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  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief presents some of the key effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s public school education, focussing specifically on children. It begins with a discussion of the pre-pandemic status of school education and key policy shifts over the past few years, and provides an overview of the principal issues arising from the pandemic and the resulting school closures. It then offers potential policy suggestions to address these challenges, and thereby ensuring quality education to all children.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Children, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Snehal Shah, Avani Kapur, Abhishek Andasu
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: he National Health Mission (NHM) is Government of India’s (GoI’s) largest public health programme. It consists of two sub-missions: National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). Using government data, this brief reports on: GoI allocations and releases; Incentives and penalties to states under conditionality framework; NHM approvals and expenditures as per programmatic components; and Outputs and outcomes.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Health Care Policy, Budget, Social Policy, Public Policy, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Sanjana Malhotra
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Swachh Bharat Mission- Gramin or SBM-G is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship rural sanitation programme run by the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MJS). Using government data, this brief reports on trends for SBM-G along the following parameters: Allocations and expenditures; Physical progress of toilets built; Expenditures incurred under Information, Education, and Communication (IEC); Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) activities; and Coverage and Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Infrastructure, Budget, Social Policy, Rural, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Tenzin Yangki
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief reports on two schemes: a) The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Government of India’s (GoI’s) maternity benefit scheme aimed at providing partial compensation for wage loss and improving health seeking behaviour of pregnant women and lactating mothers, and b) the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) aimed at incentivising institutional and safe delivery to reduce infant and maternal mortality. Using government data, this brief reports on: Trends in allocations, releases, and utilisation; Coverage and payments; and Outputs and outcomes.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Health, Health Care Policy, Budget, Women, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Ritwik Shukla, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Ayushman Bharat, under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) was launched by Government of India (GoI) on 23 September 2018. The programme consists of two initiatives: (1) The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY); and 2) The establishment of 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs). Using government data, this brief reports on the following indicators: GoI allocations and releases; Eligibility and claims under PMJAY; and Number of operational HWCs and diseases screened.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Health Care Policy, Budget
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures, Component-wise trends, Human and physical resources, Coverage, and Malnutrition status.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Budget, Children, Food Security, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Neha Agarwal, Ambarish Karunanithi, Anju Dwivedi
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The rapid proliferation of toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission has necessitated the safe collection, conveyance, and treatment of faecal sludge and septage. Accordingly, the National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM), 2017, sets the imperative for streamlining the citywide sanitation service chain. In doing so, it promotes closing of the resources loop through recycling and reuse of treated wastewater and faecal sludge-derived biosolids. The 2017 amendment to the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, lays down clear standards and guidance for recycling of treated wastewater. However, a regulatory lacuna concerning biosolids -whose use as a fertilizer in agriculture has been shown to enhance crop yields and reduce the burden of synthetic fertilizers - deters local action in accessing opportunities for their recycling formally. This guidance note, reviewing international biosolids regulations, is intended as an aid for policymakers and regulators at the national and state level in developing a standard for biosolids utilization in agriculture which is easy to interpret and implement, promotes their scientific and safe reuse, and ensures the protection of the health of the users, the local communities, the consumers, and the environment at large.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Health, Sanitation, Recycling
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Ritwik Shukla, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief reports on two maternity benefits schemes, offering conditional cash transfers to pregnant women and mothers: a) The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Government of India’s (GoI’s) scheme aimed at providing partial compensation for wage loss and improving health seeking behaviour of pregnant women and lactating mothers, and b) the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) aimed at incentivising institutional and safe delivery for reducing infant and maternal mortality. Using government data, this brief reports on: Trends in allocations, releases, and utilisation, Coverage and payments, and Outputs and outcomes.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Health, Budget, Women, Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures; Component-wise trends; Human and physical resources; Coverage, and Outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Health, Budget, Children
