Asian countries corroborates the fact that domestic factors do play a role in the international transmission; while rising global prices put upward pressure on domestic prices in a much rapid manner, its downward movements are less rapidly or effectively transmitted and often do not have any such impact.
The Left and Elections in West Bengal
May 18th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
Assembly elections in West Bengal have resulted in defeat of the Left Front government after 34 years in power. However, a detailed look at the voting shares shows that the Left parties still managed to garner more than 41 per cent of the votes which by no means can be taken as showing a big decline in popular support for the Left among the people in the state.
Depriving Dalits of their Due
May 4th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The denial of public resources that are mandated under the Special Component Plans for Scheduled Castes amounts to a huge assault on their basic socio-economic rights, as it forces them to continue to live in squalor and degradation.
Health Outcomes across the Major Indian States
Apr 20th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh
An examination of the most recent health outcome indicators across the major Indian states throws up some surprising results. In this article, the authors consider the evidence on infant mortality and maternal mortality rates and show how the various states are ranked quite differently as compared to when GDP growth rate is taken as the primary indicator of progress.
Politics in the Digital Age
Apr 20th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
While there is all-round acceptance that corruption needs to be combated, the recent much-hyped movement for a bill on the Lok Pal has generated a number of questions, objections and criticisms. The most important of these is the fact that corruption in societies such as ours is not just political, but also structurally embedded.
The Growth-discrimination Nexus
Apr 13th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
It is argued by many that market forces break open age-old social norms, particularly those of caste and gender. However, unfortunately, capitalism in India, especially in its most recent globally integrated variant, has used social discrimination and exclusion to its own benefit, to take forward the growth story.
Socialist and/or Feminist?
Apr 11th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
Across countries, socialist feminists face a dual struggle: the need to address and confront the unjust economic order that is expressed in class societies, and the simultaneous need to address and confront the constantly regenerated patterns of gender inequality and subordination.
Teaser Mania
Feb 9th 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Reserve Bank of India's advice to banks to withdraw loans offered with teaser interest rates comes as a precautionary measure to avoid any crisis of the sub-prime type as India remains prone to such crises. Substantial retail lending by Indian banks using teaser rate loans, especially to the housing market, has led to this apprehension.
Food Prices and Distribution Margins in India
Feb 3rd 2011, Jayati Ghosh
To look at corporate retail as the solution to the current food price increase seems to be foolish as the recent evidence on distribution margins indicates that the countrywide share of corporate retail in food distribution is estimated to have tripled in the past four years and the retail food prices have shown the greatest increase. Instead, creating a viable and effective public distribution system in essential commodities is an immediate requirement.
Diluting the Right to Food
Feb 2nd 2011, C.P. Chandrasekhar
In its task of formulating the Food Security Bill, the National Advisory Council has ended up recognizing the supply constraints that could hinder implementation of the bill which guarantees universal access to food through a public distribution system.
Going after the Little Guys
Jan 13th 2011, Jayati Ghosh
In order to control their large volume of non-performing assets (most of which are loans made to large corporate houses), several commercial banks in India are selling off their small NPA accounts to private players at a large discount. By doing so, the banks are indirectly putting great pressure on the small scale producers, the middle class families and other similar groups for repayment instead of the large defaulters.
The Criminalization of Dissent
Jan 13th 2011, Prabhat Patnaik
The official position idealising economic growth as a national goal and vilifying any opposition to it as anti-national, is reification. But, equally importantly, it is dangerous, both because it criminalizes ideological dissent and because it implicitly justifies corporate control over the State.
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