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MARCH 24, 2012 Vol XLVII No 12

Economic&PoliticalwEEKLY
A SAMEEKSHA TRUST PUBLICATION WWW.epW.ifl

EDITORIALS The Koodankulam Struggle


■ Once Again w ithout Credibility The government is bent on maligning the struggle against
■ Growth Conundrums the Koodankulam nuclear power plant because it cannot
■ How to Kill a River comprehend that ordinary citizens can understand
HT PAREKH FINANCE COLUMN
difficult issues and wage a spirited struggle, page 11
■ India Dimmed

COMMENTARY Pharma Industry after TRIPS


■ The Koodankulam Struggle How are the multinational pharmaceutical companies
and the 'Foreign Hand' in India responding to the product patent environment?
■ Relevance of Congress Victory in Manipur Will the positive features of the post-1972 process
■ India and Nuclear Security Norms patent era in India be diluted by the new power of
■ Anglicisation of Hindi theMNCs? page 46
■ Study of Custody Deaths
■ Turning the Page in Wildlife Science
Victory in Manipur
BOOK REVIEWS The results of the Manipur elections point to an interesting
■ Lineages o f Political Society
paradox - the Congress was voted back to power
■ The Green Movement and
despite its all-round failure in governance, page 14
the Struggle for Iran's Future

PERSPECTIVES
■ Tertiary Healthcare within a Universal System
Turning the Page in Wildlife Science
Indian wildlife scientists are unable to contribute a
SPECIAL ARTICLES conservation focus to policymaking. They do need to
■ Pharmaceutical Industry in India after TRIPS actively engage w ith situations where the w ildlife and
■ Memoirs of Haimabati Sen conservation angles have to be highlighted, page 27
■ Rural Housing Quality
■ Indian Banking Sector during Liberalisation
Tertiary Healthcare
DISCUSSION
We need to break away from western-oriented tertiary
■ Transgressive Secularism
care medical knowledge and rethink a number of issues
CURRENT STATISTICS to define care in a universal healthcare system in the
■ Performance of Commercial Banks Indian setting, page 39

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Asia
R esearch C en tre

The Asia Research Centre (ARC), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE),
invites applications for the following 2012-13 Fellowships:

Sir Ratan Tata Fellowship 2012-13

The Fellowship will be for a period of up to eight months in the academic year 2012-13. Applicants should
have experience of social science research on South Asia. The Fellow will be expected to engage in social
science research on a topic under the following themes: Growth and Inclusion; Climate Change and
Environmental Sustainability: Social and Human Security; Population and Development; Governance and
Democracy. Preference will be given to topics that focus on contemporary social, political and economic
concerns of South Asia. This Fellowship is open to candidates from South Asia, that is, the SAARC region
which includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Fellowship is supported
by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust.

C. R. Parekh Fellowship 2012-13


The Fellowship will be for a period of three months in the academic year 2012-13. Applicants should have
experience of social science research on India. The Fellow will be expected to engage in social science
research on a topic under the following themes: Growth and Inclusion; Climate Change and Environmental
Sustainability; Social and Human Security; Population and Development; Governance and Democracy. Preference
will be given to topics that focus on social, economic, political and constitutional concern to India. This
Fellowship is open to candidates from India only. The Fellowship is supported by the Nirman Foundation.

Subir Chowdhury Fellowship 2012-13

The Fellowship will be for a period of three months in the 2012-13 academic year. Applicants should have
experience of social science research on Bangladesh and/or India. The Fellow will be expected to engage in
research examining the impact of people quality and behaviour on the economies of Asian nations prioritising,
but not restricted to, India and Bangladesh. This Fellowship allows for any scholar to participate in the
programme regardless of ethnicity or national origin. The Fellowship is supported by the Subir and Malini
Chowdhury Foundation.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND APPLICATION PR O C E SS

All Fellowships are based at the Asia Research Centre, LSE. Fellows receive a monthly subsistence allowance,
the exact amount depending on qualifications. Shared work space is provided together with access to research
facilities at the School. Applicants for the Fellowships should have completed a PhD - the Fellowships are
not intended for students registered for a degree or diploma, nor are they intended for senior academics. All
Fellows will be expected to finish a piece of research of publishable quality during their stay and make a
presentation at a seminar or lecture arranged by the Asia Research Centre.

Further information can be found at: www.lse.ac.uk/AsiaResearchCentre. Applications should be addressed


to The Fellowships Selection Committee, Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics & Political
Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK, and may be mailed through the post or emailed to
arc@lse.ac.uk. Applications will not be accepted via fax under any circumstances. Applications should include
a covering letter of no more than one page, a curriculum vitae of no more than three pages and an outline
of proposed research of no more than three pages. Please use A4-sized plain paper only. Applicants should
also give the names and addresses of two referees, familiar with their work, to be contacted by the Committee.
The final date for receipt of applications is Monday, 14 May 2012. Late applications will not be accepted.
The successful candidate will be informed of the decision by the end of July 2012.

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MARCH 24, 2012 | VOL xlvii NO 12
Econom ic& Politicalw EEK LY
India Dimmed E D IT O R IA L S

10 What we witnessed in Indian financial markets late last year was the outcome Once Again without Credibility...................7
partly of developments in India but equally the result of a loss of investor risk Growth Conundrums.............................. 8
appetite the world over. How to Kill a River.................................9

The Koodankulam Struggle and the 'Foreign Hand' FROM 50 Y E A R S A G O ................................9

11 A leader of the protests against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in H T P A R E K H F IN A N C E C O L U M N


Tamil Nadu describes the movement and points out how the government is India Dimmed
maligning the struggle. —Avinash Persaud ................................10

Relevance o f Congress' Victory in Manipur COM M EN TARY

14 The clear mandate to the Congress for the third time in Manipur is a sign of The Koodankulam Struggle and the
cynicism of the voters who are desperate not to have things slide any further. ‘
Foreign Hand’—S P Udayakumar............... 11
Relevance of Congress’
Victory in Manipur
Nuclear Security Norms: Where Does India Stand? —Pradip Phanjoubam............................ 14
17 Official India is upset at the low ranking given to it by a us-based organisation Nuclear Security Norms:
on nuclear materials security, but it is disturbing that there is no independent Where Does India Stand?—? R Chari........... 17
regulatory authority to oversee nuclear infrastructure in the country. Anglicisation of Hindi: The Official Perspective
—Mukul Priyadarshini........................... 19
Anglicisation o f Hindi Custody Deaths in Kerala: A Study from
19 A critical review of the administrative and academic terminology of Hindi. Post-mortem Data in Thrissur Medical College
A willingness to accommodate other languages will help Hindi break free —Hithesh Sanker T S, PraveenlalKuttichira...23
from the shackles of rigidity and meaningless complexity. Turning the Page in Wildlife Science:
Conservation Biology and Bureaucracy
Custody Deaths in Kerala —Nandini Velho, Meghna Krishnadas,
23 A preliminary study of 23 autopsies of custodial deaths conducted in Sachin Sridhara, Umesh Srinivasan .............. 27
Thrissur, Kerala, tries to identify the causes.
B O O K R E V IE W S

Conservation Biology and Bureaucracy Lineages of Political Society — A Text


27 India’s conservation legacy will be judged by the degree of unity that Self-Consciously Realist and Never Utopian
conservationists and scientists show in fighting agendas that are bigger than —Rajan Gurukkal................................ 31
the fractured philosophies of personal viewpoints and academic debates. The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and
the Struggle for Iran's Future — Iran’s Revolution
Tertiary Healthcare within a Universal System and the Global Politics of Resistance
—VinayLal...................... 35
39 Tertiary care in India needs to be redefined in relation to common diseases
alongside an identification of cost-effective and feasible treatments that can P E R S P E C T IV E S
be provided to all citizens of the country at an affordable cost. Tertiary Healthcare within a Universal System:
Some Reflections—Anand Zachariah ...........39
Pharmaceutical Industry in India after TRIPS
46 A study on the beh aviou r o f the m n cs in the post-TRIPs situation con clu des S P E C IA L A R T IC L E S

that the days o f p rod u ct m o n o p olies and h igh prices are back in India with Multinationals and Monopolies:
the m arketing o f n ew patented d ru gs at exorbitant prices.
Pharmaceutical Industry in India after TRIPS
—Sudip Chaudhuri.............................. 46
Complexities and Conflicts in the Memoir o f Haimabati Sen Resisting Patriarchy: Complexities and Conflicts
55 Women’ s personal testimonies are an important historical source for studying in the Memoir of Haimabati Sen
gender history and the autobiography of Haimabati Sen (1866-1932) shows —Indrani Sen ..................................... 55
the oppression that women suffered and their resistance to it. Rural Housing Quality as an Indicator
of Consumption Sustainability
Rural Housing Quality —Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay,
Indira Rajaraman.................................63
63 An analysis of the two most recent National Sample Survey housing surveys
shows that in the rural Indian context, transitions in housing quality Total Factor Productivity Growth
and Its Decomposition: The Indian Banking
in cross-sectional data sets can provide revealed evidence of household
Sector during Liberalisation
perceptions of downside risk to their current consumption levels.
—Anup Kumar Bhandari.........................68
The Indian Banking Sector during Liberalisation D IS C U S S IO N
68 A study of the total factor productivity improvement achieved by 68 Indian Transgressive Secularism
commercial banks from 1998-99 to 2006-07 suggests that public sector banks —Arun Kumar Patnaik........................77
adjusted to change and showed an improved performance better than those
under private and foreign ownership. C U R R E N T S T A T I S T I C S ....................................... 8 0

L E T T E R S ..................................... 4
Transgressive Secularism
77 Arun Kumar Patnaik responds to Akeel Bilgrami’
s article “
Secularism: Its S U B S C R I P T IO N R A T E S A N D
Content and Context”(epw, 28 January). N O T E S F O R C O N T R I B U T O R S ................................ 6

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Econom ic&PoliticalwEEKLY
is s n 001 2-9 976
Ever since the first issue in 1966,
epw has been India’ s premier journal for Closing Schools building. This will be merging in
comment on current affairs
and research in the social sciences.
in Karnataka terms of space but not in terms of learn­
It succeeded Economic Weekly (1949-1965), ing. Another alternative would be to
which was launched and shepherded
t looks as though Venkatesha Murthy outsource these schools to private edu­
by Sachin C haudhuri,
who was also the founder-editor o f epw .
As editor for thirty-five years (1969-2004)
I (“ Closure of Primary Schools” ep w , cational institutions which would be
25 February 2012) is indirectly def­ happy to run them instead of closing
Krishna Raj
gave epw the reputation it now enjoys. ending the Karnataka government’ s them down. It is hoped that better
senseless decision to close as many as sense prevails with the Bharatiya Jana­
EDITOR
C RAM M AN OH AR REDDY 1,500 primary schools on the ground ta Party leaders in Karnataka on such
DEPUTY EDITOR
that there are few children attending critical issues affecting the children in
BERNARD D ’
M ELLO them. He seems to suggest that there the state.
WEB EDITOR is no need for the government to pro­ Manu N Kulkarni
SU BH A SH R A I vide “ learning space”(primary schools) BANGALORE

SENIOR ASSISTANT EDITORS in such villages and that this is


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provide a school even if one child wishes
to attend. way”
‘ W
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ASSISTANT EDITOR education says that the state will State supporting the family rather than
P S L EE L A provide autos for those children who breaking it up in the attempt to provide
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G A U R A A N G P R A D H A N MANAGER urban counterparts. Further, primary human being goes through from infan­
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4 m arch 24, 2012 vol XLVii n o 12 Q 3Q Economic & Political weekly

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LETTERS
Police Raj living under police protection inside the But whether such legislation should
police camp. Additional director general be at the state level or national level has
he People’ s Union for Democratic (Naxal) of police dismissed the warrant not yet been decided. An attempt to
T Rights ( p u d r ) has drawn the public’s and accusation as being part of a “
attention from time to time to the law­ conceived strategy of Naxals”
well- decide the issue at the state level seems
, the s p to be foiled in the case of Maharashtra.
less conduct of the security forces in war (Security) at Chhattisgarh police head­ The committee appointed for the pur­
zones across the country. Recent develop­ quarters went so far as to say that Kartam pose prepared the recommendatory
ments reported from Chhattisgarh show Surya “ was able to instil fear in the draft of the bill which has not yet been
that security forces enjoy so much impu­ ultras for his ruthlessness”and praised pressed for further action. The chief
nity that they have begun to flout even him for being a “ Chhattisgarh hero” . minister, Prithviraj Chavan has report­
the instructions/orders of the state home The fact that the police routinely flout edly disclosed that most of the political
minister. And such is their clout that they judicial warrants/orders against their parties were not in favour of the legisla­
can dismiss warrant/s issued by judicial own personnel accused of rape and kill­ tion, although individual members
officials, knowing fully well that no ing or even refuse to obey the home min­ express their support. It is difficult to
action against them would ensue. ister to record a f i r against their person­ understand why political parties are
Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nanki nel for molesting a minor is not an aber­ afraid of this legislation. The legisla­
Ram Kanwar told reporters on 15 Febru­ ration. It is the inner logic of fighting a tion is urgently needed as the assaults
ary that the police do not follow his war against our own people. on journalists and newspapers are in­
orders. He complained to them that on 12 Paramjeet Singh, Preeti Chauhan creasing by the day. Especially in the
February he had asked the Superintendent Secretaries, p u d r semi-urban and rural areas allurement,
of Police (s p ) of Korba to file a first infor­ NEW DELHI threats and attacks are being used to
mation report (f i r ) against two police pressure journalists.
personnel of the Kotwali police station Journalists3Protection Instead of relying on states for the leg­
for molesting and attempting to rape a islation, the union government should
minor, daughter of Milon Das, resident ress freedom in our country is not a take the initiative to pass a central act
of Dhanmarpara, in Korba district. How­ P
special privilege of journalists. They which will be binding on all states. It is
ever, the Korba s p dismissed these enjoy the general freedom of expression similar to the Right to Information Act
allegations and claimed he had not guaranteed by the Constitution for all which was passed by Parliament and the
received any such order from the minister. citizens. Whether special freedom needs rules under the Act are made applicable
The home minister told the media that to be given to journalists or not may be a to all states in the country.
there is a Supreme Court ruling stating matter of two opinions. But special pro­ The assignment to prepare a draft of
that a mere oral complaint by a girl victim tection should be given as journalists are such a central legislation may well be
is enough in such cases for filing a f i r . attacked, killed and their offices are ran­ entrusted to the Press Council of India,
This is the same Chhattisgarh police sacked by dissatisfied activists mostly whose head is a former justice of the
that also eulogises as “ Chhattisgarh belonging to sociopolitical organisations Supreme Court and has been vocal and
hero”a fugitive from justice and alleged or criminal elements. Madhya Pradesh critical about the inability of the govern­
rapist and killer, Kartam Surya. journalist Chandrika Rai and his family ment to protect the press. A draft pre­
Kartam Surya is a 29-year-old police members were killed recently, allegedly pared by the Press Council will have
constable who was one of the three by the local mining mafia. Earlier, the legitimacy and will incorporate the
“ informal”commanders of a band of office of a Marathi daily in Mumbai was requirements of the journalists. The
approximately 100 special police officers assaulted and ransacked by activists central government should waste no
(s p o s ) dubbed as “ Koya Commandos” . of a political party. There have been nu­ further time and speed up the process
After the Supreme Court declared as il­ merous similar incidents and journalists of drafting such a legislation.
legal the recruitment of s p o s , nearly all have consistently demanded better pro­ Prabhakar Kulkarni
KOLHAPUR
of them were absorbed in a special aux­ tection, including legislation.
iliary force constituted by the Chhattis­
garh government. Kartam Surya was
accused of raping three tribal women,
EPW In d ex
aged 19-23, at Sam Sehi village in 2006. An author-title index for EPW has been prepared for the years from 1968 to 2010. The PDFs
On 17November 2009, the sessions court of the Index have been uploaded, year-wise, on the EPWweb site. Visitors can download the
issued a warrant against the accused, in­ Index for all the years from the site. (The Index for a few years is yet to be prepared and will
cluding Kartam Surya. The prosecutor be uploaded when ready.)
claimed that Kartam and others could EPW would like to acknowledge the help of the staff of the library of the Indira Gandhi
not be traced, although Kartam and other Institute for Development Research, Mumbai, in preparing the index under a project
s p o s continued to engage in raid and supported by the RD Tata Trust.
search operations in Sukma district,

Economic & Political weekly E Q 53 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 5

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Econom ic& Politicalw EEK LY
MARCH 24, 2012

O nce A gain w ithout Credibility


Budget 2012, built yet again at the altar o f fisca l fundam entalism , will not convince anybody.

I
n this era of immediate assessment it took just a few minutes gives some allowance for the uncertain and not if it is generated
for the Union Budget for 2012-13 to be given one or the other with artificially low/high numbers. What of the numbers in
negative appellation - “ lacklustre” ,“anti-growth” ,“ back to 2012-13? Total expenditure is budgeted to rise by a more realistic
the 1980s” ,“without reform”and the like. Such evaluations forget 13%, non-Plan spending at slightly less than last year (8.7%) and
that union budgets have long since ceased to be statements of the growth of gross tax revenue is expected to double (20%).
macroeconomic policy for the short and medium term. They are Should we be surprised if in February 2013 we are told once
now entirely accounting exercises geared towards meeting just again that the target for the fiscal deficit has not been met?
one objective - producing a fiscal deficit that is acceptable to the The obsession with the fiscal deficit also means that during the
stock market, foreign investor and pundit. Fiscal fundamental­ course of the year the axe falls on those items of spending which
ism is, of course, itself a definite policy. But this obsession means have no constituencies to stand up for them. In 2011-12, Plan
that all other economic policies are made hostage to narrowing expenditure was budgeted to increase by 16.5%, in the event it
the deficit or rather to producing an artificial number that will has grown by only 12.6%. The 2012-13 b e projects an ambitious
convince the market. 22% growth in Plan spending, but what will happen during the
The fiscal deficit of 5.1% of the gross domestic product (g d p ) course of the year if other items of government spending and
which Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has come up revenue do not stick to their targets?
with as the budget estimate (b e ) for 2012-13 has few takers. The A government that has seen the middle class turn against it is
numbers for revenue and expenditure have been played around compelled to make pathetic attempts to win it over with tax
with so much that they have lost all credibility. Consider, for breaks. Hence the changes in the income tax slabs, higher exemp­
instance, a major item of government expenditure - petroleum tion limits and so also the new exemption to interest earnings of
subsidies. In a year when the west is orchestrating action against Rs 10,000 from savings bank deposits. These are modest for a
Iran and there is uncertainty about the movement of global middle class that is forever thirsty for more. Besides, by already
prices, petroleum subsidies in Budget 2012 are expected to implementing the income tax rates of the Direct Tax Code with­
decline by Rs 24,901 crore. Or is the government planning a major out doing away with the exemptions as planned earlier, the
revision in product prices, which it has chosen not to mention in government has shot itself in the foot. And what does it say of the
Budget 2012? Either way, few believe the numbers. government and our society that a low peak tax rate of 30% will
The budgets these days are forgotten the morning after. But it is now kick in only at an annual income of Rs 10 lakh, which is as
instructive to look at how Budget 2011 fared, for this will throw much as 17times the annual per capita income of Rs 61,000?
light on the integrity of Budget 2012. Last year, total expenditure The deficit reduction imperative that runs through Budget 2012
was budgeted to grow by a mere 5% (2011-12 b e over the 2010-11 also means that some of the positive decisions get ignored. One of
actuals), non-Plan expenditure was budgeted to even decline by them is the decision to abandon the piecemeal expansion of the
1%, gross tax revenue was projected to grow by as much as 18%, service tax and opt for universal coverage with a negative list of 17
and market borrowings by just 11%- all in the cause of projecting categories. This will reduce the power of discretion and the scope
a deficit of 4.6% of g d p . And the actual outcome? Total expendi­ for lobbying. The increase in the service and excise duties from
ture has expanded by double the rate (10%), non-Plan outlays have 10% to 12% is not going to have a major upward impact on infla­
not declined but have risen by as much as 9% and tax revenue has tion but questions must be asked of the implications of a high cen­
grown by only 10%, with the result that market borrowings have tral service rate for the level of the Goods and Services Tax when it
expanded by as much as 40% and the deficit in 2011-12 will now is introduced later. Another proposal to be welcomed is the 40%
be 5.9% of g d p . There are many reasons offered for the complete increase in allocation from Rs 10,000 crore (2011-12 revised esti­
mismatch between the budgeted and the actual in 2011-12 - a mates) to Rs 14,000 crore (2012-13 b e ) for the hitherto neglected
difficult global environment, poor corporate performance, area of drinking water and sanitation. A third important proposal
rising subsidies, etc. All true, but a budget has value only if it is the doubling of the customs duty on gold imports. The Indian

Economic & Political weekly D 3S3 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 7

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EDITORIALS
greed for gold has been given fresh fuel in recent years by a very more equitable pace of growth (if it indeed values an equitable
low import duty, which has led to an ever-growing value of process of economic expansion as much as a higher rate of
imports that has strained the balance of payments. This will now growth). For now it prefers to look at what incentives to give the
change, but only if the customs authorities see to it that smugglers market so that the latter can take over the responsibility of
do not revive the hawala channel to bring in gold illegally. increasing investment while it restricts itself to tinkering with
The positives are, however, very few. Overall, it seems that a social sector schemes in the hope that this will ensure its
weak government that is doubly burdened with a marriage to re-election in 2014. It looks like it is going to fail on all three
market orthodoxy has no idea about how to work towards a counts - growth, social support and re-election.

Growth Conundrums
The preconditions for the revival o f Indian economic growth a la the period 2003-04 to 2007-08 are absent

ovelty, it seems, is difficult to sustain; so too economic magic spell on governments worldwide to play to the tune of

N growth. The unusualness that marked the Economic Sur­


vey two years ago has gone; the latest edition, that of
20x1-12, parrots its previous issue on many a count. Of course, the
official scrutinising of the economy on an annual basis in the
“high finance” . The s & p downgrade triggered an obsession of
governments with regard not merely to their own sovereign cred­
it rating, but how it compared with that of other countries. In this
race to get a better sovereign credit rating than others, the “ wish
Economic Survey has never been authentic - it is really about list”of the public policy changes that the international credit rat­
boosting “ investor confidence” , and that is what it has done quite ing agencies wanted assumed added importance. So the authors
admirably. Overall, real gross domestic product ( g d p ) growth of this year’ s Survey and the governor of the r b i have got into the
has decelerated over the first three quarters of the current finan­ act of pushing for such “ policy reform s”
.
cial year. Growth of g d p at factor cost (2004-05 prices) in the last The pedants in the Ministry of Finance have, once again, ped­
quarter of 2010-11 was 7.8%, declining in the first quarter of 2011- dled “ foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail”to “ cut
12 to 7.7%, to 6.9% in the second quarter, to touch 6.1% in the down the large middleman price margin”thereby assuring “ large
third quarter. Inflation still remains high; the slowdown in indus­ gains for farmers and also for ordinary consum ers” . Surely they
trial growth persists; the growth rate of gross fixed capital forma­ could not be unaware of the increase in the degree of buyer con­
tion has significantly declined, so have exports of goods and centration in the food supply chain that would, instead, have a
services in real terms; Brent crude oil prices are ruling exception­ tendency to depress the price the farmer got for her/his produce.
ally high; the current account of the balance of payments has de­ Wal-Mart and Carrefour would, no doubt, be pleased. So would
teriorated; net portfolio capital inflows are much lower than high finance, for the finance m inistry’ s mandarins also make a
what they were in 2010-11; the rupee has been on a downward strong case for development of the bond market and hail the
slide with sharp fluctuations, and net accretion to the foreign ex­ sharp increase in foreign borrowing.
change reserves has been much lower than in the corresponding Frankly, if growth a la the period 2003-04 to 2007-08 is to be
period of 2010-11. The authors of the Survey, nevertheless, in revived, the huge receipts from foreign remittances and software-
their wisdom, see an imminent upswing. cum-BPO exports and the extraordinary net capital inflows have
For them, fiscal consolidation is going to get back on track, to resume, cost-push and food inflation have to be dampened, and
inflationary pressures are about to ease in the coming months, the a low interest rate regime has to be re-established so that private
Reserve Bank of India (r b i ) will then reduce interest rates and debt-financed expenditure can resume. But the long-term neglect
investment will become buoyant again. Their forecast of the of the country’ s backward agricultural sector is coming home to
growth rate of real g d p in the coming financial year, 2012-13 is roost; supply constraints have been fuelling food inflation. As it is,
7.6% (V-o.25%). Indeed, in the Ministry of Finance’ s view, the with increasing openness, the economy is now no longer insulat­
economy will pick up momentum to record an 8.6% real g d p ed from global price trends. In such a context, the r b i will be con­
growth rate in 2013-14, back on track to the high growth recorded strained to keep interest rates high once again, and this would
during 2003-04 to 2007-08. But, for this, in the view of the Survey dampen household spending on homes and durables and small
the present policy paralysis has to be overcome. Just like informa­ and medium business investment expenditure. Moreover, it is
tion technology, business process outsourcing (b p o ) and financial only with a very significant step-up of net portfolio capital inflows
services have been largely put outside the tax net, a similar enabling as a proportion of g d p that the wealth effect would come into
business environment has to be put in place for the manufactur­ play, liquidity and consumer credit expansion would resume, “ an­
ing sector. More generally, a whole lot of “ micro-foundational imal spirits”would be released, and the elite consumption and
reforms”have to be brought about to achieve the “ desired macr­ private investment-led growth process take off. Sadly though, for
oeconomic outcom es” . the Ministry of Finance, such preconditions for the revival of
It seems as if Standard & Poor’ s (s & p ) downgrading of long­ Indian economic growth a la the period 2003-04 to 2007-08 are
term sovereign debt of the United States in August 2011 has cast a not to be found this time around.
8 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 DSD Economic & Political weekly

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EDITORIALS

How to Kill a River


The quantity o f water in a river is as important as the quality, something the govemmentfails to understand.

ivers are designed by nature to flow freely. And to When the Ganga was declared a “ national river”in 2008, one

R regenerate as they flow. But if you constrain a river


near its source, dump sewage, construction debris and
industrial pollutants along the way and expect at the end
expected that this might herald a shift in the approach towards
cleaning up the river. Such a hope was further reinforced when in
February 2009 the n g r b a was set up with the objective of ensur­
that it will still be a “
living”entity, you are obviously delusional. ing “ effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river
That is precisely what the self-proclaimed protectors of Ganga by adopting a river basin approach for comprehensive
Indian rivers have been over the decades. What else can explain planning and management” . However, the performance of n g r b a
the state of most rivers in the country including the mighty since its inception makes a mockery of this lofty objective.
Ganga that is worshipped and revered. Despite well over two The three members who resigned from the n g r b a point out that
decades of special efforts to clean up the Ganga, today in parts the authority has met just twice since its inception. In the mean
its water is so polluted that you would be advised not to dip time, an estimated Rs 6,000 crore out of the total allocation of
your toe in it. Rs 15,000 crore has already been sanctioned without the experts
The recent resignation of three of the nine non-official “expert” on the body being consulted. These projects are much like those
members of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (n grba) initiated through the g a p - sewage treatment plants, riverfront
has drawn attention once again to the tragedy of the Ganga projects, etc, cleared by subcommittees consisting of bureau­
River. Last year, the 34-year-old Swami Nigamananda from crats. This has happened even before a comprehensive plan
Uttarakhand went on an indefinite fast and died before anyone being drafted by a consortium of seven Indian Institutes of
paid heed to his demand that no more dams should be built in the Technology is ready. The delay is partly due to the difficulties of
upper reaches of the Ganga. Two months ago, G D Agarwal, an getting water flow data that the government prefers to keep under
engineer and recognised authority on dams, went on a fast in lock and key. Yet, by continuing along the same lines that have
Varanasi with a similar demand. What both men emphasised failed to make a difference in the past, it is evident that the
through this form of protest is the importance of ensuring that n g r b a has not adopted the comprehensive approach it promised.
the quantity of water flowing down the Ganga is not restricted. Although reducing the quantum of pollutants discharged into
For if the flow declines, as is already evident, no amount of our rivers is crucial, efforts have to be in place to ensure that the
back-end solutions, such as limiting the quantity of pollutants flow of water is not reduced below a sustainable level. A free
dumped in the river's lower reaches, will save it. flowing river has the ability to cleanse itself. But if you stop or
This self-evident truth has yet to strike those who make policy. reduce its flow, even the mightiest of rivers will be affected. This
In 1985, Rajiv Gandhi initiated the Ganga Action Plan (gap) in is precisely what has happened to the Ganga. In its upper reaches,
response to petitions by environmentalists about the dangers in the 135-km ecologically fragile stretch between Gomukh and
facing a river that supports almost 400 million people over its Uttarkashi, some 50 new dams are on the anvil. Already, the
2,510 km long course. In its first phase, g a p spent Rs 1,400 crore Tehri dam and the 400 megawatt power project at Vishnuprayag
to install sewage treatment plants in 25 towns as an estimated have had a negative effect on river flows. Add to this diversion of
45% of sewage generated in the Ganga basin is released into its water along its course, the dumping of vast quantities of con­
waters untreated. A second phase of g a p addressed the Ganga’ s struction debris and finally the addition of untreated, or partially
tributaries. Again thousands of crores of rupees were sanctioned treated sewage and industrial waste from scores of cities along
and spent to reduce water pollution. Despite these efforts, the the route. What you will have at the end is not a “ national river”
pollution of the river remains virtually unabated. but a “ dead”one.

FROM 50 YEARS AGO not yet been taken to dovetail the import-ex­ The Committee fully realises that any

Wm Economic Wfeklt) port targets with the plans and projects of the
private and public sectors. This is a very basic
export effort worth the name can only pro­
ceed after surpluses have been created by
a Journal at Current economic ant) political g ft s ir f
and serious criticism. But, unfortunately, it is means other than that what can be expected
VOL XIV, NO 12, MARCH 24,1962 fully justified. Exports grow out of production from usual fiscal measures like excise duties.
and their character and composition are shaped This is a field which has necessarily to be ex­
E D IT O R IA L S by the changing pattern of production that is plored in much greater detail. Taking this in
planned or emerges in reality. There is a lack conjunction with the Committee’ s emphasis
Exports-Push or Pull? of direction in our current export efforts and on winning over the business community, the
The Mudaliar Committee finds that so far the much confusion in the thinking on the subject. recommendation can be summed up as one of
country has touched only a fringe of the ex­ How ambivalent is our attitude will be evi­ pooling of exports, a device which has al­
port problem. This is, among other things, or dent if one puts our annual exports against ready been introduced in a token manner in a
rather mainly, because while targets of a high our foreign exchange requirements and the few industries. This is the main plan in the
order have been drawn up, adequate steps have target of self-sufficiency... Ministry’ s present programme.

Economic & Political w e e k ly Q 2Q m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 9

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HT PAREKH FINANCE COLUMN

India Dimmed agree to a fiscal pact in December 2011


and to support a Greek restructuring
plan gave the European Central Bank
(ecb) cover to ignore the intentions o f its
AVINASH PERSAUD founding fathers and act as a lender of
last resort for European banks, provid­

W
hen you are in a country suf­ In the second quarter of 2011 India ing them with sufficiently long-term and
fering a decline of confidence, saw $3.sbn worth of private equity favourable liquidity so that fears of a
a drying up of international transactions with 90% of the 123 deals European banking crisis have decisively
capital flows and a weakening currency, involving an overseas private equity fallen off. The slow return of risk appe­
its citizens tend to place all blame on the investor. However, by the fourth quarter tite can be seen in lower bond yields and
government. This is not entirely unfair. this had slumped by 50% to $i.8bn. This buoyant equity markets. There have
Even if the government is not directly to slump reflected a general loss of allure of been many false dawns before in the
blame and even though confidence is a Indian assets and saw the value of the European crisis. Investors have had a
fickle thing, who else should take respon­ rupee fall 20% at one point. In India, roller-coaster ride. But the e c b ’
s actions
sibility? The reality, though, is that exter­ commentators cite many proximate in December 2011 and again in February
nal factors often play a role too and a causes of this decline. Almost all of them 20x2 are on a completely different level.
change in the flows could also trigger a are born in India. In two, three-year, longer-term refinanc­
change in domestic confidence. Few ing operations ( lt r o s ) in December and
commentators like to dwell on that. Global Influences February, the e c b offered $1.3 trillion of
They far prefer the delicious exercise of Fair enough. But it is interesting to note liquidity to banks on longer term and
pointing fingers at local politicians and that the fortunes of the rupee, so appar­ more favourable collateral arrangements.
gossiping about the fate of Rahul and ently tied up with local Indian factors, Woe betides any speculator still betting
Priyanka Gandhi. were matched very closely by the for­ against the euro and standing against
Yet the loss of confidence in India and tunes of the euro, which, starting off in this wall of liquidity.
the drying up of international public and the second quarter of 2011, lost around As bond yields fall further and equity
private equity flows coincided with the 15% of its value versus the dollar, plumb­ markets become more fairly valued,
European credit crisis and a similar ing depths at precisely the same time as international investors will once more
slowdown in portfolio flows across Asia. the rupee. Rahul Gandhi can be blamed lift their heads up and consider the long­
The crisis put western investors into a for many things, but surely not the value term growth prospects of India, paying
risk-averse mode: stay close to home, of the euro. What we are witnessing in less heed to the near-term challenges.
bring in investment time horizons and Indian financial markets relates in part India's light will shine once more. If it
switch to safe assets. The characteristics to developments in India, but in equal means that Indian politicians lose inter­
o f investing in India do not fit the bill. part, they reflect a loss of investor risk est in the continuing task of improving
First, there is the “institutional and cul­ appetite the world over. The ebb and the ability to do business in India and
tural distance” between operating in flow of this international investor risk improving the court system, this will be
India and operating elsewhere. Accord­ appetite is heavily influenced by the a mixed blessing.
ing to the World Bank, Doing Business European credit crisis.
Avinash Persaud (1apersaud@me.com) is
report, India ranks 134th out of 184 in It is important to note then that the chairman of the financial firm. Intelligence
the ease of doing business (how does European crisis has turned a corner. The Capital, and senior fellow, London Business
business get done in the other 50 coun­ decision of European governments to School.
tries?) and 182nd out of 183 in terms of
enforcement of contracts. Second, after
the many bull runs, Indian equities offer,
at best, long-term, not short-term value.
Permission for Reproduction o f
And, third, despite, or perhaps because Articles Published in EPW
of the heavy weight of over-regulation,
No article published in epw or part thereof should be reproduced in any
Indian equity prices are more volatile
form w ithout prior permission of the author(s).
than those in developed markets. In
risk-averse environments all the warts A soft/hard copy of the author(s)'s approval should be sent to epw.
that were always there but were air- In cases where the email address of the author has not been published
brushed out of dreams and investment along w ith the articles, epw can be contacted for help.
prospectuses alike, come squarely back
into focus.

10 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 IWM Economic & Political WEEKLY

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COM M ENTARY

The Koodankulam Struggle made up their minds and took to the


streets on their own on 11 August 2011.

and the ‘
Foreign Hand’ Then we all together decided to organise
a day-long hunger strike on 16 August at
Idinthakarai and a three-day fast on 17-
19 August at Koodankulam.
S P UDAYAKUMAR___________________________ On 17 August itself the authorities
invited us for talks and asked us to post­

W
The Government of India is bent e, the fisherfolk, farmers, shop­ pone our struggle to the first week of
on maligning the struggle against keepers, dalit workers, beedi­ September because of the upcoming
rolling women and others Hindu and Muslim festivals. Within a
the Koodankulam nuclear power
near the southernmost tip of India, have few days, the chief of the Department of
plant in Tamil Nadu because it been fighting against the Koodankulam Atomic Energy (d a e ) announced that
cannot comprehend that ordinary Nuclear Power Project ( k k n p p ) since the the first reactor would go critical in Sep­
citizens can understand issues late 1980s. tember 2011.
This Russian project was shelved right So we embarked upon an indefinite
and wage a spirited struggle to
after the Soviet Union’ s collapse and hunger strike on 11 September 2011 and
protect their lives and livelihoods. taken up again in 1997. The Government the women in the movement blocked a
One of the leaders of the of India and the Government of Russia state road on 13 September for a few hours
movement writes about their have constructed two huge reactors of when the central and state governments
1,000 m w each without any consent o f continued to ignore us. Tamil Nadu Chief
struggle and addresses
or consultation with the local people. Minister J Jayalalithaa invited us for talks
the allegation that the protests We have just obtained the outdated on 21 September and passed a cabinet
are being funded by Environmental Impact Assessment ( e ia ) resolution the next day asking the central
foreign organisations. report after 23 years of a long and government to halt all the work until the
hard struggle. fears and concerns of the local people
The nuclear authorities of the Govern­ were allayed. We ended our hunger strike
ment of India have not shared any basic on the 22 September but went on another
information about the project with the round of indefinite hunger strike from 9
public. They do not give complete and to 16 October when the talks with Prime
truthful answers to our questions on the Minister Manmohan Singh and the Prime
“daily routine emissions” from these M inister’s Office failed.
reactors, the amount and management We laid siege in front of the k k n p p on
of nuclear waste, fresh water needs, im­ 13-16 October 2011 when the plant
pact of the coolant water on our sea and authorities did not halt work at the site
seafood, decommissioning costs and as per the Tamil Nadu state cabinet reso­
effects, Russian liability and so forth. lution. We ended both the indefinite
We are deeply disturbed by all this. hunger strike and the siege on 16 Octo­
ber in order for our people to participate
Causing Panic in the local body elections on 17 October.
We the people in the villages in the area From 18 October 2011, we have been on a
watched the Fukushima accident of relay hunger strike continuously for
11 March 2011 on t v in our homes and more than 140 days now. We have been
understood the magnitude and reper­ conducting massive rallies, village cam­
cussions of a nuclear accident. Right paigns, public meetings, seminars, con­
after that on 1 July 2011, the k k n p p ferences, and other demonstrations such
announced the “ hot run” of the first as shaving our heads, cooking on the
reactor that made so much noise and street, burning the models of the nuclear
This is a revised version of an article that was emitted smoke. Furthermore, the autho­ plants, etc. This struggle has been going
first posted on the website DiaNuke.org. rities asked the people, in a mock drill on for the past 200 days and the morale
S P Udayakumar (Koodankulam@yahoo.com) notice, to cover their nose and mouth and of the people is still very high.
is coordinator of the struggle committee, run for their life in case of an emergency. Instead of understanding the peo­
People’ s Movement against Nuclear Energy, As a result of all these, the people in ple’s genuine feelings and fulfilling our
Koodankulam.
Koodankulam and Idinthakarai villages demands, the Government of India has

Economic & Political w e e k ly 13329 m a r c h 24, 2012 VOL XLVII NO 12 11

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foisted serious cases of “ sedition”and of India and the powerful government recently and deported him without
“ waging war on the Indian state”on the supported by the rich capitalists, m n c s , proving anything. He has been talking
leaders of our movement. As many as imperial powers and the global nuclear to the Indian press saying that he has
180-200 cases have been filed against mafia. They promise foreign direct in­ had nothing to do with funding any anti­
members of the movement. There has vestment (f d i ), nuclear power, develop­ nuclear activities in India. A few local
been police harassment, stalking by ment, atom bombs, security and super­ n g o s in Tamil Nadu belonging to Chris­

intelligence officers, concocted news power status. We demand risk-free elec­ tian institutions and Christian individu­
reports in the pro-government media, tricity, a disease-free life, unpolluted als have been blacklisted, scrutinised
abuse of our family members, hate mail, natural resources, sustainable develop­ and harassed. All of them have rightly
death threats and even physical attacks. ment and a peaceful future. They say the denied that they have had anything to
The Government of India does not want Russian nuclear power plants are safe do with our struggle.1
to acknowledge the simple fact that even and can withstand earthquakes and It is pertinent to note that this gov­
“ ordinary citizens”of India have a mind tsunamis. But we worry about their side- ernment has opened up our economy to
of their own, can take a stand on policy effects and after-effects. They speak for foreigners, their m n c s and f d i , etc. They
issues and “ development”projects that their scientist friends and business part­ even tried recently to hand over all the
affect their lives, and stand up for their ners and have their eyes on commissions retail businesses to foreigners. When the
rights to life and livelihood. and kickbacks. But we fight for our chil­ whole country opposed the move, they
Although India is a democracy, our dren and grandchildren, our animals have just put it on hold. And it is quite
government in Delhi has been keen on and birds, our land, water, sea, air and ironic that they are accusing us of
safeguarding the interests of the multi­ the skies. having foreign collaboration and foreign
national corporations (m n c s ) and pleas­ money connections!
ing some powerful countries such as the Foreign Money? The Russian and us diplomats are also
United States, Russia, and France, etc. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and freely interfering in our internal affairs
The welfare of the “ ordinary citizens”of some of the ministers in the Government and expressing opinions, especially about
India does not figure on their list of pri­ of India have been accusing us of receiv­ foreign funding. This presages the “ New
orities. The central government and the ing money from some non-governmental East India Company”meddling in our
ruling Congress Party stand by the organisations (n g o s ) in the us and Scan­ affairs from now on and even dictating
nuclear agreements they have made dinavian countries, and of collaborating terms to us, Indians. While accusing
with all different countries and consider with foreigners and so forth. The Gov­ us of receiving foreign money for our
us as stumbling blocks on their road to ernment of India even detained a for­ struggle, Russian ambassador to India,
development. The main opposition party, eign tourist from Germany at Nagercoil Alexander Kadakin, does not bother to
Bharatiya Janata Party (Hindu nationa­
list party), is interested in the nuclear
Training Programme in
weapons programme and making India
a superpower and hence loves every­
thing nuclear. It is ironic that these two
Econom etrics:
corrupt and communal forces join hands Theory, A pplications and Softw are
with each other against their own peo­
Twelve full days (100 Hours) of intensive hands-on training
ple. They bend backwards to please their
programme to learn econometrics by understanding the theoretical
us and other bosses but question our
base, application interfaces and the latest econometric software.
integrity and nationalist credentials.
Participants w ill d e v e lo p ex p ertise in e co n o m e tr ic m o d el building, testin g and its a pplica tion
Our leaders and a group of 15 women to v ariou s research problem s. Also, th ey learn the latest v e r sio n s o f e co n o m e tr ic softw a re
were physically attacked on 31 January (including EViews 7 and Gretl) and u seful w e b resou rces. Consultants, Analysts, Teachers,
2012 at Tirunelveli by Congress Party R esea rch ers and a n yon e in volved in analysing e co n o m ic data can have gre a t advantage!

thugs and Hindutva fascists when we • 1 0 0 % hands-on training p r o gr a m m e in the m o s t innovative, in tensive and inform al w ay
had gone for talks with the central gov­ • Sim p lest p o s s ib le m o d e o f learn in g e co n o m e tr ic s at p rofe ssion a l level
• Even th ose w ith ou t e x p ertise in com p u te r s o r statistics can m ake u se o f the progra m m e.
ernment expert team. Now the govern­
• C ou rse m aterials inclu de text books, e b o o k s and free softw are.
ment cuts electricity supply so often and • Only 10 seats; allotted on first c o m e first serv e basis.
so indiscriminately in order to drive
For more details and online registration: www.normaschool.in
home the message that the nuclear
Phone: 0471-2446986/ 09447046986
power plant is needed for additional
power. They try to create resentment
and opposition among the public against
NORMA SCHOOL
our anti-nuclear struggle. PB No. 2505, M edical C ollege P 0, Trivandru m 11, Kerala, India
To put it all in a nutshell, this is a classic Phone: 0471 2446986,09447046986 Fax: 0471 2445485 Email: office@ n orm a sch ool.in
W ebsite: w w w .norm aschool.in
David-Goliath fight between the citizens
12 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i NO 12 Economic & Political w e e k l y

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COMMENTARY
explain why his country and his coun­ visiting political leaders and have issued Rs 4*953-84, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank
try's companies do not want to give any the accounts to the press also. (tmb), Edalakudy, a/c 92100050084848,
liability whatsoever for the Koodan- Obviously, our money-minded politi­ Rs 1,703.05.
kulam reactors. If these reactors are “ the cians cannot fathom the spontaneous, (ii) Meera Udayakumar (my wife)
most secure, the best and the safest”in powerful and revolutionary uprising of the s b i , Nagercoil h o , a/c 10843378900,
the whole wide world, why cannot Russia citizens of India who have had enough of Rs 1,380.72, t m b , Edalakudy, a/c
offer the maximum and unlimited liabil­ them. Our struggle and our people speak a 92100050303549, Rs 309.00, Canara
ity for the Koodankulam reactors? Why totally different language of truth and jus­ Bank, Kottar, a/c 1111101027576,
do they hide behind the secret Inter- tice which these power-hungry unruly ele­ Rs 2,331.00.
Governmental Agreement they signed ments cannot and will not understand. (iii) s a c c e r Trust a/c sb i , Kottar,
with the Government of India in 2008? As the coordinator of the ongoing a/c 10663109330, Rs 5,716.07.
Authorities from the us have clarified struggle, I would like to state here that I (iv) s a c c e r Matriculation School a/c
that n go s in their country do not support have not solicited or received or handled Indian Bank, Meenakshipuram, a/c
any anti-nuclear activities in India. If the any money from anybody for this struggle. 460443812, Rs 12,632.00 (The s a c c e r
us is so earnest in all its business deal­ To demonstrate this point, I am giving be­ Trust runs the s a c c e r Matriculation
ings, why do they keep pressurising the low my and my family's income details, School; does not have a Foreign Curren­
Indian politicians and bureaucrats to water properties, bank accounts and loans. cy (Regulation) Act registration; accepts
down the Nuclear Liability Act? Why legal donations from local individuals
does the Government of India not stand (a) Income: My wife and I depend on and institutions; audits the accounts
up and fight for the best liability package agricultural income from our lands, and annually. The school owns two vans.)
for its citizens instead of trying to please occasional speaking and teaching fees, (v) S Paramarthalingom a/c: tm b , Eda­
their foreign masters? What moral legiti­ researching and writing fees. We both lakudy, a/c 92100050018652, Rs 714.19.
macy do these “ Merchants of Venice” have pan cards, audit our personal ac­ (vi) S Ponmony a/c: sb i , Nagercoil h o ,
have to talk about foreign funding and counts annually, and pay income taxes. a/c 10843329464, Rs 35,566.26.
other people's financial dealings?
(b) Properties: (d) Jewel Loans: (Bank, name of the
Our Funds and Personal Records Inherited person, loan amount, due date)
As the coordinator of this genuine strug­ From father: 5 cents land and house t m b , S P Udayakumar, Rs 1,06,000, due
gle of ordinary citizens of India, I would Nagercoil, Kanyakumari district, date 30 March 2012, Canara Bank,
like to clarify that we have not received Tamil Nadu. Meera Udayakumar, Rs 98,000, due
any money from any Indian or interna­ From mother: (i) 7.5 cents land and date 15April 2012,
tional n g o or business house, or political house Nagercoil, Kanyakumari dis­ t m b , Meera Udayakumar, Rs 1,05,000,
party. Our activities are funded exclu­ trict; (ii) 14 cents land paddy field due date 23 April 2012,
sively by the voluntary contributions of Thiruppathisaram village, Kanya­ t m b , Meera Udayakumar, Rs 1,20,000,
our fishermen, farmers, shopkeepers, kumari district. due date 6 May 2012.
workers and beedi-rolling women. Purchased (date of purchase, area, t m b , S P Udayakumar, Rs 98,000, due

Our own people sustain our simple location). date 8 June 2012,
Gandhian struggle on our own. Our needs 26 March 1994, 10 cents land Nager­ t m b , S Paramarthalingom, Rs 70,000,
are very few and the expenses therefore coil village, Kanyakumari district. due date 25 October 2012 and loan
are also very little. People who come to 21 December 1994 to 30 March 2000, against deposits,
our protests/activities arrange their own 3.77 acres Neendakarai village, Kan­ Indian Bank, Meenakshipuram, Rs 50,000,
transportation. We, the organisers of the yakumari district (10pieces). due date 22 December 2015 (deposit
relay hunger strike, offer nothing more 1 July 1998 to 23 March 1999, 8.435 amount Rs 1,20,000).
than drinking water. The Koodankulam acres Azhagiapandiapuram village, My wife has some 25 sovereign gold jew ­
people have offered rice porridge or a sim­ Kanyakumari district (4 pieces). els, and we have 2 small fixed deposits in
ple vegetarian meal on a couple of occa­ 9 September 2005, 7.5 cents land our boys' names, and two 2- and 3-sto-
sions (when we laid siege) from their own and house Nagercoil, Kanyakumari reyed buildings at our school.
contributions. We do not offer any daily district 2 May 2008, 91cents Azhagia­ The approach of the Government of
wages, or food, or alcohol or pocket money pandiapuram village, Kanyakumari India so far has been: “
Give the lame dog
to the participants as some Indian political district (2pieces). a bad name and hang it” . They try to
parties often do in their party events. malign the names and reputation of the
A team of 20 individuals from Idin- (c) Bank Account: (Bank name, branch, leaders of the struggle, undermine our
thakarai village handles the donations account number, balance as most recen­ credibility and acceptance, and isolate us
we receive for the struggle and they tly (early March) recorded). from our own people. They try to confuse
keep accounts of what they receive and (i) S P Udaykumar: State Bank of India the people about the goals and objec­
spend. They have shown the accounts to (sb i ), Nagercoil h o , a/c 10843375998, tives of the struggle by diverting their

Economic & Political weekly m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 13

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COMMENTARY
attention from the real issues to the sen­ NOTE_______________________________________ been added to NGOs to read ‘ Western Funded
NGOs’ or ‘agents of regim e change’ . All this is a
sational, fake and non-issues. Appearing 1 Accusing the dissidents of collaborating with propaganda campaign to mislead the people
foreign powers, receiving foreign funds and
to be credible and responsible, the gov­ into believing that we are their enemies. But
being disloyal to their own country has becom e please be encouraged that the ‘ ordinary people’
ernment cracks down on the movement a trend all over the world. Farai Maguwu, a are extra-ordinarily intelligent, they can read
and the dissension. But as a friend Farai personal friend from Zimbabwe, has written to between the lines”
me recently: “ Your description of the govern­ Another common friend of Farai and me, Janyce
Maguwu from Zimbabwe said, “ the ‘
ordi­ ment reaction to your constructive non-violent Konkin from Canada argues: “ It appears that
nary people’are extra-ordinarily intelli­ struggle reflects some sort of desperation on this tactic has become a worldwide pheno­
the part of your government and the strategy is menon. Our Conservative Harper government in .
gent; they can read between the lin es” . to isolate you from the people by insinuating Canada has recently used this same shameless
When they read between the lines, they that you are working for foreign agents. Take accusation against not-for-profit environmental
comfort in knowing that unaccountable gov­ organisations standing up against faulty oil & gas
refuse to fall in line as in the recent Uttar ernments use the same manuscript in silencing development applications, pipelines, etc. They
Pradesh and other state elections. The citizens and bulldozing their catastrophic are totally trying to discredit the hard-working,
agendas and programmes. Your description of dedicated, knowledgeable and honest volunteers
writing on the wall is clear! If only the the situation resonates very well with our who are working to hold the government and the
Government of India could read it! struggle here in Zimbabwe where a prefix has oil companies to account” .

