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  • Author: Avani Kapur, Vastav Irava
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In Financial Year (FY) 2019-20, the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). It is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship rural drinking water programme to provide functional tap connections to every household for drinking, cooking, and other domestic needs on a sustainable basis. Using government data, this brief reports on: Overall GoI allocations; Trends in releases and expenditures; Component-wise trends; and Progress on coverage.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Water, Infrastructure, Budget, Finance, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In continuation to the Government of Odisha’s landmark initiative of the Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission (OLHM), also known as the JAGA Mission, launched in 2018, and the successful implementation of the Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Act 2017, basic infrastructure upgradation and delisting of slums emerge as the next critical steps towards transforming these informal settlements into liveable habitats, integrated with the urban area. Towards this end the Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) initiative at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) as knowledge partner supported Housing and Urban Development Department, GoO to prepare a 'Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Participatory Slum Upgradation and Delisting’. The SOP intends to benefit the key stakeholders by laying down the procedure and benchmarks for undertaking participatory integrated slum level infrastructure upgradation and establishing procedure and documentation for delisting of the slum, to integrate it to the rest of the urban area. This SOP will act as an enabler for ULBs partnering with the Slum Dwellers’ Associations to ensure the availability of adequate basic services to mainstream the slums into the city fabric. This SOP lays down the integral steps to realise community-level benefits building on land rights distribution towards achieving the broader vision of a Liveable Habitat for all.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Urban, Land Rights, Slums
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief’s focus is solely on core nutrition specific interventions for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children under six years of age. These address the immediate determinants of fetal and child nutrition and development. Nutrition-sensitive interventions are discussed where relevant.
  • Topic: Development, Children, Women, Food Security, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Manju Menon
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In 2000, the central government declared Northeast India as India’s hydropower hub. Over 165 large dam projects were proposed to come up in the region. These projects were held as crucial to India’s energy and environmental security as well as the economic development of the country’s marginalised northeastern borderlands.However, nearly two decades on, this proposal to regulate the region's water resources remains unimplemented. In addition, the projects have generated a lot of public opposition in Arunachal Pradesh where most of these dams are supposed to be situated, and in the downstream Brahmaputra valley of Assam. This article will look into the government's hype and failure to construct hydropower dams in the Northeast region. It points to the need for a reflexive political decision on water resource management from the BJP-led governments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and at the Centre.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Government, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Linear projects like highways have the potential to change existing land use of large areas. These changes are not limited only to the stretches made for transportation of vehicles. The effects of construction are also visible on landscapes on both sides of highways. This study presents the findings of a two-year long groundtruthing study carried out between June 2016 and August 2018 along 187 kilometres of National Highway 66. The study is a collaborative effort of the Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Programme and communities from towns and villages situated between Karwar and Kundapur, especially the 27 Panchayats, in the district of Uttara Kannada in Karnataka. The study presents evidence of non-compliance of environmental safeguards resulting in social, economic and health impacts on the local communities in the project areas. It also highlights several aspects that were not taken into account in the project’s impact assessments. The study includes a broad assessment of the project’s scale of direct impacts. During the course of the study, the following types of non-compliance were identified: Permissions for blasting, groundwater and river water withdrawal were not taken; Dumping soil on wetlands and creeks caused flooding and salt water intrusion; The construction caused soil erosion and landslides along embankments; Non-submission of six-monthly compliance reports by the project proponent; Non-compliance of other laws and compensation agreements; The report includes a case study of a stone crusher unit operating in Bogribail village and causing water and dust pollution.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Infrastructure, Law, Social Policy, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Rani Mullen
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Since the turn of the century, India has continued to enlarge its development cooperation allocations and become a globally significant development cooperation partner. This brief analyzes India’s 2019-20 Union Budget for its development assistance allocations and, using IDCR’s development cooperation database, finds seven main trends in India’s development assistance allocations.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Foreign Aid, Budget, Banks
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Vastav Irava, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In FY 2017-18, the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) was expanded and is now known as the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM). It is Government of India’s (GoI) flagship rural drinking water mission to provide safe and adequate water for drinking, cooking, and other domestic needs on a sustainable basis. Using government reported data, this brief reports on: Allocations for NRDWM, Releases and expenditures, Component-wise trends, and Progress on coverage.
