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Thursday, July 5 2018

Ten voter groups: combinations of EU referendum and general election votes in the BES 2017 face-to-face survey – Daniel Allington

Contact Ten voter groups: combinations of EU referendum and general election votes in the BES 2017 face-to-face survey Like many, I read with interest Stephen Bush’s recent article on ‘ The nine voter groups who are more important than Labour Leavers ’. If Bush were a grant awarding institution, there would be money available for researching those groups. Well, he isn’t, so there isn’t, but I like a challenge so I’m going to make a start anyway – using open data from the British Election Study (henceforth, BES). To be more specific, I’ll be using the BES 2017 face-to-face survey , which was conducted after the election and uses what should probably be considered a more genuinely random sample than the online waves. If we focus only on England (because the other parts of the UK have really quite different political systems), this gives us 1874 respondents, or 1839 after weighting for demographic group. Even after weighting, Labour voters are over-represented, but we’re not trying to predict last year’s election – we’re trying to understand why people made the voting choices that they did, and to use that information to derive hints about what voting choices they might make in future. Bush’s general approach was to identify groups by how they have voted in recent years. Groups identified in this way are more or less important, if I understand him correctly, according to how much they might sway the result of future elections. And a group’s ability to do that would presumably depend upon (a) its size and (b) its likelihood of flipping from one party to another, given some sort of predictable event such as a political party coming out for some particular policy. What sort of a policy might that be? Respondents to the survey gave a pretty clear hint of that in their responses to the open question, ‘As far as you’re concerned, what is the single most important issue facing the country at the present time?’ Although Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May largely succeeded in avoiding discussing Brexit policy during the 2017 election campaign, Brexit was clearly the most popular answer. And well it might have been, I might add, because all the other issues in the top five clearly depend on what kind of a Brexit the UK actually gets. (Note for the nerds: what I’m actually counting here is the number of respondents who gave each of these words as a one-word answer, plus the number of respondents who began their answers with one of these words, or a morphologically related word, e.g. ‘immigrants’ was counted under ‘immigration’. Also, throughout this article I’m using the BES team’s wt_demog weighting.) The overwhelming importance given to Brexit is analytically convenient, because one of the last three important UK-wide votes was the 2016 referendum on continued membership of the EU, so if we use that referendum to define our groups (as Bush did in some cases), then the definition of the groups themselves will give us an indication of how they might feel about the policy area that their members seem to regard as most important. So now to those groups. There are some that I’d like to come to at a later date (in particular, ‘Conservative voters in 2017’ and ‘Labour 2017, Gives An Answer Other Than “Jeremy Corbyn” When Asked Who Would Make The Best Prime Minister’). But right now I’m intrigued by the possibility Bush raises of dividing up the electorate by combinations of 2015 General Election, 2016 EU referendum, and 2017 General Election votes Bush lists four of these: ‘Conservative 2015, Remain 2016, Labour 2017’, ‘Conservative 2015, Remain 2016, Conservatives 2017’, ‘Non-voting until 2016, Remain 2016, Labour 2017’, and ‘Non-voting until 2016, Leave 2016, Non-voting 2017’ (the latter of which he lumped together with an implied fifth group, ‘UKIP 2015, Leave 2016, Non-voting 2017’). But even if we limit ourselves to the four main parties (Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, and UKIP) plus ‘other’ as a catch-all plus non-voting in the two general elections, plus the three possible responses to the 2016 referendum (Leave, Remain, and non-voting), there are an awful lot of potential groups: 108 of them, to be precise. Or 126 if we distinguish those who didn’t vote in 2015 from those who couldn’t vote, e.g. because they were too young. (I made this distinction in my analysis but it didn’t seem to make any difference to the overall picture.) Most of these groups are going to be too small as to be important. If voters are evenly distributed between all 108 or 126 groups, then less than 1% will fall into each, and if they are not, then less than 1% will fall into each of most of them. With R ’s dplyr package, it’s quite easy to divide up survey respondents according to combinations of votes (using group_by ), and then calculate each group’s average responses to the question ‘How likely is it that you would ever vote for each of the following parties?’ (on a scale from 0 to 10) to give a sense of their probability of flipping in the next election (using summarise ). Here are the ten largest: As the table shows, the largest groups are of people whose voting behaviour was the same in 2017 and 2015, regardless of what they did or didn’t do in 2016. That’s not particularly surprising, because the British electorate isn’t known for shopping around: by and large, Conservative voters vote Conservative, Labour voters vote Labour, and non-voters don’t vote. But the table contains a very clear hint that Bush might be right in his main thesis that ‘Labour Leavers – that is, voters who backed Labour in 2015 and Leave in the referendum of 2016 – have received an outsized share of attention and analysis’. As we see from the above, the ‘Labour 2015, Remain 2016, Labour 2017’ group is much, much bigger than the ‘Labour 2015, Leave 2016, Labour 2017’ group, and – given the probability scores – the former looks much more amenable to being poached by the (anti-Brexit) Liberal Democrats than the latter does by the (pro-Brexit) UKIP and Conservative Party. Meanwhile, there was no other combination beginning ‘Labour 2015, Leave 2016’ that was large enough to make the top 10, indicating that there has been no major exodus of Leave voters from Labour to elsewhere. When we remember the recent survey finding that ‘fewer than one third (32%) [of Labour Leavers] think [that leaving the EU is] very important’ while ‘over half (51%) [of Labour Remainers] say [that staying in the EU] is very important’, there is therefore clearly now a substantial body of evidence to indicate the greater potential for Labour Remainers than Labour Leavers to influence the result of a future general election – provided that somebody makes a bid for their support. Whoever it is, it probably won’t be the Labour leader, a lifelong Eurosceptic who called for the invocation of Article 50 before even Nigel Farage. But as I said last June , Paris might be worth a mass. Looking further down the list, ‘Conservative 2015, Remain 2016, Labour 2017’ looks very much like a floating vote, giving very similar probability scores for all parties except UKIP, which it would seem to regard as beyond the pale. In fact, the only top 10 group giving UKIP a score higher than 3.1 was ‘UKIP 2015, Leave 2016, Conservative 2017’: the Leave-voting UKIP-Conservative switchers who decimated Paul Nuttall’s already shaky credibility last June. Those switchers might switch again. But, based on the probability scores, they don’t seem to like Labour or the Liberal Democrats very much, and right now the chances of UKIP’s winning back anybody’s vote with its current leadership and financial difficulties are looking pretty remote. And even the 3.1 came from ‘None 2015, Leave 2016, None 2017’: a small group that is, like the much larger ‘None 2015, None 2016, None 2017’, unlikely to vote for anyone in the near future (not only on the evidence of its avowedly low likelihood of voting for any of the four main parties but on the evidence of, ahem , past behaviour). Those two groups can, I think, fairly safely be written off as unimportant, at least in the sense defined above. (I know that sounds elitist, but if people don’t want to vote for anything that’s available, then they can’t influence elections.) The Conservatives might be able to attract the ‘UKIP 2015, Leave 2016, UKIP 2017’ group next time around, but it was too small to make the top ten above and therefore its departure from the UKIP fold probably won’t have much of an impact on anything now that the bulk of 2015 UKIP voters has already left for pastures new. So it looks as if UKIP voters have had their (admittedly gigantic) effect and are now a spent force, and – all in all – the groups to watch from now on are the very large group of Labour Remainers – only a small proportion of which would need to peel off and vote for another party to make an impact at the polls – and the much smaller group of Remain-voting Conservative-Labour switchers, whose votes have migrated once and (even if we did not have the evidence of the probability scores above) might therefore be assumed to be more than averagely predisposed to migrate again. Labour Leavers are much smaller in number than one of the aforementioned, and – it seems – more likely than both to stay put. Now to the inevitable caveat. While the approximate relative sizes of these groups are probably a robust finding (because the poll itself was so large), the average probability scores for a group become less and less reliable as the size of the group falls: for example, the averages in the final row in the table above are the findings of what was in effect a poll of 29 people, so the margin of error will be huge, and I mention the scores above only because they are more-or-less what we might expect given that particular group’s voting history. We could find greater numbers of people falling within each group from the BES online panel, but that has representativeness problems of its own, and what we’re coming to here is an essential problem of the approach of splitting survey respondents up into discrete groups of successively smaller size. I’ve done some more analysis that takes a slightly different approach in order to mitigate that problem, but I’ll save it for a future post.

Thursday, July 5 2018

Non-voters from the 2015 general election and what they did next – Daniel Allington

Contact Non-voters from the 2015 general election and what they did next On Friday, I posted some analysis of groups of English voters defined by the combinations of choices they made in a succession of votes. That was the first installment of a multi-part response to Stephen Bush’s recent article on why we should stop focusing so obsessively on people who voted Labour in 2015 and then voted to leave the European Union in 2016. I’d now like to take a look at those who didn’t vote at all in the 2015 general election. Excluding those who did not vote because they were ineligible, there were 290 GE2015 non-voters in the dataset that I’m using: an English subset of the post-election 2017 face-to-face survey carried out as part of the long-running and hugely respected British Election Study . The 290 become 311 or more if we weight for demographic group, as I did for Friday’s analysis – which indicates that the non-voters were from demographic groups that were under-represented in the sample as a whole. (It’s only slightly less difficult to get non-voters to answer a survey than it is to get them into a polling booth, as we see from the fact that just 15% of the sample did not vote in an election with 66% turnout .) But because 290 is a small sample and weighting tends to magnify the effect of sampling error, I’ve used unweighted counts throughout this post (not that weighting made an appreciable difference to any of the patterns I will talk about below). The following alluvial diagram (created using the R package, ggalluvial ) tracks the voting behaviour of sampled 2015 non-voters post-2015: That diagram is a pretty clear illustration of the truism that non-voters don’t vote. Most members of the sample who didn’t vote in the 2015 general election also did not vote in the 2017 general election. And while slightly more of them voted in the 2016 EU membership referendum, most of them didn’t vote in that either. This is despite the fact that some of those who didn’t vote in 2015 will likely have been habitual voters who – for one reason or another – did not happen to vote in that particular election, yet subsequently returned to past form. Here’s an interesting point, though. The majority of those GE2015 non-voters in the sample who did vote in the 2016 referendum voted Leave, and the majority of those who voted Leave did not vote in GE2017. But the Remain-voting minority bucked the overall trend. Of the mere 48 GE2015 non-voters in the sample who voted Remain in the 2016 referendum, 26 went on to vote in the next general election, while of the 179 who did not vote in the referendum, just 25 went on to do the same. What are we to make of this? A few thoughts: The sample of GE2015 non-voters appears to consist, to a fairly great extent, of people who are generally disinclined to vote (though not all non-voters in any particular election or referendum will belong to that group, and the same is probably true of this specific sample of non-voters from that specific election) On the evidence of their subsequent voting history, these people seem to have been slightly less disinclined to vote in the 2016 EU membership referendum than in the 2017 general election. Perhaps that’s because referenda generally seem more meaningful to them than elections do, or perhaps it’s because of something specific about that particular referendum It seems possible that voting Remain in the 2016 EU membership referendum somehow led previously habitual non-voters into higher levels of political involvement from that point onward However, it may simply be that those habitual voters who just happened not to vote in 2015 (and therefore became part of the analysis presented here despite not being habitual non-voters) were over-represented within the minority of GE2015 non-voters who voted Remain the following year (whether in the wider population or only in this sample of it). If this is the case, then we may not be looking at a ‘Remain effect’ among previously habitual non-voters, but at a tendency towards Europhilia on the part of some habitual voters who temporarily got mixed up with them Because we don’t know how any of these people voted in 2010, their voting histories as recorded in these data would seem to offer little prospect of helping us to decide between the interpretations in points 3 and 4, even if we could be confident that the different proportions were not the result of sampling error (which we can’t, because the absolute numbers are so small) Now for the statistic that many of you will have been waiting for. Of the 24% of GE2015 non-voters in the sample who did vote in the 2017 general election, a remarkable 61% voted Labour. But here’s the rub: that’s 61% of 24% of 15%, which means that we’re only talking about 41 actual people out of a sample of 1874. And this has to be seen in context of an overall picture that reveals losses to non-voting as well as gains from it. In 2017, Labour picked up 41 members of the sample who hadn’t voted in 2015, but 55 of its GE2015 voters from the same sample went the other way and didn’t vote. The difference between those two figures is less than 1% of the sample. In the bigger scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter. From the point of view of political sociology, it’s vitally important to understand non-voters. And if I were going to pick any single ‘voter’ group for my research moving forward, I think that I could do much worse than to focus on the voluntarily self-disenfranchising. But habitual non-voters are not going to have a decisive impact on the next general election. Too few of them vote.

