India has far higher open defecation rates than other developing regions where people are poorer, literacy rates are lower, and water is relatively more scarce. In practice, government programmes in rural India have paid little attention in understanding why so many rural Indians defecate in the open rather than use affordable pit latrines. Drawing on new data, a study points out that widespread open defecation in rural India is on account of beliefs, values, and norms about purity, pollution, caste, and untouchability that cause people to reject affordable latrines.

Despite economic growth, government latrine construction, and increasing recognition among policymakers that open defecation constitutes a health and human capital crisis, it remains stubbornly widespread in rural India. We present evidence from new survey data collected in Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Many survey respondents' behaviour reveals a preference for open defecation: over 40% of households with a working latrine have at least one member who defecates in the open.

A common criticism of the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme is that it does not lead to the creation of permanent assets and a sustained increase in incomes. This fi eld study of the construction of wells in one block in Ranchi district of Jharkhand shows that asset creation under this programme can result in the creation of income-generating assets.

Energy scenarios and pathways for India by Sudhir Chella Rajan, KC Adaina, Aashish Gupta, Aniket Pangarkar, Rakesh Iyer, Uttara Narayan, & Sarada R. at National Climate Research Conference, IIT Delhi, March 5-6, 2010.

This document contains the presentation made by Sudhir Chella Rajan of IIT Chennai on Energy scenarios and pathways for India, at National climate research conference, IIT Delhi, March 5-6, 2010.

In light of the climate and development debate and especially in the context of the Indian government's commitment in the Copenhagen Accord, new energy and