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A school with a view

Sunandita Mehrotra

Swajan Siksha Samiti, an alternative education school perched on a hill in Ghati village in Uttarakhand, revives local culture and encourages creative learning. It has a zero dropout rate

alternative education

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Tomorrow’s children

By Moushumi Basu

Adivasi children orphaned and traumatised by extremist violence in Chhattisgarh find education, sport, theatre and emotional support at residential schools like Uttaran

displaced adivasis

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One room, two teachers, six classes

By Burhan Majid

The state of elementary education in Kashmir is pathetic, says this reporter. Many believe that the funds for midday meals could be better utilised to improve infrastructure and the quality of education in the state

Elementary education in Kashmir

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Report card on RTE two years after

By Rashmi Gupta

Two years after the Right to Education, 36% of sanctioned teacher posts lie vacant, several states do not meet the required pupil:teacher ratio, funds lie unspent, and monitoring bodies are somnolent

National Right to Education Forum report on RTE

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No meal, no school for Bodo children

By Sumir Karmakar

There are 793 primary schools in Bodoland which, in the absence of government recognition, have no concrete buildings, free textbooks, water, sanitation and, most of all, midday meals. As a result, school attendance is low, an unfortunate situation in a region that has 33% literacy compared to 64.28% for Assam as a whole

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Schools for all

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

Elementary school enrolment rose from approximately 156 million in 1999-2000 to about 194 million in 2006-07. The Annual Status of Education Report-Rural by the Pratham Resource Centre finds that school enrolment for rural areas, for children aged 6-14, was 93.4% in 2006. It increased to 95.8% in 2007. This is no mean achievement. Concerted efforts, committed policies and programmes have borne some fruit

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Interactive approaches for special children

By Rupa Chinai

Sangath Society, a Goa-based CSO working with mental health issues, has come up with the concept of 'resource rooms' for children with learning disabilities, within their normal schools, where they can be given special attention. The concept is currently being pilot-tested in three schools in the state

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Open school for Bhopal's slum children

By Aparna Pallavi

Arambh has taken up the challenge of getting Bhopal's slum children to return to school. Scores of children attend its centres to study and re-enter the education system, at timings that best suit them, especially if they are working

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Environmental education finally finds a place in India's school textbooks

By Shilpa Shet

Thanks to a two-year study that identified the gaps and anomalies in environmental education in India, 800 schools now have a new and improved syllabus that promotes an understanding of environmental issues

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Have cycle, will study

By V Radhika

Sometimes solutions to problems as grave as female illiteracy can be so simple. Providing a humble bicycle to girls in Maharashtra's villages has allowed students who would normally drop out after Class VIII to go on to finish high school. The project has been initiated by Ashta No Kai (ANK), Pune

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Kerala's neo-literates lapse into the darkness of illiteracy

By M P Basheer

Eleven years ago Chelakkodan Ayesha announced Kerala's total literacy status by reading a verse from the Quran before a thundering crowd. Today she is fumbling over the letters in 'Kerala' and cannot write her own name. What has gone wrong? Why have Kerala's literacy levels plummeted from 95 to 80 per cent?

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Computer education for rural kids riddled with obstacles

By Frederick Noronha

There are plans afoot to computerise thousands of rural schools across India, attended mainly by poor children. But where is the software that is suitable for use in these schools?

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Bringing schools and children together

By Vimala Ramachandran

Thirty per cent of India's population lives in urban slums. Getting children in these slums to school is a difficult task. Keeping them in school is even more difficult. But several organisations, including Pratham in Mumbai, Cini Asha in Kolkata and Baljyothi in Hyderabad, are succeeding in bringing education to these first-generation learners

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Backgrounders

Agriculture And Food Security : Background & Perspective

Agriculture And Food Security : Background & Perspective

By Devinder Sharma

Pre-Independence India suffered repeated famines, drought and food shortages. But following the Green Revolution in the '60s, yields and foodstocks rose manifold. Now, 30 years later, Indian farmers have realised the follies of their tryst with intensive agriculture. Despite 70 per ...

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Analysis

The organic foods divide in India

The organic foods divide in India

By Rahul Goswami

The divide between farmers growing and selling organic produce in India and the major organic foods and beverages retailers is widening, to the detriment of organic farmers. This was evident at Biofach India 2013 held in Bengaluru

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Features

Ragi over rice

Ragi over rice

By Ananda Siddhartha

As in the rest of India, in Pavagada taluka of Karnataka, ragi is losing out to rice, groundnut and other cash crops. Until 15 years ago, it was the reverse. What are the market and policy pressures that have caused this reversal, and what are its consequences on health and nutri...

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Books & Reports

Vertical farms

Vertical farms

By Sudhirendar Sharma

A new book by Dickson Despommier posits the farm of the future as a vertical farm over 30 floors in any city centre. Powered by renewable energies a vertical farm could meet the food needs of 50,000 people, consume 70-95% less water, restrict the use of harmful agro-chemicals and...

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Punjab Series

Nation's food bowl in crisis

By Anosh Malekar

When the state that was the country's biggest agricultural success story in the 1970s tops the list of indebted farmers, it is obvious that there is something very rotten in the state of agriculture in the country. A three-part series that looks at the agriculture crisis in India's fo...

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News

Stories of change

Nalbari farmers resume cultivation after 25 years

By Ratna Bharali Taukdar

Thousands of farmers in Borigog-Barbhag block, in lower Assam’s Nalbari district, joined hands to dredge a 15-km stretch of a water channel that had blocked and flooded farmlands across 50 villages. For 25 years, farmers had abandoned work on their waterlogged lands. No...

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Changemakers

Urban poverty and the food crisis

A grain in an empty bowl: Government services in the urban context

By Maheen Mirza

Anganwadis, ICDS and PDS are huge government programmes meant to cater to the health and nutritional requirements of the poor. Yet 72.4% of urban poor children in Madhya Pradesh are underweight, 60.4% are undernourished and almost nine out of 10 are anaemic. The fifth and final part o...

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Backgrounders

IT And Development : Background & Perspective

IT And Development : Background & Perspective

By Aditya Dev Sood

What use can a computer be to someone earning less than a dollar a day? What use is information technology in a country that has a low penetration of telephony and computers, where even electricity is not assured, and where millions are still illiterate? These are standard questions...

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Analysis

Free culture for a free society

By V Sasi Kumar

What is it that prompts a group of people in Calicut to start the Chamba Swatantra Cinema Project? How did the world move from copyrights over knowledge, introduced in the 16th-18th centuries and codified as the Statute of Anne, to free software, free knowledge and free culture? And w...

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Features

Do you want to be watched?

The new rules for surveillance under the IT Act are an assault on our freedom. They also seem misguided, says Sunil Abraham . How many terrorists or criminals will be arrested in India thanks to the new ID requirements at cybercafés or a ban on public wi-fi? Intelligence work cannot be replaced...

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Changemakers

Stories of change

The people's voice

By Sherna Gandhy

Every citizen in this country has a right to be heard. But what happens when you live in an area where no mainstream media organisation bothers to penetrate, and when you speak a language no media organisation knows or understands? CGNet Swara uses mobile telephony to break through th...

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News

India turns to ICT for better delivery of welfare schemes

Bihar will become the first state in the country to videograph the distribution of PDS coupons to weed out ineligible recipients. And the Union human resources ministry proposes to use a cheap, indigenously made tablet PC to record BPL and caste data

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