Governance

  • Karnataka allowed to implement Kalasa-Banduri project In a major relief to the Karnataka government, Centre has issued a gazette notification for the implementation of the Mahadayi water dispute tribunal’s August 2018 verdict. The notification allows the Karnataka government to go ahead with the ...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • Limca Book of Records recognises UP's Banda for water conservation efforts Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district has entered the Limca Book of Records for the construction of 2,605 contour trenches and holding 469 jal choupals (village water parliaments) in a single month. The efforts were made und...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • Many of the challenges sanitation workers face, stem from their lack of visibility in society, says a report ‘Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers’ produced jointly by The World Bank, International Labour Organization (ILO), WaterAid and the World Health Organization (WHO)....
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Maharashtra is the second largest sugar producing state in India, after Uttar Pradesh where as high as 1.6 million farmers cultivate sugarcane on 0.7 million hectares of land. The sugarcane industry provides direct employment to about 0.16 million workers while 1.5 million workers engage in sugarcan...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Parasite, the South Korean movie released in 2019 has gained attention worldwide especially after its historical win at the Oscars 2020. The film takes on two different worlds co-existing in a country but set apart by class and wealth. The introduction of the Kim family living in a semi-basement in ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the Kuttanad region in Alleppey district, Kerala faces severe drinking water scarcity due to infrastructure failure and civic body inaction. This picture-perfect expanse that lies at the heart of the backwaters experiences “frequent floods, waterlogging, conta...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Northeast has 60 polluted river stretches: CPCB According to the latest State of India’s Environment report, there are 60 polluted river stretches based on biochemical oxygen demand in different northeastern states. The polluted river stretches in the northeastern states are Bharalu, Basistha,...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • World Bank to provide USD 450 million loan for Atal Bhujal Yojana The Centre and the World Bank have signed a USD 450 million loan agreement to support the Atal Bhujal Yojana that aims to arrest the country's depleting groundwater levels and strengthen groundwater institutions. The programme will b...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • It’s a dull reality that the state of water in the urban slum of Lalbagh near Azadpur in north Delhi was awful till a few years back. Hoards of people would queue up to get water from the public taps or the tankers along the road. Life was tough here and people got access to piped water supply onl...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • I am in the middle of nowhere, out on a field visit to understand how fluoride, a deadly contaminant in groundwater has been afflicting people in some of the worst affected villages in Nalgonda, Telangana. I am thirsty as hell and would do anything to find a seemingly elusive little glass of water, ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The challenges to sustain groundwater dependency in India are many where groundwater over extraction is not only leading to rapid depletion of the resource, but also giving rise to water quality issues in a situation where the response at the level of policy continues to be lukewarm. A workshop t...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Kotda village provides an inspiring example of how a village suffering from teething troubles in the critical areas of water and sanitation can emerge as a model water and sanitation village. Located in Mangrol block of Junagadh district, from a distance this village presents a lush green appearance...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • “Every single number in the budget, be it receipts or expenditure is a lie. The budget numbers can no longer be trusted, as the difference between actual expenditure and budget estimates are off by around 25 percent. The year ends at the end of March, and the estimates are based on data only till ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 4 days agoread more
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget announcement on February 1, 2020 made a push for piped rural drinking water supply and promised full coverage of all households by 2024. Last year, the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 4 days agoread more
  • Among 22 cities in India, Mumbai has lost the maximum number of wetlands: WISA According to a study by non-government organisation Wetlands International South Asia (WISA), India has lost nearly one-third of its natural wetlands to urbanisation, agricultural expansion and pollution over the last fo...
    Swati Bansalposted 5 months 5 days agoread more
  • Government allocates Rs 11,500 crore to Jal Jeevan Mission for 2020-21 In the budget 2020-21, the Finance Ministry has allocated Rs 11,500 crore to the Jal Jeevan Mission for the year for 2020-21. The funds will be utilised to identify and create comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed dis...
    Swati Bansalposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • Common pool resources, popularly known as “commons”, are those resources which are accessible to the whole community or village and to which no individual has exclusive ownership or property rights. Commons have two essential characteristics: non-excludability and high-subtractability. Non-exclu...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • After independence, India was largely food insecure but post Green Revolution around the 1970s, foodgrain production increased manifold consequently reducing food insecurity and poverty in the country, in spite of rapid population growth. Its ability to achieve targeted results was largely dependent...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • Union Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman presented the decade's first union budget in the parliament on 1st February 2020. While presenting budget for 2020-2021, she started with the country’s vision for the decade in which she emphasised on water management and clean rivers as one of th...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • Climate change impacts are disproportionate and influence lives and livelihoods variedly. One crucial determinant of these disproportionate impacts is gender. Existing social norms determine roles and responsibilities, entitlements and capabilities, thereby influencing the individual perceptions of ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 1 week agoread more

