Research Papers

  • 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 4 years 2 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 4 years 2 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 4 years 3 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 4 years 3 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 4 years 3 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 4 years 3 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 4 years 3 months 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 4 years 4 months 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 4 years 4 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 4 years 4 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 4 years 4 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 4 years 5 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 4 years 5 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 4 years 5 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 4 years 5 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 4 years 6 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 4 years 6 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 4 years 6 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 4 years 6 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 4 years 6 months agoread more

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New drought and flood tolerant rice varieties can ease water constraints and ensure food security, study says.

In recent years, cycles of extreme drought and severe flooding have affected the country’s water availability and crop production. The trend can be attributed to climate change. Scientists have been exploring drought and flood tolerant crop varieties to offset stress conditions that significantly constrain rice production. With the development of new drought and flood-tolerant rice varieties, agriculture scientists hope to ease water constraints and ensure food security.

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Rice-based diets had higher emissions but wheat-based diets used more water, says study.

India's food system produces large environmental impacts but these vary by diets. The per capita environmental impacts of diets in India are currently lower than those of many high-income countries due, in part, to habitually low consumption of animal source foods. But, this relatively low per capita impact may change due to the “nutrition transition” from cereal-dominated diets towards diets high in animal-source and highly processed foods, at least among some segments of the population.

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A study finds that farmers from socially-marginalised castes continue to be disadvantaged in accessing agricultural extension services.

Increase in agricultural productivity is not only dependent on material inputs, but also on farmer’s access to relevant information on crop production and farm management practices. This information is provided through agricultural extension services in India.

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A study assesses risks associated with Pancheshwar dam in the light of environmental impact observed for the Tehri project.

Mahakali, also known as Sharda in India, gushes through the hilly tracts of Nepal and Uttarakhand, collecting its water from the numerous streams it receives on the way. Like all rivers meandering through the lush terrains and forests of Uttarakhand, Mahakali too has become a cause of disagreement between the state and the people due to the widespread community opposition to the proposed dam on it at Pancheshwar.

Hydropower dams in the region

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A study shows that although borewells have improved women’s access to water in the short term, they have increased water insecurity and the suffering of women in the long term.

Tamil Nadu is one of the most water-vulnerable states in India that depends heavily on groundwater for irrigation. As high as 56 percent of land in the state is currently irrigated by groundwater and the remaining by tanks and canals. The provision of subsidies by the state government for irrigation and loans for deepening of existing borewells and construction of new ones have turned borewells into a main source of water for irrigation. This has encouraged farmers to extract groundwater by drilling deeper and deeper.

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Study reveals how tossing of dry cell batteries in our dustbins poisons the environment.

A recent study by Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy organisation on batteries titled Dead and buried: A situational analysis of battery waste management in India estimates that 2.7 billion pieces of dry cell batteries are being consumed annually in India. The report talks about their use in a variety of products and devices ranging from cars to mobiles, laptops, watches, television remotes, toys, medical devices and inverters.

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A study finds out dams and reservoirs diminish diverse benefits offered by healthy rivers.

A little over a third of the world's 246 long rivers remain free-flowing, as per a study by a team of 34 international researchers, including those from McGill University in Canada and World Wildlife Fund India. The study, which assessed the connectivity status of 12 million kilometres of rivers worldwide, found that there are about 2.8 million dams along this stretch.

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Study indicates need for institutional capacity-building programmes in order to have high compliance with evacuation orders during cyclones.

Life is getting back to normal after an ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm Fani hit India’s eastern coastline. It ripped through several districts of Odisha and West Bengal and brought in torrential rains and winds of up to 200 km/hr. But improved responses to the disaster by way of timely warning, advance planning, evacuation, rescue and restoration operations helped mitigate casualties and damage to the region.

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A study finds women are hit the hardest during droughts due to food and water scarcity, loss of income and a range of health problems resulting from it.

Droughts are one of the most feared natural calamities impacting agriculture and food production as well as the morale of millions of farmers in India. Recent studies show that the frequency of droughts is increasing. While droughts are known to cause severe rural distress, little is known on how gender influences the experiences of men and women in coping with droughts.

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Changes in cereal production practices can contribute to improved efficiency of water use in India.

India has the highest national freshwater demand globally and 91 percent of our freshwater is used in the agriculture sector. Cereals account for over 50 percent of the dietary water footprint in India and represent a potential opportunity for reducing water use in Indian agriculture. After the green revolution, cereal production shifted from traditional cereals such as millet and sorghum, and towards higher yielding rice and wheat. Cereals are increasingly produced in the winter (rabi) season.

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