The ascendency of humans has unleashed the sixth mass extinction. Every species lost will only hasten the processes of annihilation.

During 2014-2017 India was shaken by severe spells of drought that hit over 500 million people across geographical regions. Unlike in the past, these droughts did not spare the urban areas; metropolitan cities like Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru declared water emergency and several towns resorted to water rationing. “Drought But Why?” examines how an occupational hazard has turned into a human-made disaster of unmanageable proportion since organised agriculture began some 10,000 years ago.

A mysterious chronic kidney disease is afflicting a large number of people in India and Sri Lanka. Despite decades of studies, scientists are yet to pinpoint the cause of the disease. Vibha Varshney travels to Sri Lanka and analyses the state of research, while Richard Mahapatra and M Suchitra report from the hotspots of the disease in India.

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Direct cash transfers may curb migration among those who need to be at their native place to benefit from cash transfer

The country’s poor are bracing for what is dubbed as a potential game changer in the delivery of development. To monetise its support for the poor, the government has announced direct cash transfer of subsidies to the bank accounts of beneficiaries. To start with, the government will implement the system in 51 districts and extend it to the rest of the country by the end of 2013.

After using gross domestic product, or GDP, as the universal measurement of economy for six decades, the world has begun looking beyond this gold standard for measuring a country’s economy.

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has rejected the food ministry’s suggestion that 25 per cent of wages under the rural employment guarantee programme be paid in foodgrains. Food minister K V Thomas had written to Ramesh early April, suggesting that part of the wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) be paid in kind.

The ruling alliance’s flagship rural employment programme took unprecedented strides in creating water conservation structures across the country, but only to harvest disillusionment. What went wrong? Down to Earth team traveled to Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in search of answers.

Century-old teak plantation business loses ground in India because of poor management and short-sighted policies.

Gifting of land, or bhoodan in Hindi, is the current obsession of the government. It is on a spree of acquiring land. This is often termed as bhoodan to corporate houses. There is another kind of bhoodan that is being talked about. For a country that is demographically young, this bhoodan took place as a movement when India was just four years old.

Number of people who can benefit from government’s welfare programmes is going to swell. Currently, the Central government caps the entitlements under most welfare programmes to those below the poverty line, which is as low as Rs 12/day/person for rural areas and Rs 18/day/person for urban areas.