Relevance o f Congress’
Victory a i t m c not only entered but opened
accounts in a big way surprising many

in Manipur observers. The party fielded 47 candi­


dates in the 60-member house. It also
returned seven legislators to finish
behind only the Congress. Some frivolous
PRADIP PHANJOUBAM_____________________ explanations have been forwarded that
electoral politics in Manipur and indeed
The results of the Manipur y and large there were two chief the entire north-eastern states is not
elections point to an interesting
theme paradox - the Congress
was voted back to power
B determinants that led to the land­
slide victory of the Congress in
the elections to the 10th Manipur Legis­
rooted deep enough and therefore politi­
cians and political parties lack firm ideo­
logical leanings making them unscrupu­
lative Assembly held on 28 February lous about changing hues quickly and
despite its all-round failure in and the result of which was declared on whimsically. Instances of large-scale
governance. The voters perhaps 6 March together with those of four defections in the political history of the
other states. An assessment o f these two region, in particular that of a Bharatiya
felt the need to vote the party
conditions should make the picture Janata Party (Bjp)-led government in
back to power in the state somewhat clear as to why the stunning Arunachal Pradesh switching over to
contiguous to its reign in the victory of the Congress was expected Congress overnight en masse when the
and yet the sheer magnitude of the win b j p fell from grace at the centre and a
centre, conditioned by incidents
was surprising. One of these factors is Congress government replaced it, are
in history pertaining to
an innate insecurity of the state’ s elec­ cited as a precedent. It is true there has
centre-state relations. The rise of torate and which is shared by most been a tendency of politics in these
the Trinamool Congress as a force other small north-eastern states. The states to always lean towards the party
in the state and the marginal other is specific to Manipur and it has to that is in power at the centre but this has
do with the atrocious manner in which a psychological explanation in which
victories for the Naga People’
s
the parties in the opposition benches the subjects are not the only ones to
Front also carried important chose to commit political hara-kiri blame. However before attempting this
local messages. in the past 10 years of uninterrupted explanation, it must be noted that the
Congress rule. answer of a i t m c doing well as a first­
A convenient way to survey these fac­ time entrant in Manipur is partly pro­
tors would be a critical consideration of vided by this dominant psyche in the
the dramatic entry of two new political north-east, a it m c , though not the ruling
parties into the state politics - that of the party at the centre, does control impor­
ruling party in West Bengal - the All tant levers of power there and this
India Trinamool Congress ( a itm c) and would have worked to its advantage.
the ruling party in Nagaland, the Naga
People’s Front (npf). They introduced Centre-Leaning Calculus
new colours, moods and concerns to the This centre-leaning politics in the region
Pradip Phanjoubam (p h an jou b a m @ gm ailcom ) electoral arena and indeed to the state however is born out of conditioning
is editor o f the Imphal Free Press.
as such, in different ways. rather than any independent whim.

14 m arch 24, 2012 VOL x l v ii NO 12 E23Q Economic & Political weekly

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These switches of political loyalties are earlier, it probably would have done Most observers speculated a hung
an indication of a deep and shared inse­ much better. All other parties, depleted house with the ruling Congress emerg­
curity that, unless they are on the right in morale and commitment, ended up ing as the single largest party. The cyni­
side of the centre, could end up aban­ unable to field candidates in even half cism in the state being what it is, nobody
doned. A decade ago, when the Fifth Pay the assembly constituencies. Many in­ thought a clear mandate was a possibili­
Commission recommendations were out cluding the c p i and Manipur People’ s ty. But as this author suggested in an
and the salaries of government employ­ Party (m pp) drew blanks. article in The Hindu (10 March 2012), the
ees were hiked, the Manipur government Desperately trying to remain relevant, same cynicism is evident in the clear
was headed by W Nipamacha Singh of four of these parties urgently formed a mandate of the people as well. If the vot­
the Manipur State Congress Party (m scp ), pre-poll alliance - the People’ s Demo­ ers have stopped expecting a change for
a state party. The chief minister did not cratic Front ( p d f) but this proved too lit­ the better, they were desperate not to
last a full term but while in power, he tle too late, despite the alliance attract­ have things slip any further.
had a harrowing time, running from ing seven more parties at a later stage. It is no exaggeration that the outgoing
pillar to post to have funds released for The p d f partners also probably did not Congress-headed government inspired
as many as six months’ worth of pending consider the thought that the Anti- only anger and indignation amongst a
salary bills at a time for government em­ Defection Law had lowered the ceiling large section of the people. Rampant
ployees. The state at the time was in on cabinet size - 12 including the chief official corruption which has become a
untold turmoil. It could be that this was minister in the case of Manipur, and way of life, acute shortage of electricity
a coincidence, but the common man on therefore a coalition of more than two for almost a decade, leaving the ordi­
the streets cannot be blamed for con­ parties is likely to become strained as nary consumer with two hours of electri­
cluding that when the party in power in the only proven incentive for such coali­ city a day to manage with, water taps
the state is not the same as the one at the tions is ministerial berths. which have run dry with the govern­
centre, bottlenecks develop in the chan­ ment not lifting a finger to do anything
nels of resource flow from the centre to The Congress’ Winning Ability about it, crumbling roads have character­
the state. Memories such as these cer­ The p d f did not therefore present a pic­ ised governance in the state. The contin­
tainly would influence not just politi­ ture of stability and was unable to instil ued imposition of the draconian Armed
cians but also electorate behaviour. The confidence to the badly fractured and Forces Special Powers Act for the repeal
Congress victory as well as the success shaken electorate of Manipur. The ruling of which Irom Sharmila has been on an
of the a i t m c have much to thank this. Congress on the other hand was strong, epic hunger strike for nearly 12 years
The dramatic success of the a i t m c and resourceful, and because of its strength, now, abject lack of governance which
the Congress’victory has another very able to posture as a non-partisan party, has passed on the law and order agenda
significant reason. During the last Con­ reaching out to the valley as well as the into the hands of anybody or any organi­
gress tenure in power with Chief Minis­ hills, and to all ethnic groups, setting up sation with some nuisance value, peri­
ter Okram Ibobi at the helm, almost all candidates in all the 60 constituencies, odic prolonged blockades on the state’ s
other political parties in the state through campaigning with the confidence of lifelines with the government looking
their own selfish and limited visions mar­ winners. It was also able to convey the the other way even as prices of essential
ginalised themselves. On most of the message, unlike the other disunited and commodities rose to the sky, meant un­
contentious issues these parties were decimated parties, that it had the sinews told misery, uncertainty and insecurity
deafeningly silent. Many of their legisla­ to hold the beleaguered state together. for the common man. Yet, Manipur
tors hung around and nagged ministers It won seats from amongst all ethnic came out and voted resoundingly to
for favours. Still many of them queued communities too. bring back the government it hated. It
up for Congress tickets when the elec­
tions were announced. At least one party, INDIAN INSTITUTE OF
the Communist Party of India ( c p i) , re­ T E C H N O L O G Y BOMBAY
mained a formal partner in the state gov­ Pow ai, Mu mba i 400 076.

ernment, even after the party broke alli­ Admission to Post-Graduate Programmes 2012-2013
Applications are invited for admission to Post-Graduate Programmes viz. M.Tech., Ph.D. and M.Phil., for the Academic Year
ance with the Congress at the centre. 2012-13 commencing from July 2012, as per the following schedule.
The opposition space in the assembly Programme Mode of Availability of Last date of submission/receipt
thus came to be abdicated. This is the Application application forms of completed application forms
vacuum which was just right for a shrill M.Tech. Online 16.03.2012 02.04.2012
Ph.D. Online 15.03.2012 04.04.2012
and pushy party with a charismatic leader
M.Phil. Offline 02.04.2012 11.05.2012
- like the a i t m c to enter the fray. The (Downloadable)
party is now the second largest party in For Application Form, Information Brochure and other details, please visit to Institute website
the state assembly with seven m l a s , http://www.iitb.ac.in/admissions

commendable by any standard for a new­ Dy. I Assistant Registrar (Academic)


Email: pgadm@iitb.ac.in Phone No. 022 - 2576 4008 / 7066 / 7042
comer. Had the party entered the stage

E con om ic & Political w e e k l y Q 2 Q m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 15

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COMMENTARY

would not be incorrect to say Manipur The n p f’ s tally is two lower than what There is yet another interesting deve­
result therefore was not so much about another local Naga organisation in lopment which went largely unnoticed
Congress winning. It was more about Manipur campaigning on the same ideo­ in the national media which very well
the non-Congress parties losing. logical plank, the United Naga Council could have also contributed to the final
(unc) which set up as many candidates outcome of the elections especially in
The Naga Issue in the same constituencies, returned five the valley districts. But even if it did not,
The entry of the second political party years ago. This is despite, allegations of it carried a loud message. Just at the
from outside the state, the n p f, was interference by militants prompting the time of the announcement of the elec­
watched with particularly keen interest election office to order repolling in 76 tion by the Election Commission of
in both Manipur and Nagaland. On its polling stations in these hill districts. India, seven powerful militant orga­
count, many had even dubbed the While it would be too hasty to draw con­ nisations operating in the valley got
Manipur election as an election which clusions, regardless of whether there was together to form a coordinating com­
had another referendum within. The such a referendum, this result would have mittee which came to be known as
first was the familiar contest for power bearings on the peace negotiations (now CorCom, and banned the Congress
in the legislative assembly under provi­ nearly a decade and a half old) between Party from contesting the election for
sions of the Indian Constitution, and the the n s c n (im) and the Government of In­ “being the most brutal party on the
second, a reconfirmation of the support dia. But the verdict on this imagined ref­ people” . On a daily basis, grenade at­
for Greater Nagaland, championed erendum is perhaps a vindication of an tacks were made on Congress candi­
strongly by the faction of the militant innate understanding amongst the differ­ dates and workers to coerce them into
organisation - the National Socialist ent ethnic communities that regardless of submission. The Congress landslide vic­
Council of Nagaland (or Nagalim) - politics and polemics, they are the ones tory against this backdrop is also almost
n s c n (im), headed by Thuingaleng who would - by the compulsions of geo­ a statement of the will of the people on
Muivah and Isak Chishi Swu, amongst graphy and economy - continue to be the matter of militancy. M anipur’ s re­
the Naga tribes in Manipur. The Naga­ neighbours. The Sadar Hills tussle bet­ cent electoral history has always dem­
land chief minister, Niphiu Rio, was ween the Kukis and the Nagas in which onstrated such silent defiance which is a
among the star campaigners for the n pf, the demands of the Kukis for bifurcation characteristic of the place. There are in­
travelling by helicopter to the four hill of a separate Kuki-dominated adminis­ deed shared concerns between the peo­
districts of Manipur, Tamenglong, Sena- trative district from the Naga-dominated ple and the militants, which is why the
pati, Ukhrul and Chandel, considered by Senapati district which led to a pro­ latter survive, but there is no complete
the Nagas to be part of their ancestral longed impasse and blockade of the congruence. This should be a valuable
homeland. The party set up 12 candi­ state is just one episode that would have lesson for both the establishment as well
dates, three each in Tamenglong, Senapati informed all of this impossibility. as those fighting them.
and Ukhrul, two in Chandel and one in a
constituency in Churachandpur district
adjoining Tamenglong district, again E con om ic& P oliticalw E E K L Y
considered part of the greater Naga
homeland. The Nagaland chief minister, EPW 5-Year CD-ROM 2004-08 on a Single Disk
either out of conviction or to capitalise The digital versions of Economic and Political Weekly for 2004,2005,2006,2007 and 2008
on what he thought was the dominant are now available on a single disk. The CD-ROM contains the complete text of 261 issues
mood in these constituencies, called for published from 2004 to 2008 and comes equipped with a powerful search, tools to help organise
the integration of Naga areas into one research and utilities to make your browsing experience productive.The contents of the CD-ROM
administrative establishment. are organised as in the print edition, with articles laid out in individual sections in each issue.
Those in Manipur with a claimed With its easy-to-use features, the CD-ROM will be a convenient resource for social scientists,
stake in the territorial integrity of the researchers and executives in government and non-government organisations, social and political
state would have heaved a sigh of relief, activists, students, corporate and public sector executives and journalists.

for if indeed this was a referendum for Price for 5 year CD-ROM (in INDIA)
greater Nagaland, the n p f which repre­ Individuals - Rs 1500
sented the ideology did not fare too well. Institutions - Rs 2500
It returned four seats out of its 12, winning To order the CD-ROM send a bank draft payable at Mumbai in favour of Economic and Political
by extremely narrow margins in all of Weekly. The CD can also be purchased on-line using a credit card through a secure payment
them. Significantly, in Ukhrul, the home gateway at epw.in
district of n s c n (im )’
s top leader, Thuin­ Any queries please email: circulation@epw.in
galeng Muivah, of the three assembly
Circulation Manager,
seats the n p f could wrest only one, and
Economic and Political Weekly
this too by a razor thin margin of 55votes. 320-321, A to Z Industrial Estate, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013, India
The two others went to the Congress.
16 m arch 24, 2012 vol xLVii n o 12 13359 Economic & Political weekly

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COMMENTARY

Nuclear Security Norms Five factors thereafter guided the con­


struction of the index, viz, the quantities
of fissile materials present and the num­
Where Does India Stand? ber of sites where they were stored (15);
the protective measures emplaced for
P R CHARI security and control (31); the global
norms or international commitments
A us-based organisation has ations are leery of being judged accepted (15); the domestic capacity
placed India at as low as 28th
among 32 countries in the world
with respect to security of nuclear
N and, especially, of being judged
along with their peers, unless it
can be guaranteed that they will come
out smelling of roses. Therefore, while
available to implement these commit­
ments (15); and societal factors like cor­
ruption or instability that could under­
mine these commitments and practices
materials. How accurate is the predictions that India’ s growing g d p (23). The figures in parentheses reveal
ranking and how justified is the ensures its manifest destiny to be the the respective weights accorded to each
w orld’ s third largest economy sends a of these five factors. Value judgments
defensive Indian anger at this
warm glow through Indian hearts, when had obviously to be made, but impartia­
low ranking? other indices place it among the upper lity was ensured by the n t i placing the
ranks of nations in the matter of public data generated by the e i u before an
corruption, illiteracy, infant and mater­ international panel of experts. A global
nal mortality, and so on they are greeted perspective required a Martian view to
with incredulity admixed with anger, be adopted; apparently, this was the
before ending in denial. charter guiding the international panel
All this revealed itself in local reac­ of experts.
tions to the Nuclear Materials Security Coming to India’ s problematical low
Index published in January by the Wash­ ranking, the n t i report states that it
ington-based think tank Nuclear Threat gave India high marks for its adherence
Initiative (nti). The index ranked the to international obligations, physical
security of nuclear materials within na­ protection of nuclear sites, and its
tions after undertaking a baseline study response capabilities, but poor marks on
of 176 countries, which was conducted factors like transparency, corruption
by the London-based Economist Intelli­ and an independent regulatory autho­
gence Unit (eiu). Great incredulity and rity. On issues like political stability,
anger arose in New Delhi because the adoption of safeguards and domestic
n t i index has ranked India 28th in a list legislation to ensure nuclear materials
of 32 countries in the world that possess security, India got average marks. These
more than 1 kg of weapons grade fissile conclusions can, of course, be argued for
material. China is ranked 27th, just and against.
above India. And, only Vietnam, Iran, But the n t i report also informs us that
Pakistan, and North Korea, in that de­ all states listed in its index had been sent
scending order, are placed below India. the assessments made of their nuclear
Is this fair? materials security for comments, if any.
An objective analysis of the n t i index It is not clear if India chose to make any
must proceed along two tracks. First, official response. Or, whether India felt
what are the parameters used to con­ it would be safer to maintain silence
struct this index and what are the rather than get embroiled in what prom­
respective weights accorded to each of ised to become a public controversy,
them? Second, how were these para­ especially with the government having
meters applied to India? The n t i has gone very much on the defensive over
clarified that a facility-by-facility survey the last several months.
was not undertaken, nor were their Meanwhile, Russia seems highly con­
materials control and accounting prac­ cerned with the poor scores received
tices reviewed. Instead: “ The n t i index in the n t i index by India, Pakistan, but
assesses and scores each state across also Israel - all non-signatories to the Non-
P R Chari {prchari@gmail.com) is visiting a broad range of publicly available Proliferation Treaty. Mikhail Ulyanovsk,
fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict indicators of a state’ s nuclear materials director of the Russian Security and Dis­
Studies, New Delhi.
security practices and conditions” . armament Department, has called upon

Economic & Political weekly DBS m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 17

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them “ to guarantee effective resistance therefore lampooned as being either of India reveals the imperative need for
to illegal turnover of nuclear materials motivated or deriving from ignorance. It the a e c to reassure a sceptical civil so­
and technologies, the reliable safety of must be admitted, however, that the ciety regarding the safety and security
their nuclear materials and the improve­ Indian nuclear programme is far from of its nuclear materials. What should
ment of the physical security of their being accident-free. Instances of workers disturb everyone is the lack of an inde­
nuclear facilities”. He added that the being exposed to radiation beyond nor­ pendent regulatory authority to oversee
problem of sensitive technologies and mal levels, leakages from waste-storage the nuclear infrastructure. An effort was
materials falling into the wrong hands facilities, apart from a serious fire in made recently to rectify this situation by
was “ of a global nature and requires Narora and the collapse of a contain­ establishing a new regulatory authority
efforts of all countries and the inter­ ment dome in Kaiga have occurred in the to oversee nuclear security. But serious
national community on the whole” past. The a e c has, of course, counter- objections have been raised to this
Consequently, the dismissal of the n t i argued that no accident has occurred in modality since its oversight council con­
index in India by the media and other India comparable to mishaps like the sists of officials who would resist, rather
organisations as motivated is not very Three Mile Island in the us or Chernobyl in than promote, greater transparency in
helpful, but not surprising. The gove­ the erstwhile Soviet Union, or Fukushima- the a e c ’
s working.
rnment is very sensitive to criticism of Daiichi in Japan in March 2011. And, this reality reinforces the con­
the Atomic Energy Commission ( a e c ) , Still, “Murphy’ s Law”informs us that tention made in the n t i report that indi­
which has traditionally functioned in if anything can go wrong in a particular ces and rankings apart, all nations can
high secrecy, while enjoying privileged situation it will go wrong with the efflux and should urgently review and im­
access to the highest echelons in the of time. The public resistance to new prove the safety and security of their
government. Any adverse criticism is atomic power plants in different parts nuclear materials.

Plenty of media,
Zero accountability.
Who will turn the spotlight on the M edia?

Regional Media t Media and Conflict • Media Ethics


Media Books and Research • Media and Gender t Online Media
Community Media • Media Activism • Columns

m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i NO 12 DEES E con om ic & Political w e e k ly

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COMMENTARY

Anglicisation o f Hindi these needs, the government had set up


various departments, bodies and com­
missions that are a part of the Ministry
The Official Perspective of Home Affairs and the Ministry of
Human Resource Development. The
government agencies like the Central
M UKUL PRIY A DA R SH IN I Commission for Scientific and Technical
Terminology (c s t t ) have been produc­
The enrichment process of a n a linguistically rich country like ing volumes of technical terminology,
language happens in proportion
to its wide use: the more a
language is used in various
I India, one of the most important fac­
tors that can harm a language is the
excessive emphasis on the notion of
glossary, definitional dictionaries and
encyclopedia in Hindi and other major
Indian languages that covered all the
standardisation and uniformity. It leads sciences, social sciences and humanities
domains, the more it will be to the development of stilted and artifi­ and the vocabulary pertaining to the ad­
equipped to meet the challenges cial language that is not a part of any ministrative register.
native speaker's linguistic repertoire. However, in this process a very un­
posed by academic and technical
Obsession with standardisation is reflec­ natural and staid Hindi has evolved in
advancement. Hindi certainly tive of an attitude that is anti-democratic the past few decades, which is often low
needs to break free from and judgmental because it is based on on communicability. Even the govern­
the shackles of rigidity and the assumption of sanctity of a single ment notices and advertisements pub­
form and rejection of others. lished in newspapers carry similar Hindi
meaningless complexity in the
Language is a perennially evolving though such texts aim to reach out to
name of the “
dignified”and the and changing phenomenon and instru­ and communicate to the general public.
“standard” , but we must not look mental behind this process are the peo­ We know that innumerable examples
for quick, superficial measures. ple - the native speakers of a language. of ludicrous Hindi coinages like lauh
The contours and character of a lan­ path gaamini (“ one which runs on an
What is needed is a very critical
guage are constantly being defined and iron track” , i e, train) have been cited
review of existing administrative redefined by users of a language. The re­ innumerable times in formal-informal
and academic terminology with a gions with a colonial past borrow freely public conversations.
willingness to accommodate not from the language of the colonisers too. What is it that characterises the Hindi
Then there are many other languages used in official domain? What is it that
just English, but also Urdu and
known as dialects that supplement the makes this Hindi terse and heavy? It is
other languages spoken in the vocabulary of a language: but this goes not just the terminology (which is most­
Hindi belt. on unnoticed and unacknowledged. In a ly constructed and derived from words
multilingual country like India, which is of Sanskrit origin), but the sentence
a linguistic area in itself, the situation is structure is also artificial because it is
even more interesting: we also borrow often a literal translation from English.
from geographically contiguous lan­ While translating texts into Hindi, so
guages across language groups, i e, from much importance is given to remain loyal
other Indian languages and “ dialects”of to the original text that in spite of the
various language families. This is true of language and the script of the docu­
Hindi as well which is situated in a multi­ ments being Hindi and Devanagari, res­
lingual context surrounded by domi­ pectively, their syntax remains essen­
nance of English and people’ s aspira­ tially English.
tions for it. This makes the language artificial,
heavy and difficult to comprehend for
Need for Expansion an average native speaker of Hindi. So
There is no denying the fact that the aca­ much so that words like hetu, not ke liye
demic need to expand and enrich the are used for a simple word like “ for”
lexicon of Hindi in respect of various Somewhat similar is the situation of aca­
subject disciplines has always been demic technical terminology. In order to
there, and when Hindi became an offi­ equip Hindi to deal with m odem aca­
Mukul Priyadarshini (mukulpriya@yahoo. cial language (along with English as an demic discourse and new area of episte­
co.in) is with the department of elementary associate official language), it became mology, lakhs of new words were coined
education, Miranda House, University of necessary to promote the use of Hindi and the process still continues. However,
Delhi, Delhi.
for administrative purposes too. To fulfil the strategy invariably has been to resort

Economic & Political weekly MARCH 24, 2012 VOL XLVII NO 12 19

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COMMENTARY

to a Sanskrit word to create a new word throats prematurely. However, the dull and one national language. Though Hindi
even though there may be better options nature of the language of a limited was deemed to be the most suitable lan­
available in Hindi, Urdu, English or oth­ number of texts, which are provided to guage for this role by many, what kind of
er languages known as “ dialects”which students mainly through a single text­ Hindi it would be - was a contentious
are in sync with the idiom of the lan­ book, deprives them of the richness and issue. While Gandhi, Nehru, etc, fa­
guage and are easy to understand. For aesthetics of the language. While this voured “ people’ s vernacular Hindi”char­
example, people would rarely be able to has serious repercussion on students’ acterised by “ its diverse borrowings, its
understand parimaarjan kalaayen for linguistic knowledge, it also convinces flexibility, its local sensitivities, its enor­
‘‘
perform ing arts”. Why cannot we use them that Hindi texts can never be a mous geographical and social reach”
manchan kalaayen instead which rings pleasure to read. Eventually, they devel­ (Rai 2000:109), there were others who
some familiarity in a reader’ s mind be­ op a huge disinterest for the language consistently tried to promote rashtra -
cause most of the, if not all such arts are and become wary of it. bhasha Hindi marked by “ its uniformity,
performed on manch, i e, stage (even Coming back to the much-ridiculed its absence of local colouring” (ibid
though it may not be a literal and exact sarkari Hindi, it needs to change drasti­ 2000:109).
translation)!There has to be a balance of cally and come closer to the language of Eventually, the people’ s Hindi or Hin­
preciseness and communicability. How­ the people. Recently, on 26 September dustani was pushed away by Sanskri­
ever, informal domain mostly tatsama 2011, a circular was sent by the secretary tised Hindi. Later, the recommendations
words are acceptable as “ standard” . of the Department of Official Languages of the Constituent Assem bly’ s sub-com­
to all the concerned departments giving mittee on language chose Hindustani
Sarkari Hindi them instructions to use easy and natu­ written in Devanagari or Persian script
The notion of a “ standard” , Sanskri- ral Hindi in government functioning. as the national language and English as
tised Hindi is not restricted to the offi­ That the government has woken up to the the second official language. This, how­
cial and academic sphere; its domi­ need must certainly be welcomed. Appar­ ever, was vehemently opposed by the in­
nance in the education system has had ently such orders had been issued many a tolerant group in favour of only Hindi
a deeply negative influence on both time in the past three decades or so as the and only Devanagari. Eventually, the
educational perspectives and pedago­ letter mentions. Then why is it that the compromise decision taken was that
gy. Any good teaching-learning prac­ official Hindi continues to remain heavily Hindi would be the official (not nation­
tice must link to what the learner al­ Sanskritised, insipid and complex? al) language and English would be used
ready knows. Learners play an active Language has always been a political for official purposes for 15years after the
role in the process of learning and issue in any society. It is an effective Constitution came into effect, i e, till 26
“constructing their own knowledge by weapon to maintain the class hierarchy. January 1965.
connecting new ideas to existing ide­ At one point in history we had “ Hindi
as”( n c e r t 2005:17). ideologues”who had hegemonic inten­ Implications
Learning cannot happen if there is a tions to b e co m e the ruling class through If we read the fine print of the directive
huge gap between what we know and “ the politico-cultural weapon”of Sanskri­ from the Department of Official Lan­
what we need to know; at best, it would tised Hindi (Rai 2000: 8). And today, due guages, it involves many problems both
be memorising without understanding, to the persistence of that Hindi, which in terms of the understanding about lan­
and not learning in true sense of the has no relevance to the literary world and guage as reflected in the letter and long­
term. The same is the case with teach­ to people’ s everyday linguistic sphere, the term implications of it for the Hindi lan­
ing-learning process of languages. The language is unable to face the challenges guage, if it is implemented religiously. At
Hindi used in classroom transaction, in of global imperialism of English. the same time, the letter also creates a
textbooks and the Hindi which students On the one hand, Hindi is and has context to contest and discuss some
are expected to master is the same shuddh been a source of a power struggle, and issues about which vague public percep­
and “ high”Hindi characterised by tatsam on the other, advocating sanskritised tions exist. To begin with, the letter pro­
words and avoidance of Urdu words at the Hindi (or other Indian languages for claims that any language has two forms:
cost of aesthetics, rhythm and communi­ that matter) in the name of nationalism “ literary language and functional lan­
cability of language: this Hindi is far is a garb for maintaining the status quo guage” .“If literary words are used in
removed from the language heard and and proving that the complex character functional domain, people lose interest
used by students in various life domains. of Hindi cannot compete with lucid, us­ in the language” . However, we know
Of course, a language has many er-friendly English. The existing official that any language has many forms
forms, styles and registers and this is ideology is not a post-1961 phenomenon linked to the social context, purpose and
one of the styles or registers, which stu­ when c s t t was formed as a part of pro­ domain of its usage. Every speaker has,
dents must become familiar with gradu­ motion and expansion of Hindi and other if not all, then multiple varieties in her
ally. However, the approach should be to Indian languages. It goes back to the linguistic repertoire, irrespective of class,
move from the known to the unknown pre-independence era with its roots in gender, education, etc, the same person
without forcing things down children’ s the “ romantic-ethnic”idea of nationalism may use different kinds of Hindis in
20 m arch 24, 2012 vol XLVii n o 12 USES Economic & Political weekly

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COMMENTARY

different domains with different people debated and challenged by linguists, (varieties) of a language is a part of the
for different functions and purposes. educationists and social scientists alike language learning process.
What the letter sweepingly calls “ liter­ (Pennycook 1994; Phillipson 1992). It
ary”is actually something heavily domi­ has been asserted that global, social, ‘
Easy’and ‘
Difficult’
nated by Sanskritised jargons, and political and economic forces have been In this context, we also need to discuss the
hence, complex both lexically and syn­ working “ ruthlessly and doggedly for notion of “ easy”and “ difficult”
. Artificiali­
tactically. As a matter of fact, literary extending and intensifying the use of ty of language apart, what is easy and
forms of a language are often rich, English”(Agnihotri 2008: 24). what is difficult often depends on the fre­
aesthetic and nuanced. The letter implies that it is in the in­ quency of usage. Words like mudrika (bus
terest of Hindi to mould its idiom and service in Delhi that plies on Ring Road
Who Speaks and What? flavour to accommodate the strokes of around the city), aatankavaadi, vishwavi-
Advocating the use of easily comprehen­ the international lexicon. The problem dyalaya (one of the metro stations in
sible Hindi - the letter says if (the) “ in­ may also be ascribed to the linguistic Delhi), pehchaart patra, tatkal seva (train
ternationally popular language English” behaviour and attitude of the educated reservation facility on making extra pay­
could change itself over the years, then elite who are the native speakers of In­ ment) are some of the words which are of
the functional form of Hindi must also dian languages; they have “ mortgaged Sanskrit origin, but are commonly known
modify itself and come closer to the bol- the cognitive sector of their verbality to to people. The semantically self-explana­
chaal ki bhasha (spoken language). While the techno-industrial leviathan (i e, tory nature of words also helps in guessing
overtly this sounds fine, the model ex­ English)...”because a fairly large sec­ or deducing the meaning of words. In a
amples quoted and endorsed in the letter tion of them have “ an investment in that leading private school of Delhi which has
are indicative of a different subtext to it. language as a definer of the functioning Hindi as the medium of education (and of
In these examples which have been taken and reproduction of the entire elite” course, in all the government schools in
from sources of newspapers and maga­ (Dasgupta 2008: 71-72). Thus, without the Hindi belt) children in primary classes
zines not mentioned in the letter, words even making a sensible and creative ef­ understand the maths terminology such
like “ awareness”(jaagrukta ), “ regular” fort to put Hindi to discursive and regis­ as vibhaajyataa niyam (divisibility rule),
(niyam it), “ programme” (kaaiyakram ), ter-specific use, we seem to be resigned guranphal (product of multiplication), etc,
“international business”(antarrashtriya to the perception that Hindi cannot de­ because they are introduced to the con­
vyaapaar), “ higher education” {uccha velop reasonably good discourses that cepts through these words. Similarly, in
shiksha), etc, have been opted for even are the need of the day. science, vaashpikaran for them is as
though the Hindi equivalents of these And then the question arises as to difficult or easy as “ evaporation” . Also,
words are quite popular or are common­ whose spoken language are we talking words often are semantically transpar­
ly used in the written mode of Hindi. about. The Hindi belt is spread in a large ent: one needs little bit of observation to
The letter says that since contempo­ area comprising seven states and each identify the words vibhaajan and guraa
rary Hindi magazines can use sentences area has its own region-specific texture in vibhaajyata and guranphal. However,
like - college me ek re-foresation abhiy- of the language. The kind of Hindi the developing the skills of linguistic obser­
an h a ijo regular chalta rahta hai. Iska is concerned ministry is trying to promote vation and prediction are not a part of
saal se ek aur programme shuru hua hai is the conversational style of the metro­ our language pedagogy.
jisme har student ek per lagaayega - politan city Delhi and it certainly does So where does the problem lie then
adapting official Hindi in this fashion not represent the entire Hindi belt. You and how does one resolve it?
would help in wider popularisation of go to any hinterland of the Hindi belt It is a well-proven fact that all lan­
the language. Further, the Department and you will find people using words guages, including those known as dia­
of Official Languages suggests that mentioned above in the spoken mode lects, are rule-governed and are poten­
“ store” instead of bhandar, “ apply” too. Even in Delhi, in the Lok Sabha and tially capable of meeting the demands of
instead of aavedan and “ para”instead of Rajya Sabha debates, politicians' state­ their speakers. The enrichment process
anucched, “ lunch”instead of dopahar ka ments and spontaneous speeches and of a language happens in proportion to
bhojan should be preferred in transla­ panel discussions by many of the experts its wide use: the more a language is used
tions to simplify Hindi. on television news channels are ample in various domains, the more it will be
The subtext emerging from these ex­ evidence that chat style Hindi is not the equipped to meet the challenges posed by
amples is that “ changing times”(badalte single most popular variety of Hindi. academic and technical advancement.
maahaul) being referred to is the era of Spoken language is a broader category Hindi certainly needs to break free from
globalisation, where English is the lan­ and conversational form is a sub-category the shackles of rigidity and meaningless
guage of the dominant powers, of mar­ of it. Also, there is always a difference complexity in the name of the “ dignified”
ket and of technical advancement. The between the spoken and the written and the “ standard” , but we must not look
issue of whether and how English is an form of a language. In the field of lan­ for quick, superficial measures.
international language and what the guage education it is a well-established What is needed is a very critical
whole politics behind it is, has been much fact that acquisition of various registers review of existing administrative and

Economic & Political w e e k ly IS3H m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 21

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w w w . e p w r f . i n w w w . e p w r f i t s . i n
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22 MARCH 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 EEQ9 Economic & Political w e e k ly

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COMMENTARY

academic terminology with a willing­ and perspective. People can be con­ REFERENCES_______________________________

ness to accommodate not just English, vinced about the worthiness of a lan­ Agnihotri, R K (2 0 0 8 ): “
Language, Literacy Prac­
tices and English”in Dheram, Premakumari
but also Urdu and other languages spo­ guage if it is actually a part of their life (ed.), Negotiating Empowerment (Hyderabad:
ken in the Hindi belt. Promoting the use in informal as well as formal domains. Orient Longman), pp 2 4 -4 0 .
of Hindi (and other Indian languages) Should instructions given in the Dasgupta, Probal (2 0 0 8 ): “
Sustainable Scenarios in
Indian Language Cultivation”in Dheram, Pre­
should not be a ritualistic affair confined orders be followed in letter and spirit, it
makumari (ed.), Negotiating Empowerment
to Hindi Diwas, H indi Pakhwaaraa, etc. will do as much damage to Hindi lan­ (Hyderabad: Orient Longman).
In fact, if it has to be there then why Hindi guage as obsession with standardisation NCERT (2 0 0 5 ): National Curriculum Framework
2 0 0 5 , National Council o f Educational Re­
Diwas, why not Bhartiya Bhasha Diwas? and uniformity has done. After all Hindi
search and Training, New Delhi.
Concrete and pragmatic strategies should does not exist in two extremities of Pennycook, Alistair (1994 ): The Cultural Politics of
be worked out to encourage the use of “high”Hindi and bazaar H indi’ s “gro­ English as an International Language (London:
Indian languages in public and acade­ tesque cousin Zee Hindi” (Rai 2000: Longman).
Phillipson, Robert (1992 ): Linguistic Imperialism
mic, educational domain. As far as edu­ 119). However, Zee Hindi, we apprehend, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press).
cation is concerned, drastic reforms are may soon become G-Hindi or the gov­ Rai, Alok (2 0 0 0 ): Hindi Nationalism (New Delhi:
needed both with respect to pedagogy ernment Hindi. Orient Longman).

Custody Deaths in Kerala police, prison service or other authori­


ties. Custodial deaths include those
caused or contributed to by traumatic in­
A Study from Post-mortem Data juries and a lack of proper care while in

in Thrissur Medical College custody or detention; those occurring in


the process of police or prison officers at­
tempting to detain a person; and those
occurring in the process of a person es­
HITHESH SANKER T S, PRAVEENLAL KUTTICHIRA________________________ caping or attempting to escape (McCall
2003). Deaths in police custody are di­
Though there are reports Torture means any act by which severe pain vided into two main categories - deaths
or suffering, whether physical or mental, is
pointing to the magnitude of the in institutional settings or police opera­
intentionally inflicted on a person for such
purposes as obtaining from him or a third tions such as raids and shootings where
problem, there has been no study
person information or a confession, punish­ officers are in close contact with the de­
conducted on the nature of deaths ing him for an act he or a third person has ceased and deaths during custody-relat­
that have taken place in police committed or is suspected of having com­ ed police operations such as sieges and
mitted, or intimidating or coercing him or
custody. This article is an attempt pursuit. A person in police custody is un­
a third person for any reason based on dis­
der the care of the State and it is the re­
in that direction, and studies 23 crimination of any kind, when such pain or
suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation sponsibility of the State to ensure pro­
autopsies related to custodial of or with the consent or acquiescence of a tection of his or her basic human rights
deaths that were conducted public official or other person acting in an ( n h r c 2008). Custodial torture is uni­
official capacity.
in the Government Medical versally held as one of the cruellest forms
-UN High Commissioner for
of human rights abuse and the Constitu­
College, Thrissur. Human Rights 1999
tion of India, the Supreme Court, the Na­
he four treaties of the Geneva tional Human Rights Commission

T Convention of 1949 have been rat­


ified by 194 states. All the four
treaties have Article 3, which states,
( n h r c) forbid it ( n h r c and p r a j a 2006).
Estimates regarding the exact number
of custodial deaths in India vary, but
The following acts are and shall remain pro­ when these deaths in custody are studied,
hibited at anytime and in any place whatso­ well over half are attributable to natural
ever. ... violence to life and person, in par­
causes. These natural causes are prima­
ticular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel
treatment and torture; ... outrages upon rily heart disease, other atherosclerotic
personal dignity, in particular humiliating diseases, seizure disorders and alcohol
and degrading treatment. and drug abuse. A large proportion of
the remaining deaths in custody are
Introduction from suicide, homicide and unintention­
Hithesh Sanker T S and Praveenlal Kuttichira A death in custody or a custodial death is ally lethal acts of violence (Chan 2006).
(1
drpraveenlalkuttichira@gmail.com) are at the easy to define. It happens when a person India has a low rate of 32 persons per
Government Medical College, Thrissur.
dies while he or she in the custody of the 1,00,000 population in jail ( n h r c 2008).

Economic & Political weekly 13351 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 23

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COMMENTARY

India records a high number of viola­ considered for this study. The identities electric shock while drying clothes on a
tions to the right to life in the form of of those who died in custody were af­ wet rope. Of the 23 cases for which post­
torture, custodial deaths, killings in fake firmed from the autopsy register. Details mortem reports were available, findings
encounters and deaths through the dis­ regarding the circumstances of death in three were suggestive of physical
proportionate use of firearms. Though were noted down from the records and trauma (Table 4). In two cases, the caus­
there are reports pointing to the magni­ analysed in relation to the cause of al relationship was a possibility, but not
tude of the problem, there has been no death. Conclusions on the causes of definite. In the remaining 18 cases, psy­
study conducted on the nature of deaths death were drawn after detailed evalua­ chological trauma was definite in one
that have taken place in custody in the tion of the autopsy, histopathology and case; it could have contributed to death
country. This article is an attempt in toxicology examinations of the cases. in nine cases; and was a possibility in
that direction. The data were arranged in tables and eight cases.
the results were discussed.
Materials and Methods Discussion
For the purpose of this study, death in Observations and Results The low number and percentage of custo­
custody is defined as any death that oc­ During the period 2005-07,5,416 medico­ dial deaths for which autopsies were con­
curs while a person is either in the care legal autopsies were conducted by foren­ ducted in the Government Medical Col­
or custody of the police, the correctional sic experts in the Government Medical lege, Thrissur, correspond to figures that
College, Thrissur. Twenty-three autop­ have been cited in media reports and the
Table 1: Prisoner Type and Number of Victims
Type of Prisoner N um ber sies were related to custodial deaths. findings of non-governmental organisa­
Remand prisoners 8 Eight were remand prisoners and six tions (n gos). The chances of cases having
Convicts 6 were convicts while four were under­ been under-reported or concealed were
Under-trial prisoner 1 trial prisoners who had been accused of remote because Kerala has a very vigilant
Accused o f crime 3 Table 4: Evident Trauma and Number of Victims media, active political organisations and
For interrogation 4 Trauma Physical Psychological knowledgeable human rights activists. In
No crime 1 Definite 0(0.0%) 1 (4.3%) the year of its establishment, 1993-94,
Total 3 Possible 2 (8.7%) 8 (34.8%) the n h r c received only 496 complaints
Impossible 21 (91.3%) 14(60.9%)
Table 2:Crime Details and Number of Cases of violation of human rights from all over
Total 23(100%) 23 (100%)
Crime Number India. The number has steadily increased
Subjected to interrogation 4 crime. Of the remaining five, four were in over the years and it received 1,00,616
Convict prisoners 6
the custody of the police for interrogation complaints during the financial year
Remand prisoners 8
but no charges had been filed against 2007-08 ( n h r c 2008).
Under trial prisoner 1
them and one was not related to any The lack of any recorded crime in the
Accused o f crime 4
1
crime. The last was a female trainee in the case of four victims is a matter of con­
N ocrim e
Total 23 p olice training academ y (Tables 1 and 2). cern. T h ey had b e e n arrested and d e ­
Coronary artery disease was the sin­ tained for interrogation by the police,
Table 3: Causes of Death and Number of Cases gle largest cause of death, accounting for who had received information on their
Cause Number
five cases (Table 3). Four deaths were possible involvement in crime. There ap­
Coronary Artery Disease 5
from Hiv-related infections and two pears to have been a serious violation of
HIV and infection 4
Other infection 3 from subarachnoid haemorrage or human rights in these cases.
Subarachnoid haemorrage 2 bleeding, a form of stroke. There were Death occurred in two cases because of
Hanging 2 two cases of hanging, one of poisoning subarachnoid haemorrage. Subarachnoid
Electrocution 1 and one of electrocution. The poisoning bleeding usually causes instantaneous
Perforation 1 was from excess consumption of ethyl death even though the mechanism in
Aspiration 1 alcohol and the electrocution was an which this happens is not very clear.
Poisoning 1 accident when the victim suffered an There could be cardiac arrest caused by
Myonecrosis 1
Pheochromocytoma 1
Unknown 1 JAMIA MILLIAISLAMIA
Total 23 slSB w Jamia Nagar, New Delhi -110025
service or the psychiatric service. It in­ CORRIGENDUM
cludes death while being pursued by the This has reference to our Advt. No. 06/2-11 -12 dated 24.2.2012 published in
police or while being detained in a pris­ the leading Newspapers between February 27-29, 2012, the post
on or psychiatric institution. advertised at F. (5) “Technician in the Department of Biosciences” is
Autopsies conducted in the Govern­ hereby withdrawn from the advertisement.
ment Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, (Prof. S.M. Sajid)
Dated: 09.03.2012 Registrar
during the period 2005 to 2007 were

24 m a r c h 24. 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 Q 3S3 Economic & Political

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COMMENTARY

the sudden bathing of the brain stem in In natural death due to infectious dis­ of deaths in custody, an inquiry by a ju­
blood when a jet of arterial blood im­ eases, the inadequacy of treatment dicial magistrate is mandatory and a re­
pinges on the base of brain. Life-threat­ could play a part. This could be an issue port has to be sent to the n h r c within 24
ening cardiac arrhythmias can also oc­ to consider when looking into deaths hours of its occurrence. There is a need
cur in patients with subarachnoid haem­ due to Hiv-related infections. The un­ for scrupulous implementation of the
orrhage. Causes of subarachnoid bleed­ known cause of death in one case may procedure established under Section 176
ing include high blood pressure, physical be attributed to excited delirium. The (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (crpc).
exertion, emotional stress or head injury very act of resisting arrest could trigger In addition, forensic experts and labora­
(Kadoji and Barac 2001). Strokes can oc­ excited delirium in some people. The bi­ tories must be involved because their
cur in a paroxysm of rage or other strong zarre and threatening behaviour of indi­ expertise and scientific mode of investi­
emotion, possibly because of a sudden viduals in delirium usually provokes a gation can assist in preserving accurate
rise in blood pressure. There is evidence police response (Wetli 2005). and reliable evidence ( n h r c 2008).
that the role of emotional stress is greater Custodial deaths tend to occur when The establishment of custody centres
in patients with subarachnoid haemor­ ordinary policemen who find them­ independent of the police department
rhage than in those with cerebral berry selves unable to generate evidence or get has been proposed as an alternative
aneurysm (Storey 1969). The mere pres­ a confession within a short time frame model. Anyone taken into custody by the
ence of a demonstrable pathology does step over the line. The pressure on them police has to be immediately transferred
not exclude the possibility of trauma. to file a charge sheet within an unrealis­ to a custody centre. The custody centres
The possible contribution of alcohol tic deadline is often added to by superior are to be run by social welfare depart­
intoxication to cause of death is a known officers, social activists and the media. ments and their security arrangements
phenomenon. Alcohol is capable of de­ There is usually no vengeance as such are to be provided by prison depart­
creasing myocardial contractility and against a victim and the police action ments. Round-the-clock monitoring by
the amount required to do this is low if cannot, strictly speaking, be equated closed-circuit cameras has been mooted
the heart muscle is damaged or there is a with murder. However, the police or cus­ and is probably advisable. Health de­
long history of heavy ingestion (Klatsky todian is responsible for providing a de­ partments are to be responsible for the
1982). Heavy drinking is associated with cent and protective environment to all healthcare of the inmates and there are
the increased risk of sudden death detainees. Ordinary policemen are either to be mandatory health check-ups at the
(Wannamethee and Shaper 1992). Those not very aware of this obligation or it is time of entry and exit. On application,
heavily intoxicated are not adequately superseded by the pressure on them to the police will be able to take any inmate
cared for in police custody and when a immediately fix responsibility for a crime. from this centre for interrogation. But
medical crisis occurs, police officers do not There should be a zero tolerance policy they will have to return the person to the
have the support, resources, skill or train­ for any violation of human rights in centre after interrogation. Only convicted
ing to provide the required intervention. custody. A scientific, professional and criminals are to be jailed in prisons. It
The role of emotional stress in coro­ humane approach towards persons would be preferable to have exclusive in­
nary heart disease has been scientifically detained for investigations has to be terrogation teams in the police depart­
documented (Lecomte et al 1996). Stress­ emphasised. Full use of up to date inter­ ment that specialise in the process of
ful cardiac sudden death occurs almost rogating skills and forensic science tech­ gathering evidence from those detained.
instantaneously in those with severe niques will minimise the need to use
heart diseases, with 75% occurring dur­ physical torture during interrogations. Procedures for Physicians
ing stress or in minutes after it. Episodes Accordingly, police personnel should be The Istanbul protocol, which became an
of acute emotional stress can have signifi­ trained to specialise in investigation official u n document in 1999, is a set of
cant adverse effects on the heart. procedures ( n h r c and p r a j a 2006). international guidelines for documenta­
The cause of death in one victim was Bifurcation of the police into two sepa­ tion of torture and its consequences. It lists
pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor of the rate wings, one to deal with criminal in­ the steps and procedures to be followed by
adrenal glands that results in the release vestigations and the other to maintain physicians when they come across victims
of too much epinephrine and norepine­ law and order, would be of benefit. of torture. This needs to be adapted and
phrine, hormones that control the heart The United Nations Convention against extended to victims of torture who may
rate, metabolism, and blood pressure. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or have died in custody as well. It is high time
Paroxysms or crises occur in more than Degrading Treatment or Punishment is a new system was evolved in India to in­
half of patients suffering from this dis­ an international human rights instru­ vestigate the causes of death in custody
ease and they can be precipitated by any ment that was signed by India in 1997. In and other suspicious deaths. In many us
activity that displaces the contents of the May 2010, the Lok Sabha passed the states, a medical examiner's inquest is a
abdomen. Although psychological stress Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, which is formal hearing that is held into the causes
does not usually provoke a crisis (Land- aimed towards ratification of the u n and circumstances of death that results
berg and Young 2005), an assault on the convention and seeks to prohibit torture, from violence in custody or in conditions
abdomen can contribute to it. among other places, in custody. In case which give reason to suspect that a death

Economic & Political w e e k ly I33Q m a r c h 24 , 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 25

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COMMENTARY
may have been due to a criminal act or ideal for conducting an inquest. The way Landberg, Lewis and James B Young (2 0 0 5 ): “ Phe-
ochrom ocytoma”in Dennis L Kasper, Eugene
criminal negligence. It is conducted to things are, the medical exam iner’ s
Braunwald, Anthonys Fauci, Stephen L Hauser,
make a formal determination of the cause system prevalent in the us seems to be a Dan L Longo and J Larry Jameson (eds), Harri­
and manner of death to allow further legal better option. son’s Principles o f Internal Medicine, 16 th edi­
tion, McGraw Hill, New York, pp 2148 -52 .
proceedings. In addition to establishing We acknowledge the limitations of
McCall, Marissa (2 0 0 3 ): “
Deaths in Custody in
the cause and manner of death and possi­ this study. In cases of death in custody, Australia: National Deaths in Custody Program
ble criminal liability, the open inquests the first information report (f i r ) pre­ (NDICP) Annual Report” , Australian Institute
of Criminology, Canberra.
serve as forums to bring about changes in pared by the police, the details of the in­
National Human Rights Commission (2 0 0 8 ): “
Some
laws and regulations or to create public quest, views of the victim ’s relatives and Important Interventions of NHRC”, 21 August,
awareness of related health and safety is­ colleagues, interviews with the alleged New Delhi, at nhrc.nic.in/dispArchive.asp?
610 = 158 9 .
sues (Allegheny County 2010). perpetrators and the final verdict of the
- (2 0 0 8 ): Proceedings of Workshop on Detention ,
In India, the magisterial inquest system court need to be examined. This study is NHRC, New Delhi.
is the current procedure for investigat­ a preliminary one and it is expected to National Human Rights Commission and Penal
Reform and Justice Administration (PRAJA)
ing custodial deaths. In this, an execu­ draw the attention of scientists from
(2 0 0 6 ): “
NHRC’s Recommendations on Cus­
tive magistrate holds an inquest and the various disciplines to this area. todial Justice” , at nhrc.nic.in/disparchive.
body is forwarded through the police to asp?fno=i 375 .

the office of the police surgeon for R EF ER EN CES____________________________________ Storey, P B (1969 ): “ The Precipitation of Subarach­
noid Hemorrhage” , Journal o f Psychosomatic
autopsy. Further investigations are car­ Allegheny County (2010 ): “ Medical Examiner’
s
Research , 13, 2 , pp 175-8 2 .
Inquest”, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, at
ried out by the deputy superintendent of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1999 ):
www.alleghenycounty.us/me/inquest.aspx,
police. If the death has occurred in jail, a “Istanbul Protocol: Manual on the Effective
accessed on 1 August 201 0 .
Investigation and Documentation o f Torture
judicial officer inspects the body before Chan, Theodore C (2 0 0 6 ): “
Medical Overview of
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treat­
Sudden In-Custody Deaths”in Darrell L Ross
the inquest. However, this system suf­ ment or Punishment” , at http://www.unhchr,
and Theodore C Chan (ed.), Sudden Deaths in accessed on 3 March 2011 .
fers from weaknesses. The designation Custody (New Jersey: Humana Press, Totowa).
Wannamethee, Goya and A G Shaper (1992 ): “ Alco­
of a doctor as a police surgeon can raise Kadoji, Dragutin and B Barac (2001 ): “ Stress as a hol and Sudden Cardiac Death” , British Heart
suspicions among the public and an Possible Factor Facilitating Subarachnoid Journal, 6 8 (5 ), pp 443-48.
Hemorrhage” ,Neuroepidemiology, 2 0 , pp 45 -4 6 .
executive magistrate is not really a pro­ Wetli, C V (2 0 0 5 ): “Excited Delirium”in Jason
Klatsky, A L (1982 ): “ The Relations of Alcohol and Payne-James, Roger W Byard, Tracey S Corey
fessionally qualified person to hold an the Cardiovascular System” , Annual Review of and Carol Henderson (ed.). Encyclopedia of
inquest. A team led by a magistrate, Nutrition, 2 , pp 51-71.. Forensic and Legal Medicine (London: Elsevier
Lecomte, Dominique, Guy Nicolas and Paul Fornes Academic Press), pp 2 7 6 -8 0 .
which includes a medical professional,
(1996 ): “
Stressful Events as a Trigger of Sudden Ziegelstein, Roy C (2 0 0 7 ): “
Acute Emotional Stress
forensic expert and a nominee from the Death: A Study of 43 Medico-legal Autopsy and Cardiac Arrhythmias” ,Journal of the Amer­
human rights commission, would be Cases, Forensic Science International, 5 , pp 1-10 . ican Medical Association, 29 8 (3), pp 324 -2 9 .