  • Topic: Development, Water, Infrastructure, Budget, Rural, Sanitation
  • 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: Navroz K. Dubash, Ashwini K. Swain
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India’s move to electrify every village and household in the country has been lauded as a success. Building on decades of targeted programmes and public investments by multiple governments, the country completed 100% village electrification in April 2018; a year after, it has electrified nearly all ‘willing’ households. Despite the time it took to get here, these achievements are important milestones in India’s development trajectory. But does connecting households to the electric grid resolve the electricity access challenge? The answer depends on whether electrons flow through the wires and whether all consumers are served equally and adequately.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Investment, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Persis Taraporevala
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The newly elected federal Government of India (GoI) launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 with the stated purpose of improving the governance and infrastructural deficiencies that plague Indian cities. Missing, however, in the pageantry of the new programme is a cohesive understanding of a smart city. While the government documentation repeatedly implies infinite liberty for cities to self-define their understanding of ‘smartness’, the actions demonstrate that there is a larger idea of ‘smartness’ that the federal government seeks to implement. It is at this disjunction, between the rhetoric and practice of the Mission, that this paper finds its core research question – ‘What constitutes a smart city in India?’ Through a detailed reading of the government documentation of the top 99 cities, the paper argues that the there is a profound chasm between the professed objectives of the Mission and the strategies enacted to achieve these objectives.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Urban
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shamindra Nath Roy, Jaya Prakash Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The surge in census towns (CTs) during Census 2011 has drawn a lot of attention to the ongoing and future dynamics of these in-situ urban settlements in India. Using the village level information from the previous and current censuses, the present study attempts to identify the villages that can be classified as a census town in 2021. While the prevailing dataset bears some obstacles for a neat identification of such settlements, it can be observed that a fairly high number of rural areas may be classified as CTs in future, which currently accommodates a population of 17.9 million. While the current nature of regional distribution of these areas may not vary much over the future, their areal characteristics over time portray multiple spatial processes undergirding India’s urban trajectory. A lot of these prospective CTs are also relatively prosperous than their current rural neighbourhoods, which reinforces the persistence of similar pattern of urban transformation in future.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Urbanization, Census, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Partha Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: It is now almost axiomatic that cities are the engines of growth. Historically, federal support programmes have focused on rural areas, but over the past fifteen years, the need to devise such programmes for urban local bodies has come to be recognised, with JNNURM in its various forms, being the most visible early manifestation. This trend has continued, even strengthened, in this government and among the menu of urban support programmes on offer from the Government of India, the vision of the city as the engine of growth is most clearly evident in the Smart City Mission, with its focus on area based development – like an engine within the city. Yet, even in the mainstream economics literature, while there is evidence for cities as places of higher productivity, there is less evidence for cities as drivers of growth – with learning being the primary driver and urban primacy being an important obstacle. The primary questions are whether cities are places of learning, whether there are identifiable mechanisms of such learning and the kind of city institutions – economic, social and political – that facilitate such learning. This paper will interrogate the empirical characteristics of such urban institutions in India in the context of the theoretical literature and learning mechanisms that emerge from international evidence. In particular, it will argue that the nature of the labour market, which is largely contractual, the transfer of rural fragmentation in social relations to cities and the absence of city-level political agency, all reduce the potential of the city as a location of learning economies. For cities to even have the possibility of being engines of growth, we need to ensure that drivers of these engines are in place and we have a mechanism to think about paths to follow.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Arkaja Singh, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Rural areas in India are experiencing significant gains in toilet coverage under the public funded programmes. Given the rate of ‘in-situ urbanization’ in a growing urban paradigm,the rural areas, in many parts, seems to emulate urban infrastructural preferences for their toilets. This may remain annulled due to non-availability of urban like service facilities in the rural context. The first part of the report focusses on establishes the urbanising characteristics of the Large and Dense Villages (LDVs) in India for usage of a specific typology of Sanitation Infrastructure which in turn links to the gaps in terms of service availability across the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) value chain. In this context, in the second half of the report, the authors examine the various environmental and municipal laws applicable to Sanitation in rural areas. The report also sheds light on how the capacities of various institutions and legal instruments may be leveraged for graded interventions, ensuring safe and sustainable sanitation in rural areas in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Sanitation, Services
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashwathy Anand, Ajai Sreevatsan, Persis Taraporevala
