Cornell University will lead a new global crop improvement research program to advance plant breeding tools, technologies and methods aimed at delivering staple crops that can increase yields, enhance nutrition and show greater resistance to pests and diseases.

Newswise imageBourbon isn't bourbon without the mighty white oak. Distillers have been aging bourbon in oak barrels as far back as the Roman Empire. Oak barrels give bourbon its unique caramel, vanilla, nutty and toasted flavors. Kentucky distillers rely especially on the white oak. But what if disease hits the species? How would industry professionals protect it? The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is partnering with Maker's Mark Distillery Inc. in Loretto, Kentucky, and Independent Stave Company to research the DNA of the white oak.

Newswise imageWhy does everything taste better when we're hungry? According to new findings from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan, not only does food taste sweeter when our stomachs are rumbling

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation have awarded a three-year, $2.4 million grant to a team of Cornell University researchers who will study how agriculture-to-energy land-use conversions - putting solar panels or wind turbines on arable farmland - could impact food production, energy prices, water quality and resilience to changes in climate.

Newswise imageTours provide the perfect way to teach the community-at-large about the importance of agriculture. Students, residents, businesses and growers are invited to the EREC Open House for an inside look at the research of agriculture promoting sustainable foods, plants, and crops they use and come in contact with every day.

Newswise imageExpect a tradeoff between alfalfa yield and quality when fertilizing with potassium

Newswise imageA live webcast of the GAP Report Launch event will be available October 16, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM Eastern time:

Newswise imageUsing plants to clean up soil

Newswise imageNew research is transforming technology for biomedicine and beyond. Chemists are simplifying experiments in mass spectrometry, a method commonly used by chemists, biologists, physicists and forensic scientists for analyzing molecular materials.

This country note explains how India taxes energy use. The note shows the distribution of effective energy tax rates across all domestic energy use. It also details the country-specific assumptions made when calculating effective energy tax rates and matching tax rates to the corresponding energy base.

Newswise imageWhat does the presence of 1,000 year old water mean for the future of water supplies under the desert regions of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates? New research has sought to identify how much good water is available in the Arabian Peninsula, where water is stored in what are known as "fossil aquifers."

Newswise imageWhen Florida families settle down to enjoy a seafood dinner they may not realize the main dish wasn't freshly caught in the nearby Gulf of Mexico, but rather farmed off the coast of Panama. The process of farming seafood in the ocean, known as mariculture, is a growing trend yet little is known about the trajectories of its development.

Newswise imageThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to ultra-low gossypol cottonseed, ULGCS, to be utilized as human food and in animal feed, something Texas A&M AgriLife researchers have been working on for nearly 25 years.

Oat, quinoa, emmer and more to be topic of symposium

The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution is one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory. But a new paper by Sam Bowles and Jung-Kyoo Choi shows that most explanations for it don't agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.

Changes in soil microbes, soil salinity to be covered in symposium

Newswise imageBiologists looked at the European corn borer moth and pinpointed variation in two circadian clock genes - per and Pdfr - that enable different populations of the moth to adapt their seasonal transitions to climate change

Figuring out the genetic underpinnings of hornworts' weird biology could help researchers boost agricultural output, use less fertilizer, and gain new insights into plant evolution.

The Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (TCI) has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to assess challenges facing small-farm aggregation models in India and Mexico.

Newswise imagePedigree analysis will help breeders develop clover varieties with desired traits

Mumbai-based researcher Aditi Maddali’s film ‘Songs Of Our Soil’ places women farmers of Telangana at the frontline of agrarian rights and agriculture futures

Farmers may register offline using the available form to receive weather forecasts on SMS

Officers may register online to receive weather forecasts on SMS

Farmers may register online to receive weather forecasts on SMS

Citizens may specify the application Id issued when requesting the Fishing license to download the permit and license

Registered citizens may apply for Fishing License by specifying the Mobile number, Bank Details, the stream in which fishing permission is sought, the date when fishing is to be done in a form which has most fields pre-filled and available under the Fisheries menu; the fees also needs to be paid online

Department of Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste, Minority and Backward Class Welfare provides access to details such as Departmental Documents & Orders, Publications & Announcements, Schemes, Downloads etc

Department of Rural Development provides access to details such as Citizen Charter, Acts, Rules & Policies, Departmental Documents, Publications & Announcements, Tenders etc

Department of Forest, Environment & Climate Change provides access to details such as Citizen Charter, Tenders, Acts, Rules & Policies, Departmental Documents & Orders etc

Designated officials from States, Banks etc may log in to access the Performance Index Dashboard for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin

Designated officials from States, Banks etc may log in to access the e-Payment Dashboard for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin

Fund Transfer Order (FTO) Tracking enables tracking of Fund Transfer orders using FTO Number or Public Finance Management System (PFMS) Id

Various reports available specific to Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin such as progress reports on several aspects such as physical, financial, social etc

Designated officials may log in to conclude data entry for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin

Registered users may log in to access the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan Dashboard, to be able to monitor the progress of the mission

Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) mandated Panchayats to prepare for 2019-20 a development plan between 2nd October to 31st December, 2018 for economic development and social justice utilizing the resources available to them; the portal enables generation of State-Wise Reports on 100 days programme progress and lists the achievements during People's Plan Campaign for Financial Year (2019-20)

Designated officials may register online to be able to administer the Antyodaya Mission

PlanPlus enables Citizens to submit their suggestions through the Add Suggestion section with the intent to facilitate the Decentralized Planning process in Local Language by Supporting need/ activity based planning rather than scheme-driven

The available form may be used to fill & submit Application for grant in support of Nursery or Cold Storage or Pack House or Seed Infrastructure or Vegetable Seed Production and other project based activities under NHM (National Horticulture Mission) or RKVY (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana)

Government Officials may log in using their credentials to effect transactions under the Rural Engineering Services - Panchayat and Rural Development department

Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare allows users to avail different agricultural services through online portal such as Soil Health Card, information about fertilizer dosage for crops, locating soil testing laboratories etc

This policy dialogue aims to deepen policy discussions between the OECD and key decision-makers in India. The first phase of the programme provides policy options on improving monitoring and prevention of abusive related party transactions. The current phase will focus on corporate governance of company groups.

The second attempt of the NDA government to create a market for farmers' produce may not fare much better than the first one, for the same reason - it fails to address the asymmetry of power between the farmers and buyers, writes Kannan Kasturi.

This country note for India provides detail on the proportion of CO2 emissions from energy use subject to different effective carbon rates (ECR), as well as on the level and components of average ECRs in each of the six economic sectors (road transport, off-road transport, industry, agriculture and fishing, residential & commercial, and electricity).

Active with India brochure 2018 edition

India has made tremendous economic progress since the mid-1990s, raising GDP per capita by more than 5% per year, cutting the incidence of poverty in half, significantly decreasing undernourishment and transforming itself into a major agriculture exporter.

The first of a three part series on the crisis facing farmers today by Kannan Kasturi.

In the aftermath of the release of the “Paradise Papers”, 200 delegates from more than 90 delegations met in Yaoundé, Cameroon for the 10th meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes which now includes 147 countries and jurisdictions.

New Delhi, India, 8-9 November 2017. This symposium looked at how to implement effective financial education policies in a changing financial landscape with a focus on financial education in the digital age.

While India’s per capita income is converging towards that of the richer countries, inequality has drifted up.

Fast-track implementation of contract farming could be the new ray of hope for agriculture industry

While the JV will initially focus on bispyribac sodium, it may add more products in future

India’s total concessional development finance reached USD 1.8 billion in 2015, compared to ,USD 1.4 billion in 2014 (OECD estimates based on Government of India, 2015a, 2015b). India channelled USD 106 million (6% of its concessional development finance) through multilateral organisations in 2015, compared to USD 141 million in 2014.

Expansion will meet the demand for micronutrients, particularly in regions with poor soil conditions

Organic farming has major benefits for climate change adaptation & mitigation, says Sujit Jain

Post-revamp, urea capacity at its Goa site will increase from 1350 MTPD to 1800 MTPD

Each partner to hold a 50-percent stake in the joint venture, to be registered as Anaven

The company will market BASF's fungicides & herbicides for rice, maize, fruits & vegetables markets

Govt & industry need to work together to keep up the sector's growth momentum, says Ankur Aggarwal

The project, expected to cost $ 2.1 bn, to produce 2.4 MTPA of urea & 1.35 MTPA of ammonia

It will set up a gas pipeline network to connect Eastern India to the National Gas Grid

Agri-Valley Irrigation and Irrigation Design & Construction are micro-irrigation dealers in US

In the first phase, the JV, Vanguard Potash Corp, will build a 250,000-TPA potash plant

Research shows that the year agriculture does well, the economy does well too, says Rajesh Aggarwal

The Indian economy is expanding at a fast pace, boosting living standards and reducing poverty nationwide. Further reforms are now necessary to maintain strong growth and ensure that all Indians benefit from it, according to a new report from the OECD.

The Secretary-General presented the 2017 Economic Survey of India, delivered a special address to the Confederation of Indian Industry, and held bilateral meetings with high-level authorities.

The Secretary-General spoke at the Laureates & Leaders’ Summit "Towards a Child Friendly World" and held meetings with high-level Indian authorities.

Current carbon prices are falling short of the levels needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, but even moderate price increases could have a significant impact, according to new OECD research.

This country note provides an environmental tax and carbon pricing profile for India. It shows environmentally related tax revenues, taxes on energy use and effective carbon rates.

