Dear Reader,

An accompanying concern to India’s growth story is whether the impact of the upward trajectory in GDP, percolates downwards to create meaningful and productive employment. The answer is a clear no, according to The India Forum. With thousands jostling to enter the job market every year, the present model of "corporate-driven industrialisation" is unable to create "quality employment," especially in India's hinterlands, it asserts.

The response to this "jobless growth," it argues, is to focus on, amongst others, two important aspects. One is reducing the gap in productivity between small agriculture and organised industry by raising the productivity of the former. And two, increasing the employment potential for the educated by employing them in an expanded delivery of basic and essential services in primary health and education.

Farmers in India are increasingly at the receiving end of the vagaries of climate change, farm prices, and, as this story by मैं मीडिया shows, government apathy and malfeasance. Farmers in Kishanganj who had bought price-controlled maize seeds for sowing from the sub-divisional office of the Bihar State Seed Corporation Ltd say, that the seeds did not yield a crop even after weeks of sowing. Losses and distress followed in its wake.

Last week, on January 8, after years of fighting a case, Bilkis Bano seemingly got justice from the land's highest court. A two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice B V Nagarathna, overturned remission orders of the Gujarat government, which had allowed the premature release of 11 convicts held guilty of gang-raping Bano and murdering 14 members of her family in 2002. The Supreme Court Observer analyses the 251-page judgement and the principles involved -- the maintainability of the petition, the Gujarat government's authority to grant remission, and the question of the convicts' personal liberty.

And, after the Prime Minister’s call to Indians to look at tourist destinations within India rather than locations on foreign shores, there has been a broad call for promoting tourism to islands like Lakshadweep and the Andamans.

In the context of this call, Keraleeyam Masika evaluates the options. Do Lakshadweep and Andamans have the same enchantment as Maldives to attract visitors? Even if enticed, do the Indian locales have the capacity to absorb these tourists and provide the expected experience? And how will this relatively sudden and increased influx affect the ecology and the society of these islands?

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


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Rethinking Employment and Industrialisation in India

The India Forum looks at what needs to be done to ensure that as India grows, so do the jobs -- for its large population of educated unemployed, especially in its villages and smaller towns.

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"सरकार पर विश्वास कैसे करें" – सरकारी बीज ले कर फंसे किसान, नहीं हुई मक्का की फसल

In Bihar, says मैं मीडिया, the farmers find to their shock, that the maize seeds they procured from the state corporation, under controlled prices, do not yield a crop.

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Early release of Bilkis Bano gangrape convicts | Judgement Summary

The Supreme Court of India, last week, overturned the remission granted to the rapists of Bilkis Bano and killers of her family. The Supreme Court Observer examines the judgement and the principles involved.

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ടൂറിസത്തിനായ് തുറക്കപ്പെടുമ്പോൾ ലക്ഷദ്വീപിൽ ഉയരുന്ന ആശങ്കകൾ

Can India's thrust to put relatively unsung tourist spots, such as Lakshadweep, on the Indian and world tourist map succeed? Keraleeyam Masika examines the issues from the ground.

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More from the grantees
Ban on Building, Repairing Houseboats Threatens their Survival in Kashmir
Houseboats in Kashmir have "a history dating back to the 13th century." However, The Citizen reports that the government policy restricting boat registration and repair has sunk their hopes of sustaining their way of life.
बिहार: 10 सालों की घोषणा के बाद पंचायत भवन बनाने का काम 80% बाकी
A decade after the announcement of the construction of 8,053 Panchayat buildings in Bihar, only 20 per cent, or 1,447, have seen the light of day. Democratic Charkha checks out the ground reality.
यूपी: गंदे शौचालय, टूटा गेट, केबिन खाली, कैसे हुई सरकारी अस्पताल की यह दशा! ग्राउंड रिपोर्ट
The state of the government hospitals in Lucknow is abysmal – with dirty toilets, lack of medical staff, including missing doctors, and a general state of neglect and disrepair. The Mooknayak reports from the Bakshi Ka Talab Community Health Centre, a dozen kilometres from Lucknow.
Transgender Persons Face Persistent Workplace Harassment Amidst Government Inaction
The corridors of justice in Kerala are also unfortunately aisles of discrimination and transphobia, as transgender people battle bias and discrimination. The Probe finds out.

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