Dear Reader,

The Global Hunger Index(GHI) 2022, published recently, saw India's position slip to 107 from 101 out of 121 countries, behind neighbours like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The Index was panned by some in India for conflating the distinction between nutrition and hunger.

However, The India Forum argues that while the GHI’s methodology may have been weak, it should not thwart a public discussion of the abysmal state of nutrition of India’s children. The issues of the continued malnutrition of our children should exercise the minds of the highest in the land.

From the Valley, Kashmir Observer reports that the Back to Village programme has infused new life into the Panchayat institutions. Not only is there a new steam in the affairs of the Panchayat, but the exercise has become more participatory and even democratic.

MediaNama analyses Freedom House’s report on ‘Freedom on the Net, 2022’ and says that while India’s standing has “marginally improved”, it still remains only “partly free”. The report is scathing in its observation that the state continues to block online content, journalists remain at risk of facing hate speech and online harassment, and citizens are under the threat of arrest by law enforcement agencies for posts critical of the government.

Two thousand households were surveyed across eight blocks in four states - Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra - on the efficacy of MGNREGA. The Survey showed that during the first year of the pandemic, almost 40 per cent of all job-card-holding citizens interested in work did not get a single day of work, and only 36 per cent received their wages within 15 days in the same year.

Yet, India Development Review analyses the Report to point out that despite the shortcomings, the employment guarantee scheme made a “marked difference” during the pandemic and protected the ‘most vulnerable’ from a catastrophic loss of income.

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


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Global Hunger Index: Misplaced Debate and Ignoring Priorities

The India Forum argues that the Global Hunger Index report may have been less than par, but India will do well to recognise and remedy the anomalies it throws up in the state of India’s child nutrition.

Read Here

Back to Village: Strengthening People’s Voice

The ‘Back to Village’ scheme in the Kashmir Valley has been unusually effective in reinvigorating the working of the Panchayat system. Kashmir Observer reports.

Read Here

Everything You Need To Know About Freedom House’s Assessment Of India’s Internet Freedom

India’s Internet freedom is being described as “partly free” and, as MediaNama explains, is characterised by excessive government censorship, surveillance and even detention and arrest for posts considered unfavourable to the government.

Read Here

COVID-19 underscores MGNREGA’s role as a safety net

India Development Review analyses the results of a survey to tell why MGNREGA’s coverage should be expanded and deepened.

Read Here

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BSF, ITBP, SSB, and Assam Rifles are the guardians of India’s borders. However, this does not come cheap in human cost. These forces lose more soldiers each year than the Indian army does during peacetime. Manning remote regions and difficult borders result in high psychological stress and lead to significant suicide and fratricidal deaths, reports ThePrint.
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