Dear Reader,

Kashmir has seen a spate of far-reaching changes, beginning with the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year. These have had fundamental consequences for the people of the Union Territory. One of the recent orders of the Centre removes fetters on an Indian citizen buying ‘non-agricultural land’ in Kashmir. The Wire reports the move has raised fears that this will change the demographics in Kashmir, and will facilitate the unbridled entry of big corporates.

The Prime Minister has made a fervent appeal to citizens to adhere to the Covid guidelines in the upcoming Bihar polls and the festival season. However, in the heat of electioneering in the state, all guidelines seem to have been disregarded by all hues of politicians and their Parties. Satyagrah analyses if it would have been wiser to postpone the polls until Covid abated.

And, while migrant workers from small towns and villages return to the metros for work, The Ken analyses why young, white-collar professionals are increasingly moving out to ‘younger metros’ like Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad, amongst others.

For a selection from the coverage of our grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Modi Govt’s New Land Policy for J&K Overturns 7 Decades of Land Reform

The Centre’s recent orders have paved the way for all citizens of India, not just the state subjects of Jammu & Kashmir, to buy ‘non-agricultural land’ in the erstwhile state. However, The Wire argues that, not only has this raised the fears of largescale demographic changes in the UT but has also paved the way for the “revival of a neo-jagirdari system”, as the revolutionary land reforms of 1950 - the Big land Estates Abolition Act - has also been abolished.

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कैसे चुनाव के आगे कोरोना जैसा वायरस भी फेल हो जाता है

The campaigns in run up to the Bihar elections have been marked by the complete disregard of the Covid-19 guidelines by politicians of all hues. Satyagrah reports that even the Prime Minister, who had exhorted the citizens to observe norms during the polls and the ongoing festival season, has fallen short - supporters at his rally paid no heed to the protocols. His political opponents have been worse – not even wearing a mask. Should the polls have been postponed until Covid was at bay?

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Voting with their feet, India’s young workers are remapping the metros

The pandemic has seen the highest rates of infections in India’s top metros. The Ken put together a custom index of economic indicators to show how the pandemic has hastened a trend of young professionals moving to “younger metros” like Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad. According to the story, lower costs, better living standards and the pace of job growth are pushing young people to move.

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Sathankulam Custodial Deaths: Those Left Behind

The Lede examined the report filed by the CBI in its investigation of custodial deaths in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district in June. The story shows how the criminal justice system failed its citizens, with a string of government officials including medical officers, the judicial magistrate, jailors and police officers neglecting their responsibilities and duties.

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Roti, kapda, makaan... and vaccine: Can it sway elections

Down to Earth reports on how a vaccine for COVID-19 has found its way to an election manifesto alongside the promises of Roti, Kapda and Makaan – ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections 2020. This marks the formal emergence of vaccine as a major manifesto item and a poll issue and highlights the impact of the pandemic on India’s polity. Interestingly, DTE points out that a vaccine was never on the list of promises when the nation suffered from smallpox and polio, even cholera in the past.

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More from the grantees
Reopening Schools After 6 Months: Policy Innovation in the Face of Learning Losses
The Bastion analyses what steps can be taken to help students overcome learning losses due to Covid-induced school lockdowns.
Use of EdTech in Indian School Education during COVID-19: A Reality Check
A ground assessment survey conducted by TISS, to assess ground preparedness in the use of Edtech by teachers during COVID-19 pandemic, found that about 70 per cent of them were apprehensive that their students would drop out of their studies. EPW reports.
चित्रकूट-शिक्षा से महरूम हो रहे विद्यार्थियों ने की डिग्री कॉलेज की मांग| KhabarLahariya
The students in Rukhmabuzurg and surrounding villages in Manikpur block, in Chitrakoot, are unable to study beyond Class 10, as the nearest college is 30 kms away. Khabar Lahariya highlights the plight of these children, many from Adivasi families, who are forced to drop out of learning as they are unable to afford the commute.
Bihar Election 2020 | Nitish kumar के गृह ज़िले में उनसे बुरी तरह ख़फ़ा हैं स्थानीय लोग | Hilsa Sea
Asiaville reports from Hilsa vidhan sabha in Nalanda, Bihar, on the distress and anxieties of its residents on rising unemployment, increasing migration and the state’s failure in rendering aid.
Driven out of the road for over six months, autorickshaw drivers in Imphal reel under Covid Crisis
Still struggling under the pandemic, the autorickshaw drivers in Manipur’s capital, Imphal, struggle to earn a living. There are no takers for even their last option – a sell-off, says Imphal Free Press.
रिपोर्टर ऑन ग्राउंड : बिहार के लाखों ड्राइवर-कंडक्डर क्यों नहीं दे पायेंगे वोट
Janjwar reports from the ground from Gandhi Maidan, Patna and highlights the plight of lakhs of drivers and conductors who will be deprived of their right to vote in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections.
Kashmir’s economy in shambles due to prolonged lockdown
Suno India speaks with everyday Kashmiris and small business owners to understand how prolonged lockdowns have hurt the state’s economy. Sectors such as tourism, hospitality and horticulture, amongst others, have been severely hurt.
"We didn't know what a sero survey was"
India Development Review brings you a first-person account of a field manager who worked on Mumbai’s sero-survey.
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