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Tribes Of Neverland

draft was met with much opposition from civil society for adopting an assimilationist approach. It was criticised for trying to include tribal people with mainstream population, thus violating their Rights and diluting their distinctiveness. It was also frowned upon for being a stand-alone document, not factoring in other applicable laws like the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act or the Land Acquisition Act and instead loosely speaking about

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Sad demise of YSR a blow to rural development

The tragic demise of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is a blow to the Rights approach to development in India. YSR, as the medical doctor-turned-CM was popularly known, was a pioneer of at least one hundred path breaking rural schemes such as the NREGS and old age pensions that were offered to the poor not as dole but as a matter of Right. For records, the first pilot of the new

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DEBATE: Is NREGS II a product of a complacent UPA II?

S labour and with the cost borne by other Central schemes like Backward Regions Grant Fund. 3. The proposal includes a suggestion for appointment of permanent Lok Sewaks for “safeguarding the Rights of the workers as well as to compel the Gram Panchayats to abide by the legally normative processes” along with a proposal to push states for appointment of permanent staff specifically for NREGS 4. The move follows the recommendations of a

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target to be reached by 2015. The number of children of primary school age who are out of school has dropped by 33 million since 1999. Still, 72 million children worldwide were denied the Right to education in 2007. Almost half of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Southern Asia, home to 18 million out-of school children. According to partial projections by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, produced by the

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Dalits, the poor and the NREGA

l Rural Employment Guarantee Act must be kept in mind. The NREGA evolved out of a political response to a people’s movement and the articulated needs of rural workers. It put the people’s Right to seek work in a legal framework, and approached development through the economic and social empowerment of the poor and the marginalised. The focus was clear: work must be provided on demand. The assets created should benefit the poorest and most

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Legislating against hunger

The time has come for a comprehensive Right-to-food law to tackle the deprivation and food insecurity that haunts India.  Over the last decade or so, a series of developments have drawn attention to the problem of food security. These are the persistence of hunger in many parts of the country being juxtaposed with food surpluses and stocks; the adverse impact of globalisation on agriculture and rising food prices resulting in widespread

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The Paper Rations

llion people across India, a number larger than the entire population of the United States. But with widespread corruption in the PDS, including adulteration of its subsidised items or their outRight pilfering on a mammoth scale, the government is toying with a radical plan to bring the curtain down on the iconic ‘ration shop’, the delivery station for subsidised essentials that is littered across India. The Centre’s ministry o

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Blackboard Jungle

THE PASSING OF THE Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008, on July 20 this year, a full seven years after the 86th Amendment to the Constitution stipulated that “the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine”, should have been an occasion to celebrate. But both public participation in the drafting process

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  Civil Society activists and assorted rural experts are anxious that soon-to-be-launched Right to Food Bill might slip from its ambitious goal of nutrition security for all to a trite tokenism. The main worry is that cumulative effect of all the clauses, sub-clauses and small print must not stop short of making food available everywhere at all times so that no citizen sleeps hungry. The worry is on many counts. The first and forem

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But our policies are taking us exactly in the opposite direction. For instance, offering cheap wheat and rice -- and not the drought-resistant millets -- to the BPL families under soon-to-be-launched Right to Food Act is pushing farmers to sow paddy at their own peril. There is no move to include the high-nutrition millets in mid day meal scheme either. The government is not even contemplating a ban on summer crop of paddy despite it resulting in a dr

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