Education at a Glance 2016 - Country Notes

Outdoor air pollution could cause 6 to 9 million premature deaths a year by 2060 and cost 1% of global GDP – around USD 2.6 trillion annually – as a result of sick days, medical bills and reduced agricultural output, unless action is taken, according to a new OECD report.

Achieving strong growth in the global economy remains elusive, with only a modest recovery in advanced economies and slower activity in emerging markets, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Outlook.

This case study presents the current system of public funding of political parties and campaigns in India. It also discusses the major challenges to electoral and financial transparency.

For a chaotic country full of argumentative Indians many of whom are poor and uneducated, India’s continuous economic growth (not prosperity) remains a surprise. But something else is even more striking. The country has the world’s largest youngest population: 27 million babies are added each year. With such youth to bank on, India’s productivity seems to possess the best ingredients for success for decades to come.

Lack of clarity over legal requirements, shoddy implementation and selective approvals have made it extremely difficult for poorer communities to build or maintain their houses in coastal zones. Vinod Patgar describes the situation based on his experience in Karnataka.

As the countdown for the tenth Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held in Nairobi, Kenya through 15-18 December commences, Shalini Bhutani emphasises the need for a cautious deliberation on how trade rules affect key sectors and all stakeholders.

29-30 October, Bangkok - The 2015 Roundtable will focus on family-businesses in Asia, institutional investors, disclosure of beneficial ownership and control. It will also discuss the progress made so far in implementing the Roundtable's recommendations.

This paper studies how public policies, including pro-women interventions, can raise female labour force participation and promote economic growth in India.

Taxation is a key tool by which governments can influence energy use to contain its environmental impacts. This report provides a systematic analysis of the structure and level of energy taxes in OECD and selected other countries, including India; together, they cover 80% of global energy use.

As environmental clearance on the proposed Tadri port in Karnataka is awaited, Dina Rasquinha and Aarthi Sridhar discuss how assumed future benefits of the port have been projected in complete disregard of the natural, environmental gifts that the region enjoys.

In a boost for international efforts to strengthen co-operation against offshore tax evasion, seven new countries have joined the agreement to exchange information automatically under the OECD/G20 standard.

Ministers expressed full support for the OECD’s global relations strategy, as an essential element to increase its impact and relevance. This strategy has been the centrepiece of Secretary-General Angel Gurría’s vision to transform the Organisation into a more inclusive, global policy network and a prime forum for evidence-based policy exchange and global standard setting.

A citizen’s probe unearths a racket in which toxic burnt waste is sold to farmers in the garb of vermicompost; what’s more, the packaging indicates involvement of a composting firm under the government. Shree D N and Akshatha M report from Bengaluru.


Recent incidents, where sex workers were detained by the police and subsequently forced into a state shelter for beggars, are symptomatic of the continuous harassment faced by them and a basic lack of understanding of their realities. Pushpa Achanta elaborates.

The Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act Amendment Committee suggested reforms in the 1993 legislation to realise the ideal of decentralisation in letter and spirit. Nandana Reddy, a core member of the committee, holds the state accountable for the manner in which it has dealt with the report and proposed amendments.

The low and declining female labour force participation rate in India despite strong growth over the past decade is puzzling and stands out among emerging markets. At the same time greater economic participation of women can be a source of inclusive growth, and wellbeing.

Taxes on wages have risen by about 1 percentage point for the average worker in OECD countries between 2010 and 2014 even though the majority of governments did not increase statutory income tax rates, according to a new OECD report.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act 2001, based on the European seed patenting model, is increasingly proving to be more of a burden on small farmers. Shalini Bhutani explains why.

Legal and procedural lapses as well as disregard of critical public submissions are tarnishing the EIA of the proposed Tadadi Port in Karnataka. Kanchi Kohli reports.

Low oil prices and monetary easing are boosting growth in the world’s major economies, but the near-term pace of expansion remains modest, withabnormally low inflation and interest rates pointing to risks of financial instability, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment.

This paper examines the nature and determinants of female entrepreneurship in India based on survey data. The first part assesses basic characteristics of female entrepreneurship in India, while the subsequent sections analyse key determinants of female entrepreneurship based on the literature, and test their importance at the state level in India with the support of regressions on panel-data.

As has been the historical trend, most of the budget announcements on agriculture this year, too, are geared towards benefitting agribusiness rather than augmenting farm income, writes Devinder Sharma.

This event, to be held on 10-12 February 2015 in New Delhi, will be a forum for high-level discussion and policy exchange among stakeholders concerned with the question of how innovation can best serve inclusive development.

Going for Growth 2015: Key findings for India

Economic participation of women in the labour force or as entrepreneurs is low compared to peers and has declined over the past decades despite strong growth. The gap with men is over 50% - the largest among key emerging markets.

As Gram Panchayats in Karnataka go to the polls this year, Madhavi Rajadhyaksha explores the untapped potential of these grassroots institutions and suggests ways in which their capabilities may be leveraged and capacity strengthened.

The thrust on chemical-free cultivation of vegetables that started as an experiment in the 90s has now evolved into a culture in Kerala’s Kanjikkuzhi Gram Panchayat. P N Venugopal traces the growth and success of this initiative so far.

With India’s low life expectancy largely reflecting deaths from preventable diseases, the most significant gains in health would come from population-wide preventive measures.

Stronger manufacturing would increase productivity and make growth more inclusive, while contributing to improved current account balance. In particular, India should aim for more formal jobs, as these tend to be the most secure and of highest productivity.

The struggle to feed themselves and their families round the year drives millions of farmers in India to desperate measures. Abhijit Mohanty’s story shows how sustainable agriculture has helped transform the lives of farmers in Odisha’s backward Kalahandi district.

Many policy initiatives have been implemented in India, in recognition of the key role quality plays in strengthening health care systems.

The Karnataka government’s attempts to reintegrate Naxals into the mainstream through the provision of a surrender and rehabilitation package have met with limited success. Akshatha M reports on the ground realities.

The Indian economy is showing signs of a turnaround, but new reforms are needed to put the country on a path to strong, sustainable and inclusive growth, according to the latest OECD Economic Survey of India.

While the outlook for many OECD countries remains subdued, Emerging Asia is set for healthy growth over the medium term. Annual GDP growth for the ASEAN -10, China and India is forecast to average 6.5% over 2015-19. Growth momentum remains robust in the 10 ASEAN countries, with economic growth averaging 5.6% over 2015-19.

In 25 villages across Rayagada district of Odisha, tribal village women have reclaimed the denuded commons and achieved a remarkable turnaround in food security and livelihoods through eco-friendly alternatives to shifting cultivation. Abhijit Mohanty highlights a few successes of the project.

Across 20 villages of Bankura and Birbhum districts in West Bengal, 800 families are learning to farm dry land anew in a sustainable manner, resulting in increased income, better health and nutritional outcomes, and food security. Ajitha Menon reports from Bankura.

India’s economic growth has slowed since 2010 in the aftermath of the global crisis, but growth is expected to pick up according to the May 2014 projections of the OECD Economic Outlook. The unemployment rate was 3.6% in 2012 in India, lower than in 2006 (4.4%) before the onset of the global financial crisis.

A moderate expansion is underway in most major advanced and emerging economies, but growth remains weak in the euro area, which runs the risk of prolonged stagnation if further steps are not taken to boost demand, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment.

This book presents the findings of an OECD policy dialogue with Indian stakeholders on policies to improve the monitoring and prevention of abusive related party transactions in India.

The erstwhile UPA government’s Food Security Act, now set to be implemented by the present government, could mean unendurable strain for the country’s public distribution framework. P V Rajeev spells out better alternatives to explore.

For over two decades now, agriculture has suffered overall neglect as successive governments, led by World-Bank prescribed growth models, have issued disproportionate doles to industry. While the present allocations do not spell much hope, Devinder Sharma suggests what the Modi government may still do to reverse the trend.

This edition of the Agricultural Outlook focuses on India, the world’s second most populous country with the largest number of farmers and also the largest number of food insecure people. The Outlook portrays a relatively optimistic scenario for India, which is projected to sustain production and consumption growth of food, led in particular by higher value added sectors.

Air pollution is costing advanced economies plus China and India an estimated USD 3.5 trillion a year in premature deaths and ill health and the costs will rise without government action to limit vehicle emissions, a new OECD report says.

A recent editorial in The New York Times rightly recognises the flaws of a growth model driven by lower trade barriers. But Devinder Sharma wonders if the American daily will take a stand and extend its arguments to champion the cause of all nations, including India.

The region has been one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing areas in the world. GDP is projected to grow by 5.4% per year on average during 2014-18, and significant gains have been made in terms of poverty eradication and human development. But more should be done to ensure sustained growth and continued convergence in living standards towards the mature economies, said OECD Secretary-General.

Overcoming our ignorance of the richness of traditional food options, and imbibing the culinary cultures of those who live in harmony with nature could signify a giant step towards food and nutritional security, says Devinder Sharma after his visit to a tribal food fest.

Eco-friendly disposable plates and bowls made from sheaths of the abundant areca nut plant in rural Assam hold great promise for a lucrative industry with global reach. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports on the enterprise.

Mumbai, India - The 2014 Roundtable focused on improving public supervision and enforcement in Asia, the governance and performance of listed SOEs, risks and opportunities for family-owned business groups and the revision of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.

At the 101st Indian Science Congress in Jammu, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his faith in the potential of biotechnology for agricultural development. Devinder Sharma discusses findings that raise questions about the basis of his conviction.

