Five reasons why claims by forest dwellers for their land are low – and rejections are high

On February 13, the Supreme Court ordered the eviction of more than 10 lakh families of Adivasis and other forest-dwellers from forestlands across 16 states. The order came while the court was hearing petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. The petitioners had demanded that state governments evict those forest dwellers […]

Aadhaar shows India’s governance is susceptible to poorly tested ideas pushed by powerful people

This series has flagged a puzzling trend. State governments are struggling to use Aadhaar-based fingerprint authentication in ration shops. At the same time, a rising number of companies are integrating Aadhaar into their databases. This is puzzling because from its inception, Aadhaar, India’s Unique Identification project, was pitched as integral to the modernisation of social […]

is the forest rights act being implemented well? (the answer is ‘no’)

Last month, union tribal Minister Jual Oram told the Lok Sabha that India is making “satisfactory progress” implementing the “Forest Rights Act” (FRA). However, a closer look at the numbers he submitted in the house indicates otherwise. my story on how the government’s claims about “satisfactory” implementation of the forest rights act are garbage. what […]

on how the upa’s development initiatives might fare under the nda

out today, a story on the possible outlook for the upa’s major development initiatives — aadhaar, cash transfers, npr, rights-based legislations, the proposed environment authority, the land acquisition bill — once the modi government takes over.  It’s a space the incoming BJP-led government will need to .. Read more at: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/35353059.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

why the food security bill may not be the voter magnet the upa expects it to be

The sheer sweep and scale of the National Food Security Bill — subsidised food of subsistence quantities to up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population—suggests it could be an election game-changer for the ruling Congress-led UPA. But when seen along with the way this legislation will be […]

In which the Congress starts thinking Cash Transfers could be its salvation in 2014

About ten days ago, a very interesting public meeting took place in a village called Dudu. Senior Congress leaders, including party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh, FM P Chidambaram along with five other cabinet ministers, not to mention Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, flew down to this Rajasthani village to tell a 30,000-strong audience about […]

“Na Na Na”, said the government, “I Cannot Hear You Standing Committee”

A committee of MPs has questioned the budget’s endorsement of the Aadhaar project despite the panel’s rejection of a draft law which sought to give it legal backing. The 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, chaired by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, has asked the government to explain the proposed increase in budgetary allocations to […]

Cash Trance

In his speech this year, the Indian finance minister announced that India would deliver the fertiliser subsidy directly to farmers from next year onwards. Shortly after the budget, the government’s National Informatics Centre insisted that it be allowed to develop the necessary software. A small update from the trenches here. This software, sources in the […]