Not Everyone Wants Guaranteed Wages

   Highlights * MGNREGA has cost the taxpayer Rs 227,700 cr from its inception in 2005-06 & about 48 million households have been provided employment * Only 30% of the work projects were completed & only 22% of funds were utilised in the 182 audited districts spanning 14 states * According to a CAG report, … Continued

Can A Drought Kill Your Political Chances?

    Highlights: * Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka, both drought affected states voted against the respective ruling parties in elections following droughts * Drought does not seem to be affecting the ruling parties in states like Orissa and Maharashtra *  States like Gujarat and Rajasthan show partial correlation as they have voted against the ruling … Continued

Why India’s Social Capital Experiment Is Flailing

On the face of it, India does not have a runaway unemployment problem. But the figures can be misleading, particularly since organised labour constitutes barely 7% of total labour. Nevertheless, if you were to go with figures put out by the Government, unemployment is currently (and only) at 6.6%.   In recent years, the Government … Continued

Foodgrain Wastage Is Shrinking But Not Fast Enough

Food and foodgrain worth nearly Rs 50,000 crore is lost every year, India’s Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Tariq Anwar said recently. More specifically, nearly 30% of the country’s fruits and vegetables are lost due to lack of cold-storage facilities, and more than 30% of grains supplied through the public distribution system … Continued

Karnataka Leads India In Prison Suicides

  Highlights * 73% of unnatural deaths in Indian prisons are due to suicides * Karnataka has the highest percentage of suicides in prisons; 97% * Tamil Nadu has the highest number of unnatural deaths in prisons per year   The brutal death of an Indian inmate Sarabjit Singh at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in … Continued

Why Bihar’s Miracle Story Might Be Short-Circuited

  Highlights * Bihar grew at an average annual rate of 10.7% over the last seven years * But only 16% of 18.94 million households in Bihar have access to electricity * Some 82% of households still depend on kerosene as key fuel source for lighting   India’s third most populous state of Bihar grew … Continued

Can One More Scheme Improve Healthcare For Children?

The Government of India recently launched a new programme – Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) – under the National Health Mission (NHM) in February 2013 to focus on the health of school-going children.   The programme hopes to improve the quality of life of 270 million children with a focus on early detection of birth … Continued

India’s Drug Traffickers Say ‘Just Courier It’

  Highlights * Seizures of controlled drugs have increased from 631 kg in 2007 to 7,208 kg in 2011 * Most of the trafficking from India done in the form of courier parcels * Over 18,400 Indians, 236 foreigners arrested under drug trafficking charges in 2011    The recent scandal involving boxing star Vijender Singh has turned the … Continued

India’s Surprising Losers In Urban Sanitation

  Highlights  * Industrial townships like Jamshedpur and Rourkela do better than metropolitan cities * 31 million urban households (including slums) have inadequate sanitation facilities * Uttar Pradesh has 4 cities in the bottom 10 list with poor sanitation  coverage   Visitors to India see many faces of urban poverty but find the sheer absence … Continued