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Sun31Jul2016

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Engaging citizens: Lessons from Brazil's experiences with participatory governance

By Andrea Cornwall

Brazil's Citizens' Constitution of 1988 created the legal basis for the development of some of the world's most progressive democratic institutions

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New Age crusaders stand up only for their own

By Freny Manecksha

The class with its cell phones and laptops has assumed the garb of the New Age crusader. The media is celebrating this middle class activism. But there are major exclusions based on class and caste in this court of public opinion

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'Fixing' the Vidarbha BPL list

By Aparna Pallavi

Around 250,000 families have protested against the rigging of the below poverty line (BPL) lists in Maharashtra's Vidarbha districts, which are in the grip of a severe agricultural crisis, and where inclusion in the list is essential for the poor to access their entitlements

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Sweden's green agenda

By Darryl D'Monte

Ninety-five per cent of all Swedes believe it is important to do something about climate change; two out of every three think it is very important. Sixty Stockholm families have embarked on a novel experiment related to 'smart consumption'

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NREGA: Challenges in implementation

By Tanushree Sood

Seven months into India's ambitious National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, guaranteeing 100 days of employment a year to every rural household in 200 districts, several problems of implementation are being reported from the field

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Using their arrows for sport, not war

By Rupa Chinai

From sports clubs that build team spirit to special schools for dropouts, it's ordinary people who are working to strengthen and develop Bodoland

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'Only those who can pay bribes survive'

By Rupa Chinai

Northeastern India is apparently on the move: everywhere there is hurtling traffic, gaudy and unplanned construction, new roads. But where exactly is Bodoland, which won a long battle for quasi-autonomous status recently, headed? Infant and maternal mortality rates for the Bodos are amongst the highest in the country, poverty and indebtedness dog the majority of the people, and there is a crisis of governance. This is the first in a special series on Bodoland

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The big hope: Transparency marks the NREGA in Dungarpur

By Anosh Malekar

A social audit across 800 villages in drought-prone Dungarpur district in Rajasthan is a shining example of how public vigilance and a proactive administration can combine to see that the rural employment guarantee Act is successfully implemented

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Where has the money gone?

By Anosh Malekar

A social audit exposes the corruption in Rajasthan's employment guarantee works. This should not discredit the hard-won 100 days work guarantee for India's millions, but make citizens and civil society more vigilant to corrupt practices

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Mineral rush

By Rahul Goswami

Kalinganagar in Orissa is only the latest in a series of bloody confrontations between the state and the people over India's minerals industry. What are the imperatives of the international iron and steelmaking industry, and the attendant mineral extraction, that engender such a ruthless response by the state, and its complicity in ensuring that the interests of industry remain paramount? A special report

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Consent cannot be manufactured by guns

By Vidhya Das

Protestors have gathered on the road to the Kalinganagar industrial area in Orissa. The bodies of four of those killed in police firing on January 2, are laid out here. This on-the-spot report records the seething anger against the industries that are usurping the lands, livelihoods and basic rights of adivasi farmers

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Traditional grassroots democracy: Kerala's sea courts

By N P Chekkutty

Kerala's traditional sea courts, or katal kotathi, were the most effective form of grassroots democracy in the region for centuries. Now, thanks to government apathy, administrative lapses, modern technology and capital-intensive practices, they have become defunct, polarising fishing communities in the state and prompting violent, often communal, clashes over disputes

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CSOs make a difference in UP panchayat elections

By Ashok Gopal

A large Pre-Election Voter Awareness Campaign (PEVAC) has had a positive impact on the recent UP panchayat elections. Hundreds of candidates selected by community organisations got the people's mandate; several women and dalits got elected from unreserved seats

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'If the politicians are corrupt, so too will be the people'

By Rashme Sehgal

An interview with Admiral R H Tahiliani (Retd), chairperson of Transparency International India and architect of India's largest ever corruption survey

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Land reform: The Forest Conservation Act is in the way

By Richard Mahapatra

Is the rigid Forest Conservation Act, 1980, derailing ongoing peace talks with the Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh and other states with its stringent provisions disallowing settlement rights on forestland?

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Women panchayat members: Catapulted into the public domain

By Rashme Sehgal

More than a decade after the 73rd constitutional amendment made it mandatory for 33% of all panchayat seats to be reserved for women, have women begun to play a significant role in local self-governance?

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Gandhi's ideals live on in Gandhigram

By Lalitha Sridhar

Starting out as one woman's dream, Gandhigram has grown into one of the largest umbrella institutions of its kind in India. The reason for its success is that instead of offering a readymade agenda for development it has responded to the needs of the community

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'No government wants to deal with a whistleblower'

By Rashme Sehgal

Pramod Kumar, Joint Secretary of the Haryana cadre, has alleged corruption at several levels in the state's education department, including the technical education programme and the district primary education programme. An interview with the whistleblower

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A movement, not a newspaper

By Shabnam Dhar

Prabhat Khabar is a newspaper that bucks the trend, puts people's concerns before entertainment, glamour and profitability, and still manages a circulation of over 2,50,000 copies

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