Dear Reader,

Punjab was the cradle of India’s Green Revolution in the 1960s and 70s. Since then, in relative terms, Punjab has fallen off the high perch it once enjoyed in agriculture. However, this harvest season, Punjab’s farmers are heralding a “revolution” in its rice production.

Seeds developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), an organisation under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), have been in the vanguard of this revolution. As ThePrint reports, the new seeds, which are “disease-free, use half the water, cost less to grow, give higher yield and fetch higher prices”, have the farmers talking of a quiet and tangible transformation in the state’s paddy yields.

India Development Review profiles another revolution in the women’s self-employed movement led by Ela Bhatt, who passed away last week at the age of 89. The Padma Bhushan and the Ramon Magsaysay prize awardee’s battles and struggles for women power clocked many firsts, including SEWA Bank, the first of its kind microfinance movement.

Meeting the needs of children with special needs in our school systems is a very neglected aspect. Special educators and counsellors are largely noted for their absence in mainstream schooling, particularly when the right to education for disabled children is a Constitutionally mandated and protected right. The Citizen looks at the issue and tells us what needs to be done to level the playing field.

And, to mark the National Voluntary Blood Donation Day on October 1, the government launched a vigorous drive claiming that they collected a record number of blood units. However, Suno India analyses that with the proliferation of the blood centres in the country, there are real challenges in ensuring quality besides the retaining of cadres at these units.

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


Sunil Rajshekhar

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In Punjab’s paddy fields, farmers hail a new low-cost, high-yield rice varieties ‘revolution’

A new variety of seed developed by the ICAR, which uses half the amount of water, costs less to grow and fetches higher prices promises to transform paddy yields in Punjab. ThePrint reports.

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Remembering Ela Bhatt, visionary and founder of SEWA

Last week, Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA and a visionary of women’s rights and self-employment in India passed away. However, India Development Review predicts that her legacy as a pioneer of the women's movement in India will live on.

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Education Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All System

What needs to be done to support and protect the rights of children with special needs in mainstream schools? The Citizen reports.

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India’s demand for blood comes the most from those with nutritional anaemia

Suno India finds out how the requirement for blood in India is met through the year and the challenges and the steps put in place to ensure safe and adequate voluntary donations.

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