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The Paper Rations

Public Distribution System (PDS). Today, the PDS is said to serve more than 320 million 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

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

Civil society groups and the Left parties are also pushing for a universal PDS, instead of the present “targeting” system that keeps most poor people out due to either systemic failure or Corruption. Malnutrition and under-nourishment should be measured, besides entitlement and access to food security for people, say civil society groups. Interestingly, the various options the Centre is looking at for ensuring food security include t

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tlement part of the scheme the rural development experts are also anxious about the transparency and accountability of these schemes. That is why it is being felt that the Act will open floodgates of Corruption unless backed up by inbuilt mechanisms of participation and social audits. It is also argued that a large number of rural people keep drifting in and out of APL and BPL categories but it is understood that the bill is going to fix a perso

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Drought management for rural livelihood security

nts. This is a timely warning since thousands of crores of rupees will be spent during the coming weeks in drought relief. Unfortunately, disaster relief funds become an easy target for those to whom Corruption is a way of life and hence it would be useful to provide copies of P. Sainath’s book, Everybody Loves a Good Drought (1996, Penguin), to all involved in taking the benefits of the drought relief programmes to rural families. Secondl

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Taking goals of NREGA-I forward

and better social audit. IT has one more new dimension. Ever since it was decided to make payments only through banks and post offices, NREGA-I has run into serious trouble caused by delays and Corruption in payments. Workers, especially in remote rural India, find it very hard to travel long distances to get money. This promotes a nightmarish variety of malpractices. It is now imperative that we roll out the banking correspondent model using ha

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Multiplier accelerator synergy in NREGA

duty to protect the unsung heroes who continue to risk their lives to make NREGA a success. While entering untested waters, there are other fresh challenges. Paradoxically, the attempt to check Corruption by making payments through banks or post offices has backfired in transition. The additional NREGA load is proving impossible to handle and workers also find it hard to reach these sparsely located distant offices. Local elites with greater mob

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Rural distress

cultural department officials do not conduct such sampling on ground and complete the formalities only on paper. CSE also noted other issues such as lack of trained outsourced agencies, huge scope of Corruption during implementation as well as non-utilisation of technologies like smart phones and drones to improve the speed and reliability of such sampling. • Inadequate and delayed claim payment: Insurance companies, in many cases, did not inv

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Right to Food

ash transfers or food stamps.  The system of direct cash transfer through food coupons was also outlined in the Economic Survey of 2009-10.  It stated that the system would be less prone to Corruption since it would cut down government’s involvement in procuring, storing and distributing food grains. However, there are divergent views on direct cash transfer too.  Some experts such as the economist and member of NAC, Prof Jean

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Right to Information

on) each $ • Right to Information enacted in 2005 is meant to ensure transparency and accountability in governance • The RTI (2005) is considered as the most effective tool to counter Corruption and empower citizens • Freedom of expression is protected in Article 19 of the Constitution of India* • In 1982, the Supreme Court of India ruled that access to government information was an essential part of the fundamental rig

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Access to Justice

Bill, 2011', after considering the recommendations of the Select Committee, have been approved $ • The Government has introduced a Bill during 2012-13 seeking amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act with a view to punishing the guilty and protecting honest public servants more effectively $ • 1,486 Undertrials (0.6% of total undertrials) were detained in jails for more than 5 years at the end of the year 2011. Uttar Pradesh ha

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