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50% of scheduled caste population chronically undernourished: Binayak Sen

Dr Binayak Sen, recently nominated to the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health draws attention to starvation in India and says government policies are only adding to the problem

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Provide cooked meals and change child malnutrition parameters: HC

Melghat’s malnourished children will benefit from a Bombay High Court order directing the Maharashtra government to provide cooked midday meals instead of dry take-home rations, and to consider a more realistic measure for gauging malnutrition

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Rules framed for stricter NREGS audit

To stem fraud in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Centre has framed new rules that call for a Directorate of Social Audit at the state level

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New guidelines, hike in wages for MGNREGS workers

States have been told to ensure that work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is completed on time after it was revealed that less than half of all jobs are finished

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Poor human development continues to mar India's growth story

India’s economy is in the top 10 in terms of growth potential, but when it comes to quality of life, especially in health and education, the country ranks 119 among 169 nations, according to the latest Human Development Index released by the UN Development Programme

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NAC wants subsidised food for 75% of Indians

The National Advisory Council has worked out a compromise formula for the Food Security Act keeping in mind budgetary constraints and foodgrain availability. Under the formula, 90% of rural households and 50% of urban households -- that’s nearly 800 million people’-- will have access to subsidised food

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Tea estate turns over new leaf with midday meals

A state government-run tea estate in Wayanad registers record production by introducing free midday meal for its workers. It has incorporated a tourism component to find the resources to feed its 316 tribal workers, most of them women

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Hunger haunts Shining India

The high economic growth in India, unlike in China, has not translated to a rapid reduction of hunger, says a US-based policy think-tank. India ranks 67th in an 84-country ranking, and has more hungry people than even Sudan

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Obama wants developing countries to help themselves

US President Barack Obama has warned that the world will miss ambitious anti-poverty goals if it does not change its approach to aid and development. Speaking at a UN summit, he described development as a strategic issue for all and called upon developing nations to seize their “moment of responsibility”

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Govt to increase storage capacity to curb grain wastage

A team of technical experts from China will be invited to interact with Indian officials on how to improve the country’s warehousing facilities and deal with the problem of rotting grain

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World leaders seek new ways to reach MDGs

World leaders are kicking off a summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York to hammer out new ways to meet ambitious targets set a decade ago to cut poverty, millions of avoidable deaths and improve equality, by 2015

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UN says 925 million people undernourished

For the first time in 15 years, the number of hungry people in the world has declined. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 925 million people are undernourished -- a significant improvement from the 1.023 billion hungry the organisation counted in 2009

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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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Employment guarantee scheme under scanner after hunger death

A landless labourer dies on Christmas day after going without food for five days. Neither he nor his wife, who was a job card holder under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, knew they could demand work or avail of unemployment benefits as a right

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New poverty line formula shows increase in number of rural poor

One in three Indians lives below the poverty line according to the Tendulkar Committee report which used a measurement of goods and services, rather than calorie intake, to calculate poverty

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Global hunger worsening, warns UN

More than 1 billion people go to bed hungry every day as the deadly combination of severe food shortages and one of the worst global financial crises in living memory has shrunk food aid to an all-time low, says a UN body

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NREGA renamed Mahatma National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

The government has renamed its flagship rural job guarantee programme -– the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme -- after Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary. The Centre has also decided to appoint 100 prominent people from across the country to carry out independent evaluations and monitoring of the scheme

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India: Economic powerhouse or nutritional weakling?

Despite the recent economic boom in India, at least 46% of its children up to the age of 3 still suffer from malnutrition making the country home to a third of the world’s malnourished children, says a recent study

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Food Security Bill: No consensus yet on how to measure poverty

Planning Commission member Abhjit Sen argues that evaluation of poverty must be done on the basis of income rather than calorie intake, while rejecting the recommendation of a rural development ministry panel suggesting that 50% of India should be brought under the ambit of the poverty line

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G8 ministers admit failure in reducing world hunger

With an additional 40 million people becoming chronically hungry in the last year, G8 ministers admit for the first time that the world is far from reaching the Millennium Development Goal of halving world hunger by 2015

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International media draws attention to India's 'hidden hunger'

The foreign press comments on the irony of two Indians being amongst the world’s 10 richest in the 2009 Forbes Rich List, while a new Save the Children report states that 1 million infants die of malnutrition every year in India

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Poor in perpetuity?

New studies claim that the stress that the poor inevitably suffer adversely impacts children’s working memory, causing them to be under-achievers in later life and thus remain poor

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