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Daily Archives: June 12, 2017

Fair Trade Certification and Livelihoods: A Panel Data Analysis of Coffee-growing Households in India

Environment and Development Economics, Volume 22 Issue 3, 2017


Explaining environmental health behaviors: evidence from rural India on the influence of discount rates by   Stibniati S. AtmadjaErin O. SillsSubhrendu K. PattanayakJui-Chen YangSumeet Patil

Indian Financial Sector : Structure, Trends and Turns

Partha Ray and  Rakesh Mohan

IMF Working Paper No. 17/7

This paper traces the story of Indian financial sector over the period 1950–2015. In identifying the trends and turns of Indian financial sector, the paper adopts a three period classification viz., (a) the 1950s and 1960s, which exhibited some elements of instability associated with laissez faire but underdeveloped banking; (b) the 1970s and 1980s that experienced the process of financial development across the country under government auspices, accompanied by a degree of financial repression; and (c) the period since the 1990s till date, that has been characterized by gradual and calibrated financial deepening and liberalization. Focusing more the third period, the paper argues that as a consequence of successive reforms over the past 25 years, there has been significant progress in making interest and exchange rates largely market determined, though the exchange rate regime remains one of managed float, and some interest rates remain administered. Considerable competition has been introduced in the banking sector through new private sector banks, but public sector banks continue have a dominant share in the market. Contractual savings systems have been improved, but pension funds in India are still in their infancy. Similarly, despite the introduction of new private sector insurance companies coverage of insurance can expand much further, which would also provide greater depth to the financial markets. The extent of development along all the segments of the financial market has not been uniform. While the equity market is quite developed, activities in the private debt market are predominantly confined to private placement form and continue to be limited to the bluechip companies. Going forward, the future areas for development in the Indian financial sector would include further reduction of public ownership in banks and insurance companies, expansion of the contractual savings system through more rapid expansion of the insurance and pension systems, greater spread of mutual funds, and development of institutional investors. It is only then that both the equity and debt markets will display greater breadth as well as depth, along with greater domestic liquidity. At the same time, while reforming the financial sector, the Indian authorities had to constantly keep the issues of equity and efficiency in mind.

URL: http://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2017/01/20/Indian-Financial-Sector-Structure-Trends-and-Turns-44554

Courtesy: IMF

Universalizing Elementary Education in India: Achievements and Challenges

John Harriss

UNRISD WP 2017-3

Successive governments of independent India have long failed to honour a commitment to the education of children that was made in Article 45 of the Constitution promulgated in 1950. The Article appears among the Directive Principles of Part IV of the Constitution, which are in effect statements of good intention and are not justiciable—unlike the Fundamental Rights specified in Part III. These are mainly civil and political rights, while possible social and economic rights—including a right to education—were relegated by the authors of the Constitution to the Directive Principles.4 Article 45 mandated the state to endeavour to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14 within a period of ten years (that is, by 1960), but successive governments failed to allocate sufficient resources, or attention, for the achievement of this goal. Over the last twenty five years, however, there has come about a significant shift in policy and practice in regard to elementary education, most strikingly with the establishment of the Right to Education in an act passed in 2009. This has made basic education a justiciable right, for the first time.

URL: http://www.unrisd.org/unrisd/website/document.nsf/(httpPublications)/70A87F51305DFD05C12580C60044016F?OpenDocument

Courtesy: UNRISD

Between Protest and Policy: Women Claim their Right to Agricultural Land in Rural China and India

Govind Kelkar

UNRISD WP 2016-10

This research was conceptualized to ascertain the state response to women’s extra-procedural claims making to land through collective and individual protests, demonstrations, public performances and women farmers’ conclaves for building public opinion against the gender differential arrangements in land tenure and agrarian production system in India. An attempt was also made to understand China’s policy on women’s legal and equal rights to land since the 1950s. The author situates the discussion on women and land in the broader context of women’s emerging agential power against the patriarchal forces of the state, market fundamentalism and social cultural norms that influence both formal and informal institutions at various levels. Women’s claims are thus framed against two major related factors: an insidious state-backed development policy that keeps women dependent on the male as the head of the household; and a combination of institutional structures with social norms and legal rules that shut most rural women out of land and property ownership.

An analysis of land reform policies in China and India show that the state agencies speak simultaneously to two groups: the political elite raised with notions of gender-discriminatory forms of power who exercise influence through access to political and economic institutions; and the political constituency of organized rural women and men who wield influence through the right to vote, and therefore exercise power over the regime through the ballot box. The contradictory power bases of these two groups lead to a gap between policy rhetoric and implementation or gradualism constrained by social norms.

The research findings suggest that, as a consequence of the continued demand for women’s entitlement to land, there have been some partial and fitful changes in policies and enactment of laws in the two countries. The women who acquired an entitlement to land gained greater social status and increased bargaining power over household assets, experienced a reduction in gender-based violence, and had more of a voice in land governance as well as decision making in socio-political affairs. However, these changes are punctuated with patriarchal disorders and reversals.

The author further notes in the study that the state, in most cases, has responded to women’s protests and claims to justice and rights, in terms of formulation of policies and legal frameworks. However, these legal frameworks and policies have remained largely ineffective in changing institutions trapped in gendered norms and women’s economic dependency. There has been no significant withdrawal of male power over land and productive assets despite the fact that women and civil society groups, in large numbers, have continued with the claim that the intrinsic value of justice and right to equality lies in ensuring women’s autonomy and their freedom from violence and dependency relationships.

This study is divided into eight sections. The introduction outlines the conceptual framework and raises the major questions of the study. Section 2 discusses discriminatory social norms and attitudes. Section 3 describes the policy change in response to women’s historical struggles for equality against the gender regimes in Asia, followed by women’s right to land and inheritance in the two countries in section 4. Major drivers of policy change are discussed in section 5. Section 6 assesses change in the practice of women’s lives. Some continued challenges related to the state’s institutional structures and the market are discussed in section 7. The concluding section 8 suggests some desirable policy and action towards mitigating gendered negative outcomes of past agricultural development.
URL: http://www.unrisd.org/unrisd/website/document.nsf/(httpPublications)/222B7313533B75D7C125801E005E58E0?OpenDocument

Courtesy: UNRISD