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What happened to poverty during the first term of Modi? -Himanshu

-Livemint.com Consumption declined over the period 2014-18, confirming fears that people ended up worse off Various data from the financial to the corporate sector over the last two months are confirming the worst fears of a sharp decline in demand in the economy. With stagnant investment and exports, there are clear signs of a sustained slowdown. Most of this was well known to anybody following the Indian economy, barring the government, which kept ignoring warning signs of an impending crisis. The first sign of growing distress was the slowdown in casual wages. Data from the Labour Bureau was clearly pointing to deceleration in wage rate growth over the last five years. Second, with the terms of trade moving against agriculture and last year’s decline in farm output prices, cultivators have fared worse than casual wage workers. Casual wage workers and self-employed account for almost 90% of all workers in rural areas, and it...

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Explained: Why kurki ban on farm land is not working in Punjab villages -Anju Agnihotri Chaba

-The Indian Express Kurki is attachment of farmers’ land by banks or arhtiyas/sahukars/traders (commission agents and private money lenders) in the event of non-payment of loan or debt. Two years after Punjab government notified a ban on kurkis or attachment of farmers’ land by banks in the event of their defaulting on loan payments, several such cases are taking place daily across districts in the state’s Malwa region. Here’s why. * What is kurki of a farmer’s land? Kurki is attachment of farmers’ land by banks or arhtiyas/sahukars/traders (commission agents and private money lenders) in the event of non-payment of loan or debt. * When was kurki was banned by the Punjab government? In the run up of 2017 Assembly elections, the Congress party has not only gave the slogan of “karza kurki khatam, fasal di poori rakam (end to indebtedness and kurki, full rate for crops)”, but also after forming the government it declared...

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Population scare: What Modi said, what numbers say -Vishal Narayan

-The Telegraph Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech linked the decision to have small families to patriotism New Delhi: Narendra Modi's mention of "reckless population explosion" in his Independence Day address has led to speculation that the government may now want to bring a law on population regulation. “Population explosion has been occurring at an unrestrained pace. This population explosion is creating innumerable challenges for us and the coming generations,” Modi said on August 15, linking the decision of having small families to "desh bhakti (patriotism)" Available data on population worldwide and in India point to a picture different from the one Modi has attempted to paint. It has the blessings of the RSS and has already become the dog whistle to loose-cannon BJP leaders such as MP Giriraj Singh who had once aimed a dart at Muslims saying “religious obstacles” was one reason why the country had failed to...

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Centre and states spent Rs 6,900 cr for flood relief -Pradeep Thakur

-The Times of India NEW DELHI: The central and state governments have opened their purses for rescue and relief operations as floods continue to cause immense damage and loss of lives in several states. Till Friday, the Centre and states together released over Rs 6,900 crore in eight states to safeguard human lives even as estimation of economic loss is yet to begin. Poll-bound Maharashtra has seen the highest release of Rs 3,150 crore for rescue and relief operations where Rs 676 crore has been released through its State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) while the Centre has contributed Rs 2,474 crore through its National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). The death toll of 245 in Maharashtra has been the highest among states affected by floods. Please click here to read more. ...

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Rain fury this year deadlier than earlier, toll already over 1,000 -Pradeep Thakur

-The Times of India NEW DELHI: Flood fury across much of India has already claimed 1,058 lives this monsoon, close to last year’s overall toll of 1,211. Over 150 people have died in Kerala, the second-highest after Maharashtra (245 deaths), as it faces extraordinary damage with authorities being forced to release water from dams because of torrential rain. The flood death counts are increasing year on year: from 936 in 2016 to 1,200 in 2017. Rain fury this time has been severe across more parts of the country than usual. Maharashtra recorded 245 flood-related deaths, followed by Kerala (155), West Bengal (154), Bihar (130), Gujarat (107) and 94 each in Assam and Karnataka, according to an assessment of the home ministry. Please click here to read more. ...

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