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The Centre has claimed before the Supreme Court that there was widespread consultation with farmers before the farm bills were introduced in Parliament. However, The Wire reports that an RTI query has revealed that there is no record of any such consultation with farmers or farmer bodies in the records of the Union Ministry for Agriculture.

The India Forum argues that far from the Indian state standing aloof from farmers, the distress faced by farmers is crying out for the government’s intervention in making critical investments if Indian agriculture is to survive and thrive.

The latest National Family Health Survey reveals that despite a reduction in child mortality rates in the country, the levels of malnutrition in India remain disturbingly high, Down to Earth reports.

And,The Caravan tells us why economically-backward students are regularly denied student loans by PSU banks; while The Bastion analyses how unplanned urbanisation has caused the rapid shrinking of Delhi’s community spaces.

For a selection of stories from the Foundation’s grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Agriculture Ministry’s Claim on Farm Bill 'Consultations' Runs Contrary to its RTI Reply

The Union government has claimed before the Supreme Court that “serious, sincere and constructive efforts” were made by the Centre to “engage” with the farmers before the farm legislations were passed. However, the recent Right to Information (RTI) reply by the Ministry of Agriculture reveals that there is no record of any such consultations with any of the stakeholders, especially farmers’ unions.The Wire reports.

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‘Mere Paas Sarkaar Hai’

Indian policy-makers have long argued that Indian agriculture must be ‘reformed’ and unshackled from the state’s regulations and controls. However, the agrarian distress in the past decades has shown that the Indian state must “intervene in multiple markets” and “make critical investments” if Indian agriculture is to flourish, The India Forum argues.

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NFHS-5: Child mortality drops, prevalence of malnutrition remains high

Down to Earth reports that as per the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - despite a notable decline in the child mortality rates in the country, the prevalence of malnutrition continues to remain high.The fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) covered a total of 17 states and five UTs in the first phase of the survey. It also points out that rural children were found to be more vulnerable than their urban counterparts in a majority of states.

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Banks repeatedly violate RBI’s circular, deny student loans citing parents’ credit score

In total disregard of their mandate to provide education loans to deserving but economically disadvantaged students, India's public-sector banks continue to deny student loans.The common reason for the disqualification is their parent’s poor CIBIL score – a number that the banks use to assess the creditworthiness of a potential borrower.This is when as The Caravan reports, the RBI circular clearly indicates that the students, and not their parents, are considered the principal borrowers.

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Contempt of Court: Does Criticism Lower the Authority of the Judiciary?

In the wake of the SC’s recent decision to proceed with the criminal contempt of court cases against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra and cartoonist Rachita Taneja, EPW explores whether the law punishing contempt of court leaves undue room for interpretation at the discretion of judges.It points to the danger of such discretion having the potential to be used to curb criticism of the judiciary.

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More from the grantees
Shrinking Commons Amidst Delhi’s Unplanned Urbanisation
The Bastion reports on how rapid urbanisation and unplanned real estate development have caused community-owned lands, or the commons, in Delhi’s “urban villages” to shrink. Despite development, these urban villages lack basic amenities like water and sewage disposal.
Job Loss And Pay Cuts: How Teachers In India Navigated Through The Pandemic
Feminism in India explains how teachers in India navigated through the pandemic surviving job loss and pay cuts. Many teachers morphed into informal-sector workers to eke out a living.
Max Maharashtra Impact: कराड - चिपळूण मार्गाच्या कामाला सुरूवात
Max Maharashtra's report on the deplorable plight of the road connecting Karad and Chiplun, near Satara in Ratnagiri, leading to innumerable accidents, forced the local administration to act.
The Supreme Court’s Interim Stay of the Farm Laws: Creating the Space for a Novel Solution?
The court’s interim order on the farm laws has confounded parties and the pundits.The SC Observer examines the Court's justification for halting the implementation of the farm laws and asks if the Court is designing a new space for creative solutions.
इतने खतरे के बाद भी भारत चीनी टेलिकॉम कंपनियों पर यूरोप जैसी कार्रवाई क्यों नहीं कर पा रहा है
While the US and Europe have kept Chinese companies in 5G-technology at an arm’s length, Satyagrah finds out why India has been coy in taking evasive action.
चित्रकूट- बदलाव की बयार: युवा दे रहे बच्चों को निशुल्क शिक्षा
Khabar Lahariya reports on an initiative by a group of youths in Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, who have been teaching children of parents engaged as daily wage labourers since 2016 for free.
Can India Displace China in Global Supply Chains?
Takshashila Institute’s analysts discuss how India and Indian companies can take advantage of companies looking to leave China or cut their dependence on the country for their manufacturing. According to them, companies are increasingly wary of political risks to their business and are looking to diversify their supply chain.
Every Indian’s Checklist: How will the new Code on wages affect your salaries?
Suno India breaks down the latest labour law amendments on wages. The episode helps listeners in understanding how the structure of basic wages, allowances and other payments are set to change.
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