Primary wholesale markets, or mandis, are critical nodes in India’s agricultural marketing and distribution system. As such, they are key elements of contention in vital debates regarding the future of Indian agriculture, the challenges of ensuring food security and managing food inflation, and to growing questions about the character and control of the nation’s diversifying foodways.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness. While the current dynamics of coal may not match the intrigue and tumult of A Tale of Two Cities, the initial sentiments certainly reflect how things are shaping up in the sector. Recently, newspapers were all abuzz with Coal India’s emergence as the country’s “most valued company” in terms of market capitalization.
Street vendors occupying public spaces such as pavements, parks, and thoroughfares, and thereby appearing to deny access to their “rightful” users has been, over the years, a highly contentious issue in major cities across the globe. Addressing the problem of “hawking” generally involves a range of complex and interlinked issues such as the informal economy, rural-urban linkages in commodity production and marketing, survival of the urban poor, urban renewal and middle-class politics, changing street cultures, shopping as well as selling behavior, and commodity circulations.
India has one-sixth of the world’s population but accounts for about 5 percent of the world’s energy consumption. India’s energy sector is plagued with energy and peak power shortages. At the present time, a large percentage of the population – official estimates indicate about 50 percent – do not have access to electricity. The development goal of providing access to convenient energy sources – electricity, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking – would need a significant increase in the energy services supplied.
Since the 1980s, the world’s governments have decreased state welfare rhetoric and policy, and the proportion of unprotected “informal” workers has expanded. The result has been an increase in the proportion of the world’s workers who do not receive secure wages or social benefits from employers or the state. India is no exception to these global trends; according to the Government of India’s 2005 Sample Survey on Employment and Unemployment (NSS) 93 percent of India’s total labor force, and 82 percent of its non-agricultural labor force is informally employed.
Sustained economic growth over the past decade has triggered dramatic changes in the way that Indian cities relate to villages, a relationship that is often described as a continuum.Whether associated with the aggressive expansion of private enterprise that sees great potential in rural markets, or the government’s burgeoning welfare schemes, or indeed, the policies shaped through “public-private partnerships,” the pressures associated with this churning are felt at many levels.This is especially true for those organizations working in rural areas that were est
Contrary to popular fears, the Delhi Commonwealth Games, which ended on October 14, 2010, went off without too many hiccups and were attended by all seventy-one member countries. Though the Commonwealth Games, a competition held every four years for nations of the former British Empire, weren’t the spectacular success that India might have hoped for – to be placed alongside the 2008 Beijing Olympics or the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa – it wasn’t a disaster either.
Paralleling the growth of India’s economy has been the concomitant increase in India’s global engagement. While this has been most manifest in the growth of trade and financial flows, the movement of people has also become more important. Since the 1830s, international migration from India under British rule comprised largely of unskilled workers from poorer socio-economic groups who went to other colonized countries. Between 1834 and 1937, nearly 30 million people left India and nearly four-fifths returned.
Innovation is widely recognized and accepted as a key ingredient of sustained economic growth; an objective of policy that is today as salient for developing countries as it is for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The rise of Asia is as much about its domination of low-cost manufacturing as it is about its increasing strength in knowledge-based industries and ability to innovate new technologies and new business models.
India is currently undergoing a rapid economic and demographic transformation. Since 1980, average living standards have experienced a sustained and rapid rise. The gross domestic product per capita has risen by 230 percent; a trend rate of 4 percent annually. Poverty declined at an annual rate of 0.88 percent from 1983-94, and at a slightly lower rate of 0.77 percent from 1993-05. Life expectancy has risen from 54 years to 69 years while the (crude) birth rate has fallen from 34 to 22 between 1980-2008.