A cross-sectional study based on women benefi ciaries under the Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefi t Scheme in fi ve districts of Tamil Nadu shows that scheduled caste and landless women in the sample were disadvantaged in receiving benefi ts. Overall, only one-fourth of the women who delivered fi rst or second order births in the sample received monetary assistance under the scheme.

Can decentralisation reforms in education achieve the goal of universal elementary education without removing the barriers of hierarchical social structure in West Bengal?

The Andhra Pradesh is one of the two states in the country to initiate democratic decentralisation process on the lines of Balawanta Rai Mehata Committee Report in 1959. The process of decentralisation in the state can be broadly divided into six phases. In every phase, the successive government, except during 1960s and 1970s where the PRIs positions were occupied by the rural upper class and upper castes, evaded the implementation of its own expert committees’ recommendations and undermined the PRIs and their leadership.

A bottom-up view of the health conditions and services in six states – three performing and three not-so-well performing ones – was arrived at through a study by a multidisciplinary team with varied experiences in health research. This paper presents the results of a Public Report on Health that was initiated in 2005 to understand public health issues for people from diverse backgrounds living in different region-specific contexts.

The India Human Development Report 2011 undertakes a disaggregated analysis of a large set of indicators and is unhesitating in its criticism of our failures in human development outcomes even while recognising that there is empirical evidence of achievement in many dimensions. The main fi ndings of the report point out that the states are converging on important indicators of human functioning and that the indicators among the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and Muslims are converging with the national average.

Though much intellectual energy has been expended on the “poverty problem” in India, the debate simply does not take into account the highly unequal social context in which poverty is produced and reproduced. Can we reflect on the right not to be poor without taking on these background inequalities? Arguably, the right not to be poor is best articulated as a subset of the generic right to equality. The concept of equality is, however, not self-explanatory. In many circles, redistributive justice has replaced equality. It is therefore time to ask the question – equality for what?

This paper examines the changes in poverty incidence and monthly per capita expenditure in India using the National Sample Survey’s unit record data of three rounds, 1993-94, 2004-05 and 2009-10. The changes in poverty and growth in MPCE have been measured for major socio-religious and economic groups in both rural and urban sectors. This is complemented by the decomposition of the change in the incidence of poverty into the growth and distribution components.

Total sanitation cannot be achieved merely by allocating more funds. (Editorial)

This article highlights the changes that have taken place in the political economy of Ranikhera village between 1953 and 2008. Urbanisation is the key factor in transforming the village life. Agriculture has lost its traditional importance as a major source of livelihood. The social relations of production between the landowning Jajmans and landless servicing castes have been affected by opening up of new employment opportunities in the metropolitan city of Delhi. Many Dalits have ‘emancipated’ themselves from their earlier dependence on their Jajmans.

This article looks into the instances of growing waterlogging, which is a negative externality of the developmental process (canal irrigation) that has affected the marginalised sections to a greater extent, who mostly depend on land for livelihood and self-sustenance. Land-use pattern has undergone a tremendous transformation due to irrigation development in terms of increase in fallow and culturable waste lands.

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