Fractured Social Sciences

16 06 2009

[Can the contradiction between underdevelopment and democracy be transcended]

This is the draft I wrote for the editorial for the Economic and Political Weekly, VOL 44 No. 23 June 12, 2009. There may be many differences between this draft and the EPW editorial. Read the rest of this entry »

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and quiet flows the blood…

23 02 2009

 

This was my draft of the editorial on the bloodshed and conflicts in and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the Economic and Political Weekly. The final edit was published in the EPW dated 21 February, 2009, Vol XLIV No 8.

[Why is the world, including India, silent about the neocolonial plunder of the Congo?] Read the rest of this entry »





Begging the Question: Foreign Aid and India

15 04 2008

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Last week India announced a line of credit of US $ 5.4 billion to African countries for developing their infrastructure and meeting other development goals as well as duty free import scheme for 50 Least Developed Countries, of which 34 are in Africa. Apart from this the Government also announced a grant of US $ 500 million to African countries and doubled the number of fellowships given to students from African and Asian countries.

This was startling news for a country which has for long being among the largest recipients of foreign aid in the world. From the time of its independence till the early years of this century, billions of dollars have been sent to India by global development agencies and NGOs to finance a range of development work. From the large donors like USAID to small donors like the Swiss and Swedish agencies, India has for long remained the largest aid recipient in their annual budgets. Even in 2006-07, the Government of India received US $ 1.83 billion in net external aid, not counting the amount received by non-governmental bodies in assistance. But according to some estimates, India’s annual aid to other countries equals US $ 1 billion. These figures include loans and other credit instruments. Even if one considers only grants (which have no repayment), the Government of India receives about US $ 654 million from the world and gives out something in the range of US $ 150-200 million to other developing countries.

It is not that India has solved its problems with regard to poverty, malnutrition, health, shelter, education and public infrastructure. Read the rest of this entry »