Italian farmer group Coldiretti is ushering in a new paradigm in farming, and has emerged as a powerful lobby for the interests of the small farmer. Keya Acharya reports on the campaign and wonders if Indian agriculture can emulate the same.

Italian farmer group Coldiretti is ushering in a new paradigm in farming, and has emerged as a powerful lobby for the interests of the small farmer. Keya Acharya reports on the campaign and wonders if Indian agriculture can emulate the same.

Though FDI in retail is being projected as a cure-all for the ills in the agriculture and food sector, Devinder Sharma cites examples from the world over to argue why we should not be pinning our hopes on it.

The Nanagu Shaale programme of a Karnataka-based NGO shows why the national Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan's provision of home-based education for children with special needs may in practice defeat the ideological objective of inclusion. Satarupa Sen Bhattacharya reports.

It is certainly not because of mere demand-supply mismatch. Kannan Kasturi deconstructs the supply chain dynamics and credit linkages in the vegetable markets to show how these, coupled with government impotence, have led to uncontrolled, spiralling inflation.

Hospital-based Collaborative Child Response Units can go a long way in providing immediate medical attention, minimising secondary trauma, and ensuring that children abused sexually get adequate social support. Vinita A Shetty looks at why these CCRUs are so critical for minor victims.

Despite India's reliance on the agrarian sector, a serious farming and food crisis persists due to lack of government action and policy indifference. On its 20th anniversary, Gene Campaign releases a Charter of Demands to form the basis of an advocacy programme for bountiful farming, prosperous farmers and healthy food.

India's food security bill is on top of the negotiating agenda for the forthcoming WTO Conference at Bali. Devinder Sharma explains why the likely compromise in the face of posturing from developed countries could have serious ramifications for food security and self-sufficiency.

Various independent studies and research reveal close to 20 per cent of students across India suffering from some degree of visual impairment. A new initiative from the Nayonika Eye Care Charitable Trust seeks to correct this through the combined efforts of a wider network.

A performance audit of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in Karnataka reveals delayed payment of wages, sometimes by three months or more, to nearly five lakh workers under the scheme during the period 2009-12. Himanshu Upadhyaya looks at the key audit findings and connects the dots.

In July this year, the B Marappa Memorial Trust and the Karnataka Forest Department honoured 14 professionals for their commitment towards and excellence in forest and wildlife protection. Bosky Khanna talks to two of them about their work, motivation and challenges.

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has released peer review reports assessing the tax systems of 13 jurisdictions for information exchange.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented the maiden budget of the recently elected Congress government on July 12, but does his populist package promise anything beyond mere intent? Sridhar Pabbisetty elaborates.

A retired physician in small-town Manipal in Karnataka sets an example in kitchen gardening and highlights the many benefits it brings apart from the yield itself. Shree Padre brings us his remarkable story.

A retired physician in small-town Manipal in Karnataka sets an example in kitchen gardening and highlights the many benefits it brings apart from the yield itself. Shree Padre brings us his remarkable story.

While the government claims that an Aadhaar-linked system for direct transfer of social security benefits and receivables will soon be a reality across India, a local experiment devised around reimbursement of LPG subsidy in Mysore fails to raise hope. Bharat Bhatti reports.

Co-organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the OECD in New Delhi, discussions at this seminar focused on corruption challenges facing Indian companies today and what can be done to overcome these challenges.

Karnataka's new chief minister Siddaramaiah is certainly more left-leaning than some of his counterparts in the Congress party at the Centre. Fielding questions on Kannada TV's Suvarna News, he displays a calm demeanour to round off the tough-man image he has cultivated over the years. India Together brings you translated excerpts from the interview.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised Bengaluru world class infrastructure on the eve of elections in Karnataka, recently. Subramaniam Vincent exposed the farce in a letter to him.

There are two spheres of politics being played out in India at present. One is patronage, and the second, aspirational. During the just concluded Karnataka assembly elections, both were seen. More and more people are waking up to the aspirational one, writes Subramaniam Vincent

Bangalore, once the poster-boy of new age India and its development, is now crumbling, having been sorely let down by the administration and politics of the state. As Karnataka heads for polls, Subramaniam Vincent, discusses the prospects and necessary preconditions for change with independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

The grant of close to 10000 acres of forest land in Chitradurga district for non-forestry purposes threatens the ecology as well as the means of subsistence of local communities, leading irate villagers to decide to boycott the impending State Assembly elections. Malini Shankar reports.

In a desperate bid to outdo each other in television rating points, regional news channels are increasingly resorting to celebrity coverage bordering on tabloid journalism that infringes the right to individual privacy. B S Nagaraj comments on the trend.

The proposal to create two industrial corridors around Bangalore has generated heady excitement, but this needs to be tempered with rationalism and transparency around water and land acquisition, says B S Nagaraj.

This conference, taking place on 4-5 March 2013 in New Delhi, India, addressed specific issues relating to financial literacy in India and the Asia region. It presented the output of the Russia/OECD/World Bank Trust Fund on Financial Literacy and Education.

Despite a political decision to drop charges against Kannada TV reporter Naveen Soorinje, he continues to remain in prison. A PIL filed soon after the decision has put the case in limbo. Satarupa Sen Bhattacharya tracks and analyses the developments.

Findings of a unique apolitical initiative that brings farmers from the Cauvery basin together indicate that a fair distress-sharing formula may not be as elusive as it seems. Shamala Kittane reports.

How did a journalist who covered the infamous homestay attack for his employer end up in jail with serious charges leveled against him? The Mangalore Police holds the answer, finds Vaishnavi Vittal.

A major step forward towards putting the measurement of well-being at the heart of policy-making was taken at a four-day international conference which ended in New Delhi today.

Renewed impetus for reforms is essential for India to continue to narrow its major gap in living standards with middle-income and OECD economies, to reduce widespread poverty, to reverse rising inequality and to improve the wellbeing of all Indians. Based on the expertise of OECD, this report presents an update of policy advice in critical areas to India’s long-term economic performance and social development.

For his official visit to India, Secretary-General Angel Gurría will open the 4th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy in New Delhi. He will also meet with key government officials and business leaders to present the tailor-made OECD Policy Brochure on India.

Assessing the progress and failings of our societies requires a far broader set of measures than just economic indicators. This is why international experts, NGO representatives and politicians in fields as diverse as the environment, development, health, education, business and social affairs will be meeting in New Delhi from 16-19 October 2012.

The eleventh meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Hyderabad, India (COP11, from 8 to 19 October 2012).

Skills and educational development for inclusive and sustainable growth are becoming significant drivers in OECD countries.

This linkage between agriculture and nutrition, and its impact on development indices is very clear, and a number of recent reports point the finger of blame at agricultural policies. Rupa Chinai reports.

Cross-border investments to acquire or lease thousands of hectares of lands are taking place, presumably to take advantage of cheaper input costs in some countries. Darryl D'Monte reports.

Graduates are difficult to influence with money and liquor, says one BJP campaigner flatly about the race for Bengaluru’s MLC seat. The Lok Satta candidate meanwhile is targeting precisely the reform seekers amongst the elite. Navya P K reports.

The Institute for Competitiveness India, the National Skill Development Corporation India and the OECD LEED Programme in collaboration with the ILO are joining forces to discuss local skills strategies for job-rich and inclusive growth in India.

This publication reviews provisions covering related party transactions and the protection of minority shareholder rights in 31 countries. It includes in-depth reviews of Belgium, France, Italy, Israel and India.

Are the numerous benefit schemes really helping anyone get out of poverty, or are they merely petty politics that victimises the poor, asks R Balasubramaniam.

India has ratified the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a multilateral agreement developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD that was opened for signature to all countries in June 2011.

This note is taken from Chapter 2 of Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2012.

How can government policies move towards increasing agricultural innovation and improving productivity? This OECD conference shared case studies and ideas from Europe, China, United States, India, Africa, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

For its work on child rights and participation in governance, Bangalore-based Concerned for Working children has received the big nomination this year. Navya P K has more.

India has signed the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a multilateral agreement which promotes international co-operation while respecting the rights of taxpayers.

Asia’s pension systems need modernising urgently to deliver secure, sustainable and adequate retirement incomes for today’s workers in the context of the rapid population ageing that will occur over the next two decades, according to a new OECD report.

This paper studies sources of technological upgrading in China and India. What is striking about the impressive growth of China and (to a lesser degree) India is that they export products associated with a high productivity level that is much higher than a country at their income level. China’s export bundle has changed dramatically, diversifying into technology intensive products.

Even as Justice Santosh Hegde credibly exposed the Karnataka government for its many scams, senior state politicans and Bangalore's academics worry that nothing will eventually come of it. Sriram Vittalamurthy reports from an October meeting in the city.

There is no data at the constituency level about how the development indicators have changed over the tenure of the local elected MLA or MP. Veena Ramanna reports.

The unseen impact of corruption on the millions of the deserving poor does not seem to affect our collective conscience. We are losing a great opportunity to show we care, writes R Balasubramaniam.

Karnataka's Human Rights Commission's work suffers from many weaknesses - the composition, manner of operations, and the lack of force of its recommendations to the Government. Swagata Raha writes.

The Mayawati government proposes to reduce the distance that farmers must travel to take their produce to market to an average of seven kms. This should help farming families boost their incomes, writes Devinder Sharma.

Shrikrishna D

It has been known informally for long. But recently, animal nutrition scientists announced that areca leaf sheath fodder can replace paddy straw. This is timely, since paddy straw supply has been declining, notes Shrikrishna D.

