Dear Reader,

Environment versus development has been a critical debate of our times. With the government set to fast forward the Ken-Betwa Link Project, an effort to connect the Ken and Betwa rivers in the dry and drought-ridden Bundelkhand, the debate has once again reared its head.

Those vouching for the project say it will irrigate 10.62 lakh hectares of land and provide drinking water to over 6 million. However, the naysayers question the very feasibility of the project, its impact on climate, its aftermath on the Panna Tiger Reserve - 10 per cent of whose core area will be submerged - and the issue of resettlement of the displaced. ThePrint travels to Bundelkhand to bring us both sides of the debate.

The fifth round of the National Family Health Survey, which provides information on population, health, and nutrition in India and its states reveals that one-fourth of women aged between 20 and 24, were reported to have been married before 18.

This is when the government is seeking to amend the law to raise the legal age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21, in a bid to stem child marriages. However, it has been argued that the step may, in fact, prove counter-productive. India Development Review analyses the state of affairs and suggests steps that might be more effective.

Article 14 reports that what was touted as landmark legislation in Rajasthan – The Social Accountability Bill, a first of its kind in India, has been seemingly put on the back burner, two years after the draft was circulated. The bill seeks to hold government officials accountable by providing for their social auditing by members of independent bodies, public hearings on delivery, and expenditure tracking.

And, in an exclusive, MediaNama reports on how a hacker used “social engineering” and phishing to take control of the social media platforms of a journalist. A lesson for those of us who are not rigorous in employing safe practices on the net; and also a reaffirmation of the scant regard that platforms pay to individual privacy and to the resolution of its breach.

For more such stories from the grantees, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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In deadly dry Bundelkhand, Ken-Betwa link finally seems real. But critics have questions, fears

ThePrint travels to dry, dusty, and drought-prone Bundelkhand to log the facts and questions around the Ken-Betwa River Link Project, which promises to alleviate the region from the unending cycles of droughts and crop failures.

Read Here

Can legal action alone put an end to child marriage?

The move by the government to increase the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 through the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, may only end up exacerbating incidents of child marriage. India Development Review analyses why.

Read Here

In State That Drove Laws Guaranteeing Info & Work, New Law To Hold Govt Accountable Is Put On Hold

Article 14 reports on how the enactment of a transparency and social accountability law in Rajasthan, meant to hold the government and public servants accountable, has been delayed for years.

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Exclusive: How A Hacker Used Social Engineering To Target A Newslaundry Journalist On Instagram And What Happened After

MediaNama finds out how the social media accounts of a journalist were hacked through a sophisticated phishing attack and how lax cybersecurity practices by individuals, and the apathy of platforms, can compromise privacy.

Read Here

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