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Crop Insurance: Another dressed up scheme
02 August, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) launched in 2016 which is supplemented with Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS), have failed to deliver what it had promised. The number of farmers insured under this scheme has fallen and the claims paid to farmers has fallen from 98% to 61%. The scheme seems to be benefitting the insurance companies as there has been rise in gross premiums paid to these companies by government.
Empty Promises
18 July, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Together with measures like loan write-offs offered by some BJP States and an ostensibly much-improved crop insurance scheme (PMFBY), this hike in MSPs is seen to have confirmed the pro-farmer tilt of the Narendra Modi government. The timing of the Modi government’s MSP hike for kharif crops leads to the question of whether it is backed by the financial allocations needed to deliver on them.
Has There Been an MSP Hike for Kharif Crops?
16 July, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The government’s MSP hike is just a cynical ploy, there has been no hike in real terms for major crops compared to the base year and the government not cognizing C2 in its MSP fixing while taking (A2+FL) is fundamentally erroneous and has no rationale as it leaves out the poorest landless farmers.
The Proposed Abolition of the UGC
09 July, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Modi government is bringing in legislation to abolish the University Grants Commission and replace it with Higher Education Commission of India. The composition of the HECI and the advisory council along with the fact that funds will be provided by the HRD ministry is a strong indicator of political interference in the country’s academic life.
The Indiscreet Aggression of the Bourgeoisie
04 July, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The financial crisis and a subsequent period of recession affecting the majority population in economies points to the fact that neoliberal economic policy might have lost its legitimacy. On the contrast, a change in mood with Brexit and Trump’s victory might not be subsequent setbacks with a new aggression on part of the neoliberal elite. Today, across the world, big business is attempting to influence economic decision-making in ways that can save the neoliberal project from collapse.
The Invisible Class
20 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The peasantry has been dubbed as the ‘invisible class ‘for the simple reason that it has been outrightly ignored. A basic comparison of the per capita GDP of this invisible class across two years using the Economic Survey 2017-18 gives veracity to these claims.
The Push for Privatizing Banks
11 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Historically, the push for bank privatization which has gathered momentum with a rise in tendencies to take to neo-liberal policies. The arguments for privatization have been put forward time and time again, depending on economic circumstances. As international finance capital demands outright privatization to control financial resources and popularizes the conception of social interest best served through free finance, the NPA crisis in India has become the justification of the day.
The Modi Government's "Achievement"
03 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Concluding the four years of Modi government is an unparalleled process of social and political retrogression in the country. A look at the declining per capita real income in agriculture and privatization of education and other essential services points at an expedition of neo-liberal tendencies during the Modi regime.
A Tale of Two Discourses
19 April, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Hindutva bubble has clearly burst. Mass demonstrations by peasants, traders, doctors, teachers, students and even school children in the past few days have shown that not only the fear gripping the people is over but also the Indian political discourse is shifting towards material-practical matters, again acquiring a resemblance to what it had been in the pre-Modi years.
The Real Confusion over MSP
04 April, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The government ought to have specified its definition of cost of crop production in the Budget to prevent any confusion in the minds of people on minimum support prices.
The UGC Directive on Autonomous Colleges
12 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Higher education in India is facing a twin danger of commoditization and communalization under the globalized capital today. This tendency is fueled further by the UGC directive that combines commoditization with a push towards centralization that is rampant under the Modi government.
When business turns 'Easy'
28 February, 2018, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Modi/Choksi case illustrates how a neoliberal financial policy regime that is aggressively “reformist” creates conditions that make the system vulnerable to fraud and corruption on a huge scale.
Can banking recover?
27 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Recovery of the banking sector will require stricter adherence to sound banking rules and more transparency from public and private players. And most of all, this applies to the regulators themselves and the government that frames all this.
The Nirav Modi Scandal
23 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Nirav Modi’s is not a case of crony capitalism supplanting genuine capitalism; it is rather a case of genuine capitalism coming out to display its fundamental unworkability, as a system based on the pursuit of private gain. Having institutional restraints can stem the rot, but not for long.
The Budget and education
20 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The thrust towards privatization in Budget 2018-19 is evident in the pattern of education spending, which has been brought down to less than 3.5 percent of the government budget, against a promise of 6 percent in the 2014 electoral campaign. So, any real changes are clearly expected to be financed by private participation, implying declining spread, reduced access, and increased inequality.
The Economic Survey 2017-18
04 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Like the person on the proverbial tiger, the Indian economy is currently riding a precarious course. The Government of India’s Economic Survey for 2017-18 recognizes this frankly, but its panacea is to keep one’s fingers crossed and hope that the ride continues.
The 2018-19 Union Budget
03 February, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The strategy of the current budget seems to be simple: make immense noise about “helping the victimized” but do not give an extra paisa from the budget towards that ends. With the expenditure squeeze being carried out to reduce fiscal deficit, the share of central government spending in GDP is in fact budgeted to fall.
Did the FM deliver for farmers?
02 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The Budget Speech this year was no different in terms of the grandiose promises made to farmers, without substantial financial backing, and used as substitute for real allocations. Such a clever-by-half attitude towards those who provide food for India and account for at least half the work force may well backfire on the government.
Where's the money, Mr Jaitley?
02 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
Window-dressing as a substitute to actually addressing the problem has become a norm under the Modi regime and the Budget 2018-19 reflects that. The actual increases in financial outlay are shockingly low in relation to the massive promises made. This is deeply worrying, as the Indian economy now desperately requires major measures to ensure a sustainable revival of economic activity.
The Problem with the Indian Left
27 December, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current problem with the Indian Left, and in this term I include all sections of the Left, from the so-called "parliamentary Left" to the so-called "revolutionary Left", is in my view, its lack of appreciation of the dialectics between "reform" and "revolution".

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