Brexit: UK will leave EU whether Parliament backs Theresa May's deal or not

Thursday, July 5 2018

Brexit: UK will leave EU whether Parliament backs Theresa May's deal or not

Brexit: UK will leave EU whether Parliament backs Theresa May's deal or not Popular Videos {{title}} Britain will leave the EU regardless of whether Parliament backs the particular Brexit deal that Theresa May strikes with Brussels. Ms May managed to placate some critics in the Commons and Lords by promising Parliament terms she agrees, but sources indicated the country will leave the bloc even if her particular deal is rejected by MPs and Peers. Such a move would probably mean the hardest kind of Brexit, with the UK leaving the EU without any successor agreement and reverting to World Trade Organisation rules - meaning MPs could be more likely to back whatever terms Ms May manages to achieve. Theresa May's Brexit speech is “f*** you” to the EU, says German MEP The landmark speech also saw the Prime Minister announce that the UK would leave the single market and try and negotiate a new free trade agreement with the European Union from the outside. Addressing diplomats at Lancaster House she said: "When it comes to Parliament, there is one other way in which I would like to provide certainty. "I can confirm today that the Government will put the final deal that is agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in both Houses of Parliament, before it comes into force." Government sources later said that the Prime Minister was "clear, we are leaving the EU" when asked what would happen if Parliament rejected the deal Ms May strikes. The Prime Minister was also unequivocal in her speech, while urging EU leaders to strike a mutually-beneficial deal with the UK, that she was not afraid of leaving the bloc without any deal at all. Theresa May warns EU over 'punitive' Brexit deal She said: "I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain." At the end of last year a leaked Treasury document warned Britain could lose up to £66bn a year if it pursues a hard Brexit option of losing access to the single market and leaving the EU customs union. The Government's figures suggested the UK's gross domestic product could fall by as much as 9.5 per cent if it leaves the EU and reverted to World Trade Organisation rules. One Tory said: "At the moment most people are pleased that the Commons has been given a vote on the deal. "But what Theresa May has offered is a choice between on one hand, whatever she puts forward, or on the other most costly, unattractive type of Brexit. It might not be much of a choice."

The ex-gay files: The bizarre world of gay-to-straight conversion | The Independent

Tuesday, July 3 2018

The ex-gay files: The bizarre world of gay-to-straight conversion | The Independent

