23 Sep 2014
No real 'Digital India' without including Panchayats

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of "Digital India" won't come true without including Panchayats, a senior government official has said.
Addressing a conference on 'Digital India' held as part of the 37th Skoch Summit here, N. Ravi Shankar, Secretary, Ministry of Personal, Public Grievances and Pensions, highlighted the importance of roles to be played by individuals and Panchayats in transforming the overall digital culture in the country.

10 Sep 2014
Piyush Goyal's dream of 24x7 power supply

Power Minister Piyush Goyal wants to resolve the electricity crisis, which is mounting every passing day. Moreover, he has promised 24X 7 power supplies to a few states including New Delhi, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh. How would he fulfill this dream? If the supply of coal is the main hindrance then he has yet another plan to double coal production from present 500 MT to 1 billion Tonnes in the next four years.

Follow Gujarat model of agriculture for food security

More than 54 per cent of Indian workforce as per 2011 census is engaged in agriculture. And, it for the last 20 years has been trying to get 4 per cent rate of growth in agriculture and has failed. The rate of agriculture growth since the reforms began has hovered around 3.2-3.3 per cent. And then comes a State, which for a whole decade, from 2001 to 2011, achieves agriculture GDP growth rate of 9.8 per cent - and the good show is still on. Statistically, the difference is three times higher than the rest of India.

Taking Banking to the last mile

While the new Swabhimaan scheme is a welcome step, the government must maintain its focus on financial literacy and linking financial inclusion efforts to poverty alleviation...

Rejuvenating Rural Health Systems

Since the launch of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005 India has significantly improved its key health outcomes - notably in child survival, maternal mortality, immunisation, and population stabilisation. However we may still not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in health by 2015.

Microfinance Agenda for Tomorrow

The struggle for a dignified life and against extreme poverty is still the most important challenge for mankind. 4 billion people in the world live in poverty. Despite recent improvements, around 980 million people - more than 6th of world's population - have to survive on less than 1 dollar a day. Poverty is the reason that 77 million children do not receive any primary education. Women still have significantly fewer opportunities to pursue personal freedom and live a self-determined life than men.

Priority Sector Lending by Banks: Myths and Realities

Let us assume that we have a rational banking system devoid of all controls by the central banking authority. For achieving optimum profitability, banks would require access to funds, good quality staff with high productivity levels and equipped with the best of computerised systems to reduce drudgery for the staff and lower high operational costs and then finally, banks had operational freedom to ensure that credit intermediation costs are low and also allocation efficiency so that scarce financial resources are directed to the desired sectors and areas of the economy that are most productive and efficient.

Towards Removal of Rural Poverty Context and Rural Landscape

I personally believe that the living conditions of the rural poor receive very little attention. Problems of poor people in rural areas need to be given more space in public discourse. MGNREGA has enabled both livelihood security and social development. Issues of delay in payment of wages and lack of adequate technical staff remain. Increased focus is also necessary on creation of durable and quality assets through sustained convergence with other government programmes and schemes.

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