Research Papers

  • Manual scavenging has been glorified since the time of Mahatma Gandhi. It hasn’t changed now with prime minister Narendra Modi describing it as an “experience in spirituality”. Manual scavenging is dehumanising. And despite the laws created to abolish it, the news of manual scavenging and manu...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 8 months agoread more
  • When two powerful and populous countries share a river to quench the thirst of its people, some amount of friction between the countries is bound to happen. The water of Brahmaputra, that flows through India, China, Bangladesh and Bhutan, has been a bone of contention between China and India for lon...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • According to a report published by the Central Water Commission in 2015 on the status of trace and toxic metals in Indian rivers in the country, a large number of rivers in India are contaminated by heavy metals. A survey done by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has revea...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • There is a severe crisis plaguing the rivers in India. Going by a study by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 2013, the number of contaminated rivers in the country has more than doubled over the past five years. This is mainly due to the deposition of untreated sewage and industrial effluent...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • According to the recent figures by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF [1], India continues to have the highest number of people defecating in the open. Census 2011 had revealed that only 32.7 percent of rural population has access to toilets. Open defecation has been l...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • It is a fact that constructing toilets alone cannot ensure total sanitation. The real challenge lies in getting people to use them. While treating fecal sludge and disposing it are largely urban concerns, modifying behaviour and motivating people to abandon open defecation are considered rural sanit...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • India has the fifth largest coal reserves in the world [1]. The power sector is the largest consumer of coal, followed by iron, steel and cement segments in India [1] This paper, Coal mining in northeast India: an overview of environmental issues and treatment approaches, published in the Internatio...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Agriculture plays an important role in the Indian economy. It represents the largest sector contributing to 28 per cent of the GDP and provides the livelihood to as much as 60 per cent of the rural population [1]. Of late, however, the country has been witnessing severe crisis in the agricultu...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • Marathwada has been witnessing severe drought over the last few years. This year has seen the worst with many farmer suicides reported [1]. The article--Agriculture is injurious to health-- published in Economic and Political Weekly, May 7, 2016 warns that Marathwada is a classic example of an envir...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • With increasing concern over water security, water governance worldwide is undergoing a gradual change. This paper 'New institutional structure for water security in India' published in the Economic and Political Weekly informs that inspite of increasing water security concerns, there has not been a...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • Access to safe drinking water and diarrhoeal diseases in India Although as high as 82.7 % rural and 91.4 % urban populations have access to safe drinking water in India according to the Census 2011, this does not provide assurance of adequate quality along with equitable distribution of water. The ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 12 months agoread more
  • Urban sanitation in India and the need to look at Brazil India constitutes only 11% of the world’s urban population but contributes 52% to the open defecation in the world’s urban spaces (WHO-UNICEF, 2014). This  policy brief titled ‘Urban sanitation in India- Why Brazil matters', by the...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 4 days agoread more
  • Although agriculture is the largest source of livelihood for people in India, its share in the gross domestic product (GDP) has been declining over time with deficit rainfall over the last two years having affected crop production and farmer's incomes. This article 'Water management and resilience ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 6 days agoread more
  • India continues to have the highest number of people defecating out in the open according to recent figures by the World Health Organisation with only 32.7 % of people in rural areas having access to toilets (Census 2011). The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched by the government in 2014 in response ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • About 3 million children from developing countries below the age of 5 die every year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by polluted water, poor sanitation and faecal contamination of drinking water sources. The paper titled 'Effect of storage containers on coliforms in household d...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Menstrual hygiene management continues to be a challenge for rural women in India and many women are forced to resort to unhygienic ways of managing menstruation thus affecting their health and well-being. The paper titled 'Menstrual management and low cost sanitary napkins' published in the Ec...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • One of the tasks that the current government had promised to work on is the fast tracking of the process of appraisal of projects seeking environmental approvals from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The article titled 'Environmental regulation in India: Moving 'forward'...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • Construction industry is a booming industry, with the real estate sector contributing heavily towards the country’s GDP. However, it is also very water-intensive consuming an enormous amount of fresh water. After agriculture, the real estate sector is the second largest employment g...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • The goal of securing universal access to safe drinking water continues to be elusive for India inspite of the impressive strides made in the current years. The working paper titled 'Unravelling rural India’s enduring water indigence: Framing the questions, issues, options and opportunities' publis...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 1 month agoread more
  • The present government has set a target of 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity for the country by 2022. The paper titled 'India’s 100GW of solar by 2022: Pragmatism or targetitis?' published in the Economic and Political Weekly, informs that solar energy is indeed an important and desi...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 2 months agoread more

