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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: Prabir De
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the health and economies of countries in the Bay of Bengal. India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are the region’s most affected countries in terms of COVID-19 cases and deaths, followed by Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It seems that Bhutan and Thailand, the least affected countries in the region, have successfully escaped the brunt of the pandemic. All these countries implemented strict lockdowns as early as March 2020, and the region’s recovery rates have been relatively high. However, the devastation from the pandemic did not reach its peak until after the lifting of lockdowns. The economic costs of the pandemic have soared and are still climbing. Today, most Bay of Bengal countries are facing a second or third wave of COVID-19 infections. India has been badly hit by a huge second Coronavirus wave, registered daily cases over 400,000 since Aril 2021. The damage being done by these additional waves is more intense than their predecessors. The Bay of Bengal countries are now looking for COVID-19 vaccines. India serves as the region’s primary producer of immunizations. Two Indian pharmaceutical companies have launched vaccines, with five more firms in the race to launch their own treatments. When vaccines are developed in India, they are easier to distribute across the region. In terms of availability, accessibility, and affordability, India’s vaccines are better suited to the needs of the region. In recent months, India has successfully supplied over 18 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to many Bay of Bengal countries, with Thailand being a notable exception. India has also ensured more supply of the vaccines in the neighborhood.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, India, Nepal, Thailand, Bhutan, Bay of Bengal
  • 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: Husain Haqqani, Aparna Pande
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The world’s most populous region, South Asia, with almost 1.9 billion people living in eight countries, has so far had fewer reported infections and fatalities per capita from the novel coronavirus than projected in early models. However, the region is unlikely to escape the widespread disruption and damage felt across the globe, and its worst health-care crisis may be yet to come. In South Asia, as in other regions, the COVID-19 pandemic is testing the capacities of states to provide security and effective healthcare and to maintain essential services. It is also having an impact on fragile democratic institutions and societal bonds, in addition to putting considerable strains on the economy. [...] Following is a country-by-country report, with inputs from experts on the ground, on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact in South Asia and its human, economic, and political consequences.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, India, Asia, Sri Lanka
  • 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: Shruti Sharma
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India faces a host of biological risk factors. Drawing lessons from the coronavirus pandemic and prior biological disasters, India’s government should pursue new safety protocols and develop new institutions to manage future biological risk. Infectious diseases such as COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus; severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS); Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS); and the diseases caused by the Ebola, Nipah, and Zika viruses have exposed countries’ susceptibility to naturally occurring biological threats. Even though scientists from multiple countries concluded that the virus responsible for the coronavirus pandemic shifted naturally from an animal source to a human host,1 the international community should not ignore the possibility of pathogens escaping accidentally from research labs and threats of deliberate manipulation to create more dangerous bioweapons. India is especially vulnerable to such infections because of its geographical position, large population, low healthcare spending, minimal expenditure on research that benefits public health, weak coordination between central and state health authorities, limited involvement of private actors, poor awareness of biosecurity, and the rickety state of public health infrastructure. Most recently, COVID-19 has revealed the deep fault lines in India’s public health infrastructure, including a shortage of healthcare workers, lack of trained epidemiologists, scarcity of medical equipment, poor access to healthcare facilities in rural areas, and inefficient disease reporting and surveillance in most states. The pandemic should therefore be a wake-up call for India to assess gaps in its public health infrastructure and divert its resources toward the healthcare sector to prepare itself for both natural and man-made biological emergencies. Like any country, India faces three major biological threats: naturally occurring infections in humans or animals, or agricultural infestations; infections arising from accidental release of pathogens into the environment; and possible outbreaks caused by deliberate weaponization of dangerous pathogens that affect humans, animals, or crops. These threats—either alone or together—will force India to strengthen its capacity to detect and respond to them.
  • Topic: Health, Biology, Non-Traditional Threats
  • 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: Kalipso Chalkidou, Nishant Jain, Françoise Cluzeau, Amanda Glassman
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Hailed as one of the largest publicly funded health insurance programs in the world, India’s “Modicare” has, since its launch a little more than six months ago, made universal healthcare coverage an election theme for the first time in the country’s history.[1] In this note, we describe the program, with an emphasis on its better-known secondary and tertiary care component, and offer policy recommendations to strengthen the scheme post-election to enhance its contribution to India’s vision for universal health coverage (UHC). In a country of almost 1.4 billion people that is home to one-third of global maternal deaths, where public spending for health accounts for roughly 1 percent of GDP and where 60 million people fall into poverty every year because of healthcare bills, fixing healthcare is a daunting task that will determine the world’s performance against the Sustainable Development Goals over the coming decade.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Public Health, Health Insurance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Many international institutions—universities, foundations, companies, NGOs, and governments—would like to engage more deeply with the government of India to improve health outcomes. However, a lack of transparency, changing state-level priorities, and the absence of a single venue to learn about engagement opportunities holds back many potential partnerships. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Duke University’s Innovations in Healthcare have launched the “Indian States Health Innovation Partnership” to address this information gap and encourage subnational health care cooperation between Indian government entities and external partners. The primary goal of this project is to strengthen health outcomes in India by methodically identifying which Indian states are ripe for innovative partnerships with international institutions and broadcasting these opportunities publicly to spur future partnerships. In the first phase of this project, the team developed a clearer picture of India’s state-level health care reform priorities and identified specific areas for potential partnership across four categories: capacity building, organizational delivery, financing, and specific health conditions.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation, Public Health
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Indian states control most facets of healthcare delivery. Every state has a different set of healthcare delivery gaps and priorities. Understanding these gaps can help foreign institutions target cooperation more effectively- going to the right place with the right type of cooperation. But having a base for cooperation must be paired with an effective strategy to engage India's states. Issues such as states' political timelines, shifts in key bureaucrats, and other issues can have a major impact on potential projects. In this report, Innovations in Healthcare and CSIS lay out strategies employed by a range of international institutions with current subnational partnerships in India.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Preeti Sudan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: India International Centre (IIC)
  • Abstract: Our topic today, is the journey of preventive and promotive health care from a government perspective. I must say at the outset that it was always the intention of the government to have a mix of promotive and preventive health care strategies closely integrated with curative care. However, it is the curative care aspects that are most visible and this is perhaps the reason for significant investments in setting up health care facilities. In addition, people’s vocal demands for curative care, which are legitimate, led us to emphasise the curative part of health care. So the focus was tilted in favour of care provision after people fell ill, and we became the Ministry of Managing Illness. But I am glad that since last year, we are now the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and I am fortunate that I am at this very place as this paradigm shift is happening in health care. I want to also say that I’m doubly blessed, because I also got to do Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and was able to take action on discriminatory practices against women and girls in our country So I had that satisfaction as well.
  • Topic: Health, Health Care Policy, Public Health
  • Political Geography: India
  • 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