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India to tell London to stop aid next April

India’s external affairs ministry has instructed the finance ministry to inform London that India will not accept further aid from the Department for International Development from next April. DFID is a UK government agency that manages Britain’s aid to poor countries to help alleviate poverty

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Govt gives free phones to poor instead of grain

Over 1,000 below the poverty line (BPL) card holders in Rajasthan got free cell phones instead of free foodgrain as ordered by the Supreme Court. The government felt it was more important to distribute cell phones to the poor in Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot’s constituency of Ajmer

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After fortified salt, fortified midday meals to fight malnutrition

As the government struggles to incorporate nutritional aspects into its proposed right to food legislation, industry has offered to engage with the government as a partner

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'Free distribution of foodgrain an order, not suggestion': SC

The Supreme Court reminds Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar that its recent ruling that rotting foodgrain be distributed free among the poor was an ‘order’, not a ‘suggestion’ as interpreted by the minister

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Working group pitches for MNREGS wage raise

The Working Group on Wages, constituted under the auspices of the Central Employment Guarantee Council that governs the functioning of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, in a report, has expressed concern over what it described as a crisis of wage policy, and has suggested a hike

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Plans to end corruption in NREGS with 'Aadhaar'

To combat corruption, the Indian government has decided to go in for the unique identification or ‘Aadhaar’ format to plug loopholes both at the worksite as well as at the time of disbursement of money

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Bangalore homeless: 20 dead, 40 critical in 48 hours

Twenty homeless people suffering from various ailments and old age have died in the past two days. The authorities have ordered a probe and an inspection of the relief centre in Bangalore where they were lodged

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Job guarantee plan falls short of targets

Despite the government’s tall claims, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has fallen short of its targets

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NAC for food security in one-fourth of districts, for now

The National Advisory Council has decided to make initial recommendations that could be implemented by the end of 2010, without waiting for the Food Security Bill to be finalised and legislated

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Some Indian states poorer than Africa's poorest

Eight Indian states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal together account for more poor people than the 26 poorest African nations combined, a new ‘multidimensional’ measure of global poverty has revealed

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Poverty rate in India will dip to 24% by 2015

The number of poor people in India is expected to halve by 2015, according to a United Nations 2010 Millennium Development Goals report

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Gujarat launches India's first micronutrient-mix food programme

Introducing micronutrient pre-mix for 44,000 anganwadis across the state, the Gujarat government aims to improve the health of malnourished children with a diet that comprises a pre-mix of soybean, cereals and pulses containing 18-20% protein and 600 gram kilocalories

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Mud for meals: Supreme Court team slams Uttar Pradesh

In April 2010, media reports revealed acute hunger and deprivation in a village in Uttar Pradesh. Now, a Supreme Court inquiry team that visited the area finds the situation is indeed dire

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Slum-dwellers send postcards to Sonia Gandhi on food security bill

The postcard campaign follows reports that the food security Bill that is awaiting passage in Parliament cuts the amount of foodgrain to be made available to below the poverty line families in the public distribution system and ignores above the poverty line families

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India raises official poverty estimate

India’s Planning Commission has adopted the Suresh Tendulkar Committee’s methodology for poverty estimation, which includes spending on education and health, besides calorie intake, taking the number of the country’s poor to a whopping 37.2% from the 27.5% earlier estimated

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New food guarantee scheme likely to be based on Tendulkar report

The Suresh Tendulkar panel report is likely to form the basis of a “reworked and realistic” food guarantee scheme. This was hinted at a recent meeting of the core group of chief ministers on price rise, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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Rs 6,000 may be new threshold for economically weaker sections

Government surveys reveal that income levels have risen for those designated ‘economically weaker sections’. The government proposes revising the threshold limit for these sections from Rs 3,300 to Rs 6,000 a month

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Economic Survey suggests replacing PDS with food coupons

India’s 2010 Economic Survey suggests doing away with food and fertiliser subsidies and providing the poor food coupons to exchange at market prices

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'Lapses' in NREGA implementation admitted on anniversary day

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admits there have been “lapses” in implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, its architects Jean Dreze and Aruna Roy stay away from a function to mark four years of the scheme’s existence

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SC notice to states/UTs on shelters for homeless

The Supreme Court of India has issued a notice to all states and Union Territories seeking their response to suggestions for setting up night shelters for the urban homeless and community kitchens for poor people

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