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  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: What’s new? In August 2019, India unilaterally revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status, redrew its internal boundaries, and scrapped Kashmiris’ exclusive rights to immovable property and access to government jobs. To quell potential protests, the authorities ordered an unprecedented crackdown, which included detaining almost all local politicians and a months-long communications blackout. Why did it happen? Revocation of the Indian constitution’s Article 370, which gave Kashmir its previous status, had been on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda for decades. Emboldened by its landslide win of a second term in May 2019, the government ordered the state’s overhaul soon afterward, without consulting Kashmiri politicians or society. Why does it matter? New Delhi claimed that its bold move would help bring peace and development to the region after three decades of conflict. One year later, its reforms, coupled with heavy-handed counter-insurgency tactics, have only exacerbated Kashmiri alienation and raised tensions with Pakistan. Kashmir’s youth continues to join militant ranks. What should be done? While New Delhi appears unlikely to reverse course, its international allies should strongly encourage it to restore Kashmiri statehood, free detained politicians and end security forces’ abuses against civilians. Pakistan’s partners should push harder for it to stop backing anti-India jihadists. Both countries should abide by their 2003 Kashmir ceasefire.
  • Topic: Development, Territorial Disputes, Crisis Management, Peace, Autonomy, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Jammu and Kashmir
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Large parts of the world, irrespective of their level of economic development, are at the cusp of severe environmental crises. In these regions, the operations of extractive projects such as large scale plantations, mining and industrial development have negated or worsened the economic, social and physical well-being of communities in their neighbourhoods and beyond. Their robust national and regional laws and institutions for the protection and governance of the environment and natural resources have remained on paper and the non-compliance by governments and corporations has had profound effects on community livelihoods, health, access to land and quality of life. CPR-Namati's Practice Guide for Environment Justice Paralegals is a step in the direction of closing this environmental enforcement gap. The guide provides a methodology for community mobilisers, activists and citizens groups to shift their attention from stating the problem to getting grievances addressed by environmental institutions. The guide is based on four years of work done by the paralegals of CPR-Namati Environment Justice Program to assist affected communities file complaints and seek remedies in over 150 cases of non-compliance in India. We hope that this guide will help local organisations and community groups to address environmental conflicts and seek useful remedies for affected people.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Law, Justice
  • 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