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Showing posts from February, 2015

Rise in income gap between upper and lower castes "reduces" crimes against Dalits, tribals

By Rajiv Shah
Taking a strange view, a senior researcher of the prestigious Delhi School of Economics, Smriti Sharma, has reached the drastic conclusion that crimes against the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled castes (STs) by the upper castes would go down with the rise in the income levels of the latter. The scholar reaches her controversial conclusion on the basis the analysis of the officially-available data of 2000s.
In a research paper, “Caste-based crimes and economic status: Evidence from India”, published in the “Journal of Comparative Economics” (43, 2015), Sharma has used district-level official data on crimes against SCs and STs and per capita expenditure data of different social groups to say that there was a “decline in the ratio of SC/ST expenditure to upper castes’ expenditure” between early 2000s and late 2000s from “71 percent to 64 percent.”
This decline in the expenditure ratio, leading to “widening of the gap between lower and upper castes”, is associated with a d…

Gujarat a growth engine? 2014-15 data show state GSDP will grow lower than most Indian states

By Rajiv Shah
Latest budget papers, just released by the Gujarat government in the state assembly, have revealed that, much against the claims of “double digit rate of growth”, Gujarat's gross state domestic product (GSDP) at constant prices (calculated by deducting inflation) rose by 8.76 per cent in the year financial year 2013-14, and is unlikely cross the 7 per cent mark in 2014-15. At current prices (without deducting inflation), they suggest, state's growth rate is one of the poorest in India, putting a question mark of Gujarat being India's growth engine.
What should particularly make the industry-friendly policy makers worried is, this was the third consecutive year that Gujarat's growth rate was in the single digit – the Socio-Economic Review, one of the budget papers, says that in 2011-12 the GSDP grew by 6.1 per cent, and in 2012-13 it grew by 6.7 per cent. Interesting though it may seem, this is against the Government of India's estimate of GSDP rate of 7…

Impact of 2002 Gujarat riots: Sharp rise in revivalistic tendencies in Muslim resettlement colonies

By Rajiv Shah
A new research work by a Gujarat Vidyapeeth scholar, Dr Damini Shah, has said that, thanks to ghettoisation of Muslims following the 2002 Gujarat riots, there has been shocking rise in religious obscurantism in the Muslim colonies, most of which were set up by Islamic non-government organizations in order to provide security to the riot victims.
Perhaps the first book of its kind in Gujarati language, “Muslim Ghettoisation: Ek Karun Dastan” (Muslim Ghettoisation: A Tragedy), released at a formal function in Ahmedabad, has particularly noted that all the dozen resettlement colonies surveyed have “imposing mosques and madrasas attached to them, with all the necessary facilities”, in sharp contrast to the poor housing facilities in which the resettled Muslims live in sub-human conditions.
Giving example of the type of "revivalism" that is prevailing in these resettlement colonies, Dr Shah quotes maulvis of the mosques as saying that “the Muslims had to suffer in the…

Gujarat CM wants corporate social responsibilty funds in state coffers,officials say it's just not possible

By Rajiv Shah
Contradicting the recent announcement by Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, declaring that April 2015 onwards state-based enterprises will have to transfer two per cent of their profits towards the corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund of the Gujarat government, a top state insider said this is “simply not possible”. The insider, requesting anonymity, said, there is “no law in the state or India which makes it obligatory for the companies to hand over CSR funds to the government. The corporates will not agree as it is as it is against their interest.”
Patel made the announcement at Elkala village in Umbergaon taluka in South Gujarat two days back while inaugurating the Asian Aerosoal Company’s new plant. She said, the state government would be utilizing the CSR funds received from the corporate houses to build toilets across the state and the automatic midday meal making plants, which would supply cooked food to primary schools.
The insider said, “There is just …