Sick soils, declining yields, growing debts and rising malnutrition stalk the Punjab farmer, as the practices of the boom years catch up with him, writes Bhaskar Goswami.

A vicious cocktail of weak purchasing power among the hundreds of millions of poor people, and a systems failure in tackling supply side challenges is driving food prices beyond the reach of many, writes Sarosh Bana.

For the last one year, Parameshwara Hegde Tumbemane hasn’t taken his banana crop to the market. He has instead used it to make sukeli, a delicious dried version and that is getting popular in the Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka. Shrikrishna D has more.

With two decades of continuous research and wise management, this ex-lecturer in Karnataka's Udupi district has made a barren hillock into a model of rain harvesting. Shrikrishna D reports.

A tigress recently attacked and killed a man inside the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka. Malini Shankar digs deeper to find answers for the inevitable question.

Revival of millet cultivation in Medak of Andhra shows how a variety of millets can fight hunger even during drought, keep farmers debt-free, and provide the much-needed nutrition without using pesticides, reports Ramesh Menon.

Did you know that Titan Industries, the wristwatch major, does safe disposal of 600,000-700,000 of its old watches each year as part of e-waste management? Darryl D'Monte on a recent UN report that highlighted India's massive e-waste challenges and silver linings.

Notwithstanding these hellholes called shelters, the state government has been going gung-ho about its ‘swift action’ to resettle the flood victims in North Karnataka. A visit to one such shed revealed the officials’ heartless rhetoric writes Savita Hiremath.

In operation now for more than two years, Gorus has a network of about 50 committed families as consumers and 25 farmers as suppliers, and growing steadily. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports.

Barely three days after the conclusion of the last of six public hearings, Minister of Environment Jairam Ramesh slapped a moratorium on the release of Bt Brinjal. Anupama Rao summarises key points from the Minister's note.

It takes more to feed the family amidst destroyed houses and ruined hopes. The flood-hit women in North Karnataka are putting up with more than what their menfolk could ever empathise with. Savita Hiremath has more.

"Trying to measure the success of water harvesting only with increased water level is not fair. The vegetation improves, so does the soil moisture.” Shree Padre reports on an arecanut farming family's success.

Ankola railway station along the rainy Konkan coast is in a heavy rainfall area yet is suffering from water shortages. Shree Padre reports on half-hearted water harvesting efforts here.

The current situation of impotence that the Government finds itself in should prompt some soul searching about the reliance on market mechanisms to take care of India's food security, writes Kannan Kasturi.

The current situation of impotence that the Government finds itself in should prompt some soul searching about the reliance on market mechanisms to take care of India's food security, writes Kannan Kasturi.

A long history of questionable practices in the mining industry catches up with its practitioners, landing the whole affair in the Supreme Court. Kanchi Kohli reports.

Karnataka's plan to harvest power from the Gundia river that runs through the Hassan and Dakshin Kannada districts has been criticised by environmentalists, farmers and the Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. Bhanu Sridharan investigates.

Post October floods in North Karnataka, Dalits find themselves in a greater predicament. A century of struggle for equal rights and worse, fundamental faith in human progress, is at stake, writes Savita Hiremath.

Sloppy and biased surveys of damaged houses and paltry compensation have made the flood victims in Koppal and Bellary districts run from pillar to post to get what is rightfully theirs, writes Savita Hiremath.

North Karnataka's flood victims feel that it was relatively easier to run away from raging waters than dealing now with a corrupt bureaucracy and eking out a livelihood fraught with imponderables. Savita Hiremath investigates.

It's a classic headline: "Government-funded rainwater harvesting for public schools goes wrong, money wasted". However in one district, the tale is altogether different. Shree Padre records the positives and the lessons.

The handling of sugar production, sale and external trade by the government shows a complete absence of strategic planning on an issue that critically affects the aam aadmi. Kannan Kasturi reports.

The handling of sugar production, sale and external trade by the government shows a complete absence of strategic planning on an issue that critically affects the aam aadmi. Kannan Kasturi reports.

Since Kerala and ASEAN countries both produce several similar items, competition from the latter is a cause of worry in the former. But the Centre has over-ridden the State's objections to the free trade agreement, writes Bhaskar Goswami.

This is a bill that the Governor of Karnataka sent back to the state government in 2007 saying that it "evidently seems to undermine the Constitutional mechanism for rural development governance.." The same bill may be back in the state assembly soon, warns Nandana Reddy.

Disillusioned by the total lack of responsiveness from mainstream parties to their plight, displaced tribals from Polavaram decide to contents the assembly elections themselves. R Uma Maheshwari reports.

Disillusioned by the total lack of responsiveness from mainstream parties to their plight, displaced tribals from Polavaram decide to contents the assembly elections themselves. R Uma Maheshwari reports.

The common thread between our external and internal security predicaments is our approach to time. Most security issues are long-standing and seemingly interminable. If we understood why this is so, we can change it, writes Firdaus Ahmed.

The common thread between our external and internal security predicaments is our approach to time. Most security issues are long-standing and seemingly interminable. If we understood why this is so, we can change it, writes Firdaus Ahmed.

They are two simple, rural women, living in rural Andhra Pradesh, in an area known for its arid soils, its resultant lack of food and its poverty. And unbelievable as it may seem, the answer to the healthy skins of Chandramma and Narsamma lies in good nutrition. Keya Acharya has more.

In the name of good governance, decision-making powers in Karnataka are being given to parastatal organizations and non-elected task forces. Kathyayini Chamaraj asks for a re-look at outsourcing government.

The current crisis has some striking similarities with the fallout in India of the Great Depression of 1929-1933. Indian farmers were pushed deep into debt, and the overall economy suffered, recalls Kannan Kasturi.

Earlier, this tank was providing water for 600 trees only. Now 2000 trees are being irrigated from the tank itself for four months. Shree Padre as another success story, this one from southwestern Karnataka.

As food prices rise around the world, the political economy of food is being rewritten, with countries and companies moving to acquire large tracts of farmland around the world to secure their interests, notes Devinder Sharma.

Rainwater harvesting need not be limited to household purposes. It can be successfully implemented to solve water problems in commercial establishments too, as demonstrated by an automobile dealer agency in Mangalore. Shree Padre has more.

Frustrated with the hardness of borewell water, H Ramesh and his family are harvesting rain in their Mysore house for almost all their domestic uses. Shree Padre has more.

Girish Kasaravalli's latest film is a beautiful celluloid essay on the trials and tribulations of a poor Muslim woman, Gulabi, as the world around her changes in response to apparently unconnected events. Shoma Chatterji reviews the film.

It was 25 years ago this month when villagers in Karnataka undertook an eight-kilometre-long trek to resist massive tree-felling at the Kalase forests. In today's milieu, the Appiko movement is facing fresh challenges, writes Sudhirendar Sharma.

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 •  Printer friendly version 10 September 2008 - If your journey along the west coast still remains picturesquely green, thank the chants that had rented the air of this region 25 years ago, and which seemingly echo even today. Chanting the Kannada slogan of Ulisu, Belasu and Balasu, meaning ‘save, grow and sustain’, the forest-loving people of Uttara Kannada - the most green district in the country – stood up against the tyranny of the state that was clearing the native forests to pave way for monoculture plantations.

The 25-year-long journey

History was created on 8 September 1983 when people from villages around Salkani in Uttara Kanada district undertook an eight-kilometre-long trek to resist massive tree-felling operations underway at the Kalase forests. Hordes of men and women lay seize to the forest over the next three months, hugging the trees and forcing the perpetrators with little option but an unceremonious exit.

Western ghats, a biodiversity hotspot. Pic: From Paradise Lost, a report published by Prakruti, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka.

The news spread fast, catching the imagination of forest dwellers across the state in Kodagu, South Kanara, Chikamaglur and Shimoga districts. Appiko, meaning ‘hug the trees’, soon became a potent expression to counter violence against nature, reflecting empathy towards forests. “It seems a cosmic force was fuelling indelible energy into each of us,” recalls M N Mableshwar of Gubbigadde village in Sirsi.

The villagers of Gubbigadde and Balegadde, who were the first to lodge a formal protest against clear felling, wonder if Appiko could have found a better home than Uttara Kannada. Called the ‘forest’ district, this region had an impressive 82 per cent of its geographical area under forests in 1950, earning the tropical evergreen forests in the Western Ghats the distinction of being one of the 16 global biodiversity hotspots in the world.

Despite hailing from the ‘forest’ district himself, then Chief Minister of Karnataka Ramkrishna Hegde took six years to withdraw the timber concessions given to forest based industries and impose a moratorium on felling of green trees in the natural forests. Passed in 1990, the order has been valid till date. But for this order, the region would have long been shaved off its pristine green cover for filling the insatiable desire for industrial development – mining, paper industry, hydro power and railways.

“Dubious justifications for forest clearance have made a mockery of the order,” laments Pandurang Hegde, who not only led the movement but continues to anchor it. Six hydropower projects including a nuclear power plant on the 184-km short stretch of river Kali have already accounted for loss of 21,000 hectares of forests. The irony is that of the 1800 MW power being produced in the district, local consumption doesn't exceed 18 MW.

New challenges

There are significant milestones that the movement recounts as it begins to prepare itself for the challenges that lie ahead. Given the fact that the global discourse on democracy toes the neo-liberal model of market economy, the future of social movements like Appiko face new challenges. As consumerism casts its influence on young minds, the next generation lacks the empathy to align with social causes.

