Interviews

Prof. Guy Standing, economist at the School Of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, interviewed by Sayantan Bera (Livemint.com)Prof. Guy Standing, economist at the School Of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, interviewed by Sayantan Bera (Livemint.com)

-Livemint.com In conversation with Guy Standing, economist at the School Of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Neither the Narendra Modi government nor Rahul Gandhi have gotten minimum income scheme right, he says New Delhi: Income support is the big economic idea of the season. While the ruling BJP government announced a limited money transfer scheme targeted at farmers in the recent interim budget, the Congress has proposed to solve the country’s chronic poverty with a minimum income guarantee for every Indian. Some consider these pre-election proposals to be too ambitious. But, Guy Standing,71, an economist at the School Of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, thinks that the real concern may be that these schemes are not ambitious enough. A proponent of giving people cash since the early 1980s, Standing has built himself a reputation as the global guru of universal basic income. He disapproves of words like “limited" and “targeted". India’s...

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RB Barman, former Chairperson of National Statistical Commission, interviewed by TK Rajalakshmi (Frontline.in)RB Barman, former Chairperson of National Statistical Commission, interviewed by TK Rajalakshmi (Frontline.in)

-Frontline.in Interview with R.B. Barman, former Chairperson, National Statistical Commission. R.B. Barman, former Chairperson of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), was member of the Indian Statistical Service before joining the Reserve Bank of India in 1979. He was president of the Indian Econometric Society in 2006-07, Vice Chairman, Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics, Bank for International Settlement, Basel, Switzerland, and Member, International Data Forum. He sent a paper to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2018 on how to improve official statistics but received no response. The gross domestic product (GDP) figures were contested in 2015, and the NSC asked the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to make a presentation, but it was ignored. Barman spoke to Frontline about the concerns involving transparency in data dissemination and the role of statistical agencies in the controversy surrounding the release of job data. Excerpts: * Why was there a problem about the back series...

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G Srinivasan, Director of National Insurance Academy (NIA), Pune, interviewed by Radheshyam Jadhav (The Hindu Business Line)G Srinivasan, Director of National Insurance Academy (NIA), Pune, interviewed by Radheshyam Jadhav (The Hindu Business Line)

-The Hindu Business Line Tech must be used in a big way to ensure ryots get compensated quickly, says National Insurance Academy’s Srinivasan Changing rainfall patterns, droughts, flooding and geographical redistribution of pests and diseases have posed a major challenge before Indian agriculture. With the impact of climate change looming large on agricultural productivity, the insurance sector has a big role to play. However, the implementation of crop insurance scheme is mired in squabbles while the insurance sector has not penetrated deep into the Indian market. G. Srinivasan, Director, National Insurance Academy (NIA), Pune, shared his views on these issues. Excerpts: * Climate variability and extremes are having an impact on agricultural production systems. How do you analyse the suitability of crop insurance schemes? Indian agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate changes and is largely dependent on the monsoon. Drought, unseasonal rains, cyclone, floods, hailstorms and climate extremes have brought huge losses to the...

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Sociologist Dipankar Gupta interviewed by Poornima Joshi (The Hindu Business Line)Sociologist Dipankar Gupta interviewed by Poornima Joshi (The Hindu Business Line)

-The Hindu Business Line Sociologist Dipankar Gupta discusses the dynamics of political mobilisation and the politics of reservation. Excerpts from an interview to Poornima Joshi: * The Indian state’s failure to provide the basics — universal education and healthcare — has never become the rallying point for political mobilisation. Why is that? The more cleavages of class, caste, language, race a society has, the more difficult it is to practise democracy. Democracy works best in a society that is monochromatic. The moment you bring in differences, you find democracy beginning to stumble...India is full of cleavages, and all kinds of political ambitions have been built on them. Bridging cleavages is a tricky affair: it requires thinking of something universal for a large set of people with different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. That is the problem that the so-called national political parties face. So, from time to time, we have passions getting aroused based on...

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Dr. Himanshu, associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, interviewed by M Rajshekhar (Scroll.in)Dr. Himanshu, associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, interviewed by M Rajshekhar (Scroll.in)

-Scroll.in This is not just about low job creation but also about the worsening quality of jobs, says Himanshu, associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University. On Thursday, a political storm boiled over after Business Standard reported that, between 2017-’18, unemployment numbers in India reached a 45-year high. The newspaper based its report on a survey, conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation, called the Periodic Labour Force Survey that the government had not made public. According to the report, the country’s unemployment rate climbed from 2.2% in 2011-’12 to 6.1% in 2018-’18. Once disaggregated, these numbers look even worse. Joblessness is higher in urban areas than rural areas – 7.8% versus 5.3%. For instance, unemployment among rural men in the age group of 15-29 years rose from 5% in 2011-’12 to 17.4%. The report corroborated what the government’s critics have been saying – that demonetisation and the ham-handed rollout of the Goods and Services...

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