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Jharkhand's Starvation Deaths Raise Questions About India's Welfare Schemes -Abinash Dash Choudhury

even-year-old Santoshi Kumari’s death in Simdega, last year. Budhni’s prolonged starvation was not improbable. She did not have a ration card as well as a Aadhaar. The danger of food insecurity was lurking around her. Budhni belonged to the Birijiya tribe, recognised as a ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group’ (PVTG) by the state. She was entitled to 35 kg of free rice every month under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) meant

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MSP was not 1.5 times the cost of production for most kharif crops during the last 6 agricultural years

to pay to farmers. Thus, the procurement prices could be higher than the MSP and would reflect market conditions. The MSP needs to be protected in all the regions across the country. ii) The food security basket should be widened to include the crops of dryland farming areas such as 'bajra', 'jowar', 'ragi', minor millets and pulses. The PDS should include these nutritious cereals and pulses, which is purchased at a reasonable MSP. This will be a

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Farm crisis: Short-term palliatives are futile -G Chandrashekhar

ned largely untouched. As a result, farm sector growth is stymied and competitiveness of Indian agriculture stands substantially eroded. Farmers remain mired in an artificial world of make-believe security through largely cosmetic policies including announcement of higher minimum support price (unrelated to market conditions and not adequately backed by efficient procurement mechanism), farm loan waiver, and a plethora of programmes and schemes who

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As India rethinks labour rules, one item not on the agenda: Childcare facilities for women workers -Mirai Chatterjee

in these areas. However, despite voluminous evidence showing the effectiveness of daycare facilities in improving the health of children and women, the recent government-proposed Labour and Social security Codes barely feature childcare or maternity benefits for informal workers. Their inclusion had just not occurred to our policymakers, most of whom are men. It was up to some of us, mostly women working with informal workers, to bring these to the

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Rice procurement reaches 238.8 lakh tonnes

tal rice procurement stood at 381.8 lakh tonnes. Procurement is undertaken by state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State agencies for the central pool to meet the requirements of the food security law. Rice is purchased at the minimum support price (MSP). Data from States According to FCI data, rice procurement has reached 113.3 lakh tonnes in Punjab, 39.09 lakh tonnes in Haryana and 22.42 lakh tonnes in Chhattisgarh so far. In Te

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The safety net of the future -Pranab Bardhan

-The Indian Express Insecurity, more than poverty or indebtedness, is the key economic issue that politicians must address If social inequality is the most acutely felt social problem in India, insecurity, more than poverty, is the most acutely felt economic problem. While most measures suggest that only around one-fifth of the population today is under the official poverty line, large sections of

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How reviving traditional farming helped Kerala tribal communities become healthy -Sandeep Vellaram

ers are involved in the farming of the rare variety of foods in 30 cents of leased land under the project. "Long back, all families in the settlements were engaged in farming and it assured food security for all. Now we have resumed our traditional food culture and it will assure our sustainability," says Chandran Kani. Sumithiri, 65-year-old native at Thayannankudy settlement, says she is happy to return to their traditional food habit.

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Invisible people: Aadhaar versus particularly vulnerable tribal groups -Jean Dreze

-The Telegraph Many families depend on two entitlements for survival: social security pensions and rations from the public distribution system Particularly vulnerable tribal groups, earlier known as primitive tribal groups, are the sort of people you may never meet unless you take the trouble to look for them. In Jharkhand, they live in small hamlets scattered over the nooks and crannies of the state’s undulating forests. Without a purpo

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Indefinite strike by Bihar's ASHA workers is another reminder that they are overworked, underpaid -Kavita Krishnan

with appropriate relaxation of age criteria for admission, appointments for qualified ASHAs as Auxiliary Nurse Midwives, appointments for ASHA facilitators as Block Community Coordinators and social security benefits including ESI and Provident Fund. They also want recommendations made by the high-level committee on the status of women in 2015 regarding regularising work conditions and monthly remunerations to be implemented. Please click here to

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60 Economists Send Wake-Up Call to Arun Jaitley on Maternal Benefits

nated at just Rs 200 per month since 2006. This is unfair." New Delhi: Sixty economists from across the country have written to finance minister Arun Jaitley, asking him to ensure that social security pensions and maternity benefits get adequate attention in the Union Budget 2019. They argue that they had made a similar “modest” request before the 2018 Budget, but it went unheeded. The full text of their letter is reproduced bel

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