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Rural Development

We want to ensure an NGO in every village

Issue Date: Aug 15, 1994
What did you achieve by undertaking the fast at Alandi? This is not the first time I have undertaken a fast to draw the attention of the government to the rampant corruption in the social forestry department. I had undertaken a similar fast in 1990. At that time, the government had given verbal assurances that the matter would be inquired into. As nothing came out of this, I decided to undertake another fast. This time written assurances were given that action would be taken against the offending officials within 15 days.

What rural folk need is motivation

Author(s): S Rajendran
Issue Date: Jul 31, 1994
What is the basic concept of pani panchayats? Pani panchayats are arrangements between the farmers of a village to share water resources. There is a limit on the amount of land that can be irrigated -- 0.2 ha for an individual and 1 ha for a family. The beneficiaries should chip in 20 per cent of the capital cost. We provide the remainder as an interest free loan. The farmers are encouraged to manage and operate the scheme.

Looking forward to the past

Author(s): Manjula Lal
Issue Date: Jun 30, 1994
TWO steps forward, one step backward. That's the irritating pattern of growth I've been seeing in the past 2 decades in villages within 3 km from the motor road to Kumaon. But even this hobbled dance of development seemed to take on a progressive avatar after a 15-km trek to an obscure hamlet called Kwetta. It was deep down in a valley off the Almora-Shaharphatak road, outside the 3-km limit where things still happen.

Promoting integrated village planning

Author(s): Suchitra Jain
Issue Date: Dec 31, 1993
MAHATMA Gandhi dreamt of an India where villages would be independent entities, supporting themselves by harmonising human needs with local resources. Today, driven by the bogey of over-exploitation and the steady depletion of natural resources, researchers are frantically trying to find ways to realise the Mahatma's vision by making the village ecosystem sustainable.

Compiling information

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1993
A unique database on mangroves -- the Mangrove Ecosystem Information Service (MEIS) -- developed by the Centre for Research in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (CRSARD) in Madras, will be operational by December. Work on MEIS is being headed by eminent scientist M S Swaminathan.

Development dilemmas

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1993
Different estimates of the extent of the country's wastelands area has forced the ministry of rural development to call for a remapping of such areas. The ministry's wasteland development department has asked the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) in Hyderabad to prepare a detailed map of the wastelands by the end of 1993.

The four pillars of panchayati raj

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1993
ABOUT 5,000 gram panchayats in Karnataka will go to the polls on December 16 this year. But some proponents of panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) argue that the 1983 framework for the operation of PRIs was far more committed to the ethos of democratic decentralisation than the 1993 act. They argue Karnataka's earlier laws had the distinction of subordinating district-level bureaucracy to the district-level panchayati institution. The later Constitutional Amendment, which establishes guidelines for PRIs throughout the country, is seen to revert the reform.

Tissue culture in a pressure cooker

Author(s): K N Shahjahan
Issue Date: Oct 31, 1993
"IF TISSUE culture companies can make profits, why can't villagers?" asks C R Raju, who has developed a tissue culture technique that he claims is cheap and easily transferable to the people -- a feat research laboratories are still to achieve. Raju developed the low-cost technique as part of voluntary work for the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD), an NGO based in Mavelikara in Kerala.

A question of control

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1993
AFTER a nearly two-year break, Karnataka's pioneering panchayati raj experiment will continue in December and January, when elections will be held to village, taluka and district bodies under a new panchayati raj act. But in the run-up to the elections, the campaign to oust Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily has virtually eclipsed a debate on the state's Panchayat Raj Act, 1993, which came into force on May 10.

Poplars spark farmers' fury against Wimco

Author(s): Shailendra Kumar
Issue Date: Aug 15, 1993
THE POPLAR trees that the Bareilly-based match manufacturer, Wimco, persuaded area farmers to plant is causing much heartburn. The farmers allege that Wimco, sensing a wood crisis in the 1970s because of felling restrictions in India and Nepal, tried to get land from the Uttar Pradesh forest department to raise its own wood trees. When this failed, the company allegedly lured the farmers into planting poplar trees, promising handsome returns.
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