3/3 GETTY IMAGES In Britain today therapists are trying to convert gay men and women to heterosexuality. I know this, because for several months I infiltrated this network of therapists and put myself – a happy, "out" gay man – through treatment. According to a report by Professor Michael King of University College London, one in six UK psychiatrists and psychotherapists have sought to reduce or change a patient's sexual orientation. And with the help of the American conversion therapy movement, practitioners here, along with a clutch of international "conversion" organisations, are becoming co-ordinated and unified. They plan to gain credibility, university backing and government funding. In some cases, the NHS is even paying for the treatment. This is despite the fact that homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – psychiatry's glossary of conditions – 36 years ago. And despite much evidence that such practices are damaging and ineffective. My investigation began last spring, shortly after King's report was published, when an evangelical group held a conference in a central London church for therapists wanting to learn how to "reorient" their patients. I wanted to know who these therapists were, what happened during the treatment, and what effect it would have on the recipient. I posed as a potential client wanting to be cured. *** Two hulking security guards search me on my way in. Inside, there are two large lecture halls with more than 100 delegates. They are mostly men; they seem subdued, waiting for the show to start. Tables at the back of the hall display books on how to make people heterosexual. The keynote speaker is Dr Joseph Nicolosi, an American psychologist and the author of some of the movement's core texts. He is the founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), one of the biggest international conversion organisations. He has a cropped beard and wears a crisp suit. "Homosexual behaviour is always prompted by loneliness," he tells the rapt audience with big gestures and a dramatic voice, "It's a pathology, a struggle to connect with the male identity." His thesis is faintly Freudian: a distant father and an overbearing mother create deep wounds in a child, which lead to homosexuality. He speaks about the work at his own Californian conversion clinic. "We advise fathers, 'If you don't hug your sons, some other man will.' We train the mothers to back off.'" During the lunch break gay protesters gather outside the venue, kept back by a police cordon. I can hear the din of the chanting and the whistle-blowing. The organisers advise us to stay inside. I approach a psychiatrist, David, who had earlier asked a question from the floor, to see if he will treat me for my homosexuality. David tells me he runs a clinic which helps men "reach their heterosexual potential". He won't treat lesbians. "I have resolved my own sexuality," he says, explaining that he is now married with children, and gives me his business card: it reads, "I took the road less travelled." David points out a female psychotherapist who also practices conversion therapy, so I go over and introduce myself – I call myself Matthew. She looks homely and her hair is greying. Her name is Lynne. She too gives me her business card. She is a fully accredited member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), the largest of the psychotherapy bodies. After the conference I look David up online. As I'm researching his practice and qualifications, I see a reference to Iris Robinson, the scandal-stricken Ulster MP who in 2008 famously compared homosexuality to child abuse. In an interview with the BBC, she mentioned she knew a "lovely psychiatrist" who "tries to help homosexuals to run away from what they are engaged in." For the next step in my "treatment", I contact David and Lynne to arrange one-on-one sessions. *** I have a dictaphone taped to my stomach as I arrive at Lynne's large house, north of London. She had told me beforehand that she would charge me £40 per session and that she always prayed at the beginning and end of the sessions. I'm shown into a spacious living room. "I love my work and in particular this whole area of SSA [same sex attraction]," she says, as we sit down. "It's such an important area to work in." She has a wholesome face and the suburban air of someone who, when not trying to convert you to heterosexuality, would probably be rustling up a jolly good Victoria sponge. Like those at the conference, she doesn't say "gay"; she only uses the term "SSA". I ask how she views homosexuality – as a mental illness, an addiction or an anti-religious phenomenon? "It's all of that," she replies. And then we pray. "Oh Father, we give you permission to work in Matthew's life to bring complete light and healing into every part of his being." After asking God to heal me, she opens her eyes. "I know the boundaries to keep within," she says. She begins by asking me about my psychological history. I tell her that I was depressed as a teenager because I feared I would face prejudice for the rest of my life. Can I learn to not feel attraction to men? "Yes," she replies, "because that attraction is connected to a deep need that needs to be met and responded to and healed." But how do I instead become attracted to women? Lynne explains that it's about "reprogramming" and going back into my early developmental stages. "Parts of you have developed but there is a little part of you that has stayed stuck," she says. Oh, like being retarded? "It is a bit like that," she agrees. Lynne asks why I have come for treatment. I tell her that I'm tired of meaningless sexual encounters and that I have rediscovered my faith. She gets a whiteboard out and starts writing my words up on it. "I can't deal with the meaningless anymore," she says as she scrawls. "Hmm. Good sentiment." "Are you feeling quite lustful with the SSA?" she asks. I reply that I am – but not just lust. In my last relationship, I say, I felt profound love towards my boyfriend. "That needs to be broken," she says. "There's a darkness that's very real that keeps you as its dog, but of course our God is more powerful than that." Lynne's approach is two-pronged. She gives practical advice to intercept my sexual feelings towards men and, in keeping with Nicolosi's theories, delves into my past to search for my "wounds". These, she says, will explain why I turned to homosexuality. She begins her wound hunt by asking about my family. I tell her that I have a close relationship with my parents and that they always gave me huge amounts of love, so I didn't understand why Nicolosi says that homosexuality is caused by inadequate parenting. "Well, there was something happening within your family dynamics that led to your depression," she says. Lynne explains that people only identify as gay when they are already depressed. "There's a confusion, there's an anxiety, there's a lot of pain," she says. "Often the thought can be, 'Oh I'm confused about my sexuality so I must be gay'." She says that at the heart of homosexuality is a "deep isolation", which is, she says, "where God needs to be". "Did you have a difficult birth?" she asks. No, I say. Why? "It's just something I have noticed. Often [with homosexuality] it is quite traumatic, the baby was put into intensive care and because of the separation from the mother there can be that lack of attachment." She moves on. "Any Freemasonry in the family?" No, I say, again asking her to elaborate. "Because that often encourages it as well. It has a spiritual effect on males and it often comes out as SSA." Next, she looks for self-esteem wounds. "I think you have some unhelpful thoughts about yourself, about who you are," she says. "What do you think about yourself? In the deepest part of you, in your stomach." "I think I'm a good person," I reply. She wants more. "I think I am a determined person." Still not enough. "I think I've a lot to give." "But do you like yourself?" she asks, becoming impatient. "I think I'm a good person," I repeat. "Yes that's different though from 'do you like yourself?' Deep underneath this there's other stuff we need to get to. I think you must have had quite a lot of bullying." No, I say. "There was no sexual abuse?" she asks, leaning in and squinting again. No, I repeat. "I think it will be there," she replies, dropping her voice to a concerned tone. "It does need to come to the surface." And so, she prays for me again. "Father, we give you permission to bring to the surface some of the things that have happened over the years. Father, enable your love to pour into that place of isolation in that little boy, whatever age, we give you permission to go there, with your healing power and your light, go into those parts, open all the doors, and access each one with your light." She looks up. I ask her again about this abuse. "I think there is something there," she says. "You've allowed things to be done to you." In the next session I ask if she thinks the abuse would have taken place within my family, because I can't remember it. "Yes, very likely," she replies. The following session takes place on the phone as Lynne is abroad. This time, she focuses on the practical. She recommends that I distance myself from my gay friends and take up a sport such as rugby. I ask what I should do about masturbation – is it best to abstain completely? "It is, it definitely is," she says. "It will be a battle, but the more you can say no to it, the stronger you get. The enemy is going to bombard you." She tells me what to say internally when I think about an attractive man: "Father I need help, I know it's wrong, you have all the power over my thoughts and I give that image to you Father, and I ask that you will help me to put the right image in my mind." Lynne recommends I read a book called Setting Love in Order by Mario Bergner, an "ex-gay". In it, he claims that through prayer he also managed to cure himself of HIV. So with prayer can an HIV-positive person really become negative? "Well the Lord heals, doesn't he?" she replies. "Are you HIV-positive?" It transpires during the sessions that she gets most of her clients through an NHS GPs' surgery near her home. She says they refer people to her for treatment for their homosexuality. I tell her I know someone in that area that wants referring, should he just say its for anxiety and depression? "I think it would be better to say anxiety and depression initially and then we can take it from there," she replies. "He can usually get four sessions with the practice, which are paid for by the NHS." At the end of the session I ask about my chances of success with this treatment. "It's down to what you want," she says. "Good will come out of this. The Lord will lead us through." *** I am being cured of my homosexuality via Skype. We use webcams throughout to see each other. David holds my gaze constantly. There are more psychotherapeutic models and theories and a little bit less God, but the agenda is the same: you have been wounded. Like Lynne, David takes a psychological history. He asks me why I'm seeking treatment and says that, with a bit more investigation, he can tell me why I became gay. His prognosis is optimistic. "One third of people change completely," he says, "one third of people experience significant change, and one third don't experience change. Those people may have been more deeply wounded." He says you have to find the wounding in order to move forward. So he sets about finding mine. But this isn't his only tool – his central thesis is that you have to replace homosexual sex with what he calls, "the Four Intimacies: intimacy with God, intimacy with oneself, intimacy with the masculine and intimacy with the feminine." By strengthening your relationships in all these areas, and particularly by having more platonic contact with men, he says, your need for sexual contact is negated. David sets out an action plan. He recommends I join Christian men's groups. "Often there are [for homosexuals] a lot of wounds around masculine community," he explains. He also gives me "exercises" to do. These include standing in front of the mirror naked, touching and "affirming" myself. He makes another such suggestion. "A man may choose to go for a massage as a way of having healthy contact [with another man]," he says. In the next session I tell him I have followed his advice. "It made me aroused," I say about the massage. "An erection is just an erection," he replies. "All that indicates is that your body has been programmed that [sex] is the only way men have physical intimacy." But how do I interrupt lustful thoughts? "The attraction isn't the problem," he says. "It's the story that you tell yourself of what the attraction means. Ask yourself why you find a man attractive. Is it because he's got broad shoulders? Well, what do the broad shoulders mean to you?" He then asks if I know the work of someone called Elizabeth Moberly. "She talks about the cannibalistic nature of homosexual sex," he says. Cannibalistic? I ask. "If I see you're a younger man," he explains, "and the story I tell myself is that younger men are fitter, or more powerful and I'm feeling particularly weak, then suddenly you have something that I want to possess." "What kind of men do you find attractive?" he asks. "I don't have a type," I say. He looks displeased. "Sometimes when I was younger I went for older men," I add. He asks me about my childhood. I tell him it was happy. "Any big traumas?" he asks. No, I say. "Any sexual or physical abuse?" Again, he finds nothing. "Tell me about your father." I say that he was great, supportive and that we are very different. He is scientific and introverted, whereas I am more like my mother: creative, extrovert. This is a breakthrough. "So in your mind there's something that says, 'I'm like mum, but dad's over there, he's different from me,' so there hasn't been that gender-affirming process. When puberty kicks in, those natural needs for masculinity become sexualised. Suddenly older men want to have sex with you, and it's pretty intoxicating. That's what's lead you down the line of homosexuality. "But the men you were having sex with or falling in love with are just as wounded as you," he adds. "They cannot complete you in the same way as a woman. What would complete you is sex with a heterosexual man but a heterosexual man isn't going to want to have sex with you, so it's that desire to get what you can never obtain." So is homosexuality a pathology? "It does represent a pathology," he replies. "Often the dynamics behind it aren't healthy. God's intention for us is to have an opposite-sex relationship." I suddenly remember his wife and children. "You're very much a success story then," I say. "Well, I mean it works," he replies. "I never went down the line of gay identifying, it was something I experienced that I had disgust around and I always wanted to be married and have kids." What about his same sex feelings now? "Sometimes if I'm not looking after myself then that can bring up a sexual charge," he replies, "but it's not a big issue for me now, it's more unhealthy patterns of porn and masturbation, if I'm feeling a bit flat." In the following session I tell David I've had sexual thoughts about him. "Thank-you for being honest," he replies with a small laugh. "I'm trying to model unconditional love for you, so it is very natural that you would have sexual thoughts related to that. Although we're doing this over the internet, there is still a potential for a sexual connection. So there's probably a part of your mind that's thinking that through." "Do you have to deal with sexual feelings towards men you're working with?" I ask. "I get echoes of it sometimes," he replies. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't." I tell him that I had tried the standing-in-front-of-the-mirror-naked technique that he recommended, but, like the massage, it had aroused me. "I would be surprised if you didn't experience sexual feelings," he says. And with that he starts to "affirm" me. "I think you're a brave man," he says. "I think you're really strong in terms of being willing to look at your life and who you really are, and you also look as if you look after yourself in terms of your body. How do you feel being affirmed in this way by another man?" I say that when men compliment me on my appearance it triggers sexual feelings. He probes again, asking me how I'm feeling as he talks about my body. Aroused, I repeat. But rather than moving away from this apparent sexual trigger, he asks if we can do an "exercise" around it. I agree. "Close your eyes and focus on that arousal you're feeling down in your genitals," he says. "I want you to hear, as a man, as I look at your body, I see strong shoulders and a strong chest, I see a man who has an attractive body and I want you just to notice the arousal you feel as you hear me talking about that. Imagine an energy and picture that energy as a colour, and make the brightness of the colour relate to the intensity of the sexual feeling, so you might be starting to get a bit of a hard on, you might be starting to feel an erection and that sexual energy, but I want you to just picture that as a coloured light. What colour would it be?" Red, I say. "I want you to imagine that red colour, that energy and listen to the affirmations that I see you as a strong, confident man, and I want you to move that red light from your genitals up into your chest to join that feeling of affirmation as a man, and as you breathe in that affirmation do you notice now what happens to the arousal?" I tell him it's still there. We're at the end of the session. I ask who his supervisor is. He tells me that his supervisor is involved with "Richard Cohen's organisation". Later, I do an internet search. Richard Cohen has been permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association. He founded the International Healing Foundation, a conversion organisation. David then mentions that he is attending a meeting in London next week to discuss how to create a training school for therapists working in this field. I ask if I can come too. A week later I am sitting round a table with the heads of every major British conversion organisation – some of whom are also therapists. We are in the bright, cramped London offices of Living Waters, an evangelical conversion association. Our special guest is Dr Jeffrey Satinover, 62, an American psychiatrist. "We need to think of practical ideas for forming a training programme [for conversion therapists]," says Satinover. "We can learn a lot from what the Mormons did. They created a training programme and linked it with a university." They decide that in order to gain such a link, and the credibility and funding that would go with it, their training school also needs to do research into the field. "If I could get trainees doing a PhD in this area that would help, because that brings funding in," says David. "It's difficult to access money, but if we're clever there are ways." He talks about his conversion practice, and how it's funded. "We use people's private medical insurance," he says. *** I phone Lynne. I explain that I'm a journalist. "Who is this please?" she says, confused, or in denial. I repeat myself and then read to her what the psychiatrist Professor Michael King from UCL had to say about her practices when I contacted him with transcripts of the sessions: "This is grossly improper practice," he told me. "She's imposing prayer and using evidence-free techniques. The whole approach towards the subject of sexual abuse is extremely unprofessional. Leading [and] suggestion in a therapeutic situation is the absolute antithesis of what an exploration of sexual abuse should be about. It's the base of many of these false memory syndromes. She should not be able to get referrals from a GP. Her membership of the BACP should be immediately revoked." Lynne is silent. Finally, she summons her defence. "When I take someone on, I work with the person's value system," she says. "You told me you were a Christian so that then means that I work in that person's value system. Everything I did was totally within the BACP's ethical framework." I quote one of their guidelines: "Practitioners should not allow their professional relationships with clients to be prejudiced by any personal views they may hold about sexual orientation." She hangs up. I phone the GP surgery and get through to one of the partners. Is it true his practice refers patients to Lynne to treat their homosexuality? "That is not true," he says, before admitting that he has never had a discussion with the other partners in the practice about this. "If the patient said that's what they wanted we can't stop them going for help," he says. Later I lodge a complaint with the BACP about Lynne. David remains completely calm when I reveal I am a journalist. As with Lynne, I read out what King said about his practises: "None of this would be recognised within psychiatric practice. No psychiatrist could ever justify explaining their fantasy life to a patient. It's not good practice to talk about your own psychotherapy or your own difficulties. He's encouraging an arousal during a session – it's like a hypnotic technique. I wonder what he's doing with patients – that he is at risk of crossing the line. My personal opinion is that he is going against every code of practice from the RCP. The College should withdraw his membership." "All I can say is that I try my best to deliver a service to help people, to provide people with an alternative in terms of change," David replies. "It [his treatment] is only for people who come asking." I lodge a complaint about David with the GMC. The purpose of this investigation was to find out how conversion therapists operate. What I didn't expect was that I would learn how their patients feel: confused and damaged. I began to constantly analyse why I found particular men attractive. Does that man represent something that's lacking in me? Do I want him because he looks strong which must mean I feel weak? Did something happen in my childhood? The therapists planted doubt and worry where there was none. My experiences, I learn, are typical. I speak to Daniel Gonzalez, one of Nicolosi's former clients. "Conversion therapy is a very complicated form of repression," he says. "It's a way of convincing yourself that your same sex attractions have some alternate meaning. It continued to haunt me for years." I also speak to Peterson Toscano, who spent 17 years in Britain and the US trying every different reorientation treatment available. He says simply: "It's psychological torture." Some of the therapists' names have been changed.

