India is the largest user of groundwater globally and as high as 85 percent of water is used for irrigation. Groundwater extraction started with the green revolution that increased food security and reduced poverty. However, it gradually led to drastic depletion in groundwater levels.
To revive India’s growth story and to cash in on our rapidly closing demographic dividend window, Prof Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist suggests four essential proposals that must be included in the Budget 2021. This includes an increased expenditure in infrastructure, health sector and an urban employment guarantee programme.
Three farm-related Bills were recently passed in the Parliament by the BJP led government at the Center, which have subsequently received presidential assent.
In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.
India has seen large scale rural-urban migration of people trying to escape rural distress in the last few decades.
A civic body frees a river instead of concretising it, for the first time
A large section of the population living in the Ganga river basin still depends on the river for daily use activities and livelihood. Hence, the cleaning of the Ganga river’s water and making it safe for use remains a major goal for policymakers.
Panchayats have been the core of India's rural governance even before they received the constitutional mandate through the 73rd constitutional amendment in 1992, forming the basis of decentralization in the country. There are 2.5 lakh gram panchayats; over 6 lakhs villages; around 4500 urban local bodies and 4000 census towns in the country.
Lockdown in April to May 2020 due to COVID-19 led to the mass migration of workers from the cities to villages. Despite strict measures by the government to stop any movement, people facing lost jobs and high cost of living in the cities began to walk back or use whatever transportation was available to travel to their home villages.