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A study from Chhattisgarh finds that coal mining leads to severe health risks and environmental damage and questions the current policy emphasis on the use of coal for energy generation in India.

The coal mining sector is all set to receive a boost in India as the government plans to open up the sector to commercial players by 2018. Ten mines are in line for auctioning--four each from Odisha and Chhattisgarh and one each from Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

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A water supply scheme based on solar power solves the lack of availability of water in a village.

The Makhala village is located in the Amravati district in the southwestern Satpura mountain ranges. Situated at 959 m above mean sea level, this Maharashtra village has 352 households with a population of 1045. Although accessible by road in all seasons, the village is isolated and surrounded by forests. The nearest village is Semadoh at a distance of 12 km. Needless to say, the power supply is still miles away in this village.

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A study from remote villages in rural Uttarakhand finds that toilet use is influenced by geography, accessibility, availability of infrastructure and occupation of villagers.

“Sometimes I go for open defecation, sometimes I use the toilet. It’s not like I always have to use the toilet. When I go for work here and there, I defecate in the jungle,” says Renu from one of the remote villages in Tehri Garwal district of Uttarakhand when asked why she does not use latrines every day.

Although there is a government-constructed latrine with a water tap that she and her family use when they are at home, she sees no point in coming back home to use the toilet when she goes out to graze animals or to collect firewood a long way into the jungle.

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A study from rural Maharashtra finds piped water supply does not guarantee safe drinking water. Water treatment, storage and WASH practices influence water quality.

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It is not just mindless urbanisation but flawed restoration efforts by authorities, too are responsible for the gradual deterioration of Pashan lake in Pune.

Pashan lake, the pride of Pune, is dying! Water hyacinth continues to invade the lake and pollution levels in the lake are high, threatening its once rich biodiversity. How did this happen?

The lake was once birders’ paradise

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Aspects of the census data to consider when using it as a data source for rural water supply.

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Women, who need safe sanitation the most, are often left out of crucial sanitation-related decisions at households, a study says.

Does gender matter when it comes to sanitation? Apparently, it does. Women suffer more than men in case of poor access to sanitation that compromises their health, mobility and freedom. Since there is a possibility of being sexually assaulted or harassed while answering nature’s call in the open, they hesitate to drink enough water to avoid urinating leading to various diseases like urinary tract infections, heat stroke, kidney infections, etc. Women often hold the urge to defecate due to the lack of access to sanitation leading to chronic constipation and intestinal damage.

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A study finds faulty agricultural policies and practices and not just indebtedness to blame for rising suicides among farmers.

Over the last few months, we saw protests by distressed farmers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other states over farming crisis and farmer suicides. In what seemed like a knee-jerk reaction, many state governments announced farm loan waivers without thinking if it would actually help the farmers. 

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Mihir Shah Committee report suggests restructuring CWC and CGWB and setting up an apex body for water management. Experts, while welcoming the idea, raise some concerns.

The landmark report titled A 21st century institutional architecture for India's water reforms submitted by the expert committee chaired by Dr Mihir Shah on restructuring the Central Water Comission (CWC) and the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)

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Wastewater from tannery industries that reach agricultural lands ruin soil health and pollute groundwater, a study finds out.

The use of wastewater for irrigation in agricultural lands is a common practice across the globe. But a study by Indian researchers has found that it can also affect the quality of soil and groundwater, and consequently, human health. 

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