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Policy matters this week

Jharkhand government launches three schemes to revive rural economy under the MGNREGA

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It’s time that public policy focuses on a radical re-envisioning of urban spaces and on improving social inclusion of migrants in urban settings.

When migrants headed home after Covid-19 lockdown 1.0, Sarojini was suddenly caught off-guard. She decided against moving, after an initial urge to leave for her village in Samastipur, Bihar. Her two sons stay with her at Delhi, doing daily wage labour work, while she works as a domestic help. After eating frugally for the first few days, and unable to access dry rations provided by the state, they came across cooked meals at a feeding centre, but the queue was endless.

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There is a need to have basic institutional structures such as market, credit, insurance, research, extension service etc., in place in rainfed regions.

The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit India after coursing through western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24. This, however, exposed the fault lines in our system: thousands of migrant workers got stuck at various places, especially in metro cities, as they could not get enough time to plan their return. Providing them basic support like ration and shelter became a herculean task for the establishment. 

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Collective management, participation and equity are the foundations on which community economies are sustained.

The exodus of migrant workers from urban areas back to their villages in the wake of country wide lockdown has brought rural poverty into sharp focus. Reconstruction of rural economy therefore needs policy and planning attention. Community economy is a branch of rural economy and among other ways of reconstructing the rural economy, promotion and strengthening of community economies of the poor is important.

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Institutions are a key arsenal in rural India's pandemic fight.

Covid-19 will have major implications in rural areas where the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), a non-profit organisation has been working towards conservation of natural resources through collective action of local communities. Experience indicates that the complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease has resulted in loss of rural incomes. The risk of spread of the virus too has increased with migrants returning to villages.

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India can use its flagship public employment program (MGNREGS) to transform lives of its underprivileged population in the Covid-19 context, and live up to its promise of a welfare state.

As India continues to unravel the actual scale of economic impacts in a world infested by the dangerous Covid-19 virus, lingering images of daily wage labourers and migrant workers attempting a near impossible walk home have been etched in public consciousness. Lives and livelihoods of these labourers have been shattered and their long walks home have been met with hostility, forced quarantines, insensitive and often unscientific procedures in the name of sterilization, suspicion from their own people, and political games on their travel fares to return home.

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Policy matters this week

Under JJM, Centre to ensure safe drinking water and scale up activities during monsoon

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Utthan promotes self-sufficient food production areas with internal dependencies, as the pandemic causes disruptions from food to fork.

Reshamben, Manguben and Naseemben, strong women leaders of Vanita Shakti Mahila Sangathan and Ekta Mahila Sangathan, have always argued that government ration shops under the public distribution system should purchase all essential foodgrains from the local area, to the extent possible.

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A rapid study highlights the plight of homebound migrant workers of Mirzapur and Prayagraj districts of Uttar Pradesh after Lockdown 1.0

Raj Kumar, 32, a daily wager employed at a factory in Delhi had barely a thousand rupees in his wallet when he readied to rush back to his village in Halia block of Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. On a normal April afternoon, he took the highway that leads to his district hearing about the 21-day lockdown. It took him over a week, as he walked down all the way to his village fearing starvation amid the Covid-19 crisis. Kumar trudged hundreds of kilometres along deserted highways by foot along with a few of his acquaintances.

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Oxfam India along with its partners is striving to broaden its humanitarian relief response to fight coronavirus.

In the last one week of starting its humanitarian relief response to fight coronavirus, Oxfam India along with its partners have provided dry ration to around 40,000 poor people, cooked meals served to nearly 40,000 migrant labourers, distributed 2660 safety kits to frontline workers and reached 4.5 million people through awareness initiatives in India.

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