Tuesday, July 3 2018

Jammu and Kashmir: Biometric Attendance System – Compulsory for all employee

Home » Jammu and Kashmir » You are reading » Jammu and Kashmir: Biometric Attendance System – Compulsory for all employee Jammu and Kashmir : Biometric Attendance System – Compulsory for all employees Government of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Secretariat Finance Department Subject: Biometric Attendance System – Compulsory for all employees. Government Order No: 288-F of 2018 Dated; 22-06-2018 In order to ensure punctuality in the Government Offices/ Establishments, it has been decided to immediately implement Biometric Attendance System with immediate effect. Accordingly, the following directions are issued for strict compliance by all concerned: 2. For all Government employees/ persons drawing salary, wages, honorarium etc. a) No salary or wages would be drawn in favour of the Government employees of any category for the month of June 2018 onwards unless they have enrolled themselves in Biometric System (Aadhar not mandatory). b) The above applies also to all the PSU employees, Contractual/ consolidated/ casual workers or any other type of persons drawing wages in any form from the public exchequer. c) It will be the duty of the concerned DDOs to ensure enrolment before 30th June, 2018 and furnish a certificate for the same along the Salary / Wage Bill presented in the Treasury, without which the Treasury Officers are directed not to entertain any Salary( Wage bill. d) From 22nd June, 2018 onwards, the marking of attendance in the system would be compulsory for all categories of employees and wage earners. Only after the scrutiny of monthly attendance, the DDOs would prepare Salary/Wage bill and certificate would accordingly be furnished alonwith the bill to the Treasuries concerned. e) The Administrative Secretaries/ HoDs/DDOs of various Departments/Corporations shall ensure installations of desktop based (low cost) Biomatric Attendance System/ Machines in their respective offices at an earliest by purchasing the same at DGS&D rates or through GeM Portal out of OE/ ‘Machinery and Equipment’ Head. f) Information Technology Department and NIC Centres in each district are directed to provide necessary guidance and support for its implementation. 3. All officers/ employees are also directed not to leave their place of posting either on tour or for personal reasons without written permission from their respective Heads of offices. Any violation thereof will automatically attract disciplinary proceedings. 4. All Administrative Secretaries and HoDs within their Departments and Deputy Commissioners in their respective jurisdictions shall be responsible for full compliance of the above instructions. By Order of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. S/d,

Tuesday, July 3 2018

Sanction of Dearness Allowance: Karnataka State Government Employees DA Orders

Home » Karnataka » You are reading » Sanction of Dearness Allowance: Karnataka State Government Employees DA Orders Sanction of Dearness Allowance: Karnataka State Government Employees DA Orders Karnataka State Govt Employees DA Orders w.e.f. 1.1.2018 “ State Government of Karnataka has issued orders for Dearness Allowance for existing employees and pensioners with effect from 1.1.2018 ” Karnataka – Sanction of Dearness Allowance PROCEEDINGS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA Sub :- Sanction of Dearness Allowance – reg. READ: 1. Notification No. FD 6 SRP 2018 dated: 19-04-2018. 2. G.O. No. FD 6 SRP 2018 dated: 19-04-2018. 3. GOI O.M. No.1/1/2018-E-II(B) dated: 15-03-2018. 4. Representation dated: 16-03-2018 of the President,Karnataka State Government Employees Association. PREAMBLE: As per the recommendations of the 6th State Pay Commission, in G.O.dated:19-04-2018 read at (2) above orders were issued revising the pay and allowances of State Government Employees w.e.f. 01-07-2017 and consequential monetary benefits w.e.f 01-04-2018 As the Dearness Allowance up to the Index Level of 276.9 of the All India Consumer Price Index admissible as on 01.07-2017 is included in the revised pay scales, the Dearness Allowance to be sanctioned after 01-07-2017 as recommended by the Pay Commission is to be calculated with a multiplication factor of 0.944 for every 1% of Dearness Allowance to be sanctioned by the Government of India. Presently, in O.M.dated: 15-03-2018 read at (3) above, the Government of India has sanctioned 2% of DA to its employees w.e.f 01-01-2018. The formula (multiplication factor of 0.944) recommended by the 6th State Pay Commission is examined. Accordingly, the Government have decided to adopt the multiplication factor of 0.944 to calculate the future instalments of Dearness Allowance to be sanctioned to State Government Employees in the 2018 Revised Pay Scales for every 1% of DA sanctioned by the Central Government to its employees. Accordingly, the following order is issued. GOVERNMENT ORDER NO.FD 12 SRP 2018. BANGALORE, DATED 18TH JUNE 2018. Government are pleased to sanction Dearness Allowance to state Government Employees at the rate of 1.75% of Basic Pay in the 2018 Revised Pay Scales w.e.f. 01-01-2018. 2.These orders will apply to the full time Government Employees, Employees of Zilla Panchayats, work charged employees on regular time scales of pay, full time employees of aided educational Institutions and Universities who are on regular time scales of pay. 3. For the purpose of this order, the term ‘Basic Pay’ means, pay drawn by a Government Employee in the scale of pay applicable to the post held by him and includes: a. Stagnation increment, if any, granted to him above the maximum of the scale of pay. b. Personal Pay, if any, granted to him under sub-rule (3) of Rule 7 read with Rule 3(c) of the Karnataka Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2018. c. Additional increment, if any, granted to him above the maximum of the scale of pay. 4. Basic Pay shall not include any emoluments other than those specified above. 5. Government are also pleased to sanction Dearness Allowance at the rate of 1.75% of Revised Basic Pension/Family Pension w.e.f 01-01-2018 to State Government Pensioners/Family Pensioners as well as to pensioners/Family Pensioners of Aided Educational Institutions whose Pension/Family Pension is paid out of the consolidate fund of the state. 6. The payment of Dearness Allowance admissible under this order is payable in cash until further orders. 7. Separate orders will be issued in respect of employees on UGC/AICTE/ICAR/NJPC Scales of pay and also in respect of Pensioners in the said pay scales. 8. The payment on account of Dearness Allowance involving fractions of 50 paise and above shall be rounded off to the next rupee and fractions less than 50 paise shall be ignored. 9. The Dearness Allowance will be shown as a distinct element of remuneration and will not be treated as pay for any purpose. BY ORDER AND IN THE NAME OF THE GOVERNOR OF KARNATAKA

Tuesday, July 3 2018

Karnataka State Government – Partial withdrawal of NPS amount by the NPS employee

Finance Department (Pension). Annexure to the G.O. Partial Withdrawal request is required to be submitted by NPS Employee to Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) through his/her DDO. The DDO should satisfy himself/herself about the genuineness of the requirement for partial withdrawal by the NPS Employee and after recording his/her Satisfactory Certificate forward the withdrawal application to the Nodal Officer (Treasury Officer concerned). The Treasury Officer after verifying the withdrawal application has to forward the same to CRA for release of funds. On receipt of Partial Withdrawal request, CRA will process the withdrawal request in the CRA system. Following are the steps which will be followed by NPS Employee and Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) for submitting the ‘Partial Withdrawal’ request: Role of the NPS Employee: 1. If the NPS Employee has completed 3 years under NPS, NPS Employee will fill up the ‘Partial Withdrawal’ Form – PW – 601 and submit the same to his/her mapped Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) for processing, through his / her DDO. 2. NPS Employee will provide the following details in the Form: a. Percentage of Partial Withdrawal (maximum 25%) b. Purpose of withdrawal- along with the proof duly. attested by the DDO. c. Bank details along with the bank proof (cancelled cheque/copy of bank passbook/bank certificate). Before submitting the withdrawal form, NPS Employee shall ensure that the bank account details are correct. 3. NPS Employee will affix his/her signature/Thumb impression on the Form at the designated place and submit the same to his/her mapped Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) through his/her DDO. 4. Documents required to claim partial withdrawal for self development activities is as under: a. Admission/sanctions letter from university in India/abroad with fee details. b. For distance learning programs, copy/s of invoice’s which confirm the payment of required fee for desired-course. c. For other skill development programmes, Copy of invoices confirming payment of fee for the desired course. d. Study leave sanction letter/NOC provided by the organisation/department/ministry, if required in terms of the employee’s service conditions. Role of the Nodal Officer (Treasury officer): I. The concerned Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) will check the request submitted by the NPS Employee with respect to completeness; II. The Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) must also verify the veracity of the claim with respect to purpose of the paftial withdrawal along with supporting documents; III. The Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) must verify the. details of the bank account of NPS Employee; IV. If request is complete in all respect, he/she will authorize the request and will send the same to CRA for processing; V. Where the claim of partial withdrawal is submitted by the authorized representative of the NPS Employee (in case the NPS Employee is unable to submit such claim) Nodal Officer (Treasury officer) must satisfy themselves about the genuineness of such claim and ensure that the bank account provided is that of the NPS Employee. VI. The Nodal Officer (Treasury offic&r) should processs the partial. claims within three working days, of receipt of the claim excepting in cases where the partial withdrawal claim has been requested because of medical reasons in which case the claim would have to I processed on the same day of receipt of the claim. VII. The Nodal officer (Treasury officer) should capture the withdrawal request in CRA system by clicking sub menu “Initiate Conditional Withdrawal” under “transactions”. VIII. The Nodal officer (Treasury Officer) is required to authorise the request in CRA system by using another user ID. IX. Once the online partial withdrawal request is authorised by the Nodal officer (Treasury officer), the withdrawal request will be executed in CRA system. Nodal officer is required to submit the physical withdrawal documents to CRA for record purpose. Role of CRA : 1. Once CRA receives the request, it will process the request submitted by the Nodal Officer (Treasury officer). 2. As per stipulated process, funds will be transferred to NPS Employee’s bank account through electronic mode in T+3 days. T – Being the date of receipt of the verified and approved claim in CRA System. 3. Physical withdrawal request will be stored by CRA. http://www.stategovernmentnews.in/karnataka-state-government-partial-withdrawal-of-nps-amount-by-the-nps-employee/ 2018-07-03T14:57:40+00:00 admin Karnataka Karnataka Government Employees news,Karnataka NPS Employee,Karnataka NPS Employees,Karnataka state government employees News,Karnataka state government news,Karnataka State Government NPS employee,NPS Karnataka : Partial withdrawal of NPS amount by the NPS employee PROCEEDINGS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA Sub: Partial withdrawal of NPS amount by the NPS employee. Ref: 1. G.O.No:FD(Spl)04 PET 2005, Bangalore, Dated : 31.03.2006 2. G.O.No:FD(Spl) 28 PEN 2009, Bangalore, Dated : 29.03.2010. 3. G.O.No:FD(Spl) 01 PEN 2010, Bangalore, Dated:20.10.2010. 4. G.O.No:FD(Spl) 203 PEN.2012(P),... admin [email protected] Administrator State Government Employees News

Has the IAS Failed the Nation? : An Insider’s View | Economic and Political Weekly

Friday, June 22 2018

Has the IAS Failed the Nation? : An Insider’s View | Economic and Political Weekly