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COMMENTARY

Turning the Page of an academic career sometimes make


it onerous for a scientist to pursue the

in Wildlife Science long trail towards systemic action. Some­


times, it may not even be possible to do
so, as the study may not have an applied
Conservation Biology and Bureaucracy component. However, a redefining of
the boundary encompassing wildlife
science and action in India is now essen­
N A N D IN I V E L H Q , M E O H N A K R IS H N A D A S , S A C H IN S R ID H A R A , U M E S H S R tN IV A S A N __________ tial. This is particularly important in a
crisis discipline such as conservation
A majority of Indian wildlife recent article by the authors in biology, where basic and applied sciences
scientists are unable to come
together to create a united
front to add a much-needed
A this journal (“

and Bureaucracy”
Turning the Page
.in Forest Governance: Science
, e p w , 10 December
can be equally valuable, and scientists
who study the field must be willing to
engage with a complexity of issues that
2011) highlighted the need for the forest influence their field of study (Ludwig
conservation focus to bureaucracy and wildlife scientists to et al 2001).
policymaking. In an age when we liaise actively to ensure better forest gov­ Many scientists are often unaware of
ernance, pointing out how the forest the complexity of a forest m anager’ s
are trying to balance development
bureaucracy often made it difficult for task. In addition to his assigned duties,
with protection of forest areas, independent scientists to engage mean­ the forest manager often has to deal
wildlife biologists need to actively ingfully with them. To highlight the other with a multitude of real world, non­
respond to and engage with side of the story, as it were, we would abstract problems of social and political
like to present how the reverse is just as dimensions. These might include, among
situations where the wildlife and
true - many in the wildlife science com­ other things, working with resident
conservation angles need to be munity in India are resistant to working communities hostile to management de­
highlighted. They should make productively with the forest bureaucracy cisions, dealing with threats from local
the effort to translate science into as peers, preferring to remain aloof from militant outfits, pressures from political
real world conservation issues, and un­ bigwigs, and inter- and intra-depart-
policy in conjunction with the
willing to engage in constructive dialogue mental politics that impede their regular
bureaucracy and actively work for change. Strangely, however, at the duties. Even with so much on their plate,
towards creating a much-needed same time, almost every wildlife scien­ a large number of forest officers are
platform for collaboration. tist has an opinion on the practice of genuinely interested in using science
conservation (whether by the forest and research to guide management, and
department or other scientists), that actively seek inputs from scientists. It is
they presume stems from their objectiv­ for the scientist then to go that extra
ity as practitioners of science. We argue mile with an interested officer, and ap­
that wildlife scientists need to realise prise forest managers of the nature and
that science is but one cog in the wheel scope of scientific studies, and when
of conservation practice. Scientists need necessary, help in translating science
to make the effort to translate science into action. This does not necessarily re­
into policy in conjunction with the quire a scientist to do applied science, or
bureaucracy, and actively work towards start a new project entirely. It only needs
creating that much-needed platform them to use their training to collate
for collaboration. scientific material relevant to an issue at
hand and present the potential conserva­
The Insular World of Scientists tion implications of it, when the depart­
NandiniVelho {nandinivelho@gmail.com) is
with the Centre for Tropical Environmental Scientists often live in an insular world ment needs it. Sometimes, it may need
and Sustainability Science and School of within the boundaries of their academic scientists to engage in a formal manner
Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook interests, and out of touch with the with bodies like the Forest Advisory
University, Australia and also with the on-ground issues facing forest govern­ Committee or the National Board for
National Centre for Biological Sciences,
ance. It is true that a scientist has enough Wildlife, to nuance the debate on a con­
Bangalore. Meghna Krishnadas and Umesh
Srinivasan are with the National Centre for worries about the day-to-day grind of servation issue.
Biological Sciences, Bangalore. doing research - thinking of a good study, A vast majority of wildlife scientists are,
Sachin Sridhara is with the Centre for collecting quality data, publishing the however, unwilling to take on political,
Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of results, and obtaining funding for her/ bureaucratic, or corporate interests even
Sciences, Bangalore.
his work. The contingent responsibilities when they pose an obvious detriment to

Economic & Political w e e k ly B 3Q m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 27

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COMMENTARY

wildlife. Scientists especially shy away conservation programme, information tend to believe that their own beliefs
from bureaucratic battles that might je o ­ on species biology is important. But no and actions are drawn from an empirical
pardise obtaining research permits from amount of information on species bio­ repertoire of understanding, while those
the forest department. Consequently, a logy is useful if this information does of peers are contingent on personal
majority of Indian wildlife scientists are not inform policy when needed. To do shortcomings, biased inclinations, and
unable to come together to create a uni­ this, it may often be up to the scientists self-interest (Burchell 2007). The prob­
ted front to add a much-needed conser­ to come forth and present their work in a lem of the “ empirical self and contingent
vation focus to policymaking. In this age simple and lucid manner to those in others”is pronounced in conservation
when we are trying to balance develop­ decision-making circles. Sometimes, it biology, where scientists are expected to
ment with protection of forest areas, might not be enough for scientists to maintain their objectivity through data-
wildlife biologists need to actively simply make their own research accessi­ driven arguments, and at the same time,
respond to and engage with situations ble. Very often, wildlife managers need advocate a set of biodiversity values. The
that need the wildlife and conservation specific information that are not rele­ completion of a data-oriented study many
angle to be highlighted. However, making vant to a scientists’core interests, but times spirals out of context into philo­
this change will involve dealing with which scientists can provide without sophical rhetoric. For instance, most ad­
challenges that will force scientists to much effort. For instance, the impact of vocacy (by scientists, no less!) on sustain­
leave their comfort zones and wear dif­ roads on amphibians is not the primary ability in extraction of non-timber forest
ferent hats, accept different viewpoints, focus of an ornithologist, who can none­ produce in India scales up from individ­
and speak in a language other than theless synthesise the literature on the ual case studies, glossing over pan-Indian
academia (Ludwig et al 2001). issue and highlight the relevant scienti­ reviews calling for more information on
fic aspects to inform a park manager on key ecological processes to model sus­
Fostering Engagements the impacts of a proposed road. tainability better (Shahabuddin and
A first exercise in plurality should be a Most important, biologists must make Prasad 2004). As a result, use regimes
more inclusive approach within the larger the leap from simply offering analysis to are advocated not based on a compre­
community of science itself. The acknow­ actively ensuring that their inference is hensive evaluation of data but on per­
ledgement of barriers between scientific incorporated into policy, and persevere sonal philosophies. Sophistry gains over
disciplines is often recognised when for a change in conservation decision­ science, even for scientists.
wildlife scientists say “ I am not a social making. With few exceptions, many wild­
scientist/economist/political scientist” . life scientists do not take those simple Along with Government,
Undoubtedly, any single person rarely extra steps, such as translating reports Not Instead o f It
has the combined skills, inclination, or submitted to the forest department into Wildlife scientists can and should play a
the time to comprehend and master vernacular languages, or placing infor­ large role in defining the contours of sci­
these multiple disciplines. It is, however, mation in relevant context through ence and conservation, and more impor­
essential to respect the com pon en ts o f updates and presentations. The incre­ tantly, placing it in the con text of oth er
these fields that influence conservation mental step from a research paper to a larger societal goals (Lele 2011). One
issues, and integrate these disciplines to policy document is missing, in large part could argue that India today lacks a
find multidimensional solutions to wildlife due to the reluctance of scientists to en­ constituency of wildlife science and con­
conservation (Mascia et al 2003). The gage with peers, non-scientists, and ex­ servation due to the “ tunnel-vision”
lack of dialogue between disciplines is perts outside the sphere of conservation approach of placing the goals of science
best illustrated in the past two decades, science. It is time to discard the eloquent or conservation in a vacuum. It is impera­
where the w orld’ s top five political sci­ discourse as to why cross-disciplinary tive to get social scientists, economists
ence journals have published only one talk would not work - in fact, it is the and non-scientists alike to think o f wild­
article on biodiversity conservation out only thing that is likely to work, and the life science and conservation as desirable
of more than 2,000 articles (Agrawal sooner we get moving, the better for all. goals. Consequently, scientists may have
and Ostrom 2006). to engage with the government directly
As a next and very crucial step, scien­ The Recalcitrant Biologist or through civil society organisations.
tists need to make their research more For a policymaker, dealing with scien­ Civil society and scientists, like we
accessible to policymakers. Like any spe­ tists is generally not easy. Their attitude pointed out in Krishnadas et al (2011),
cialty, conservation science has its fair towards bureaucracy is often unreason­ are essential to add a democratic balance
share of jargon that by definition is meant able or condescending, and towards to state governance. Scientists and con­
only for other scientists to understand, peers, dogmatic and adversarial. “ If you servationists, nonetheless, underestimate
and this needs to be “ translated into put five scientists together you get 10 dif­ the importance of state mechanisms,
English”to inculcate an interest in the ferent opinions and no consensus” . The dismissing good forest officials or lea­
general public and make it more accessible result often is that scientists are unable ders of being one-man shows, when
to a policymaker or forest manager. For to present concrete, usable information many research or conservation pro­
instance, it is very true that for a successful to aid conservation decisions. Scientists grammes are also contingent on a variety
28 m arch 24, 2012 VOL x l v ii n o 12 Q 2 Q E con om ic & P olitical weekly

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of externalities. No matter how well- simply stopping at providing informa­ of our natural world changed with the
intentioned and scientifically equipped, tion and reports. The issue of human- advent of wildlife science in the early
civil society cannot provide a long-term leopard conflict, leading to loss of hu­ 1960s. Forty years later, there is wide­
replacement for the overarching system man lives and killing of leopards, is a se­ spread arrogance and egotism among
of government machinery in the country. rious matter across India. A scientific academics who are unwilling to work to­
Non-governmental organisations (n gos) study found that translocation of leo­ gether or with the system, and we re­
often rely on funding from competitive pards, a routine conflict mitigation mea­ quire a renewal of humility, modesty
grants, for limited periods, for specific sure used by the forest department in and plain common sense. Humility and
projects. This means that long-term Maharashtra, increased the frequency of modesty to acknowledge that expert
institution-building at a countrywide leopard attacks (Athreya et al 2010). The knowledge is not privileged, and that
scale by n g o s is a near impossibility, state forest department trapped 276 leo­ public and policymakers should be part
unless they channelise their efforts pards during 2001-05, but this did not of a greater sphere of engagement be­
through existing systems to maximise arrest attacks. With scientists working tween science and society. Common
impact. In fact, sometimes n g o s find with the department, and strong leader­ sense to acknowledge that infighting
themselves pulling out of conservation ship within the forest department, a dif­ does not solve conservation problems,
efforts (such as providing alternative live­ ferent policy was followed based on only exacerbates them.
lihoods or sometimes even withdrawing scientific understanding. The Maha­ India’
s conservation legacy is going to
life-saving drugs) when funding runs rashtra state forest department issued be judged by the degree of unity that
out or when the going gets tough, high­ guidelines which were based on the fin­ conservationists and scientists attain to
lighting the limitations of civil society. dings from the scientific study on leo­ fight agendas that are bigger than the
Invariably, governmental agencies are pard translocation. Only 38 leopards fractured philosophies of personal view­
dismissed as dysfunctional institutions were trapped during 2005-09. The im­ points and academic debate. We must
when, disturbingly, not enough institu­ plementation of the guidelines decrea­ learn to tame the beast inside, before we
tion-building happens within the scien­ sed the number of attacks on humans move on to saving wildlife.
tific community. Personal biases and en­ from 218 (between the years 2000-05)
trenched viewpoints preclude collabora­ to 34 (2006-10) and the number of hu­ n ote ____________________________________
tions and data sharing, often hampering man deaths from 66 to six (Athreya et al 1 There are around four NGOs per 1 ,0 0 0 urban
dwellers and 2.3 NGOs per 1,0 0 0 rural dwellers -
the next generation of independent 2010). Several other states such as Hima­ (http://www.downtoearth.org.in/node/33712)
thought and practice. chal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir
Notwithstanding a flourishing n g o followed suit with similar guidelines. REFERENCES_______________________________
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ernance: Science and Bureaucracy” , Economic
within the framework of governance to sectoral cooperation at the local and & Political Weekly, 4 6 : 10 -13.
provide incremental changes that can national level. Lele, S (2011): “ Rereading the Interdisciplinary
Mindscape: A Response to Redford” , Oryx, 4 5 :
make permanent improvements in the
331- 32.
system. Scientists and civil society can be Moving On Ludwig, D, M Mangel and B Haddad (2001 ):
“Ecology, Conservation and Public Policy” ,
vital catalysts, but not the process itself. If one traces the evolution of wildlife sci­
Annual Review o f Ecology and Systematics, 3 2 :
Scientists need to understand the dif­ ence in India and the attitudes of many 481 -517.
ference between pointless intransigence wildlife scientists today, it has followed Mascia, M B, J P Brosius, T A Dobson, B C Forbes,
L Horowitz, M A McKean and N J Tbrner
and constructive criticism, and move a trajectory similar to the history of sci­ (2 0 0 3 ): “
Conservation and the Social Scien­
from accusations to fruitful debate - ence in general. From Socrates and Pla­ ces” , Conservation Biology, 17: 6 4 9 -6 5 0 .
Ravetz, F (1993 ): “ The Sin of Science, Ignorance of
both within themselves and with the gov­ to’s ideas of ignorance, to the scientific Ignorance” , Science Communication, 15: 157*6 5 .
ernment. There are notable examples of revolution which injected a triumphant Shahabuddin, G and S Prasad (2 0 0 4 ): “ Assessing
Ecological Sustainability of Non-timber Forest
wildlife scientists and civil society en­ faith of scientific pretension (Ravetz 1993),
Produce Extraction: The Indian Scenario” ,
gaging with policy matters, rather than our lack of a systematic understanding Conservation and Society, 2: 235 -5 0 .

Economic & Political weekly E3359 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 29

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30 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 Q3SSI Economic & Political WEEKLY

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A Text Self-Consciously Realist The discursive effect that exasperates
the author is the prejudice that the dif­

and Never Utopian ferences manifest in democratic practices


of non-European countries are signs of
political immaturity, for they are devia­
tions from the normative universals. He
RAJAN GURUKKAL raises the question as to “ how normative
political theory as practised in the West
his book by Partha Chatterjee, BOOK REVIEW managed to fortify itself against the

T a leading political theorist, is a


thoughtful analysis of postcolonial
democratic practices in India. Ten inde­
Lineages of Political Society by Partha Chatterjee
(Ranikhet: Permanent Black), 2011;pp xiv+278,Rs 750.
turmoil of the real world of politics and
assert the continued validity of its norms
as pronounced at its moment of crea­
pendent essays, grouped under three tion” , over the past 300 years. He asks as
major heads: Genealogies, Popular Rea­ occurring in the postcolonial period are to how the variety in the struggles against
son and Democracy, constitute an ac­ in political society. Second, the question colonial exploitation has managed not to
complished volume of original thinking. that frames the debate over social trans­ displace the modem political theory from
The opening essay, “ Lineages of Politi­ formation in the colonial period was that its stable discursive location of normative
cal Society” , which is the hermeneutic of modernity, and in political society of reasoning. He wonders as to how “ the
thread that binds all the essays together, the postcolonial period, the framing normative political theory was never
traces the lineage of normative political question is that of democracy. Third, in pushed into constructing a theory of the
theory back to the conclusion of the the context of the latest phase of glo­ nation, or of gender, or of race, or indeed
epoch of tyrannical power historically balisation of capital, we may well be wit­ of class, except by marginal figures,
marked by the French Revolution, the nessing an opposition between moder­ whose efforts were often greeted with
British Reform Acts and the civil rights nity and democracy, i e, between civil h ostility”. He asks in annoyance as to
legislation in us in the 19th century, and society and political society. “how could it be that the entire conceptual
discusses the mythical space-time of history of modern politics was foretold
normative theory, the norms, senses and Epistemological Encounter at the birth of modern political theory” .
exceptions, the divide between the civil Unlike Chatterjee’
s previous book, The The questions do evoke serious interven­
and political, containment of violence, Politics o f the Governed, this book is an tionist concern beyond mere heuristic
and normative redefinition. epistemological encounter with hege­ interest within historical empiricism.
The section, Genealogies, consisting monic western political theory broadly In his cognitive encounter, Chatterjee
of three essays, examines 500 years of called “liberal political thought”and the is trying to point out that the constitu­
fear and love towards the European universal normative standard that it dis­ tionally ordained norms of civil society,
aspects of the rule of subjects, the debate cursively set. It is maintained that the drawn from the particular history of
between Nabin Chandra Sen and discourse of western political theory has western liberal democracy, were incapa­
Rabindranath Tagore on the issue of been rendering plausible the representa­ ble of ensuring justice or fairness for all
public condolence on Bankim Chandra tion of differences about democratic citizens in a country like India. Hence
Chatterjee’ s death, and implications of practices in south Asia as deviations from the compulsion for deviations as impro­
Tagore’ s non-nation perspective. Like­ the universal normative standard and vised in response to current conditions
wise, the three essays in the section hence as imperfections. Every essay of existence, which, in the absence of an
Popular Reason seek to analyse the either illustrates or anticipates or sup­ alternative normative order, often turned
people in utopian and real time, the plements the central thesis that differ­ out to be illegalities or even violence.
sacred circulation of national images, ences seen in postcolonial democratisa- The author’ s encounter with western
and critical facets of popular culture. tion processes are historically contin­ normative theory is destined to expose
The last section, Democracy, discusses gent characteristics. The author chal­ the inadequacy of its universal standard
in three essays themes such as commu­ lenges the normative status of liberal rather than to fill the gap with any
nity and capital, democracy and eco­ democratic theory as it exists today by alternative normative model of the
nomic transformation, and the nature of using the rapidly accumulating empirical future political order. Chatteijee strongly
empire and nation today. evidence for differences in India’ s post­ believes that the paths to our normative
The central thesis in the book revolves colonial democratic experiences. He un­ future will diverge from those taken in
around three insights: first, the most derlines the need for an epistemological the past, but their direction remains
significant site of transformations in the reconstitution of normative political uncertain and open. The perspective is
colonial period was that of civil society; theory in the light of the richness of self-consciously realist and not utopian,
and the most significant transformations empirical proofs. as he clarifies.

Economic & Political w e e k ly QBE3 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 31

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BOOK REVIEW

Chatterjee exposes the fact that judgment on political practices in the land or ticketless commuters on public trans­
“normative debates of modern political non-western world as instances of im­ port, or illegal users of water and electricity,
or hawkers on city streets, or manufacturers
theory take place in the time-space of perfections and immaturity, a discur­
in the informal sector violating pollution or
epic proportions, which manifested only sive prejudice based on the construal of taxation or labour regulations.
after the victorious end of an epochal democracy in the western world. Chat-
struggle against the historical despotic terjee’s interpretations pieced together This is the domain that distinguishes
power, the normatively unacceptable constitute a powerful theory in defence Indian democracy from other capitalist
for the present” . To him the curious of the contemporary Indian democratic democracies. These groups do have the
thing is that “this negatively designated practices as differences rather than formal status of citizens and use the
historical past could even be found to deviations. It enables an independent space of democratic politics to make
coexist with the normatively constituted explanation o f histories of modern their demands, sometimes even violently.
order of modern political life in a syn­ political institutions which are not part Governmental authorities accommodate
chronous, if anomalous, time of the of the genealogy of western democracy. them as exceptions within the general
present” .The negatively designated past, Although the book does not boast of a structure of normative regulations, but
he says, “is limitlessly elastic in its capa­ new normative theory as an alternative without treating them as proper citizens
city to include any historical place and to the western, its critique of liberal belonging to the civil society. “They make
time as stages to be overcome - this political theory, understandings of con­ their claims on government, and in turn
phase of backwardness coexist with the temporary capitalism, interpretation of are governed, not within the framework
normatively constituted order o f m od­ nationalism and populism, conceptuali­ of stable constitutionally defined rights
ern political life in a synchronous time sation of nationalist thought and colonial and laws, but rather through temporary,
of the present”The particular sequence world, and formulation of “ political contextual and unstable arrangements
in which the different processes of society”marks a rupture with the dis­ arrived at through direct political nego­
democratisation occurred in western cursive notions engendered by western tiations” . Chatterjee’s contention is that
history, he rightly points out, need not be concept of democracy. One experiences a great deal of democratic politics in
repeated elsewhere. He is impatient of the rise of a new political theory of India is about such negotiations. Accord­
the deviation being called a historical postcolonial democracy, and a herme­ ing to him what made Indian democracy
lag that had to be made up, for deviation neutic turn in the historiography of the different is a split between a domain of
from liberal norms meant necessarily contemporary Indian politics. Even properly constituted civil society and a
retardation or corruption of democracy though most of the illustrations in the more ill-defined and contingently acti­
- a prejudice engendered under the book are drawn from India, the concep­ vated political society.
inescapable discursive control of ab­ tual presuppositions behind them render The uncertain institutionalisation of
stract normative political theory. comparisons with postcolonial demo­ this domain of political society, he says,
cratic processes in countries in Asia, can be traced to the absence of a suffi­
Hermeneutic Turn Africa and Latin America, plausible. The ciently differentiated and flexible notion
A book of sustained engagement with reason is that democracy, perhaps in of community in the theoretical concep­
the conceptualisation of ideas, institu­ most of the present-day world, cannot be tion of the modern state. There are two
tions, relations and structures, enabled brought into being, or even fought for, in basic features of what he calls political
by being strongly anchored in both the the image of western democracy as it society: One is its demands belong to the
empirically given and the theoretically exists today, for the norms o f the latter interface of legality and illegality pres­
presupposed, Lineages o f Political Society once thought to be the universal stand­ surising administrative policies to nego­
is path-breaking. It is not a text of new ard, hardly hold good anymore. tiate between claims and benefits. The
empirical details but new knowledge other is the inseparability of its acts
created through discovery and interpre­ Political Society between the voluntary and coercive.
tation of new meanings and relations in The main fallout of Chatterjee’ s episte­ This is a domain contingently activated
old details, which has an enlightening mological encounter with “ Western nor­ as a contrast of the properly constituted
effect on many things that we take for mative political theory”is his concept of civil society. Chatterjee’ s proposition is:
granted about political practices of our “political society” , an empathetic con­ “Civil society is where corporate capital
times. It is a shift in the science of inter­ struct. “Political society”, he argues, is hegemonic, whereas political society
pretation too, providing new concepts is the space of management of non­
is a domain of politics where particular
and analytical tools that are fit to under­ population groups organise to press upon corporate capital” .
stand the formation of democratic governmental authorities their specific An unencumbered grasp of what poli­
practices in the non-western world. The demands for basic necessities such as hous­ tical society means and how it works is
ing, food, livelihood, daily amenities, and
new knowledge goes against old ideas fundamental to Chatterjee’ s book and the
so on, which they have thus far, provided
about the nature of democracy, which for themselves by violating the law or
methodology sought to achieve the objec­
grew predominantly out of notions and administrative regulations or established tive is that of genealogical investigation
practices in the west. It exposes the civic norms. They maybe squatters on public and empirical analysis. Some o f the

32 MARCH 24, 2012 VOL XLVII NO 12 Economic & Political weekly

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BOOK REVIEW

essays vindicate the author’ s search for through n iti (justice) to prajatantra emergency relief and so on. In that sense,
the genealogy of political society back to (statecraft). He thinks that the more the the relation between peasant and the
the 18th century, along the course of In­ will of the subjects shifts from an en­ state has been, and is still being, redefined.
dian response to colonial forms of gov­ gagement with sovereignty to a concern Chatterjee argues that a corresponding
ernment, and within certain strands of for the daily nitty-gritty of govem- transformation has taken place in the
anti-colonial politics. It was his attempt mentality, the more the principles of structure of political power too. There is
to understand the evolution of Indian dharma yield to those of niti. He argues the “ dominant class coalition model”
democracy in the 1990s, which led him that as prajasakti (citizens’strength) ably put across by Sudipto Kaviraj, based
to formulate the concept of political asserts itself, the demands mount for on Gramsci’ s concept of “ passive revolu­
society as a disjuncture within the demo­ governmental services just as ever new­ tion”as a blocked dialectic, which as­
cratic process itself. He seeks to try and er methods of politics get devised to cribes to the process of class domination
provide theoretical self-justification for secure them. But the ruling powers in postcolonial India its own dynamic.
conceiving political society as distinct as a class coalition normally resist the Power had to be shared because no one
from civil society by developing on the advance of the citizenry. To him it is class had the ability to exercise hegemony
Gramscian hunch about the possible through this power struggle between on its own. Chatterjee does agree that
disjuncture between the political and the subjects and the rulers that the “passive revolution” is still valid for
the civil spheres. In liberal political future practices of Indian democracy India, but to him it is crucial to notice
theory, political society is the sphere get defined. the fact that its structure and dynamic
of political organisation of citizen’ s Chatterjee believes that it has become have undergone a change. He says that
demands through representation, voting, important to revisit the question of changes introduced since 1990s such as
political parties, etc, whereas civil society the basic structures of power in Indian the dismantling of the licence regime,
is the associative public sphere of eco­ society, especially the position of the greater entry of foreign capital and for­
nomic and cultural life, but with the peasantry. This is not because he thinks eign consumer goods; and the opening
same principles of freedom, equality, that the advance of capitalist industrial up of sectors such as telecommunica­
rule of law, and so on, prevailing in both growth is inevitably breaking down tions, transport, infrastructure, mining,
spheres, suggestive of no disjuncture peasant communities and turning them banking, insurance, etc, to private capi­
between the two. into a proletarian workforce, as has been tal, have transformed the framework of
Chatterjee makes liberal political predicted innumerable times in the last class dominance. All this, according to
theory’ s normative characterisation of century and a half. On the contrary, he Chatterjee, has led to a change in the
the two spheres irrelevant by elaborat­ argues that the forms of capitalist indus­ very composition of the capitalist class.
ing on the disjuncture, valid within clas­ trial growth now under way in India will Governmental technologies have deeply
sical Marxism. Empirically well ancho­ make room for the preservation of the penetrated and turned the peasants into
red in the changing democratic practices peasantry, but under completely altered a highly state-dependent community. He
of the vulnerable vote-force, which let conditions. Chatterjee begins by referring thinks that the forms o f current capita­
the legal and illegal or the peaceful and to the incidents of violent agitation in lism in India under conditions of elec­
violent converge, Chatterjee locates his different regions of India, especially in toral democracy require new conceptual
political society in a volatile space-time West Bengal and Orissa against the ac­ work, for none of the known theories is
and empathetically defines it, ignoring quisition of agricultural land for industry. appropriate to explain them.
the highbrow scepticism. One is convin­ He sees the “ peasant insurgency thesis” Chatterjee argues that with the
ced of the intelligibility and analytical inadequate in today’ s context. So is the continuing rapid growth of the Indian
viability of the category of political case with the “ vanishing village”thesis of economy, the hegemonic hold of corpo­
society when he elaborates for the first Dipankar Gupta. Although proletariani­ rate capital over the domain of civil
time on its features such as populism or sation and dissolution of the peasantry society is likely to continue. To him this
the informal sector of production or the as historical consequences of primitive will inevitably mean continued primitive
role of violence. accumulation are still continuing, there is a accumulation ensuring more and more
reverse effect exerted by governmental of primary producers likely to be divest­
Future Democracy technologies that have been expanding ed of their means of production, most of
Chatterjee shows insights into the fea­ in India in the last three decades, as a whom are unlikely to be absorbed in the
tures and dynamic of future democracy result of the penetration of the develop­ new growth sectors of the economy and
through his probing of the transfor­ mental state under conditions of elector­ quite likely to be marginalised and
mation processes of capital, peasant poli­ al democracy. Chatterjee says that the turned into a “ dangerous class” .
tics and governmental technologies. In State is no longer an external entity to
the chapter, “The Rule of Subjects” , he the peasant community, but internal to Critical Appreciation
works out the archaeology of the mod­ its everyday life as an agency providing The political society of Chatterjee, a
ern Indian republic by tracing its genea­ education, healthcare, food, roadways, quite creative construct, that draws a
logy from dharma (ethical postulates) water, electricity, agricultural technology, conceptual map of emerging practices

Economic & Political weekly MARCH 24, 2012 VOL XLVII NO 12 33

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BOOK REVIEW

of new political societies of the eastern a leavening influence in Chatterjee’ s thinks that even Marx, the most powerful
world, is a historicised projection of the conceptualisation, as in the case of critique, failed to offer an effective chal­
empirical present, not in the track of any Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Slavoj lenge to normative liberal political theory,
pre-established interpretative scheme Zizek, Alain Badiou and others. One probably due to the latter’s subordination
heading towards any predetermined experiences the Marxist creativity of of the political to the economic. Histori­
meaning. In Chatteijee’ s own words, it Laclau, Negri, Michel Hardt and Nancy ans who seriously base their herme­
is a different con ceptualisation o f the sub­ in his essays. It empowers us to imagine neutics on historical materialism cannot
je c t o f political practice as con crete selves community politics setting aside sover­ agree with this argument, because this
n ecessarily acting w ithin multiple netw orks eignty and domination as conceived by subordination is only in the last instance,
o f collective obligation s and solidarities to
w orkout strategies o f cop in g with, resisting,
Jean-Luc Nancy who sees no distinction and hence regarding political principles
or u sing to their advantage the vast array between ontology and ethics. Chatteijee’ s as the instrumental means for securing
o f tech n ologies o f pow er deploy ed by the is the Zizekian position of taking onto­ economic ends, is mechanical Marxism.
m odern state. logical determination of capital as the They, holding the primary source first, go
The conceptual map of emerging real, which is like Nancy’ s equidistance by the economy - polity simultaneity
practices in a democracy is profound between Heidegger and Marx. under overdeterminism.
and the contemporary empirical detail The historicised projection of the
rich, albeit the historicised projection Mapping Theory empirical present is seemingly an untai­
tends to be hasty and hence not Chatterjee claims to be consistently ad­ lored appendage to what Chatterjee
painstakingly rigorous. hering to Marx’ s methodological premise views as a principal task of political the­
Chatteijee’ s conceptualisation, like Jean- (not as a traditional Marxist), with a view ory today - a conceptual mapping of the
Luc Nancy's, dissolves the Hegelian/ to positioning his political theory against contemporary democratic practices. Any
Marxian binaries like the self and other, global capitalism. The bearing of his historian viewing process-analysis fun­
form and content, essence and appearance, interpretations on the power of negati­ damental to her methodology cannot be
base and superstructure, and so on. It vity draws them closer to Marxian social happy about Chatterjee’ s hopping above
is structuralist Marxism together with theory, notwithstanding the fact that his the course to rush with conceptual map­
leftist creative pragmatism that works as hermeneutics as such is not Marxian. He ping. A Marxist historian would expect

INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH


UNIVERSITY OF DELHI ENCLAVE
NORTH CAMPUS, DELHI-110007

The Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) plans to appoint a Professor in the Agricultural Economics
Research Unit of the Institute in the pay scale of Rs. 37,400-67,000, AGP: Rs. 10,000 with the usual
allowances admissible from time to time.

Essential Qualifications

The candidate should have a Ph.D. and an outstanding academic record, with excellence in publications
on different aspects of agricultural development, and at least 10 years research experience in Agricultural
Economics.

The Institute may consider suitable candidates who may not have applied. The Institute reserves the
right not to fill up the above position, if circumstances so warrant. Other things being equal, SC/
ST/OBC candidates will be preferred.

Interested persons may send their details in the prescribed form (downloadable from the IEG website:
www.iegindia.org), with names of three referees and copies of the five best publications. This material
should be sent to the Academic Programmes Officer, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University,
North Campus, Delhi-110007 (email: sushil@iegindia.org), within six weeks of the publication of this
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DIRECTOR

34 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 KSSQ Economic & Political weekly

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BOOK REVIEW

him to have grounded his political Chatterjee over the differentiation be­ Any attempt to summarise them is sure
philosophy on the social theory of the tween the civil and political societies as to be superfluous. Every essay in the
simultaneity of material and ideational well as organised and unorganised poli­ volume is too exhaustive for us to make
processes at the micro level, but with the tics. The reason is that Chatterjee’ s char­ an attempt to wrap-up things in any
causal primacy in the last instance clear. acterisation of the civil society, like his form. Chatterjee’ s interpretations there
It is my feeling as a historian that this “political society” , transcends the cur­ will have a remarkable methodological
would have helped him speak about the rent puzzle around the former (civil influence on areas of knowledge such
material process of philosophical differ­ society) and precludes its overlapping as political philosophy, social theory,
entiation rather than the cultural pro­ with the latter (political society). postcolonial historiography and culture
cess of the phenomenon of difference. His view, that just because populism is studies. The mode of perception and
Nevertheless, no historian can push the the most pervasive democratic politics, conceptual appreciation that his book
demand that it is only a matter of all populist moves are not worthy of sup­ exemplifies will be indispensable for
opinion beyond a point, for Chatterjee port, provokes the postcolonial radicals anyone wishing to understand the nature
has strong points of theoretical justifi­ who take every populist surge as ideal, and history of democracy, its practices
cation for his choice of focus and ways and therefore quarrel with him. and functions in the contemporary non­
of doing political philosophy. A critical A lot more secrets about postcolonial western world.
left, he insists, to hold fast his right to democracy come undone in this wonder­
be critical. ful narrative, steady and systematic, Rajan Gurukkal (rgurukkal@ gm ailcom )
People with the hangover of liberal exploring a new domain of the contem­ is w ith the M ahatma G andhi University,
political theory tend to quarrel with porary democratic relations and practices. Kottayam, Kerala.

Iran’s Revolution together the reflections of some 50 schol­


ars, activists, and observers of contempo­

and the Global Politics of Resistance rary Iranian society, is to suggest that we
may be in the midst of another momen­
tous upheaval in Iran’ s 30 years after the
revolution which replaced the dictatorship
VINAY LAL of the Shah with the rule of a theocratic
elite. Some of the contributors take a long­

I
n the euphoria over the “ Arab The People Reloaded: The Green Movement term view of Iranians’ “bloody and painful
Spring”, which has brought revolu­ and the Struggle for Iran's Future edited by Nader march towards democracy”(p 27), com­
tions to the doorsteps of autocratic Hashemi and Danny Postel (Brooklyn, N e w York: M elville mencing with the Constitutional Revolu­
H ouse),2010; p p 4 3 9 , $18.95.
regimes that only last year seemed tion of 1906 and the coup, engineered by
unflappable in their resolve to keep the the Central Intelligence Agency (cia) and
aspirations of their peoples suppressed, written, the Occupy Wall Street move­ British military intelligence, of 1953,
it becomes imperative to recall that the ment has even brought dissenters and which led to the deposition of the nation­
first sustained signs of change in west rebels to the fore in the us, where poli­ alist hero Mohammed Mossadegh; others
Asia in recent years appeared in Iran. tics for far too long has been reduced hearken back to the Shah’ s despotism and
The Arab world seemed so firmly in the to an exercise of choosing between the political skill with which Ayatollah
grip of monarchs and dictators, many of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Yet, all Khomeini and his supporters orchestrated
them bolstered by the United States (us), this was anticipated in Iran's dramatic his removal; and yet others set their
which has been in the business of ex­ political upheaval in June 2009, the out­ sights resolutely on the mammoth pro­
porting the rhetoric of electoral demo­ come of which, perhaps contrary to tests against the “ stolen election”of 2009.
cracy to the world but has feared reform received opinion, is far from settled. But all the contributors are clearly ani­
and revolution at every turn, that no one mated by one central question, aptly
expected the people to take to the streets Road to Revolution reflected in the book’ s subtitle, “
The Green
in millions. And how people have Though nearly everything in Iran is Movement and the Struggle for Iran’ s
stormed the streets, facing police barri­ marked by the watershed events of 1979 Future” : how might political action in Iran
cades, braving tear gas and baton charg­ that led to the ouster of the Shah and the continue to be steered in directions that
es - and not just in the Arab world! The assumption of power by the Ayatollahs, it would help to secure a future for the coun­
Arab spring turned into a long summer is possible that some years from now the try’s citizens that allows for the fulfilment
of discontent, as signs of protest began phrase, “ after the revolution” , will reso­ of legitimate political aspirations, the free
to appear in other parts of the world, in nate with an altogether different meaning. pursuit of one’ s livelihood, economic
Athens, Rome, Madrid, Tel Aviv, and The burden of the present collection of security, and some commonly agreed
elsewhere. As these lines are being essays, The People Reloaded, which brings upon conception of human dignity?

Economic & Political weekly E33S3 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 35

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“Iran” writes Ervand Abrahamian state-owned television. The complaints the supreme icon of resistance to theo­
with precision and elegance, “ has a lodged with the Election Commission cratic despotism. As criticism of the gov­
healthy respect for crowds - and for would have a predictable outcome: on ernment mounted, the full machinery of
good reason”(p 60). It is the crowds that investigation, the interior ministry dis­ state repression was brought crashing
started gathering in Tehran, Isfahan, missed allegations of rigging and fraud down upon the dissenters. Before the
Shiraz and other provincial towns in as baseless, and went on to issue adviso­ end of the month, the protestors had
June 2009, most particularly, the mil­ ries urging people to accept the electoral largely dispersed. The state might have
lion or two or more people who con­ results and desist from protests. imagined that it had broken the back­
verged on Tehran’ s Azadi (Freedom) Over a few days, notwithstanding bone of the movement, and dulled the
Square on the 15th in a silent rally, as the supreme leader Ayatollah Khom eini’ s protestors into abject submission with
10th presidential election since the 1979 admonitions that protestors, character­ beatings, police firings, and targeted as­
revolution came to an end, that are the ised by Ahmadinejad as “ specks of dirt”, sassinations of dissenters; yet, less than
subject of this book. As the election re­ would face the wrath of the law, the two years later, Iran would again be
sults were announced, unambiguously crowds surged in size. Tehran’ s own con­ rocked by a series of demonstrations
affirming the victory of the incumbent, servative mayor estimated that three over the course of a month in February
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran million people had gathered in Tehran and March 2011.
appeared to be engulfed by huge waves on 15 June to register their dissent - one
of disbelief. A host of pre-election polls of the largest gatherings of people, be­ Sizeable Female Presence
suggested that Ahmadinejad and his reft of arms and intent on non-violent What, then, is the Green Movement, and
closest competitor, the reformist Mir resistance, in recent history anywhere in what are some of the strands of Iran’ s
Hossein Mousavi, were neck-to-neck; the world. If repression is generally the complex history and culture that have
yet, Ahmadinejad would be declared the only language in which the modern na­ been interwoven into the nation’ s con­
winner with 64% of the vote. Mousavi, it tion state trades, then Iran’ s response temporary politics? There remain differ­
was announced, had been unable even cannot be viewed as entirely surprising. ences of opinion among the volum e’ s
to carry his hometown of Tabriz; mean­ On 20 June the 27-year-old Neda Aghan- contributors on the question of the
while, another candidate, Mehdi Kar- Soltan, a philosophy student and bud­ m ovem ent’ s demography: while the
roubi, apparently had more people cam­ ding musician with no previous history American sociologist Charles Kurzman
paigning than voting for him. Reports of of involvement in politics, was shot dead argues that the less educated in Iran
fraud came streaming in - an extra 14.5 by a member of the Basij (government) have repeatedly shown themselves to
million ballots had been printed, and militia as she approached the site of the be more supportive of Ahmadinejad
could not be accounted for; or, to take protest. Three amateur videos of her (p 17), the Iranian blogger and writer
another example, voting had not even death went viral: within days, millions Nasrin Alavi is among those who soundly
been completed in some districts when around the world had viewed them and reject the argument that the movement
Ahmadinejad was declared the victor on Neda had become, at least in the west, drew its support largely from educated

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36 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 H 3Q Economic & Political WEEKLY

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urban elites. The student leaders, Alavi women are nearly two-thirds of all some of the contributors seem to want to
avers, “ are not the children o f affluent entering university students. embrace, rather too easily, slick terms
citizens of north Tehran, but instead such as “ cultural Jiu-Jitsu”or “ Green
come from provincial working-class Green and Gandhian Tsunami”or facile comparisons with the
families or are the children of rural The prominence of women at demonstra­ American Civil Rights Movement to
schoolteachers and clerks” ; indeed, tions in Iran may offer as well some cues highlight the significance of Iran’
s own
she goes so far as to say that “ these fu­ on the remarkably non-violent nature of great movement of dissent.
ture leaders of Iran hail from the very the protests. The dissident cleric Mohsen
heartland of Ahmadinejad’ s purported Kavidar, asked to explain the most salient Shortcomings in Volume
support base”(p 211). aspects of the Green Movement, noted A more intensely political reading of what
What is indisputably true is that those that it is “peaceful and against violence” has transpired in Iran over the last few
under 30 have predominated among the (p 113), and the Toronto-based Iranian years may perhaps suggest other short­
dissenters, and that it is among the philosopher, RaminJehanbegloo, is certain comings in the volume to some readers.
ranks of the young that unemployment that Iran in 2009 experienced a “ Gandhian Iran has been looking down the barrel of
rates are the highest - but in these re­ moment”(p 19). Mousavi’ s advisoi; Moh­ a gun for decades: though the profound­
spects the protests in Iran would not ap­ sen Makhmalbaf, writing in the Guardian ly democratic aspirations of the volum e’ s
pear to be at all atypical. What is far (London) in the thick of the struggle, may contributors need not be doubted, few of
more noteworthy, particularly in view of have put the matter more accurately when them choose to consider how the relent­
images about the Muslim world that he said of his leader: “ Previously, he was less assault on Iran’ s sovereignty, spear­
freely circulate in the west and one sus­ revolutionary, because everyone inside the headed since the revolution of 1979 by
pects in some measure in other parts of system was a revolutionary. But now he’ sa the us, has played its part in shaping the
the non-Muslim world, is, as a number of reformer. Now he knows Gandhi - before world view of the so-called “ hardliners” .
contributors point out, “ the sizeable he knew only Che Guevara. If we gain Similarly, many of the contributors
female presence m the Iranian Green power through aggression we would have underestimate the intense resentment
Movement”(p 37); indeed, if the eminent to keep it through aggression. That is why that persists against Britain in many
scholar of contemporary Iranian society, we’ re having a green revolution, defined sectors of Iran’s society, and in general,
Hamid Dabashi is to be believed, “ the by peace and democracy”(“ I Speak for the history of anti-colonial sentiment
most well-known aspect of these anti- Mousavi. And Iran” , 19 June 2009). and resistance receives little attention in
Ahmadinejad demonstrations is that The colour green has long been asso­ this volume. These deficiencies may, in
women visibly outnumber men”(p 23). ciated with Islam, and Kavidar suggests the last analysis, be overlooked, since
Contrary to the overwhelming im­ that in flaunting green ribbons and ban­ the contributions essayed in this volume
pression about the docility of Muslim ners, the demonstrators may even have offer nuanced and perceptive insights
women that has been formed in much of sought to convey the idea that they were into the remarkable display of people’ s
the world, Iranian women have played a not prepared to relinquish their Islam to power in Iran. Those who have lavished
not inconsiderable role in the political the Ayatollahs and other official purvey­ their attention on the Arab Spring, or,
life of the nation. The “
Million Signatures ors of the religion. To be “ Green”and more lately, on the Occupy Wall Street
Campaign”(2006), which has resulted “Gandhian” , however, means much more movement as it unravels across the us,
in the arrest of some of Iran’ s most than abstention from violence and ad­ Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere,
respected feminists and human rights herence to non-violent strategies of re­ would do well to turn their gaze back on
campaigners, sought to put men on no­ sistance to oppression. It may be too Azadi Square in Tehran, June 2009. The
tice that Iranian women sought com­ much to expect that non-violence should democracies in the global north have
plete equality under the law; and the become for everyone, as it did for Gan­ long thought that it is their prerogative
“ Stop Stoning Forever”campaign has dhi, the very law of our existence, an un­ to lead the way; but, if there is at all a
sought alterations to Iran’s Islamic Penal impeachable and incontrovertible guide grave inference to be drawn from the
Code, the greatest burden of which has, to everyday conduct; nor would it rea­ movement in Iran documented and dis­
not surprisingly, fallen upon women. sonable to suppose that everyone should sected in The People Reloaded, it may be
If the 1979 revolution imposed con­ accede to Gandhi’ s firmly held belief that the vanguard of resistance to op­
straints on women, it also emboldened that to hold to the law of non-violence pression will be found in all those places
those who came from traditional fami­ entails the transformation of one’ s whole where it has been least expected. For
lies and who were reluctant to enter life such that one might live it with the this reason, if for none other, Iran’ s
higher education in the days of the Shah full awareness of ecological plurality Green Movement augurs a new phase in
to step into the public sphere once the and attentiveness to every little detail. the global politics of resistance.
revolution mandated segregation by Nevertheless, one has the feeling that
sexes. This may partly explain why, even the characterisation of the “ Green Move­ Vinay Lai Cvlal@history.ucla.edu ) is at the
if a little more than 12% of Iran’ s labour ment”as Gandhian has received insuffi­ University o f California, Los Angeles,
force is comprised of women (p 38), cient critical analysis, just as on occasion the United States.

Economic & Political weekly 13353 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i NO 12 37

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Environment, Technology and Developm ent:
Critical and Subversive Essays
Essays from the Econom ic and Political Weekly
Edited By
MOHANO'SOUZA
R ohan D 'S ouza
j Environment, Technology

at SubvwtwEw*v» j Many political battles, policy initiatives, academic debates and our understanding of the world in general
have been shaped by the ideas that have developed around the concepts of environment, technology
and development.

How do these concepts influence each other? How have they subverted established ideas and dogmas?
How have they developed over time and what are its varied meaning? This volume brings together
writings across disciplines, perspectives and ideologies that answer these questions, map the main
conceptual lines and identify the points where they converge and diverge.

The articles have appeared over the past four decades in the Economic and Political Weekly.
Pp x + 394 Rs 495 The introduction provides a brief chronological overview of the theoretical underpinnings that led to the
ISBN 978-81-250-4506-9 emergence of the current notion of environmental development.The chapters are selected and arranged
2012
in a non-linear manner that allows the reader to get a sense of the wide-ranging debates.

The essays see the progress of technology in its political context and in relation to the social and environmental consequences it
engenders. They show how technology is meshed with politics as is environment with development, and how agriculture is woven
with ecology.The transfer of resources from the marginalised to the empowered groups and the crucial issue of spatial politics where
space is constituted, assembled and forged by the economically powerful are also discussed. This volume will provoke, educate,
stimulate and inform the lay reader and specialist alike.

Authors include
T R Thankappan Achari • Manshi Asher • P A Azeez • Jayanta Bandyopadhyay • Charul Bharwada • Philippe Cullet • Mahasveta Devi
• Sumita Gupta Gangopadhyay • Hiren Gohain • Rahul Gupta • Barbara Harriss-White • L C Jain • Annu Jalais • Ashwin Kumar • John
Kurien • Vinay Mahajan • Arjun M akhijani • Dinesh Mohan • D ipti M ukherji • Chandrika Parmar • K Krishna Prasad
• P P Nikhil Raj • M V Ramana • C H Hanumantha Rao • Amulya Kumar N Reddy • Sunali Rohra • Vandana Shiva • Nigel Singh
• Sudha Srivastava • Geetam Tiwari • G Vijay • Gregor Meerganz von Medeazza • Shiv Visvanathan • Arundhuti Roy Choudhury.

Readings on the Economy, Polity and Society


This series is being published as part of a University Grants Commission project to promote teaching and
research in the social sciences in India.The project (2010-12) is being jointly executed by the Tata Institute
of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and the Economic and Political W e e k ly .Ih e series is meant to int
students and research scholars to important research that has been published in EPW in specific areas.

Also published
Economic Reforms and Growth in India ed. P B a lakrish n an
T his v o lu m e in v e s tig a te s th e n a tu re o f e c o n o m ic g r o w th in In d ia , its pace o v e r tim e ,
its re la tio n s h ip to ch a n g e s in th e p o lic y re g im e a n d th e ro le o f th e e x te rn a l secto r. T he
c o lle c tio n c o m p rise s pa p e rs p u b lis h e d in th e E conom ic a n d P o litic a l W eekly b e tw e e n th e
la te 1990s an d 2008.
It is an im p o r ta n t a d d itio n to th e lite ra tu re o n p o s t-lib e ra lis a tio n e c o n o m ic g r o w th in
Pp xiv + 454 Rs 445
Ind ia. It w ill be u se fu l to s tu d e n ts a n d scho la rs o f e c o n o m ic s an d m a n a g e m e n t.
ISBN 978-81-250-4271-6
Forthcoming titles 2011
Village Society, ed. S u rin d e r S Jodhka • Decentralisation and Local Government, ed. T R a g h u n a n d a n
Adivasis and Rights to Forests, ed. In d ra M u n sh i • Gender and Employment, ed. P a d m in i S w a m in a th a n and more

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38 MARCH 24, 2012 VOL XLVII NO 12 E con om ic & P olitical weekly

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PERSPECTIVES

Tertiary Healthcare within are difficult to sustain in times of eco­


nomic distress.

a Universal System In India, the situation is the reverse.


