India

The Canadian forest fire danger rating system

The Canadian forest fire danger rating system

On November 1-3, India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the World Bank organized a workshop in Delhi to discuss forest fire prevention and management.  The workshop brought together fire experts and practitioners from e…

by · Tuesday, 21 November 2017 · India

Indian businessmen back tax reform plan

“The Indian Chamber and its members view tax reform as a major catalyst for achieving inclusive growth and poverty alleviation in the Philippines,” the …

by · Saturday, 18 November 2017 · India, Philippines

Indian city bans begging ahead of Ivanka Trump’s visit

Activist Madhu Purnima Kishwar said the order amounted to “criminalizing” poverty. “It is cruel as it criminalizes poverty,” she said. “Did they expect …

by · Friday, 10 November 2017 · India, Philippines

Nigeria set to take extreme-poverty crown in 2018

Early next year, Nigeria is set to displace India as the country with the largest number of people in extreme poverty, according to the latest forecast by …

by · Thursday, 9 November 2017 · India, Turkey
From potato eaters to world leaders in agriculture

From potato eaters to world leaders in agriculture

Matching sheer ingenuity with technological prowess, the Netherlands (pop: 17 millions; about the size of Haryana state in India) today is one of the world’s most agriculturally productive countries, feeding people across the globe from its meager lan…

by · Tuesday, 7 November 2017 · India
Spotting fires from space helps India’s foresters

Spotting fires from space helps India’s foresters

Almost all fires in India are set by people intentionally or unintentionally. Ground fire in Chir Pine forests in Gumkhal, Pauri Garwal District, Uttarakhand, India. Credit: Vikas Gusain (April 2017)
The three-day international workshop on forest fire…

by · Tuesday, 7 November 2017 · India
The Legacy of Saman Kelegama

The Legacy of Saman Kelegama

Saman Kelegama, a Sri Lankan economist and the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS Sri Lanka) died prematurely in June 2017. He was a champion of deeper South Asian cooperation. Credit:  Institute of Policy Studies
I first met Sa…

by · Wednesday, 1 November 2017 · India, Sri Lanka
India joins other countries in tackling forest fires

India joins other countries in tackling forest fires

Fire has been a part of India’s landscape since time immemorial. Every year, forest fires rage through nearly every state, ravaging more than half of India’s districts. Today, with growing populations in and around the forests, these fires are putting more lives and property at risk.  Indian Space Research Organization estimates that in 2014 alone, nearly 49,000 sq.km of forests – larger than the size of Haryana – were burned during the peak fire months of February to May. And, this was a mild year compared to the recent past! 

But, forest fires can also be beneficial. They play a vital role in maintaining healthy forests, recycling nutrients, helping trees to regenerate, removing invasive weeds and lantana, and maintaining habitat for some wildlife.  Occasional fires can also keep down fuel loads that feed larger, more destructive conflagrations.  However, as populations and demands on forest resources grow, the cycle of fires has spun out of balance, and the fires no longer sustain forest health.  In fact, in many countries, wildfires are burning larger areas, and fire seasons are growing longer due to a warming climate. 

by · Friday, 27 October 2017 · India
Tackling India’s hidden hunger

Tackling India’s hidden hunger

With India’s rapidly growing dairy industry, large-scale milk fortification of Vitamins A and D is a robust vehicle for increasing micronutrients intake across the population. Credit: India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)  

Micronutrient deficiencies, especially Vitamin A and D, are prevalent in India. 
 
Yet, these deficiencies — often referred to as ‘hidden hunger’ — go largely unnoticed and affect large populations.
 
Night blindness, a condition afflicting millions of pregnant women and children, stems from low intake of foods rich in essential nutrients like Vitamin A.
 
Budget constraints limit access to nutrient-rich foods for many families, who are unaware or unable to afford a nutritious diet.
 
National programs help supplement diets with Iron and Vitamin, but their scope is too narrow to adequately address these deficiencies.
 

Food fortification is a relatively simple, powerful and cost-effective approach to curb micronutrient deficiencies. It is in general socially accepted and requires minimal change in existing food habits. Credit: Credit: India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)


Fortified Milk Helps Increase Vitamins Intake
 
When fortified with vitamin A and D, milk, which remains a staple for many Indians, can help alleviate dietary deficiencies when supplementation is not available.

Food fortification is a relatively simple, powerful and cost-effective approach to curb micronutrient deficiencies. It is in general socially accepted and requires minimal change in existing food habits.

The process is inexpensive and costs about 2 paisa per liter or about one-tenth of a cent.  And because it only adds a fraction of daily recommended nutrients, the process is considered safe.

For these reasons, food fortification has been successfully scaled up in some emerging economies.

However, except for salt fortification with iodine, India has not yet achieved large-scale food fortification. 

With India’s rapidly growing dairy industry, large-scale milk fortification of Vitamins A and D is a robust vehicle for increasing micronutrients intake across the population.

by · Tuesday, 24 October 2017 · India
Towards a clean India

Towards a clean India

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014, it marked the beginning of the world’s largest ever sanitation drive. Now, a 2017 survey by the Quality Council of India finds that access to toilets by rural households has increased to 62.45 per cent, and that 91 per cent of those who have a toilet, use it. Given India’s size and diversity, it is no surprise that implementation varies widely across states. Even so, the fact that almost every Indian now has sanitation on the mind is a victory by itself.

Achieving a task of this magnitude will not be easy. Bangladesh took 15 years to become open defecation free (ODF), while Thailand took 40 years to do so. Meeting sanitation targets is not a one-off event. Changing centuries-old habits of open defecation is a complex and long-term undertaking.

by · Monday, 9 October 2017 · Bangladesh, India, Thailand