With a view to convert present challenges into future opportunity and to showcase the significance of the Western Ghats from a wider perspective, it has been decided that the historic day of 8 September will henceforth be observed each year as the Sahyadri Day, so that the chants of Ulisu, Belasu and Balasu continue to echo in the region.

 •  Some good news on conservation
 •  A familiar battle at Tadadi Building a fresh engagement with the younger generation to sustain countervailing forces and contest the oppressive policies of globalisation is a formidable challenge, admits Hegde. The key word of ‘ecology’ has been replaced by ‘economy’ and ‘conservation’ makes room for ‘consumption’. In the present context, environment versus development debate is considered anti-growth both by the state as well as sections of the public. Be it land, water or forests, each natural entity gets viewed through an economic standpoint. Obsession with growth has helped brew widespread apathy towards ecological conservation. Needless to say, times have changed and the challenges have been further compounded since Appiko movement was launched 25 years ago.

Success for Appiko

Appiko may have lost some ground to changing developmental priorities but the ethos of a movement guided by sheer grit and determination still persists. Three years ago, it organised a massive protest against the proposed 4,000 MW Barge Mounted Power Plant at Tadadi. Over 25,000 people protested the setting-up of a plant that could have devastated 1,800 hectares of estuary, created at the point where river Aghanashini empties itself into the Arabian Sea. The livelihoods of local fishermen came in handy in making a case against the proposed project.

The scrapping of the proposed seventh dam on river Kali and the holding back of the proposed rail link cutting across 2,000 hectares of tropical forests between Hubli and Ankola on account of environmental clearance are more examples of the success and continued relevance of Appiko.

Appiko has neither been opposed to growth nor development; it views nature conservation complementary to human growth and survival. While forests can be converted into monetary terms, there is no way the fundamental role of tropical forests in pulling the strong oceanic currents to offload their showers can have a replacement. As the threat of climate change becomes real, there could not be anything more pressing than protecting the monsoon gateway (i.e., Sahyadri) to the country.

With a view to convert present challenges into future opportunity and to showcase the significance of the Western Ghats from a wider perspective, it has been decided that the historic day of 8 September will henceforth be observed each year as the Sahyadri Day, so that the chants of Ulisu, Belasu and Balasu continue to echo in the region. From modulating climate change to maintaining river discharge and from maintaining biodiversity to enriching nutrient regime, preservation of tropical forests can open a new window of opportunity at the global scale to generate unique ecological capital. It is in this context that Appiko is repositioning itself for a major role in the coming years.

Sudhirendar Sharma
10 Sep 2008

Sudhirendar Sharma is a water expert and Director of the Delhi-based Ecological Foundation.

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Father Benjamin D'Souza's rain harvesting measures in four acres of the Tallur Church campus in coastal Karnataka have assured zero runoff for the last half a decade and watered neighbouring wells too. Shree Padre reports.

Over the years, nationalised banks have had to buckle up and polish their looks to serve new generation customers and meet stiff competition from the private sector. But the personal touch, valuable to many customers, has been lost, laments Sudha Narasimhachar a former PSU-banker.

With lakhs of the city's long-term residents, traders and others likely to be affected, there is much opposition to Bangalore's road-widening plans. Protests against tree-felling have acquired a much deeper dimension. Kathyayini Chamaraj reports.

The government school system is not a rationally driven and coherent apparatus of state policy. Instead, its everyday work is continuously and varyingly reshaped in the light of social, institutional, and policy related inflections, write A R Vasavi and Rahul Mukhopadhyay.

The policy that reportedly favoured Indian consumers at the cost of farmers has come back to bite the consumers with a vengeance. And with the US and Europe embracing biofuels, things could get even worse, writes Kannan Kasturi.

S Ganesh Mallya, a high school teacher cum Sunday farmer in Yedapadavu in Karnataka, has greened his plot without borewells. Using simple techniques to catch rainwater, he has managed to raise the water level in his open well and grow a bountiful farm. Shree Padre reports.

Konkodi Bhat's simple pipe system at his home in Dakshina Kannada allows the family to use rainwater for half the year and lets the excess recharge the open well for usage in the remaining months. His easily replicable technique can successfully reduce groundwater usage in heavy rainfall areas, reports Shree Padre.

The proposed 1000 MW coal-fired power plant at Chamalapura, Mysore, to be located on agricultural land and within 30 kilometres of the Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks, evoked strong protests last year. Recent announcements indicate that the government is going slow. Nandini Chami has more.

A Karnataka Bank branch in Mysore is the setting for a unique tale of investment - in water. The bank's senior manager devised a simple plan to allow accumulated rainwater, which was earlier just pumped out and wasted, to percolate into the earth. Shree Padre reports.

As the heaps of pineappples grow bigger, prices will go down drastically from Rs.5 to Rs.2 and finally to 50 paise per pineapple, says Priyalal Sharma, a Tripura grower, who has also started rubber plantation in some portion of his land. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports.

This 58-year-old illiterate farm labourer has developed irrigated farming at a hilltop in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. His hard work, vision and never-say-die attitude have turned the land around and he now advises visiting farmers. Shree Padre reports.

An initiative at an educational institution near Mangalore ensures that the institution can do without water tankers during the monsoon months. Rainwater suffices and what's more, its borewell also gets recharged. Shree Padre reports.

A two-day seminar held recently in Mumbai brought together policy makers, bureaucrats, social workers, farmers, journalists, activists and researchers. Scrutinising farm policy in depth, they said that policy had failed to address some of the main challenges, reports Aparna Pallavi.

An inspection of the latest electoral rolls released by Bangalore's municipal body reveals that it's riddled with errors, despite recent door-to-door surveys. Kathyayini Chamaraj reports on suggestions made by a joint initiative of citizens groups to correct the anomalies.

79-year-old Achyutha Bhat brought surangas to Manila village in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. His passion for the water caves - which help tap and supply water - and his commitment to training newcomers in suranga-digging has been a boost for local farmers, reports Shree Padre.

A 3-acre pond dug in the Yenepoya Medical College 15 kms from Mangalore is catching run-off from about 15 acres of the campus and from an equal area of their neighbourhood. It has already saved the institution a substantial sum on getting water from outside. Shree Padre reports.

A university professor in Shimoga had the fore-sight to make his home nearly autonomous from various public utilities, and alongside do his part for the environment. And when his neighbours were slow to learn, he set out to educate them too. Shree Padre reports.

Vidarbha farmers are shifting to soybean and oilseeds as substitute, harangued by dipping cotton prices, highly volatile markets and withdrawal of government support. Jaideep Hardikar reports on the trend, the risks and the other alternatives for the farmers.

Has bamboo's time arrived? The high cost of inputs going into conventional construction is beginning to push more people in the direction of alternatives, and this was topic of a recent seminar at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Ashwin Mahesh has more.

A far-sighted educational trust is reaping the benefit of digging recharge wells long before the need for them. While its own decision is a lesson in conservation, the institution is also going further, imbibing ecological concerns into the students too. Shree Padre reports.

With water run-off patterns in his area disturbed by the Forest Department's plantations, more bore wells being sunk, and pumping of groundwater turning multifold, a Karnataka farmer decided to build his own network for recharging ground water. Surprisingly for him, these efforts have revived his local stream. Shree Padre reports.

A study of women's lives in the L R Nagar slum of Bangalore shows how women's economic and social independence in the slum may be linked to age, as well the socio-economic constraints of individual families. Sarayu Pani summarises her study.

Smooth relocation of forest dwellers from within to outside tiger reserves requires effective land records and land use policies. Citing the messy situation in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, an official says that even today, there is no reliable estimate of number of people and livestock living inside the reserve. Malini Shankar has more on the challenges.

In clear disregard for the ongoing multilateral negotiations, the United States is attempting to protect its already heavily fortified agriculture further. The House of Representatives passed the US Farm Bill 2007 in July, proposing 286 billion dollars of support for American farmers over the next five years. Devinder Sharma on the implications.

By building tanks to catch run-off in the higher reaches of the land, a Karnataka farmer reaps the benefit of a higher water table in the lower areas. In doing so, he remembers that this was the practice for a long time in this area, and he has simply recalled an old tradition. Shree Padre reports.

Paradise Lost…almost! is a report on the Western Ghats written by Sudhirendar Sharma. The report follows the trail of destruction in the ghats and engages with those who have been engaged in the task of reversing the dominant trend. An IN-PICTURES feature.

Charles and Nirmala Sequeira were simply looking for something different to do. Little did they think that, many years later, their decision to start selling ice cream made from local fruits would catch on with customers, and open a new channel for value addition for local produce. Shree Padre reports.

In the major metros, a range of new vocational courses is helping high school students find jobs in the rapidly industrialising sectors. What about job-seekers in small towns and rural areas? Padmalatha Ravi reports on two NGO-led training innovations in Tamilnadu and Karnataka.

The village of Hebballi in the Krishna river basin is a striking example of a successful and sustainable piped water supply in rural India. While challenges still remain, this experience shows that some steps towards equity and sustainability can be taken in many other places too. S Vishwanath reports.

The Karnataka state legislature's amendment to the Panchayati Raj law has already attracted severe criticism from civil society. The governor had also expressed his objections. There is now an outpouring of wrath from women panchayat members around the state as protests intensify. Kathyayini Chamaraj reports.

The latest vocational education courses are presenting job opportunities for high school graduates that their poor parents lacked. Institutes conducting bilingual training are particularly helpful for students who are very likely to have not schooled in English medium. Padmalatha Ravi has more.

