Compensatory afforestation is a dubious and controversial environmental “offset” that is adding to environmental damage instead of mitigating or compensating it. Compensatory afforestation may actually be accelerating the invasion of India’s forests by big corporations, in collusion with a permissive state, by legitimising the destruction of forests, greenwashing the land grabs, and encroaching on common property resources and community-held lands.

The Sardar Sarovar dam exemplifies unjust and unsustainable development. (Editorial)

The management information system of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 was hailed as a pioneering tool for enhancing transparency and accountability. However, it is now being used with impunity to centralise the programme and violate workers’ legal entitlements, causing frequent disruptions on the ground and opening new avenues for corruption in the programme.

Original Source

Two seminal books, John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York’s The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth and John Bellamy Foster’s The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet suggest that the rift between humanity and nature must be analysed in its intertwining with other kinds of alienation, all stemming from the adverse effects of the very nature and structure of capitalist society. Nothing short of an eco-social revolution is required to deal with the social and ecological crisis.

Farmers have a complex relationship with their land: losing it means losing an entire way of life. A survey of the original inhabitants of Maan, a village near Pune where land was acquired for an information technology park and industrial estates, found that the process of acquisition was both attractive and scary for the farmers involved. Almost 70% of the respondents were willing to sell their land under different conditions. They were bitter about the escalation of land values after acquisition. What farmers want is a share in the future appreciation of land.

This article examines evidence for disparities between three ethnic groups within the Scheduled Tribes category in the Jawhar and Mokhada talukas of Palghar district in Maharashtra in order to understand the dimensions of these disparities.

Incineration-based waste-to-energy technologies have recently emerged as the preferred policy option for managing the growing problem of waste in India. These technologies require a continuous supply of waste inputs of sufficient quantity and quality—high calorific value and low moisture content—to be viable. Government and industry proponents suggest that WtE and recycling are compatible systems of managing waste while their critics disagree.

A study of 360 safai karamcharis employed with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai suggests that policies aimed at uplifting conservancy work may actually be institutionalising caste-based occupations. This article describes the situation that keeps generations of safai karamcharis in this occupation, and recommends practical solutions to break the vicious cycle. - See more at:

India cannot, and must not, wait any longer to recognise the right to healthcare. (Editorial)

Utilising household-level data, this paper investigates the impact of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on financial inclusion. Exploiting the staggered timing of the roll-out of the programme across districts, while controlling for its non-random implementation, it is found that MGNREGS improves financial access. This is confirmed in simple univariate tests as well as in multivariate regressions that take into account several district- and household-level controls.