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India's single women unite against gender inequities

" Rich or poor, widows struggle against a deep social stigma in most communities in India. Even more ostracised are women who live alone, either because they are unmarried or have been deseRTEd by their husbands. Many married women are trapped in dehumanising personal situations in the family, often enduring battering, humiliation and physical and mental cruelty, unable or unwilling to strike out on their own. Widowed, abandoned and d

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Tuition culture by Jayati Ghosh

dependence of pupils upon it seem to have spread even to rural areas. Thus, the Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) 2007, brought out by the Pratham Foundation, found that at least one-quaRTEr of all pupils in elementary schools in rural India rely on private tuition in addition to attending classes at school. The problem is apparently most acute in West Bengal, where the survey found that more than 80 per cent of middle-school pupils in r

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The Phantom Enemy by Ashok Mitra

e nation’s affairs. He was the main architect of free India’s Constitution too, and availed himself of that opportunity to guard Dalit interests jealously. He still had some grouses and paRTEd company with the powers that be before his death. The left-over discontent of Babasaheb was capital stock on which Kanshi Ram, and later Mayavati, built their aggressive platform. But whatever the intensity of the confrontation they planned, at no st

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Cabinet OKs 50% quota for women in civic bodies

in terms of higher priority to women's issues in critical areas of urban governance and service delivery such as water supply, sanitation, education and health, I&B minister Ambika Soni told repoRTErs after the cabinet meeting. As repoRTEd by TOI, the urban development ministry will move a Bill to amend Article 243 of the Constitution in the next session of Parliament. The proposed amendmen

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Rapid Urbanization Pushing Local Government Budgets to the Limit in India

olicy recommendations on short- and long-term action plans and capacity building areas are expected to strengthen India's municipal financing capacities. The 18-month ADB-suppoRTEd study is expected to be completed by February 2011. The Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance will be the executing agency.

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Anger grows as drought, broken promises blight farmers’ hopes by Liz Mathew

ash;the region received only 60-70% of the average rainfall this year too—have demolished any lingering hope. The standing crop of cotton, soya bean and jowar has already wilted. Although it staRTEd raining in June-end, giving farmers a slender thread of hope to cling to, the subsequent prolonged dry spell has left Yavatmal district, the epicentre of farmer suicides, in crisis yet again. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the

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Agriculture and Food Security Initiative Gains Momentum at G20, World Bank-IMF Meetings

tablish a special multilateral trust fund to support the Initiative. Further discussion occurred in October at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Istanbul, Turkey. “Work has already staRTEd with a meeting yesterday to agree with partners on the operating framework for this fund,” World Bank President Robert Zoellick said October 5 at the Development Committee press conference. “With this more comprehensive, multilatera

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UN Expert raises concern over policies marginalizing traditional seed varieties

oping countries “have massively reinvested in agriculture and have sought to provide farmers with the means of production they need to produce food,” Olivier de Schutter, the Special RappoRTEur on the right to food, told repoRTErs in New York. However, there is increasing pressure for farmers to use more uniform, genetically improved commercial seed varieties that have been adjusted to pro

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Lack of transparency and debate in India-EU free trade agreement by Meena Menon

will put a lot of stress on these issues, apart from trade protectionism. A plenary session of the Parliament in Strasbourg this week will address some of these concerns. Trade negotiations staRTEd between the India and the EU in 2006, roughly the same time as with Korea and while the FTA with Korea is almost finalised, the one with India after seven rounds of negotiations is nowhere near closure. The EU is thrusting itself as a single unified

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RepoRTEr who accused local police of corruption is charged with sedition

Laxman Choudhury, a newspaper repoRTEr based Gajapati (in the eastern state of Orissa) who has written about alleged local police links with organised crime, has been detained for more than three weeks on a sedition charge in Bhubaneswar, the state capital, on the grounds that he was sent Maoist leaflets in the mail. “Choudhury’s arbitrary and unjustifiable arrest by the Gajapati police violated the Indian constitution,” Repo

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