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Latest CPCB data shows that the no. of critically polluted river stretches is on the riseLatest CPCB data shows that the no. of critically polluted river stretches is on the rise
October 15, 2018

  How much clean are our rivers? Latest data indicates a negative trend.  A report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which was released in September this year, reveals that in total there were 45 river stretches across the country in 2016-17, where water quality is found to be the worst. In 2014-15, however, the total number of such river stretches was just 34. Technically speaking, the value of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of the water flowing in these river stretches exceed 30 milligram (mg) per litre (l). For example, the maximum value of BOD of water found in the Yamuna river stretch between Wazirabad and Asgarpur ranges from 9 mg/l to 80 mg/l, according to the new CPCB report. The latest report indicates that there were 16 river stretches across the country in 2016-17, where BOD value is reported to be lying between 20 mg/l and 30 mg/l. It has been...

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Hunger deaths have skyrocketed after aadhaar-based authentication came into force, allege Right to Food activistsHunger deaths have skyrocketed after aadhaar-based authentication came into force, allege Right to Food activists
October 1, 2018

There is a list available with the Right to Food Campaign (http://www.righttofoodcampaign.in) – a decentralised network of civil society activists and experts who are working together voluntarily for ensuring food and nutrition security – which shows that 56 persons died between May, 2015 and March, 2018 on account of hunger and starvation despite India having passed the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in 2013. The RTF campaign has compiled the list of hunger deaths on the basis of various media reports. Please click here to access the list of starvation deaths as reported in newspapers and/or verified through independent fact-finding teams during 2015-2018. From the list, which is received from RTF Campaign, it could be inferred that 25 females and 30 males died due to starvation during the period from May, 2015 to March, 2018. The gender background of one person, however, is unclear. The special update by RTF Campaign indicates...

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Note ban failed to curb the menace of counterfeit currency, indicates RBI's Annual ReportNote ban failed to curb the menace of counterfeit currency, indicates RBI's Annual Report
September 9, 2018

Although containing fake notes in circulation was one of the objectives behind demonetisation when it was undertaken in 2016, recent data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reveals that fake counterparts of some denominations grew during 2017-18 vis-à-vis the previous year. The recently released Annual Report for 2017-18 of the RBI shows that the total number of pieces of counterfeit notes of Rs. 2000/- denomination, which was detected in the banking system, has jumped up from merely 638 to 17,929 between the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18 viz. by a massive 2710.19 percent. The Rs. 2000/- denomination currency note was introduced only after 8 November, 2016 so as to fill the vacuum created by the demonetisation of the currency note of denominations Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/-.   In terms of volume, however, the total number of pieces of Rs. 2000/- denomination notes in circulation was 3,285 million in March 2017,...

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Monthly income per farm household grew between NSSO & NABARD surveys, but so has the level of outstanding loansMonthly income per farm household grew between NSSO & NABARD surveys, but so has the level of outstanding loans
November 30, 2018

A recent report by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) enlightens one about the state of farmers' income and indebtedness in 2015-16. Entitled NABARD All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17 – in short NAFIS 2016-17 – the report says that between 2012-13 and 2015-16 the average monthly income for agricultural households grew by around 39 percent. One may recall that the Key Indicators of Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in India report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) had found that the average monthly income per farm household at the national level during the crop year July 2012-June 2013 was Rs. 6,426/-. The NAFIS 2016-17 report says that the average monthly income per agricultural household at the national level reached Rs. 8,931/- in the crop year 2015-16. It may be noted that the Consumer Price Index (Rural) (base year 2012 = 100) during July...

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Roughly one-third of offenders who committed online harassment were unknown to their victims, shows recent LIRNEAsia reportRoughly one-third of offenders who committed online harassment were unknown to their victims, shows recent LIRNEAsia report
August 14, 2018

Good news about digital inclusion often leaves little room for reporting on bad experiences, which netizens encounter in the digital world. A recent report by LIRNEAsia – an ICT [information and communication technology] policy and regulation think tank working in the Asia-Pacific – says that almost one among five Indian netizens in the age-group 15-65 years had faced online harassment in 2017. In contrast, roughly twelve out of hundred internet users had witnessed online harassment in Pakistan and Bangladesh each. Entitled AfterAccess: ICT Access and Use in India and the Global South, the study reveals that 28 percent of Indian netizens (sample size: 919) who experienced online harassment (178 out of 919) had reduced their use of the particular website. However, 48 percent of the netizens who faced online harassment said that it had no effect. Out of those who faced online harassment, roughly 15 percent had deleted the app or...

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