Has the IAS Failed the Nation? An Insider’s View Google Scholar Naresh Chandra Saxena ( ) was posted at the IAS academy for eight years and trained several batches of the IAS. He retired as secretary, Planning Commission in 2002. The decision to recruit experts from the open market in certain departments at the level of joint secretaries is not enough to radically professionalise the civil service. Internal specialisation must be promoted by insisting on stable tenure in the states so that there is incentive for the Indian Administrative Service officers to acquire expertise in their chosen sectors. Also, the IAS officers should take the entry of the outsiders as a challenge, because if they do not improve their performance, there could be repetition of such recruitment every year. A shorter and abridged version of this note was published in the National Herald on 17 June 2018 titled “The IAS Is Not Really Threatened.” The Government of India (GoI) has decided to recruit 10 outstanding individuals from the open market with expertise in the areas of (i) revenue; (ii) financial services; (iii) economic affairs; (iv) agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare; (v) road transport and highways; (vi) shipping; (vii) environment, forests and climate change; (viii) new and renewable energy; (ix) civil aviation; and (x) commerce. Their initial appointment would be for three years and extendable up to five years depending upon their performance. They would work at the level of the joint secretary, a post normally occupied by the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or central service officers. It is a crucial level of senior management in the GoI administration, as joint secretaries lead policymaking, design programmes, and monitor their implementation. This initiative to prefer specialists over career bureaucrats has been hailed as a bold and radical step by some who argue that it would bring in fresh and vibrant ideas, expose the top civil service to competition, and promote better policy formulation based on expert domain knowledge. On the other hand, many have condemned the bypassing of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as an attempt to facilitate the backdoor entry of people committed to the present government’s ideology, or recruit employees working for those industrialists who are close to the ruling party. Game Changer? It is difficult at this stage to guess the intention of the government; whether this decision is targeted at roping in the best talent from outside to nurture the civil services, or to stifle the independence of the bureaucracy by making it subordinate to the ideologues of the ruling party. However, certain facts may help us assess the situation more objectively. One, in the past too, experts had been inducted at senior positions in government, generally without any advertisement. Many of them, such as Manmohan Singh, Bimal Jalan, Lovraj Kumar, Vijay Kelkar, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Rakesh Mohan, Jairam Ramesh, and Arvind Subramanian made a very good impact and contributed substantially in senior positions. The fact that some of them later joined the ruling party and served as ministers did not invite criticism of their past contribution when they served as joint secretary or secretary. Nor was the regime criticised for recruiting party-friendly professionals. Russi Mody from the Tata Group headed Air India back in 1993 and, in 2002, former Bombay Suburban Electric Supply (BSES) Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD) R V Shahi was made the power secretary for five years. As a general rule, scientific ministries such as those of space or atomic energy are less hierarchically organised and have resorted to lateral entry more liberally. Thus, the experiment of inducting outsiders in government is not new. The second Administrative Reforms Commission too had recommended lateral entry at senior positions. It is likely that some of the joint secretaries who would be recruited through the new process are already working as consultants in the same ministry. Two, only 10 positions have been advertised as against a total strength of about 400 joint secretaries in the central government. This should not cause any insecurity in the minds of UPSC-recruited career bureaucrats that it would minimise their scope for promotion. Three, there is an acute shortage of middle-level IAS officers with 18 to 25 years of seniority, as the annual recruitment to the IAS in the 1990s was curtailed to just about 60 to 70 as against the present recruitment of about 180 per batch. This was done under an illusion that the economic liberalisation would vastly reduce the need for central staffing. However, the reverse happened, as with enhanced revenues GoI expanded its role not only in the social sector, such as for the anti-poverty programmes, education, health, and tribal welfare, but also in many new emerging sectors such as telecommunications, information technology, climate change, and road transport. Due to the overall shortage, most states are unwilling to release senior IAS officers for central deputation, leading to a bizarre situation where a railway traffic officer works as joint secretary, health, and an ordnance service employee finds himself in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs! IAS Performance Temporary shortages apart, the larger issue is: Have the IAS officers been found deficient in their role as policy advisers? Do these officers possess the necessary domain knowledge so essential for effective policymaking and delivery? Historically, the IAS was needed because India is a union of states, has a federal system, with all essential subjects with which the people are concerned, such as education, health, agriculture, water, housing, and police, being dealt with at the state level, but largely supervised and funded by the centre. A common civil service not only facilitates coordination, but also helps in national integration as almost half the IAS cadre in each state consists of outsiders. A rigorous process of recruitment for the higher civil services ensures that the best talent available in society joins the civil service in India. A capable public service is essential for creating a favourable investment climate and facilitating people’s participation in economic life. As countries become more globalised, governments face increasingly complex and cross-cutting issues, such as economic volatility, climate change and migration. The wide use of the internet has made citizens more aware and impatient, puting public servants under greater public scrutiny. Against this backdrop, public service delivery has acquired new dimensions as governments need to respond not only to changes in the global environment, but also to the demands of an active citizenry. Formulating integrated policies and their effective implementation would require an adaptable and efficient public service that can anticipate emerging challenges and ensure that potential strategies are informed by better understanding of future contexts. It must also learn to empower people and be able to work with them, as traditional vertical accountability systems can act as a major impediment to working across boundaries (O’Flynnet al 2011). Despite initial competence and enthusiasm, the hard reality is that many civil servants in the course of the 30 years of their career lose much of their dynamism and innovativeness, and end up as mere pen-pushers and cynics, with no faith in their own contribution to public welfare. A high degree of professionalism ought to be the dominant characteristic of a modern bureaucracy. The fatal failing of the Indian bureaucracy has been its low level of professional competence. The IAS officer spends more than half of their tenure on policy desks where domain knowledge is a vital prerequisite. However, quick transfers from one post to the other in many states dampens the desire to learn. In Uttar Pradesh (UP) the average tenure of an IAS officer in the last 10 years is said to be as low as six months. In the Indian Police Service (IPS) it is even lower, leading to the wisecrack that “if we are posted for weeks all we can do is to collect our weekly bribes.” With this environment prevailing in many states, there is no incentive for a young civil servant to acquire knowledge or improve their skills. There is, thus, an exponential growth in both their ignorance and their arrogance. It is said that in the house of an IAS officer one would find only three books: the railway timetable, because they are always being shunted from one post to the other, a current affairs magazine because that is their level of interest, and of course, the civil list that describes the service hierarchy! An important factor that contributes to the surrender of senior officers before political masters is the total lack of any market value and lack of alternative employment potential. 1 Beyond government, they have no future, because their talents are so few. Most IAS officers, thus, end up as dead wood within a few years of joining the service and their genius lies only in manipulation and jockeying for positions within the government. This service is primarily responsible for India’s failure to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in hunger, health, malnutrition, sanitation, and gender, as most IAS officers can neither design effective programmes nor can they implement them with accountability. Some decades ago, one used to compare India with China and Sri Lanka, but these countries have left India far behind as far as development goals are concerned. On social indicators, India unfortunately does worse than countries even poorer than India, like Bangladesh and Vietnam ( Table 1 ). Credible Reporting Though the IAS is failing on many fronts, here one would like to concentrate only on two issues that are exclusively under its domain: monitoring of programmes and flow of funds. At present, officials at all levels spend a great deal of time in collecting and submitting information, but these are not used for taking corrective and remedial action or for analysis, but only for forwarding to a higher level, or for answering Parliament/assembly questions. Moreover, outcomes are hardly measured and the system gets away with inflated reporting. Pratham, a voluntary organisation, has evolved a simple test in education at a low cost, which judges the extent of learning in primary schools. Their findings show that the actual learning levels of students are abysmally low and declining. However, the states neither accept Pratham’s findings nor monitor quality of learning themselves. There is great pressure on the field staff to spend the allotted funds, but not in terms of long-term results, because those are not monitored. Thus, financial planning is divorced from physical planning. Equally, state governments do not discourage reporting of inflated figures from the districts, which again renders monitoring ineffective. As data are often not verified or collected through independent sources, no action is taken against officers indulging in bogus reporting. The practice is so widespread in all the states, presumably with the connivance of senior officers, that the overall percentage of severely malnourished (gradeIII andIV) children in the 0–3 age group according to the data reaching GoI from the states is only 2%, as against 9.4% reported by United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in its survey. The field officials are, thus, able to escape from any sense of accountability for reducing malnutrition. Figuresfrom some states show their children to be as healthy as in Denmark and Sweden! ( Table 2 ) One district head, when confronted with this kind of bogus figures, told me that reporting correct data is “a high-risk and low-reward activity”! Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister called the government’s performance in combating malnutrition a “national shame,” but he was not able to persuade the state bureaucracy to accept that the problem exists. The sad story of fudging of data by the field staff got a great deal of publicity when the census report in 2011 brought forth the startling revelation that about 3.5 crore rural toilets built in the last 10 years at the household level were missing. In some states, like Madhya Pradesh, UP and Tamil Nadu, the number of missing toilets was more than 60%. 2 Flow of Funds Many state governments, especially the poor ones, are neither able to draw their entitled funds from the GoI, nor are they able to release these to the districts/villages in time, with the result that the GoI is often constrained to divert the unclaimed funds to better-performing states. The reason for poor performance by Bihar, Odisha, UP, and Assam is often due to the widespread shortage of staff at all levels, adversely affecting implementation and supervision of programmes. Among the states, the record of Bihar is atrocious in using central funds. In the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme alone, it lost about ₹ 540 crore of central assistance during 1994–2005. Even salaries were not paid on time in Bihar in the pre-Nitish Kumar (currently the chief minister of the state) era. An evaluation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) in Bihar in 2007 by Unicef showed that only less than 10% of anganwadi workers (AWWs) received their honorarium regularly; most receive it only twice in a year rather than monthly. Another study by UNICEF showed that only 18% of officials in Jharkhand working at the grass-roots level are paid their salaries on time (Saxena 2017). It is also observed that the contractual staff in centrally sponsored schemes, such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), ICDS and National Health Mission do not receive their emoluments regularly. For instance, 39% of contract teachers received their monthly salaries with a delay of three months and more (AI 2015). Even electronic transfers take months with the result that in the mid-day meals programme ground staff such as cooks and helpers are not paid for months, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) withholds supply of grain, and mid-day meals are served only for 60%–70% of the working days in some states. Similar delays take place in supply of textbooks in SSA, filling up of vacancies (especially in the remote and tribal areas), capital works, funds for maintenance, etc. Empirical studies are needed to suggest what changes are needed in financial procedures at the state level so that utilisation of funds improves, timely payments are made to the staff, and utilisation reports are sent to the GoI in time without delay. The Inverted Pyramid Coming back to the issue of lateral entry, the fear that the outsider joint secretary would be ideologically inclined to the present regime needs to be judged in the context of the mushrooming growth of “committed” bureaucracy (I would place their number as between 25% and 50% of the total, depending upon the state) that has taken place over the decades for a variety of reasons. The most important of these reasons being cut-throat competition that exists in the IAS for important positions both at the state and central levels. Due to the control that the IAS lobby exerts on the system, a large number of redundant posts in the super-time and superior scales have been created to ensure them quick promotions. Often a senior post has been split, thus diluting and diminishing the scale of responsibilities attached with the post. For instance, in UP, against the post of one chief secretary, there are 18 officers now in equivalent but far less important posts drawing the same salary. This inverted pyramid (too many people at the top and too few in the middle and lower rungs) has apparently been created to avoid demoralisation due to stagnation, but the net result has been just the opposite. First, it leads to cut-throat competition within the service to grab the important slots. The old camaraderie has vanished. Instances are not lacking when IAS officers wanting plum jobs have gone to the politicians denigrating their competitors. Second, this no-holds-barred competition is then exploited by politicians in playing up one against the other, leading to officers becoming more pliable. The lure of after-retirement sinecures further increases the number of those who would be willing to crawl when asked to bend. However, getting only 10 joint secretaries from the open market is not enough to radically professionalise the civil service. The government needs to promote internal specialisation by insisting on stable tenure in the states so that there is incentive for the IAS to acquire expertise in their chosen sectors. An IAS officer who has seen the plight of patients at the district level and has also worked in the state medical department would be a far more effective joint secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare than a doctor with specialisation in just one narrow subject. But, it is counterproductive to fill up senior positions with career civil servants who do not have previous experience in that broad field. Therefore, after the first 10 years of service, each IAS officer should be encouraged to specialise in one or two chosen sectors by not only giving them long tenures, but even permitting them to join academic or research organisations where they could improve their intellectual skills. The IAS officers should take the entry of 10 outsiders as a challenge because if they do not improve their performance, there could be repetition of such recruitment every year. The present proposal would not have attracted adverse criticism had the UPSC been involved in the recruitment process. One can only hope that the selection committee set up by the GoI would be impartial, objective and transparent, and puts up the curriculum vitae of selected candidates online to establish their credibility. Summing up, one welcomes 10 experts from the open market, but professionalising the rest of the 390 joint secretaries requires greater attention. This needs wider administrative reforms by addressing issues of governance at the state and district levels. Notes 1 Of late, some senior officers are being hired by the private sector, not so much for their professionalism, but for their ability to influence the government in favour of the hiring company. References AI (2015): Fund Tracking Survey (PAISA) , Accountability Initiative, http://cprindia.org/sites/default/files/policy-briefs/SSA.pdf . O’Flynn, J L, D A Blackman and J Halligan (2011): Working across Boundaries: Barriers, Enablers, Tensions and Puzzles , http://ssrn.com/abstract =1927666 . Saxena, Naresh Chandra (2017): Governance and In clusive Development in India , Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing. UNICEF (2007): Evaluation of ICDS in Bihar , Patna. — (2014): Rapid Survey on Children , 2013–14, New Delhi. — (2017): The State of World’s Children , New York. Tags:

