Research Papers

  • 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 1 month 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 3 months agoread more
  • Groundwater is the major source of drinking water in both urban and rural India, and an important source of water for agricultural and industrial sectors. India is by far the largest and fastest growing consumer of groundwater in the world and is exploiting the resource beyond sustainable levels.&nb...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 3 months agoread more
  • India has had very little to celebrate on World Wetlands Day this year as it has lost its wetlands at an alarming rate of 38% in just a decade (1991-2001). Additionally, there continues to be a regulatory vacuum around wetlands, because of which they continue to be ungoverned and unprotect...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 3 months agoread more
  • Open defecation continues to be practised by as high as 65% of India's rural population and only 14% of rural households have access to piped water supply leading to high rates of infant deaths and mortality. This working paper titled 'Toilets can work: Short and medium run health impacts of ad...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • An ever expanding middle class has come to symbolise a new India which is changing individual and household consumption patterns by accessing resources and technologies beyond their availabilities. Water as an everyday resource has not escaped this whirlwind of change and a substantial volume of wat...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Erratic rainfall, heavy storms, extreme weather and droughts are some of the major impacts of climate changes. Though it affects everyone, certain sections of society, like indigenous people who live closer to the natural environment, are in fact more vulnerable to these variations. However, they ar...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Growth and development indicators at the policy level many a times demand the need for factual data that is often standardised and expressed as numbers in order to make each local context comparable to other and allow data to be aggregated to higher geographical scales. This is also true of the fiel...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • The Babur Nama mentions that the “the finest running water in Hindustan is that in the Dun.” The expanse of the valley and the ridgelines of the two major watersheds (Ganga and Yamnuna) passing through Dehradun, make it a unique ecosystem which can support a wide variety of plants and ...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Despite India's rapid economic growth in recent decades, open defecation rates continue to be very high. This presents a unique puzzle for scholars of development because other regions where people are poorer, literacy rates lower, and drinking water more scarce, are better off that India when it co...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • In India, managing the current demand and planning for future water demand in urban areas is becoming a major challenge for urban water supply authorities. According to current figures by the World Health Organisation, 10% in urban areas in India still do not have access to improved water supply. M...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • Marathwada, one of the most drought prone areas in Maharashtra, continues to be in the news over the last few months due to the severe agarian crisis that the region has been facing and the very high rates of farmers suicides. In fact, Marathwada has now been referred to as the suicide capital of th...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • Inadequate separation of excreta from human contact can lead to a number of health problems. This is a cause for concern in India because as many as 600 million people defecate in the open despite ongoing national programmes to curb this, and the Prime Minister of India having declared this as ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • Dhemaji is one of the most flood-affected districts in Assam. Although the majority of its population depends on agriculture and sericulture, fishing and driftwood businesses are also practised on a smaller scale. People of Dhemaji are intimately associated with fish culture and capture for their li...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 5 months agoread more

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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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From increasing health issues among residents to declining forest produce, coal mining in Chhattisgarh has devastating outcomes.

It was in the late 90s that Raigarh emerged as the hub for power, coal mining and sponge iron in Chhattisgarh. The coalfield in Mand Raigarh is spread over an area of more than 1,12,000 hectares with an estimated 21,117 metric tonnes of coal. 

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A study from the Sundarbans shows that conserving biodiversity by excluding indigenous populations has threatened not only the survival of the forest but also the sustainability of the region.

Can forest conservation policies that ignore the livelihood needs of local, indigenous populations succeed in protecting biodiversity and wildlife?

Experiences from the Sundarbans show that such policies not only result in the suffering of the local population, it also leads to the exploitation of natural resources and biodiversity in the region.

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