Ayushman Bharat Prabhat Patnaik

The fraudulence of the claim made by the Modi government with regard to the “Ayushman Bharat” scheme launched recently surpasses all its previous efforts. This is hardly surprising for a government for which what matters is not what it actually does but how it creates perceptions about what it is doing. The Ayushman Bharat scheme consists of two separate parts. One is the creation of 150000 “Health and Wellness Centres” which are simply the old primary health centres given a new fancy name, and for each of which the 2018-19 Union budget allocates a mere Rs.80000. This obviously cannot even…

The Devaluation of the Academia Prabhat Patnaik

We are about to witness a major change. Academics are going to be marginalized in the process of decision-making relating to academic matters. An implicit marginalization has been going on for some time, but now it will get the imprimatur of a parliamentary legislation. A legislation drafted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development seeks to abolish the University Grants Commission altogether. Its fund-distributing role will be taken over by the Ministry itself, while its supervisory role will be implemented by a newly created Higher Education Commission of India. The composition of this proposed Higher Education Commission will be as…

The Proposed Abolition of the UGC Prabhat Patnaik

The Modi government is bringing in legislation in the coming Monsoon session of the Parliament to abolish the University Grants Commission. The UGC has two important roles at present. One is the distribution of funds to colleges and universities; this will now be handled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The other role is a regulatory one, which will now be taken over by a Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). This Commission however will have no funds to distribute. The proposed set-up will immensely increase political control over the academia. The fact that the distribution of funds will…

Who Says Labor Laws Are “Luxuries”? Servaas Storm and Jeronim Capaldo

A Standard recommendation given to late-industrializing economies by the economic advisors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has been to refrain from imposing regulations on the labor market, or if such regulations are already in place, to abolish them. If you are a policymaker in a late-industrializing country, chances are you’ve been told that your problem, what is really holding your economy back, is excessive labor regulation – it is making your exports uncompetitive and chasing away capital. Laws “created to help workers often hurt them,” stated the 2008 World Bank’s Doing Business Report. To avoid any…

Evolution of Technology in the Digital Arena: Theories, firm-level strategies and state policies Smitha Francis

This paper analyses the evolution of technology, encompassing the characteristics and dynamics of innovation and technological change, as well as their interactions and interrelations across diverse technical areas that generate organisational changes and systemic socio-economic changes. It provides a brief overview of the various theoretical approaches that have examined technological evolution at different analytical levels, which is followed by a detailed discussion of Carlota Perez‟s techno-economic paradigm. Evolution_Technology (Download the full text in PDF format) (This study was commissioned by the Centre for WTO Studies (CWS), IIFT, New Delhi,  and carried out by the author as an independent consultant)

Reflections on the Old and New Developmentalism Jan Kregel

New Developmentalism incorporates the positive contributions of early development theorists into the future point of view. This assessment points to the importance of and problems relating to exchange rates in the development process and attempts to provide a contemporary version of the theory, adapted to the twentieth century world of globalization and financialization. Old_New_Developmentalism (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, vol. 38, nº 1 (150), pp. 70-75, January-March/2018)

Climate Change and Human Development: Extending the vision of Dr. Mahbub Ul Haq Sumanasiri Liyanage and Anuruddha Kankanamge

Climate change is not a “natural” disaster, but a creation of the system that is aimed in pursuit of private profit at increasing scale. The implications and effects of climate change can be considered as one of the key factors in determining not only the welfare of human being but also the existence of other life forms and our planet. The principal submission of this paper is, extending and advancing the insight of Dr. Mahbubul Haq and his team’s work on Human Development Index, to another important step by including the negative impact of climate change.  This paper uses carbondioxide…

Sanitation workers in India Jayati Ghosh

How many deaths will it take till they know that too many people have died? In just 35 days between mid-July and mid-August this year, in the capital city of Delhi alone, ten sanitation workers died while they were engaged in the poorly paid and extremely hazardous task of manual scavenging. They were entering sewers to clean them, without adequate or even minimal precautions taken by the employers (like safety gear) that would allow these workers to deal with the noxious and even toxic gases, slippery floors, high walls and often very high temperatures in these sewers. Manual scavenging is…

UN Role in Reforming International Finance for Development Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Growing global interdependence poses greater challenges to policy makers on a wide range of issues and for countries at all levels of development. Yet, the new mechanisms and arrangements put in place over the past four decades have not been adequate to the growing challenges of coherence and coordination of global economic policy making. Recent financial crises have exposed some such gaps and weaknesses. Multilateral UN inclusive Although sometimes seemingly slow, the United Nations (UN) has long had a clear advantage in driving legitimate discussion on reform because of its more inclusive and open governance. Lop-sided influence in the current…

Computer Outages Jayati Ghosh

It is a truth that should now be universally acknowledged that, everywhere in the world, our lives are driven by computers – or more specifically, by the workings of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and therefore the internet. And our dependence on them is not just temporary or partial: it is continuous and overwhelming. It is not just people who actively use computers – whether on desktops or laptops or tablets or mobile telephones – whose lives are driven by them and by internet access. Increasingly, (and certainly in urban areas) almost all forms of transport, most forms of financial…