Planning has focused on providing pri­
mary healthcare, immunisation, maternal
Some Reflections and child healthcare and family planning
at the expense of hospital-based care.
The provision of government-funded,
A N A N D Z A C H A R I A H ____________________________ hospital-based care at the taluk, district
and medical college levels in the country
Tertiary care plays an important ertiary care is a key aspect in pro­ has developed in a skeletal manner.
role in determining the structure
of the healthcare system and
universal access to it. Breaking
T viding universal access to health­
care in the 21st century. Though it
may be required only in 1% of cases in a
With the liberalisation of the economy
after the 1980s, there has been a prolif­
eration of private tertiary care institu­
functioning health system, it plays an tions, first in big cities and then in smaller
away from western-oriented important role in determining the struc­ towns. So private tertiary care has not
tertiary care medical knowledge, ture of the healthcare system as a whole. only developed with the active support
Tertiary care supports primary and sec­ of the government (provision of land, tax
a number of issues have to be
ondary care, and it is therefore neces­ concessions, and so on) but also because
rethought to define tertiary care sary for effective care at the level of pri­ of the lack of government investment in
in the Indian setting that can be mary health centres (phcs) and commu­ hospital-based care. Private hospitals
provided by the existing system. nity health centres (chcs). The high cost have transplanted the western mode of
in most health systems is due to the ex­ tertiary care to India, focusing on dis­
Providing tertiary care with
penses involved in tertiary care. Tertiary eases, investigations and treatments that
district health services will care is the setting within which medical enhance profitability. This is one of the
mutually reinforce both and education and research take place. While reasons for the catastrophic costs and
provide healthcare that is primary and secondary care in the public debts that result when patients access
health system in India is inadequate, hospital-based care in the private sector.
affordable and appropriate to
public-funded tertiary care is even more Any move to address the problem of
local conditions.I insufficient. For all these reasons, it is universal access to healthcare has to con­
important to consider the issue of terti­ front the issue of providing tertiary care
ary care when discussing the concept of to all citizens. Is there another mode of
universal access to healthcare. imagining tertiary care for India? How
Tertiary care developed in western will it pull away from the current system
healthcare systems after 1940 with large of market-oriented tertiary care? What
hospitals, technology-oriented investiga­ would be its characteristics? How would
tions and expensive treatment. In the it be provisioned within the existing
uk, it was the government’ s intent to health system? In this article, I attempt
I am grateful to R Srivatsan for his com m ents. provide universal access to healthcare to answer the following questions:
The con ceptual backgroun d on the n eed for and the budgetary support for this •How does one define tertiary care in
reorientation o f tertiary care and m edical
through the Beveridge plan that made it the Indian setting?
education origin ates from Towards a Critical
Medical Practice, Reflections on the Dilemmas of
possible. In western health systems, ter­ •How can tertiary care be provided by
Medical Culture, edited by A nand Zachariah, tiary care developed for diseases com­ the existing health system in India?
R Srivatsan and Susie Tharu, mon to those regions, using tests and •What are the implications of universal
O rient BlackSwan, 2010. treatments that were affordable to them. access to healthcare for medical education?
A presentation b ased on this paper w as m ade
Even so, this has resulted in escalating •What are the limitations of health plan­
at the M edico Friend C ircle 39th A nnual M eet
on “
E xploring R oadm ap for Health Care for
health expenditures in developed coun­ ning processes in relation to tertiary care?
All/Universal A ccess to H ealthcare in India” tries, consuming up to 8% to 10% of
on 6-8 January 2012 at Wardha. their health budgets, making it almost Defining Tertiary Care
Anand Zachariah (Zachariah@cmcvellore.ac.in) unaffordable to many. Recent develop­ An important point to understand is that
is professor o f m edicin e at Christian M edical ments in the u k and the us show that tertiary care medical knowledge under­
College, Vellore. He w as a m em ber o f the there is a crunch in funding, implying girds the edifice of the western medical
Planning C om m ission ’
s W orking Group on that the mode of provisioning health­ system. Today, all medical knowledge,
Tertiary Care Institutions.
care has resulted in expenditures that evidence-based guidelines and primary

E con om ic & P olitical weekly fSSQ m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 39

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PERSPECTIVES

and tertiary care management protocols of India ( m c i ) guidelines for medical col­ However, such a reorientation could
are based on this format of tertiary care leges is that the latter are planned on the face hurdles. For instance, with legisla­
knowledge. This knowledge format has basis of educational requirements. The tion on blood banks to ensure quality,
spread to all countries, including India, tertiary services shown in Appendix I many o f them in rural hospitals have
and examples of this are the scans, testing should be available in medical colleges closed down because they cannot meet
facilities, angiograms and endoscopies now but are now available only in private hos­ the standards regarding space or afford
used. This presents a difficulty for redefin­ pitals. These services should no longer be air-conditioned rooms and personnel.
ing tertiary care in the Indian setting. available only in specialist centres or su­ This has led to a lack o f access to
To define tertiary care in India, we perspeciality hospitals, but be accessible blood transfusion in rural areas for life-
need to define the common public health at the point of need in district medical col­ threatening conditions. Similarly, stand­
conditions in the country that require leges. So it is suggested that medical col­ ards for ultrasound machines require
outpatient care and hospital care, inclu­ leges be located at the district level and radiologists to operate them, making it
ding emergency conditions. Emergency they be planned on the basis of the terti­ difficult to carry out ultrasound scans in
conditions (for example, head traumas, ary care requirements of each district. rural areas. The cheap mosquito mesh
strokes, heart attacks, organophosphate In defining tertiary care, we need to is a very effective implant material for
poisoning and neonatal emergencies) and consider not only prevalence and cost- hernia repair compared to commercial
chronic conditions (for example, cancer effectiveness, but also appropriateness. mesh. But surgical departments in
treatment, palliative care and stroke reha­ Some treatments may be appropriate in medical colleges are reluctant to imple­
bilitation) require provisioning of tertiary a western setting, but may be inappro­ ment such a non-western solution. Re­
care at the district level or within the priate for Indian patients. For example, definition may also face pressures from
extent of a district. These services, parti­ coronary artery disease, a common public professional bodies, regulatory agen­
cularly for emergency conditions, should health condition, requires angioplasty, cies, corporate hospitals and pharma­
be available to the public as close to their stent placement and coronary artery ceutical companies.
place of residence as possible. bypass graft (c a b g ) surgery according
Therefore, one, the definition of terti­ to standard treatment guidelines. How­ Providing Tertiary Care
ary care should focus on public health ever, these interventions may be inap­ Ideally, tertiary care should be well inte­
conditions requiring this; and, two, on propriate in the Indian setting because of grated within a functioning health sys­
tests and treatments that are cost effec­ cost and the lack of centres and trained tem. Most conditions would be taken
tive and can be provided to everyone at cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons care of at the primary and secondary
different levels of the health system to perform these procedures. Since most levels. Patients would be referred to
(p h c s , c h c s and medical colleges). Such of these treatments evolved in western tertiary care when required and referred
a redefinition requires data on the epide­ settings, the research base to evolve evi­ back to the primary and secondary
miological prevalence of different dis­ dence and management guidelines for levels after completing their tertiary
eases at the community level in different the Indian setting does not exist. There­ ca r e trea tm en t.
districts, states and regions, and current fore we need research into the manage­ However, in India, tertiary care is not
and future projections. It also needs ment of conditions common to our set­ well integrated with the functioning
cost-effectiveness data on different ting. We need innovations that address health system. The health system func­
tests, treatments and technology inter­ the issues of cost and appropriateness. tions up to the district hospital level
ventions. Such data is not currently Examples such as the Jaipur foot, the (p h c s , c h c s , taluk hospitals and district

available. It is important that the gov­ Aravind eye care system, the Sri Chitra hospitals). Set apart from this chain,
ernment institute a technical group to valve, acute respiratory infection (a r i ) medical colleges function as standalone
define the parameters for tertiary care protocols for children and oral rehydra­ entities under the department of medi­
in India. The example of the National tion solutions/salts (o r s ) for dehydra­ cal education. Public-funded tertiary
Institute for Health and Clinical Excel­ tion are treatments that turn conven­ care varies in availability, depending on
lence (n i c e ) 1 in the u k is one such tional tertiary care wisdom on its head. whether a medical college exists in a
approach to the problem. They provide new management para­ region. While government medical col­
In this article, I attempt to outline the digms appropriate for our own setting. leges are supposed to provide tertiary
scope of tertiary care in the Indian setting. To define such a knowledge base, we care, they may often not have the infra­
Tertiary care services that should be pro­ need to reset research agendas and in­ structure, resources and staff to do so.
vided at the medical college level in a volve medical colleges, private practi­ This means that they effectively func­
district is given in Appendix i (pp 44-45). tioners and p h c doctors in research in tion at the secondary level. The follow­
This is based on the common diseases the community. There is the need to ing is necessary to ensure that tertiary
that occur in districts and the require­ reconceptualise “ evidence”and “ quality” care can be provided by the existing
ments of tertiary care in them. The differ­ in more real settings, taking into account health system.
ence between these suggestions in the not only short-term but also long-term •Medical colleges should be responsible
appendix and the current Medical Council effects in various aspects. for healthcare provisioning in a given
40 m arch 24. 2012 v o l x l v ii NO 12 QSSx Economic & Political WEEKLY

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PERSPECTIVES

geographical area (one district or a set of and so on) and the setting up of family Therefore, strengthening the district
districts), providing tertiary care services medicine departments in every medical health system also requires selecting
in liaison with district health services. college to train multi-competent general students from the local area, orienting
•District hospitals must be strength­ practitioners (g p s ). training to the needs of the district, sup­
ened to provide effective secondary- porting doctors working in the area on a
level care. District Hospitals for long-term basis and providing them with
•Medical colleges must be strengthened Secondary Care suitable incentives.
to provide tertiary care for each district. If good tertiary care is to be provided at
It is suggested that there be one medi­ the district level, district hospitals have Medical Colleges for
cal college for every district or for every to be strengthened to provide high-end Tertiary Care
two to four districts, depending on pop­ secondary care while they are seamlessly In planning and regulatory terms, medi­
ulation, geographic area and the exist­ linked to the medical college in the area. cal colleges are defined as educational
ing availability of hospital-based servic­ Many specialist conditions can be effec­ institutions, not as service institutions.
es. The medical college should support tively managed at the district level, Hence the standards that define them
secondary and primary level services reducing the need for referrals. This and their planning requirements are
through referrals and training. The dis­ requires a good referral linkage with the based on the needs of education (infra­
trict health system will, in turn, offer the medical college, which can support the structure, staffing and patient care
medical college an opportunity to ex­ district hospital in a referral continuum. facilities). If medical colleges are to pro­
pand its training base. Undergraduate Medical colleges could support district- vide tertiary care services for a district,
and postgraduate students could be level care through telephones and tele­ it is necessary to define their standards
trained not only in the medical college, medicine, consultant visits and special­ of care and services based on the
but also at the district hospital, taluk ist clinics. They could also be involved in requirements of each district.
hospital and p h c . This arrangement training district hospital staff in specialist There are several specialist services
would solve the problem of economic vi­ care. Ambulance services and electronic that medical colleges at the district level
ability of tertiary care at the district transfer of patient information can bol­ will have to provide but they may not
town level. Normally the problem of pro­ ster the referral linkage. be required for undergraduate medical
viding such medical care in rural areas Tamil Nadu’ s health system project education. For example, general medicine
is that patient catchment is low. If the has shown that obstetrics and neonatal services should be upgraded in the areas
district tertiary care centre is also a care can be upgraded through a health of cardiology (echocardiogram, cardiac
training establishment, the patient base systems approach, with improvements catheterisation and pacing), nephrology
need not be economically rewarding in in infrastructure, staffing, training, guide­ (haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis),
itself. This change would require that lines and health system management. gastroenterology (upper and lower gas­
medical colleges be conceived as part of In many parts of the country, maternal trointestinal endoscopy) and critical
the referral system of government health and neonatal services have improved care (ventilators and monitoring equip­
services. The functioning of this referral through similar approaches. With simi­ ment). General surgery services should
system would require referral guidelines, lar attention, improvements could occur be upgraded in urology, neurosurgery
training, referral linkages, the transfer of in medical, surgical and emergency and oncological surgery. This may
patient information and mechanisms for care, chronic disease care, cancer detec­ require specific skills training for general
ensuring quality and accountability. tion and prevention, rehabilitation, specialty faculty (endoscopy or echocar­
When medical colleges are responsi­ mental healthcare and palliative care. diography) and the employment of
ble for a functioning health system, the Appendix n (p 45) has details on how superspecialists in specific areas (for ex­
priorities for medical education will the secondary level at the district level ample, neurosurgery, cardiology or urol­
need to change. Specialists now domi­ can be strengthened in specific areas. ogy). Radiotherapy, palliative care and
nate the m c i board and postgraduate What are the difficulties of doing this rehabilitation departments should be
boards, which means there is undue in district hospitals? To begin with, it is established in each medical college. In
emphasis on specialist courses. Integra­ difficult to get doctors to stay in the dis­ some cases, a specialist service (for ex­
tion of medical colleges with the health tricts. Medical students usually come ample, cardiology, neurosurgery or uro­
system will require a reorientation of from cities and more elite backgrounds. logy) could provide for the needs of two
medical training. It will have to change There is a social expectation that a med­ or three districts. Infrastructure deve­
from a medical education system based ical graduate will specialise, go abroad lopment and technology upgradation for
on western requirements to one that will for further studies and do well financially. the provision of tertiary care services in
meet the human resource requirements Working in districts does not fulfil these each medical college is necessary to fa­
of the health system. This may require expectations. Doctors working in dis­ cilitate the development of specialist
an expansion of paramedical training tricts find it difficult to look after the services. Appendix 1 provides details of
(village health nurses, nurse practition­ schooling needs of their children and the nature and requirements of such
ers, physician assistants, paramedics. feel socially and academically isolated. services in a medical college.

Economic & Political w e e k ly 039 m a r c h 24 , 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 41

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PERSPECTIVES
In each of these areas, the medical set of districts and have formal linkages already exists. What would be the pro­
college would provide tertiary care serv­ to the district hospital, taluk hospitals or blems in trying to implement these
ices for the district. The medical college community hospitals to support clinical administrative proposals?
would also support the services at the service and training. There are many practical difficulties.
district and sub-district levels through (b) Postgraduate and undergraduate The government administration consists
telephone and telemedicine consultation students will receive training not only in of a state health service (in charge of
and training for district-level staff, there­ the medical college, but also at the district district hospitals, c h c s and taluk hospi­
by strengthening the referral linkage. and taluk hospitals and p h c s with the tals), the department of medical educa­
Hence the planning requirements of the involvement of medical teachers in train­ tion (in charge of medical colleges) and
medical college should keep in mind the ing and service at these different levels. the department of public health (in
health service requirements of the dis­ (c) Each medical college should have a charge of p h c s ), each with its own
trict. For providing universal access to family medicine department with clini­ centralised administration. The proposals
healthcare, the government may have to cal services at the medical college and envisage better linkages between these
contract such services from private sector district hospital, and run postgraduate different departments, but bureaucratic
hospitals if there is no medical college or courses in family medicine. difficulties between departments may
if the medical college does not have the (d) Preference should be given to stu­ make them difficult to implement.
facilities to provide the services. dents from the local area, who are moti­ The imperatives and difficulties at
How would these services be different vated to work on a long term to meet each level are different. The focus of
from tertiary care services that are cur­ local needs. medical colleges is not on improving
rently provided in private hospitals? The (e) Graduates should be required to pro­ health services in the district but on
structure of many of these services in vide compulsory service at the district or training medical students and taking
private hospitals today is driven by the taluk hospital, thereby supporting the care of the patients who come to them.
profit motive, which results in high local health service system. Government medical colleges are over­
costs. However, many of these services - (f) Each medical college should focus its loaded and underprovided (lack of
for example, echocardiogram, dialysis research agenda on identifying and equipment, drugs, staff and teachers)
or endoscopy - are today no longer so answering priority health issues and and hence work under trying conditions.
esoteric as to be not found in apex refer­ questions and strengthening services in State governments are unwilling to invest
ral centres. Work in the non-governmen­ the district. in the infrastructure required for good
tal sector shows that when a sufficient On the surface, these recommenda­ medical colleges. So medical colleges
number of these services are efficiently tions read very much like the Bhore would hardly be keen to take on the re­
provided, economies of scale reduce Committee report and for that very rea­ sponsibility of improving health services
cost. These examples show that it is son seem utopian. However, unlike the in the districts. Teachers are transferred
possible to provide tertiary care in a cost Bhore report, the proposals here are from one college to another and often
effective and accessible manner. We about upgrading and reorienting what posted in departments different from
hold that it is possible to reinvent terti­
ary care so that it can be provided in dis­ CENTRE FOR IC&SR, IIT MADRAS, CHENNAI 600036
trict medical colleges, using resources
judiciously and efficiently. Invites applications for the post of:

Implications o f Universal Access A. Project Associates [PAS] to assist research in:


for Medical Education
1. History of Medical Institutions, Technologies, Diagnosis and Cures
The concept of universal access to health­ in Colonial South India
care has many implications for medical
education. It primarily raises the issue of 2. Bio-medical ethics in the Indian context
the social accountability of medical educa­
tion. If healthcare is a social good that Post Graduates or professional UG degree-holders in related disciplines
may apply.
should be provided to every citizen and
medical colleges are involved in the task of The position offers a monthly emolument of Rs. 18,000 to 20,000/-
making sure that this happens, questions
need to be asked about the social account­ The PA may also be able to join the Ph.D programme of the department
ability of medical education. How can
B. Post-Doctoral Fellows to conduct research in areas related to the above.
medical colleges incorporate the principle
of social accountability to ensure that uni­ The position offers a monthly emolument of Rs. 40,000 for one year.
versal access to healthcare takes place?
(a) Each medical college should be respon­ For further details visit: http://www.hss.iitm.ac.in/wipmitepsi
sible for the healthcare of a district or a
42 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 I33H Economic & Political WEEKLY

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PERSPECTIVES

their original specialty. Specialists are scheme, funds were allotted to set up six training activities enable the develop­
posted in towns where they cannot prac­ institutions on the model of the All-In­ ment of health manpower for a region?
tise their specialty. Professors in state dia Institute of Medical Sciences (a i i m s ). How will they answer pertinent research
medical colleges are underpaid in com­ However, at the end of the Eleventh questions for a region?
parison to the central University Grants Five-Year Plan (2007-2012), all these
Commission (u g c ) pay scales. Therefore institutions are yet to be functional, Public-Private Partnerships: A govern­
medical college teachers are for the most chiefly because of delays in implementa­ ment problem is that it does not have the
part interested in facilitating their private tion. The evaluation of implementation budgetary resources for public-funded
practice. Patients are often taken care of is in terms of budgets spent and output healthcare. Therefore public-private part­
by postgraduates and medical officers (for example, x number of medical col­ nerships (p p p ) are seen as a way of infus­
and the commitment to good patient leges upgraded). But there is little data ing funds into the system and meeting
care is variable. on the outcomes in relation to quality of budgetary deficits. Supporting the pri­
District hospitals and c h c s are even services or quality of medical education vate health sector is also seen as an im­
weaker in infrastructure, staffing and in these institutions. portant way of ensuring that the eco­
supplies. The issue of private practice ap­ nomic growth rate remains high, p p p is
plies to these levels as well. So even if we Centre vs State: Medical colleges and conceptualised as a management pro­
were to establish medical colleges in every the health infrastructure in districts are blem. If there is mutual equality bet­
district, would health services improve? under the state government. Therefore ween partners, mutual commitments
District hospitals are now being convert­ improvements in infrastructure, staffing and mutual benefits, the profit orienta­
ed into medical colleges, depriving dis­ and linkages can only be brought about tion of private players can be addressed.
tricts of functioning district hospitals, by the state government. The central If the conditior s are good and the part­
which are often moved to more remote government can allocate funds to the nership is well managed, the p p p will
areas. Teachers commute from big cities state governments to upgrade services, work. But here the problem of the profit
every day to mark their attendance in staffing and infrastructure but it has no orientation of the private sector, the
rural medical colleges. Would private control over implementation or the qual­ need of social commitment to provide
hospitals be keen to provide tertiary care ity of services and medical education universal access to healthcare and the
services to people from the districts? provided in state medical colleges. importance of regulating private players
They would be interested in doing this if is glossed over. The government plays a
they can earn profits rather than because Accountability: There are different lev­ benevolent and passive role towards the
they want to improve healthcare, as has els of lack of accountability in the plan­ private sector. For example, in the Aaro­
happened with the Aarogyasri scheme. ning process. First, planning groups may gyasri programme, private corporate
As the examples of Andhra Pradesh (Aaro­ have experts, but end users are not hospitals, in collaboration with insur­
gyasri), Tamil Nadu (Kalaignar scheme) represented in them. Second, public ance agencies, determine which high
or Gujarat (Chiranjeevi scheme) have accountability does not enter the process technology procedure is offered to a pa­
shown, public-private partnerships im­ in which the Planning Commission tient. In this relationship, the equality is
prove access to private services, but makes plans and the government imple­ between the medical provider and the
without necessarily strengthening public ments these plans. How does the public insurance agency supported by the gov­
health services. give its views on a new a i i m s , a new ernment, and the patient has little say in
medical college or a new district hospi­ what treatment he or she should receive.
Planning Processes tal? What would be the processes to
There are several limitadons in the plan­ ensure accountability to the local people? Research Issues: The problem of re­
ning process and its ability to tackle search is seen as one of setting up
actual issues on the ground. These include Focus on AIIMS-like Institutes: Cen­ national-level research institutes in pri­
the following: tral planning has little control over state ority areas such as cardiovascular dis­
healthcare institutions. Therefore the eases or diabetes. What questions will
Delink betw een Planning and Imple­ focus of central planning is on centrally- these research institutes answer? How
mentation: The Planning Commission funded institutions, or AiiMS-like insti-, will the availability of these research in­
makes plans and advises the govern­ tutions. The premise is that the presence stitutes make a difference to the man­
ment on allocation of funds to ensure of AiiMS-like institutions will improve agement of these health problems in the
implementation. However, the Planning the availability of tertiary care services country? What about the research that
Commission has no control over the im­ in disadvantaged regions where they are needs to be done in every medical col­
plementation of different schemes. For located. Questions that are not an­ lege to answer local questions? A useful
example, the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya swered include the following. What ex­ research programme for the Planning
Suraksha Yojana (p m s s y ) was started actly is the role of AiiMS-like institu­ Commission would be setting up experi­
in 2006 to address imbalances in the tions? How will they improve healthcare mental models across the country (for
availability of tertiary care. Under this provision in a region? How will their example, on the linkage of medical

Economic & Political w e e k ly K33H m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 43

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PERSPECTIVES

colleges to district healthcare systems) hospitals and improving linkages be­ 2 Nephrology
to see what works and what does not. tween them and medical colleges can Each district m edica l colleg e should have facili­
ties for haem odialysis or peritoneal dialysis
serve to support a functioning health
w ith a trained n eph rologist or an m d in general
Lack o f Sufficient Data and Difficulty system within which tertiary care can m edicin e w ith training in dialysis.
o f Planning: There is a lack of adequate be provided. The use of a functioning
information to facilitate the planning district health system for both teaching 3 Respiratory Medicine
process of gargantuan proportions that and services can make it economically Every district medical college should have facilities
for pulmonary function tests and bronchoscopy.
the country needs. For instance, what viable and fulfil the twin goals of pro­
are the common public health diseases viding universal access to healthcare 4 Neurosurgery
in different parts of the country? What is and training doctors and health pro­ Every district m edica l colleg e should have fa­
the current availability of tertiary care fessionals in the practice of medicine cilities to m anage head injury w ith trained neu­
services in different medical colleges appropriate to India. rosu rgeon w h o can drain subdural haem atom a
w ith burr hole, p erform shunt su rgery for hy­
and in different specialties? The Planning
droceph alus and b asic n eurosurgical work.
Commission envisages only one solution N OTE

for the whole country though the require­ i The National Institute for Health and Clinical 5 Urology
Excellence (NICE) was set up in 1999 to reduce
ments of each state are different. Every few districts shou ld have a u rologist w h o
variation in the availability and quality of
can perform surgery cy stoscop ic and o p e n sur­
National Health Service (NHS) treatments and
Conclusions care. Its guidelines help resolve uncertainty ge ry for stone rem oval, transurethral resection
about which medicines, treatments, proce­ o f the prostate (t u rp ) and other basic u rologi­
It has been argued in this paper that the dures and devices represent the best quality cal procedures.
problem with providing tertiary care is a care and which offer the best value for money
in the NHS. Every NICE guideline and quality
systemic one related to the western-ori­ 6 Radiotherapy
standard has been developed by an independ­
ented structure of medical knowledge, ent committee of experts, including clinicians, For every few districts, on e m ed ica l colleg e
patients, carers and health economists. shou ld have facilities for linear accelerator/
the market-driven mode of private terti­
Cobalt unit for head and neck, breast and cervical
ary care that has evolved in India and
Appendix I cancers w ith m d in radiotherapy, su rgeon s w h o
the lack of development of public cura­ District Medical College - Development and can perform cancer surgery, radiation physi­
tive services. Despite the structural na­ Requirements for SpecialityCare cists and nurse educators.
ture of the problem, it is possible to re- The requirem ents for speciality care in a dis­
trict m edical colleg e are b ased on an under­ 7 Palliative Care
envisage and redistribute it so that small
stan ding o f serv ices that are n e ed e d to take Each district m edica l colleg e sh ou ld have d o c ­
but concerted changes will result in im­ tors, socia l workers, nurses and auxiliary nurse
care o f a m ajority o f tertiary care problem s in a
provements in healthcare provision. district. Th ese are services that shou ld b e p ro­ m idw ives w ith experience in palliative care w h o
Our suggestion is that we redefine v ided m ost physicians w ou ld agree, to all pa ­ can administer morphine. Each m edica l colleg e
what tertiary care is in relation to tients w ith a particular disease. T h ese are dif­ should have stock o f oral m orphine.
ferent from the m ci gu id elin es for m edica l col­
common diseases and identify the cost-
leges, w hich are b ased on the requirem ents o f 8 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
effective and feasible treatments that undergraduate and postgradu ate training. In Each district m edica l c o lle g e shou ld have an
can be provided to all citizens of the this case, the su ggested planning requirem ents m d in physical m edicin e and rehabilitation
country. In other words, work out what o f a m edical colleg e are based on the health w ith physiotherapist, occu pa tion a l therapist,
an appropriate tertiary care strategy for services to b e provided in a geogra ph ica l area. sp ee ch therapist and socia l w orkers w h o are
M any o f the su ggested services (for example, e q u ip p ed to m an age spinal cord and head
India would be. The problem of cost
cardiac care, dialysis facilities, neurosurgery, injury, strokes and other locom otor disorders.
does not necessarily have to do with the pm r and neonatal intensive care units (icus)
actual cost of technology or a drug but m ay not be available in specialist centres in the 9 Critical Care or ICU
with the market cost that yields maxi­ govern m ent health system but are com m on ly Each district m edical college should have a well-
mum profit. We argue that it is possible available in private hospitals in sm all tow ns equ ipped ic u w ith a trained m d physician or
and cities. It is su ggested that district m edical anaesthetist w ith infusion pum ps, ventilators,
to provide tertiary care at an affordable
colleg es dev elop the capability to provide m any invasive m onitoring and ic u technicians/respi-
cost, working with economies of scale ratory therapists.
o f the m uch-needed specialist serv ices that are
and a common sense approach to treat­ currently prov ided by private hospitals.
ments that can effectively be provided
across the health system. 1 Cardiology
Every district m edical colleg e should have fa­
Economic&PoliticalwEEKLY
We suggest that tertiary care be pro­
cilities for treadm ill test and ech ocardiology. It available at
vided in a non-market mode through should b e able to m an age patients w ith m y o­
medical colleges servicing a district pop­ cardial infarction and other cardiac em ergen ­ Life Book House
ulation and supporting a district health cies. It should have a ca rdiologist or an m d phy­
Shop No 7, Masjid Betul
system. Today, the district hospital is the sician w ith training in cardiology. O ne m edical
Mukarram Subji Mandi Road
colleg e for every few districts should have
apex referral hospital in the health sys­ Bhopal 462 001
facilities for interventional p rocedu res (such as
tem and medical colleges are primarily stent placem ent and b a lloon valvotomy) and
Madhya Pradesh
engaged in training, in isolation from th oracic surgery w ith a trained card iologist Ph: 2740705
the health system. Upgrading district and thoracic surgeon.

44 m arch 24, 2012 VOL XLVii n o 12 D 3S3 Economic & Political weekly

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PERSPECTIVES

10 Neonatology colleges b y strengthening district hospitals. orthopaedics) and inclu de sp ee ch therapists,


Each district m edical college should have a n eo­ M edical colleges, in turn, can support the up- occu p a tion a l therapists, physiotherapists and
natal ic u w ith facilities to handle critically sick gradation and provision o f services at district so c ia l workers. The facility sh ou ld have suffi­
neon ates w ith appropriately trained paediatri­ hospitals. Similarly, m edical colleges can use cient space for therapy, b a sic physical and o c ­
cians and nurses. the district hospital for training undergraduate cupational therapy equipm en t and a p rosth etic
and postgraduate students in general special­ and orth otic set-up. It shou ld a lso have inpa­
u Gastroenterology ties and fam ily medicine. Better linkages b e ­ tient facilities. The centre sh ou ld b e involved
Each district m edical colleg e should have a g a s­ tw een m edical colleg es and district hospitals in training c h c , phc sta ff and v illa ge health
troen terologist or m d physician w ith training through telephones, video-conferencing, shar­ w orkers and in id en tify in g disabilities and p r o ­
in e n d osco p y w ith facilities for gastroscopy, in g electron ic m edical records and am bulance v idin g solution s th rough lo c a l resources. It
colon oscop y and en d osco p ic interventions. services can result in a better functioning shou ld b e lin ked to loca l com m u n ities to p r o ­
health system. v id e com m unity-based rehabilitation services.
12 Neurology
Each district m edica l colleg e should have a 1 Emergency Obstetrics and Neonatal 5 Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and
n eu rologist or an m d physican w ith training in Services Palliative Care
n eu rology w ith facilities for eeg (electroen­ O bstetric care: Every district hospital should District hospitals should offer can cer preven­
cephalogram ) and em g (electromyogram). have facilities to d o instrum ental deliveries and tion and early d etection services, e sp ecia lly o f
caesarean sections, in addition to prov idin g an­ tobacco-related cancers (head and neck,
13 Clinical Pathology and Blood Bank aesthetic support and b lood bank services. lungs), carcin om a cervix and breast cancer.
Each district m edical colleg e should have facili­ N eonatal care: Each m edical colleg e should The early detection serv ices should include pap
ties for p erform in g standard clin ical pa th ology establish a neonatal care unit. It should have smears, colposcopy, self-breast exam inations
tests in cluding b on e m arrow examination, c o ­ b asic equipm ent for resuscitation, infusion, and oral exam inations. Patients d etected to
agulation profile and screen in g for sickle cell phototherapy and th erm oregulation and a have can cer shou ld b e referred to m edical col­
disease and haem oglobinopathies. It should variety o f sophisticated equipment such as blood leges or region a l cancer centres for m an age­
have adequate b lo o d ban k in g facilities for sup­ pressure monitors, infusion pum ps and pu lse ment. Each district hospital should have the
plyin g w h ole b lo o d and b lo o d com ponents. oximeters. It should b e m anned by paediatri­ provision for palliative care w ith one d octor
cians or doctors trained in n ew born care and and tw o nurses. Th ey should b e trained to ad­
14 Clinical Biochemistry nurses w ith skills for caring for a sick new born m inister m orph ine and advise on palliative
Each district m edical college should have facili­ child (e g, intravenous catheterisation, umbilical care, in clu din g teach ing relatives o f bed ridden
ties for standard clin ical biochem istry, includ­ vein catheterisation and naso-gastric feeding). patients. O ral m orph ine should b e available at
ing horm onal assays, dru g assays, toxicologica l the district hospital. Palliative care in district
assays, can cer screening, etc. 2 Emergency Services hospitals should b e linked to non-governm en­
Each district should have a ic u w ith e le ctro­ tal organisations (n g o s ) involved in can cer and
15 Microbiology cardiogram , pulse oxim eters, infusion pumps, geriatric care and elderly self-help groups. This
Each district m edical colleg e should have facili­ m echanical ventilators and non-invasive venti­ has b ee n d on e in Kerala, w hich has a state pal­
ties for standard bacterial, fungal, m ycobacte­ lation facilities. They should have an m d in ge n ­ liative care p olicy w ith trained district-level
rial cultures, serolog ica l tests and m olecular eral m edicin e or anaethetist w ith respiratory/ staff, district hospitals stock in g m orph ine and
d iagn osis for com m on infections. critical care therapist. The district should be com m unity grou ps prov idin g palliative care
able to handle short-term ventilator therapy for supported by panchayats.
16 Clinical Virology acute reversible illnesses. It should b e able to
Each district m edical co lleg e should have facili­ m an age road traffic accidents, p oison in g and 6 Mental Health
ties for hepatitis serology, h iv serology, CD4 snake bites, acute cardiac and respiratory Each district hospital should have a m ental
tests and other standard serologica l tests for em ergencies, strokes, acute febrile illnesses health clin ic m anned b y a psychiatrist w h o can
locally prevalent viral infections. and in fectiou s disease em ergencies. m anage com m on m ental illn esses and refer
patients w h en required. The district m ental
17 Radiology 3 Chronic Disease Care health clinic shou ld b e linked to services at the
Each district medical college should have facilities District hospitals should have good-quality chc and phc levels.
for ultrasonography, Doppler studies and c t scans. services for chronic disea se care, including dia­
b etes mellitus, hypertension, coron ary artery 7 Strengthening Laboratory and Radiology
Appendix II disease, bronchial asthm a and chronic ob stru c­ Services
Requirements of Hospital-based Services ina tive pu lm onary disea se (c o p d ) . The team For district hospitals to provide all the above,
District Hospital should include doctors, nurse educators, socia l reliable district-level laboratory services and
Current efforts to strengthen district-level w orkers and a dietitian. The services should rad iology services are required. Specific
healthcare in relation to maternity and neonatal include chronic disea se prevention, screen in g strength ening and quality assurance m easures
care have show n that it is possible to provide and patient education. have to b e im plem ented.
what w as previously con sidered as tertiary care
at the district level. M uch o f this has been 4 Rehabilitation services 8 Ambulance Services
achieved through training, gu idelin es and im ­ Each district hospital should have a centre for O ne o f the significant advances in district
proved infrastructure and fu n ction in g o f the rehabilitation. W ith increasing road accidents health services in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat,
health system. It is possible to take these lesson s and v ascular accidents as w ell as an a ge in g Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
to other areas such as chronic diseases, rehabili­ population, it is n ecessa ry to prov ide rehabili­ Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal
tation, palliative care, trauma care and inten­ tation serv ices at district hospitals. D istrict Pradesh and Chhattisgarh is the availability o f
sive care. Th ese suggestion s are already part o f rehabilitation serv ices have b ee n establish ed 108 free or subsidised am bulance serv ices
the guidelin es for district hospitals but are not in Kerala. Each district h ospital sh ou ld b e across the states. This is crucial in the linkage
im plem ented because o f the lack o f infrastruc­ m an n ed by a sp ecia list in physical m edicin e betw een district hospitals and m edical colleges.
ture, person n el and expertise. It is possible to and rehabilitation (p m r ) o r a d octor w ith som e It is recom m en d ed that such services b e estab­
decrease the tertiary care load on m edical pm r experien ce (m d in m edicin e or m s in lish ed across the country.

Economic & Political weekly DEE3 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 45

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SPECIAL ARTICLE

Multinationals and M onopolies


Pharmaceutical Industry in India after TRIPS

S U D IP C H A U D H U R I

In January 2005, drug product patent protection was 1 Background


nited States (us) Senate committee (The Kefauver

U
reintroduced in India to comply w ith the agreement on
Committee) found in the 1960s that India was among
Trade Related Aspects o f Intellectual Property Rights.
the highest priced nations in the world in pharmaceu­
How are the multinational pharmaceutical companies ticals.1 In 2007, Medecins sans Frontieres, the international
responding to the new policy environment? Is India medical aid organisation operating in more than 70 countries
likely to see monopolisation o f the industry and high described India as the “ pharmacy for the developing w orld” .
One of the most important factors contributing to this re­
prices, which was the pattern before 1972 when India
markable transformation was the abolition of product patent
had product patent protection? Will the positive features protection for pharmaceuticals in 1972. After Independence,
o f the post-1972 process patent era be diluted or negated? when India wanted to develop the pharmaceutical industry,
This study finds that the m ncs have started marketing the multinational corporations (m n c s ) were invited to come to
India to help in these efforts. But before 1972 while the m n c s
new patented drugs in India at exorbitant prices
themselves were not very keen on manufacturing in India,
particularly for life-threatening diseases such as cancer. they used their patent rights to prevent Indian companies from
The manufacturing and im porting behaviour o f the m n cs manufacturing. As a result, on the one hand, the industry
since the 1990s bear a close resemblance to that before remained underdeveloped and, on the other, the monopolies
led to high prices. The abolition of product patents eliminated
the 1970s. Imports o f high-priced finished formulations
the monopoly power of the m n c s . The cost-efficient processes
are expanding rapidly w ith manufacturing developed by the indigenous sector, often in collaboration
investments lagging far behind. The m n cs are also with government laboratories, could be used for manufactur­
expanding vigorously in the generic segments and ing the latest drugs, introducing them at a fraction of inter­
national prices and dislodging the m n c s from the position of
are trying to grow not only organically but through
dominance in the domestic market. India became self-reliant
mergers & acquisitions and strategic alliance w ith in drugs. It emerged as a major player in the global pharma­
Indian generic companies. ceutical industry receiving worldwide recognition as a low-
cost producer of high quality pharmaceuticals. India supplies
medicines not only to other developing countries but also to
developed countries such as the us.2
But from 1 January 2005, drug product patent protection
has been reintroduced in India to comply with the require­
ments under the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intel­
lectual Property Rights ( tr ip s) of the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organisation (w to). H o w are
the m n c s responding to the new policy environment? As in the
pre-1972 situation, is India likely to see monopolisation of the
industry and high prices? Will the positive features of the post-
1972 experience be diluted or negated? This paper deals with
The author thanks Sunil Sriwastava and Sushanta R oy for research the behaviour of the m n c s in the post-TRIPs situation.
assistance and Amitava Guha for discussions. The paper is a con den sed
version o f a w ork in g paper o f the Indian Institute o f M anagem ent 2 Rising MNC Dominance
Calcutta (Chaudhuri 2011). A research grant from the institute is
The Indian generic companies are no longer permitted to manu­
gratefully acknow ledged.
facture new patented drugs. These can now be manufactured
Sudip Chaudhuri (sudip@ iim calac.iri) teaches eco n om ics at the Indian only by the patentees and their licencees. Thus depending on
Institute o f M anagem ent Calcutta.
the rate of introduction of the new patented drugs, the market

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share of the m n c s is expected to go up. We discuss in Section 3, in fact, remained the largest seller in the domestic formula­
the changes in the patented drug market in India. tions market till recently. But the m n c s in general maintained
But the m n c s are not interested only in patented markets. a low profile. They were hesitant to introduce their latest prod­
They are trying to grow aggressively in the generic segments ucts. Some of them continued to compete but created new lo­
as well. Traditionally, m n c s have relied for their growth on cal brands rather than use their international brands. Others
patented drugs and focused mainly on developed country stopped selling products they thought were priced too low
markets. The high monopoly prices of patented drugs yielded (Chaudhuri 2005: Chapter 4).
high returns. But recent years have witnessed a sharp fall in What is new in the post-TRIPs situation is the vigour with
the number of new drugs introduced in the market. The m n c s which the m n c s are trying to expand not only in the patented
are finding it increasingly difficult to fill the product gap as the markets, but also in the generic markets, m n c s such as Pfizer,
patents on their blockbuster drugs are expiring and they are g s k , Merck earlier opted not to introduce some of their block­

facing constraints on further profitable growth in developed buster drugs in India. These are now being introduced. Exam­
country markets. Pfizer, for example, is set to lose a $10 billion ples are azithromycin and quinapril by Pfizer, simvastatin by
a year revenue stream as the patent on its blockbuster drug Merck and carvedilol by g s k . In fact the m n c s are not hesitat­
Lipitor expires. Desperate attempts by Pfizer to find a replace­ ing to market even products developed by the other m n c s .
ment have not yielded results.3The net profit of the top 15 m n c s Pfizer, for example, is marketing telmisartan developed by
declined sharply by 20.1% in 2010 with a major setback for Boehringer Ingelheim (i d f c -s s k i 2010:16).
companies such as Merck, Bristol-Myers and GlaxoSmithKline As far as India is concerned, the most obvious reflection of
(g s k ).4 On the other hand, some developing country markets such changes in strategy is the takeover of Indian companies
are experiencing rapid growth. The seven emerging markets by m n c s and strategic alliances between m n c s and Indian
of China, Brazil, India, Russia, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey companies (Table 1). Indian companies such as Dr Reddys,
contributed to more than half of the growth of the pharma­ Aurobindo, Cadila Healthcare and Torrent have entered into
ceutical market of the world in 2009 compared to only 16% by supply agreements with m n c s such as g s k , Astrazeneca and
the developed country markets of North America, western Abbott. Dr Reddys, for example will supply about 100 branded
Europe and Japan. The figures were, respectively, 7% and 79% formulation to g s k for marketing in different emerging markets
in 2001 (Tempest 2011). Not unexpectedly, the m n c s are tar­ across Latin America, Africa, west Asia and Asia-Pacific ex­
geting the generic industry in these emerging markets as well. cluding India. Dr Reddys will get a predetermined share of the
Involvement of the m n c s in the generic market is nothing revenue earned by g s k for these products. In some markets
new in India. When product patents were abolished in India in where Dr Reddys has a presence, the formulations will be
1972, the m n c s did not stop their business in India. All the marketed jointly. Another example is the Aurobindo-Pfizer
major m n c s decided to stay back, g s k (earlier known as Glaxo), deal. Aurobindo will supply more than 100 formulations to
Table 1:M&Asand Tie-ups in Indian Pharmaceutical Industry (2006-10)
Indian Company Foreign Company Date Type Comments
Aurobindo Astrazeneca 10 September Tie-up Licensing and supply agreements fo r several solid dosage and sterile products fo r emerging
markets across anti-infectives, CVS & CNS segments
Primal Healthcare A bbott 10 May M&A A b b ott acquired the dom estic form ulation business o f Piram alfor$3.7 billion.
Cadila A b bott 10 May Tie-up A b b o tt licences 24 Cadila products in 15 high grow th em erging markets, holds option fo r more
than 40 additional products
Orchid Chemicals Alvogen 10 May Tie-up Alvogen to have m arketing rights fo r eight oral generic form ulations fo r US in the area o f CNS and
Osteoporosis. The product to be sourced exclusively from Orchid
Indoco Aspen 10 March Tie-up Generic supply deal for ophthalm ic products across 30 countries in em erging markets. Aspen w ill
have market authorisation over these products
Torrent Astrazeneca 10 March Tie-up Generic supply deal fo r 18 products across nine countries. Further fle xib ility to add more products
and new countries
Strides Pfizer lOJanuary Tie-up Generic supply o f off-patent sterile injectable and oral products. Expects supplies o f 40 o ff patent
products in oncology therapeutics
Orchid Chemicals Hospira 9 December M&A Hospira acquired generic injectable business for $400 m illion.
Shantha Biotech Sanofi-Aventis 9 July M&A Sanofi-Aventis acquired Shantha for $783 m illion
Dr Reddy's GSK 9June Tie-up GSK w ill gain exclusive access to Dr Reddy's rich and diverse p ortfo lio and future pipeline.
Dr Reddy's to m anufacture but w ill be licensed and supplied by GSK in Latin American markets
w ith the exception o f co-m arketing in certain markets
Aurobindo Pfizer 9 May Tie-up Licensing and supply agreements for several solid dosage and sterile products fo r emerging
markets. Offers rights to Pfizer fo r 55 solid and five sterile products in Latin American markets
covering anti-infective CVS & CNS
Claris Lifescience Pfizer 9 May Tie-up The deal offers Pfizer w ith marketing right fo r 15 injectables product in area o f anti-infective and
pain m g t fo r regulated markets
Ranbaxy Daiichi-Sankyo 8 June M&A Daiichi-Sankyo acquired Ranbaxy fo r $4.6 billion
DaburPharma Fresenius Kabi 8 April M&A Fresenius Kabi o f Singapore acquired Dabur for $219 m illion
M atrix Laboratories Mylan 6 August M&A The US generic company Mylan acquired Matrix for $736 m illion
Sources: SBICAP (2010); DIPP (2010).

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Pfizer for the regulated markets of us and the European Union stock exchanges have a majority foreign shareholding of more
(eu) and more than 50 products for about 70 non-us/Eu markets. than 50%. The tendency to increase the equity stake has actu­
It has been reported that apart from revenue sharing, the deal ally accelerated in the last few years (Table 2). Novartis has
involves payment of upfront licence fees by Pfizer to Aurobindo. increased foreign equity from 50.93% in 2005 to 76.42% in
These deals enable the m n c s to get access to low-cost reliable 2010, Pfizer from 40% to 70.75%, Abbott from 61.7% to 68.94%
products without undergoing the lengthy process of getting and Aventis from 50.1% to 60.4%.
regulatory approvals in different markets and without incurring Table 2: Foreign Equity in Pharmaceutical MNCs in India (2001-10,%)
any capital expenditure for setting up manufacturing plants. 2001 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
The Indian companies gain by having access to the formidable Astrazeneca Pharma India 51.5 90 90 90 90 90 90
marketing resources of the m n cs. Experience suggests that it is Novartis India 50.99 50.93 50.93 50.93 50.93 50.93 76.42
not easy to simultaneously enter into different markets on Pfizer 40 40 41.23 41.23 41.23 41.23 70.75
their own. Efforts by some Indian companies to enter and A b b o tt India 51 61.7 61.7 65.14 65.14 68.94 68.94
Aventis Pharma 50.1 50.1 50.1 50.12 50.12 50.12 60.4
expand in foreign markets with their own marketing
Fulford (India) 40 40 40 50.77 53.93 53.93 53.93
infrastructure have not always led to the desired results. The
Merck 51 51 51 51 51 51 51.8
Indian companies hope to better realise their manufacturing
W yeth 50.37 51.12 51.12 51.12 51.12 51.12 51.12
capacities and capabilities through these alliances with the GlaxoSmithKline 51 49.15 50.67 50.67 50.67 50.67 50.67
MNCS (IDFC-SSKI 2009, 2010). Source: Foreign promoters equity data from the CMIE Prowess database.
More significant than these alliances is the take over of
Indian companies by the m n cs. The share of the m n c s in the 3 Rising Imports of Finished Formulations
domestic formulations market has dramatically increased Legitimately, the abolition of product patent protection in
from less than 20% in March 2008 to 28% in December 2010, India has attracted more attention. But two other policies
with the acquisition of Ranbaxy by Daiichi Sankyo in June which helped the growth of the Indian pharmaceutical industry
2008, Dabur Pharma by Fresenius Kabi Oncology in August were f e r a and the New Drug Policy, 1978 (revised in 1986).
2008, Shantha Biotechs by Sanofi-Aventis in July 2009 and the The drug policy imposed restrictions on the f e r a companies
domestic formulations business of Piramal Healthcare by (i e, those with more than 40% foreign equity) which were
Abbott in May 2010. In March 2008, there was only one m n c not applicable to Indian companies. One of the most impor­
(gsk) among the top 10 companies in India. By December 2010 tant policies that was implemented was that the m n c s were
the number of m n cs in the top 10 went up to three (gsk, Ran­ not allowed to market formulations unless they themselves
baxy and the Abbott group). The Abbott group comprising produced the bulk drugs in specified ratios. This compelled
Abbott, Piramal Healthcare and Solvay Pharma is now the the m n c s to undertake manufacturing investments from basic
largest company in India with a market share of 6.2% ahead of stages. In fact, together with the Indian companies, the
the second largest Cipla (5.7%). Abbott was the 30th largest manufacturing activities of the m n c s too expanded after
company in the domestic formulations market in March 2008 the 1970s.6
w ith a m a rk et sh a re of only i.i% .5 But after the mid-1990s with the withdrawal of such restric­
Thus, the declining trend in the aggregate market share of tions, the m n c s started disinvesting in manufacturing opera­
the m n c s which started in the 1970s has been reversed. The tions. They have sold a number of plants which they had set up
m n c s are recovering lost ground. The post-TRIPs environment earlier under government pressure. Thanks to the develop­
and the strategy being adopted by the m n c s suggest that they ment of the bulk drugs industry in India from 1970s onwards,
are on the way to dominating the industry again. First, the most of the bulk drugs are now produced by a number of
m n c s are aggressively pursuing growth in the generic seg­ Indian producers and are available at very low competitive
ments. Second, they will enjoy monopoly power in the pat­ prices. Since it was no longer mandatory for the m n c s to manu­
ented drugs market. Third, they have the financial capacity to facture bulk drugs, they could afford to close down the plants
take over more Indian companies. If a few other major Indian previously set up and rely on cheaper supplies form Indian
companies such as Cipla (5.7% market share in 2010), Sun bulk drugs manufacturers (Chaudhuri 2005: Chapter 4).
(4 .3%), Cadila Healthcare (3-9%), Mankind (3.2%), Alkem In 1994, the investments in plant and machinery (including
(3%), Lupin (2.9%) are taken over, the m n c share will exceed computers and electrical installations) of the top nine m n c s
50% immediately. was Rs 455.51 crore, accounting for about 70% of that of the
The m n c s are not only taking over Indian companies. They top 10 Indian companies.7Thereafter as Figure 1 (p 49) shows,
are also consolidating their control over their Indian counter­ whereas plant and machinery investments by the Indian
parts. Under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973, (fe ra ) , companies increased rapidly, that o f the m n c s essentially
the pharmaceutical m n cs, which were manufacturing only stagnated. By 2010, m n c investments accounted for only 5%
formulations or bulk drugs not involving “ high technology” of the investments of Indian companies o f Rs 13,765.25 crore.
were required to reduce foreign equity to 40% or below. With These data at current prices suggest that real investments by
the abolition of f e r a as a part of economic reforms of the the m n c s have been falling in absolute terms. If we use the
1990s, not surprisingly the m n c s have increased their equity Wholesale Price Index (1993-94 series) of the broad manufac­
stakes. Currently a ll the pharmaceutical m n c s listed in Indian turing group of “ machinery and machine tools” ,8 then m n c

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Figure 1: Plant and Machinery Investments (Rs crore) anyone would be importing mature generic formulations from
these countries. In patent protected monopoly markets, costs
are not so important. In fact, costs can be a small fraction of the
high prices that can be charged. As we will discuss below, the
m n c s have started marketing high priced patented products.

