ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Pulapre BalakrishnanSubscribe to Pulapre Balakrishnan

A House for the Social Sciences

For the first time since the creation of the Indian Council of Social Science Research in the 1970s, the Government of India set up, in 2010, a committee to review the functioning of the council. The four articles in this special section, three of them by directors of ICSSR institutes, discuss different aspects of the report of the committee. The first article commends the quality of analysis and the recommendation to correct the current niggardly government financing of the ICSSR but asks why there has been no discussion of the quality of research and accountability in the social science institutes.

Imagining an Economy of Plenty in Kerala

Land reforms in Kerala, far from being a remarkable success, have been a major failure. They were meant to redistribute land and not to improve productivity. It is time the state government considered ordering that redistributed land should be returned if the beneficiaries do not cultivate it and also reversing the existing anti-tenancy law. Kerala's food security demands that the state think afresh about its policies for land and production.

Social Science Research in India: Concerns and Proposals

The ICSSR is not responsible for the torpidity of social science research in India. Viewed from a perspective on research in economics, this article identifies two concerns (the inability to speak truth to power and the lack of autonomy) and makes three proposals (on apprenticeship, rank and leadership of institutions).

Economic Growth

Mudunuri Bharathi (‘Lack of Linkages’, December 8, 2007) is wrong to infer from our study that “…the sectors in the Indian economy with a sublime lack of interdependence may be performing as three unrelated engines.” Actually, our time-series econometric estimates bear out a recursive structure,

The Recovery of India: Economic Growth in the Nehru Era

This paper investigates the relationship between the policy regime and growth during 1950-64, termed here "the Nehru era". While there exist valuable early appraisals of the period, access to new data and fresh information allows for a longer and more comparative view of the outcome. We find overwhelming evidence not only of resurgent growth, but also of a lasting transformation of a stagnant colonial enclave into an economy capable of sustained growth. It is useful to recognise the economic policy of this period as distinct, not only from what preceded it but also from what came after, for it facilitates an understanding of the political conditions needed for economic interventions that are growth inducing. The paper also addresses some lingering perceptions of policy of the time, notably its impact on agriculture and the governance of the public enterprises.

Understanding Economic Growth in India, Further Observations

Understanding Economic Growth in India, Further Observations Pulapre Balakrishnan, M Parameswaran The authors respond to Ravindra Dholakia

Higher Education in India:Will 'Six Per Cent' Do It?

Higher education in India can hardly be called equitable or excellent, despite recent efforts to improve it. What will it take to improve the quality of higher education in the country?

Understanding Economic Growth in India: A Prerequisite

This article follows a recent development in the estimation and testing of multiple structural breaks in linear models to identify phases of growth in India since 1950. The noteworthy feature of the methodology is that it allows the data to parametrise the model, thus yielding results that are immune to the prior beliefs of the researcher. The resulting estimates reveal that there are two growth regimes in India since 1950. The authors then decompose by sector the contribution to the change in the growth rate across these regimes. Finally, by means of a simple econometric model, they test a hypothesis that emerges from their estimation and testing for structural break in the main sectors of the economy to provide an explanation of the growth transition in India. In passing, the authors consider the bearing of their results on extant explanations of the same transition.

Trends in Savings, Investment and Consumption

This article reviews the quick estimates of savings, investment and consumption released by the Central Statistical Organisation in the National Accounts Statistics 2007. It is clear that both savings and investment have risen sharply in the past two years, but there remain some concerns about the trends.

Benign Neglect or Strategic Intent?

The high and rising export intensity of India's software production reflects its global competitiveness. The progress of the industry is intrinsically related to the development of this competitiveness. The competitiveness has been developed in two stages. First, via long-term investment by the state in technical education and science and technology, with neither necessarily directed at the production of software. Subsequently, an incipient software industry with recognisably high export potential has been targeted via fiscal incentives and the provision of export-enabling infrastructure. The emergence of a globally competitive Indian software industry serves as an interesting example of successful state intervention at a time when the model is largely out of fashion.

Higher Education Needs a Longer View

The decline and fall of the publicly-funded higher education system in India has its origins in the fact that there has been a steady expansion of institutions without any concern for quality of the faculty. Unless such issues are addressed, merely increasing the number of seats will prove counterproductive.


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