Two areca farmers of Sirsi in northern Karnataka, Ganapathy Dattatreya Hegde and his brother-in-law Ananda Subbray Pratakahal have become community leaders, workhorses and heroes, all in one. They have turned a situation of water-scarcity and soil-degradation into one of regeneration. Keya Acharya reports.

A private high school in Sirsi, in northern Karnataka is not stopping at imparting academic education. It has also started teaching practical water literacy to the people of five Malnad districts. The rain centre at the school, with 28 examples of rain water harvesting, opened in early June. Shree Padre reports.

No matter which way India's seed policies are heading, the underlying purpose of Malnad's home garden programme as a community conservation initiative for the preservation of genetic diversity, organic agriculture, health and ecologically sensitive livelihoods remains undiluted. Keya Acharya reports from northern Karnataka.

No matter which way India's seed policies are heading, the underlying purpose of Malnad's home garden programme as a community conservation initiative for the preservation of genetic diversity, organic agriculture, health and ecologically sensitive livelihoods remains undiluted. Keya Acharya reports from northern Karnataka.

In Karnataka, job-training programmes are on offer at a number of institutes, and yet, students unable to make it into college are not lining up in large numbers. Ironically, a manpower crunch exists across industries at the entry level, placing employers in a bind. Padmalatha Ravi digs deeper.

Claiming highest quality standards in the world when it comes to its own agricultural imports, the United States has no qualms in exporting sub-standard wheat to India. US participation in India's wheat procurement cannot be at the cost of India softening quarantine standards, says Devinder Sharma.

When a teacher specially trained to handle children with special needs started work at a local government school in Bangalore, children were benefited and stopped dropping out. Padmalatha Ravi has more.

Recent research has shown that computer/digital technologies can help children with autism (and other disabilities) learn and communicate better. A computer training workshop for parents and children was held recently at Bangalore. Shuchi Grover reports.

Bagalkot district in Karnataka is today emerging as a model for how AIDS awareness can make all the difference in stemming the disease. It is also showing how it is not impossible to create an atmosphere where HIV positive people can continue to live with freedom, dignity and hope. Ramesh Menon reports.

Despite the high price of imported wheat, the government prefers this option to paying Indian farmers a higher support price for their crops. Bhaskar Goswami says that this amounts to a covert policy of dismantling the procurement and price support mechanisms.

A three day festival of a special tender mango called appe midi held last month in Shimoga, Karnataka attracted 6000 visitors. The festival showcased a range of preparations including popular pickles, and gave a filip to the conservation of this wild mango variety. Shree Padre reports.

27-year-old Ratnamma, a garment factory worker, was forced to deliver a baby on the streets of Bangalore. 20-year-old Gayathri was run over by the bus belonging to the Bangalore garment factory where she worked. Garment workers in Bangalore are caught in an exploitative web, reports Padmalatha Ravi.

For decades, Karnataka has been haunted by the devadasi tradition where girls were 'dedicated' to goddess Yellama and then turned into sex-workers. Today, determined groups of devadasis of Bagalkot district are bravely stopping the practice, stemming the growth of AIDS and gaining a new respect in society. Ramesh Menon reports.

A hurriedly passed amendment to the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act last week gives MLAs unwarranted powers over panchayats, which are themselves a separate tier of local goverment. Nandana Reddy and Damodar Acharya say the amendment is contrary to the spirit of decentralisation and the Constitution.

The devotees of historical Veera Narayana Temple at Gadag now have an important lesson to take home along with their theerth and prasad. That if they harvest rainwater falling on their land into the mother earth's womb, they won't have to suffer in the summer. Shree Padre reports.

Using a deviously devised method, Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is claiming that 75 per cent of Vidarbha farmer suicides are not due to indebtedness at all. Meanwhile, the toll has crossed 250 this year and is rising. Jaideep Hardikar reports.

The West Bengal government remains under a cloud due to violence over its industrialisation plans, but in other areas, its procurement and off-farm processing support for farmers has helped them far more than Maharashtra's approach to its own farmers. Jaideep Hardikar visited Burdman district.

There is much that the nation's farmers need to hear in the Green Foundation's message, and avoid past mistakes. But there is also a positive message, reminding farmers that "traditional farming will help you gain control of your finances and your food security." Sudha Narasimhachar reports.

Efforts to make learning more interactive and more fun for students appear promising, but it may be too soon to judge if they are positively impacting children's performance in standard tests and surveys. Meanwhile, teachers complain that these efforts have added to their already heavy burden. Padmalatha Ravi reports.

What is the price of water to the supplier? What are people being charged out there? Where are our institutions headed in the balance between equity-accessibility and cost recovery? S Vishwanath looks at the example of Bangalore, and finds much room and need for improvement in water pricing.

This year, 160 farmers in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district committed 480 acres for organic production. Two complete cycles of procurement, processing, and marketing of organic produce in a number of cities have already been completed. Rajni Bakshi says Timbaktu Organic is expanding.

This year, 160 farmers in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district committed 480 acres for organic production. Two complete cycles of procurement, processing, and marketing of organic produce in a number of cities have already been completed. Rajni Bakshi says Timbaktu Organic is expanding.

Setting himself a target of a thousand trees each year, Dr Mahantesh Tapashetti has greened his neighbourhood and surrounding areas in Hubli by himself. Many residents appreciate his work, and the Forest Department has been happy to support him, supplying trees for his care and planting them each year. Shree Padre reports.

School authorities say, and records show, that while enrolment has not been substantially improved as a result of mid-day meal programmes, school attendance has certainly gone up by 10-12%. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement in the management of the scheme. Padmalatha Ravi reports.

The Belgaum City Corporation has in the last one decade has revived 16 big and 21 small dug-wells. Today, 2 million gallons (16 per cent) of Belgaum's water supply comes from these local wells alone, leading to precious cost savings that have paid back the revival expenditure long ago. Shree Padre reports.

In a few weeks, Karnataka will once again seek public input in setting electricity tariffs. While the era of state electricity boards has ended, public participation is important to counter pressures from the government, utility companies, and the commercial private sector on regulators, write Lina Krishnan, Gautam Menon and M V Ramana.

With a properly metered water bill, consumers have a much better chance of being heard than otherwise. Yes, there are justified concerns about rights and equity when we talk of water, but metering is not anti-poor. In fact, used well, it can address their demands powerfully, says S Vishwanath.

In what appears to be a desperate move to prop up agriculture growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for reversing the declining trend in investment in agriculture. But his approach may also end up compounding the already existing crisis, writes Devinder Sharma.

The proposed Hubli-Ankola railway line in Karnataka originally stirred up criticism because if built, it would pass through the ecologically fragile Western Ghats forests. Matters recently came to a head when evidence emerged of the Railways proceeding to construct a part of the line without forest clearance. Kanchi Kohli has more.

It's 'ready to serve' and like a soft drink bottle or tetra pack, you can take it inside any office, drink and then dispose. Sold with the brand name Tender Fresh, 1500 – 2000 tender coconuts every day are reaching a clientele that reads like the who's who of Bangalore's software companies. Shree Padre reports.

The Karnataka Governor, T N Chaturvedi, recently asked the state government for an explanation on why the state wants the central government to clear the Dandeli dam on the river Kali. This, in light of the fact that state government departments had themselves recommended and shelved the project earlier. An India Together report.

At the core of the agriculture crisis in Vidarbha are the disparities between the western and eastern regions that the state's policies have fostered over five decades. Starved of the funds that western region has for long received, it now hardly matters whether Vidarbha gains the status of statehood, notes Jaideep Hardikar.

The scientific establishment remains highly sceptical about organic methods. But Dr Tarak Kate and his colleagues at a Wardha-based NGO have collected data systematically, to negate the charge that this alternative is unscientific and unproven. Darryl D'Monte reports.

Can transgenic cotton ever be a livelihood security measure for the majority of India's small-holder farmers? Keya Acharya is circumspect. She says that the Bt cotton story in India is one of confusion. Bt appears more to favour 'rich' farmers, who have access to water, better resources, and alternative support.

Rescue operations carried out with tactful involvement of media and the police can offer victims protection from further trauma, and also begin to sensitise a number of people on the complex issues involved. Kirti Mishra reports on the experiences and learning of Odanadi Seva Samsthe.

Five and a half years ago, a visit to nine Karnataka farmers who were trialing Bt cotton showed regulatory breakdown. Six years on, despite fresh criticism by NGOs, scientists and the media, India's regulatory practice with transgenic crops appears to have offered a repeat performance of its 2000 conduct, says Keya Acharya.

There seems to be a steady increase in the acceptance of Bt cotton by Karnataka farmers. And, after experiencing the disastrous consequences of spurious seeds, farmers are particular about buying only from authorised sources. But disturbing and worrisome trends remain, reports Keya Acharya.

Disregard for local sentiment is now the norm in most large projects. At Tadadi, which has faced a long line of threats of displacement, the latest struggle is against a proposed 4000 MW coal-fired plant. With Coastal Zone regulators not very attentive to the violations of law, the villagers can rely only on themselves. Sudhirendar Sharma reports.

Seven months after last year's disastrous flooding finally ended, residents in low-lying areas southeast of Bangalore are anxious what this year's monsoon rains will bring. With city authorities yet to tackle the infrastructure problems of the area, many can do little more than hope. Padmalatha Ravi reports.

