Prerna Singh

Development is a founding belief of modernity and a bedrock concept of political economy and social policy. Though understood and conceptualized variously to give rise to many versions of it,  the idea of  development, in the most basic sense, means making ‘a better life for everyone’.

Reviewed by: Mohd. Sanjeer Alam
Shipra Nigam

The book is a collection of the author’s previously published essays written between 2000-2017 with a fresh general introduction, section-wise commentaries and bibliographic additions. The themes encompass a whole range of development issues, namely drought and hunger, poverty, school meals, healthcare, child development and elementary education, employment guarantee and food security and PDS.

Reviewed by: Shipra Nigam
K. Nagaraj with Nalini Rajan

K Nagaraj, a pioneer in studying farmers’ suicide in India, is now demanding our attention with his new book on identifying the parameters of deprivation for making it a thing of the past. Written with Nalini Rajan, the book is primarily targeted at journalists, in the hope that they eventually speak truth to power.

Reviewed by: Anamitra Roychowdhury
C. Rammanohar Reddy

The book under review by C Rammanohar Reddy is a timely addition to the literature on demonetization and indeed a very comprehensive one at that. Directed at the lay reader, it provides a succinct discussion of the context, history, and impact of the November 8, 2016 demonetization announcement by Prime Minister Modi that rendered all currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 illegal for use in transactions.

Reviewed by: Parag Waknis
Padmini Swaminathan

The contribution of Indian pharmaceutical companies in making lifesaving medicines accessible to millions of patients across the world, particularly reaching out to countries which had severe crisis of financing medicines for  diseases like HIV&AIDS, malaria, have given the industry a special place—it is called the pharmacy of the world.

Reviewed by: Padmini Swaminathan
Reji K. Joseph

The contribution of Indian pharmaceutical companies in making lifesaving medicines accessible to millions of patients across the world, particularly reaching out to countries which had severe crisis of financing medicines for  diseases like HIV&AIDS, malaria, have given the industry a special place—it is called the pharmacy of the world.

Reviewed by: Indranil Mukhopadyay
Deepak Nayyar

Burgeoning unemployment and the feeble prospect of recovery in world economy are undoubtedly the most pressing problems facing both developing and developed countries today. Coming at this juncture, the book under review by the well-known heterodox economist, Deepak Nayyar, is indeed a welcome read.

Reviewed by: Malini Chakravarty
Pulapre Balakrishnan

The book under review is a collection of 22 essays published in EPW on the theme of economic growth in India and its distribution between 2005 and 2014 divided into four sections. The first section, ‘The Long View of Growth in India’, containing four chapters, provides an overview of trends in economic growth in India in the last century, from 1900 to 2005.

Reviewed by: Reji K Joseph
KP Kannan

KP Kannan’s book is an empirical study on India analysing the socio-eco-nomic developments of the Indian economy since the onset of the liberalization process. Kannan, through empirics, questions the validity of the mainstream economic concept of trickle-down economics in the context of the Indian economy.

Reviewed by: Shouvik Chakraborty
Montek S Ahluwalia and Deepak Nayyaretal

The economic era since 1991 has been a mixed bag for development. While the economy showed a sustained growth of around 5 to 7 percent per annum, throughout the period, sometimes even growing at double digits, structural transformation had bypassed the industrial sector growth, the key sector for productivity enhancement.

Reviewed by: Vinoj Abraham
Alessandra Mezzadri

A large section of the literature analysing the global value chains and global production networks have remained restricted to the analysis of production processes: their organizational structures, nature and character of the variety of governance systems of the value chains as well as the technological arrangements around the same.

Reviewed by: Sona Mitra

For over a decade now, the field of labour geography, or the analysis of how industrial relations are shaped by and in turn shape the spaces that they are played out in, has become an important one in understanding contemporary capitalist industrial and labour processes.

Reviewed by: Sumangala Damodaran
Jonathan Pattenden

India’s high growth has continued hand in-hand with rising inequality, and almost unchanged absolute level of poverty despite its falling incidence. A lot has been written about multi-dimensional measures of poverty, its impact on growth, its geographical location, its concentration among certain socio-economic groups, and about its causes and possible remedies.

Reviewed by: Partha Saha
VK Ramachandran and Madhura Swaminathan

The caste system in India has always been an instrument of exploitation and social discrimination for appropriating surpluses in the process of production and exchange. Though the policy makers in India proudly claim it as (one of) the biggest functioning democracies in the world and had declared untouchability as illegal immediately after Independence…

Reviewed by: Shantanu De Roy
Madhura Swaminathan and Arindam Das

Karnataka has acquired a name for itself in recent times for decentralization, local governance and improvements in the social sectors. The State is also known for land reforms and the political assertion of backward castes, influenced by Lohiates, and all these have impacted agrarian life in rural Karnataka.

Reviewed by: A Kalaiyarasan
Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik

Scholars from varied disciplines of social science in the recent past have been engaged in revisiting the concepts of rural, urban, peasant, non-peasant, formal, informal labour, intermediaries, money-lenders, classes of labour, new forms of caste bondage, freedom and un-freedom, given the significant changes in rural and urban India.

Reviewed by: Purendra Prasad
Aparajith Ramnath

India produces on an average 1.5 million engineers each year. Among the middle class and the lower middle class in contemporary India, a first degree in engineering remains the most coveted dream even though only a small proportion of such graduates actually make it to engineering as a profession given the declining importance of manufacturing and industry in India’s output and employment structure.

Reviewed by: Chirashree Das Gupta
Arun Bandopadhyay

In the last three decades environmental history has grown rapidly and has made significant contribution in developing environmental sensitivity in historical narratives, specifically of the colonial period. Recent works on environmental history have focused on how ecological changes have adversely affected tribal people.

Reviewed by: Dhirendra Datt Dangwal
Dani Rodrik

Set against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s presidency and the Brexit vote, Straight Talk on Trade, the latest book by Dani Rodrik, is an attempt to ‘set the record straight’ on trade—about how (mainstream) trade economists should have listened to their critics who warned about trade imbalances and job losses, instead of sticking to economic models…

Reviewed by: Smitha Francis
Satish K. Jain and Anjan Mukherji

Economic growth is often considered as one of the most important indicators to measure the success of an economic institution. While few would disagree with the importance of growth, the bone of contention would be how to achieve it and at what cost. In economics the concept of growth is linked with the idea of efficiency.

Reviewed by: Taposik Banerjee
Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik. With a Commentary by David Harvey

Marxist conceptions of imperialism as something systemically connected to the capitalist mode of production have focused on examining how the fundamental tendencies of the capitalist mode express themselves concretely in history when the necessary accompaniment of the mode—a class state—is national.

Reviewed by: Surajit Mazumdar