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Distress migration at its peak in Chhattarpur

re making an exodus, induced by distress, in a bid to eke out a living in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. The reasons: crop failure, massive debt, chronic unemployment and a practical failure of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). According to local estimates, Chhattarpur alone has seen over 1,50,000 farmers migrate over the last one month. Even though it has been declared drought-hit, farmers complain almost uniformlythat no r

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

Notable among the civil society activists opposing the amendments are Aruna Roy of the MKSS, poverty economist Jean Dreze, Dunu Roy of the Sanjha Manch, Arundhati Dhuru of the NAPM, Annie Raja of the National Federation of Indian Women.   So far the NREGS work was allowed on the private land of the dalit and tribal farmers but the govt. has now widened its ambit to include all others who own up to five acres of cultivable land (see details

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SDGs

MDGs), which in September 2000 rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle the indignity of poverty.   According to the website (please click here to access) of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), the 17 [inside]Sustainable Development Goals[/inside] are as follows: Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and pro

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A better rural programme

e is not monitoring, but the administrative structure itself, at the district and village levels The Planning Commission has recently put out the results of an evaluation conducted by it on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), after a survey of 20 districts. This is the most comprehensive official evaluation so far, and it makes interesting reading, not just in terms of the performance of the scheme, but also for some larger c

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Dalits, the poor and the NREGA

; As the Union Ministry of Rural Development attempts to craft the architecture of what is being referred to as “NREGA 2,” the principles that constitute the basic foundation of the National 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 app

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Legislating against hunger

ergency in India and the need to address the structural roots of hunger. India’s track record, as far as the commitment to tackling hunger and malnutrition is concerned, is among the worst. The National Family Health Survey (2006) showed that the child under-nutrition rate in India is 46 per cent. This figure is almost double that of sub-Saharan Africa, which is economically poorer than India. In the Global Hunger Index (2008), India ranks 66th

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Jhabua on its way to becoming Vidarbha-II?

BT-2. However, by this time, the region, like the rest of the State, was reeling under water and power crises. When the BT revolution practically failed and some farmers decided to question the multi-National corporations that sold it, they were offered bribes and issued threats. “Officials from a major multi-National seed firm [Monsanto] came to my house and offered me a bike, and then Rs.70,00

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The Paper Rations

of the muddy river to thrust the vessel forward. Three others are using containers to scoop up and throw out river water seeping through the cracks and filling the boat to our ankles. We could be on National Geographic but we are not. We are on a river named Sharada in Lakhimpur Kheri, a district 120 km north of Lucknow near India’s border with Nepal. Three hours on the swollen river and we will be in Rampur, a small village that floods and bec

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Blackboard Jungle

r for HRD, Mr Kapil Sibal. As a director in the HRD ministry at the time, I was one of those who helped work on the draft, which was prepared by a sub-committee consisting of a former director of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), two members from the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, an occasional representative from NCERT, two NGO/activist mem

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States oppose Centre’s proposal, insist on food for all

Maharashtra The Centre has asked the States to put a cap on the number of Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiaries under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) for purposes of theproposed National Food Security Bill. It also wants the BPL population identified afresh now, and every five years thereafter, as part of the TPDS reform. At present, the Centre allocates foodgrains based on the 1993-94 poverty estimates, to 6.52 crore BPL f

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