Rampant violations of local governance and environment norms characterise hydroelectric projects over the Mandakini river in Uttarakhand. Smita Gupta reports.
The case of the Food Security Bill gets curiouser and curiouser. What started off as a fight between universalization and targeting has ended (or so it would seem) in a complete victory in the National Advisory Council, Government of India (NAC) for targeting through universalization (if such a thing was possible), with the honourable exception of Prof Jean Dreze, who has to be commended for his ‘note of disagreement’. On 30th August, 2010, the Working Group of the NAC had recommended ‘universalization with differentiated entitlements’, dividing the poor into two categories, 42% in ‘antyodaya’ and the rest in ‘aam’. They found the best way to kill a Bill; make it so complicated that it is completely unworkable in practice.
The UPA’s promise to ensure adequate availability of food articles in the country for assured food security to all Indian citizens through the deliberations of the NAC is fraught with a series of exclusions. It excludes all APL households or roughly 73% of the people in 75% of the country from its coverage on the basis of the dubious and discredited Planning Commission estimates, writes Simta Gupta.