*HPBOSE HP TET Exam 2018 | Online Registration | Application Form @hpbose.org

Monday, July 16 2018

*HPBOSE HP TET Exam 2018 | Online Registration | Application Form @hpbose.org

HP TET 2018 | Apply Online @ HPBOSE Name of the Exam – HPTET (Himachal Pradesh Teacher Eligibility Test) Categories – JBT TET, Shashtri TET, TGT(Medical, Non-Medical, Arts) TET, LT(Language Teacher) TET, Punjabi TET, Urdu TET Dates to Apply – From 16th July 2018 to 6th August 2018 Application Mode – Online as well as Offline Examination Dates – 2nd September 2018 to 9th September Who is Eligible to Apply: Below is the Detailed Eligibility Criteria, Category Wise: Note – An Individual can Apply under more than one Category. To do so, he/she will have to submit a separate application for every category. Application Fee to be Paid: General & Sub Categories – Rs. 800 OBC/SC/ST/ PHH – Rs. 500 HP TET 2018 (HPBOSE) | Online Registration & Application Form Let’s now understand the Process to Apply Online. Kindly Follow the Given Steps: First of All Visit the HPBOSE Portal @ hpbose.org Click on the TET- 2018 Link to open up TET Instructions Page Read All the Given Instructions Carefully and Scroll Down to the End of the Page If you have Already Registered, Use the Login Button else Register and Get Logged In After Logging into the HPBOSE Portal, you will have the option to Fill HPTET 2018 Online Application form Fill in all the required details, Upload Required Documents and Submit the Application to generate Application number After this, You will have to Make Online Payment using Credit/Debit Card or Net Banking After Successful Payment, You will be taken to the Confirmation Page Take a Print out of this Confirmation page The Hard Copy of Confirmation Page should be sent to Following Address: Section Officer (Dept. Exam Branch) HP Board of School Education Dharamshala – 176213 Himachal TET Exam 2018 Dates (Category Wise) Examination Name

Agricultural Revival and Reaping the Youth Dividend | Economic and Political Weekly

Wednesday, July 4 2018

Agricultural Revival and Reaping the Youth Dividend | Economic and Political Weekly

