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Close to a quarter of households in 13 states have faced corruption in 2018, shows a recent studyClose to a quarter of households in 13 states have faced corruption in 2018, shows a recent study
May 24, 2018

The present NDA government led by the BJP at the Centre came to power in 2014 on the planks of development and anti-corruption. However, contrary to PM Narendra Modi's slogan of 'Na Khaunga, Na Khaane Doonga' (meaning ‘would not take bribes, nor would let anyone accept bribe’), a new report by the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS) shows that almost three-fourth of Indian households think that the level of corruption in public services has either increased or remained the same during the last 12 months. But the CMS report has some good news in store, as well. Based on a survey conducted in both rural and urban areas across 13 states, the recently released India Corruption Study 2018 has found that the proportion of households experiencing corruption while availing any of the nine public services has almost halved - from 52 percent in 2005 to 27 percent in 2018....

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Karnataka excels in social audit coverage of both districts & GPs under MGNREGA in 2017-18Karnataka excels in social audit coverage of both districts & GPs under MGNREGA in 2017-18
May 14, 2018

  One of the salient features of the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005) is that there are provisions in it to ensure transparency and accountability. Section 17(2) of the MGNREGA says that the gram sabha shall conduct regular social audits of all the projects under the scheme taken up within the gram panchayat (GP). In addition to that, Section 17(3) of the MGNREGA states that the GP shall make available all relevant documents including the muster rolls, bills, vouchers, measurement books, copies of sanction orders and other connected books of account and papers to the gram sabha for the purpose of conducting the social audit. The MIS (Management Information System) data provided by the official MGNREGA website www.nrega.nic.in reveals that almost three-fourth of the total 687 districts (viz. almost 74 percent) started social audit for MGNREGA in 2017-18. On the contrary, a little less than one-fifth of 2.62 lakh...

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Online trolling takes its toll on the country's press freedom rankingOnline trolling takes its toll on the country's press freedom ranking
July 16, 2018

There is some bad new for the world’s largest democracy. Thanks to the vitiated atmosphere induced by troll attacks on scribes on the social media, among other things, the country's World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) ranking has fallen two places to 138th position.   Among 180 countries, India ranked 136th last year with a score of 42.94. However, in 2018 it attained 138th position with a score of 43.24 according to the WPFI, which has been developed by the international media organisation Reporters without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières - RSF). The South Asian countries, which have ranked better than India in 2018 on WPFI are Bhutan (94), Nepal (106), Sri Lanka (131) and Myanmar (137). The neighbouring countries, which fared worse than us on WPFI ranking this year are Pakistan (139), Bangladesh (146) and China (176). Please check table-1 for further details. Table 1: World Press Freedom Index rankings & scores of...

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Between 2015 & 2016, suicide by farmers fell but suicide by agricultural labourers grewBetween 2015 & 2016, suicide by farmers fell but suicide by agricultural labourers grew
April 17, 2018

The total number of farm suicides in the country has reduced from 12,602 to 11,370 between 2015 and 2016 viz. a fall by 9.8 percent. This has been revealed recently in a reply by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Parshottam Rupala in the Lok Sabha. So, one may wonder why there is such a hue and cry about rural distress and agrarian crisis in the recent times. Clearly, the minister's reply on 20th March to an unstarred question (no. 4111) shows that although the number of suicides by farmers fell from 8,007 to 6,351 between 2015 and 2016, the number of suicides committed by agricultural labourers increased by 9.2 percent from 4,595 to 5,019 during that span. Please check table-1 for further details. Table 1: Number of suicides by farmers and agricultural labourers (2013 to 2016)     Source: Reply to Unstarred Question No. 4111 dated 20th March,...

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Formal employment rises but less no. of regular jobs created in 2nd quarter of '17-18Formal employment rises but less no. of regular jobs created in 2nd quarter of '17-18
April 5, 2018

The increase in organized sector employment (i.e. in establishments employing 10 or more workers) in the second quarter was much higher as compared to that in the first quarter of 2017-18. The seventh round of the Quarterly Report on Employment Scenario in selected sectors (as on 1st October, 2017), which was released in March this year, confirms this. The Labour Bureau’s latest report says that during the period 1st April to 1st July, 2017-18, organized sector employment grew by 64 thousand in the 8 major sectors of the economy. As opposed to that, during the period 1st July to 1st October, 2017-18, new jobs created in the organized sector was 1.36 lakhs, which is more than twice the organized employment generated in the first quarter. It may be noted that in the last quarter of 2016-17, the net number of workers who got jobs was 1.85 lakhs, which is roughly 49...

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