The m n c s which are already operating in the country are


directly involved in such imports. Figure 3 shows how the
imports of finished products by seven major m n c s have grown
in recent years. After increasing sharply in the late 1990s,
imports stabilised a bit. It again started increasing in the
mid-20oos. The Indian companies and agents are also in­
Sources and Notes: Calculated from data from the CMIE Prowess database. volved in such imports of finished drugs, m n c s not operating
See Notes to Table 3 for the names o f the companies covered.
in India are entering into marketing alliances to sell their
investments at 1994 prices show a decline from Rs 455.51 crore products. Indian companies which act as authorised agents for
in 1994 to Rs 406.56 crore in 2009. imported formulations include Elder, usv, Emcure, Cadila
Thus, the manufacturing activities of the m n c s after eco­ Healthcare, Piramal, Ranbaxy.10
nomic liberalisation are reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s Figure 3: Imports of Finished Goods by MNCs ($ million)
when the official policy was quite liberal but the m n c s were 140--------------------------------------------
reluctant to undertake manufacturing. In fact, as in the previ­
ous period one finds that the propensity to import finished
medicines for the purposes of marketing in India has gone up.
What has attracted widespread attention is India’ s success
as a pharmaceutical exporter. What is less noticed is that in
recent years imports of formulations have been rising sharply.
0 .----------- T----------- T----------- ,----------- T----------- .----------- T----------- T----------- ,----------- T----------- 7----------- T----------- ,----------- T----------
Figure 2 shows the impressive growth of formulations exports. 1997 1998 1991 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
The same figure also shows the sharp rise in formulations Sources and Notes: (i) Calculated from CMIE Prowess database, (ii) The MNCs considered
here are Abbott, Aventis, GSK, Pfizer, Novartis, Merck and Wyeth, (iii) Data are available
imports. Exports exceed imports, but between 1995 and 2010, for each of the years 1997 to 2010 for only these seven MNCs in the CMIE database. These
imports have grown at a faster rate than exports leading to a seven companies account for about 83% o f sales o f all the 16 MNCs reported by Prowess
in 2010.
decrease in the “trade surplus”in formulations. Imports of for­
mulations have expanded from $69.5 million in 1995 to One of the ways in which patented drugs can be made more
$1,096.1 million, i e, at a compound annual rate of growth of affordable is to impose price controls. This is an important
20%. Exports have grown at 17% from $503.2 million in 1995. policy tool which countries have - none of the w t o agree­
Figure 2: India's Formulations Trade ($million) ments forbid price control. Prices of selected drugs are contro­
6,000 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- lled by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (n p p a )
under the Drugs Price Control Order (d p c o ), 1995. If the cur­
rent provisions of d p c o are to be strictly followed, n p p a cannot
ask for the details of the imported cost of drugs. In fact, an at­
tempt by n p p a to do so has failed - the concerned m n c went to
the court to prevent n p p a from asking for cost data.11n p p a is
required to accept whatever costs the importers declare. Thus
importing high priced drugs is one way of avoiding price con­
trol. It is important to change the provisions of d p c o . The
Sources and Notes: (i) Calculated from Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and
d p c o can and should be changed to find out whether the costs
Statistics (DGCI&S) trade data obtained from CMIE India Trades database, (ii) Trade figures
reported under Chapter 30 have been treated as formulations. and prices claimed by the importers are reasonable.
Further details are not available about the composition of That m n c s with huge technological resources can help host
these formulations imports. But there are reasons to believe countries to develop industries is one of the basic expectations
that much of these imports relate to high-priced products of the of the foreign direct investment policy. Technology imports, as­
m n c s for which there are no generic equivalents in the country. similation and diffusion can help build the technological base
In 2010, about 65% of these imports came from the five coun­ of a country. But this cannot happen unless manufacturing
tries - Switzerland, us, u k , Germany and France - where most activities are undertaken by the m n c s in the host country. If
of the m n c s are located. Switzerland alone accounted for a they are more interested in selling imported drugs and/or
third of these imports.9 India has demonstrated its cost com­ drugs manufactured by others in India, obviously the question
petitiveness in pharmaceutical manufacturing. As mentioned of beneficial technlogical impact does not arise. In view of the
above, a number of m n c s are entering into alliances with Indian progress of the Indian companies, India may not require
companies for supplying not only bulk drugs but also formulations foreign technology for matured products. But the new drugs
for generic markets across the globe. Thus it is unlikely that being introduced may require new technologies. If these

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products are manufactured in the country, the country may Indian generic companies are no longer permitted to manu­
gain. But if that is not happening then it is legitimate to ques­ facture and market new drugs for which patents have been
tion the role of the m n c s and ask for proper regulations to tune granted in India. But not all new drugs are patentable in India.
their activities more in line with country’ s interest. Under Article 70(3) of t r i p s , a w t o member country has no
Not only with respect to manufacturing technology. On obligation to provide patent protection for any subject matter
several other counts the performance of the m n c s compares which has fallen into the “ public domain”before the w t o
unfavourably with that of the top Indian companies (Table 3). came into being, i e, before 1 January 1995. Thus any drug
Unlike the Indian companies, the m n c s spend more in foreign product patented abroad before 1995 can continue to be manu­
exchange for imports, interest payments, royalty/technical factured and sold in India after 1995 even though these may be
fees, dividend remittances, etc, than they earn through exports under patent protection in other countries.
and other means. Whereas the foreign exchange deficit of the Drugs patented after 1 January 1995 can be classified into
m n cs has gone up from $20.52 million in 1994 to $205.05 million the following categories:
in 2019, i e, at 15% per annum, the foreign exchange surplus of (1) Those involving new chemical entities (nces) (also known
Table 3: Relative Performance of MNCs and Top Indian Companies________ as new molecular entities (nmes)), and new biological entities
1994 2004 2010 Compound Annual CARG (nbes) patented after 1995.
Rate of Growth (CARG) (2004-10) (%)
(1994-2010) (%) (2) Those involving n c e s / n b e s developed before 1995 but with
Exports ($ m illion) patents after 1995 for: (a) new formulations and compositions,
MNCs* 38.22 56.92 82.75 5 6 (b) new combinations, and (c) new chemical derivatives (salts,
Top 10 Indian cos** 167.50 1,456.64 4,006.48 22 18 esters, etc).
Exports/sales (%) According to Article 27(1) of t r i p s , patents are required to
MNCs 4.73 5.02 4.41
be provided for inventions, which are “ new, involve an inven­
Top 10 Indian cos 27.78 45.71 49.31
Net forex earnings
tive step and are capable of industrial application” . The agree­
($ m illion) ment, however, does not define these terms. This provides
MNCs -20.52 -79.66 -205.05 -15 -17 some flexibility. India has taken advantage of this flexibility by
Top 10 Indian cos 40.07 702.20 2,392.58 29 23 enacting Section 3(d) in the amended Patents Act and restrict­
Dividend remittances
ing product patents to some extent. Under Section 3(d), India
($ million)
MNCs 5.18 27.43 54.67 16 12 is not obliged to provide protection to any secondary patents
* T h e MNCs considered are: GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Aventis Pharma, (of new formulations/combinations/chemical derivatives) after
A bbott India, Novartis India, Wyeth, Astrazeneca Pharma India, Merck, Fulford (India).
Consistent data for 1 9 9 4,2 00 4 and 2010 are available for only these nine MNCs o ut of the
1995 involving n c e s developed before 1995 “ unless they differ
17 MNCs considered by the CMIE Prowess database. significantly in properties with regard to efficacy ”
**T h e Indian companies considered are Cipla, Dr Reddy'S Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories,
Lupin, Aurobindo Pharma, Matrix Laboratories, Sun Pharmaceutical lnds.,lpca Laboratories,
Further, in cases where Indian companies were already pro­
Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals.These are the top 10 Indian ducing and marketing before 1January 2005, the products for
companies (in terms of sales in 2010) for which consistent data are available for 1994,2004
and 2010. For some of the variables,the number o f companies actually considered is less
which patent applications have been made in the mailbox,
depending on the data available. they need not suspend production even if m n c s get the patents.
Source: Calculated from CMIE Prowess database.
Under Section i i a ( 7), they can continue to produce on pay­
the top Indian companies increased at 29% per annum during ment of “ reasonable royalty” .
the same period. Between 1994 and 2010, m n c export earnings Elsewhere we have listed all the 180 new drugs marketed in
increased by only 5% per annum (compared to 22% by the In­ India since 1995 (and till 2010) (Chaudhuri 2011: Appendix).
dian companies), but dividend remittances increased by 16% We consider as new drugs all n c e s and n b e s approved for
per annum. Export intensity, i e, exports as a percentage of marketing in the us by the United States Food and Drug
sales, has remained stagnant for the m n c s at around 4% in Administration (u sfda ). This has been obtained from the web­
2010 compared to about 50% for the Indian companies. site of the u s f d a . We used the website of India’s Central Drugs
Standard Control Organisation to find out whether and when
4 Market Structure and Prices of Patented Products these have been approved for marketing in India. Since it is
Considering the role that the abolition of product patent difficult to get systematic information on pharmaceutical
protection played in the pharmaceutical industry in India, product patents granted by the patent office in India, we have
reintroduction of product patent protection since 2005 has used the website of the u s f d a for this purpose as w ell.13
crucial significance. The basic apprehension is whether As Table 4 (p 51) shows, the sales of the 180 new drugs being
India will now go back to the pre-1972 situation of an m n c m o­ marketed in India constitute about 9.1% of the total pharma­
nopoly and high prices. Though product patents have been in­ ceutical market in India in 2010. These 180 drugs are further
troduced from 1January 2005, earlier from 1January 1995, a classified into:
mailbox facility was put in place to receive and hold product (1) Sixty-two drugs for which patents have expired in the us
patent applications.12As per the t r i p s agreement, these appli­ (3.8% of the Indian market).
cations are being processed since 1January 2005 for the grant (2) Sixty-seven drugs for which patents were granted in the us
of patents. Thus, to understand the impact on the market before 1995 and hence not patentable in India in accordance
structure and prices, we consider the period since 1995. with the t r i p s agreement (4.2%).
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(3) Fifty-one drugs for which patents were granted in the us monopolies for only 1% of the market. Thus these markets are
after 1995 and hence patentable in India subject to Section 3(d) essentially competitive.
provisions (1.2%). But for the third category of post-1995 drugs, there are
monopolies in 50% of the products accounting for 20% of the
Table 4: Patent Status of New Drags Marketed in India (1995-2010)________
No Safes 2010 Sales 2010(%) MNCShare market. Surprisingly even for the post-1995 products, for about
(RsCrore) 2010 three-fourths of the market the number of sellers is five or
A New drugs 180 4,726.66 9.1 10.9 more. Two t r i p s flexibilities may explain this. Under Section
A.1 Patented post-1995 51 599.95 1.2 25.2 i i a ( 7), Indian generic companies which have started manufac­
A.2 Patented pre-1995 67 2,173.20 4.2 5.5 turing before 2005 are not required to suspend production
A 3 Patent expired 62 1,953.51 3.8 12.6
even if patents are granted (after 2005).
B Total pharmaceutical market 52,052.56 100.0 19.1
More important is the Section 3(d) flexibility. Consider, for
Sources and Notes: (i) See te x t and Chaudhuri (2011: Appendix) for th e m ethodology to
find o ut th e new drugs and the patent status, (ii) Product-wise annual sales figures example, the two post-1995 products, Novartis’anti-cancer
have been obtained from the "Sales audit data" o f AIOCD Pharmasofttech AWACS
drug, imatinib mesylate, and G ilead’ s anti-Hiv/AiDS drug,
(AIOCD-AWACS). AIOCD-AWACS is a pharmaceutical m arket research com pany form ed
by All Indian Origin Chemists and Distributors. AIOCD in a jo in t venture w ith Trikaal tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Product patents are in force in
Mediinfotech. It is a corporate pharm a retail chain set up by 5,50,000 m embers o f All India
the us for these products. But for both these products the
Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (http://w w w .aiocdaw acs.com /).
original compound - imatinib and tenofovir, respectively -
Thus, the market share of patentable new drugs market in were disclosed before 1995. What actually have been pat­
India is still very sm all It would however not be correct to in­ ented are a particular beta crystalline form (mesylate) and a
fer from here that patented drugs are not a problem in the particular salt (disoproxil fumarate). Hence, these are not
country. As we will see below, for life-threatening diseases patentable in India subject to the enhanced efficacy clause of
such as cancer, exorbitant prices are being charged for the new Section 3(d). Patent Office/high courts have rejected these
patented drugs. For these patients it is a question of not getting patent applications. The matter is currently with the Supreme
proper treatment if they cannot afford the high cost. Moreover, Court.15 In the absence of any legal barrier to enter these
it is just in a few years that product patent protection has been markets a number of Indian generic companies are manufac­
introduced in India. Considering the time lag between the turing and selling these products in the market. There are 14
time when an n c e / n b e is patented and when it is finally companies selling imatinib mesylate and six companies sell­
approved for marketing, all the post-1995 n c e s / n b e s are not ing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Another product where
yet ready for the market. Some of the m n c s , for example, g s k the m n c product patent has been contested relates to the
have revealed ambitious plans to launch a basket of patented anti-cancer drug, erlotinib. This is manufactured by six
products. They are expanding their marketing infrastructure Indian companies.
in anticipation of the future patented market.14 In a product patent regime, the main interest centres around
Table 5: Market Structure of New Drugs (2010) the behaviour of the m n c s . In India, they are involved in
Total No of No of No of No of marketing 92 out of the 180 new drugs. As Table 6 shows.
Molecules Molecules Molecules Molecules
with Five or with Two to with One Table 6: New Drugs Marketed by MNCs (2010)___________________________________________________
More Sellers Four Sellers Seller Noof Molecules MNCSales 2010 MNCSales 2010(%)
1 Patented post-1995 (Rs Crore)
1.1 No o f molecules (no) 51 19 6 26
Marketed by MNCs (1 to 7) 92 517.14 100.0
1.2 Sales 2010 (Rs crore) 599.95 462.67 15.59 121.69
1 MNC m onopoly (1.1 to 1.3) 33 160.18 31.0
1.3 No o f molecules (%) 100.0 37.3 11.8 51.0
1.1 Patented 25 121.40 23.5
1.4 Sales 2010 (%) 100.0 77.1 2.6 20.3
1.2 Patent expired 2 12.09 2.3
2 Patented pre-1995
1.3 Pre-1995 6 26.69 5.2
2.1 No o f molecules (no) 67 46 11 10
2 MNC share: 50-100% 8 91.01 17.6
2.2 Sales 2010 (Rs crore) 2173.20 2,115.38 30.92 26.90
68.7 16.4 3 MNC share: 25-50% 12 137.64 26.6
2.3 No o f molecules (%) 100.0 14.9
4 MNC share: 10-25% 7 56.70 11.0
2.4 Sales 2010 {%) 100.0 97.3 1.4 1.2
5 MNC share: 5-10% 9 53.19 10.3
3 Patent expired
3.1 No o f molecules (no) 62 43 11 8 6 MNC share: 1-5% 12 16.59 3.2
3.2 Sales 2010 (Rs crore) 1,953.51 1,912.50 25.67 15.34 7 MNC share: < 1 % 11 1.81 0.3
Source: Same as in Table 4.
3.3 No o f molecules (%) 100.0 69.4 17.7 12.9
3.4 Sales 2010 (%) 100.0 97.9 1.3 0.8 m n c s have monopolies in 33 products accounting for 31% of
Source: Same as in Table 4.
their sales o f Rs 517.14 crore of these 92 products. In fact, in
Table 5 shows the nature of competition in these three cate­ 53 products accounting for more than three-fourths of their
gories of new drugs. In the first two categories where patent sales they have a market share of 50% or more. It is interesting
barriers are not there in India, the markets are much more to note that eight out of these 33 products, for example, anidu-
competitive than the third category. For patent expired lafungin, caspofungin, micafungin and pegaptanib, are pre-
molecules, there are five or more sellers for 43 products 1995 molecules or patents have expired. This suggests that
accounting for 97.9% of the market. For pre-1995 molecules there are entry barriers other than patent barriers, for
the figures are 46 products and 97.9%, respectively. There are example, complex manufacturing process.16

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Table 7 gives an idea about the pricing policy adopted by the myeloid leukaemia. The price of a 70 mg dasatinib tablet is
m ncs for these 33 monopoly products. A 50 ml injection of Roche’
s Rs 3,905. Assuming a treatment regimen of 100 mg per day,
anti-cancer drug Herceptin (generic name: trastumuzab) costs the cost of treatment per person per year exceeds Rs 20 lakh.
Rs 1,35,200. Among the other high priced drugs are M erck’ s The corresponding cost in the u k is £30,477 suggesting that
Table 7;Prices of MWCMonopoly Drugs the company (Bristol Myers Squibb)
Molecule Name Brand Name MNC MRP* in Rs Therapeutic Group is essentially charging the same price
Trastuzumab Herceptin injection 50 ml Roche 1,35,200 Anti-cancer and not using differential pricing.17
Cetuximab Erbitux 700 mg injection 50 ml Merck 87,920 Anti-cancer All the drugs listed in Table 7 are
Ixabepilone Ixempra 45 mg injection 1 Bristol-Myers Squibb 66,430 Anti-cancer
monopoly drugs in the sense there is
Pegaptanib Macugen 0.3 mg injection 90 ml Pfizer 45,350 O phthal/ otologicals
only one seller of the molecule
Rasburicase Fasturtec 1.5 mg injection 1 Vial Sanofi-Aventis 45,000 Cancer related
concerned. Effective competition in
Inflixim ab Remicade 100 mg injection 1 Fulford 41,039 Pain/analgesics
Tocilizunab Actemra 400 mg injection 1 Roche 40,545 Anti-cancer pharmaceuticals takes place within
Bevacizumab# Avastin 100 mg injection 1 Roche 37,180 Anti-cancer therapeutic categories, for example,
Abatacept Orencia 250 mg injection 1 - Bristol-Myers Squibb 31,851 Pain/analgesics cardiac, anti-diabetic, etc, where
Daclizumab Zenapax 25 mg injection 5 ml Roche 28,875 Anti-cancer different molecules may compete
Etanercept Enbrel 50 mg injection 1 Wyeth 15,761 Pain/analgesics against each other. It is important to
Caspofungin Cancidas 70 mg injection 10 ml MSD 12,500 Anti-infectives note that in therapeutic categories
Anidulafungin Eraxis 100 mg injection 1 Pfizer 9,107 Anti-infectives such as cardiac and anti-diabetic,
Sunitinib Sutent 50 mg capsule 1 Pfizer 8,715 Anti-cancer where different molecules are avail­
M icafungin Mycamine 50 mg injection 1 Vial GlaxoSmithKline 6,250 Anti-infectives
able in the market, the prices of the
Lenograstim Granocyte 34 injection 1 Sanofi Aventis 5,720 Anti-cancer
monopoly molecules in Table 7 are
Daptomycin Cubicin 350 mg injection 1 Novartis 5,051 Others
relatively low, for example, cerivas-
Lapatinib Tykerb 250 mg tablet 1 GlaxoSmithKline 4,468 Anti-cancer
Liraglutide Victoza 6 mg injection 3 ml A b b ott 4,315 Anti diabetic tation, dronedarone, saxagliptin and
Dasatinib Sprycei 70 mg tablet 1 Bristol-Myers Squibb 3,905 Anti-cancer sitagliptin. But for life-threatening
Fondaparinux Arixtra 2.5 mg injection 0.5 ml GlaxoSmithKline 620 Cardiac diseases such as cancer, for essential
Reviparin Clivarine PFS SC 4,200 lu injection 0.6 ml A b b ott 482 Cardiac drugs without effective substitutes,
Rivaroxaban Xarelto 10 mg ta b le t 1 Bayer 480 Cardiac prices are exorbitant as in the cases
Ceftibuten Procadax 90 mg syrup 30 ml Fulford 384 Anti-infectives trastuzumab, cetuximab, ixabepilone,
Zudopenthixol Ctopixol Depot 200 mg injection 1 ml Lundbeck 247 Neuro/CNS etc. Similarly, the prices of vital
Certoparin Troparin 3,000 lu injection 0.3 ml Novartis 235 Cardiac drugs such as Wyeth’ s Enbrel
Dronedarone M ultaq 400 mg ta b le t 1 Sanofi Aventis 84 Cardiac
(etanercept) (Rs 15,761 per injection)
Varenicline Champix 1 mg tablet 1 Pfizer 59 Neuro/CNS
used for rheumatoid arthritis, which
Aliskiren Rasilez 300 mg ta b le t 1 Novartis 58 Cardiac
can incapacitate people, P fizer’ s
Sitagliptin Januvia 100 mg tablet 1 MSD 43 A nti-diabetic
Saxagliptin 0nglyza5 mg ta b le t 1 Bristol-Myers Squibb 38 A nti-diabetic Macugen (pegaptanib) (Rs 45,350
Cerivastatin Lipobay 0.3 mg tablet 1 Bayer 32 Cardiac per 90 ml injection) used for pre­
Piribedil Trivastal L A 50 mg tablet Serdia 20 Neuro/CNS venting loss of vision in the case o f
Mianserin Depnon 30 mg ta b le t 1 Organon 12 Neuro/CNS age-related masucular degenera­
Sources and Notes: (i) Sales data (to find out the m onopoly status) and price data have been obtained from the "sales audit data" of tion, Sanofi-Aventis’Fasturtec (ras­
AIOCD-AWACS. (ii) For the selected molecules, w e also tried to find out the prices from tw o large retail outlets in Kolkata - Calcutta
Chemist Corner and AMRI hospitals.
buricase) (Rs 45,000 per injection)
*: MRP: m axim um retail price. used to treat the side effects of
#: We have also included this product for which Roche accounts for 96% of the market.
chemotherapy for treating leukae­
Erbitux (cetuximab) (Rs 87,920), Bristol-Myers-Squibb’ s Ixempra mia and lymphoma are very highly priced.
(ixabepilone) (Rs 66,430), Pfizer’ s Macugen (pegaptanib) Table 7 does not cover all the patented and monopoly drugs
(Rs 45,35°), Sanofi-Aventis’ Fasturtec (rasburicase) (Rs 45,000), marketed in India. We have tried to focus on products where
Roche’ s Avastin (bevicizumab) (Rs 37,180). There are six m n c s have a monopoly. There are also products where m n c s
products costing between Rs 10,000 and Rs 45,000 (for do not have a monopoly but are charging very high prices
example, Wyeth’ s Enbrel (etanercept): Rs 15,761), eight products pending the settlement of patent disputes. This paper has not
between Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000 (g s k ’ s Tykerb (lapatinib): systematically studied these products. But an example can be
Rs 4,468), another six products between Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 given. The price of pegalyted interferons beta (Roche’ s
(Bayer’ s Xarelto (rivaroxaban): Rs 480) and only eight products Pegasys) costs between Rs 14,000 and Rs 18,000 per dose. It
with prices below Rs 100 (for example, m s d ’ s Januvia is used for Hepatitis co-infected with h i v . Roche got the prod­
(sitagliptin): Rs 43). uct patent in India. But due to patent disputes, some Indian
It is important to note that the prices mentioned in Table 7 generic companies are also manufacturing and marketing it.18
are for a single injection/tablet, etc. The cost of treatment per Table 7 lists the monopoly products directly marketed by
person per year would of course be much higher. Consider, for m n c s . But, as we have mentioned above, m n c s not operating in
example, dasatinib, which is used for the treatment of chronic India are using the marketing infrastructure of Indian companies

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to import and sell their products. We have also not been able to The importance of generic competition is clear from cases of
find out the structure of prices of these imported products. But the Section 3(d) of the Patents (Amendment) Act 2005. Like dasat-
example of poractant alfa shows that these prices also can be inib, imatinib mesylate is indicated for chronic myeloid leu­
very high. The drug is imported by Piramal.19Piramal as the sole kaemia. For dasatinib, there is only one seller and the price is
seller charges a price of Rs 17,957.8 per 80 mg injection 3 ml vial. very high (Table 7). But there are about 14 Indian generic com­
Though we have not been able to list all the products with panies manufacturing imatinib mesylate. As a result, the cost
high prices in Table 7, it is clear that the days of monopolies of treatment has gone down sharply compared to that of the
and high drug prices are back again in India particularly for m n c (Novartis) product. Sun, the market leader, charges a

drugs without close substitutes. price of Rs 203 for a 400 mg tablet. Similarly there are six man­
In the product patent regime, the prices of new drugs will ufacturers of tenofovir. Cipla the market leader charges a price
depend on: Rs 150 per 30 mg tablet. Again for erlotinib, compared to
• the prices the m n c s holding the patents would charge; Roche's Tarceva’ s price of Rs 4,200 (150 mg tablet) Cipla’ s
• the steps that can be taken to regulate such prices including Erlocip costs Rs 1,530.
price control or price negotiation; While Section 3(d) has played quite a useful role in India in
• the steps which are taken to provide competition from recent years, the policy option which is much more potent and
generic producers. sustainable in the longer run in compulsory licensing. Com­
If m n c s charge affordable prices for patented drugs in devel­ pulsory licensing is a permission given by the government to a
oping countries, access may not be adversely affected. Some non-patentee to manufacture a drug without (or even against)
m n c s are selling drugs at a discount compared to the prices patentee's consent. As is widely recognised, compulsory licens­
charged in the developed country markets, g s k is an example ing is one of the ways in which t r i p s attempts to strike a balance
- the company has adopted the policy of selling drugs at a dis­ between promoting access to existing drugs and promoting
count compared to the us price. But even with a discount, the Research and Development (r & d ) into new drugs. If generic
cost of treatment of Tykerb is about Rs 6 lakh per person per companies are given licenses to produce a patented drug on
year.20 Or if the m n c s give voluntary licences to generic com­ payment o f royalty, then competition among manufacturers
panies to manufacture the patented drugs, the consequent would drive down prices, but the royalty paid to the innovators
competition can make drugs more affordable. But, voluntary would continue to provide funds and the incentive for r & d .
licences have mainly been given for products which have very The exorbitant prices being charged by the m n c s for some of
little patent life left and have rarely been given voluntarily. the products provide a very good rationale for compulsory
Usually they follow some public pressure or legal action and licensing intervention. It is really surprising that it has not yet
sometimes they have been used as a strategy to thwart opposi­ attracted the attention it deserves among generic companies,
tions by generic companies. civil society organisations and government.
Price control is not forbidden under t r i p s or any other
agreement of the w t o . India's Draft National Pharmaceuticals 5 Conclusions
Policy, 2006 recommended mandatory price negotiations of The most important conclusion of this study is that the days
patented drugs before granting marketing approval and stressed of product monopolies and high prices are back in India.
the importance of studying the experiences of Canada, Australia, The m n c s have started marketing new patented drugs at
France and other countries believed to have a good system (p 15). exorbitant prices particularly for life-threatening diseases
In fact a Committee on Price Negotiations on Patented Drugs such as cancer.
has been set up in the department of pharmaceuticals. This is The manufacturing and importing behaviour since the
an important initiative and efforts should be expedited to initi­ 1990s bears a close resemblance to that before the 1970s.
ate measures to control the prices of patented drugs. One im­ Imports of high priced finished formulations are expanding
portant difference between direct price control measures and rapidly, with manufacturing investments lagging far behind.
efforts to enhance generic competition to keep price in directly The m n c s are also expanding vigorously in the generic
under control may be noted. The former, if properly imple­ segments. They are trying to grow not only organically but
mented, makes drugs more affordable but does not provide through mergers & acquisitions and strategic alliance with
any room for the generic companies. The latter not only makes Indian generic companies. The aggregate market share in the
the prices more affordable through competition. It also en­ formulations market has gone up dramatically with the taking
sures some space to the generic companies, which is vital for over of some Indian companies by the m n c s . The m n c s are on
their long term sustenance. the way to dominating the industry again.

N O T E S ________________________________________________ 4 Sanjay Pingle, “


Leading 15 Global Pharma Majors identified by us as MNCs out of the 671 compa­
1 Cited by Kidron (1965: 251). Suffer Setback in 2010, Net Falls by Over 20%”
, nies reported by AIOCD-AWACS based on mis­
2 See Chaudhuri 2005: Chapter 2 for an account www.pharmabiz.com, 6 June 2011. cellaneous sources including, the list o f top 50
of the rise and growth o f the Indian pharma­ 5 As mentioned in Table 4, sales data have been MNCs in the world in Pharmaceutical Executive,
ceutical industry. obtained from AIOCD-AWACS. The MNC sec­ May 2010 (www.pharmexec.com); CMIE Prowess
3 “Drug Firms Face Billions in Losses as Patents tor comprises the following two groups. The database; the list of MNCs from market survey
End” , New York Times article reproduced in first group o f 35 companies (see Table 2, reports of ORG-IMS as used in Chaudhuri (2005),
Business Standard, 3 August 2011. Chaudhuri 2011) are those which have been Table 2.2 and relevant company websites. The

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SPECIALARTICLE
second group of four companies are the Indian patent with the earliest expiry date as the NME Chaudhuri, Sudip, Chan Park and K M Gopakumar
companies which have been taken over by MNCs patent. The earliest patents for these four prod­ (2010): Five Years into the Product Patent Re­
in recent years and are now part of the MNC ucts, for example, expires during 2011 to 2013 gime: India's Response (New York: United Na­
sector. Another Indian company, Matrix taken and hence these have been treated as pre-1995 tions Development Programme) (http://con-
over by Mylan in August 2006, not being a domes­ molecules. But there are also other patents list­ tent.undp.org/go/cms-service/download/publ
tic formulations player is not considered above. ed expiring after 2014 and if any o f these are ication/?version=live&id=3o89934).
6 MNCs invested more in India during 1972-94 the relevant product patents, then these are ac­ DIPP (2010): “ Discussion Paper: Compulsory Licens­
than they did in the earlier period see the inter­ tually post-1995 products. ing” (New Delhi: Department of Industrial
view with N H Israni, in IDMA Bulletin, XXXIII 17 “Leukaemia (chronic myeloid) - dasatinib, Promotion and Policy, Government o f India).
(42), 14 November 2002. high dose imatinib and nilotinib (review): ap­ Gopakumar, K M (2010): “ Landscape o f Pharma­
7 CMIE Prowess database. Consistent data for praisal consultation document”in the website ceutical Patent Applications in India: Implica­
1994 to 2010 are available for only these nine o f the National Institute for Health and Clinical tions for Access to Medicines”in Chaudhuri,
MNCs out of the 17 MNCs considered by the Excellence, http://guidance.nice.org.uk/TA/ Park and Gopakumar.
CMIE Prowess database. For the names o f these WaveR/99/Consultation/DraftGuidance. For­ IDFC-SSKI (2009): “ Recent MMNC Alliances: Sig­
MNCs and the top 10 companies, see Table 3. eign exchange rates fluctuate. Assuming a rate nalling Paradigm Shift?”IDFC-SSKI Securities
8 Accessed on 1March 2012 from the website of the of Rs 70 per GBP, the cost of treatment is same. Ltd, June.
Office of the Economic Adviser, Ministry of 18 “Hepatitis C Virus - Prevention and Treatment” , - (2010): “ MNC Pharma: New Avatar?”IDFC-SSKI
Commerce and Industry (www.eaindustry.nic.in). Press statement issued by International Treat­ Securities Ltd, March.
9 Calculated from CMIE India Trades database. ment Preparedness Coalition - India (ITPC- India),
Kidron, Michael (1965): Foreign Investments in
10 See, for example, “ List o f Finished formulation 21 October 2011.
India (London: Oxford University Press).
registered from 2003 to 2009”accessed from 19 See, for example, “ List of Finished Formulation
Ministry o f Commerce and Industry (2008): “ Strat­
the website o f Central Drugs Standard Control Registered from 2003 to 2009”accessed from
egy of Increasing Exports o f Pharmaceutical
Organisation (www.cdsco.nic.in). the website of Central Drugs Standard Control
products - Report o f a Task Force”(New Delhi:
11 “Eli Lilly Insulin Brand Paves Way for Hike Organisation (www.cdsco.nic.in).
Ministry of Commerce and Industry).
in Imported Rug Prices” , Economic Times, 20 “GlaxoSmithKline Launches Two Cancer Drugs
Park, Chan (2010): “ Implementation of India’
s Patent
11June 2011. at Reduced Prices”in The Hindu Business Line,
Law: A Review o f Patents Granted by the Indi­
12 Under Articles 65.2 and 64.4 o f TRIPS, India 22 July 2011, http://www.thehindubusi-
an Patent Office”in Chaudhuri, Park and Gopa­
had time till 1January 2005 to introduce prod­ nessline.com/companies/article2285697.ece.
kumar.
uct patent protection in pharmaceuticals. But Sengupta, Amit, Reji K Joseph, Shilpa Modi and
Articles 70.8 and 70.9 put a limitation on the Nirmalya Syam (nd): Economic Constraints to
transition period allowed under Article 65 - R E F E R E N C E S _______________________________________
Access to Essential Medicines in India (New
India was required to introduce “ mail box”and Chaudhuri, Sudip (2005): The WTO and India's Delhi: Centre for Technology and Development
“exclusive marketing rights”from 1January 1995. Pharmaceuticals Industry: Patent Protection Studies, Society for Economic and Social
13 See the notes to the Appendix of Chaudhuri TRIPS and Developing Countries (New Delhi: Studies).
(2011) for further elaboration of the m ethodo­ Oxford University Press). SBICAP (2010): “ India Equity: Pharma” SBICAP
logy and also of the limitations. - (2010): “The Industry Response”in Chaudhuri, Securities Ltd.
14 Business Monitor, “ India: Pharmaceuticals and Park and Gopakumar. Tempest, Brian (2011): “ The Structural Changes in
Healthcare Report” , June 2011. - (2011): “Multinationals and Monopolies: Phar­ the Global Pharmaceutical Marketplace and
15 For the background, see Park (2010). maceutical Industry in India after TRIPS” , Their Possible Implications for Intellectual
16 Another possibility is that the use of USFDA Working Paper Series Number 685, Indian Property” , UNCTAD-ICTSD Project on IPRs
Orange Book did not correctly reveal the patent Institute of Management Calcutta, November and Sustainable Development, Policy Brief
status. As explained in the notes to the Appendix (http://facultylive.iimcal.ac.in/sites/facultylive. Number 10, July (http://ictsd.org/i/publica-
of Chaudhuri 2011, we have considered the iimcal.ac.in/files/WPS%20685_0.pdf). tions/111430/).

Economic&PoliticalwEEKLY
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January 28,2012

Agrarian Transition and Emerging Challenges in Asian Agriculture: -P K Viswanathan, Gopal B Thapa,
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Institutional and Policy Aspects o f Punjab A griculture: A Sm allholder Perspective - Sukhpal Singh
Khap Panchayats: A Socio-Historical O verview -A ja y Kumar

Rural W ater Access: Governance and Contestation in a Semi-Arid


W atershed in Udaipur, Rajasthan -NCNarayanan, Lalitha Kamath

Panchayat Finances and the Need fo r Devolutions from th e State G overnm ent - Anand Sahasranaman

Temporary and Seasonal M igration: Regional Pattern,


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Resisting Patriarchy
Complexities and Conflicts in the Memoir o f Haimabati Sen

IN D R A N I S E N ______________________________ __________________

H
The autobiography. The Memoirs o f Haimabati Sen, is istorically, Indian women started to write their life-
valuable for the light it throws on women's lives in the stories only from the late 19th century onwards. It is,
o f course, a complex and contradictory fact that wom­
late 19th and early 20th centuries. This memoir of an
en's autobiography-writing in colonial India was a by-product
unusual woman maps the nuances, the tw ists and turns of colonialism.1 By all accounts, this genre had its roots in
o f the immeasurably long journey o f a woman in 19th western literary and cultural traditions and was born out of a
century rural East Bengal from becoming a child-widow new wave of individualism and selfhood. A legacy of “ colonial
m odernity” , social reform, and in particular, the movement for
at the age o f 10 to finally becoming a doctor. It also
female education, wom en’ s life-writing was interlinked with
reveals the complex and contradictory relations within western notion of individualism. More importantly, still, the
the family, the diverse forms o f gendered oppressions, writing of autobiographies by women denoted the growth of a
the negotiations and struggles against patriarchal sense of selfhood.
The memoir of Haimabati Sen2 (C1866-1932), who led an ex­
tendencies in society, as well as the contradictions and
traordinary, unconventional life, is worth examining. After
even compromises w ithin the forms of negotiation. becoming a child-widow in the 1870s, she remarried, studied
and finally became a “ lady doctor”By the 19th century, the
position of women in upper caste Hindu society had badly de­
clined and they were subjected to wide-ranging oppressive
practices. This female autobiography, which is unusually de­
tailed, is a testimony to the oppressions that women were sub­
jected to, but more importantly, their struggles and resistance
against oppression.
Although she wrote her memoir in the 1920s, it remained
unpublished during her lifetime. It is, indeed, a sad illustration
of the marginalisation of wom en’ s memoirs that many of them
remained dusty and forgotten in family cupboards during
their authors’lifetime and were “ rescued”and published dec­
ades later.3 Haim abati’ s notebook too, written in Bengali, lay
for two generations with her family and came to be finally
translated and published only during her grandchildren’ s
time, almost 80 years after her death. In this paper, I intend to
examine this memoir of an unusual woman and her striking
life-story as narrated by herself. The idea would be to examine
the key features of this memoir, and to situate this memoir
within the gendered struggle for education and financial
independence that characterised wom en’ s struggles in 19th
century colonial India.

Gender Oppression: Childhood, Family and Child Marriage


Haimabati Ghosh was born the eldest and favourite child of
her father’
s, an affluent zamindar belonging to the Kulin Ka-
I am grateful to the Indian C oun cil for Social Science R esearch for a
yastha caste in Khulna, in East Bengal. As a child, a striking
Senior Fellow ship du rin g w hich this paper w as written.
feature was her closeness to her father - something that re­
Indrani Sen (1
i ndranisen2002@gmail.com ) teaches at the departm ent o f
mained lifelong. Although he was not interested in reform, he
English, Sri V enkateswara College, Delhi University.
was indulgent to his highly intelligent firstborn during her

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childhood, allowing her to wear boys' clothes and pick up Deputy Magistrate was a person of this sort! For shame, this
some odd smattering of education from her boy cousins. man is my husband! I cannot put in words the sense o f revul­
In contrast, the womenfolk in her family were far more tradi­ sion I felt”(p 86).
tional. Indeed, it has often been noted how women have been
the self-appointed custodians of traditional practices. It was at Negotiating Child Widowhood:
the initiative of her tradition - upholding mother and grand­ Oppression and Resistance
mother - and very much against her father’ s wishes - that Within a few months of her marriage, however, the debauched
Haimabati was married off at the age of nine and a half. Mar­ husband suddenly fell ill and died of pneumonia and liver ab­
riage in the Kulin subgroup of the three upper castes in Bengal scess - leaving Haimabati a virgin child-widow at the age of
- viz, brahmins, Vaidyas and Kayasthas - had to be conducted 10.4 Initially, her mother-in-law called her “
an ogress”(p 96)
within the same Kulin subgroup. Her female relatives, there­ who had “ eaten up”her son and made the dazed child-widow
fore, selected what they held was a “ suitable”groom for her, observe austerities: “ I was not supposed to oil my hair at that
viz, an affluent, Kulin Kayastha husband - 45 years of age, time. For ten or twelve days I had to eat boiled rice I cooked
twice widowed, with two daughters nearly of her age. It was, of myself...”(p 97). Gradually, the thought o f being a widow
course, most commonplace to find a huge age gap between started filling her with a nameless sense of shame: “ I do not
widower-grooms getting remarried to child-brides. know why, but I had a deep feeling of shame and stopped
Although the groom was a deputy magistrate in the colonial going out of my room altogether. When no one was around, I
bureaucracy, it did not stop the marriage from being con­ would go once to the toilet and take my bath...”(p 97). Recol­
ducted in violation of the minimum age of 10 which had been lecting her feelings of helplessness, Haimabati recalls:
fixed in i860 as the legal age of consummation o f marriage for I ju st lay in a corner. My parents had finished their duty tow ards me.
girls. The middle-aged husband turned out to be a debauchee, N o on e w as responsible any lon ger for this child w idow . If I n e ed e d a
who had prostitutes coming to his room at night. But over and single pice, I w ou ld have to b e g for it from others. W hat about m y
above that, the deputy magistrate had no compunctions about husband - he had taken a third w ife and thereby cut a ch ild’
s throat...
(PP 97-9 8).
trying to consummate his marriage with a child - who was
barely older than his own eldest daughter. In fact, she recalls Gradually, however, her mother-in-law, who was essentially
how her step-daughters were her playmates: “ My step-daugh­ a kind-hearted woman, let her resume a “ normal”life - wear­
ters and I had nothing to do. The three of us used to play with ing bangles, eating fish and retaining her long hair - and did
dolls in the afternoon”(p 84). not subject her to the disfigurements (e g, hair-shaving) and
Haimabati frankly delineates how her husband made privations (dietary) usually meted out to widows. Haimabati
repeated attempts at sexual intercourse: “ I would lie silently, helped out in domestic chores and studied in her free time; so
stiff like a piece of wood. When I fell asleep, someone removed much so, she did not even realise in the initial years what, in
my clothes. I woke up, felt scared, and again wrapped my fact, it meant to be a widow.
clothes around my body”(p 81). One night she witnessed her Widowhood in the 19th century for upper caste women - in­
husband having sex with a prostitute: cluding for child widows - meant social ostracisation and
O n e night, w h en I w ok e up at a very late hour b eca u se I w anted.to g o could involve domestic torture, starvation, physical and/or
to the toilet, I saw the babu and a w om a n claspin g each other and sexual abuse at the hands of male relatives.5De-sexualised in
thrashing around... I lay like a corp se o n m y side o f the bed. After a the “ w idow ’s garb”(which in Bengal, was a white coloured
w hile they p ou red som e drinks and drank togeth er (p 84).
dhoti), with heads sheared, widows had to eat spartanly, re­
Another night, she accidentally woke up and witnessed an frain from consuming fish (a great deprivation for a fish-eating
“unnatural”sexual act (details of which she does not divulge) community) and observe fasts (bratas) and penances.6 The
being performed by them, and fainted out of shock at the sight: banning of “ heating”foods (e g, onions, garlic, masoor dal or
“After that - good heavens! When I saw what was going on I red lentils) as well as non-vegetarian food items (e g, fish, meat,
began to quake with fear and lost consciousness”(p 86). The eggs) was meant to control the w idow ’ s sexual urges, since
prostitute, pouring water over the child-w ife’
s head to revive these foods supposedly inflamed sexual passions.7 A w idow ’ s
her, had rebuked the husband: sexuality was considered suspect and she was closely scruti­
She has b een scared b y w hat y ou w ere u p to. She is still shivering. nised for signs of bhog or “ sensuous pleasure” ; conversely, all
Precious, d on ’
t d o such things again. She com e s from a decen t h om e signs of austerity or sadhvi traits were highly praised.8
and is a m ere child... She has b e e n scared by the very sight o f w hat w as In her delineation of her life as a widow, Haimabati under­
go in g on...One should not d o such things at h om e (p 86).
lines how her own relatives too abused her for “ devouring”
But the man, completely unabashed at this, had merely (p 99) her husband: “ All their lamentations were for that old
replied: “I think you are right, chum, the hussy (referring to drunkard and whoremonger who had been their son-in-law
Haimabati) probably saw what we were doing. But how else for only a few days... I found in them no sympathy for me”
would she learn?”(p 86). Moreover, even after this, his efforts (p 99)* Several others - including her mother and grand­
at sexual intercourse did not cease - although, he eventually mother - blamed her literacy for her widowhood. She recalls
failed to carry out his wishes. Looking back almost 50 years how one relative commented: “ Everybody knew that she
on this experience, Haimabati comments: “ This gentleman, a would be widowed if she learned to read and write”(p 99).
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Although her grief-stricken father tried to make some financial soon discovered that there was no escape from these in
arrangements for her, including earmarking a portion of his Benares and this sometimes resulted in unwanted pregnan­
property to go to her, he too died all of a sudden, leaving her cies, prostitution and widow-suicides.
financially dependent and emotionally shattered, with “ a ter­
rible wound in my heart” : Widowhood: Negotiating Sexual Vulnerability
Even now, I have not go t over m y regret that I cou ld not see m y father Behind the sexual targeting of widows was their popular cul­
b efore he died. There w as n o on e else w h o had b een such a friend and tural association with sexual availability and, by extension,
well-wisher (p 115). with prostitution. With regard to the Hindu widows of
When, a few years later, her mother-in-law too passed away, Benares, scholars have noted that in popular perception,
the situation at her in-laws’place sharply declined; Haimabati a w id o w is unguarded: w ithout th e p rotection o f a husband, her ad-
now suffered the typical w idow ’ s fate of financial and physical harmik nature is b ou n d to assert itself. She is thus, like the prostitute,
deprivation and dispossession of property. Once, when her an em b odim en t o f lustful and u ncontrollable sexuality... m any o f the
com m on w ords for widow, such as the H indi rand or the Punjabi randiy
husband’ s elder brother spent lavishly on his daughter’ s wed­
are ob scen e term s o f abuse that a lso m ean ‘
a w h ore’
.9
ding, she later discovered that the spending had been from her
share of her husband’ s money: “Benares” , a female acquaintance warns Haimabati at one
...all this m on ey cam e from m y husband’ s savings. They had taken m y point, “is not a good place for a young woman to live”(p 140).
signature to acquire the p ow er o f attorney... T h ough I had rights to m y And indeed, she does find that young widows living in the
husband’ s property, in effect, I w as n othing but a slave dependent on “city of widows”are extremely vulnerable sexually; the lech­
them for m y subsistence (p 118).
erous behaviour she witnesses ranges from lewd comments
When the daily slights increased, she moved to her m other’ s passed at her by an 8o-year-old man, to the sight of a “ north
home and lived there for a few years. But when her mother Indian”pilgrim pinching a w idow ’ s bottom throughout while
died, she was left penniless, and her profligate brother started circumambulating around a temple. In fact, when she had first
a life of excesses: “ drinks, theatrical parties, evil company” arrived at Benares, she had even been refused initial shelter by
(p 122) and cheated her of her jewellery. The result was that a cousin’ s wife on sexual grounds:
she soon found herself reduced to such penury that, on seeing You are a w id o w and you are a lso y ou n g and beautiful... People w ill
her condition, a grieved well-wisher wept: “ You are the daugh­ say that y ou stay here as you r cou sin ’s m istress. W ho know s that there
ter of such an eminent person. Whoever thought that they w ill b e n o liaison b etw een the tw o o f you? That is h ow p e op le in

would reduce you to such a state?”(p 129). Benares generally behave (p 132).

Of course, lecherous behaviour is something that she


Benares: City of Widows' encounters everywhere - not only in Benares - ranging from
Subjected to the daily “ humiliation for my handful of rice!” propositions by a police constable in rural East Bengal to
(p 123), Haimabati, like innumerable widows before her, de­ seduction attempts by a raja (i e, rich zamindar), whose wife,
cided to move to Benares, the traditional place of refuge for she was later employed to teach. The point to be noted here is
Bengali widows. At Benares she decided to live in semi-starva­ the manner in which she negotiates these situations without
tion rather than accept help - not oiling her hair, subsisting on getting intimidated or losing her nerve.
only “ three handfuls of rice with salt”(p 134) and, as things Haimabati discovers that even the “ homes for w idow s” ,
increasingly got worse, going “ without food for six or seven which were set up to provide protection from abuse, are not
days”(p 136). Her austere existence won her the approval of safe from sexual predators. During her boat journey to East
the people around, who praised her as a “ virtuous, ascetic Bengal she comes across one victim, a pretty, young pregnant
widow”who showed signs of austerity and sadhvi traits - and widow named Tara, who sheds bitter tears and reveals how
most did not even notice she was starving. she had been promised marriage by the son of the head o f the
The widows of Benares largely came from Bengal; behind widows’home where she had been living - but had been
their large presence at Kashi (Benares) and Vrindavan lay the thrown out by his parents. When one recalls that such homes
Dayabhaga school of law prevailing in Bengal, which allowed were an outcome of 19th century gender reform efforts, ques­
the widow to inherit her husband’ s property. Relatives, eager tions arise about the ground realities of such reformist steps.
to misappropriate the widows’ property, would subject them to Gradually, Haimabati also realises another “ great truth”about
neglect and ill-treatment at home, hoping to drive them away being a widow in a patriarchal society, i e, the sexual morality of a
and migrate to Benares. Thus, widows cheated of their inherit­ widow is always suspect - not only in the eyes of men, but even
ance by male relatives and reduced to penury, ended up taking among women. When she travels around alone in East Bengal
refuge in Benares. Here they would try to get a morsel of food (after she has left Benares), curious village women speculate:
either by begging or singing bhajans at ashrams or temples “ We have heard she is a great beauty. What can she be but a
which provided food and shelter in return; or in some desper­ tart?”(p 172), leading her to bitterly raise questions regarding
ate cases, by turning to prostitution for survival. In other cases gender, society and perceptions about “ morality/immorality” :
they fell prey to the lust of priests or wandering pilgrims. D o I have to suffer all this sim ply beca u se I am a w om an? W ould any­
Indeed, many a time, widows who had fled to Benares in an on e have inflicted so m uch suffering on a man? W hy are they so w or­
attempt to escape sexual harassment or exploitation at home, ried as to as to w h ose w ife I am or w h ose daughter? (p 184).

