Two settlements, one staring at property boom and another engrossed in it, represent rural India's changing landscape where commons are turning uncommon
NOKHA TOWN in Bikaner district of Rajasthan has an air of urgency. Large number of jeeps vying for road space with big trucks and lorries while trains, both long distance and local, hurtle past the barrier at regular interval. From the largest agriculture-based market established by erstwhile king of Bikaner, Maharaja Gangasingh, Nokha has transformed itself to a place known for a fledgling cement industry and small scale units manufacturing blankets and electrical items among other products.
BORN TO the families of teachers, Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl always wanted to 'change the world'. Moving from English literature to mainstream journalism to independent film making, the husband-wife duo has developed a valued understanding of India's development model and how it fails us. Their film, 'Cotton For My Shroud', which focussed on suicides by cotton farmers in Vidarbha, got recognition at the 59th National Film Awards. Here they talk about their motivations, urban-rural divide, GM food and why we need to question the constructs foisted on us.
As UID turns mandatory for availing public services, courts remain the only redressal authority. But for how long?
March 2, 2013, proved to be a day of symbolic victory for the critics of Unique Identification Number (UID) as the Chandigarh Administration decided to revoke its order making the number compulsory for vehicle registration and issuance of driving licence. Involving collection of biometric information of the residents, UID (also known as Aadhaar) is being hailed as a platform to transfer government subsidies directly to the poor and hence stop leakages in the system. Though the Union government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had earlier announced that the enrolment is voluntary
IN A free wheeling talk with GOI Monitor, food and trade policy expert Devinder Sharma favours income support for farmers, attacks FDI and indicates that there is a smear campaign going on against the civil society
Tell us about the farmers' commission which the Karnataka government has decided to set up based on your recommendations.
To understand that, let's first talk about all the efforts that have gone into pulling farmers out of poverty. During green revolution, a common parlance gained ground that more you sow, more you produce and hence more your earn. The message found acceptance among farmers who invested a lot of money buying pesticides, fetilizers, seeds and the machinery. However, even after over 40 years of green revolution, the farmers are practically on the poverty line. The NSSO survey of 2003-04 tells us that the average income of a farming family of five members is Rs 2,115. There were only three states above this limit
Indian Railways scores high on pollution index but that does not seem to bother the administration much
SPREAD OVER 65,000 km and ferrying 2.8 million tons of goods plus 24 million passengers daily, Indian Railways can be called the most populous Indian city on wheels. And just like any other city, railways also eats up resources and generates waste on the way. In fact, railways is the biggest consumer of energy in India guzzling down 2567.37 million litres of diesel and 16105.00 million units of electricity.
Disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has been the biggest mystery of modern India running for almost seven decades and involving multiple international link ups, national political interests and mysticism. GOI Monitor talks to journalist-turned researcher Anuj Dharwho recently came up with his second book on Bose which tries to clear several doubts
Q. First of all, congratulations for having written such a well-researched book on the mystery. How do you gauge the sentiments on this issue in today's India when most of the people closely linked to Bose and championing the cause of a fair probe have passed away?
Thank you for the kind words. Justice, transparency and accountability are not tied to any particular period. While the generations before us definitely had a direct connect to Bose, ours is well placed to understand this complex issue. Much more information is available now than ever. I sense scattered but sufficient interest among public over the issue of Bose’s fate. All it needs is a little channelisation.
The affordable dwellings plan for urban poor under JNNURM has gone awry
HOUSING REMAINS a major issue for Indian cities. While traditional city centre populations are moving to more affordable peripheral areas, the urban poor are forced to live in unhygienic slums lacking civic amenities. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was launched in 2005 with the motive to improve infrastructure and governance in Indian cities which included provision of affordable housing to urban poor as one of its main objective. However, as is the wont of most government schemes, JNNURM is not reaching those in need, also been caught
Fishers are reworking their schedules and taking to community sharing to deal with adverse impact of climate change
IN KAKINADA, Andhra Pradesh, the mechanised boats increasingly operate in groups. In order to save fuel and time, one of the boats is delegated to scout the prospective fishing grounds so the rest could follow only when there is potential for catching prawns. Occasionally, they fan out in different directions and keep in contact with one another to share the news if good catches are sighted. At Venkatanagaram village of the state, a process of ‘twinning’ is undertaken in which two boats agree to work as a unit not to fish together, but to use
IRONY RUNS its play every year in India as food grains rot in godowns while 23 crore people go hungry every day. GOI Monitor talks to food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma on the issues stalking agriculture and public distribution
Savage Garden may sing paeans for life of animals, the truth is they have a tough time putting up with us humans. India is soon going to have a law with better provisions to ensure ethical treatment of animals