Through registration and certification, the draft law seeks to promote quality seeds. But it's unclear if farmers can meet the standards set for commercial seeds. Controversially, the Bill also permits inspectors to carry out search and seize operations without warrants. M R Madhavan and Kaushiki Sanyal present a legislative brief.

What is behind the suicides in Vidarbha? Is it drought or lack of irrigation, like some are saying? Why have over 550 farmers ended their lives in the last season? Many factors -- local and global -- have together pushed farmers to the brink here, notes Jaideep Hardikar , but says that lopsided global cotton trade is one major cause.

Two farmers from Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, took the state government to court for not giving them water for the past three-four years. The twist is that they approached a district consumer court, and won the case in less than a year. Veena N reports.

India is unilaterally opening its doors to imports of wheat at a time when several contentious issues remain to be settled in the World Trade Organisation. This deliberate step up will result in serious consequences, and weaken the country's bargaining power, writes Ashok B Sharma.

Growing corporate interests and influences in the country's farm sector are beginning to underplay the significance of cooperatives, despite failed pilot programs. Moreover, farmer-owned-firms continue to be successful in the developed nations, and this evidence too is being ignored, writes Sudhirendar Sharma.

The government's stance towards biotechnology shows such disregard for the public interest that even its own Expert Committee is not privy to the proposed new policy. Suman Sahai protests the reckless endorsement of vested interests while many other stakeholders are kept in the dark.

In a twist to the usual practice of digging deep bore wells in search of water, Mohammad decided to try scouring for water horizontally. His success at this unusual method has earned him the nickname 'adda-bore', and many satisfied clients. Shree Padre reports.

The Green Revolution was a publicly owned technology, but the current version is its opposite; processes, products, and research methodologies are caged in patents and the farmer has little say or control. But chasing nuclear stardom, India has once again sacrificed agriculture, writes Suman Sahai.

The Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sanitation Project aims to supply piped water to 8 townships on the outskirts of Bangalore, boldly proposing to unhook citizens there from reliance on tubewells, borewells and water tankers. Yet, the only certainty in the much debated project is that the waters are murky, muddy and unclear. Arati Rao reports.

Neither the protections of law nor interventions by the Supreme Court have ensured adequate minimum wages for the jobs performed by tens of millions of unorganised workers. Kathyayini Chamaraj reports on a recent survey by a Bangalore-based group showing how far below fair standards these workers have been pushed.

The area around the Nagavalli tank in Tumkur, Karnataka has been reeling under water scarcity for the past several years, with extensive sinking of bore wells not helping. But Jaya farm, owned by 75 year-old Jayanna and run by his middle-aged son Kumara Swamy, has become a ray of hope and self-help. Shree Padre reports.

For the sixth time in a row, the trade ministers of the developing world have been duped to believe that agricultural trade is for development. Despite making loud noises and fuming over injustice, the faulty framework that underlies the WTO remains very much in place, says Devinder Sharma.

The line between cultural assertion and chauvinism is a very thin one. The demand for renaming Bangalore, part of the unfinished business of linguistic nationalism, is legitimate, and should be honoured. However, Kannada pride should not lead to Kannada chauvinism, writes Ramachandra Guha.

Should Bangalore and its surrounding municipalities be merged into a single jurisdiction, as the state's politicians are now proposing to do? The Constitutional standard as well as Bangalore's abysmal record of administering even the core metropolis both argue against centralisation. The India Together editorial.

A multi-state campaign to draw attention to the adverse effect of agriculture and trade policies on sugarcane farmers has just ended. Padmalatha Ravi spoke with farmers and campaign coordinators in Tamilnadu, and traces the growth and decline of agricultural families' fortunes around this crop.

How can 'drastic cuts' in trade subsidies lead to no reduction? Simple: fudge the language. Economic jugglery and clever wording cannot, however, conceal the horrible effects of US and EU subsidies on livelihoods and food security in the developing world. Devinder Sharma urges the G-20 to simplify the terms of trade.

All the steel and glass towers of the glitzy facade of Bangalore cannot hide its seamy underbelly where life is pieced together under plastic tents, with fear and want as constant companions. The Bangalore Social Forum that came into existence on Independence Day believes that “another Bangalore is possible," writes Kathyayini Chamaraj.

Despite abundant evidence that the PDS has failed to ward off starvation, the Centre proposes a new plan that shows none of the wisdom of this experience. Kanchi Kohli reports on an alternative grounded in local production, storage and distribution, which does a much better job of fighting hunger.

On 31 December 2005, the curtains are set to come down on the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd's long disputed mining operations in the protected Kudremukh National Park. But ensuring an end to mining in one of the most stunning landscapes of the country has not been easy. Pavithra Sankaran provides a telling narrative.

On 31 December 2005, the curtains are set to come down on the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd's long disputed mining operations in the protected Kudremukh National Park. But ensuring an end to mining in one of the most stunning landscapes of the country has not been easy. Pavithra Sankaran provides a telling narrative.

For a number of reasons including frustration with chemical agriculture, improved economic prospects and concern for nature, some farmers in Punjab are growing organic. Kavitha Kuruganti travelled around parts of the state to meet a number of farmers and dealers of organic products last month.

Much of the agrarian crisis is the result of unwanted and cost-intensive technologies that have been forced on the farmers. Scientists were unknowingly trying to promote the commercial interests of the seed, tractor and the pesticides industry. And we don't need to repeat this error, says Devinder Sharma.

Talk of the city's future is a lament over failing infrastructure, encroachments, and neglected millions. Civic-minded citizens are critical of the latest Comprehensive Development Plan, and point to its legal flaws, mismanaged process for citizen inputs, and misplaced priorities. Arati Rao reports.

Five years ago, the United Nations set a goal to drastically reduce hunger and poverty in the world by 2015. This September, the UN met at New York with over 850 million people going hungry everyday. To target hunger, an international consultation in April at Chennai had recommended a new approach to the UN, reports Ramesh Menon.

Rainwater harvesting isn't just for drought-prone regions, nor is it an entirely recent development. Shree Padre travels to an old church in Dakshina Kannada district, where despite living in one of the rainiest places in the nation, monks put up a roof water harvester many decades ago, and maintain it to this day.

It may take more than random coverage of dramatic developments on the civic front for the media fulfil its promise of connecting citizens and governments. Mere reports based entirely on press statements and conferences in which plans are presented with little questioning won't do, writes Ammu Joseph.

Three generations of a farming family in Bagalkot district in Karnataka campaigned to drought-proof the fields and to conserve the soil and water. Their inspiration was a 170-year old book that until recently remained only in manuscript form. Shree Padre reports on the enviable results.

A Karnataka district that has been reeling under three successive years of drought may be bouncing back. The state government's top bureaucrat in Bagalkote district led civil society groups in a water harvesting campaign between 16-27 June, just as the monsoon rains had begun. Shree Padre reports.

Residents of seven villages in Kolar district depend on water from the Mudiyanur tank which is not in good shape and in need of de-silting. Still, the villagers' worship of goddess Chowdeswari has helped them preserve an age-old tradition of water allocation, finds Surekha Sule.

A citizens forum at Bangalore has been spearheading interventions using the Karnataka Right to Information Act for the past year. The Katte members' focus has helped expose the law's weaknesses and make recommendations to better the recently passed Central Right to Information Bill. Kathyayini Chamaraj reports.

Thousands of cotton farmers in Maharashtra are due money from the state's procurement agency -- the marketing federation -- for the 2004-5 season. Though officials maintain that they have released payments, farmers are not getting money from the banks. Jaideep Hardikar reports.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India is the nation's supreme audit institution. It is widely respected for its unshaken independence in auditing government expenditure. But in its scrutiny of Karnataka's Gerusoppa dam, it let off the Karnataka Power Corporation on two key counts. Himanshu Upadhyaya interprets the CAG's 2004 report.

Water table reports in Karnataka show that the future looks bleak. While rainwater harvesting (RWH) is looked upon as a viable solution and has become a buzzword, the state has only taken an incremental implementation path, with urban areas currently leading rural areas, reports Padmalatha Ravi.

Eight months before the upcoming WTO ministerial of December 2005, prominent economists are closing ranks to dwarf sustained criticism of agricultural subsidies in developed nations. Devinder Sharma asserts that the continued undermining of food self-sufficiency in developing nations is economic lunacy.

Since 1980, organic tea consumption has grown by leaps and bounds. India too has joined this new green revolution with many farmers already growing organic tea or converting their plantations to do so. However many barriers have to be overcome before this sector realises its full potential. K V Prayukth reports.

Large numbers of farmers have opted for a way of cultivation that does away with chemical pesticides, and most importantly, uses less water in a water-starved state. The dramatic results are nowhere more visible than in Rajasthan's Shekhawati belt, reports Deepa A.

The potential of rainwater harvesting has been much talked about in recent times. But that an ordinary plastic water storage drum connected to the roof through a pipe will turn this potential to reality is surprising many citizens in the Bangalore-Mysore region, reports Shree Padre.

Illegal felling, mining, and conversion of forest land into non-forest uses, have all been unchecked here. Repeated hearings in the Supreme Court were ignored by forest officials. Kanchi Kohli reports that the case presents both new opportunities for holistic conservation as well as risk of the Court's orders being flouted brazenly.

At a conference on the eve of the 2005-06 Budget, Planning Commission vice chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said he is advocating redistribution of farm subsidies into road construction and improving land use. Devinder Sharma warns that Ahluwalia continues to bank upon the World Bank's flawed understanding.