Economic & Political w e e k ly QX3 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 57

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Negotiating and resisting patriarchy for Haimabati was The Brahm o Samaj, and to a lesser extent, Christianity, h eld ou t h ope
through the means of “ higher education”, the desire for which, for w id ow s by w aiving all the usual restrictions im p o sed u pon them.
On their ow n initiative, m any w id ow s e sca p ed from their v illa ge
she pointed out, “ has persisted throughout my life”(p 139).
h om es to jo in a Brahmo com m un ity in on e o f the district tow n s or in
Certainly, for a woman in the 1880s to pursue education - an Calcutta...There are records o f a nu m ber o f w id o w s and kulin brides
activity prohibited for women - was to seriously challenge pa­ w h o w ere attracted to the Brahm o Samaj. O n ce th ey had join ed, provi­
triarchy. Of course, she recalls, while seriously challenging sions w ere m ade for their education and v ocation a l training, and
tradition, she had to face opposition and criticism from innu­ som etim es a lso their rem arriage.12

merable quarters: Haimabati becomes a Brahmo by her own choice - in an im­


My am bition w as to study and d o som e prestigiou s work. I did not care plicit rejection of brahminical Hinduism and its gender tyran­
if p e op le called m e a Christian or w hatever (p 149). nies. Indeed, conversion to Christianity (or to the Brahmo
The passion for studying had, of course, been instilled in her Samaj, in the case of Bengal) was a feature associated with a
early childhood years itself, when she had picked up the letters great deal of what may be termed 19th century “ fem inism ”
.13
while playing with her male cousins and attending their However, Haimabati’ s memoir strikingly shows contradictions
lessons in the outer courtyard of their house. Later, her indul­ even among some advanced Brahmo Samaj families, where
gent father had even allowed her to be taught by a teacher - unspoken prejudices still persist against marrying adult
despite angry protests from female family members. widows - thereby revealing a yawning gap between practice
Indeed, a burning, all-consuming passion for learning and precept. For instance, in the case of Tara, the pregnant
became the driving force of her life, sometimes even leading young widow mentioned earlier, her Brahmo lover’ s parents
her to make rash decisions. For instance, one day, after she had (who are in charge of that widows’home) fiercely opposed
settled down at Benares in modest, but respectable, employ­ their marriage - even though they themselves had undergone
ment as a teacher in a girls’school, she suddenly decided to a widow-remarriage.
plunge out into the unknown city of Calcutta, merely for the Seeing the sexual dangers she was exposed to, wandering
sake of studying there: alone across the countryside, Haim abati’ s friends and well-
I w as m aking a fair living from m y jo b as a teacher and I did not have wishers urged her to get remarried (and implicitly secure male
to w orry about m y subsistence. Yet I seem ed to b e o b sessed w ith an protection). She received four arranged marriage proposals
idea (viz, education) w hich I cou ld not give up... (p 147). from Brahmo Samajis (and in one instance, even from an “ ad­
Accompanied by a distant male relative, she leaves Benares vanced”Hindu) - which was a fairly large number for an adult
and sets out for Calcutta (where all the major Brahmo educa­ widow. But none of these proposals worked out for various
tionists were located). Her plan is to seek out some of these reasons. Eventually, her marriage was arranged in 1890, with
famous educationists and reformers, live in one of the several the help of well-wishers and friends, to Kunjabehari Sen, a low
widows’ homes set up at Calcutta by them, and study there.10 level Brahmo Samaj worker, at what was then considered to be
This journey bore no fruit, since she found in Calcutta that the ripe old age of 25.
the famous educationists were busily preparing to leave for The marriage, however, turned out to be a difficult one for
England. Although sympathetic, they could not help much. Haimabati. Due to her husband’ s impractical and eccentric na­
Undeterred by this failure, however, she set out for rural East ture, they led for years a highly disrupted, nomadic and dys­
Bengal - but not to her brother’ s house. Instead she sought out functional life. Nor was there any steady income; even after
independent employment - briefly working as a teacher to the five children (four sons and one daughter) had been bom, her
wife of a raja (zamindar); at other times receiving hospitality husband remained blissfully unmindful about his responsibili­
from various quarters. ties and unaffected by financial worries. As she puts it, “ My
At the same time, one notes, Haimabati’ s leaving Benares is debts were quite substantial by now...My husband was not
also a quest for an identity. One can read this journey of hers as worried about anything. All the worries were mine”(p 324).
a mission to carve out an independent “ male-type”of identity
for herself - based on courage, financial independence and Careers for Women: Medical Training
self-reliance. Thus, all her life, she seeks financial independence After her marriage, the need to financially support herself and
- first as a widow, and later on, as a remarried woman. her husband, led her to choose a medical education, which,
“would make it possible for me to earn an independent in­
'Conversion', Widow Remarriage and Domesticity come”(p 299). Moreover, “ Many girls had joined medical
Upper caste widow-remarriage was a vexed matter in the late schools at that time and I decided I would do the same”
19th century; while it had been legalised in 1856, in reality, (p 290). Indeed, the medical profession was one of the earliest
however, it hardly ever took place among upper caste Hindus.11 professions that Indian women entered, especially from the
Haimabati’ s memoir too shows widow marriage to be prob­ 1880s onwards, as Geraldine Forbes notes:14
lematic. In 19th century Bengal, the cause of women, particu­
M edicine w as on e o f the n ew careers op e n ed to Indian w om en in the
larly of widows, was associated with the Brahmo Samaj. The late nineteenth century. Western m edical training had lon g been availa­
samaj encouraged schools for girls, as well as the setting up of ble to Indian m ales but it w as n ot until 1885 that Lady Dufferin...
widows’homes, where widows were provided shelter and established the National A ssociation for S upplying Fem ale M edical
imparted education training. As Meredith Borthwick notes: Aid to the W om en o f India or the D ufferin Fund. This a ssociation

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highest-scoring male candidate - who had secured the second


prov ided financial assistance to w om en w illin g to b e trained as d o c ­
highest position - by half a mark. As the “
tors, hospital assistants, nurses, and m idw ives; aided in establishing topper” , she qualified
m edica l training program m es for w om en; and en couraged construc­ for the gold medal. However, what followed was a shocking
tion o f hospitals and dispensaries.15
instance of crude, institutionalised gender discrimination.
Moreover, in Bengal, women could also earn a Vernacular The boys in her college immediately went on strike in protest
Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery (v lm s ) degree. In fact, the against her being awarded the gold medal. They formed
opening up of the Campbell Medical School to women stu­ pickets, stopped attending classes and even pelted the girl
dents in 1888 marked an important step in that direction. students’carriage with bricks and stones. What is perhaps
Located in Calcutta, the Campbell Medical School conferred even more disturbing is that even the general public sup­
the v lm s degree on its graduates who were known as “ hospital ported the boys. Letters in the newspapers joined in the fray;
assistants” . Campbell classes were conducted in the vernacu­ one reader even advised: “ Why don’ t we kill off that girl? That
lar by Indian teachers and taught from textbooks written in would be the end of the matter. It is a great mistake to pamper
Bengali or translated from English. This institute trained stu­ women”(p 302).
dents in the rudiments of medicine and some basic surgeries, Shockingly enough, it was the boys who finally won the
with its graduates receiving the “ inferior”v lm s degree (rather batde. They petitioned the inspector general and the lieutenant
than the m b or m d degrees which were conferred on graduates governor on this matter and the latter persuaded Haimabati,
of the Calcutta Medical College who were taught in English by who, with characteristic pragmatism, readily agreed to relin­
British teachers).16 What made the Campbell school more quish her gold medal and settle for silver medals instead.
accessible to a larger number of Indian women was that it did Right now she needed money and her only request was that
not require a knowledge of English or a formal education at she be given a monthly scholarship of Rs 30 instead which
the time of admission, while the Calcutta Medical College only would enable her to attend lectures at the Calcutta Medical
admitted students holding a ba degree. College. One of the planks of the colonial “ civilising mission”
Despite the several, obvious disadvantages that they faced had, of course, been their programme of gendered social re­
(low status, very poor salary), these Campbell “ lady doctors” form, and the “ native”female uplift programme, including
actually played an important role, especially in the districts female education. Hence, the role of the colonial establish­
and in rural areas. Even though they were hospital assistants ment in this instance raises questions about their avowed
rather than full-fledged doctors, they became, as Geraldine gendered intent.
Forbes puts it, “ the backbone of these small hospitals and dis­
pensaries, staffing almost 90% of those set up by the Dufferin Gender Contradictions:
Fund as well as a number of government institutions” .17The Self-subservience of the Female Breadwinner
v lm s degree, thus, “ prepared women with very little formal Things stabilised financially only after Haimabati joined the
education to ‘ assist’doctors...Although these women held Hooghly Lady Dufferin W omen’ s Hospital, Chinsurah as a
‘inferior’ degrees, they were often put in charge of the hospitals “ lady doctor”“ on a pay of fifty rupees a month”(p 325). With
that employed them” .18 Moreover, their greatest advantage the job came free living quarters, and she was also allowed to
was that because they “ had grown up in Bengal, they knew the have a private medical practice alongside. Thus, she started to
language and usually the local dialect where they practised” receive an income from the hospital as well as from her private
and were especially effective in home visits, which constituted practice, becoming the fam ily’ s sole breadwinner. At this junc­
the larger part of their consultations.19 ture, she performed the dual roles of the “ male”breadwinner
by going out into the public world (traditionally a “ male”
Gender and Patriarchy in Medical College domain), and earning money, and of the traditional “ female”
Thus, with an infant in arms, Haimabati joined the Campbell nurturing of looking after the home and children.
Medical School in 1891 at the age of 26, along with a few other As a wife, Haimabati was sharp-tongued, mincing no words
girls. She points out that her sharp intelligence - “ My memory and they both had frequent arguments. However, one notes a
was quite good”(p 292) - served her in good stead and she profound contradiction in her with regard to the patriarchy
immediately started to do extremely well in her studies.20 she had fought and resisted all her life. The same woman
There were four females and 12 male students in her class. At who had displayed such fierce independence all her life,
the end of the first year, she “ stood first in the examination now suddenly showed unusual subservience. Like a docile
and was awarded two scholarships for this”(p 298). Her “ good w ife” , she handed over all her earnings - starting with
innate courage, coupled with her sharp intelligence made her the money from her two scholarships during her medical
a good student: school days:
I had no sense o f fear and that is w hy I m ade very few mistakes. The I received the stipend from m y scholarship every three months...
other girls w ere very jea lou s about this (p 299). I brought it h om e and h anded it over to m y husband and he spent it the
Later, when the final examinations took place (covering w ay he con sidered b est (p 296).

subjects like midwifery, surgery and surgical anatomy), it In fact, even after she had became a practising doctor and
was found that she had actually topped the class, scoring was earning well, she continued with this practice and gave
more than all the male students. In fact, she had beaten the him full control over the purse strings - clearly revealing how

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deeply rooted the internalisation of patriarchy can be. By cast­ (her sexual harasser). The civil surgeon gives a false certi­
ing herself in the traditional mould of a woman economically ficate, stating that the girl was 14 years old and had died of
dependent on a husband, Haimbati creates an “ imagined “septicaemia from normal menstruation”(p 334). For this
reality”of economic dependence for herself. cover-up job, the civil surgeon was paid Rs 5,000; the assistant
surgeon got Rs 1,000 and Haimabati was given Rs 500.
Since I handed over to m y husband w hatever I earned, I cou ld not
p rom ise anything w ithout first talking to him. I h ad to ask him if I Shocked that “ they had taken a bribe and given a false death
n eed ed even a sin gle pice. I earn ed a lot at this time; I g o t three to four certificate”, she at first refused to accept the money, but her
hundred rupees from m y practice over and above m y pay. I cou ld not bosses browbeat and bullied her into taking it. Eventually,
prom ise anything w ithout asking h im first (p 330).
however, what worried her more in the long run was how to
hide the bribe-money from her husband rather than the act of
Medical Career: Negotiating Sexual Harassment corruption itself! In other words, fear of the husband seemed
and Corruption at the Workplace stronger in her than a sense of moral outrage.
At this first job itself Haimabati was subjected to sexual har­
assment at the workplace by the assistant surgeon, Badri- Colonial Interactions
kanath Mukherji, who was her superior there: What could the colonial interactions have been for a Bengali
woman in the 19th century? Some interesting features emerge
The assistant su rgeon w as giv en the duty o f h elpin g the n e w lady
d octor (viz, herself) learn her work. He w ou ld com e to th e h ospital from Haimabati’ s memoir. By and large, the image of colonial­
and talk rubbish. He w ou ld b eg in to talk o f things w hich cau sed d is­ ism that emerges from her experiences - however limited and
ease. W hen he raised the m atter o f sham eful diseases, I m ov ed away abstruse they may be - is one of benevolence. Indirectly, she
and told him, ‘
I shall read up on the disea se in b o o k s’
. But he w as was indeed a beneficiary of the move to induct women into
not on e to listen to that. The dirty beast said w hatever cam e into his medical schools and the entire move to insert Indian women
m in d (p 328).
into medical training at various levels. This was, in fact, a
Her initial complaints (made to an English superior) were result of the move initiated by the Countess of Dufferin Fund
acted upon, and her tormentor was sternly warned not to enter from the 1880s onwards.22
the women's ward in this purdah hospital. However, this relief Beyond that, Europeans were a remote entity in rural Bengal
was temporary. The furious Bengali assistant surgeon wreaked and they crossed her path only occasionally. Once, during her
revenge on her by continuing to harass her in different ways travels, when she was cheated of her railway pass by a Eura­
(defecating at night near her kitchen, sending over goondas to sian Railway employee, the European station master had dis­
her house at night, etc), and the police turned a deaf ear to her pensed justice to her by punishing that Eurasian employee and
complaints, since the sub-inspector of Padma district was “ a making him compensate her financially. Similarly, when she
great friend of Doctor Badrika”(p 341). had been sexually harassed by a Bengali doctor at her work­
Haimabati also frankly discloses other compromises that place, she had approached the European senior doctor, who
she had to make at her workplace. The most striking of them had come to her rescue, by forbidding the Bengali doctor from
was the incident of a child of 11 dying in the hospital after entering the area, since it was supposed to be a “ zenana”hos­
marital rape by her husband - in an echo of the infamous Phul- pital. At the same time, however the image of the Europeans
mani Dasi case of 1890 which sparked off a raging controversy as “saviours”and dispensers of justice does occasionally stand
over the minimum age of a girl-wife for the consummation dismantled - as happens in the episode concerning Haimaba-
of marriage.21 ti’
s gold medal, where the local colonial authorities had bent to
A hair-raising incident occu rred around this time. A girl o f eleven, in popular pressure and taken it away from her.
an oil presser’
s fam ily in British Chandernagore, w as raped by her h us­
band. She w as haem orrhagin g and it did not stop (p 334). Identity, Female Subjectivity and Agency
She was called one night to attend upon the profusely bleed­ Female subjectivity and female agency predominate the
ing child. But despite all the combined efforts of the civil sur­ narrative, as Haimabati is shown to take control o f her life
geon, the assistant surgeon and herself, the girl died. At that time and again. She takes decisions for herself which are often
point, she voices her anger and outrage: hazardous and which sometimes radically challenged received
The girl died at three in the m orning. Th ey had not in form ed her par­ 19th century wisdom. Risks are taken by her in a single-
ents. She had com e to her in-laws’h ouse on ly for a few days before. minded pursuit of education and the assertion of her own
This is w hat h appen ed to her w ithin th ose days (p 334). identity - in the process, often flying in the face of custom in
The point to be noted is that this incident occurred after the achieving her objective.
passing of the Age of Consent Act of 1891, which had made it a There are four key aspects in her life which mark out her life
criminal offence for a husband to have sexual intercourse with as extraordinary. First, she was a literate woman in an age
his child-wife until she was 12years of age. Hence this incident when female literacy was taboo; second, she was a child-widow
was actually a criminal offence and should have been rightly a who remarried, with no family support, at the age of 23; third,
police case. However, Haimabati is forced to participate in a she went to great difficulties and even dangers in her passion
cover-up exercise carried out by the civil surgeon, Dr Kali Pado for learning; and lastly, she became a “ lady doctor” and
Gupta and his assistant surgeon, Dr Badrikanath Mukherjee managed both ghar and bahir in her life. In all this she
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displayed a female subjectivity which was the driving force comment that “ the father wanted to remarry when his child
of her life. was virtually on her deathbed”(p 98). Later, when she be­
Her female subjectivity and agency are also reflected in her comes a widow, her critique of society is sharp:
taking three key related decisions all on her very own, viz, the Sham e on you, H indu society, grea t is you r glory! A girl o f ten w ill
decision to be on her own without family support; the decision have to pay for the m a rriage o f an o ld m an o f fifty. I b o w a th ou sand
to convert from Hinduism to the reformist Brahmo Samaj tim es at th e feet o f parents w h o w o u ld in this w ay turn a daugh ter’
s
religion which afforded women higher social status and life into a desert. In no oth er cou n try d o e s on e find either such a s o ­
ciety or such conduct. Such op p re ssion o f w om e n is possib le on ly in
encouraged female education and widow remarriage; and
India; in no oth er cou ntry are such cu stom s in vogue. I w as but a
the decision to educate herself at the medical college and m ere child and I had a lready reliev ed m y parents o f all their r e sp o n ­
become a doctor. sibilities for m e and b ecom e a slave depen d en t on m y h usband’
s elder
She emerges as a highly intelligent, opinionated and out­ brothers... I w ou ld b e a slave to other p e o p le ’
s w him s for a handful

spoken woman who minced no words. She carved out for her­ o f rice (p 98).

self the identity of a rebel. Discussing the issue of identity, Indeed, in later years too she harshly condemns old widow­
one can also see, on her part, the appropriation of a “ male” ers who were eager to get remarried. After she has grown into
identity. Indeed, there was a blurring of gender identities from a beautiful young woman, she roundly tells off an old widower
her childhood itself, when she was affectionately nicknamed doctor who is all eyes for her and wants to marry her. To the
Chuni Babu (or “ little mister Chuni” ) by her indulgent father. person who has brought the old man’ s marriage proposal, she
In some sense, she even appropriated a male identity for her­ gives the advice that he should get his widowed daughter
self - for instance, by dressing as a boy during her childhood married instead: “ He has a 20 year old widowed daughter.
and playing with her male cousins in the family courtyard and Instead of arranging her marriage, he wants to get married
sitting with them during their lessons. himself”(p 211).
This kind of “male”identity coloured the rest of her life and The gendered evils critiqued are patriarchal practices such
governed her persona as well. Equally “ masculine”is the scien­ as enforced female illiteracy, child marriage and the continu­
tific temper and the tone of scientific scrutiny that she adopts. ing prejudice against widow remarriage. In this respect, gen­
In fact, the narrative tone is that of a detached, rational, scien­ dered reform is clearly associated with the Brahmo Samaj.
tific narrator, compiling detailed, empirical observations about Thus, when she seeks higher education she aims to go to
her life, based on a careful accumulation of details and seeking Calcutta, where she seeks out leading Brahmo educationists
to recall facts with accuracy and veracity. This feeds into both (who are based in that city), who favour female education. In
the scientific temper of a “ lady doctor”as well. fact, in course of her widowhood, she even opts to convert to
the Brahmo Samaj because of the greater respect that it has for
Feminist Critique of Patriarchal Society women - seen especially in its encouragement of female
Haimabati displays a feminist perspective and critiques pre­ education as well its treatment of widows, and especially its
vailing gender inequalities in the upper caste Hindu society. promotion of widow remarriage.
The issue of child marriage - and the dangers of marital rape After she becomes a doctor, she complains how even in the
that a minor wife was constantly exposed to - are spelled out medical profession women doctors are financially disadvan­
without any effort at euphemisms in the narrative. Hence, as a taged, the profession being dominated by male physicians. In
narrator, she talks frankly about sex and sexuality (e g, her one instance, while the male doctor, a senior man, is paid
witnessing of sexual intercourse as a child-bride). This is Rs 1,000 in a particular delivery case; he pays the midwife
indeed quite an unusual feature, especially given the fact that Rs 100 and to the lady doctor (Haimabati) he pays only Rs 50,
sex and sexual matters were considered unsuitable topics to leading her to complain in her narrative,
enunciate in the 1870s. Lady doctors and midwives were but pawns in the hands o f the male
The first gender issue that Haimabati critiques is that of doctors...when I thought o f these things, I lamented the fact that we
child marriage. She draws attention to it through her own ex­ were born as women (p 317)-

perience of marriage to a twice-widowed man old enough to At the same time, Haim abati’ s persona also reveals com­
be her father. She had vividly captured the psychological trau­ plexities and unexpected contradictions. Hence, intelligent,
mas of a child torn from her familiar surroundings and sub­ fearless, independent-minded and critical of patriarchal domi­
jected to attempted sexual assaults by a middle-aged husband, nation as she is, she nevertheless behaves like the most un­
as well as the narrow escape she had from marital rape. Espe­ questioning pativrata n a ri when she meekly hands over her
cially, censured by her was child-rape by aged husbands and earnings regularly to her ne’er-do-well husband - although she
the manner in which child-wives were initiated into sexually is the sole breadwinner.
active lives at a premature age.
Haimabati reserved her strongest condemnation for Gender Solidarity through Female Suffering
widower-remarriage, where aged widowers took as brides Female sisterhood is a distinct trope in this personal narrative.
girl-children who were sometimes younger than their children In course of her life and her wanderings through Benares,
by his previous wives. When her first husband’ s seven-year-old Calcutta and through different villages of East Bengal,
daughter who looked seriously ill, she makes the acerbic Haimabati received sympathy and help from diverse women,

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many o f them utter strangers. One is struck also by the com­ after they have grown old, or from brothers who cheat and rob
mon sympathy and understanding that seems to have bound them of their money and ornaments.
them together in an intangible, unspoken bond of common
female suffering. Thus, she receives greater sympathy from Conclusions
her brother’ s wife (rather than from her own brother) after Increasingly, wom en’ s personal testimonies are being recog­
she is widowed. Similarly, in Benares one woman gives her nised as an important historical source for studying history,
shelter, and another rich woman installs her in the school. especially gender history. Haimabati Sen’ s extraordinary
She calls many women d idi (older sister); she even finds a memoir maps the nuances, the twists and turns of the immeas­
“mother”during her wanderings in rural East Bengal, an old urably long journey of a woman in 19th century rural East Ben­
married woman whom she helps, and who in turn, “ adopts” gal from becoming a child-widow at the age of 10 to finally be­
her as a daughter, showering sympathetic love and affection coming a lady doctor (hospital assistant) in the Hooghly Lady
on her. In turn, she too is especially helpful to women, in­ Dufferin W omen’ s Hospital. Hence, perhaps one o f the most
cluding utter strangers; helping them in innumerable ways: valuable dimensions of this autobiography is the light it throws
in domestic chores, or in writing and reading out letters on wom en’ s lives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It
for them. In other words, she is not merely a recipient of reveals the complex and contradictory relations within the
help from female sympathisers, but in fact, an active giver of family, the diverse forms of gendered oppressions, the negotia­
help as well. tions and struggles against patriarchal tendencies in society,
Hence, one notes that there is almost a network of womanly as well as the contradictions and even compromises within the
sympathy and support - which actually, in effect, carries an forms of negotiation. In addition, this autobiography traces the
unspoken critique of patriarchy under which they are all fel­ growth of selfhood, female subjectivity, the exercise of female
low-sufferers. In one way or the other, these women have suf­ agency and self-assertion as well as the carving out of an iden­
fered at the hands of male family members - from husbands tity in the cultural and historical context of gender oppression
who drink and ill-treat them, from sons who abandon them in late 19th century colonial India.

n o tes ________________________________________________ 9 See Lynn Tesky Denton and Steve Collins, well as the kind o f patients these hospital
1 For the linkages between colonialism and the Female Ascetics in Hinduism (Albany: SUNY assistants catered to are discussed in great de­
rise of the novel in 19th century India, see Press), 2004, p 45. tail in the chapters “ Education to Earn: Train­
Meenakshi Mukherjee, Realism and Reality: 10 She did finally succeed in studying several ing Women in the Medical Professions” , and
The Novel and Society in India, 1985; Reprinted years later and becom ing a lady doctor’ . In the “Medicine for Women: ‘ Lady Doctors’in the
(New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2010. interim period o f several years she went back Districts of Bengal”in Geraldine Forbes, Women
to East Bengal and wandered all over the coun­ in Colonial India: Essays on Politics, Medicine,
2 The Memoirs o f Haimabati Sen: From Child
tryside - briefly working as a teacher to a raja’ s and Historiography (New Delhi: Chronicle
Widow to Lady Doctor (ed.) by Geraldine Forbes
wife, at other times receiving hospitality from Books), 2005; reprinted, 2008, pp 114-17 and
and Tapan Raychaudhuri (New Delhi: Roli
various quarters. pp 121-33.
Books), 2000.
11 See Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, “ Caste, Widow- 17 Geraldine Forbes, Women in Colonial India,
3 Haimabati’ s memoir was “ re-discovered”in its
Remarriage and the Reform o f Popular Cul­ p 116.
notebook form by gender historian Geraldine
ture in Colonial Bengal”in Bharati Ray (ed.), 18 Geraldine Forbes, Women in Colonial India,
Forbes in the course o f her interactions with
From the Seams o f History: Essays on Indian P 117-
the former’ s great-grandson. After being trans­
Women (Delhi: Oxford University Press), 1995, 19 Geraldine Forbes, Women in Colonial India,
lated by Tapan Raychaudury, the highly de­
pp 8-36; see also Carroll, Lucy. “ Law, Custom p 136. Regarding home visits, Reports from
tailed memoir, totalling 400 pages, was then
and Statutory Social Reform: The Hindu Wid­ Dacca and Mymensingh confirmed that “ lady
published (with some amount of difficulty in
ow s’Remarriage Act o f 1856”in J Krishna- doctors treated more than ten times as many
finding an interested publisher) as late as 2003.
murthy (ed.), Women in Colonial India: Essays w omen in their homes as in the hospital” . For
4 This phase of w idow hood in Haimabati’ s life on Survival, Work and the State (New Delhi: details see Geraldine Forbes, Women in Colonial
stretched for a period of 13 years (from c 1876 Oxford University Press), 1989. India, p 133.
till 1890). Initially, she stayed on in her in-laws’
12 Meredith Borthwick, The Changing Role o f 20 The Campbell Medical School started admit­
house; but following her kind mother-in-laws’
Women in Bengal, 1849-1905 (Princeton: Princ­ ting wom en students from 1888. For details see
death, she shifted to her parents’ house; finally, eton University Press), p 143. Geraldine Forbes, “ Medicine for Women: Lady
having to go away to Benares. Later, she
13 For a discussion of the link between conversion Doctors in the Districts of Bengal”in Geraldine
wandered about in Calcutta and East Bengal,
to Christianity and “ feminism”in the 19th cen­ Forbes, Women in Colonial India, pp 121-40.
in search o f study and employment.
tury in the case of Maharashtra, see Padma An- 21 In 1890,11-year-old Phulmani was subjected to
5 For details about the sufferings o f widows see the agol, “Indian Christian Women and Indigenous violent sexual intercourse by her husband Hari
anthology of writings on widows, including first- Feminism, c 1850 - c 1920”in Clare Midgely Maiti aged 35, resulting in her death. Following
person narratives by widows, see Uma Chakra- (ed.). Gender and Imperialism (Manchester and the huge controversy that ensued after this
varti and Preeti Gill (ed.), Shadow Lives: Writings New York: Manchester University Press), 1998, incident, the Age of Consent Act was passed in
on Widowhood, 2001 (New Delhi: Zubaan), 2007. pp 79-103: and Padma Anagol, The Emergence 1891, raising the age o f consent from 10 to 12.
6 For details see Parvatibai Athavale, Hindu Wid­ o f Feminism in India, 1850-1920 (London: Ash- For a discussion see the tw o chapters, “ Conju­
ow: An Autobiography, trans. Rev Justin E Ab­ gate), 2006. gality and Hindu Nationalism: Resisting C olo­
bott, 1930; Reprinted (New Delhi: Reliance 14 Early female doctors included Kadambini Basu nial Reason and the Death o f a Child-wife” ;
Publishing House), 1986, pp 46-54. in Bengal, who passed out o f the Calcutta Medical and “ A Pre-History o f Rights? The Age o f Con­
7 For further details on widow s in Bengal, see College in 1886, and Anandibai Joshi in Maha* sent Debates in Colonial Bengal” in Tanika
Tanika Sarkar, “ Wicked Widows: Law and rashtra, who passed out from the Women’ s Sarkar, Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation: Community,
Faith in Nineteenth Century Public Sphere Medical College, Philadelphia, also in 1886. Religion and Cultural Nationalism , 2001; Re­
Debates”in Tanika Sarkar, Rebels, Wives, Saints: 15 Geraldine Forbes, Women in Modern India, printed (New Delhi: Permanent Black), 2005,
Designing Selves and Nations in Colonial Times The New Cambridge History o f India, Vol IV. 2 pp 191-225; and pp 226-49.
(New Delhi: Permanent Black), 2009, pp 121-52. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 22 For details about the Dufferin Fund see Manee-
8 See Sumit Sarkar, “ Vidyasagar and Brahmini- 1998; Reprint, 2007, p 161. Forbes discusses sha Lai, “ The Politics Of Gender and Medicine
cal Society”in Sumit Sarkar, Writing Social early women doctors, pp 161-67. in Colonial India: The Countess o f Dufferin’ s
History (Delhi: Oxford University Press), 1997, 16 The Campbell Schools, their pattern o f educa­ Fund, 1885-1888”in Bulletin o f the History of
pp 242-81. tion, the type of employment they generated as Medicine 68, No 1, Spring 1994, pp 29-66.

62 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l XLvn n o 12 (323 E con om ic & P olitical w e e k ly

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Rural Housing Quality as an Indicator


o f Consumption Sustainability

ABHIROOP MUKHOPADHYAY, INDIRA RAJARAMAN

An exogenously defined poverty line yields poverty 1 Introduction


overty assessments through independent cross-sectional

P
headcounts between any tw o points in tim e that are a
samples of the National Sample Survey (nss) variety can
net outcome o f the tw o-w ay traffic into and out of
track poverty over time only as a net outcome of the
poverty. This paper argues that, for the rural Indian two-way traffic out of, and into, poverty. Notwithstanding
context, where housing is too lumpy and illiquid to be conflicting stands on where exactly the poverty line should be
used for consumption smoothing, transitions in housing positioned for India, there is a fair degree of consensus across
definitional schools that the poverty headcount shows a
quality in cross-sectional data sets can provide revealed
declining trend. This result is invariant to whether one uses
evidence o f household perceptions o f downside risk to the official poverty line (28.3% for 2004-05 according to the
their current consumption levels. Using the tw o most Planning Commission or the poverty line advocated by the
recent National Sample Survey housing surveys (the Tendulkar Committee, which places the headcount at 41.8%
for 2004-05).1
58th round for 2002 and the 65th round for 2008-09),
Very early results in the literature on rural poverty show
composite housing quality classifications are unbundled, that there is yearly fluctuation around any poverty trend, as a
and binary wall quality is selected from cross-quartile result of the exogenous weather factor in rain-dependent agri­
behaviour as the feature most responsive to rising culture (Ahluwalia 1978). Non-synchronous shocks across the
15 agro-climatic regions in the land mass of India add a further
household consumption levels. In both rounds, the
regional netting out across regions, so that such yearly move­
incremental move to better quality declines beyond the ments in the national headcount will be the net outcome of
consumption level at which half o f all households are in movements into poverty in regions hit by adverse external
better quality structures. The threshold consumption shocks, and movements out of poverty in regions that experi­
enced a good agricultural year. These exogenous shocks by
level at which this happens was lower in 2008-09 than in
definition affect contiguous groupings of households, but there
2002 and reflects an improvement in housing conditions will also be idiosyncratic shocks specific to the household (for
over the period. However, this effective saturation o f the example, shocks to health). Consumption smoothing in the
demand for the most basic element o f better housing, face of income variability, whether idiosyncratic or otherwise,
is possible if there is a financial market offering liquidity
much before actual saturation, provides a quantitative
against asset collateral. Housing is the major durable asset
measure of the percentage o f households even in the owned by households, but in rural India in particular, it differs
topm ost quartile th a t fears downside consumption risk. from all other assets in that it is not readily encashable. Hous­
ing is physically rooted in its location, and unless there is a
sufficient flow of population, as would be the case in an urban
setting, it has no collateral value.
Housing varies by quality, and therefore transitions in hous­
ing quality are potentially useful markers of the confidence of
a household in its future income stream. Higher quality hous­
ing should normally exhibit income elasticity, and show a rise
The research for this paper was funded by the Planning and Policy
Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, under the project titled with income (or consumption) level, constrained at all times
“Finding a Tracking Identifier for Poverty” . by the illiquidity of the asset acquired, in the event of down­
Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay (abhiroop@isid.ac.in) is at the Indian side income risk. Cross-sectional data on housing quality in
Statistical Institute, Delhi. The work on this paper was done while he principle therefore offer the prospect of revealing the income
was Sir Ratan Tata Senior Fellow at the Institute o f Economic Growth, (or consumption) level at which confidence in staving off
Delhi. Indira Rajaraman dndira_raja@yahoo.com) is Honorary Visiting downside risk for the lumpy and irreversible move to be made
Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.
is sufficiently widespread that there is saturation in terms of

Economic & Political w e e k ly EQQ m a r c h 2 4 , 2 012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 63

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transition to the higher quality level. At this point, the marginal one can make the case that the effect of the scheme is netted
coefficient for transition to higher quality housing, in response out when comparing 2002 to 2008-09. However, given that
to changes in income, should begin to decline, relative to lower iay has seen increased funding in recent years, one could still

levels of income. make the case that recent improvements in housing are a result
Ideally, panel data on the same set of sample households of iay . Since iay is targeted at the below the poverty line (bpl)
over time can reveal whether there are any downward move­ population, it is clear that this will cause an increase in the
ments of a particular household from higher to lower housing number of poor people with pucca houses. However, this is un­
quality, contrary to the assumption made here that the key fea­ likely to affect the turning point in the marginal probabilities
ture of housing, as distinct from other movable consumer du­ of transitions in quality of housing which take place at quartiles
rables, like bicycles or domestic gadgets like fans, is its irre­ of consumption expenditure much higher than the poverty line.
versibility. If the assumption holds, the further corollary is that
the quality of housing is an imprint of its prior consumption 2 Data and Methods
confidence, possibly unrelated to the actual consumption level The n ss housing surveys collect information on various as­
recorded at the time of survey. pects of the structure in which the sample household resides.
Recent work using nationwide panel data (Krishna and Of all the features of housing quality on which information is
Shariff 2011) examine similar issues of transition into and collected, including the number of rooms, and access to water
escape from poverty. However, in their case they look at long and sanitation, the most readily observed features are the type
run poverty transitions from 1993-94 to 2004-05 and model of wall and roof. The wall and roof are each classified in one of
the role of household correlates. While such data are always nine mutually exclusive categories. Table 1 shows that cate­
preferable, they are sporadic. Most national level data sets that gories 1-4 in respect of each are classified as kutcha (imperma­
are more periodic in nature are cross sectional, such as those nent), and 5-9 as pucca (permanent).
collected by the National Sample Survey Office (n ss o ). Table 1: Rural Housing Categories by Type
This paper points out a unique way to look at poverty; one Categories for Wall and Roof

that endogenises household expectations of risk and future in­ 1-4 Bamboo/reeds (1); m ud/m ud bricks (2); canvas/
come. Accordingly, this paper examines the evidence on rural cloth (3); other kutcha (4)
housing from two recent n ss surveys of housing, to understand 5 Tim ber (wall); tiles/slate (roof)
housing quality transitions across the per capita consumption 6-9 Burnt bricks/stone (6); m etal sheets (7); cem ent
w ith brick or concrete (8); other pucca (9)
spectrum, divided into four quartiles. Composite Standard Classification Kutcha (%) Semi-Pucca (%) 1Pucca(%)
Section 2 of the paper describes the data used from the hous­ 1993 (49th round) 31.7 36.0 32.3
ing surveys in the 58th round, which was canvassed over the 2002 (58th round) 21.3 30.3 48.4
period July to December 2002 (in effect, a half-round), and the 2008-09 (65th round) 17.0 27.6 55.4
65th round, which covered the period July 2008 to June 2009. Composite alt classification
n s s housing surveys collect very detailed information on all 2002 (58th round) 21.3 42.8 35.9
a s p e c ts of housing, with th e consumption level of the house­ The standard composite classification o f structures into kutcha (both w all and roof 1-4) and
pucca (both w all and roof 5-9) carried a residual sem i-pucca category w ith combinations
hold recorded as part of the ancillary information on the sam­ o f pucca walls (5 -9 ) and kutcha roofs (1-4), as also structures w ith kutcha walls and pucca
ple household.2Although the two housing rounds cover both roofs. An alternate composite in th e 58th round assigned tiled roofs (category 5) to the
semi-pucca category, so th a t a pucca structure required roof categories 6 -9 . The estimates
rural and urban sectors, this paper is confined to the rural sec­ for th a t round were regenerated to be com parable w ith th e 4 9th and 65th rounds.
tor. In urban India, a bundled indicator of housing quality and SourcerNSSO reports on Housing (2002 and 2 00 8-09 ).

location may show a more systematic relationship with con­ A composite classification of the quality of the house as a
sumption or income levels than housing quality alone. whole is provided in the official n ss reports on the housing sur­
Section 3 describes the method used to locate the consump­ veys, into kutcha housing (both wall and roof in categories 1-4),
tion quartile in which, from the evidence of marginal prob­ pucca housing (wall and roof in categories 5-9), and a residual
abilities of transition from lower to higher quality housing, the semi-pucca category, in which wall and roof do not fall in the
demand for higher housing begins to get saturated. Therefore, same numbered range of categories. Table 1 shows the data
the residual percentage of households in the upper quartiles from the n s s reports on three rounds, the 49th (January to
who have not improved their housing yields an initial handle December 1993), 58th (July-December 2002) and the 65th
on the percentage not sufficiently sure of their location at that round (July 2008 to June 2009).
consumption level to embed themselves irreversibly in higher The figures suggest a substantial improvement in housing
quality housing. condition in rural areas, with kutcha structures down from
An unresolved issue with rural housing is the degree to 31% to 17% over the 15years from 1993 to 2008-09, and pucca
which observed data may have been affected by rural housing structures up from 32% to 55%. When, as happened in the 58th
interventions, such as the Indira Awaas Yojana (iay). The iay round (2002), roofs of tile/slate are assigned out of the pucca
first started as a sub-scheme of the Rural Labour Employment category into the semi-pucca, the share of pucca structures
Guarantee Scheme in 1985-86, and became an independent goes down substantially from 48% to 36%.
scheme in 1996.3 Since both our rounds are from much later Clearly, the housing quality descriptives need to be unbun­
period, they are equally affected by this scheme. Therefore dled, and this is generated from the primary data for the latest

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round in 2008-09 in Table 2, by monthly per capita consump­ share of structures with a kutcha roof, irrespective of wall
tion (m p c e ) quartile. These are quartiles of households, not of quality, is much flatter across quartiles as compared to
the total population, and are formed after weighting each kutcha walls.
sample household by the household multiplier supplied by the Third, the spread between the quartiles in housing quality is
n s s . The official poverty line for 2004-05 was a monthly per much narrower than the spread in m p c e , shown in the table.
capita consumption of Rs 356.35. The equivalent at 2002-03 The mean m p c e in the upper quartile is 3.5 times that in the
prices works out to Rs 334. All consumption figures for 2008-09 lowest quartile, but the percentage share with pucca walls
in the table are shown at 2002-03 prices. The poverty line at rises from 46% in the lowest to only 77% in the highest quartile.
2002-03 prices is just a little above the cut-off for quartile 1. (The consumption expenditure figures in the table are all at
Table 2:Wall and Roof Quality by Quartile (%share; 2008-09) 2002-03 prices.) Even in the uppermost quartile, the share of
Quartile 1 Quartile 2 Quartile 3 Quartile 4 Total households with kutcha walls is as high as 23%. This is some­
Mean MPCE, 2002 prices (Rs) 258.34 379.63 507.68 907.42 510.06 what startling. Likewise the share of households with pucca
Max MPCE, 2002 prices (Rs) 326.57 433.87 594.82 29,678.62 29,678.62 walls in the lowest quartile, at 46%, is also much higher than
Wall quality percentages might be expected. The shares by roof quality are even flatter
K-wall, K-roof 23 19 16 9 17
across quartiles.
K-wall, tiled roof 22 15 12 8 14
These descriptives point to wall, rather than roof quality, as
K-wall, non-tile pucca roof 9 9 9 6 9
the feature of housing quality that rises most sharply with
K-wall subtotal 54 43 37 23 40
K-wall, cum ulative 54 49 45 40
household consumption levels. The incremental change in
P-wall, kutcha roof 6 5 4 3 4 wall quality is sharpest between quartiles 3 and 4.
P-wall, tiled roof 9 11 12 12 11 The issue of the high share of pucca walls in the lowest quar­
P-wall, non-tile pucca roof 31 41 46 62 45 tile remains puzzling. There are two possible explanations.
P-wall subtotal 46 57 62 77 60 One is that this is the result of interventions such as the i a y . A
P-wall, cumulative 46 51 55 60 second possibility is that this is the result of movement down­
Total 100 100 100 100 100 ward into poverty of households that had earlier been able to
Roof quality percentages upgrade wall quality.
K-roof 29 24 20 12 22
Table 3 shows quartile specific housing shares in the 58th
Tiled roof 31 26 24 20 25
N on-tile pucca roof 40 50 56 68 53
round at the quartile cut-offs corresponding to those in the
Total 100 100 100 100 100 65th round (for comparability across the rounds, but as shown
Household quartiles are marked o ff by rupees per capita m onthly consumption expenditure in Table 3, the cut-offs yield quartiles approximately here as
(MPCE) at 2002 prices, deflated by the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labourers.
well). Here again, the pucca wall share in the lowest group is
All figures are obtained after weighting by household weights, not population w eights.
Source: Authors' calculations from the 65th round housing survey of the NSS, covering the 38%, rising to 71% in the highest group. It seems implausible
period July 200 8 to June 2009.
that so large a share in the lowest quartile between n s s rounds
Three features of the quartile wise data are especially note­ would be a result of downward movement of households on
worthy. First, the percentage share of the kutcha wall-kutcha the consumption scale, so the high percentages among the
roof (k-wall, k-roof) combination declines sharply across quar­ lowest group has to be a result of policy interventions among
tiles, but so does the share of structures with a tiled or other designated poverty groups. This if anything only heightens
pucca roof overlaid on a kutcha wall. Structures with kutcha Table 3:Wall and Roof Quality by Quartile (%Share),2002, using Quartile
walls, aggregating across roof types, decline steadily from Cut-offs fromthe 65th Round (2008-09) _____ ______
54% of total structures in quartile i to 23% in quartile 4. The Quantile 1 Quantile 2 Quantile 3 Quantile 4 Total
decline in share from quartile 1, to 43% in quartile 2, is parti­ Mean MPCE, 2002 prices (Rs) 245.57 380.01 500.08 843.98 492.63
Max MPCE, 2002 prices (Rs) 326.57 433.87 594.82 8,000.00 8,000.00
cularly sharp. This cross-quartile behaviour, in particular the
Per cent households
substantial movement out of kutcha walls going from quartile 22.88 25.2
at 65th round quartile cut-offs 25.31 26.62
1to quartile 2, reveal kutcha walls to be inferior to pucca walls. Housing quality percentages
The overall share across all quartiles of this (revealed inferior) K-wall, K-roof 31 24 19 11 21
type of structure with kutcha walls is 40%, much higher than K-wall, tiled roof 24 21 17 12 19
the 17% share of the composite kutcha structure. K-wall, non-tile pucca roof 7 9 8 6 7
The second noteworthy feature, is that when structures are K-wall subtotal 62 54 44 29 47
K-wall, cum ulative 62 58 53 47
aggregated by roof type, the share of structures with a kutcha
P-wall, kutcha roof 4 5 5 3 4
roof is much lower even in the lowest quartile, at 29%, and
P-wall, tiled roof 11 11 13 16 13
declines much less sharply going into quartile 2. The overall
P-wall, non-tile pucca roof 23 31 38 52 36
share across all quartiles of structures with a kutcha roof is 38 47 56 71 53
P-wall subtotal
only 22%. Kutcha wall structures are more likely to have a P-wall, cumulative 38 42 47 53
non-kutcha roof of tile, or better than tile, even in the lowest Total 100 100 100 100 100
quartile. Also, once the irreversible transition to a pucca wall Household quantiles are marked o ff using th e same cut-offs w hich marked o ff household
quartiles in the 65th round.
is made, there is a small stable per cent of structures staying Source: Authors' calculations from the 58th round housing survey of the NSS, covering the
with a kutcha roof cover pending the pucca roof. Thus, the period July to Decem ber 2002.

