ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

The government of India signed the Marrakesh Treaty and Indian agriculture is therefore supposed to be under the total discipline of the World Trade Organisation. The treaty has transferred, without the leave of the states, prerogatives pertaining to agriculture which, under the Indian Constitution, belong to the states. This is a piquant situation.

The climate changes. New ideas and thoughts litter the concourse. Acti-vists latch on to some of these ideas and transform them into materiel for political battles.

In the course of the past quarter of a century, an agenda that has captured the imagination of both regional and at least some national parties is the necessity of restructuring centre-state relations in the country. As social awareness has kept spreading amongst the populace in different parts and regions, demand has been voiced for the transfer, to a relatively greater extent, of effective administrative, legal and financial powers from the centre to the states. An adjunct of this demand is the clamour for further decentralisation of functions and responsibilities from the state to the district, the block and the village panchayat levels; the old Leninist dictum, power to the people, has thus had an echo along these distant shores.

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