Last year saw Maharashtra go to the polls and the incumbent government offer freebies to farmers. But cotton growers in Vidarbha saw their problems only worsen as they entered 2005. None of the political parties seem interested in a real way out, finds Jaideep Hardikar.

The Maharashtra State Cotton Growers’ Marketing Federation was originally setup to procure cotton from growers at reasonable prices and sell it to mills and traders. Instead, with government policies not helping, it has trapped itself and farmers in a vicious cycle of debt and losses, reports Jaideep Hardikar.

There is no overlap between the administrative jurisdictions of various city agencies, or congruence with political boundaries. The result: the citizen is confused, the local politician is confused, the agency representatives are confused. Ramesh Ramanathan calls for a transformation of this chaotic situation.

True, Bangalore must be able to handle more flights, passengers and air freight to meet current demand and future growth. But London’s Heathrow airport sits on 1000 acres less land, and yet flies 14 times more passengers than Bangalore's new airport will. What's going on? Jacob John investigates.

The conflict between farmers and government in Rajasthan escalated recently. Farmers resorted to violence after demonstrations failed. There are simply too many stakeholders and too few resources to satisfy everybody. But there are ways to make life easier for citizens, writes Deepak Malik.

India's upcoming National Biotech Policy will aim at food security, health-safety, farmer well-being, protection of the environment and security of trade in farm commodities. But favouring GM crops over alternatives runs real risks of jeopardizing this agenda, argues Kasturi Das.

Hit by metal mining and tree cutting, the Kapotagiri hill range in Karnataka was turning barren. But in the last year, a local seer has worked with forest officials to bring back some of the green glory, reports Shivaram Pailoor.

The pressing need for direct participation of citizens in public oversight has always contrasted with the eagerness of political parties to penetrate virtually all public offices. In Karnataka, school development monitoring committees were the latest to fall victim to this imbalance. Subramaniam Vincent reports.

According to the European Union's plans for agricultural reforms, subsidies received by farmers will now become their entitlement until 2013. The big businesses that get most of these subsidies are quite happy; meanwhile the subsidies continue to create starvation and death in the developing world, notes Devinder Sharma.

Suman Sahai comments on the recently released report of Task Force on Biotechnology policy.

The measure of the Budget lies in whether the proposals have the potential to provide an effective solution to the crisis of the agrarian community. On that score, says Kasturi Das, there will be little to cheer as long as the government persist with the failed Green Revolution model.

The Bangalore based technology non-profit, eGovernments Foundation has recently been in the news for expanding its municipal systems reform operations to New Delhi. Managing Trustee Srikanth Nadhamuni talks to Subramaniam Vincent.

If you raise the price of your product and offer a discount on the higher price, some people will get taken in by such 'sales'. The WTO has just pulled off this kind of scheme, says Devinder Sharma.

Subramaniam Vincent follows the intrigue, as New Delhi seeks to weaken Right to Information laws on the one hand, and receives a proposal to strengthen RTI at the same time.

The majority of civil fire incidents happen due to lack of clear laws and a blatant disregard for existing rules and regulations, assert Harminder Kaur and Bhargavi S Rao. The authors look at the Karnataka situation.

Citizens and government are thinking differently about each other on access to information, notes Subramaniam Vincent. The Central law in the next challenge.

Kathyayini Chamaraj reports on one of the most critical predicaments of the Indian elections process. A deeply flawed voter registration system.

Farmers' suicides will end only when we are willing to confront the real villain - the misplaced faith in industrial farming, says Devinder Sharma.

Farmers in Andhra Pradesh's Warangal district are doing the math, and learning that the chemistry that kills their pests is taking its toll on them as well. Ramesh Menon reports.

Kasturi Das discusses the challenges for conventional farmers who may want to adopt organic practices.

As the Congress promises priority to agriculture, it needs to strike a balance between its policies and those of the Left Front. Ashok B Sharma reports.

Removal of agricultural subsidies should be a pre-requisite to further movement on the WTO agricultural negotiations, says Devinder Sharma.

The Karnataka Election Watch Committee collected an enormous amount of data about candidates as the state went into Assembly and Lok Sabha polls late last month. A brief report.

With many of its regular programmes running smoothly, Bangalore's pioneering civil society organisation turns to newer ways of engaging citizens. Rasika Dhavse reports.

Cautiously, but with conviction, some farmers are switching to organic farming, and bidding goodbye to the pesticide-driven harvests of the Green Revolution. Ramesh Menon reports.

A new bio-fertilisation solution offers protection for the long-term health of soils, as well as a cheaper alternative to traditional chemical treatment. Rasika Dhavse reports.

Well-known experts presented `Water: More Nutrition Per Drop' at the April 20 meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. Sudhirendar Sharma reviews the report and its considerations of the Indian situation.

Jacob John reviews Of Master Plans, Laws and Illegalities in an Era of Transition, a report prepared by the Alternate Law Forum for the Bangalore Development Authority.

Subramaniam Vincent profiles eGovernments Foundation's partnership with Karnataka to create better property-tracking systems, and notes the early gains for the state.

Kasturi Das makes a strategic case for a shift to organic agriculture in India.

Kanchi Kohli

Karnataka's state government proposes to divert the waters of the Goa bound Mahadayi river back into the Malaprabha river to counter acute water scarcity. Kanchi Kohli digs deeper.

To expect poor and marginal farmers to trade online seems to be a wild imagination of a stockbroker, says Devinder Sharma.

Encouraging contract farming is going to hurt the 600 million people dependent on subsistence agriculture, says Devinder Sharma.

Anitha Pailoor profiles a large landholding family farm in Karnataka's Hassan district that switched from chemical farming to organic in the mid-nineties.

Karnataka's Electricity Regulatory Commission reminds Bangalore's power supplier it has an obligation to provide reliable and safe service.

India Together

As 2003 draws to a close, Rasika Dhavse reports on Janaagraha, a Bangalore's citizens platform for participative local democracy.

India Together interviews Srikanth Nadhamuni of Bangalore's eGovernments Foundation.

Shree Padre delves into the details of a unique, successful experiment of self-help farm journalism.

In a significant move, the Kerala government has decided to promote the production and marketing of organic food. C Surendranath reports.

Why is it that large expenditure on food subsidy in India does not achieve more in reducing undernourishment? At a New Delhi public hearing earlier this year, Dr. Amartya Sen addressed this question.

Incorporating a financial structure that allows stakeholders to hold each other accountable in their balance of interests can make municipal water supply a win-win for everyone, says Jacob John.

A new legislation aims to bring in a rigorous process of planning, transparency and citizen participation together at the local level in Karnataka, says Vinay Baindur.

Karnataka's West Coast Paper Mill had to deal with much more than shareholders on the day of its recent Annual General Meeting.

A proposal for the last dam on Karnataka's Kali river has been abandoned, says the state's Industries Minister R.V.Deshpande. The state's apex environmental regulator makes several forward-looking promises.

A township on the eastern outskirts of Bangalore was among the first to run into council elections after the Supreme Court ruled on new disclosure rules for candiates. Public Affairs Centre looks at whether candidates and officials actually followed due process.

Karnataka's best bid at electronic governance is targeting land records, says Keya Acharya.

N G Hegde on a Karnataka water project that is more than an innovation making water and irrigation a reality in a drought-prone area.

An update from Bangalore's PROOF (Public Records of Operations and Finance) campaign.

Rasika Dhavse profiles the Bala and Yuva Janaagraha campaigns at Bangalore.

Having failed to meet the challenges of the post-green revolution era, agricultural research has reached a dead end, says Devinder Sharma.

Leo Saldanha and Subramanya Sastry on the threats to the Kali River from pollution and sand mining and more recently a proposal to build the seventh dam across the river's last stretch.

Bangalore Municipality's fourth quarter results round up and other updates from the city' Public Records of Operations and Finance (PROOF) campaign.

With more citizens taking interest, Bangalore's Janaagraha campaign is expanding to neighboring municipal areas.

T R Raghunandan is a hard hitting IAS officer managing Rural Development at the Government of Karnataka. In this interview to India Together, he talks about decentralization reforms and the challenges of winding down prevailing hierarchies in government.

On G S Gidde Gowda's farm outside Hassan, the theories of conventional farming take a backseat, while he applies a systematic preference for nature's own hand.

An update from the Bangalore's Public Records of Operations and Finance (PROOF) campaign.

A recent Supreme Court order has said that the Government shall build a second runway only in full compliance the law.

Led by children themselves, and ably assisted by concerned adult guidance, a remarkable Children's Council gives true meaning to citizenship and informed choices.

Marginalised communities continue to demonstrate that they can own and operate their own media to ensure that their voices are heard. But is the Government looking their way, asks Ashish Sen.

Kathyayini Chamaraj looks at a civil society partnership that is catalysing a government urban poverty alleviation programme.

The Government of Karnataka's Working Group on Decentralization discusses mechanisms for democratizing decision making in Panchayats. This is the third in a series of articles adapted from the Working Group's 2002 report.

The Government of Karnataka's Working Group on Decentralization discusses transparency and accountability for rural self-governance in the state. The first in a series of articles adapted from the Working Group's 2002 report.

Veena Poonacha's recent book on three Kodagu women chronicles a significant journey into the changing fortunes of women in India, says Geeta Seshu

The Malenadu home garden and seed exchange network in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka has made an impressive beginning in saving seed diversity says Sunita Rao.

The Government of Karnataka's Working Group on Decentralization discusses institutions for upward accountability in Panchayati Raj. The second in a series of articles adapted from the Working Group's 2002 report.