Economic & Political weekly Q 3S9 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 65

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the puzzle over the lack of full coverage in the highest quartile durables like a pucca wall, the decline in the marginal coeffi­
groups of a permanent wall, the most basic dimension of cient would normally be indicative of saturation. However, at
housing quality. the start of the consumption range defining quartile 3, half of
Comparing across the rounds, 51% of the lowest two quar- households cumulating across the bottom two quartiles were
tiles in 2008-09 had pucca walls, as opposed to only 42% of without a pucca wall. Within quartile 3, 37% of households
those at equivalent consumption levels in 2002. Cumulatively, were without a pucca wall. The further sharp decline in the
the bottom three quartiles in 2008-09 had 55%, higher than marginal coefficient in quartile 4 coexists with 23% of house­
the overall pucca wall share of 53% in 2002. If the move to holds in that quartile without a pucca wall.
pucca walls is taken as irreversible, then the rise in the share The marginal coefficients for the 58th round segments, are
of pucca wall structures is plausible even in classes defined by estimated at the quartile cut-offs of the 65th round so as to be
equivalent consumption levels, since the change would reflect for comparable consumption ranges. These approximate very
the addition to the stock on account of households which roughly to quartiles of the 58th round itself. The marginal
experienced an improvement in m p c e within the same coefficients for this round show a decline only in quartile 4.
cut-off markers. This implies that over time, there has either been an improve­
ment in housing or households are now less secure about their
3 Results future incomes. Since the proportion of households with pucca
Table 4 shows the results from a probit specification estimating walls has risen in every quartile, it is more likely that our
the probability of transition to a pucca wall estimated sepa­ results reflects an improvement in housing quality.
rately for each quartile, with controls for n s s state-regions. The estimates were also run for total household expenditure
(75 state regions as defined in the 58th round - these allow rather than m p c e , within the same quartiles defined by m p c e ,
for even more flexibility than considering only agro-climatic to check for whether the pattern of transitions might change
zones which would require coarser partitions of the country.) with total expenditure, which incorporates household size.
The quartile-specific estimation allows the estimation of mar­ The results are broadly similar, except that in 2008-09, the
ginal coefficients at the average of ranges of per capita con­ marginal coefficient rises slightly in quartile 3 relative to quar­
sumption, specified by (in this case, equal numbers of) house­ tile 2, before declining in quartile 4. The negative coefficient in
holds falling in the range.4 the lowest quartile for 2002, is clearly because of household
Table4: Marginal Coefficients for Probabilityof Transition toa Pucca Wallr size in this quartile increasing more than proportionately with
by MPCEQuartiles for the 65thand 58thRounds (Rural)_______________ household total expenditure. This result in particular suggests
Unit Quartile 1 Quartile 2 Quartile 3 Quartile 4 that m p c e is the better indicator of transitions in housing
Average marginal effect o f one
rupee increase in MPCE quality. If the move to a pucca wall, as a decision not easily
2008-09 Exp (-4) 2.982 6.721 2.920 0.933 reversed or encashable, is taken as an indicator of confidence in
2002 Exp (-4) 1.630 6.191 8.231 1.609 the sustainability of current consumption levels, these results
Average marginal effect o f one in conjunction with the stock descriptives in Tables 2 and 3
rupee increase in total hh con exp
suggest some structural similarities in terms of confidence
2008-09 Exp (-4) 0.301 1.324 1.328 0.168
2002 Exp (-4) -0.581 0.610 1.184 0.432 about downside consumption risk in 2008-09 relative to 2002.
The nominal consumption levels in th e 65th round w ere deflated to 58th round prices. The marginal coefficients decline in 2002 in quartile 4, at a
Quartiles w ere form ed w ith respect to consumption levels in th e 65th round and the same
cumulative starting stock of 47% pucca walls, and in 2008-09
absolute MPCE quartile cut-offs w ere used for th e 58th round as w ell (see Table 3).
Source: Authors' calculations from the 58th (2002) and 65th (2 0 0 8 -0 9 ) round housing at quartile 3, at a starting cumulative stock of 51%. Beyond the
surveys o f th e NSS. consumption level at which about half of all households have a
We test the following specification across n sample house­ pucca wall, the incremental move to a pucca wall declines.
holds in each survey, and the 75 state-regions, as defined in the The coefficient for the lowest quartile is much higher in
58th round, in which the sample household falls: 2008-09 than in 2002, which once again heightens the puzzle
74
over iay interventions for households b p l . If that intervention
P r(y ; = 1) = 0) (a + p. X; + I 8 j. Dsj) ;i = had operated at the lowest end of the quartile, it should in prin­
ciple have flattened the slope. But instead the marginal coeffi­
w h ere y - . is the bin ary depen den t variable w h ich takes a value cient has risen in 2008-09 for this quartile relative to 2002
o f on e if the h ou seh old d w ellin g has a p u cca wall, an d ze ro if it quite sharply, suggesting that the benefits of this programme
d o e s not, for the ith sam ple household. x(is the m onth ly per accrue to those at the top end of the poverty range.
capita con su m ption o f h ou seh old i and Dsj is a d u m m y variable
for the n s s region ;, and is a catch-all residual captu rin g the Conclusions
agro-clim atic and e co n o m ic en viron m en t in w h ich the sam ple By the latest rural housing survey for 2008-09 from the 65th
h ou seh old falls. round of the n s s , structures classified as kutcha (a kutcha roof
The marginal probability of transition to a pucca wall, esti­ on a kutcha wall) account for 17% of all structures. However,
mated at the average of each quartile, for every rupee increase when structures are not assigned a unique composite classi­
in m p c e , rises from quartile 1 to quartile 2 in 2008-09, but fication, and are unbundled by type of wall and roof, the share
then declines in quartile 3 and then further in quartile 4. For of rural structures with a kutcha wall (of mud or bamboo), at
66 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 EB3EI Economic & Political weekly

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40%, is far higher. The overlay of a tile or metal sheet roof on a most basic element of better housing, much before actual sat­
kutcha wall accounts for the difference. Structures with a uration, provides a quantitative measure of the per cent of
kutcha wall, aggregating across roof types, show a sharp de­ households even in the topmost quartile that fears downside
cline in share across consumption quartiles in both the 65th consumption risk.
round, and the 58th round housing survey for 2002. Pucca In 2002, the marginal coefficient declines only in quartile 4
walls show a corresponding increase in share, revealing these (using the same real m p c e cut-offs as 2008-09), at a cumula­
to be clearly preferred, with the incremental shift in wall qual­ tive stock of 47% pucca walls. Since the decline in the mar­
ity sharpest between quartiles 3 and 4. By contrast, the share ginal coefficient occurs in 2008-09 at quartile 3, at a cumula­
of structures with a tile or other pucca roof, irrespective of tive stock of 51% with pucca walls, the incremental move to a
wall quality, is much flatter across quartiles. These descrip- pucca wall declines in both years beyond the real consumption
tives point to wall, rather than roof, type as the best indicator level at which about half of all households have a pucca wall,
of improvements in housing quality as households move up the where that consumption level itself is lower in 2008-09 than
consumption scale. in 2002. If the move to a pucca wall, as a decision not easily
A transition to a pucca wall is also irreversible, because it is reversed or encashable, is taken as an indicator of confidence
physically rooted in its location, and unless there is a sufficient in the sustainability of current consumption levels, these
flow of population, as would be the case in an urban setting, results suggest that the structural parameters defining fear of
has no collateral value. Following from this, the transition of a downside consumption risk have not changed appreciably dur­
household to a pucca wall will be constrained by household ing this period, despite the rise in current m p c e between the
assessments of the sustainability of their current consumption two survey years. The decline in the share of kutcha wall struc­
levels. These estimates of sustainability could differ for different tures from 47% in 2002 to 40% in 2008-09, and the corre­
ranges of household m p c e . Also, at higher ranges of m p c e , the sponding rise in pucca wall structures from 53% to 60%, does
probability of transition will be constrained by the received mark a slight improvement in the rural housing stock between
stock of structures that have already made the transition. 2002 and 2008-09.
The paper therefore estimates, separately for each con­ The spread between the quartiles in housing quality is much
sumption quartile, the marginal probabilities of transition to narrower than the spread in per capita consumption levels.
pucca walls, for every rise of one rupee in m p c e , with dummy The mean m p c e in the upper quartile in 2008-09 is 3.5 times
variables controlling for the state-region in which the house­ that in the lowest quartile, but the percentage share with
hold is located. The marginal probability of transition from a puccaa walls is 77% in the highest quartile, as against 46% in
kutcha to a pucca wall in 2008-09 rises from quartile 1 to the lowest quartile.
quartile 2, but then declines in quartile 3 and then further in Finally, the high share of structures with pucca walls at the
quartile 4. For durables like a pucca wall, the decline in the lowest quartile is possibly a result of the rural housing scheme
marginal coefficient would normally be indicative of satura­ (iay). The marginal coefficient for the probability of transiting
tion. However, at the start of the consumption range defining to a pucca wall in the lowest quartile is much higher in 2008-09
quartile 3, 51% of households cumulating across the lowest than in 2002. If that intervention had operated at the lowest
two quartiles were without a pucca wall. Within quartile 3 end of the quartile, it should in principle have flattened the
alone, 37% of households were without a pucca wall. The fur­ slope. But instead the marginal coefficient has risen in 2008-09
ther sharp decline in the marginal coefficient in quartile 4 for this quartile relative to 2002 quite sharply, suggesting that
coexists with 23% of households in that quartile without a the benefits of this programme accrue to those at the top end
pucca wall. This effective saturation of the demand for the of the poverty range.

n o t e s ____________________________________________ National Strategies? Rural Poverty Dynamics Housing Stock and Constructions” , Report
in States and Regions of India, 1993-2005” , No 488, March.
1 Himanshu (2010) provides a detailed descrip­
World Development. (2010): “Housing Condition and Amenities in
tion of these alternative poverty lines.
NSSO (2004): “Housing Condition in India, 2002: India: 2008-09”Report No 535, November.
2 The samples drawn for the consumption and
housing surveys in any round are different so
that no link is possible between the two.
3 http://rural.nic.in/iaygd2.html For the Attention o f Subscribers and
4 Alternatively, we could have considered a Subscription Agencies Outside India
quadratic specification in terms of per capita
consumption but this would impose a parametric It has come to our notice that a large number of subscriptions to the EPW from outside the
shape to our relationship.
country together with the subscription payments sent to supposed subscription agents in India
have not been forwarded to us.
R EF ER EN CES____________________________________

Ahluwalia, M (1978): “ Rural Poverty and Agricul­ We wish to point out to subscribers and subscription agencies outside India that all foreign
ture Performance in India” Journal o f Deve­ subscriptions, together with the appropriate remittances, must be forwarded to us and not to
lopment Studiesy Vol 14, Issue No 2, April,
pp 298-323. unauthorised third parties in India.
Himanshu (2010): “ Towards New Poverty Lines We take no responsibility whatsoever in respect of subscriptions not registered with us.
for India”Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 45,
Issue No 1,2-8 January, pp 38-48. M anager
Krishna, A and A Shariff (2011): “
The Irrelevance of

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Total Factor Productivity Growth


and Its D ecom position
The Indian Banking Sector during Liberalisation

ANUP KUMAR BHANDARI_____________________________________

This article considers overall total factor productivity 1 Introduction


recognition of the need of an efficient financial sector

A
improvement achieved by 68 Indian commercial banks
to promote overall economic development can be
from 1998-99 to 2006-07, and breaks it into its
traced all the way back to the early 20th century when
components - technical change, technical efficiency Joseph Schumpeter (1911) argued in his Theory o f Economic
change and scale (efficiency) change factor - using the Development that scarcity of finance is a serious obstacle to
Data Envelopment Analysis methodology. The results development. Cross-country experience also suggests that the
existence of a healthy, efficient and competitive financial
suggest that public sector banks, on an average,
sector, which Joseph Stiglitz (1998) termed the “ brain”of the
adjusted to the changing environment better and economy, is a necessary precondition for rapid economic
improved their performance relative to their development. This necessity is more pronounced in the case
counterparts under private and foreign ownership. of backward or so-called developing economies because the
opportunity cost of capital is more in them, coupled with
This finding has important policy implications in that
underdeveloped financial markets (Smith 1998). Further, in­
the government should be more cautious in liberalising efficiency in financial intermediation carries with it the possi­
the Indian banking sector and not blindly invite more bility of misallocation of funds, which could result in more
foreign players to it. non-performing assets (Barman 2007).
Financial intermediaries such as banks are major players in any
financial market, and their overall performance is therefore an
important determinant of the performance of the financial sector
concerned, in particular; and that of the overall eco n o m y in gen ­
eral. Over time, the banking systems in many developing econo­
mies performed poorly, and researchers diagnosed it as a direct
consequence of the excessive regulations that were in place.
However, the experience with deregulation in the banking sector
has been mixed in nature. Empirical studies in the us show that
measured cost productivity actually decreased following deregu­
lation (Bauer, Berger and Humphrey 1993; Humphrey and Pulley
1997; Berger and Mester 2001). On the other hand, a study by
Chaffai (1997) analysed the deregulation experience in Timisia
and found that total factor productivity ( t f p ) of banks increased
following a liberalisation programme initiated in 1986. However,
the rate of technical progress was higher than the rate of pro­
ductivity growth, implying that the banks, on an average,
became less efficient after liberalisation.1 Thus the issue of
whether financial deregulation actually helps overall develop­
ment or sometimes can be so counterproductive as to hinder
the process of development may be an interesting subject
The author would like to thank an anonymous referee for some helpful of debate. The issue becomes more relevant in view of the
comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of the paper. The usual
continuing global financial crisis, which originated in the us
disclaimer applies.
mortgage lending market and soon spread to others. As noted
Anup Kumar Bhandari (janupkbhandari@gmailcom) is with the Centre by analysts, uncontrolled financial innovations introduced by
for Development Studies, Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram.
investment agencies and other banks, as well as by some other
68 MARCH 24, 2012 v o l XLVII n o 12 I32S3 Economic & Political w e e k ly

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SPECIALARTICLE
financial institutions, were one of the major causes of the enhance the quality of credit decisions and facilitate faster
crisis. The objective of the present paper is to study the overall credit delivery.
performance of major Indian commercial banks in the post- However, as pointed out by Barman (2007), two distinct
financial deregulation period through a thorough analysis of phases are discernible in the reform of the Indian banking sys­
their t fp growth and its major components. tem. The first phase, 1992-98, can be thought of as a period of
It is useful to briefly recall here the nature of the Indian bank­ transition from a regulated regime to one in which there was a
ing system at the time financial sector reforms were initiated in gradual adaptation of international standards. The second
the early 1990s. This would facilitate a greater clarity of the ra­ phase, the post-1998 period, can be considered the “ true”post­
tionale and basis of reforms. The Indian financial system in the liberalisation period. In this regime, banks were able to enjoy
pre-reform period essentially catered to the needs of planned almost full freedom in pricing their products. In sharp contrast
development in a mixed economy where the government sector to the earlier phase, this regime was perceived as more accom­
played a dominant role in economic activity. The strategy of modative towards competition. Further, the entry of new pri­
planned economic development required huge expenditure, vate banks and some foreign banks made a significant change
which was met through the government ownership of major in the structure of the Indian banking sector. For one, there has
banks, an automatic monetisation of the fiscal deficit and by been increasing competition among banks (as reflected in their
subjecting the banking sector to large pre-emptions - both in share of expenditure on advertising and publicity as a propor­
terms of the statutory holding of government securities (statu­ tion of total operating cost), and the share of publicly owned
tory liquidity ratio, or s l r ) and the administrative direction of banks, though still the largest among the major bank groups,
credit to preferred sectors. Further, a complex structure of ad­ has been gradually diminishing over time (Table 1). These
ministered interest rates prevailed, guided more by social priori­ changes necessarily make the individual players more market-
ties, necessitating cross-subsidisation to sustain the commercial oriented and call for them to improve their performance. Our
viability of institutions. These not only distorted the interest rate concern in this paper is whether such anticipation holds good
mechanism but also adversely affected development of the for the Indian banking industry in the “ true”post-liberalisation
financial market (Rangarajan 2007). period. For that, we have examined t f p changes that have
Contrary to this, financial reforms in India created an ena­ taken place in the last year we have considered, 2006-07 over
bling environment for banks to overcome external constraints the year 1998-99. We also decompose such t f p changes into its
and operate with greater flexibility. Such measures related to major components such as technical change, change in techni­
dismantling the administered structure of interest rates, and cal efficiency of banks and so on to identify the principal driv­
the removal of several pre-emptions to do with reserve re­ ing forcefs) of t f p changes in Indian banking over this period.
quirements and credit allocation to certain sectors. Interest Table 1:Some Important Indicators of the Major Indian Commercial
rate deregulation was carried out in stages, allowing suffi­ BankGroups________________________________________
Important Indicators Year SBI and Its Other Domestic Foreign
cient resilience to build up in the system. This was an impor­ Associates Nationalised Private Banks
tant component of the reform process, which has made re­ Banks Banks

Share in Total Deposits 1999 30.3 58.0 7.2 4.6


source allocation more efficient. A parallel strengthening of
2000 30.1 57.0 8.6 4.3
prudential regulation, improved market behaviour, gradual 2001 31.2 55.0 9.4 4.5
financial opening and, above all, underlying improvements in 2002 30.5 54.1 11.1 4.4
macroeconomic management helped the liberalisation proc­ 2003 29.8 52.9 12.4 4.9
ess run smoothly. Interest rates have now been deregulated. 2004 28.4 52.8 13.9 4.9
2005 28.3 52.1 15.1 4.6
Other major objectives of banking sector reforms were en­
2006 25.8 51.3 17.7 5.1
hancing efficiency and productivity through increased com­ 2007 24.1 51.8 18.6 5.5
petition and, for that, modifying the overall legal environ­ Share in Total Assets 1999 32.1 54.8 7.0 6.0
ment for conducting banking business in India. Establishment 2000 32.2 53.5 8.4 5.9
of new banks was allowed in the private sector and foreign 2001 32.9 51.6 9.1 6.4
2002 30.6 48.5 14.8 6.1
banks were also permitted more liberal entry. Yet another
2003 30.1 48.7 14.8 6.5
step towards enhancing competition was allowing foreign di­ 2004 28.8 49.0 15.6 6.6
rect investment in private sector banks up to 74% from all 2005 27.4 50.1 16.2 6.3
sources. As for the modification of the legal environment, the 2006 25.6 48.9 18.6 6.9
Securitisation Act was enacted in 2002 to enhance protection 2007 24.0 48.6 19.7 7.7
Expenditure on A dvertisem ent/ 1999 0.3 0.4 1.5 6.0
of creditor rights. To combat the abuse of the financial system
Publicity as Percentage o f 2000 0.3 0.4 1.6 5.8
for crime-related activities, the Prevention of Money Laun­ Operating Expenditure 2001 0.3 0.3 2.9 7.0
dering Act was also enacted in 2002 to provide the enabling 2002 0.3 0.4 1.9 5.1
legal framework. The Negotiable Instruments (Amendments 2003 0.4 0.5 2.4 4.5
and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002 expanded the erst­ 2004 0.7 0.8 2.6 5.6
2005 0.6 0.9 3.1 6.6
while definition of a “ cheque”by introducing the concept of
2006 0.8 1.0 3.1 10.9
“electronic money” and “ cheque truncation” . The Credit 2007 0.7 1.2 2.8 9.5
Information Companies (Regulation) Act 2005 is expected to Source: Reserve Bank o f India.

Economic & Political weekly ISSS3 m arch 24, 2012 v o l x l v ii n o 12 69

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In this connection, we briefly review some of the important differentiate how efficiency scores varied with changes in inputs
recent work on the performance of the Indian banking sector. and outputs. The analysis also linked the variation in calculated
Using data envelopment analysis (d e a ) to analyse data on 70 efficiencies to a set of variables such as bank size, ownership,
Indian commercial banks from 1986 to 1991, Bhattacharyya et capital adequacy ratio, non-performing loans, management
al (1997) found that publicly-owned Indian banks are the most quality, and so on. Their findings suggested that medium-sized
efficient among all ownership categories considered in the public sector banks performed reasonably well and were more
study, followed by foreign-owned banks and Indian private likely to operate at higher levels of technical efficiency. A close
banks, respectively. However, they also found something odd relationship was observed between efficiency and soundness as
(and almost diametrically opposite) when the inter-temporal determined by a bank’ s capital adequacy ratio. Their empirical
behaviour of such performance was considered. Evidence of results also showed some evidence in favour of the expected
temporal improvement was seen in the performance of foreign- relationship that technically more efficient banks were those
owned banks, virtually no such trend in that of Indian private that had, on an average, less non-performing loans.
banks and a temporal decline in that of the publicly-owned To evaluate the impact of computerisation2 on the productiv­
banks. They explained these patterns in terms of the govern­ ity and profitability of Indian banks, Mittal and Dhingra (2007)
ment’ s evolving regulatory policies. A study by Sarkar et al applied d e a methodology to the Centre for Monitoring Indian
(1998) - with the motive of evaluating enterprise performance Economy (c m i e ) data on 27 selected Indian commercial banks in
under different ownership patterns - confirmed that in the 2003-04 and 2004-05. They observed that private sector banks,
absence of a well-functioning capital market, there might not which took more information technology (i t ) initiatives, were
be any significant difference in the performance of public and more efficient in terms of the productivity and profitability
private sector banks. Their analysis highlighted the impor­ parameters than their counterparts under public ownership.
tance of creating an appropriate institutional background Das, Ray and Nag (2009)3used d e a to measure the labour-use
before pushing privatisation in developing economies. efficiency of individual branches of a public sector bank with a
Kumbhakar and Sarkar (2003) analysed the relationship bet­ large network of branches across India. They found considerable
ween deregulation and t f p growth in the Indian banking indus­ variation in the average levels of efficiency of bank branches
try using a generalised shadow cost function approach. Analys­ across the four metropolitan regions considered in the study.
ing disaggregated panel data on a population of public and pri­ They also introduced the concept of area or “ spatial efficiency”for
vate banks from 1985 to 1996, they found evidence in favour of a each region relative to the nation as a whole. The results sug­
significant decline in regulatory distortions and also non-materi­ gested that the policies, procedures, and incentives handed down
alisation of anticipated t f p growth until 1996. Using d e a , Sathye from the corporate level could not fully neutralise the detri­
(2003) measured the productive efficiency of banks in India for mental influence of local work culture across different regions.
1997-98. The efficiency scores, for three groups of banks - Most of the potential reduction in labour cost appeared to be com­
publicly-owned, privately-owned and foreign - were measured. ing from possible downsizing of the clerical and subordinate staff.
The study showed that the mean efficiency score of Indian banks We thus see that the issues raised earlier are yet to be ex­
com pared w ell with the w orld m ean efficiency score and the ef­ p lored to a great extent and that is p recisely the objectiv e o f
ficiency of private sector commercial banks as a group was para­ this paper. The paper is organised as follows. Section 2 briefly
doxically lower than that of public sector banks and foreign states the analytical methodology we consider here. Section 3
banks in India. The study also recommended that the existing describes the data set we have used and our major findings
policy of reducing non-performing assets and rationalisation of from analysing it and Section 4 concludes. Appendix (pp 75-76)
staff and branches might be continued to obtain efficiency gains shows some further discussions.
and make Indian banks internationally more competitive.
Chakrabarti and Chawla (2005) used d e a to evaluate the rela­ 2 Analytical Methodology
tive efficiency of Indian banks during 1990-2002 and observed The productivity of a firm is measured by the quantity of out­
that on a “ value”basis, foreign banks as a group had been con­ put produced by it per unit of input. In the simplest single-input
siderably more efficient than all other bank groups, followed by single-output case, it is merely the ratio of the quantity of the
Indian private banks. However, from a “ quantity”perspective, firm ’s output to its input. But in a more general case where a
the Indian private banks seemed to be doing very well while the number of inputs are used to produce a number of outputs, out­
foreign banks were the worst off. This, as it can be easily under­ puts (in the numerator) as also inputs (in the denominator) are
stood, might be a reflection of the general policy of foreign banks to be meaningfully aggregated so that productivity still
to “cherry-pick”more profitable businesses, ignoring the social remains the ratio of two scalar values. The productivity index
obligation of offering banking services to a wider section of soci­ of a firm for a current period relative to a base period measures
ety. Further, public sector banks were seen to be lagging behind the relative change in its productivity in the latter period rela­
their private counterparts in performance. tive to the earlier. Such a productivity index may be of two
Das and Ghosh (2006) investigated the performance of the types - positive and normative. Positive measures are those
Indian commercial banking sector during the post-reform period measurements where one need not know the production tech­
1992-2002. Using d e a , they applied all the three different nology. The Fisher productivity index and the Tornqvist
approaches - intermediation, value added and operating - to productivity index are two such popular positive measures
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discussed in the literature. On the other hand, measurement of some other output. For instance, if we view banks as service
the Malmquist productivity index, a normative measure, re­ providers to their customers, as the production approach
quires knowledge about the benchmark production technol­ does,5deposits of banks should be taken as an output. On the
ogy. Since our objective in this paper is to measure the produc­ other hand, it should be included in the set of inputs if we con­
tivity change of Indian commercial banks over the last eight sider a bank to be an intermediating entity between savers and
years and decompose such change into economically meaning­ investors whose goal is to earn profit through lending and in­
ful components such as technical change, technical efficiency vesting resources collected from customers in the form of
change and the scale (efficiency) change factor to get the rela­ deposits. In view of such complexity, four approaches have
tive importance of these factors causing changes in t f p , we come to dominate the literature on banking output - the pro­
consider the Malmquist productivity index here.4 duction approach, the intermediation approach, the operating
(income-based) approach and, more recently, the modern ap­
3 Data Used and Empirical Findings proach.6We use a variant of the intermediation approach (sub­
A major problem one has to face in empirical banking research ject to our data availability constraint) where deposits and
is defining the “
inputs”and “ outputs”of banks. Due to its am­ borrowings and other liabilities, together with real resources
biguous nature of use, an asset/liability may either be consid­ such as labour, are defined as inputs whereas the output set
ered as an output of a bank or as its input used to produce includes earning assets such as loans and investments (Model i,

Table 2: TFPChange and Its Components of Indian Banks between 1999and 2007
Name of Bank Model 1 Modelll Name of Bank Model 1 Modelll
TC TEC SCF TFP TC TEC SCF TFP TC TEC SCF TFP TC TEC SCF TFP

State Bank o f India 1.18 1.00 0.89 1.05 1.34 1.00 0.81 1.08 Induslnd Bank* 0.65 1.00 0.83 0.54 0.91 1.00 0.63 0.57
StateBankofBikaner& Jaipur 0.90 1.07 1.08 1.04 1.06 1.21 0.80 1.02 Jammu and Kashmir Bank 0.98 1.07 1.34 1.40 1.07 1.00 0.82 0.87
State Bank o f Hyderabad 0.97 0.95 1.04 0.96 1.17 0.95 0.74 0.82 KarurVysya Bank 0.98 1.07 1.21 1.27 1.21 0.90 0.84 0.92
State Bankof Indore 0.96 1.03 1.09 1.07 1.11 1.34 0.75 1.12 Lakshmi Vilas Bank 0.98 0.98 1.17 1.12 1.20 1.25 0.89 1.35
State Bank o f Mysore 0.94 1.07 1.03 1.04 1.14 0.76 0.77 0.67 Lord Krishna Bank 0.84 1.03 0.95 0.82 1.16 0.67 0.87 0.68
State Bankof Patiala 1.10 1.03 0.97 1.10 1.04 1.00 0.78 0.82 Nainital Bank 0.72 0.74 1.36 0.72 0.81 1.00 1.17 0.95
State BankofSaurashtra 0.92 1.04 1.11 1.06 0.93 0.97 0.91 0.83 RatnakarBank 0.85 0.97 1.07 0.88 0.80 1.08 1.15 1.00
State BankofTravancore 0.92 1.08 1.07 1.07 1.11 0.88 0.81 0.79 Sangli Bank 0.55 0.96 1.19 0.62 0.82 0.42 1.01 0.35
Average o f State Bank Group 0.98 1.03 1.03 1.05 1.11 1.00 0.79 0.88 SBI Comm and Intern Bank 0.71 0.91 1.03 0.67 0.79 1.16 0.86 0.79
Allahabad Bank 0.97 1.04 1.19 1.19 1.24 1.14 0.79 1.12 South Indian Bank 1.01 0.98 1.27 1.26 1.12 0.97 0.87 0.94
Andhra Bank 0.86 1.03 1.16 1.03 1.15 0.96 0.73 0.81 Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank 0.92 1.09 1.33 1.34 1.06 0.84 0.81 0.72
Bankof Baroda 1.24 1.00 1.05 1.30 1.35 1.00 0.70 0.95 Average o f New
Bank o f India 1.29 0.98 0.88 1.11 1.23 1.00 0.68 0.83 Private Sector Banks 0.97 0.99 0.66 0.63 1.38 0.93 0.48 0.61
Bankof Maharashtra 0.80 1.00 1.12 0.90 1.08 0.84 0.76 0.70 Average o f
Canara Bank 1.13 1.00 1.04 1.16 1.29 1.00 0.77 1.00 Private Sector Banks 0.89 0.97 1.01 0.88 1.10 0.90 0.77 0.76
Central Bankof India 0.79 1.00 1.08 0.85 1.05 1.16 0.93 1.13 ABN Amro Bank** 1.13 0.91 0.60 0.62 1.44 1.43 0.54 1.12
Corporation Bank 1.06 0.98 0.98 1.02 1.37 1.00 0.62 0.84 Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank 0.70 0.75 0.89 0.46 0.84 0.81 0.92 0.62
Dena Bank 0.95 0.98 1.14 1.07 1.17 0.91 0.83 0.88 American Express Bank** 0.82 1.04 1.00 0.85 1.53 0.54 0.77 0.64
IDBI Bank 1.25 1.00 0.47 0.59 1.25 1.00 0.58 0.73 Arab Bangladesh Bank - 1.00 - - - 1.00 -
Indian Bank 0.82 1.07 1.00 0.87 1.13 0.92 0 .81 0 .8 4 Bank International Indonesia 0.64 1.00 0.89 0.58 2.05 2.07 0.37 1.55
Indian Overseas Bank 1.09 1.02 0.95 1.05 1.18 1.01 0.79 0.94 B ankof Am erica** 0.79 1.00 1.10 0.87 2.27 1.00 1.20 2.72
Oriental Bank o f Commerce 0.89 1.00 1.25 1.12 1.47 1.00 0.66 0.97 Bank o f Bahrain & Kuwait 0.96 1.10 0.98 1.04 0.76 1.20 0.98 0.90
Punjab & Sind Bank 0.77 1.04 1.17 0.94 1.05 0.84 0.94 0.83 Bank o f Ceylon 0.69 0.54 0.98 0.36 - 1.00 -
Punjab National Bank 0.99 1.00 1.05 1.04 1.17 1.00 0.79 0.93 Bank o f Nova Scotia** 0.82 1.00 0.98 0.80 1.46 1.09 0.86 1.37
Syndicate Bank 1.04 0.97 1.07 1.08 1.28 1.03 0.79 1.05 Barclays Bank** 0.81 1.00 0.87 0.70 1.22 0.53 1.04 0.67
UCO Bank 0.95 1.02 1.01 0.99 1.07 1.07 0.88 1.01 C itibank** 1.21 0.97 0.56 0.66 1.46 1.00 0.64 0.94
Union B ankof India 0.91 1.00 1.06 0.96 1.33 1.05 0.78 1.09 DBS Bank** 0.63 0.84 1.01 0.54 2.06 1.27 1.15 3.02
United Bank o f India 0.59 1.00 1.13 0.67 0.86 0.97 0.90 0.75 Deutsche Bank** 0.91 1.00 0.81 0.74 2.00 1.00 0.84 1.67
Vijaya Bank 0.94 1.05 1.15 1.13 1.15 1.17 0.78 1.05 HSBC** 1.16 0.83 0.75 0.72 1.82 1.03 0.65 1.22
Average o f Other Krung Thai Bank - 1.00 - - 1.00 -
Nationalised Banks 0.95 1.01 1.03 0.99 1.19 1.00 0.77 0.91 Mashreq Bank 1.12 1.02 0.90 1.02 1.94 0.58 0.59 0.67
UTI/Axis Bank* 1.09 1.00 0.61 0.66 1.48 1.00 0.56 0.83 Oman International Bank 0.63 1.17 1.00 0.74 1.05 0.85 0.71 0.63
Bank o f Rajasthan 0.88 1.04 1.10 1.00 . 1.00 1.17 0.88 1.03 SocieteGenerale** 0.97 1.08 0.92 0.97 1.29 0.91 1.01 1.18
Catholic Syrian Bank 0.86 1.01 1.12 0.97 0.99 0.90 0.96 0.85 Sonali Bank 0.84 0.85 0.98 0.70 - 1.00 -
City Union Bank 0.96 0.98 1.19 1.12 1.10 0.92 0.87 0.88 Standard Chartered Bank** 1.27 0.94 0.64 0.76 1.70 1.29 0.70 1.52
Development Credit Bank* 0.82 0.93 1.04 0.80 1.26 0.71 0.68 0.61 Average of
Dhanalakshmi Bank 0.96 0.84 1.18 0.95 1.07 0.54 0.86 0.50 Big Foreign Banks 0.94 0.96 0.82 0.74 1.63 0.97 0.83 1.30
Federal Bank 1.03 0.97 1.07 1.07 1.17 1.07 0.86 1.07 Average o f Foreign Banks 0.87 0.94 0.87 0.71 1.49 0.98 0.78 1.13
HDFC Bank* 1.10 1.00 0.62 0.68 1.77 1.00 0.37 0.66 Bank w ith an asterisk (*) and tw o asterisks (* * ) is a N ew Private Sector Bank and Big Foreign
Bank respectively. By 'big' w e are referring to a foreign bank having 100 or even m ore
ICICI Bank* 1.35 1.00 0.37 0.50 1.67 1.00 0.28 0.46 num ber of em ployees in 2007.

Economic & Political w e e k ly K23Q m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 71

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Figure 2: Scatter Plot of TFP Change and Its Components through One Model Relative to the Other average value of the s b i lending
Technical Changes Comparison Technical Efficiency Changes Comparison rate; deposits are discounted by

2.4
the average value of the deposit
O 2.0
rate; and borrowing and other
* ♦ ♦ 1.9
liabilities are discounted by the
♦♦ ♦ ♦
1.5 ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦ ' 1.4
average value of the bank rate
over the eight-year period
1.0 ♦ 0.9 (2000-07). Similarly, variables
♦% used in Model 11 are also ad­
0.5
0.50 0.70 0.90 1.10 1.30 1.50
0.4
0.50 0.70 0.90 1.10 1.30 justed by the average values of
Technical change - Model I TE c h a n g e -M o d e l I the proper variables over this
Scale Efficiency Changes Comparison TFP Changes Comparison period. For instance, demand
1.4 3.3 deposits and s t deposits are dis­
1.2 2.8 counted by the short-term (one
1 1.0 2.3 to three years) and long-term
~oo
2 0.8 1.8 (more than three years) deposit
* * < $ & * * *
1.3 rates respectively, fixed assets
0.4 0.8
are adjusted by the wholesale

0.2 0.3
price index ( w p i) of the ma-
0.35 0.85 1.35 1.85 0.40 0.80 1 .2 0
160 chinery and equipment group
S C F -M o d e l I TFP C h a n g e s -M o d e l I
and the proxy variable for
hereafter).7 We also use the production approach (Model n, material used is adjusted by the w p i of manufactured products.
hereafter) to see whether or not the basic results of the per­
formance-related issues considered in the present study Empirical Findings
change drastically due to changes in the approach of defining We have used the econometric/statistical package s h a z a m to
the inputs and outputs of banks. solve the various d e a l p problems to determine the individual
We use individual bank-level (yearly) data for 68 major bank-wise scores on t f p change and its components. The re­
Indian commercial banks for 19998 and 2007. The data is sults we have obtained are given in Table 2 (p 71). As discussed
taken from the Reserve Bank of India ( r b i ) website. We have earlier, one of the objectives of using two alternative models in
data on eight State Bank of India (s b i) and its associates and 20 the present study is to see whether the basic results regarding
banks each from the other publicly-owned, privately-owned the performance-related issues of Indian commercial banks
and foreign-owned categories. The input and output variables changes by simply changing the sets of their inputs and out­
we have used in our analysis are discussed below. puts. Our answer to this question is clearly “ no” , at least for the
sets of inputs and outputs we have considered. For instance,
Model I we present scatter plots of t f p changes as well as of three of its
As we have already mentioned, the number of employees, total components, showing the correlation between these scores ex­
deposits and borrowing and other liabilities are considered as perienced by the individual banks through one model relative
three inputs whereas investments and advances are consid­ to the other in Figure 2. In two - those of technical change and
ered as two outputs. scale (efficiency) change factor - of the total four cases, there
is clearly a positive correlation between the two sets of scores.
Modelll Although there is no such evidence of any positive correlation
As per the production approach, the total number of deposits in the remaining two cases, there is undoubtedly no negative
created by a bank are considered its output. Since we have no correlation between the two sets of scores. The positive corre­
information about these numbers for all the three types of de­ lation for both technical change and scale (efficiency) change
posits a bank creates (viz, demand deposits, saving deposits factor is also confirmed by the Spearman’ s rank correlation
and term deposits), we have taken their values and consider coefficient between the rankings of the banks on the basis of
two different outputs - demand deposits and s t deposits the two sets of scores obtained through Model 1and Model 11.
(which is the sum of savings deposits and term deposits). Here We observed that this correlation coefficient is statistically sig­
we have considered the total number of employees, amount of nificantly different from zero9 for these two components of
fixed assets and operating expenses less payments to and pro­ t f p change experienced by the 68 Indian commercial banks
vision for employees (as a proxy of materials used by the bank) we have considered.
as three inputs. Now we turn to the overall changes in the performance of the
We have adjusted the nominal figures of the variables men­ Indian banks over the period 1999 to 2007. As can be easily
tioned above by discounting/adjusting them using suitable in­ understood from our methodological discussion, technical change
terest rate/price indicators. For instance, 2007 values of the is a measure of the extent of shift of the concerned frontier pro­
variables investments and advances are discounted by the duction function, it is, therefore, collectively determined by all

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-- ~ ~ SPECIALARTICLE
the firms and it is unusual that a firm in itself determining the By simply providing a close look at the output vectors we
(possible upward, if any) shift of the entire frontier and eventu­ have considered under the two models, it can be easily under­
ally the index of its (and others’ ) technical change. Rather, stood why nationalised banks are shown to be lagging behind
firms as a whole play a major role in determining it. Thus, al­ Table 3a: Distribution of the Top 17Banks according to the Change in
though technical change of a firm is an important component of Different Performance Indicators
its t f p change, the firm itself has generally little contribution in Bank Group No of Banks Out of the Top 17
Model 1 Modeill
determining it. Rather, two other components, namely technical
TC TEC SCF TFP TC TEC SCF TFP
efficiency change and scale (efficiency) change factor, of a firm State Bank of India and its associates 2 5 0 3 0 2 1 2
are much more important determinants (in improving its overall Other nationalised banks 7 4 8 7 3 4 4 4
performance) and they are influenced by its own activity. Private sector banks 3 4 9 7 3 5 6 2
So, in judging the improvement of overall performance of a Foreign banks 5 4 0 0 11 6 6 9
bank in our study we pay more attention to the two latter com­
ponents of its t f p change and relatively less to the earlier. Table 2 Table 3b: Distribution of the Top 34Banks according to the Change
in Different Performance Indicators_______________________
shows that, on an average, the group comprising the s b i and its Bank Group No of Banks Out of the Top 34

associates improved its performance best in the light of overall Model I Modeill

tfp change or any of its three components under Model 1 . TC TEC SCF TFP TC TEC SCF TFP

Other nationalised banks, private-sector banks and foreign State Bank o f India and its associates 5 7 5 8 2 2 4 3
Other nationalised banks 12 11 14 14 12 10 7 12
banks follow one after another in the same order. Contrary to
Private sector banks 10 9 14 9 7 8 15 8
this, the order becomes foreign banks, other nationalised
Foreign banks 7 7 1 3 13 14 8 11
banks, the s b i group and private-sector banks in the light of
overall t f p change under Model 11 . However, this improvement their counterparts under foreign and private ownership under
of the foreign bank group is mainly driven by technical changes Model 11while the scenario is the opposite under Model i. We
among its various members. If we consider only technical effi­ have already argued that the nationalised banks have more
ciency improvement and improvement in scale (efficiency) developmental as well as social obligations than the other two
change, the two indicators that are mostly determined by the groups of banks and distribute their services among more and
activity of a bank itself, the story becomes almost the same as that more economically backward regions, in general, and rural
which we have observed under Model 1. Here again, the s b i group areas, in particular. Thus, one of their declared objectives, as a
comes first, followed by other nationalised banks, foreign banks representative of the government, is to bring as many people
and private-sector banks, one after another. Therefore, even in a as possible into the formal financial system and relieve them
truly changed liberal economic environment, the nationalised from the credit-cobweb of informal moneylenders. In doing so,
banks have adjusted and improved themselves better compared they have a large number of small customers but the total
to their counterparts under private or foreign ownership. deposits collected from them are also relatively (or to be specific,
We now turn to individual bank-wise performance by con­ proportionately) small. On the other hand, private sector and
ducting some fractile group analysis. To be specific, we order foreign banks mainly target a fewer number of creditworthy
the individual banks according to the change in their overall customers and the total deposits collected from them are rela­
performance and three of its components and consider only tively large. Since we have used the total value of deposits cre­
the top 17 banks (that is, 25% or more) and see what their dis­ ated by a bank instead of the number o f deposits created by it,
tribution is among the four bank groups. This distribution, as proposed by the production approach, foreign and private
given in Tables 3a and 3b (showing a similar distribution as sector banks seem to be better improving themselves when
that of the top 34 banks (that is, 50% or more)). These two ta­ compared to their nationalised counterparts. The picture may
bles show almost an identical distribution, which demon­ show the opposite even under Model n if we were able to use
strates that public-sector banks have adjusted well to the the total number of deposits created by a bank as its output.
changed scenario and improved their performance better than Similarly, since we have considered investments and advances
their private as well as foreign counterparts under Model 1. On as the two outputs produced by a bank under Model i, both of
the other hand, under Model 11, foreign banks followed by pri­ which, in general, and the latter, in particular, is a combina­
vate sector banks were doing better relative to their national­ tion of many of the socially desired factors, intuitively it is not
ised counterparts. Now the immediate question is why then is very difficult to understand why the public sector banks are
the overall performance of foreign banks low as per the latter seen to be performing relatively better under this model.
two indicators of t f p change even under Model 11? The obvious Again, as shown in Table 2, nationalised banks show im­
answer is that there are a few foreign banks such as Abu Dhabi provement in both technical efficiency and scale efficiency
Commercial Bank, American Express Bank, Mashreq Bank, during this time under Model 1while under Model 11there is
and Oman International Bank within the foreign group and no change in the former and the change is, in fact, in the nega­
those like Development Credit Bank, Dhanalakshmi Bank, and tive direction for the latter. On a totality, despite an improve­
Lord Krishna Bank within the private group which pull down ment in technical change under Model n overall t f p growth
the respective group averages for technical efficiency change indicator becomes smaller here than that under Model 1. On
and scale (efficiency) change factor to excessively low levels. the contrary, all the three components of change in t f p worsen

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SPECIALARTICLE
under Model i for the foreign banks, while although the two of experience. However, most of the earlier studies considered
efficiency components change negatively under Model n tech­ relatively partial measures such as the technical efficiency of the
nical improvement is so sharp here that it pulls the t f p change banks. We have considered overall t f p improvement achieved
index above unity In fact, although all of the four bank groups by the individual banks and decomposed it into the three of its
experience technical improvement under Model n, the inten­ economically meaningful components. Furthermore, we have
sity of such change is very high in case of foreign banks rela­ considered in some sense the true liberalised era of the Indian
tive to their domestic counterparts, which results in highest banking sector as our study period and assessed the extent to
t f p change index for the foreign banks under this model. Ob­ which individual banks have adjusted themselves to the new re­
serve that, the economic intuition discussed above considering gime and improved in this period. Our results suggest that pub­
the specific output vectors in question may also be well appli­ lic sector banks are, on an average, adjusting themselves to the
cable here in explaining such differences in overall t f p change changing environment better and improving their performance
indices across the bank groups under the two models. relative to their counterparts under private and foreign owner­
However, one may opine that it is not desirable to consider ship. The latter were expected to do better under the new
all the domestic private sector banks in a single group and sim­ regime, given their relatively more flexible operating systems as
ilarly for the foreign banks as well, in view of their widely dif­ well as their better market orientation.
ferent characteristics. For that, we have distinguished five new In an earlier study, Bhaumik and Dimova (2004) show that
private banks from the old private banks and 11 relatively big although the domestic private and foreign banks were better
foreign banks having 100 or more employees in 2007, from the performing, and, hence, more efficient than public sector
others. We have reported the overall performance indicators banks during the initial years of post-financial deregulation in
for these two newly defined bank groups in Table 2. Interest­ India, competition forced public sector banks to eliminate this
ingly, the results we have already discussed remain exactly the performance gap by the financial year 1998-99. Sensarma
same even when we compare the performance of new private (2006) also shows that although Indian banks, in totality, have
banks and relatively bigger foreign banks with the national­ improved their performance during the period 1986 to 2000 in
ised banks. Therefore, our results seem to be robust. terms of both efficiency and productivity, foreign banks were
We want to examine one more feature, i e, whether and to the worst performers throughout the period as compared with
what extent the t f p performance is correlated with financial public and domestic private banks. Since we have considered
performance of the banks. In doing so, we have calculated the the immediate later period to that considered in the above two
correlation coefficient of t f p indices with financial perform­ studies, our findings, coupled with those of the two mentioned
ance indicators like the average profit per employee (p p e ), here, have important policy implications for the government’ s
average business10per employee (b p e ), average profit per unit attitude towards overall market orientation of the Indian
volume of business (p p b ), growth of p p e , b p e and p p b during banking sector. To be specific, the government should have a
this period, etc. We find such correlation to be significant11for more cautious approach liberalising its banking sector and not
the cases of average p p e and t f p under Model 11, average b p e blindly invite more foreign players to it in view of the fact that
and t f p under Model 11 and growth of b p e and t f p under the banks under (domestic) private and foreign ownerships
Model 1and these values are 0.33,0.37 and 0.64, respectively. may not be necessarily better performers. Of course, their
So, there is some degree of positive correlation between finan- presence may be of immense help to make the overall Indian
* cial performance and t f p performance of the banks. banking business more and more competitive, which obvi­
ously have a positive bearing on the Indian overall financial
4 Concluding Remarks system to be more efficient.
Assessments of the performance of Indian commercial banks are However, we have used d e a methodology, which is based on
not new in the literature. We have already discussed a few of mathematical programming techniques, without considering
them earlier in this paper. As evident from our discussion, some the possible error structures that may affect the analysis. Since
earlier studies have observed that nationalised banks per­ any methodology has its relative advantages as well as dis­
form relatively better than their counterparts under private advantages over its possible alternatives, our analysis is not
and foreign ownership, whereas others show an opposite kind free from its respective limitations.

NOTES________________________________________ time cost associated with each transaction, to 6 Interested readers may look up Mohan (2005),
1 See Casu and Molyneux (2003) for an exten­ a huge extent. Berger and Humphrey (1992), Fredas and Rochet
sive survey of the relevant literature on per­ 3 However, this study is to some extent different (1997) for detailed discussions on these approaches.
formance o f banks. from the others mentioned above in the sense 7 This is also known as the “ asset approach” .
2 Indian banks are now investing heavily in that the others deal with different Indian com- 8 The year 1999 refers to the financial year be­
computerized technologies such as telebank­ ■mercial banks while this one deals with differ­ ginning in April 1998 and ending in March
ing, mobile banking, net banking, automated ent branches of a single public-sector bank. 1999. Similarly, the year 2007 refers to the
teller machines (ATMs), credit cards, debit 4 Detailed exposition o f Malmquist productivity financial year April 2006 - March 2007. We
cards, smart cards, call centres, customer index and its decomposition is shown in the adopt this convention throughout the paper.
relationship management (CRM), data ware­ Appendix. Interested readers may also look up 9 We know that for sample size (n) more than or
housing and the like. All these facilities, which Ray (2004, Chapter 11) for a detailed discus­ equal to 40, r$V n - i is approximately normally
are new innovations in banking technologies, sion on popular productivity indices o f both distributed with mean zero and variance unity,
help the Indian banking system improve its the positive and normative kind.
w herers = i - ( 6 S df/n(n2-i)j, is the Spearman's
service quality, particularly by lowering the 5 Which we shall discuss later in details.

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SPECIAL ARTICLE

man’ s rank correlation coefficient between the Performances of the Tunisian Banking Indus­ Sensarma, R (2006): “ Are Foreign Banks Always
two sets of ranks of the observations and dj is try before and after the Economic Liberalisa­ the Best? Comparison of State-Owned, Private
the difference between these two sets of ranks tion Program: An Econometric Study using and Foreign Banks in India” , Economic Model­
for the ith observation. In our sample, values of Panel Data”in R Dahel and I Sirageldin (ed.), ling, 23 (4), pp 717-36.
this statistic are 3.39 and 3.70 for technical Models for Economic Policy Evaluation Theory Shephard, R W (1970): Theory of Cost and Produc­
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ces of a bank is defined to be the total volume Chakrabarti, R and G Chawla (2005): “ Bank Effi­ sity Catholique de Louvain, CORE Discussion
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r Vn-2 Das, A and S Ghosh (2006): “ Financial Deregula­ economic Performance” , Journal of Money,
---- - have an approximately t-distribution tion and Efficiency: An Empirical Analysis Credit and Banking, 30 (4), pp 793-815.
V1-r2 of Indian Banks during the Post-Reform Stiglitz, J E (1998): “
More Instruments and Broader
with n - 2 degrees of freedom where r is the Period” , Review of Financial Economics, 15 (3), Goals: Moving Towards the Post-Washington
sample correlation coefficient between the two pp 193-221. Consensus” , WIDER Annual Lecture, Helsinki
variables. Das, A, S C Ray and A Nag (2009): “ Labour-Use (7 January).
12 Clearly / (•) and R (•) are the north-western Efficiency in Indian Banking: A Branch-Level
boundary of T and Tc respectively. Analysis” , Omega, 37 (2), pp 411-25.
13 Note that scale efficiency does not state any­ Fare, R, S Grosskopf, B Lindgren and P Roos (1992): A p p e n d ix
thing about the actual scale of production rela­ “ Productivity Changes in Swedish Pharmacies
1980-1989: A Non-parametric Malmquist Ap­ M a lm q u is t P r o d u c tiv ity In d e x a n d Its
tive to the MPSS, in the sense that one cannot
say whether the firm is actually practising proach” , Journal of Productivity Analysis, 3 D e c o m p o s it io n
more or less than the MPSS by simply observ­ (1/2), pp 85-101. As we have already mentioned, the Malmquist
ing its scale efficiency score. Fare, R, S Grosskopf, M Norris and Z Zhang (1994):
productivity index is a normative measure; an
14 VforVRSandCforCRS. “ Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and
Efficiency Change in Industrialised Countries” , associated benchmark technology has to be
15 Simar and Wilson (1998) decomposed the taken into account to measure it. Since produc­
American Economic Review, 84 (1), pp 66-83.
Malmquist TFP index further and provide
more economically meaningful interpretation Farrell, M J (1957): “ The Measurement of Produc­ tion technology itself may change over time,
of both of the technical change and the scale tive Efficiency” , Journal of the Royal Statistical either of the technology of the base period and
change factor of the Fare et al (1994) and Ray- Society, Series A, General, 120 (3), pp 253-81.
the current period may be used as the bench­
Desli (1997) measures. Interested readers may Frexias, X and J C Rochet (1997): Microeconomics of
Banking (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT mark. To be specific, let us assume that (x^ y J
look up the paper for this decomposition. How­
ever, we do not consider their decomposition in Press). and (Xj, y ) are the input-output combinations
the present study. Frisch, R (1965): Theory of Production (Chicago: of a firm in the periods o and 1 respectively.
16 Interested readers may look up Ray (2004, Rand McNally). Then change in the Malmquist t f p index from
Chapters 2, 3) for an explicit discussion on the Humphrey, D B and L B Pulley (1997): “ Banks’ Re­ period o to period 1can be written as
formation of the respective production possi­ sponses to Deregulation: Profits, Technology,
bility set for alternative technological specifi­ and Efficiency” , Journal of Money, Credit and ^ Yl f*(xt)R'(xt)
cations and how the associated LP problems Banking, 29 (1), pp 73- 93-
are structured from that. Kumbhakar, S C and S Sarkar (2003): “ Deregula­ n = x>_ f i(x1)'Ri(xl)> X, ,i = o , i
tion, Ownership, and Productivity Growth in 1 Xo y0 f i(xp)R'(x0)
the Banking Industry: Evidence from India” , x0 f'(x0) R‘ (x0) xc
R EFER EN CES____________________________________ Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 35 (3),
Banker, R D (1984): “Estimating the Most Produc­ pp 403-24. W here/1(•) and R‘(•) are the production fron­
tive Scale Size Using Data Envelopment Analy­ Mittal, R K and S Dhingra (2007): “ Assessing the tiers of the ith period, assuming that the pro­
sis”,European Journal of Operational Research, Impact of Computerisation on Productivity and
Profitability of Indian Banks: An Application of duction technology exhibits variable returns
17 fi)> pp 35-44-
Data Envelopment Analysis” ,Delhi Business Re­ to scale ( v r s ) and constant returns to scale
Barman, RB (2007): “ Determinants of Profitability
of Banks in India” , presidential address deliv­ view, 8 (1), pp 63-73. ( c r s ) respectively, and the two concerned

ered at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Mohan, R (2005): “ Reforms, Productivity and Effi­ production possibility set be denoted by T and
Indian Econometric Society, Indian Institute of ciency in Banking: The Indian Experience” ,Ad­ T0respectively.12 Therefore, 770 and ITl may be
Technology, Bombay (5 January). dress Delivered at the 21st Annual General
Meeting and Conference of the Pakistan Socie­ different if the production technology itself
Bauer, P W, A N Berger and D B Humphrey (1993):
“Efficiency and Productivity Growth in US ty of Development Economists, Islamabad. changes from period 0 to period 1. To get rid
Banking”in H O Fried, C A K Lovell and Rangarajan, C (2007): “ The Indian Banking Sys­ of such complexity, the conventional way is to
S S Schmidt (ed.), The Measurement of Produc­ tem - Challenges Ahead” , First R K Talwar Me­ measure the index once considering the base
tive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications morial Lecture, Indian Institute of Banking
period technology as the benchmark and once
(Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp 386-413. and Finance.
Ray, S C (2004): Data Envelopment Analysis: Theory again considering the technology o f the cur­
Berger, A N and D B Humphrey (1992): “ Measure­
ment and Efficiency Issues in Commercial and Techniques for Economics and Operations rent period, and then take the geom etric aver­
Banking”in Z Griliches (ed.), Output Measure­ Research (Cambridge: Cambridge University age of these two measures to obtain the overall
ment in the Service Sector (Chicago: Chicago Press).
University Press), pp 245-79. Ray, S C and E Desli (1997): “ Productivity Growth, Figure 1
Berger, A N and L J Mester (2001): “ Explaining the Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in
Dramatic Changes in Performance of US Industrialised Countries: Comment” ,American
Banks: Technological Change, Deregulation, Economic Review, 87 (5), pp 1033-39.
and Dynamic Changes in Competition” , Work­ Sarkar, J, S Sarkar and S K Bhaumik (1998): “ Does
ing Paper, University of Pennsylvania. Ownership Always Matter? Evidence from the
Bhattacharyya, A, C A K Lovell and P Sahay (1997): Indian Banking Industry” ,Journal of Compara­
“The Impact of Liberalisation on the Produc­ tive Economics, 26 (2), pp 262-81.
tive Efficiency of Indian Commercial Banks” , Sathye, M (2003): “ Efficiency of Banks in a Devel­
European Journal of Operational Research, 98 oping Economy: The Case of India” , European
(2), pp 332-45- Journal of Operational Research, 148 (3), pp
Bhaumik, S K and R Dimova (2004): “ How Impor­ 662-71.
tant Is Ownership in a Market with Level Play­ Schumpeter, J A (1911): “ The Theory of Economic
ing Field? The Indian Banking Sector Revisit­ Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital,
ed” , Journal of Comparative Economics, 32 (1), Credit, Interest and the Business Cycle” , trans­
pp 165-80. lated by Redvers Opie (Cambridge, Mass: Har­
Chaffai, M E (1997): “ Productivity and Efficiency vard University Press), 1934.