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Arkaja Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Getting approvals under the various building regulations applicable to any particular jurisdiction is often the first step in construction and development. The Report ‘Building Regulations for Faecal Sludge Management: Review of Building Regulations from Indian States’ seeks to understand how these building regulations address on-site sanitation, what kind of standards do they impose on developers, and how well do they incorporate mechanisms to enforce these standards. In this report, we look at six states: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. We also look at other standards that are applicable to on-site containment of Faecal sludge, and the manner in which these standards get incorporated into the building regulations. We find that context-specific attention to On-Site Containment of Faecal Sludge is only given in very few states, at least within our sample size. Usually, Building Regulations seem to rely on already existing standards such as the National Building Code, 2016. Additionally, the inconsistencies within the bye-laws exhibit a lack of understanding on the issue of FSM, amongst the policy-makers. As Faecal Sludge Management is an issue at the interface of environment, sanitation, and public health, a lack of convergence between various departments of the government is also noticed.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Health, Regulation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Devashish Deshpande, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This report is the culmination of a study conducted by the Accountability Initiative (AI) on Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin in 2017 on the request of the Udaipur district administration. The study understands the outcomes, and the processes, which led to Open Defecation Free status in selected Gram Panchayats.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Social Policy, Sanitation, Services
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Susan Esme Chaplin, Reetika Kalita
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In Delhi, as in many other Indian cities, millions of men, women and children who live in slums and informal settlements haveto daily confront the lack of adequate sanitation facilities. These sanitation inequalities have a greater impact on the health and socioeconomic status of women and girls because of their greater social vulnerability to sexual violence; there is also the role played by biology in their need for privacy, safety and cleanliness. Men and boys, on the other hand, tend to use public urinals and open defecation (OD) sites generally more frequently, because their need for privacy during these sanitation activities is not such a cause for concern. In addition, women and girls are forced every day to risk using precarious spaces for their sanitation activities that may expose them to gender-based violence and harassment and not satisfy their biological and socio-cultural needs. These urban sanitation inequalities also negatively impact the time women have available for paid employment as well as their daily domestic responsibilities, as they have to spend each morning queuing for toilets or getting up earlier to go with other women to OD sites. For adolescent girls this can often mean being late for school, which threatens their education and future life choices. India failed to meet Millennium Development Goal No. 7 (adopted by the United Nations in 2000) relating to halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation. In terms of toilet usage across India, the Census 2011 found that 81 percent of urban households had a private toilet or latrine. But when it came to slum households, only 66 percent had a toilet, meaning that 34 percent had to either use a community or public toilet or resort to OD (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation & National Buildings Organisations 2013, p. 60). In reality, there are an estimated 41 million urban dwellers still practising OD because of a lack of access to improved sanitation (WaterAid 2016). OD is a compulsion, not a choice, and creates particular risks and imposes a variety of harms upon women and children that men and boys do not suffer. Who or what is responsible for such socioeconomic consequences of the lack of adequate sanitation infrastructure in Indian cities which perpetuate gender inequalities? How do harms like gender-based violence impact the everyday lives of women and girls living in slums in particular? This project report examines these issues using the notion of infrastructural violence and then examines the harms and suffering caused by a lack of sanitation infrastructure in two long-established localities in Delhi: Mangolpuri and Kusumpur Pahari. Mangolpuri is a resettlement colony in the northwest region of Delhi with an estimated population of more than 350,000. It is interspersed with eight JJCs clusters of varying sizes. Kusumpur Pahari is located in the heart of south Delhi, near Jawaharlal Nehru University, and now has five blocks of JJCs and an estimated population of nearly 50,000.