Home » Journal » Vol. 53, Issue No. 26-27, 30 Jun, 2018 » Agricultural Revival and Reaping the Youth Dividend Agricultural Revival and Reaping the Youth Dividend Google Scholar M Vijayabaskar ( ) is with the Madras Institute of Development Studies. Sudha Narayanan ( ) teaches at the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research. Sharada Srinivasan ( ) is with the University of Guelph. In recent years, “youth” has emerged as a distinct category of population to be governed in India. Policy efforts to realise the “demographic dividend” amidst an agrarian crisis have however not met with success as suggested by reports of jobless growth on the one hand and poor quality of employment generated outside agriculture on the other. What are the prospects of improving youth livelihoods within agriculture? Can the youth revive the prospects of agriculture? Improving incomes within agriculture while also paying sufficient attention to caste and gender relations that shape labour hierarchies, access to land, youth preferences and mobility aspirations is critical to imagining a future that sustains agriculture and youth livelihoods. This paper is part of the research “Becoming a Young Farmer: Young People’s Pathways into Farming” funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada. Globally, there is a growing concern about a generational crisis in farming: the average age of a farmer is rising, and young people are apparently disinterested in farming and are leaving the countryside. Questions about the future of farming, and whether there will be future generations of farmers, have emerged as key policy issues in several countries (IFAD 2010; Jöhr 2012; Qualman et al forthcoming; White 2012). This paper argues that these are timely questions in the Indian context as well, for a number of reasons. About 54% of India’s population is under 25 years of age and by 2019, the median age of Indians will be 29 years. As per Census 2011, close to 34% of India’s rural population belongs to the age group 15–34 years. In 2012, an estimated 56.6% of rural youth in the age group 15–29 years continued to rely on agriculture, forestry, or fishing as a source of livelihood (GoI 2013a). While the presence of a sizeable young population is believed to offer a demographic dividend (GoI 2013b), policy efforts to realise the dividend have not met with success. This is evident from reports of jobless growth and poor quality of employment generated outside agriculture. Poor prospects for livelihoods within agriculture, its declining importance as a sector in the national income, and aspirations of rural youth and their parents to find avenues in non-farm sectors suggest that, like elsewhere, agriculture today is an unlikely option for the young in India. While youth as a distinct social and demographic category has come to occupy a significant place in the recent policy imagination in India, 1 and the problem of low productivity in agriculture continues to occupy policymakers, the two are rarely brought together in research and policy. 2 We argue that these issues need to be addressed together to render visible to policymakers, the dilemmas of youth who are dependent on low-return agriculture, their aspirations for social and economic mobility, the prospects for agriculture, and the means to tackle rural poverty. While a lot has been written on agriculture in India, the purpose of this article is to revisit the relevant ones to bring the question of youth in agriculture into focus. We ask: what do we know about young people in farming in India? In spite of a large share of rural youth involved in farming, there is limited research or policy attention on the issues and challenges they face around farming, non-farm opportunities, succession, and intergenerational transfer of resources and knowledge. One problem is that data are not always available by age, making it challenging to draw inferences specific to young farmers, and this is even more so with respect to young women farmers. 3 We draw upon statistical data and scholarly material to examine the situation of young farmers in India. Although the paper implicitly understands a farmer as someone with access (ownership, shared, renting, etc) to land (or a productive resource), who invests a large part of her time and labour in farming, actual definitions vary. We adopt a youth studies perspective to understand the generational dimensions of social reproduction of rural communities, the lives of young people within the agrarian economy, and their paradoxical (apparent) turn away from farming in this era of mass rural un(der)employment (Cuervo and Wyn 2012), and youth subjectivities. A youth studies perspective also provides an important reminder of the need and the right of young people to be properly researched, not as objects, but as subjects (Beazley et al 2009; Srinivasan 2014). In doing so, the paper also engages with developmentalist and policy discourses that view movement of people out of agriculture as a transitional imperative (Chenery 1979; Lewis 1954), even as global sustainability discourses place the family farm as a bulwark against incursions of industrialised and corporatised agriculture (McMichael 2008; FAO no date). Despite the realisation that conventional routes of labour transition out of agriculture are not available to many, policy initiatives to make agriculture attractive for youth livelihoods have been few and far between. To be clear, the purpose of the paper is not to argue that all (rural) youth undertake or remain in farming, but it is to make a case for improving the livelihood prospects within agriculture, in a context of changing youth aspirations. We argue that a clearer understanding of issues is essential to frame a nuanced approach to support the role of youth in agriculture and the role of agriculture in youth livelihood strategies. Profile of Farmers in India Agriculture and allied sectors on which 54.6% of India’s workforce relies, have registered a rapid decline as a share of national income, accounting for only around 16.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014–15. 4 Evidence from two National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) rounds suggests that over the decade spanning 2002–03 and 2013, 5 the median as well as mean age of the head of an agricultural household has increased by around two years, indicating a decline in younger household heads. However, the change does not seem rapid ( Table 1 ). Heads of agricultural households need not be full-time farmers; other members of the household could be participating in farming, even if they are not identified as farmers themselves or as being engaged in full-time farm work. Data at the individual level may therefore be more relevant to gauge the extent of youth participation in farming (Figure 1a, p 10). In 2002–03, an overwhelming proportion of those below 25 years of age in farm households did not participate in farming. It is only among the age group 25–60 years that the proportion of household members engaged in farming exceeds those not farming. Unfortunately, the 2013 survey does not explicitly capture similar information to enable comparison. There are clear differences across social groups (Figure 1c, p 10). A greater proportion of youth among the Scheduled Tribes is likely to farm than those from the Scheduled Castes/Other Backward Classes; young people from other general castes are, comparatively, much less likely to be farmers. These differences seem to disappear among the older cohorts, but only beyond 65 years. Gender gaps exist, and the proportion of women who participated in farming is consistently less than those of men in farming (Figure 1b, p 10). It seems that while the generational crisis in farming is not yet evident in terms of the average age of a farmer, there is a distinct pattern of rural youth, even in farm households, being disproportionately disengaged from farming. In terms of education, in 2012–13, it was less likely that someone who is illiterate or completed primary school or less, would be a farmer and it was more likely that someone whose educational attainment was high school or beyond is a farmer, relative to 2002–03 (Table 2). This might reflect a general trend that more people are now studying more, so that farmers in 2012–13 are on average more educated than they were in 2002–03. This trend seems to undermine conventional understandings about Indian agriculture that attributed its relatively lower productivity to lower literacy levels of farmers. There is also an indication that there is a lower preference for formal training in agriculture among youth (Census of India 2011; Figure 2 (a, b, c)). Among the younger cohorts, technical training in agriculture accounts for the lowest share of all those with technical degrees, while those with engineering degrees is much larger among the younger cohorts relative to older cohorts. The preference for training in engineering over training in agriculture is likely a reflection of the declining importance of agriculture. While this pattern is the same for men and women, the difference between cohorts in the proportion trained in agriculture relative to engineering is larger for men. The gender gap appears larger for agriculture than for other disciplines, including engineering. Staying In, Exiting and Entering Agriculture An oft-cited statistic from the NSSO 59th round survey of farm households (2002–03) is that as much as 40% of respondents said they would quit farming if they had a choice. 7 Although the survey did not focus on youth, it suggested that in general, low profitability and risk associated with incomes were the main reasons cited for preferring to exit from farming. Researchers have noted that this preference is higher among resource-constrained farmers (Agarwal and Agrawal 2017; Birthal et al 2015). Exit preference was also correlated negatively with the age of the farmer-respondent (Agarwal and Agrawal 2017). But who leaves, who stays behind, and who enters is, however, quite complex and not always captured in macro-level data (Sharma and Bhaduri 2009). Micro-level studies suggest that there are significant differences in patterns of youth engagement with farming across space, caste, and class. Sharma (2007) and Sharma and Bhaduri (2009) offer some insights based on what is perhaps the only survey on the youth question in Indian agriculture. Sharma’s (2007) study based on a sample of 1,609 youth in the age group 18–30 years from across 13 states found that part-time farming is a rising trend, especially among small- and medium-scale farmers who tend to combine farming with non-farm activities, including urban activities based on seasonal migration. Youth from large landholding families tend to be full-time farmers given the economies of scale that large landholdings afford. While youth from small and marginal farm families are mobile, given the limited prospects in farming, such families are also able to lease in more land. Sharma (2007) also points out that those who report to be full-time farmers were older than part-time farmers and youth showing no involvement in farming were younger then: both with a mean age of 24.4 years. This could imply that perhaps as one grows older and has one’s own family, many return to full-time farming. The other possibility is that youth return to take up farming when non-farm options are unattractive. Djurfeldt et al (2008) argue based on evidence from Tamil Nadu that with education and industrial employment opportunities, landless and large landowning families exit farming at a faster rate, which results in less skewed distribution of land and rural incomes. Leasing in or buying of land then becomes possible for small and marginal landowning families, thus consolidating family farming. Sharma (2007) and Sharma and Bhaduri (2009) suggest that part-time farmers and youth not involved in farming are generally from the higher castes, have a higher number of years of schooling, and are more skilled. These youth are also generally from villages close to urban areas, indicating the impact of urbanisation on de-agrarianisation (see also Djurfeldt et al 2008). These patterns seem to be stronger in regions with a low value of agricultural production per capita and in villages close to towns. While proximity to markets is a key factor affecting returns to farming and in turn in retaining youth in rural areas, it also has the effect of enabling youth to take up more non-farm activities. As Krishna (2017) poignantly demonstrates, villages that are at a distance of more than 5 km from a town or a city tend to be much poorer than those that are located closer to urban settlements. At the individual or household level, the pattern is stronger among castes higher in social hierarchy, better educated and youth with non-farm skills. Interestingly, both small and marginal landholders and the large landholders show an inclination to withdraw. While small and marginal farmers are perhaps, at least in part, being pushed out of farming, big farmers appear to take advantage of non-farm opportunities, being better off in terms of education and access to capital. In Bundelkhand, Narain et al (2016) found that the marginal farmers were more likely to want to exit farming than the medium landholding size class. Somewhat differently, in Gujarat, Patel (1985) studied the aspirations of youth to emigrate and found that neither the rich nor the dismally poor showed a propensity to emigrate, albeit for different reasons; it was people in the “middle” who were mobile. She attributed this to pressure on land. Given the difficulties of land reform, the pressure on land made the surplus population restive (Patel 1985). Given that the study is somewhat dated, it is possible that the profiles of who wanted to leave and who stayed are today different from that in the 1980s. Jeffrey (2010) in his ethnographic work in Uttar Pradesh describes the emergence and experiences of the “educated unemployed,” a generation of youth from rural landowning families. Better-off landowning families increasingly send their children away for urban education and jobs, a phenomenon noted by Balagopal (2011) in the context of coastal Andhra Pradesh in the 1980s. Many of these youth, however, cannot find jobs in the current context and given their newfound (educational) status are reluctant to engage in farming. At the same time, in relatively developed states, such as Tamil Nadu and Punjab, where youth withdrawal from agriculture may be occurring at a faster pace than in other states due to urbanisation and other related processes, we are beginning to witness a small stream of well-educated, urban middle-class youth turning to farming as a lifestyle choice or as an enterprise (Shandal 2016). 8 Within agriculture, field research shows that youth tend to find certain activities more attractive than others (such as dairy, poultry, orchards and horticulture); these are areas where returns are relatively higher. However, youth in rural areas believe that cultivation of field crops is the least difficult to enter, given that one does not require costly investments upfront, if land is available (Umunnakwe et al 2014). Studies on contract farming and contemporary supply chains suggest that on average younger farmers are more likely to participate in new marketing forms (Singh 2012). Overall, it appears that certain subsectors within agriculture appeal more to youth than others, but access to such avenues may be limited. Village studies provide evidence for entry of segments of lower castes into farming. For example, Rao and Nair (2003) conclude that in Andhra Pradesh, the landownership pattern among caste groups has undergone a significant change—while the dominant castes have lost land, the backward castes and Scheduled Castes are reported to have gained land. Sharma (2007) notes that in Bihar, the traditional farming castes like Bhumihars were selling land, which was increasingly being acquired by backward caste groups such as Yadavs. While such land transfers can be seen to be socially progressive, the low returns to agriculture particularly in relative terms and the growing crisis in the sector (Vasavi 2012; Deshpande and Arora 2010) may warrant a different reading of this phenomenon, wherein the lower castes are trapped in low-return occupations. Movement out of agriculture is also tied to non-economic aspirations. Agricultural labour is ascribed low status in the caste-based division of labour, historically associated with Scheduled Castes and other castes lower in caste hierarchy. Upward mobility, as Tilche (2016) notes in her study of the Patidars, is therefore associated with movement out of such manual work. Farm work may therefore not be appealing. Structural and Policy Issues within Agriculture Existing studies thus identify several recurring themes that emerge in the context of youth entry and continuation in agriculture, some better understood than others. A few of these can be characterised as structural conditions associated with agriculture. Unremunerative agriculture constitutes one of the strongest push factors prompting exit. Research has confirmed the negative effects of green revolution such as depletion in quality of soils, increase in the use of purchased inputs, and extensive extraction of groundwater through private investments (Reddy and Mishra 2009), which have led to a process of capital intensification of agricultural production without commensurate increases in yields and/or returns. Accompanying these agroecological factors are a series of policy shifts such as reduced public investments in research and development, and a lack of technological breakthrough in rain-fed and drought-prone agriculture, which accounts for 60% of cropped area. For much of the post-reform period, terms of trade were against agriculture except for the period 2004–05 to 2010–11, when high world prices led to prices of agricultural produce remaining higher relative to non-agricultural produce (Dev and Rao 2015). Unviable size of holdings: The shrinking size of landholding has been a major structural factor contributing to smallholder vulnerability. The average size of landholding has declined by half, from 2.28 ha in 1970–71 to 1.16 ha in 2010–11 (NABARD 2014). There has also been a steady increase in the share of marginal and small landholdings at the national level and at present this segment accounts for 85% of all operational landholdings in the country, although accounting for only 44% of total area being cultivated. Marginal landholdings increased from -9% of lands cultivated in 1970–71 to 22% in 2010–11. Trends indicate that within each farm size category, marginal, small, medium, and large, the landholding size has declined implying that there has been no consolidation of holdings in any size category. This reduction in operational landholding size has been partly driven by a successive division (subdivision) of inherited land in the countryside. Other factors, such as distress sales, that we discuss later, have also been observed. Notwithstanding the evidence that smallholders in India might be more productive or efficient (Gaurav