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The newly elected federal Government of India (GoI) launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 with the stated purpose of improving the governance and infrastructural deficiencies that plague Indian cities. The Mission categorically states that there is no one definition of a 'smart city' and implies infinite liberty for cities to self-define their understanding of 'smartness'. Towards demystifying the Mission, the researchers utilised government documentation from the 99 cities to answer one question-What constitutes a smart city in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Social Policy
  • 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: Ankit Bhardwaj, Radhika Khosla
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Indian cities routinely make decisions on land use, housing, water, transport, economic growth and waste management that have implications for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Aligning these sectoral actions with climate goals involves understanding how infrastructural systems interact and how these choices address both development and climate objectives. City governments, as managers of these various infrastructure systems, can co-ordinate such decision-making. However, so far, this is largely ad hoc. We show how cities can use a ‘multiple objective’ approach to systematically examine, and make explicit, the linkages between local objectives, climate change mitigation and adaptation across their planning portfolio.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Water, Economic Growth, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Manju Menon
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Land transformation has been at the centre of economic growth of post-colonial, Asian nation-states. While their political reforms and economic policies have focused on land governance, the outcomes have resulted in promoting privatisation and speculative business interest in ecologically sensitive landscapes that are also under diverse forms of common use by resource-dependent communities. A three-year study undertaken to understand community-level responses to land use transformation in India, Indonesia and Myanmar shows that the current scale and approach of land–intensive development in these large democracies is facilitated by fast-paced, top down policy changes. These policies are ‘stacked’ (when multiple layers of current and revoked laws are simultaneously in use) rather than integrated and their implementation is the responsibility of various authorities and agencies that overlap. Growing private investments in land that has remained within varying degrees of state control have changed the way land is managed. Land has become increasingly securitised and ‘out of bounds’ for small farmers and other land-users with or without recognised forms of ownership and use rights. Land conflicts are caused due to coercive acquisition processes or land grabs, unlawful operations of projects and long pending remedies to social and environmental impacts. In many instances, these conflicts begin even before the final decisions on projects are taken and persist for years. Highly capitalised land use change brings powerful investors and corporations, governments and local communities in unequal and precarious arrangements of negotiation and confrontation. Citizens and communities affected by land use change, use varied strategies such as administrative complaints, protests, litigation, media campaigns and political advocacy, and engage in improving project design and implementation, increase compensations, restore community access to resources and get a review on the operations of harmful projects. These are done under conditions of political intransigence and criminalisation of those who speak up. While all three countries have recognised land conflicts and their impact on development plans and proposals, they are yet to give affected people a formal and effective role in land and natural resource governance. This is the overview of the study's methodology and findings.
  • Topic: Development, Privatization, Natural Resources, Business , Economic Growth, Land Law, Conflict, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, India, Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Meenakshi Kapoor, Manju Menon, Vidya Viswanathan
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Land transformation has been at the centre of economic growth of post-colonial, Asian nation-states. While their political reforms and economic policies have focused on land governance, the outcomes have resulted in promoting privatisation and speculative business interest in ecologically sensitive landscapes that are also under diverse forms of common use by resource-dependent communities. A three-year study undertaken to understand community-level responses to land use transformation in India, Indonesia and Myanmar shows that the current scale and approach of land–intensive development in these large democracies is facilitated by fast-paced, top down policy changes. These policies are ‘stacked’ (when multiple layers of current and revoked laws are simultaneously in use) rather than integrated and their implementation is the responsibility of various authorities and agencies that overlap. Growing private investments in land that has remained within varying degrees of state control have changed the way land is managed. Land has become increasingly securitised and ‘out of bounds’ for small farmers and other land-users with or without recognised forms of ownership and use rights. Land conflicts are caused due to coercive acquisition processes or land grabs, unlawful operations of projects and long pending remedies to social and environmental impacts. In many instances, these conflicts begin even before the final decisions on projects are taken and persist for years. Highly capitalised land use change brings powerful investors and corporations, governments and local communities in unequal and precarious arrangements of negotiation and confrontation. Citizens and communities affected by land use change, use varied strategies such as administrative complaints, protests, litigation, media campaigns and political advocacy, and engage in improving project design and implementation, increase compensations, restore community access to resources and get a review on the operations of harmful projects. These are done under conditions of political intransigence and criminalisation of those who speak up. While all three countries have recognised land conflicts and their impact on development plans and proposals, they are yet to give affected people a formal and effective role in land and natural resource governance. This is the study report on Indonesia.
