NOVEMBER 2018
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C A S E S T U D Y

UP Village School Offers Solution For India’s Learning Crisis
BY SHREYA KHAITAN

Less than half (47.8%) of grade V rural Indian students could read a grade II text in 2016. A remedial education programme in Uttar Pradesh’s Lalitpur district shows one possible way of mitigating this learning crisis. A year after the NGO World Vision started its after-school remedial education programme, more students could read newspapers, read and understand a story, and read words, while fewer students could read only letters than at the beginning of the programme. World Vision’s experience also suggests other ways of solving India’s learning crisis: providing teacher training and support, pre-education and multigrade education, and reforming curricula.

S P O T L I G H T

How Kerala Is Fighting TB, And Winning
BY MENAKA RAO

As India strives to make good its commitment to ending tuberculosis (TB) by 2025, there are valuable lessons to glean from Kerala, which has among the lowest TB rates in the country--67 cases per 100,000, less than half the 138 per 100,000 pan-India. Its strategy has included proactive detection of cases at the earliest stage, increased access to detection tools, monitoring of vulnerable persons, administering of preventive drugs to those living in close contact with patients and deployment of health workers to ensure patients complete the treatment protocol.

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D A T A F I X

Majority Of Teenage Indian Girls Want To Graduate, Have Career Plan

BY PRACH SALVE

India’s U-5 Mortality At Global Average, But B’desh, Nepal Do Better

BY TISH SANGHERA

T H E I N T E R V I E W


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of the 73rd Amendment that formally established the Panchayati Raj system. With the exception of a few states such as Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka, states have not transferred powers to local governments and allow them little autonomy, says T.R. Raghunandan, former civil servant, public finance expert and anti-corruption activist. Politicians and bureaucrats “have a vested interest in mystifying governance simply to protect their monopoly,” he tells IndiaSpend in an email interview. Raghunandan also speaks about the hurdles faced by local governments in rural and urban areas, the reluctance of politicians and bureaucrats to allow the devolution of powers to panchayats, and his perspective on corruption in India.

I N T H E N E W S

In Chhattisgarh, Smartphones Could Transform Women’s Lives
BY SAVANNAH NORAY

To empower women and boost ownership of smartphones, Chhattisgarh is distributing free smartphones: 4 million to rural women, 500,000 to urban women and 500,000 to college students. The Sanchaar Kranti Yojana project could have a wider economic impact--especially if the men do not take away the phones.This story comes to us from Evidence for Policy Design at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Here’s How Modicare Could Work With Few Health Workers
BY DEVYANI CHHETRI

The recently launched national health scheme, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, plans to upgrade 150,000 health sub-centres and primary health centres to “health and wellness centres” to control the rise in non-communicable diseases in India’s villages. But the scheme will have to deal with the acute shortage of medical professionals in rural areas: 57% sub-centres operate without either a male health worker or auxiliary nurse-midwife or both, and 1,974 primary health centres function without a single doctor. However, studies suggest that the gap can be effectively filled with mid-level health practitioners and family physicians.

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Supreme Court Could Save 2,000 Trees, 24,000 Tankers Of Water
BY CHAITANYA MALLAPUR

As many as 61,520 cases were filed in the Supreme Court (SC) between October 2016 and September 2017, and using paper printed on both sides in these filings would have saved nearly 2,953 trees and 246 million litre water (24,600 tankers--considering one standard tanker-truck holds 10,000 litre), according to an analysis by the Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), a New Delhi-based think-tank. A public interest litigation has been filed in the SC by CASC seeking directions to use paper printed on both sides in pleadings and filings in the apex court.

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Tell us about it at: samar@indiaspend.org

Sincerely,
Samar Halarnkar
Editor







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