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Population + some

Administrative Note:

Week's Agenda: Social Conditions

  Minimum Wage
  Rules regarding Safety of Personnel at work to be made clear
  Introduction of Social Security Net
  Introduction of identity card
  Removal of Age discrimination at work
  Creating conditions so that reservations will no longer be necessary

I'm afraid that this touches upon some assorted stuff. But then we all
know everything's connected !

Ref Sanjeev's mail :

<<Indeed, the empirical evidence of Allen and Barnes (1985) and
Cropper and Griffiths (1994) shows that population growth is
positively related to deforestation. ... [But these issues are best
handled by environment policy rather than by population policy]"
(Baland and Robinson, 1996).

The consensus in the academic world about economic policy affecting
the economy and environment policy affecting the environment (rather
than the sheer size of population having anything to do with these
things) is almost complete.>>

Here's a definition : Ecology is the economics of the natural
environment & Economics is the ecology of the manmade environment.

At ground level the population issue is real. And the point of
deforestation is even more stark. Settlers are often clandestinely
allowed to move into reserve forest areas and over time are forced to
be granted owner status. Political compulsions are severe and is a
fact that cannot be ignored.

We have shrinking forest cover, catchment areas, and decreasing
supplies of safe potable water. This is real and a reality that we
cannot view with blinkers on. Economies of scale, intricate social
threads & customs ingrained for generations in Indian communities are
aspects that many western or armchair scholars cannot even begin to
comprehend. So let's not base too much of our conclusions on these

The Solution lies in the Problem. Let's look for solutions from
within. Western ideas of sound economies viz "whiz kid economists from
the IMF & World Bank" obviously have been very very wrong. Our path
lies elsewhere. It has to be original, it has to emanate from within
and has to address core issues that lie here.

Some more material to look at:

"TOWARDS GREEN VILLAGES" goes beyond mere discussion of well worn
environmental cliches. Unlike any effort before, it defines alternate
environmentally-sound development strategies. The book outlines a
strategy for a nationwide revitalisation on a village to village,
ecosystem to ecosystem basis. It does not see the problem of
environmental regeneration as merely one of grasses, trees and
watershed, but more of village institutions, laws, financial
frameworks and planning processes - the key elements of state policy.
TGV proposes that the role of the government must become that of a
"Enabler" rather than that of a "doer". The Authors are Anil Agarwal &
Sunita Narain


<< prabhu.guptara  Thu, 1 Oct 1998>>
Regarding the Forbes article below:  
1.  If the US is so wonderful, why is the author living in Canada? 2. 
The US capitalist propoganda machines continue to propogandise the
world about how wonderful their system is.  It is wonderful, but only
for the rich.  70% of the US population has NO net wealth.  1% of the
population owns 40% of net wealth in the US.  Not very different from
the situation in India.  

I tend to agree with this. I don't think that all is rosy with the US.
I spent a month photographing life on the streets of Manhattan.
Whoever has seen these radically change their perceptions of what the
US really is. Life on campus in the US is starkly cushioned from real
life. Social life of the majority of Indians who are citizens in the
US are pathetic. They interact with the same bunch of indians weekend
after weekend. I found it sad that people who have decided to adopt
another land as their own are not willing to give more of themselves
to their new country and interact more with the local citizens.

Indian society has a lot of positive aspects that are not measurable
at dollar rates. Wealth is more than a resurgent economy. Let's not
forsake the warmth of our people that is slowly achieving a chill. The
quest for quick wealth is changing the face of our society. 


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