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IS RIGHT TO FOOD BILL FACING DILUTION?

  Civil Society activists and assorted rural experts are anxious that soon-to-be-launched Right to Food Bill might slip from its ambitious goal of nutrition security for all to a trite tokenism. The main worry is that cumulative effect of all the clauses, sub-clauses and small print must not stop short of making food available everywhere at all times so that no citizen sleeps hungry. The worry is on many counts. The first and forem

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Food for all

ged 15-49 years and 24 per cent of married men in that age group; 58 per cent of pregnant women have anaemia. The national averages mask locational differences: all these indicators are much worse in rural India. Further, these indicators have scarcely changed, or have changed very little, since the previous NFHS in 1998-99. In terms of calorie consumption, the picture is even worse. According to the National Sample Survey Organisation’s (

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Drought management for rural livelihood security

Agriculture is not just a food producing machine but the backbone of the livelihood of 60 per cent of Indians. The extensive drought spotlights a situation of mass rural deprivation and a mindset that is insensitive to it. But there are some encouraging signs. What should be done to meet the challenge?  There are reports in financial newspapers that the ongoing drought affecting nearly 200 districts in the country may not have much effect

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Panel wants PDS to go, cash-for-food to start

Ironically, the plan panel, while recommending that Food Corporation of India sell grain to private shops from where the poor can buy, admitted that it would be difficult to do so in many parts of rural India simply because private shops do not exist in the first place. In order to get over this, the planning body has suggested that the operation be tried at first in cities, beginning with New Delhi. Critics have pointed to the dual pro

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Taking goals of NREGA-I forward

Envisioning NREGA-II is important to realise the unfulfilled dreams of NREGA-I, which has failed thus far to break free of the shackles of a debilitating past.  The National rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) promises a revolutionary demand-driven, people-centred development programme. Planning, implementation and social audit by gram sabhas and gram panchayats can engender millions of sustainable livelihoods following initial rounds

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Multiplier accelerator synergy in NREGA

; Over the last few months, just as the economy entered its current recessionary phase, the mainstream media, which till then had been uniformly unswerving in their antipathy to NREGA (National rural Employment Guarantee Act), suddenly began to sing its praises. In all the gloom and doom, we are told, rural India is shining. All this talk of a shining rural<

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Rajiv Sewa Kendras for NREGS soon

After widening the ambit of the NREGS to include works on the private land of small and marginal farmers, the rural Development Ministry is now considering setting up a ‘mini secretariat’ named after Rajiv Gandhi at each Gram Panchayat. The Central Employment Guarantee Council (CEGC), which is slated to meet early next week, will be considering a proposal for creating Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra for each gram panchayat

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Union Budget

cation on Agriculture and Allied Activities as a proportion of total budgetary expenditure was 2.6 percent in 2018-19 (B.E.), which increased to 5.4 percent in 2019-20 (B.E.) • Expenditure on rural Development was increased from Rs. 1,35,109 crore in 2018-19 (R.E.) to Rs. 1,40,762 crore in 2019-20 (B.E.). Budgetary allocation on rural Development was Rs. 1,38,097 crore in 2018-19 (B.E.) • Bu

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Key Facts

ding period last financial year. Contribution of fuel and light group in CPI inflation in 2017-18 (Apr-Dec) was thrice of that in 2016-17 (Apr-Dec). • While food was the main driver of CPI (rural) inflation in 2016-17 (Apr- Dec), miscellaneous category contributed the most to inflation in rural areas during April-December of the current financial year. The contribution of fuel and light, clo

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rural distress

farmers continues to be particularly low, primarily because the schemes have been targeted at loanee farmers, for whom the schemes stipulate mandatory coverage @$   • Within the rural households, the marginal land owners (i.e. possessing more than 0.002 but less than or equal to 1.0 hectare of land) constituted the highest proportion(75.42%) of total rural households, whereas the large

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