  • Topic: Development, Privatization, Natural Resources, Business , Land Law, Conflict, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kanchi Kohli, Meenakshi Kapoor, Manju Menon, Vidya Viswanathan
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Land transformation has been at the centre of economic growth of post-colonial, Asian nation-states. While their political reforms and economic policies have focused on land governance, the outcomes have resulted in promoting privatisation and speculative business interest in ecologically sensitive landscapes that are also under diverse forms of common use by resource-dependent communities. A three-year study undertaken to understand community-level responses to land use transformation in India, Indonesia and Myanmar shows that the current scale and approach of land–intensive development in these large democracies is facilitated by fast-paced, top down policy changes. These policies are ‘stacked’ (when multiple layers of current and revoked laws are simultaneously in use) rather than integrated and their implementation is the responsibility of various authorities and agencies that overlap. Growing private investments in land that has remained within varying degrees of state control have changed the way land is managed. Land has become increasingly securitised and ‘out of bounds’ for small farmers and other land-users with or without recognised forms of ownership and use rights. Land conflicts are caused due to coercive acquisition processes or land grabs, unlawful operations of projects and long pending remedies to social and environmental impacts. In many instances, these conflicts begin even before the final decisions on projects are taken and persist for years. Highly capitalised land use change brings powerful investors and corporations, governments and local communities in unequal and precarious arrangements of negotiation and confrontation. Citizens and communities affected by land use change, use varied strategies such as administrative complaints, protests, litigation, media campaigns and political advocacy, and engage in improving project design and implementation, increase compensations, restore community access to resources and get a review on the operations of harmful projects. These are done under conditions of political intransigence and criminalisation of those who speak up. While all three countries have recognised land conflicts and their impact on development plans and proposals, they are yet to give affected people a formal and effective role in land and natural resource governance. This is the study report on India.
  • Topic: Development, Privatization, Natural Resources, Business , Economic Growth, Land Law, Conflict, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Across the globe, the “development experience” of communities varies depending on their socioeconomic and political backgrounds. As a result of advancing developmental projects, a few communities are invariably made to pay a disproportionate share of the environmental costs in the form of exposure to toxic waste, loss of livelihood, and restrictions on mobility or access to common resources. This injustice, more than often not, is an outcome of active noncompliance and violation of environmental regulations by the projects . The Centre for Policy Research–Namati Environmental Justice Program is an effort towards closing this environment regulation enforcement gap. We have created a network of community-based paralegals, called as enviro-legal coordinators (ELCs), who work with affected communities using an evidence-based legal approach. As a part of this approach, the ELCs combine their understanding of the law, negotiation and mediation skills, and understanding of local contexts to assist affected communities in the use of the law to resolve environmental conflicts. They help the communities to understand relevant laws and environmental regulations and support them in engaging with institutions using these laws for better enforcement of regulatory compliance on the ground. This approach also develops a collaborative space for institutions and citizens to craft practical and sustainable remedies for the impacts that communities experience. This publication is a compendium of a few cases undertaken by the CPR–Namati Program’s ELCs working across the coastal belt in Gujarat and North Karnataka. These case stories capture the process of our work and illustrate the systematic, evidence-based legal approach followed by the ELCs along with the affected coastal community members to resolve conflicts arising from noncompliance or improper implementation of environmental regulations. These case stories are divided into three major thematic sections as follows: Section 1: Establishment and Activation of Gujarat’s District-Level Coastal Committees (DLCCs) as per Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011: This section includes case studies from Gujarat, where ELCs worked towards establishing or activating District-Level Coastal Committees, an institution set up for better implementation of CRZ regulations and protection of rights of traditional coastal communities. Section 2: Securing Housing Clearances for Coastal Communities under Coastal Zone Regulation Notification, 2011 in North Karnataka: This section includes case studies from Uttara Kannada, a district in North Karnataka, where ELCs supported members of coastal communities in securing housing clearances under the coastal protection law. Section 3: Legal Empowerment in Practice: Two Case Stories: This section has two case stories from our field sites in Gujarat that illustrate the process and outcomes of legal empowerment though our work with communities.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Law, Oceans and Seas, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Radhika Khosla
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is poised at the edge of an energy transformation. This shift is shaped in large part by the country’s ongoing economic, social, and technological transitions. Indian cities will host an influx of 200 million more people by 2030. Most of these people will come from a low base of development, and will demand modern fuels, appliances, and vehicles for improved quality of life. Demographically, at least 10 million people are expected to enter the Indian job market annually for the next two decades (India’s Half-A-Billion Jobs Conundrum 2017). In addition, two-thirds of India’s buildings that will exist in 2030 remain to be built (McKinsey Global Institute 2010). Managing these transitions is a significant challenge in itself, further complicated by the need to address their immense energy and climate implications. This policy piece examines an important driver of India’s energy future—electricity demand in households—and argues for why a broader consideration of energy consumption is central to Indian energy and climate debates.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Development, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia