At the time of destructive floods, the distress of affected people attracts attention but, unfortunately, as soon as the flood waters recede they are forgotten.

RAMBAN: J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) secretary R C Sharma reviewed progress under Rural Employment Generation Scheme (REGS) of the backward districts of Ramban and Doda today. It was informed that KVIB so far have set up 99 units with the bank loans of Rs. 196.99 lakhs and provided margin money grant of Rs. 61.07 lakhs. Sharma said that some of the BPL villages should be included in the J&K Bank's programme of village adoption to uplift the people living below poverty. He said that in order to improve the quality of the blankets being woven in these backward districts and generate sustainable employment the KVIB is addressing the problems of traditional industries in these districts. He disclosed that improved looms on modern technology should be provided to the one new units sanctioned in the current year under blanket weaving for the better quality of the blanket weaving in the area. Similarly, 22 units under ready-made garments have also been got sanctioned to cater the need within the area. A special team for looking in to the needs of unreached and unbankable areas has been constituted which will facilitate the entrepreneurs artisans working in the traditional industries or to start small tiny industrial units. He said that the other units producing articles under KVI sector in these districts for local consumption and specialized units like jackets, caps, tracksuits, mufflers socks etc manufacturing are also being promoted to meet the requirements of the people. A common facility centre is being established for beekeepers producing honey to facility the processing testing and packaging of the honey produced in the area. This will also be used to impart training to the beekeepers, The board its starting four training centres in Doda and Kishtwar districts to train 200 women. One such training centre has already been commenced at Sangaldan in Ramban district to train 40 beneficiaries under craft training.

This report presents an overview of the impact of rural livelihood programmes supported by DFID in the context of the Millennium Development Goals, and explores some of the lessons learned under headings of income generation and rural growth, better management of natural resources, targeting the poorest and marginalised, and local institutions and self-governance.

Poverty is deepest among scheduled castes and tribes in the country

Does away with middlemen; ten States keen to replicate model The implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) through biometric smart cards in Andhra Pradesh has attracted nationwide attention, with many States planning to adopt a similar method. Financial Information Network and Operations Ltd (FINO), a Mumbai-based technology solutions provider, is presently implementing NREGS in five districts of Andhra Pradesh by paying wages through biometric smart cards. "The hassle-free mode of payment sans middlemen has become a hit with the unskilled manual labourers. Encouraged by the feedback, at least 10 other States, including Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, are showing interest in adopting similar methods,' Mr Rishi Gupta, Chief Financial Officer and President (Sales), FINO, told Business Line over phone from Mumbai. Implementation After a successful pilot programme in eight mandals of Warangal and Karimnagar districts, the payment of pension and National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme wages are now being paid through smart cards in 259 villages

Economy on the move: The President, Ms Pratibha Patil, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr Somnath Chatterjee, and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr P.R. Dasmunshi, arriving to attend the first day of the Budget Session at Parliament House in the Capital on Monday.

It is not possible to realise the massive potential of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act if we deploy the same ossified structure of implementation that has deeply institutionalised corruption, inefficiency and non-accountability into the very fabric of Indian democracy.

Bihar's fall from a state with healthy socio-economic indices to now being one of India's least developed states has been drastic. The major failures lie in governance, and in the downfall of the agricultural sector. A study of the perennial story of flooding and relief measures and the consequent failure of agriculture show how disorganised the state of affairs is. Feb 16-22, 2008

This article critically examines the use of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund by different states and finds that a number of aspects need to be improved to ensure proper utilisation and to reduce intra-rural disparity in India. Feb 16-22, 2008

From the highway the gravestones were visible. Thirteen headstones, rough and blunt, carved with names of each dead tribal. Each stone was placed so that together they formed a semi circle looking