Latest Reports
Alert For India: Even Brief Exposure To Air Pollution Can Be Deadly, Says Harvard Study

Alert For India: Even Brief Exposure To Air Pollution Can Be Deadly, Says Harvard Study

India, where air pollution touched severe levels this winter, has more reasons to worry about the health hazard it poses to the elderly. Even short-term exposure to air pollution was seen to cause premature deaths among the elderly in the US--a country with tighter air quality standards than India--a new Harvard study has found.…

Haryana Gave Up More Forests Than Any State, Now Asks Money For Afforestation

Haryana Gave Up More Forests Than Any State, Now Asks Money For Afforestation

Haryana diverted the most forest--79.44 sq km or about 200 times the size of Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens or 900 times size of Mumbai’s Nariman Point--from its forest area of 1,584 sq km between 2014-15 and 2016-17, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) on December 22, 2017. Up to 3% of Haryana’s land, nearly the size of Delhi, is officially marked as forests.…

Crisis In Adolescent Learning In India’s Rural Schools Is Revealed

Crisis In Adolescent Learning In India’s Rural Schools Is Revealed

India is failing to train adolescents (14 to 18) in rural schools, with most not able to retain skills learnt in earlier classes, reveals the 2017 edition of the Annual Survey of Education Report, brought out by education advocacy Pratham. One in every 10 and every four rural Indians aged 14-18 years could not read a standard I and standard II (meant for children aged 5-7 years) text in their own language.…

60% Of Children Adopted In India Are Girls

60% Of Children Adopted In India Are Girls

More girls have been adopted in India than boys over the last four years, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) on Dec 22, 2017. As many as 60% of 12,273 children adopted over four years to 2017-18 were girls, the data show. Adoptions nationwide declined 20% from 3,988 in 2014-15 to 3,120 in 2016-17, probably because of tightened adoption procedures.…

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India's Great Challenge: Health & Sanitation

Mother’s Education, Household Wealth Decide Survival Of Infants In India

Mother’s Education, Household Wealth Decide Survival Of Infants In India

Mortality rates of children in poorer households were higher, as were the rates where mothers had fewer years of schooling, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of the latest national health data. India’s infant mortality rate (IMR) has declined--from 79 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1992-93 to 41 in 2015-16--data from the National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 (NFHS-4), reveal.…

India Is Unprepared For Its Gathering Teen Sexual Revolution

India Is Unprepared For Its Gathering Teen Sexual Revolution

New Delhi: One in four Indian women (26.8%) is married before 18, and 7.8% of women aged 15 to 19 are pregnant or mothers, according to the latest available 2015-16 NFHS-4 data. While the %age of women married before 18 decreased from 47.4% in 2005-06 (NFHS-3)--and 16% of women aged 15 to 19 who were mothers a decade ago--the use of contraceptives in married women aged 15-49 years dropped from 56.3% to 53.5%.…

With 4th-Highest Shortfall of Specialists, Gujarat Commissions ‘Child Doctors’

With 4th-Highest Shortfall of Specialists, Gujarat Commissions ‘Child Doctors’

With India’s fourth-highest shortfall of specialists nationwide, Gujarat has announced a controversial decision to commission ‘bal doctors’ or child doctors--equipped with apron, badge, torch, ayurvedic kit and booklets--to look after children’s health in schools, particularly in rural areas. The move reflects a larger national issue: The shortfall of doctors, particularly specialists, of which India is 81.5% short, according to the rural health statistics, 2016-17.…

Six Factors That Could Reduce Malnutrition In Madhya Pradesh

Six Factors That Could Reduce Malnutrition In Madhya Pradesh

Women’s empowerment, better sanitation, and improvement in maternal health could improve the nutritional status of children in Madhya Pradesh, the state with 42% of its children under five years stunted or, short for their age--the fifth highest rate in the country--according to an IndiaSpend analysis of 2015-2016 data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). MP has 6.6% of the country’s child population under the age of five years, children who will makeup 158.7 million of India’s demographic dividend.…

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IndiaSpend Interviews

‘If India Can Have National GST, Why Can’t It Have Universal National Healthcare?’

‘If India Can Have National GST, Why Can’t It Have Universal National Healthcare?’

Six in ten deaths in India in 2016 were due to non-communicable diseases, up from four in ten deaths in 1990. India spends 1.4% of gross domestic product on public health, and 52.5 million Indians regress into poverty every year from health causes. Srinath Reddy, president of the PHFI, argues that India uses short-term plugs instead of long-term solutions. He also tells us how the government’s action in cutting PHFI’s access to foreign funds at the behest of the tobacco industry is detrimental to the national interest.…

Indian Summers Could Last 8 Months By 2070, If Global Warming Continues

Indian Summers Could Last 8 Months By 2070, If Global Warming Continues

Prolonged heat-wave conditions--in other words, a summer lasting up to eight months--could be the new norm by the 2070s for the Gangetic plains, if greenhouse-gas emissions are not cut to limit the global temperature increase to 2°C, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The world is getting not only hotter but also more humid.…

‘Railways Went Ahead With A Failed Bio-Toilet Model’

‘Railways Went Ahead With A Failed Bio-Toilet Model’

In 2007, IIT's professor of environmental engineering, Vinod Tare, led a team of experts to study “bio-digesters” installed in railway toilets. The study, which isn’t yet public, showed that the system was ineffective. His findings are the same as the conclusions drawn by an IIT Madras study that we reported in November 2017. In an interview, Tare talks about the fundamental issues with the Indian Railways’ approach to dealing with the excreta problem.…

‘Congress Comeback In 2019 A Distant Goal. Modi Must Go Beyond Promises’

‘Congress Comeback In 2019 A Distant Goal. Modi Must Go Beyond Promises’

The BJP’s performance in Gujarat--where it lost 16 seats, declining from 115 to 99--may not be satisfactory to itself, but it may not be a harbinger to a Congress comeback in the 2019 general elections, Suhas Palshikar--author and co-author of 20 books, chief editor of a political journal and director of Lokniti, an advocacy--told us. The Congress needs an “organisational rejuvenation” and clear objectives, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have to go beyond promises.…