Research Papers

  • Uranium in drinking waterUranium is a radioactive mineral found in the environment and is present in certain types of rocks and soils. However, it has no useful role in the human or animal bodily systems and is regarded as non essential. Chronic exposure to uranium in drinking water is a potential h...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 12 months agoread more
  • Groundwater in our country is rapidly depleting. Inspite of the vision of water managers in planning and investing in the water sector, there are a few issues in the field of groundwater that seem to be partly responsible for this deteriorating groundwater scenario in the country, and these are...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 12 months agoread more
  • One characteristic of most Indian slums is their inadequate access to water, which has a serious impact on the health of its residents. Most of the research on water service delivery in slums until recently has focused on water quality and health outcomes, especially diarrhoeal illnesses. However, t...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 day agoread more
  • Ecosystems are complex functioning units that include living as well as non living entities and build on interdependent relationships among these living resources, surrounding habitats and residents of an area. Thus, they can include plants, trees, animals, fish, birds, microorganisms, water bodies,...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Sanitation in India is at a critical juncture. The Indian government has been contemplating new strategies to deal with the country's sanitation crisis by making massive investments under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Introducing sanitation programmes that reflect user needs and preferences will be cri...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • A number of studies have linked water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions to improvements in health outcomes such as diarrhoeal diseases, helminth (parasitic worm) infections and childhood stunting. However, little work has been done to evaluate the effects of WASH interventions on adverse...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Hydropower development has been given topmost priority in the resource rich state of Himachal Pradesh. It has been hailed as a solution to develop the region and also provide an answer to the unending electricity needs of industry and agriculture. Many of these projects have been blamed as caus...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Recent news indicates that the Brahmaputra could be a bone of contention between two important countries in South Asia -- India and China. This is because there are unconfirmed but continuing and alarming reports in recent years on China's plans to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra northwards, po...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Since 1999, Bihar has borne the brunt of four droughts. Rainfall scarcity has affected farmers, depleted groundwater levels significantly, and led to an increase in the number of poor people in the state. What measures has the government taken to mitigate the impact? Are the relief programmes offere...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Contamination of surface water sources such as rivers due to metals, can often make the water dangerous to drink because of the health hazards associated with consuming toxic metals. The report titled 'Status of trace and toxic metals in Indian rivers' published by the Central Water Commission ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Declining groundwater levels and increasing stress on water resources in rural areas in India is a major concern for development since the livelihoods of a majority of the rural population depends on agriculture and the availability of sustainable water resources. More productive use of rainwater is...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Solar energy, which was until now only considered for small scale lighting is now slowly gaining tremendous popularity among farmers to pump irrigation water. The paper titled 'Karnataka’s smart, new solar pump policy for irrigation' published in the Economic and Political Weekly, provides a ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which continues to be the largest public employment program involving Rs.34,600 crore in a period of just five years since its implementation, was enacted on August 25, 2005 and renamed as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gua...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Climate change has resulted in drastic seasonal fluctuations leading to erratic rainfalls and prolonged droughts in India. This has been posing an increasing threat to the agriculture and food security of the country, with increasing stress on rural livelihoods and resources such as land, soil, wate...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 2 months agoread more
  • Endosulfan, a pesticide, has been banned in Kerala after its adverse effects were first realised in 1981. Shree Padre, a freelance environmental journalist, first brought out the consequences of using the pesticide by reporting on the various disabilities it caused among domestic animals and on the ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 2 months agoread more
  • Climate change could have a strong impact on fisheries with far-reaching consequences on food and livelihoods of populations. It is likely to have a major impact on future marine fisheries production in India. However, very little understanding exists on the how fishing communities, the actual stake...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 2 months agoread more
  • India is highly dependant on groundwater. As high as 85 percent of rural drinking water is derived from wells with 88 percent of it used for irrigation, and 48 percent of the urban also uses groundwater. The paper titled 'Shaping the contours of groundwater governance in India' published in the...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Water tankers are a common sight in most Indian cities and so are tanker businesses that extract and deliver groundwater via trucks or tractors to hundreds of residential neighbourhoods at a negotiated price. Most of these are informal or unauthorised. Who are the water mafia and how do they operat...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Urban water supply can be classified into two categories -- formal and informal.  A formal system usually means piped delivery, at least partly treated, and regulated by a utility. An informal system usually includes a set of alternative water delivery mechanisms and practices which are largely...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • The National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) SBM (G) are the two flagship programmes of the government implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, a nodal Ministry responsible for the overall policy, planning, funding and coordinat...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 3 months agoread more

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A study finds increased risk of sexual violence among women who defecate in the open due to lack of proper sanitation facilities.

