Latest Reports
Educating Girls Can Reduce India’s Population Spiral

Educating Girls Can Reduce India’s Population Spiral

If a girl in India studies for 12 years or more--till the age of 18--she is less likely to have teenage pregnancy, less likely to have shorter interval between children and less likely to have more than two children during her lifetime, according to the latest national health data. A woman with 12 years or more of education has her first child at the median age of 24.7, which is 3.7 years more than the median age of first pregnancy (21) for women between 25-49 years, according to the National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 (NFHS-4) report.…

How A TV Serial Watched By 400 Million Changed Gender Beliefs In Rural India

How A TV Serial Watched By 400 Million Changed Gender Beliefs In Rural India

In Pratapgarh, a village that could be anywhere in the Hindi belt, a young man, Ravi, gets to know that his wife, Seema, is pregnant with a girl child, third time in a row. He wants her to get an abortion because he wants a male child. He forces Seema to accompany him to a doctor who agrees to conduct the abortion though the foetus is past the 20-week deadline for a medical termination of pregnancy.…

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.…

As Teen Pregnancies Fall Across India, 3 Northeastern States Report Increase

As Teen Pregnancies Fall Across India, 3 Northeastern States Report Increase

At a time when teenage pregnancy--share of women aged 15-19 years who had begun childbearing--fell in the rest of the country, with some of India’s poorest states registering the highest drops, three states in the northeast registered an increase, according to an analysis of newly released government data. While teenage pregnancy dropped by more than 10 percentage points between the 2005-06 & 2015-16 rounds of the NFHS in JHK, Bihar & U.P., it rose by less than half a percentage point in Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur.…

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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.…