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Health, Children, Women, Income Inequality, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Over the past four years, the national policy environment and institutional response to sanitation have undergone a substantial change. The launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) have catapulted sanitation into the league of priority sectors. In the backdrop of such developments, Housing and Urban Development Department under the Government of Odisha sought to revise the Urban Sanitation Strategy 2011 with the able support from the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The revised Odisha Urban Sanitation Strategy 2017 and Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy 2017 make crucial strides towards the achievement of a Clean Odisha. The purview of the strategy has been expanded to address gaps in the entire sanitation value chain for the management of not only solid waste, but also liquid waste including faecal sludge/septage and menstrual hygiene. The revised strategy is grounded in the principles that have underpinned the Odisha government's efforts so far to provide the people with equitable and safe access to sanitation, along with establishing the most advanced sanitation infrastructure. Over the next ten years, concerned departments will work towards six objectives: (a) achieving open defecation free and (b) open discharge free urban areas; (c) effectively managing and treating solid waste; (d) ensuring that sewage, (e) septage/faecal sludge and liquid waste are safely treated and disposed; and (f) ensuring safety guidelines are followed in physical handling and management of waste. In addition, providing women and girls with safe access to menstrual hygiene has also been included as an objective in the revised strategy.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Infrastructure, Governance, Public Policy, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shibani Ghosh
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The recent uproar about the toxic levels of pollution in the country’s national capital region has once again brought to fore the failure of the regulatory and legal mechanisms in India to control air pollution. Despite an early legislative acknowledgment of the issues relating to air pollution, and regulatory mechanisms set up consequently, India has not been able to restrict the sharp upward trajectory of air pollution. While several issues with regard to the legal and regulatory regime governing air quality in the country deserve serious and urgent consideration, this paper focuses on one issue in particular – the liability regime for violation of air quality standards. The paper is divided into three parts. The first part discusses the relevant provisions of the law pertaining to liability - civil and criminal - for causing air pollution. The second part identifies three critical issues that have emerged in the current liability regime: (1) the Pollution Control Boards do not have the power to levy penalties; (2) criminal prosecution is not an effective solution; and (3) the National Green Tribunal Act does not provide complete relief. The third and final part of the essay proposes a way forward. It is suggested that the Pollution Control Boards need to be granted additional enforcement powers, and administrative fines for violations should be introduced, albeit with certain conditions.
  • Topic: Environment, Health, Governance, Law Enforcement, Law, Reform, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Jishnu Das, Alaka Holla, Aakash Mohpal, Karthik Muralidharan
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: We present among the first direct evidence on the quality of healthcare in low-income settings using a unique and original set of audit studies, where standardized patients were presented to a nearly-representative sample of rural public and private primary care providers in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. We report three main findings. First, private providers are mostly unqualified but spent more time with patients, and completed more items on a checklist of essential history and examination items than public providers, while being no different in their diagnostic and treatment accuracy. Second, we identify the private practices of qualified public sector doctors, and show that the same doctors exert higher effort and are more likely to provide correct treatment in their private practices. Third, we find a strong positive correlation between provider effort and prices charged in the private sector, whereas we find no correlation between effort and wages in the public sector. Our results suggest that market-based accountability in the unregulated private sector may be providing better incentives for provider effort than administrative accountability in the public sector in this setting. While the overall quality of care is low in both the public and private sectors, these differences in provider effort may partly explain the dominant market share of fee-charging private providers even in the presence of a system of free public healthcare.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Privatization, Health Care Policy, Social Policy, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Anjali Chikersal
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is one of the few countries that has been estimated to have a “critical” shortage of health workers and therefore unlikely to be able to provide essential health interventions to its people (WHO 2006). The dire impacts of these shortages are evident from the fact that it has fallen short of meeting its MDG goals on several fronts. As the current discourse on Universal Health Care debates the means of expanding coverage to all citizens, the one aspect universally agreed upon is the persistent challenge that a shortage of health workforce in the public sector poses, and the pressing need to address this gap. This policy brief outlines the core issues at the root of the problem and examines the reasons for the severe shortages in the key element of this workforce, the physicians, in the Indian public sector. It then provides an overview of WHO’s Global Policy Recommendations to address this challenge and looks at the strategies that various Indian states have so far adopted. Finally, it offers a set of practical and goal oriented recommendations aimed at directly and urgently addressing the challenge in the Indian context.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Public Policy, Public Sector
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India