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Food dilemma: High prices or shortages

st and former chairman of India's Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, said there would be very little water available for farming in the state. "This could severely compromise the food security of India. Government should realise the gravity of the situation and allocate funds for research to conserve groundwater," he said. To prevent food shortages, economists and scientists are calling for a range of policy initiatives, suc

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Food shortages incapacitate and kill millions of children each year – UN report

ropped from about 44 per cent in 1990 to an estimated 30 per cent in 2008, while in Africa it fell from around 38 per cent to 34 per cent over the same period. “Global commitments on food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture are part of a wider agenda that will help address the critical issues raised in this report,” said Ms. Veneman. “Unless attention is paid to addressing the causes of child and maternal undernutri

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UN agency calls for global day-long fast as symbol of war on hunger

ization (FAO) today called for a day-long, global hunger strike in solidarity with the planet’s one billion people who do not have enough to eat, ahead of next week’s World Summit on Food security. “I shall personally begin a 24-hour fast on Saturday morning,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told a press conference in Rome. “We are suggesting that everyone in the world who wants to show solidarity with the one hung

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Not free to starve

In one possible indication of this, 286 of the 361 people killed in Manipur’s conflict this year were officially reckoned to be militants—a remarkably high number. Only 13 belonged to the security forces. Overall, this death toll makes little Manipur, home to 2.5m people and around 30 ethnically based insurgent groups, India’s most war-ravaged state, deadlier even than better-known Kashmir. The AFSPA is in force there, too, and

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Human rights in Asean by Shankari Sundararaman

ean similar to the European Union with a more legal framework for managing inter-state relations founded on a rational rule-based formula. This looked towards building three pillars — the Asean security community, the Asean economic community and the Asean socio-cultural community. Integral to this was the Asean Charter in which the rules of engagement would be clearly articulated. One of the pivots of this approach was to focus on issues of dem

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The Honest Leftist by Ramachandra Guha

spewing IT jargon and the verbiage of the World Bank’s development policy prejudices — is too acute for the normal functioning of their other senses”. Those concerned with the security of the State often criticize human rights workers for living in an ivory tower, for not knowing the law, and for making excuses for the Naxalites. When (or if) made against Balagopal, none of these charges held any water. He knew rural India inti

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Bittersweet tidings by Ashok Gulati and Tejinder Narang

the entire quantity of gur is being used to make alcohol. Also, India fell short of wheat and imported about 6 million tonnes of wheat during 2006-08, which made policy-makers nervous about food security. As a result, they started raising the SMP of wheat and paddy substantially to attract more sowing. No wonder then that by 2008-09, farmers in UP switched back from sugarcane to grains. Result: a shortage of sugar and abundance of grains. To

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The red heart of India

f the Bailadila hills, past a series of “liberated villages”. In 2006 Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, called this insurgency the country’s “biggest internal security threat”. At the time, his words seemed shocking. But the Maoists, known as Naxalites, after the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal where the movement started four decades ago, have since expanded their reach. They are now active in 22 of I

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Money For Nothing by Tushaar Shah

There is a growing chorus of views - representing some very influential writers in India and elsewhere - in favour of direct cash transfer into poor people's bank accounts as a more efficient social security net than the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). Economist Arvind Panagariya has called direct cash transfer ''the least costly policy to give immediate relief to the poor". Having returned from a series of field visits to un

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Civil Society Questions Anti-Naxal Operations

tions has reported widespread occurrences of murders, tortures and cases of police atrocities in Chhattisgarh in the name of combating Naxalism. It is also being alleged that in the name of their own security, journalists are being stopped from going to so called “combat zones” where security forces have launched an Operation Greenhunt to flush out armed Maoists.  Fifteen members of t

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