While nearly half of the world’s population (42 percent) lacks access to improved sanitation conditions, India is the worst performer in sanitation coverage, even below those countries with half of the households (53 percent) not having access to toilets. At 49.8 percent, India has the highest number of people practising open defecation in the world.

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Potential threats of environmental deterioration continue to be ignored in Kollam partly due to the difficulty in regulating an industry that produces resources of high strategic importance.

Mining and processing of heavy and rare earth minerals can produce a tremendously negative impact on the land and environment in the area, the magnitude and intensity of which depends on the kind of chemicals and processes used, the efforts taken in the management of waste as well as on environmental fragility of the location. It can also endanger the health of local residents as well as their livelihoods through water pollution and destruction of farmland thereby violating the rights of local communities.

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Reviving traditional water bodies, and not environmentally-unsustainable mega projects which are expensive, is the most viable solution to deal with water scarcity in parched lands like Bundelkhand.

Although droughts are not new in India, we are seeing more of it of late. The paper Seeking viable solutions to water security in Bundelkhand published in the Economic and Political Weekly dated November 5, 2016 informs that people in South Asia have managed the vagaries of seasons for centuries through water-harvesting structures and by managing the available water efficiently through traditional water management practices that utilised water without wastage.

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The implementation of the CRZ rules and prioritising the needs of fishing communities by involving them in the process is the right and holistic approach to end coastal deterioration.

The coastal regions of India are becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate changes, developmental activities and urbanisation. Sustaining the livelihoods of fishing communities and preserving the health of coastal ecosystem and biodiversity are important challenges that India faces.

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It is important to look at rivers from an ecological point of view to solve transboundary water issues amicably.

The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) basin is the third largest river flow system in the world with an annual runoff about 1,150 billion cubic meters (BCM) and the peak outflow of 1,41,000 cumecs. The basin has a total area of just over 1.7 million square kilometres, distributed between India (64 percent), China (18 percent), Nepal (9 percent), Bangladesh (7 percent) and Bhutan (3 percent).

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As conflict over sharing of river Brahmaputra threatens to raise its ugly head again, cooperation, not competition between China, India and Bangladesh alone can solve the issue

With recent reports of China blocking a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Tibet to construct its most expensive hydro project, the Assam government has been worried. Experts in the field believe that it is time India initiated hydro diplomacy with its neighbour. 

Claiming their stakes

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While the health of the rivers needs to be comprehensively assessed to bring the contamination down, public participation remains crucial in keeping the rivers alive.

A severe crisis is plaguing the rivers in India. A study by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 2013 has found that the number of contaminated rivers in the country has more than doubled over the past five years.

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Heavily polluted and poisoned at its confluence with the Lunar river, the Lukha turns mysteriously blue as it flows downstream. The studies are on to know the cause.

Meghalaya in the northeast of India is richly endowed with natural resources such as streams and rivers as well as mineral resources such as coal, limestone, clay, sillimanite, uranium, and more. The estimated coal reserve in Meghalaya is around 576.48 million tonnes while limestone reserves are around 15,100 million tonnes. Exploitation of coal and limestone has been taking place on a large scale in the state.

 

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A decade after its implementation, MGNREGA is in shambles. Taking Jharkhand as an example, a paper analyses what went wrong and how to rectify the mistakes.

The article, The MGNREGA crisis: Insights from Jharkhand, published in the Economic and Political Weekly dated May 28, 2016, provides an overview of the status of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or MGNREGA in India. The article says, the Act, launched on February 2, 2006 to provide livelihood security to rural households whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work, is in shambles now.

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Communication, based on sound scientific information, involving farmers as well as other stakeholders, is the only way to solve the Cauvery dispute. Political mandate, too, is important.

River Cauvery has been in the epicentre of agitation and violence in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu--both fighting over their share of the Cauvery water. Thanks to the deficit monsoon this year, the Cauvery basin reservoirs in both these neighbouring states are only filled half as much as they should be![1].

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