and Mishra 2015, for example), there is ample evidence that smallholdings in India are smaller than the threshold size and hence unviable, a point recognised explicitly by the Government of India (2016: 15): The results of the 70th Round NSS show that positive net monthly income—i e, difference between income from all sources and consumption expenditure—accrues only to the farmers with landholdings of more than 1 hectare. While the continued non-viability of small-scale farming and of fragmentation of land, push children from such families to move out of farming in search of urban employment, they pose an obstacle even to those (youth) who might be inclined to farm. Entry options into farming among lower-caste youth that we noted earlier, may not therefore necessarily constitute upward mobility in a phase of relative decline in incomes from agriculture. Rural Land Markets and Land Use: An important factor that contributes to reproduction of marginal landholdings and hence to agrarian distress, is the nature of emerging land markets. While unviable landholdings are constraining, there is little evidence of land consolidation either due to buying or leasing. A major factor that may have prevented owners of unviable landholdings (or for new entrants into farming) from accessing additional land is the rise in costs of rural land, especially in relation to returns from agriculture. As Chakravorty (2013) demonstrates, there has been an increase in the levels of activity in rural land markets since the late 1990s, followed by a tremendous increase in rural land prices during the last 10 years or so. Rising values of land due to growth in real estate activity consequent to higher incomes and demand for real estate from overseas Indians, attract buyers who invest in land and keep prices high. Investment of black money is another major source of demand for land (GoI 2012). The expansion in credit for housing in post-reform India too has increased effective demand for land and given the inelastic supply of land, generated price increases. As a result of such demand, Chakravorty (2013) contends that rural land prices in states such as Punjab are higher by 20–30 times (one of the highest in the world) compared to prices that would reflect agricultural productivity. Rural land values are therefore determined more outside of agriculture. Under such conditions of financialisation of land, active land markets may not always generate outcomes that are welfare enhancing for small and marginal farmers (Vijayabaskar and Menon 2017). One consequence of rising land prices is that farmers have limited capacity to expand their farms, and young (and new) farmers are put at a huge disadvantage. These entry barriers are even more acute for women, who typically do not have access to land of their own. Although laws provide for inheritance, it seems to be the norm that women do not stake a claim in order to preserve their relationship with their brothers, often justifying their stand by rationalising that if they did stake a claim, the already small landholdings would become non-viable (see Agarwal 1994). In the absence of proper insurance markets and anticipation of rising prices, land is seen as an important hedge against risk and hence property owners do not want to sell, even if their own capacity to invest in land to improve returns is limited. Sharma and Bhaduri (2009) found that more than 60% of their respondents revealed that, while complete withdrawal from farming was high on their agenda, selling land was the last option. The ties to land are maintained possibly because one cannot completely rely on non-farm opportunities, but also because of social meanings ascribed to owning land apart from expectations of land price increases. More than a third of their young respondents mentioned that they would like their children to continue farming not only because there was a lack of opportunities elsewhere but because that is what they had done for generations. In these instances, land does not pass to more efficient farmers; it is not the case that its sale offers an exit option for farmers. Demand for land is therefore not tied to desire to pursue farming as also pointed out in a study of rural Telangana (Jakimow et al 2013). In extreme cases, however, in the absence of effective policy interventions to address price and production risks, farmers end up relying on distress sales as micro-level studies of rural land markets reveal (Krishnaji 1991; Sarap 1995, 1998). Farming households also respond to risks by diversifying their livelihood options. Rather than invest in land to improve or stabilise returns from agriculture, they may consider investing in their children’s education or access non-farm employment, and hence a possible future career outside agriculture. Even before the onset of agrarian crisis and a relative decline in agricultural incomes vis-à-vis incomes from other sectors, agricultural surplus was being invested outside agriculture rather than towards expansion in agricultural investments (Balagopal 2011). But diversification has seldom meant economic mobility or reduced vulnerability for most rural youth. Diversification sans mobility? The Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households for the crop year 2012–13 conducted by the NSSO indicates that 57.8% of households have at least one member who is self-employed in farming. Although a large share of households continue to rely on agriculture, many do not rely exclusively on agriculture and only 68.3% report farming to be their main source of income in that year. On average, agriculture accounted for only 60% of the income for farm households. While income from crop cultivation and animal husbandry account for 48% and 12% of income respectively, as much as 32% of income in the household is derived from wages (computed using data from the NSSO 70th round). These suggest that the rural is no longer synonymous with agriculture. Over the past two decades the contribution of the non-farm sector in rural GDP has grown significantly—from 37% in 1980–81 to 65% in 2009–10—accompanied by a marked increase in the share of non-farm employment over the same period (Papola 2013; Reddy et al 2014). However, the quality of employment outside agriculture has been poor, marked by either poor wages or incomes. In 2009–10, regular employment constituted only 20% of all jobs in the non-farm sector (Himanshu et al 2013). In terms of sectors, a bulk of employment generation has been in the construction sector which accounted for 35.74% of all jobs created during 1990–91 to 2015–16 (Bhattacharya 2018). Two aspects of the employment boom in construction are worth noting. First, it tends to employ men in larger numbers and relatively more mobile men at that. Second, employment is insecure and casual for most jobs. Thus, while the rural non-farm sector is no longer a “residual” employer, it offers “decent” exit options only for a few (Jodhka and Kumar 2017). Studies also suggest that occupational mobility is lowest in agriculture and allied occupations, and half of all children of farmers end up being farmers themselves (Motiram and Singh 2010). While the ratio of non- agricultural productivity to agricultural productivity has increased from 3.97% to 5.83% from 1983–84 to 2011–12, the construction sector has a labour productivity that is only 58% higher than that in agriculture indicating the poor quality of exit via this sector. To enable upwardly mobile pathways out of agriculture, rural households are investing considerably in education. According to the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2014–15, 24.3% of youth in the age group of 18 to 23 years are in some form of higher education compared to 19.4% reported in 2010–11.Such investments have, however, not been backed by adequate openings in the job market. Despite having registered one of the highest growth rates since 2000, the growth in India continues to be accompanied by growing concerns of joblessness (GoI 2018), 9 especially among the educated and those from rural households. According to a survey by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India (2013a: 43): Every 1 person out of 3 persons who is holding a degree in graduation and above is found to be unemployed based on the survey results …for the age group 15–29 years. In rural areas the unemployment rate among graduates and above for the age group 15-29 years is estimated to be 36.6 percent whereas in urban areas the same is 26.5 percent. This clearly indicates an emerging crisis in employment with available employment opportunities not commensurate with rural youth aspirations (Cross 2009; Jeffrey 2010; Jeffrey et al 2005a; Jeffrey et al 2005b; Jeffrey and Young 2012). Young men from rural farm backgrounds often engage in “timepass,” and enroll in one course after another waiting for their preferred employment to materialise (Jeffrey 2010). This is also tied to quality of education and first generation learning in the absence of social networks in landing them jobs (Jakimow et al 2013). Apart from the inferior status assigned to farm work as discussed earlier, the desire to move out of the rural areas is, therefore, also tied to a lack of access to quality education or to networks that facilitate access to better non-farm options. Such aspirations are belied by a lack of commensurate employment for the educated, continuing to be in farming in a context of growing income differentials between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. In this context, micro-level studies (such as Anandhi et al 2002; Srinivasan 2015) point to a growing crisis of masculinity among rural young men, who unlike older generations of men, are not able to assert their identity based on farming. The unattractiveness of farming is further fuelled by the desire of rural women to marry out of farming (Bourdieu 2008; Srinivasan 2015). Overall, youth aspirations in rural areas are therefore often not built around farming but around strategies for a way out of agriculture. Conclusions The paper pieced together information from secondary sources, highlighting that scarce attention was being paid to young farmers in policy and research, in order to address the question: what do we know about young farmers in India? The paper, however, does not pretend to have answers to all questions. With an agrarian crisis, an ageing farming population, and a bulging youth population, can the youth revive the prospects of agriculture in India? And can agriculture revive hopes of the youth? The agrarian crisis, precipitated by the non-viability of small-scale family farming (low productivity, poor market returns, low soil fertility, water scarcity, high levels of indebtedness), lack of public investment, and the continued dependence of a significant share of population on agriculture for their livelihoods, is in reality also a demographic crisis as (rural) youth have not been able to effectively move out of or move into agriculture in economically secure ways. If India is to reap dividends from the demographic youth bulge, revival of rural employment and in particular, of prospects in agriculture will be crucial. Likewise, prospects in agriculture cannot be revived without addressing the youth question. A youth or generational perspective demonstrates that we do not know much about youth in agriculture—their aspirations, variations across regions, how they access resources (land, knowledge and skills), challenges they encounter and so on, necessary to offer workable strategies. The article not only highlights the need for greater visibility of young farmers in research and policy but also more importantly for an intersectional approach on reviving agriculture, tackling rural poverty and youth livelihoods. Agarwal and Agrawal (2017) note that governments tend to assume farmers would be better off in cities while emergent farmers’ movements presume that all farmers would want to farm. The evidence on farmers’ preferences for exit is clearly more nuanced. Further, rural households are already showing through their adaptation strategies on what may be viable. Increasingly, households are combining incomes from self-cultivation with incomes from non-farm employment and business. Declining employment elasticity in agriculture (Majumdar 2017) also implies that households can undertake agriculture without much labour expenditure allowing pluri-activities. Creating non-farm employment in rural areas would enable youth to forge livelihood pathways in the countryside and in turn contribute to the revival of agriculture (Chand et al 2011). Similarly, ruralisation of manufacturing as noted by Ghani et al (2012) may also contribute to a “high road” to rural diversification. Efforts are necessary to quell the growing rural–urban disparities in access to quality healthcare and education that further accentuate vulnerabilities emanating from the agricultural sector. Possibly in response to the realisation that all is not well with the non-agrarian economy in terms of employment, the government has launched a new project, “Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture” (ARYA) supported by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and implemented by Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK), a public institution meant to provide technical support to agriculture. 10 The National Commission of Farmers (NCF), constituted in 2004, was tasked with recommending measures to address agrarian distress. One of the sub-tasks was to suggest strategies to attract and retain youth in agriculture. In each of the six reports that the NCF submitted between 2004 and 2006, there is an explicit recognition of youth aspirations to move out of agriculture. The commission, however, restricted itself to suggesting a role for youth employment in custom hiring and skilling for animal husbandry. A sectoral and an economistic approach to integrating youth into farming may not work, given the complex set of factors that render the agrarian rural economy inferior. The challenge may also involve revalorisation of agricultural work without valorising caste. While improved returns may provide some incentives, in the absence of a reversal of social norms around labour in agriculture, such policies may be socially regressive. In addition, the gender-neutral category of youth implicitly refers to young men. This often leads to the neglect of young women in policies directed towards the youth. Inheritance laws and social norms around land rights also marginalise young women from policies that focus on youth participation in farming. The family farm as conceived in the conventional sense cannot be the unit of organising production; a flexible arrangement that can transcend sectors but spatially located in the rural will have to be envisaged. Further, exploring new forms of collective organisation of the agrarian economy may potentially weaken caste hierarchies, status and patriarchal relations that undergird the family farm (Agarwal and Agrawal 2017). Finally, there is a strong push from youth themselves to revive farming as evident, for example, in a growing number of urban youth embracing farming on their own volition. Political activity around access to land has also witnessed a rise recently, for example, Jignesh Mevani’s land to Dalits agenda ( Outlook 2018) and the “Land March” in Maharashtra (Dhawale 2018). If visions of sustainable agricultural futures are to be realised, and if young people are going to have a place in that future, the problems that the youth face in agriculture have to be given more serious attention than has been the case in recent research and policy debate. This would entail a move away from viewing agriculture not merely as a source of surplus labour but as a sector that generates social values around land and work, which cannot be reduced to monetary valuations. Notes 1 Since 2000, several policies have been directed at “solving” the youth problem on the one hand and “utilising” the youth potential for national economic goals on the other. The first National Youth Policy was formulated in 2003 followed by the 2014 National Youth Policy. In 2008, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports split into two separate departments—the department of youth affairs and department of sports. Under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012–17), the Planning Commission appointed a Steering Committee for Youth Affairs and Sports with emphasis on skills, employability and addressing socio-psychological issues among youth. 2 The separation may not be unique to the Indian context. The World Development Report (World Bank 2007) focusing on agriculture hardly mentioned youth, while the World Development Report (World Bank 2006) focusing on youth hardly mentioned agriculture. 3 Apart from the Census of India, the major source of nationally representative data on farmers is the National Sample Surveys (NSS) 59th Round in 2002–03 and 70th Round in 2013 that collected data on farm incomes. The other rounds of NSSO collect decadal data on land and livestock and debt and investment but are not focused on farmers. Rich data exist on district level cropping patterns, area, production and yield of different crops, prices, input use, etc, and the quinquennial agricultural census collects information on operational holdings. Evidence on young women farmers is even more scarce, since most data is at the household level, with the male head of the household presumed to be the “farmer.” 4 The figures are for the share of agriculture and allied sector in total employment as per the Census of India, 2011 (GoI 2016: 35). At 2011–12 constant prices (GoI 2016: 4). 5 The 2002–03 was collected for “farmers” and the 2013 data were collected for agricultural households. For the 2013 survey, NSSO defined an agricultural household “as a household receiving some value of produce more than INR 3000 from agricultural activities (for example, cultivation of field crops, horticultural crops, fodder crops, plantation, animal husbandry, poultry, fishery, piggery, bee-keeping, vermiculture, sericulture, etc) and having at least one member self-employed in agriculture either in the principal status or in subsidiary status during last 365 days” (GoI 2014: 3). The income cut-off was not applied as a criterion for sampling in 2002–03. Further, the definition used for “farmer household” in 2002–03 made possession of agricultural land as a necessary condition for inclusion whereas it was dispensed with in the 2013 survey’s definition for an “agricultural household.” 6 These figures combine data from two visits to each household in two different seasons for each year. There are some differences in coverage of households but these are not adjusted for while computing these estimates. Estimates use sampling weights. 7 The NSSO 59th Round data, a nationally representative survey of farmers, is unique in recording if farmers are content being farmers. The survey asks: “Do you like farming as a profession?” 8 See Karthik (2017) and Raju (2017). Tamil Nadu, for example, has a vibrant organic farmers’ movement. 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