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Last man first

By Nandana Reddy

The late LC Jain’s new book titled ‘Civil Disobedience’ illustrates how corruption has become the norm and ‘India Shining’ the cover-up for all our ills. And how the battle for democratic decentralisation today has become one to save the state itself from a corporate takeover


Manipur: A history of strife

KS Subramanian was part of an independent citizens’ fact-finding mission to Manipur that presents its findings in the capital on November 23. This article traces the history of violence in the strife-torn state and analyses the deteriorating situation since July 23, 2009


The poor pay bribes of over Rs 8,000 million to access public services

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

A study on corruption across India reveals that approximately 50 million BPL households paid as much as Rs 8,830 million in bribes in one year to access 11 selected public services. Highest on the corruption list is the police


'The government is over-stretched; we need stronger public-private partnerships'

By Rashme Sehgal

Former civil servant N K Singh, whose book 'The Politics of Change' has recently been published, believes that the state cannot absolve itself of responsibility in the social sector. But at the same time it cannot be expected to provide all the initiatives in these areas


Rich countries' commitment to development slipping, says new survey

While the world's wealthiest nations made lofty promises to better the lives of the world's poorest nations, at the G8 summit in 2005, an analysis of their policies on trade, aid, the environment and immigration by the Center for Global Development shows that they haven't made good on their promises


Stories from 'Other India'

By Frederick Noronha

Struggle India Reader questions the goal of 'development' in India, since liberalisation, globalisation and privatisation were 'unleashed' upon the country in the mid-'80s


Poverty in India increasingly region-, group-specific, says 'Social Development Report'

A pathbreaking new report assesses development issues like poverty, unemployment, health and sanitation, urban governance, decentralisation, communal relations and how far women and marginalised groups have progressed across the social indices. It finds that the spatial map and social base of poverty in India have significantly changed over time


Governance in India: A dismal report card

By Rahul Goswami

Social Watch India's second Citizens Report on Governance and Development examines the sensitivity, efficiency and efficacy of the institutions of governance in ensuring the fundamental right to health, education and livelihood. It comes up with some startling findings


The average Lok Sabha MP is worth Rs 1.4 crore

A higher percentage of less-educated MPs are richer and have more criminal cases against them than those with higher educational attainments. The Public Affairs Centre's analysis of the background and assets of 541 members of India's parliament suggests that money and muscle power continue to bring in the votes


Increased social security will enhance economic growth, social stability

A new survey by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) highlights the fact that individual economic security promotes well-being and tolerance, whilst also contributing to the growth and development of a nation


Global defence spending skyrockets, at the expense of development

In a disturbing trend, poorer countries in Asia and Africa are diverting funds from the health and education sectors to defence


World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work for Poor People

World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work for Poor People suggests ways by which countries can speed up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals by assuring that public services benefit the poor


Human Development Report 2003: The good news and the bad news

India is severely indicted for its failure in providing healthcare, but gets a pat on the back for its efforts in decentralisation and education. A summary of the report released in July


Is growth sufficient to alleviate poverty?

By Sheba Tejani

Surjit S Bhalla's new book asserts that it is. In fact, Bhalla asserts that most of the developing world has "caught up" with the industrialised world in terms of economic growth, leading to a significant decrease in global poverty


Budget as the art of delusion

By John Samuel

The rhetoric of poverty alleviation, healthcare and education for the poor in the Union budget is exposed by the allocations actually made. The plan capital allocation for education has declined from 30 paise per head in 2002-03 to 18 paise in 2003-04. And surely the government doesn't expect the millions who can barely afford a roti a day to pay health insurance premiums?


Human Development Report 2002: A summary

Deepening democracy in a fragmented world
(I) Democratic institutions: Democracy can promote equitable development
(II) Human Development Index: At current rates it will take 130 years to rid the world of hunger
(III)India Progress Report: 86.2% of Indians live on $ 2 a day


Bypassing community rights: The National Water Policy

By Ranjit Devraj

India's new National Water Policy emphasises continued government control over water, ignoring pleas by environmental groups to involve local communities in order to overcome looming shortages. Scroll down for a critique of the policy, for the draft policy of 2001, and for the modifications made this year


The income of half a billion South Asians has declined in the era of globalisation

A summary of the Human Development Report for South Asia, 2001


Government spending on the social sectors, 2001-2002: Economic Survey

Plan and non-plan expenditure of the Central Government on various components of social sectors has increased from of Rs. 9608 crore in 1992-93 to Rs. 36,270 crore in 2000-01 (BE), an increase of about four times in a matter of just eight years. As a proportion of total expenditure, the combined plan and non plan expenditure of the Centre rose from 8.1 per cent in 1992-93 to 10.7 per cent in 2000-01. The plan expenditure of the Centre, as a percentage of GDP at current market prices on major schemes of social sectors has been hovering between 1.1-1.2 per cent during the last decade. However, the central plan outlay in 2000-01(BE), as compared to the previous year's revised estimate increased by 24.3 per cent for the education sector as a whole and 26.5 per cent for elementary education programmes; by 29.8 per cent for health sector programmes; by 16.8 per cent for women and child development; and by 12.8 per cent for family welfare schemes.


Making new technologies work for human development

The UNDP's Human Development Report 2001 states that information technology and economic transformation have improved India's ranking in terms of human development. Nevertheless, rates of poverty, economic inequality, infant mortality and illiteracy remain low.