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SPECIAL ARTICLE

chan ge in the M alm quist tfp index. Thus the overall m easure o f changes w here superscript and subscript o f D are used to indicate, respectively, the
o f the M alm quist tpf in dex can b e w ritten as follow s: period o f tech n o lo gy con sid ered as the benchm ark and assu m ed returns
n = [u ox u lr to scale specification for the tech n o lo gy respectively.14 Before Ray-Desli,
Let us discu ss first the con cepts o f technical efficien cy (te) and scale ef­ Fare et al (1992) introdu ced a decom position o f the M alm quist tfp index
ficiency o f a produ ction unit w ith the help o f the diagram below. Let atbc a ssu m in g that the true produ ction tech n o lo gy exhibits crs . A ccording to
(in Figure 1, p 75) b e the produ ction frontier (exhibiting vrs tech n ology their decom position, n can b e show n to b e the produ ct o f tw o different
w ith other usual desirable properties). An (output-oriented) m easure o f RKxJ RKx)
te o f firm f, as defined to b e the ratio o f actually prod u ced am ount o f out­ com ponents: a m easure o f technical change x , w hich is
R°(xc) R°(xJ)J
put to the frontier level o f output for the given level o f input u sed by this
the (un-weighted) geometric mean of the shift in the true (crs) produc­
FX1 FX1/OXl
firm, is given by — = --------- w hich is equal to the ratio o f productivity, tion function at input levels x 0 and x l} and technical efficiency change
BXj BX/OXj
y/R K x)
as defined to be the am ount o f output per unit o f input used, at the poin t j > - again using the true (crs) production function as the
F to that at the poin t B. Note that te is identical (and equal to unity) at
all poin ts on the frontier, but productivity is not. It is easy to see that p r o ­ benchmark. Note that, if the produ ction tech n o lo gy truly exhibits crs ,
ductivity is the highest at the point T a m on g all feasible poin ts (that is, the last com ponent, that is, scf o f Ray-Desli d e com p osition disappears
th ose that lie w ithin the produ ction possibility set). Hence, ox* is the size w hereas the other tw o com pon en ts exactly m atch th ese tw o com pon en ts
relating to the con cept o f techn ically optim al produ ction scale (tops) o f Fare et al (1992). Since glob a lly crs is a restrictive assu m ption about
(a la Frisch 1965), and the w id ely known, m ost productive scale size the u nderlying technology, w hen crs d o e s not h old everyw here. Fare et
(mpss) (a la Banker 1984) in the diagram. Output-oriented scale efficiency al (1992) d ecom p osition is not particularly m eaningful. In an effort to
o f a firm is defined to b e the ratio o f productivity at its (output-oriented) a ccom m oda te vrs, Fare et al (1994) p r op ose d the exten ded d e c o m p o ­
projection on to the frontier to that at the mpss. Similarly, input-oriented sition a ccordin g to w hich the M alm quist tfp in dex can b e w ritten as a
m easure o f scale efficiency o f a firm is the ratio o f productivity at its (in­ produ ct o f three different com ponents: a m easu re o f tech n ical change,
put-oriented) projection on to the frontier to that at the mpss . In other R1^ R1^ ) y/pfe.)
w ords, scale efficiency is a m easu re o f the relative productivity o f a firm x ; a m easure o f technical efficien cy change.
RofxJ R°(x1) ,y /W
w ith respect to productivity at the mpss, if the firm b ecom es able to elim ­
inate its technical inefficiency in produ ction and, therefore, naturally it HxJ/RK*,)
lies betw een o and 1.13 So, scale efficien cy o f any firm lies on the vertical and a m easu re o f scale efficiency change. . But Ray and
f°(x0)/Ro(x0)
BX/OX
line BXj is >w hich is the ratio o f productivity at poin t B to that at D esli (1997) rightly argu ed that the first com p on en t o f Fare et al (1994) is
not an appropriate m easu re o f technical ch a n ge w h en prod u ction tech ­
poin t T, and (the input-oriented) scale efficien cy o f any firm that lies on n olog y d o e s not follow crs globally.
the h orizontal line B^F is the ratio o f productivity at the point B1to that at However, on e particular disadvantage o f the Ray-Desli d e com p osition
poin t T. But, productivity at poin t T is equivalent to that o f the h ypotheti­ is that at m ost tw o (namely, the first and the third ones) o f their three
cal firms at points D and Although, these poin ts are n ot feasible under d e c o m p o se d com pon en ts m ay n ot b e ob ta in ed for som e ob serv ation s if
the vrs technology, they are on the graph o f the crs technology. Thus, the quantity o f any individual input o f an observation in the b ase (cur­
rent) p e riod is sm aller than the sm allest quantity o f the corresp on d in g
BX1/OX1 B X / O X ^ BXl FX/DXj
--------- and sim ilarly w e can sh ow that input across all firm s in the current (base) period. However, w e follow
TX*/OX* D X /O X " FX1/BX1 on ly the Ray-Desli m easu re15in ou r study.
From the description o f the distance fu n ction prov ided ear­
W Y1F lier, it is easy to see that the Shephard distance fu nction is identi­
the ratio o f productivity at B, to that at D, is equal to the r a t io --------- .
1 1 YjB/YjF cal to Farrell’
s (1957) m easu re o f (output-oriented) tech n ical ef­
So, scale efficien cy o f a firm is the ratio o f its te u nder the crs tech n ol­ ficiency and can, therefore, b e ob ta in ed straightw ay by solv in g
o g y to that under the vrs technology, irrespective o f the orientation o f the various dea linear p rogra m m in g (lp) problem s for alterna­
the m easurem ent o f technical efficiency. tive tech n ologica l specifications. For instance, the “
sam e-period”
Let us n ow define the con cep t o f output-oriented distance function v rs distance function for the kth p rodu ction unit can b e show n to
(a la Shephard 1970) here. The (output-oriented) distance function evaluated b e Dy (xt,yt) = i/tf>£ w here cp£ = m ax 9 such that the four constraints:

at any input-output pair (x,y) is given b y D ^ ^ (x, y) = min 5: (*5") e T(°rTc) (i) 2 yf X\ > <pyL (ii) 2 x| X\ < x*, (iii) 2 AJ = 1 and (iv) X] > o for all i, are
i=i 1 1 K i=i 1 1 K i= i 1 1
if produ ction tech n ology is assu m ed to exhibit vrs (or crs). So, it can b e cross-p eriod ” vrs dista n ce fu n ctio n for
satisfied. Similarly, the “
easily u n derstood that the (output-oriented) te and the (output-orient­ the Xth produ ction unit can b e sh ow n to b e D* (xt,yt) = 1/9J* w here
ed) distance function are the same. However, u sin g distance functions, ** n
= m ax 9 w here such that the four constrains: (i) .2 y? X? > 9yjc,
n can b e shown, a la Ray and D esli (1997), to b e the produ ct o f three e c o ­
nom ically m ean in gful com ponents: technical chan ge (tc ), technical ef­ N N
(ii) 2 xf Xf < xL (iii) 2Xf = 1 and (iv) X*> o, for all i, are satisfied. We have
ficiency chan ge (tec) and scale (efficiency) chan ge factor (scf) and th ese i=i 1 1 K i= i1 1

com pon en ts can b e show n as follow s: to solve these tw o lp problem s w ithout the constraint (iii) to ge t the crs
distance functions for sam e p e riod and cross period respectively.16In the
DX>yo) above lp problem s, any one o f s and t can b e u sed as an indicator o f the
TC X
W xo.y<>) DIM,) base p eriod and the other as an indicator o f the current period.

f y/POq) D^xi.y,)
and Economic&PoliticalwEEKLY
TEC 1 V * X ) [dX>Yo)J
Dc(x,»y1) D^Ovy,) available at
f PCxJ/R'Cx) P>(x1)/R°(x1)' Dv(xi-y>)
X
Dv(xi.y,) B.N.Dey & Co. N ew s A gen t
SCF A— ——
1 PCxJ/R'CxJ D ^ o’
Ya) Dc(Xc’
Yo) Panbazar, Guwahati 781001, Assam.

Dv(xo>y<>) Dv(xo.yo), Ph: 2546979, 2547931

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D IS C U S S IO N

Transgressive Secularism Another important precondition o f (s)


is that the State does not drive away
religion, while seeking interventions to
reform religions. I entirely agree with
ARUN KUMAR PATNAIK_______________ his contention. Moreover, what is heart­
ening for me is to know that he proposes

I
Akeel Bilgrami’
s article (e p w , read Akeel Bilgrami’ s paper (“ Secu­ an expansive political society for setting
28 January 2012) generates a larism: Its Content and Context” up the lexical order of (s): the State must
e p w , 2 8 January 2 0 1 2 ) on secularism undertake the project of involving (im­
lot of enchantment. But he also
with a lot of excitement and got finally plying dialogue and participation) reli­
transgresses its significance disenchanted with his discussion of gious and non-religious communities in
by a discussion of Gandhi’
s Gandhi’ s project as non-secular and his arriving at a secular social compact.
project as non-secular, by his binary projection of religious fundamen­ There are still a few finer points where
talism, among other things. his thesis could be appreciated.
binary projection of religious
Let me first capture the areas of agree­
fundamentalism and by his ment with his thesis. First, I agree with Lexical Ordering: Conjectural?
un-dialectical scrutiny of him that any redefinition of secularism But I have the following difficulties with
Charles Taylor’s redefinition must not be arbitrary and must not his thesis. First, his lexical ordering is
assume a prior understanding valid for conjectural rather than process-oriented.
of secularism.
all contexts. Second, I also agree with His blind opposition to the redefinition
him that Charles Taylor’ s redefinition of of secularism offered by Taylor leads
secularism as a doctrine of equidistance him into a trap of opposition to any
between religion and the State (my under­ redefinition. However, the lexical order­
standing of Taylor is entirely based on ing of (s), desirable as it may be, cannot
Bilgrami’ s reflections) is problematic, be conceived as a one-time event. It
even though Bilgrami discards its rele­ needs to be seen as part of historical
vance for secularism. For Taylor’ s thesis process, continuously reordering the lex­
ignores that the State may intervene in ical of (s) by learning from what Gramsci
religious reforms as in Hirkey or India calls “ religious common sense/religion
rather than remain neutral and equidis­ of people/intellectual”or what Charles
tant towards many religions. Taylor calls “ social imaginary”and also,
Third, he is correct in saying that sec­ from the strength of (s)’ s enemies in reli­
ularism may not be always liberal demo­ gious fundamentalism. I have written on
cratic as in the contemporary West. It this subject in e p w (“ Theological Marx­
could be articulated in an authoritarian ism” , 22 October 2011). I would not bela­
context in modern Turkey. Also, there bour the point here. Therefore, his oppo­
are many variants of non-liberal, non­ sition to any redefinition of secularism
modern, non-secular articulations of including the one offered by Taylor
toleration, inter-religious peace as in makes his exercise vulnerable. His lexical
India’ s diverse syncretic religious cults ordering of (s) needs a dynamic concep­
which are anathema to modern religious tion of reordering as well.
fundamentalism today. By using blas­
phemy laws and gender inequality, Un-dialectical Understanding
Bilgrami argues for the lexical ordering Let us get back to what I call his blind,
of (s) (the principles and practices of rather than dialectical, reflection on Tay­
making secularism) such that (s) could lor’s redefinition and his neutrality thesis
be arrived at by respecting religious and of secularism. I call his opposition blind
non-religious domains, while at the as he fails to see any merit in Taylor’ s re­
same time seeking intervention in do­ definition, even though he appreciates
mains of religion, press for reforms Taylor’ s moral and political concerns in
through dialogue by the State (dialogue articulating a neutralist position. It is pos­
Arun Kumar Patnaik (ia kpatnaiki@ yahoo.com ) assumed by him here but mentioned in sible for us to think through Taylor’re­
teaches political scien ce at the University o f e p w , 4 October 1997) by relying on “ reli­ definition of secularism as a doctrine of
Hyderabad.
gion ’ s internal reasons” . equidistance and neutrality of the State

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DISCUSSION

in plural religious context and yet agree “intrinsic faith”of a religion or “ internal its house from time to time. Otherwise, it
with Bilgrami’ s position on the State beliefs”of the irreligious, while seeking would be in a perpetual crisis as in India
intervention to reform religions without intervention in their “ extrinsic faith” , that today. By offering a normative and static
leading to any suppression of religion, is in domains of intra-religious and inter­ conception of (s), he misses out that
per se. These positions are not necessar­ religious domination or even domination secularism needs politics to make itself as
ily antagonistic. of reason/law over faith. (s). He misses the point that it is a cease­
If Bilgrami has reflected on Rajeev Political secularism must restrain all less process.
Bhargava’ s works on this subject over forms of domination, while it must facil­
the last 25 years, he would have been itate dialogues across faiths including Gandhi’
s Synthesis
able to articulate such a synthesising the non-religious, without choosing sides. Let us now see how Bilgrami fails to ex­
position on (s). In a long footnote (n 7), First, it cannot side with a form of domi­ amine such a position (as stated above)
Bilgrami correctly states that Indian sec­ nation associated with a majority or in Gandhi’ s secularism. He promises to
ularism is not the same as a “ state neu­ minority religion. Second, as the State is develop a paper on Gandhi’ s interven­
tralist ideal”presupposes (s) to be. How­ a principle agent of political secularism, tion later. But in the present paper, he
ever, he simply rejects such an ideal as the State cannot be a dialogue agent on offers a rudimentary conception of
relevant for India. But this is where he behalf of this or that religious or non­ Gandhi. I have serious difficulties with
creates problems in his lexical ordering religious group. The job of the State is to his position. I agree with him that the
of (s). It may be argued al la Bhargava facilitate such dialogues and to ensure State secularism may adopt something
that the State neutralist ideal is at least that no body dominates the secular show. from syncretic religious cultures in west
partly valid in the Indian story of (s). There are two kinds of dialogue possi­ Asia or Africa or south Asia. I also agree
ble between the State and religion/non- with him that there are principles of toler­
Bhargava’ s Political Secularism religion: critic and facilitator. Therefore, ation, inter-religious peace, coexistence,
Rajeev Bhargava’ s (2010) idea of political the doctrine of equidistance from many mutual learning and non-interference in
secularism maintaining “ principled dis­ forms of religious domination and facili­ non-western world of syncretic cultures,
tance”from religion presupposes such a tating dialogues as neutral facilitator of anathema to religious fundamentalism.
dialectical play between (secular) politics religious and non-religious groups is dou­ A lexical ordering of (s) must recognise
and faith-based communities. Bhargava bly relevant for the State to construct (s) such non-modern, non-secular worlds.
argues for a framework of “ autonomy” in a multi-religious context. As Bilgrami Having said that he goes one step fur­
and “ intervention” mediating between misses a notion of process in the making ther to claim that Gandhi rejected the
politics and religion following a value of (s), he does not realise the significance idea of secular state. He belongs to the
perspective. Expanding on his ideas fur­ of Taylor’ s doctrine of equidistance for his non-modern non-secular world of the
ther, it may be argued that secular politics own (s). For political secularism must syncretic cultures. I beg to differ with
(not to be confused with atheistic poli­ confront the processes of domination and this. Like Bilgrami, Gandhi also recog­
tics) must recognise the autonomy of must be prepared to redefine or reorder nises the relevance of synthesising

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October 22,2011

Subverting Policy, Surviving Poverty: Women and the SGSY in Rural Tamil Nadu - K Kalpana
Small Loans, Big Dreams: Women and Microcredit in a Globalising Economy - Kum ud Sharma
Women and Pro-Poor Policies in Rural Tamil Nadu: An Examination of Practices and Responses -J J e y a ra n ja n
Informed by Gender? Public Policy in Kerala - Seema Bhaskaran
Addressing Paid Domestic Work: A Public Policy Concern - Nimushakavi Vasanthi
Reproductive Rights and Exclusionary Wrongs: Maternity Benefits - Lakshmi Lingam, Vaidehi Yelamanchili
Reinventing Reproduction, Re-conceiving Challenges:
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DISCUSSION

non-secular world with the secular state. that his lexical ordering might need blasphemer feeds into religious funda­
Gandhi’ s attempt can be seen as one a redefinition. mentalism. Yet, Bilgrami proposes the
synthesising religion of the popular, reli­ State intervention in religion but does
gion of the intellectual and the secular Learning from the Enemy not propose intervention in blasphem­
state. The idea of secular State is not blind­ This brings me to my last but not the er’s life. When the secular state is thus
ly placed by Gandhi against religion of least reservation about Bilgrami. He seen synonymous with blasphem er’ s free­
the people or religion of the intellectual. constructs (more accurately hints at) riding speech, the State would let reli­
He refuses to dominate and condemn religious fundamentalism as the other of gion behave irresponsibly. No one-sided
idol worshipping Hindu religion in secularism. He thereby falls into the trap intervention would work. Eventually the
which he never believed: religion of of a typical secular ideology which fails secular state would fail to mediate be­
people is recognised with empathy, so to recognise the strength of its enemies tween irresponsible religion and irre­
typical of him. He does not believe in and ends up addressing the weakness of sponsible blasphemer. So, the State in­
Ram temple and thinks that his Ram is the religious fundamentalism. Readers tervention needs to be an equidistance
locked up in mind and heart. Yet, he would notice that I am making a Gram- intervention in multi-religious societies.
refuses to condemn rationalistically any scian distinction between ideological No lexical reordering for blasphem er’ s
popular belief in Ram temple. He does criticism and political criticism. The tendency to dominate religion in the
not intend to dominate the intellectual’ s former explores the strength of enemy name of her fundamental rights?
Ram over the common Hindu’ s belief in whereas the latter addresses its limits. Bilgrami has not felt that his lexical
the Ram of the idol. May be it is still an In the making of (s), Bilgrami does not ordering of (s) has collapsed under the
integral part of the non-modern non­ tell us if the lexical ordering of (s) is possi­ weight of his silence. For he too thinks
secular world. I cannot pass judgment ble without dialoguing with fundamental­ that secularism is an instrumental rath­
at this stage. ism. Faced with fundamentalism, how er than intrinsic value just as the blas­
However, in 1947, immediately after would he like to reorder the lexical of (s)? phemer thinks free speech is a licence
India’ s independence, he clearly recog­ No lexical ordering of free speech for blas­ for her to say anything against religion.
nised that the new nation state was a phemers? Are blasphemers for free speech That calls for some sorts of the lexical re­
secular state and issued warnings that if or freeriding speech? When free speech ordering of (s) by an expansive political
the secular state also behaved like the and secularism become instruments for the society in which, as stated before,
missionary British state, there would be blasphemer, the lexical ordering of (s) may Bilgrami himself believes.
a danger to secularism. He refers here to have been breached. What does the secular
certain forms of inter-religious domina­ state do in such a case? I am afraid, Bilgra­ R EF ER EN CES____________________________________
tion that might arise due to missionary mi does not say anything on the responsi­ Bhargava, R (2010): The Promise o f India’
s Secular
activities. But he condemns the church’ s bility of (s) in such cases. In his lexical or­ Democracy (New Delhi: Oxford University
conversion, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak dering, the burden of responsibility shifts Press), pp 63-108.
Gandhi, M K (1999): The Collected Works of Mahat­
Sangh’ s Suddhi (reconversion) and the to religion rather than the secular state.
ma Gandhi (e-book), Vols 24, 38, 96 (New
Muslim’ s Tabligh, and argues that all Taylor in his personal letter to him tries Delhi: Publication Division, Government of
forms of inter-religious domination to draw his attention that an irresponsible India), pp 374-75,16-17,238-39, respectively.
needs to be curbed by India’ s secular
state after Independence. That is how
the secular state would survive.
Economic&PoliticalwEEKLY
There is a warning that secularists
PERSPECTIVES ON CASH TRANSFERS
must learn in Gandhi’ s warning: the
secular state must maintain equidis­ May 21,2011
tance from forms of inter-religious dom­ A Case for Reframing the Cash Transfer Debate in India - Sudha Narayanan
ination, remain neutral in umpiring re­ Mexico's Targeted and Conditional Transfers: Between Oportunidades and Rights - Pablo Yanes
ligions and discourage them equally in Brazil's Bolsa Famflia: A Review - Fabio Veras Soares
declaring some of their activities (the Conditional Cash Transfers as a Tool of Social Policy - Francesca Bastagli
tendency to dominate) unacceptable for Cash Transfers as the Silver Bullet for Poverty Reduction: A Sceptical Note - Jayati Ghosh
a secular state. The survival of a secular PDS Forever? - Ashok Kotwal, Milind Murugkar,
state is a very modern concern. Gandhi Bharat Ramaswami
Impact of Biometric Identification-Based Transfers - Arka Roy Chaudhuri,
never gave up modern secular concerns.
E Somanathan
Unlike, a typical liberal modernist, he
The Shift to Cash Transfers: Running Better But on the Wrong Road? - Devesh Kapur
looks at its lexical ordering differently.
Probably, he would have agreed with For copies write to: Circulation Manager,
Bilgram i’ s lexical ordering of (s) but Economic and Political Weekly,
would have instructed him to be more 320-321, A to Z Industrial Estate, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013.
vigilant of inter-religious domination so email: circulation@epw.in______________________

Economic & Political w e e k ly B3S9 m a r c h 24, 2012 v o l x l v i i n o 12 79

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C U R R E N T S T A T IS T IC S EPW Research Foundation

The top 50 banking centres accounted for 63.7% of deposits and 72.9% of credit at the all-india level as on June 2011. While the credit deposit ratiofCDR) at the all-India level increased from 70.3% in June 2009
to 75.2% in June 2011, for the top 50 centres, the CDR jumped from 80.0% to 86.1% showing a significant diversion of deposit resources to the top 50 centres, for credit deployment. As on June 2011, the CDR was
higher than 130% in Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Coimbatore and in Ludhiana it was as high as 203.5%.

Macroeconomic Indicators____________________________________________________________ _________ __ _______ __ _____________


Variation (%): Point-to-Point
Index Numbers of Wholesale Prices*
Weights January Over Over 12 Months Fiscal Year So Far Full Financial Year
(Base Year: 2004-05 = 100 )A
2012 Month 2011 2010 2011-12 2010-11 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
All Commodities 100.0 157.7 0.5 6.6 9.5 5.5 8.6 9.7 10.4 1.6 7.7 6.7
Primary Articles 20.1 199.7 0.9 2.3 18.4 6.1 17.7 13.4 22.2 5.4 9.6 12.8

Food Articles 14.3 191.4 0.3 -0.5 16.7 6.9 17.6 9.4 20.6 8.0 5.6 13.2
Non-Food Articles 4.3 182.8 2.4 0.6 26.6 -4.5 21.0 27.3 20.4 0.6 16.3 10.6

Minerals 1.5 324.5 1.9 24.8 16.1 21.6 12.3 15.2 37.9 -2.8 28.2 13.8
Fuel & Power 14.9 172.8 0.1 14.2 11.4 9.6 8.0 12.5 13.8 -3.4 7.4 1.1

Manufactured Products 65.0 141.2 0.4 6.5 5.3 4.1 5.1 7.4 5.3 1.7 7.1 6.3
Food Products 10.0 153.4 0.3 5.6 - 0.1 5.7 2.5 2.4 15.1 6.3 8.4 4.3
Food index (computed) 24.3 175.8 0.3 1.6" 10.3 6.5 11.9 6.8 18.5 7.3 6.7 9.6
All Commodities (Monthly average basts) 100.0 155.2 - 9.2 9.6 9.1 9.6 9.6 3.8 8.1 4.7 6.6

a The date of first release of data based on 2004-05 series wef 14 September 2010.
* Consequent upon the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) held on 24 January 2012, weekly release of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the commodities/items under the Groups "Primary Articles" and
"Fuel and Power" isdiscontinued with immediate effect. WPI shall, henceforth, be released on a monthly basis only. The last Weekly WPI for the week ending 14 January 2012._________________________________________
Variation (%): Point-to-Point
Cost of Living Indices Latest Over Over 12 Months Fiscal Year So Far Full Fiscal Year
Month 2012 Month 2011 2010 2011-12 2010-11 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06
Industrial Wbrkers(IW) (2001=100) 1981 0.5 5.3 93 7.0 10.6 8.8 14.9 8.0 7.9 6.7 5.3
Agricultural Labourers (AL) (1986-87=100) 6181 - 0.0 4.9 8.7 5.6 9.9 9.1 15.8 9.5 7.9 9.5 53

Note: Superscript numeral denotes month to which figure relates, e q, superscript 1 stands for January.
Variation
Moneyand Banking (Rs crore) 24 February Over Month Over Year Fiscal Year So Far Full Fiscal Year
2012 2011 2011-12 2010-11 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09
Money Supply (M,) 7226270 66800(0.9) 859550(13.5) 726780(11.2) 764020(13.6) 896817(16.0) 807920(16.8) 776930093)
Currency with Public 1015980 19330(1.9) 110630(12.2) 101780(11.1) 137860(18.0) 146704(19.1) 102043(153) 97040(17.1)
Deposits Money with Banks 6209220 49080(0.8) 751440(13.8) 627590(11.2) 626380(13.0) 750239(15.5) 707606(17.2) 683375(19.9)
of which: Demand Deposits 667340 2800(0.4) -11500(-1.7) -50320(-7.0) -39130(-5.5) -310 (-0.0) 129281 (22 .0) 10316(1.8)
Time Deposits 5541880 46280(0.8) 762940(16.0) 677910(13.9) 665510(16.2) 750549(18.2) 578325(16.4) 673059(23.5)
Net Bank Credit to Government 2326600" 25590(1.1) 453640(24.2) 343830(17.3) 203770(12.2) 313584(18.8) 391853(30.7) 377815(42.0)
Bank Credit to Commercial Sector 4726820 57500(1.2) 622990(15.2) 491410(11.6) 612420(17.5) 743997(213) 476516(15.8) 435904(16.9)
Net Foreign Exchange Assets 1461960 -19310(-1.3) 81480(5.9) 68620(4.9) 99010(7.7) 111858(8.7) 367718 (-5.2) 57053(4.4)
Banking Sector's Net Non-Monetary Liabilities 1302830 -3020(-0.2) 299690(29.9) 178070(15.8) 152510(17.9) 274078(32.2) -9050 (-1.1) 94672(12.4)
of which: RBI 537570 -12040(-2.2) 166020(44.7) 169220(45.9) 69900(23.2) 66660(22.1) -86316 (-223) 177709(84.5)
Reserve Money (2 March 2012) 1441000 32940(2.3) 150730(11.7) 64180(4.7) 134620(11.6) 221170(19.1) 167652(17.0) 59696(6.4)
Net RBI Credit to Centre 543640 44130(-) 236100H 149600W 95950H 182460 149819 176397
Scheduled Commercial Banks (24 February 2012)
Aggregate Deposits 5815470 47370(0.8) 727470(143) 607500(11.7) 595170(13.2) 71514305.9) 658716(17.2) 637170(19.9)
Demand 596440 2510(0.4) -7610H3) -45260(-7.1) -41560{-6.4) -3905 (-0.6) 122525(23.4) -1224 (-0.2)
Time 5219020 44860(0.9) 735080(16.4) 652760(14.3) 636730(16.6) 719048(18.7) 536191 (16.2) 638395(23.9)
Investments (for SLR purposes) 1744930 54910(3.2) 258260(17.4) 243310(16.2) 101920(7.4) 116867(8.4) 218342(18.7) 194694(20.0)
Bank Credit 4407520 56190(1.3) 594510(15.6) 465440(11.8) 568230(17.5) 697294(21.5) 469239(16.9) 413635(17.5)
Non-Food Credit 4324310 56070(13) 576590(15.4) 446510(11.5) 551430(173) 681500(213) 466961 (17.1) 411825 07.8)
Commercial Investments 175280 4070(2.4) 21230(13.8) 27679(18.8) 35979(30.5) 28872(24.5) 11654(11.0) 10911 (11.4)
Total Bank Assistance to Comml Sector 4499590 60140(1.4) 597820(15.3) 474189(11.8) 587409(17.7) 710372 (21.4) 478615 (16.9) 422736(17.5)
Note: Government Balances as on 31 March 2011 are after closure of accounts.
Index Numbers of Industrial Production January* Fiscal Year So Far Full Fiscal Year Averages
(Base 2004-05=100) Weights 2012 2011-12 2010-11 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
General Index 100.00 187.9(6.8) 169.0(4.0) 162.5(83)I 165.4(8.2) 152.9(53) 145.2(2.5) 141.7(15.5) 122.6(12.9)
Mining 14.157 137.2-(2.7) 125.5-(2.6) 128.9(63)l 131.0(5.2) 124.5(7.9) 115.4(2.6) 112.5(4.6) 107.6(5.2)
Manufacturing 75.527 202.4(8.5) 179.9(4.5) 1723(8.9]1 175.6(8.9) 1613(4.8) 153.8(2.5) 150.1(18.4) 126.8(15.0)
Electricity 10316 151.1(3.2) 148.8(8.8) 136.8(53]1 138.0(5.6) 130.8(6.1) 1233(2.8) 120.0(6.4) 112.8(73)
* Indices for the month are Quick Estimates.
Fiscal Year So Far 2010-11 End of Fiscal Year
Capital Market
9 March 2012 Month Ago Year Ago Trough Peak Trough Peak 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09
BSE Sensitive Index (1978-79=100) 17503(-5.2) 17831 18470(8.3) 15175 19702 16022 21005 19445(10.9) 17528(80.5) 9709(-37.9)
BSE-100 (1983-84=100) 9232(-3.8) 9347 9598(5.7) 7805 10262 8540 11141 10096(8.6) 9300(88.2) 4943(-40.0)
BSE-200 (1989-90=100) 2170(-4.3) 2190 2268(5.3) 1824 2427 2034 2753 2379(8.1) 2200(92.9) 1140(-41.0)
S&P CNX Nifty (3 Nov 1995=1000) 5334(-3.6) 5412 5531(8.4) 4544 5912 4807 6312 5834(11.1) 5249(73.8) 3021 (-36.2)
Skindia GDR Index (2 Jan 1995=1000) 2404(-19.8) 2471 3000(15.2) 1875 3441 2477 3479 3151(9.3) 2883(134.2) 1153(-56.2)
Net Fll Investment in (US $ Mn Equities) - period end 109038(8.7) 105299 100285(34.4) - - - 101454(31.5) 77159(43.1) 51669H8.6)
January* Fiscal Year So Far Full Fiscal Year
ForeignTrade
2012 2011-12 2010-11 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05
Exports: Rs crore 130129 1153800(28.7) 896518(31.8) 1118823(32.3) 845534(0.6) 840754(28.2) 655863(14.7) 571779(25.3) 456418(21.6) 375340(27.9)
US$mn 25347 242792(23.5) 196633(37.8) 245868(37.5) 178751(-3.5) 185295(13.6) 163132(29.0) 126361(22.6) 103091(23.4) 83536(30.8)
Imports: Rs crore 205911 1859168(34.8) 1379478(24.5) 1596869(17.1) 1363736(-0.8) 1374434(35.8) 1012312(20.4) 840506(27.3) 660409(31.8) 501065(39.5)
USSmn 40108 391459(29.4) 302529(30.1) 350695(21.6) 288373(-5.0) 303696(20.7) 251654(35.5) 185749(24.5) 149166(33.8) 111517(42.7)
Non-POL USSmn 27783 273545(25.7) 217596(34.0) 249006(23.7) 201237(-4.2) 210029(22.2) 171940(33.5) 128790(22.4) 105233(37.1) 76772(33.2)
Balance of Trade: Rs crore -75782 -705369 -482959 -478047 -518202 -533680 356449 -268727 -203991 -125725
USSmn -14761 -148668 -105896 -104827 -109621 -118401 -88522 -59388 -46075 -27981
•Provisional figures.
Foreign Exchange Reserves (excluding Variation Over

gold but including revaluation effects) 2 March 4 March 31 Mar Fiscal Year So Far Full Fiscal Year
2012 2011 2011 Month Ago Year Ago 2011-12 2010-11 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
Rs crore 1303110 1251481 1245284 9130 51640 57830 79235 73038 57826 33975 359500 189270
USSmn 264053 278168 278899 -238 -14115 -14845 18477 19208 18264 -57821 107324 46816
Figures in brackets are percentage variations over the specified or over the comparable period of the previous year. (-) not relevant.
(Comprehensive current economic statistics with regular weekly updates, as also the thematic notes and Special Statistics series, are available on our website: http://www.epwrf.in].

8o m arch 24, 2012 v o l x lv ii n o 12 DBS! Economic & Political w e e k ly

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o
3
O
P e rfo rm a n ce o f S ch e d u le d C om m ercia l B anks in T op 50 Centres* (Rscrore)
B (arranged according to deposit mobilisation rank ason June 2011)_______________________________________________
n Deposit Mobilisation Gross Bank Credit Annual Growth C/D Ratio in Per Cent
2009 2010 2011 2009 2010 2011 Deposit Credit 2009 2010 2011
Rank Rscrore Rank Rscrore Rank Rscrore Rank Rscrore Rank Rscrore Rank Rs crore 2009 2010 2011 2009 2010 2011
Greater Mumbai 1 818415 1 927151 1 1116733 1 753007 1 851060 1 995262 25.1 13.3 20.4 6.1 13.0 16.9 92.0 91.8 89.1
3| Delhi 2 517146 2 558458 2 626989 2 326176 2 445286 2 540055 15.3 8.0 12.3 13.5 36.5 21.3 63.1 79.7 86.1
Bangalore 5 162532 3 188962 3 228385 4 126719 4 147458 5 166538 21.9 16.3 20.9 16.5 16.4 12.9 78.0 78.0 72.9
Kolkata 4 127191 4 145595 4 184014 6 104259 6 127376 6 151927 20.7 14.5 26.4 20.5 22.2 19.3 82.0 87.5 82.6
Chennai 5 115698 5 132651 5 158487 3 146859 3 177526 3 213200 15.8 14.7 19.5 18.5 20.9 20.1 126.9 133.8 134.5
Hyderabad 6 84852 6 100218 6 125749 5 105541 5 131707 4 167504 15.4 18.1 25.5 32.5 24.8 27.2 124.4 131.4 133.2
Ahmedabad 8 50425 7 61387 7 74444 7 48289 7 56770 7 71417 16.7 21.7 21.3 18.8 17.6 25.8 95.8 92.5 95.9
£
>3 47075 9 25.2 18.6 18.9 76.9 77.9 79.5
H Pune 7 50884 8 60461 8 71710 8 39142 8 57032
29751 27.2
18.8
16.7 21.4 - 1.1
20.3
30.3
21.2
37.8 40.6 45.3 51.4
Lucknow 9 40814 9 47647 9 57860 14 16563 13 21583 14
n
x Jaipur 11 24262 11 29490 10 34909 10 33577 9 45344 8 58652 23.1 21.5 18.4 37.5 35.0 29.3 138.4 153.8 168.0
to 5.6 35.6 25.8 138.6 148.2
Chandigarh 10 25852 10 30964 11 34876 9 34129 10 42925 10 51695 19.8 12.6 20.4 132.0
IO Gurgaon 15 21486 15 25400 12 34021 29 7090 28 9967 20 16398 30.0 18.2 33.9 19.2 40.6 64.5 33.0 39.2 48.2
O 36 32.8 16.8 14.9 23.3 23.3
Patna 14 22823 12 28741 13 33567 39 4976 36 6341 7818 25.9 27.4 21.8 22.1
o Noida 12 24109 13 27181 14 32555 24 9004 24 11228 24 14293 33.9 12.7 19.8 74.3 24.7 27.3 37.3 41.3 43.9
<
O Bhubaneswar 17 20256 17 24256 15 32001 17 11269 17 16633 17 21545 12.6 19.7 31.9 30.7 47.6 29.5 55.6 6 8.6 67.3

>2 Bhopal 19 18448 14 26257 16 31416 19 10185 18 14599 18 20273 17.5 42.3 19.6 35.9 43.3 38.9 55.2 55.6 64.5
Kanpur 21 17551 20 21507 17 30491 28 7732 29 8304 29 10040 26.0 22.5 41.8 12.7 7.4 20.9 44.1 38.6 32.9
Kochi " 18 19214 18 22551 18 29276 15 16208 15 20929 13 30541 2.6 17.4 29.8 24.0 29.1 45.9 84.4 92.8 104.3
z
:o o Vadodara 16 21092 16 24269 19 29165 13 17657 14 21144 15 25336 22.8 15.1 20.2 15.9 19.7 19.8 83.7 87.1 86.9

r>3i__ Nagpur 20 17661 19 21661 20 26042 18 10860 19 13502 19 18692 23.6 22.6 20.2 18.3 24.3 38.4 61.5 62.3 71.8
Guwahati 23 16181 21 19974 21 22802 37 5311 33 6541 33 8021 28.1 23.4 14.2 21.8 23.2 2 2.6 32.8 32.7 35.2
i \D
i-N> Thiruvananthapuram 22 17361 22 18750 22 22489 22 9713 23 11229 25 14254 25.8 8.0 19.9 8.8 15.6 26.9 55.9 59.9 63.4
Indore 24 15107 23 18518 23 20534 16 15228 16 18431 16 22945 21.0 22.6 10.9 17.6 21.0 24.5 100.8 99.5 111.7
Dehradun 13 23817 24 17429 24 20280 60 2997 60 3560 66 4029 39.7 -26.8 16.4 2.0 18.8 13.2 12.6 20.4 19.9
Surat 30 12793 28 15010 25 19415 20 9991 20 12187 21 15809 26.3 17.3 29.3 17.3 22.0 29.7 78.1 81.2 81.4
Coimbatore 27 13547 25 16338 26 18285 12 21510 12 26198 12 31891 14.7 20,6 11.9 9.6 21.8 21.7 158.8 160.4 174.4
Ludhiana 25 14158 26 16128 27 17635 11 23025 11 28067 11 35881 15.1 13.9 9.3 13.8 21.9 27.8 162.6 174.0 203.5
Jalandhar 28 13438 30 14341 28 16700 35 5500 40 6020 39 7126 9.9 6.7 16.4 22.3 9.5 18.4 40.9 42.0 42.7
Navi Mumbai 26 14006 31 13204 29 16146 51 3519 51 4428 44 5987 15.0 -5.7 22.3 21.5 25.8 35.2 25.1 33.5 37.1
Thane 33 10535 32 12631 30 14889 50 3555 48 4535 40 6765 32.1 19.9 17.9 -11.7 27.6 49.2 33.7 35.9 45.4
Visakhapatnam 29 13388 27 15317 31 14850 26 8372 26 10543 28 11576 -0.5 14.4 3.0 27.4 25.9 9.8 62.5 6 8 .8 78.0
Raipur 37 9086 33 12612 32 14836 23 9495 22 11447 23 14297 14.3 38.8 17.6 26.9 20,6 24.9 104.5 90.8 96.4
Ranchi 32 10555 34 12286 33 14678 58 3103 54 3913 54 4945 24.0 16.4 19.5 21.1 26.1 26.4 29.4 31.8 33.7
Ghaziabad 31 10697 36 11808 34 14107 30 6477 30 7808 38 7671 21.3 10.4 19.5 31.0 20.5 - 1.8 60.5 66.1 54.4
Varanasi 38 9069 37 10690 35 13299 74 2440 75 2835 69 3773 25.3 17.9 24.4 16.1 16.2 33.1 26.9 26.5 28.4
Amritsar 35 9208 39 10085 36 13267 43 4314 45 4929 51 5416 18.2 9.5 31.6 10.1 14.3 9.9 46.9 48.9 40.8
Faridabad 34 9234 35 12079 37 13018 34 5689 38 6267 37 7714 28.6 30.8 7.8 24.2 10.2 23.1 61.6 51.9 59.3
O
Mangalore 36 9134 38 10358 38 12526 40 4634 41 5165 43 6155 17.5 13.4 20.9 12.3 11.5 19.2 50.7 49.9 49.1
Panchkula Urban Estate 40 8525 29 14545 39 12159 27 7974 27 10307 26 13639 3.0 70.6 -16.4 63.4 29.3 32.3 93.5 70.9 112.2
Bidhan Nagar 39 8659 40 9938 40 11966 96 1799 92 2149 62 4214 9.2 14.8 20.4 61.6 19.5 96.1 20.8 21.6 35.2
H Allahabad 41 8372 41 9879 41 11659 88 1983 91 2239 90 2616 19.9 18.0 18.0 8.2 12.9 16.8 23,7 22.7 22.4
n Bilaspur 42 8215 44 8950 42 11297 133 1108 128 1310 120 1693 18.3 8.9 26.2 14.2 18.2 29.2 13.5 14.6 15.0
Agra 43 8086 42 9411 43 11254 45 4092 44 4937 47 5686 - 2.2 16.4 19.6 20.1 20.7 15.2 50.6 52.5 50.5
Rajkot 44 8081 43 9309 44 10606 38 5178 37 6318 34 7961 23.4 15.2 13.9 13.0 22.0 26.0 64.1 67.9 75.1
Jammu 45 7520 45 8590 45 10304 63 2808 70 2974 76 3261 18.5 14.2 2 0.0 8.2 5.9 9.7 37.3 34.6 31.6
Mysore 46 7498 46 8465 46 9894 42 4517 42 5111 42 6185 21.0 12.9 16.9 12.7 13.2 21.0 60.2 60.4 62.5
Srinagar 48 6763 50 7730 47 9821 33 5925 34 6433 63 4137 2.9 14.3 27.1 19.9 8.6 -35.7 87.6 83.2 42.1
Kalyan-Dombivli 50 6721 48 8002 48 9313 90 1938 97 2016 94 2531 26.9 19.1 16.4 26.5 4.0 25.5 28.8 25.2 27.2
Nashik 55 5874 54 7226 49 9192 54 3265 53 3940 52 5208 24.0 23.0 27.2 12.9 20.7 32.2 55.6 54.5 56.7

STATISTICS
Jabalpur 54 6033 51 7668 50 9157 85 2240 86 2473 87 2953 18.2 27.1 19.4 5.9 10.4 19.4 37.1 32.3 32.2
Selected 50 centres 2522372 2872078 3419068 2016942 2441067 2942308 20.4 13.9 19.0 13.8 21.0 20.5 80.0 85.0 86.1
All-India 3965322 4540130 5370669 2788351 3356757 4038310 21.1 14.5 18.3 14.3 20.4 20.3 70.3 73.9 75.2
Percentage of selected centres 63.6 63.3 63.7 72.3 72.7 72.9
* Centres selected are the top 50 centres in deposit mobilisation in June 2011 which also find place in thetop 200 in credit disbursement.
00
Source: RBI (2011), Q u a r te r ly S ta tis tic s o n D e p o s its a n d C re d it o f S c h e d u le d C o m m e r c ia l B a n k s , June and relevant earlier issues.
S e c o n d a r y M ark et T ra n sa ctio n s in G o v e rn m e n t S e cu ritie s a n d t h e F o rex M ark et - F eb ru a ry 2012

STATISTICS
00
N>

1 Settlement Voiume of Government Securities Transactions (Amount in Rs crore)_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2 Netting Factor (Rscrore) 3 Instrument-wise Break-up of Securities Transactions (Rs crore)
Outright Repo Daily Average (Outright) DailyAverage (Repo) a Securities b Funds a Outright Trades b Repo
Number Volume Number Volume Number Volume Number Volume Gross Net Netting Gross Net Netting Central Govt Treasury State Central Govt Treasury State
ofTrades ofTrades ofTrades ofTrades Factor(%) Factor (%) Dated Bills Govts Dated Bills Govts
Feb-2012 39452 341994 2784 279898 2076 18000 121 12169 898674 298301 66.81 924294 152697 83.48 314511 22974 4510 182261 95700 1937
Feb-2011 21110 154623 2051 289418 1111 8138 93 13155 731011" 316482 56.71 735412 189931 74.17 137760 13755 3109 224261 64610 547
2011 - 12 * 386319 3258857 27191 3484499 1772 14949 102 13100 10218493 3833828 62.48 10192123 2018226 80.20 314688 2043312 1421543 19643
2905767 38402
2 0 1 0 - 11* 304269 2667708 24920 3705800 1352 11856 93 13828 10075686 4429732 56.04 10222510 2312786 77.38 2376103 252891 38715 2930843 762900 12058

4 Tenor-wise Settlement Volume of Central Government


Dated Securities (Rs crore) 5 Intercategory Member Turnover Activity for NDS Reported Outright Trades of Central Government Securities: February 2012
Year Feb-2012 Feb-2011 2011-12* 2010-11* Buy Sid* o f the Private Foreign Primary Public Ins Cos Mutual Others Coop FIs Total Market Share (%)
2010 0 0 0 (0 .0 0 ) 15050 (0.63) Transactions (%) Sector Banks Banks Dealers Sector Banks Funds Banks Feb 2012 Feb 2011
2011 0 837 4592 (0.16) 28003 (1.18) Private Sector Banks 16.69 50.57 21.00 6.98 3.17 0.32 0.58 0.70 0 .0 0 100.00 34.52 12.00
2012 1544 1390 20495 (0.71) 58356 (2.46)
Foreign Banks 58.01 16.19 11.52 9.47 1.81 2.64 0.05 0.32 0 .0 0 100.00 33.58 39.65
2013 260 841 3576 (0.12) 32226 (1.36)
Primary Dealers 55.50 23.95 5.06 10.37 0.70 2.62 0.0 0 1.80 0 .0 0 1 00.00 13.33 16.99
2014 105 377 3118(0.11) 20843 (0.88)
2015 481 13952 12788 (0.44) 200349 (8.43) Public Sector Banks 29.94 35.92 20.69 7.89 0.76 4.03 0.24 0.54 0.0 0 1 00.00 10.63 18.83
2016 1720 129 24244 (0.83) 130714 (5.50) ins Cos 29.90 31.70 33.50 1.85 0.33 1.32 0.09 1.32 0.0 0 1 00.00 3.02 4.22
2017 802 12521 31042 (1.07) 162301 (6.83)
Mutual Funds 22.97 36.82 27.17 12.49 0 .0 0 0.0 0 0 .0 0 0.55 0 .0 0 100.00 2 .0 0 2.27
2018 17743 62 195990 (6.74) 899 (0.04)
Others 23.65 1.11 60.58 0.16 10.38 1.11 0.2 0 2.80 0 .0 0 100.00 1.80 4.24
2019 18 65 409 (0.01) 2314 (0.10)
202 0 12473 4762 43379 (1.49) 830607 (34.96) Cooperative Banks 33.42 1.76 34.11 2.84 3.10 0 .0 0 0.18 24.61 0 .0 0 100.00 1.13 1.79
2021 150953 17 1519763 (52.30) 622 (0.03) FIs 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0.0 0
2022 579 93502 428467 (14.75) 773886 (32.57) Sell Side of the Private Foreign Primary Public Ins Cos Mutual Coop Others FIs Total Market Share (%)
2023 1 17 2277 (0.08) 2048 (0.09) Transactions (%) Sector Banks Banks Dealers Sector Banks Funds Banks Feb 2012 Feb 2011
2024 116116 151 507841 (17.48) 4639 (0.20)
Private Sector Banks 15.17 51.28 19.47 8.38 2.38 1.21 1.00 1.12 0 .0 0 100.00 37.98 12.45
2025 0 0 178 (0.01) 93 (0.00)
Foreign Banks 55.18 17.18 10.09 12.07 3.03 2.32 0.06 0.06 0 .0 0 100.00 31.64 46.19
2026 292 220 4144 (0.14) 9071 (0.38)
2027 2125 7229 39545 (1.36) 67023 (2.82) Primary Dealers 42.59 22.73 3.96 12.92 5.95 3.19 2.27 6.40 0 .0 0 1 00.00 17.02 22.17
2028 1 5 46 (0.00) 155 (0.01) Public Sector Banks 29.56 39.01 16.96 10.30 0.6 8 3.06 0.39 0.03 0.0 0 1 00.00 8.15 11.12
2029 0 0 T T O 0 (0 .00 )
£ Ins Cos 51.88 28.86 4.45 3.82 0.47 0 .0 0 1.66 8 .8 6 0.0 0 100.00 2.11 2.61
> 2030 6607 0 27387 (0.94) 0 (0 .0 0 )
5.98 48.37 19.02 23.37 2.17 1.09 2.17
Mutual Funds 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 .0 0 1 00.00 1.83
2031 0 0 1 (0 .0 0 ) 0 (0 .00 )
2032 444 54 8351 (0.29) 17915 (0.75) Cooperative Banks 23.46 10.42 23.43 5.57 3.90 1.07 27.22 4.93 0 .0 0 1 00.00 1.02 2.18
Nt
2033 0 0 1 (0 .0 0 ) 0 (0 .0 0 ) Others 80.18 6.26 0 .0 0 10.20 1.10 0.0 0 0.80 1.46 0.0 0 1 00.00 0.25 1.11
N> 2034 33 (0.00)
O 2 2
IQ
750 (0.03)
FIs 0.00 0.00 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0 .0 0 0.0 0 0 .0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 .0 0 0.0 0
2035 0 lo 130 (0 .0 0 ) 135 (0.01)
iw w n i e m e n t v o lu m e ro re x seg m e n t
< 2036 3 1 24 (0.00) 509 (0.02) 7 MarkotShareof Top Five (Category-wise) (%) o t

o
r 2037 0 0 rm 0 (0 .00 ) Categories Coop Foreigni Public Private Mutual Primary Segment Total Settlement Volume DailyAverage
X 2038 0 0 H O T 0 (0 .00 ) Banks Banks Sector Banks Sector Banks Funds Dealers Number Volume Volume NumbeiF Volume Volume
r
< 2039 4 0 19(0.00) 72 (0.00) Feb-2012 62.73 78.00 48.90 78.16 72.61 80.10 ofTrades (US$mn) (RsCrore) ofTrades (US$mn) (RsCrore)
2040 420 1608 18623 (0.64) 17521 (0.74)
c Z 2011-12* 61.13 75.74 51.86 73.46 68.34 82.67 Feb-2012 101814 390382 1922101 5091 19519 96105
H o 2041 1818 0 9302 (0.32) 0(0.00) m m
n Total 314511 137760 2905767 (100.00) 2376103 (100.00) a Mantel snare o t io d n memoers % Feb-2011 85090 313742 1432915 4727 79606

Top 5 Top 10 TopIS Top 20 2011 - 12 * 1174136 4217711 20076470 5591 95602
6 Type-wise Settlement Volume of Government Securities Transactions 60.11 68.52
2 01 0 - 11* 1054361 3801572 ‘17397319 4837 17438 79804
Feb-2012 30.24 47.58
fti it-rlnl'il'
Repo
Feb-2011 31.15 47.69 57.69 65.34 11 Settlement Volume of Collateralised Borrowing and Lending Obligations (CBLO)
r iv p u c ia i y Constituent Proprietary Constituent Term
Number Volume Number Volume Number Volume Number Volume Feb-2010 33.89 50.54 60.13 66.48 Segment UVCI tHLfl H Total
ofTrades (FaceValue ofTrades (Face Value ofTrades (Face Value ofTrades (FaceValue Number Volume Number Volume Number Volume
in RsCrore) in RsCrore) in RsCrore) inRsCrore) 9 Market Share of Top V Securities (%) ofTrades (RsCrore) ofTrades (RsCrore) ofTrades (RsCrore)
Feb-2012 35823 301652 3629 40342 2316 244206 468 35692 Top5 Top 10 TopIS Top 20 Feb-2012 9659 631760 2199 130042 11858 761801
Feb-2011 18620 138002 2490 16621 1691 256528 360 32890 Feb-2012 95.13 97.66 98.83 99.46 Feb-2011 8913 828932 1331 101486 10244 930417

B. 2011 - 12 * 352181 2876955 34138 381902 22087 3087412 5104 397088 Feb-2011 88.71 97.40 98.82 99.40 2011 - 12 * 107204 8704645 22444 1501228 129648 10205872

a
*m
2 01 0 - 11* 273295 2405384 30974

Figures in brackets are percentages to total. * Data pertains to April-February.


262325 20021 3315368 4899 390432 Feb-2010 86.73 94.16 96.98 98.32 2 01 0 - 11* 111187 9560110 21848 1576419 133035 11136530

S Source: Clearing Corporation of India Limited (CCIL).


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