With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India is the world’s largest democracy. Over the past decade, the country’s integration into the global economy has been accompanied by economic growth. India has now emerged as a global player.
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Cleaning the Ganga will require high-level political will that is sustained over many years, or even decadesThe recent flurry of attention and elevated commitment to rejuvenation of the Ganga is most welcome.... Show More + Nowhere in the world has the cleaning and conservation of a major river, lake, or bay occurred without high-level political will that is sustained over many years, often decades. This will be particularly crucial considering the staggering scale of the Ganga: a river that is 2,500km long, binds five states together along its main stem and eleven in its entire basin, and channels the domestic, industrial, and agricultural waste generated by more than 500 million people. But what else is needed to clean this iconic river and its mighty basin? Based on global experience, here are five things the government may consider in preparation of its new plans:Preparing a basin plan, that guides investment and choices, will be an important first step. Apart from an obvious focus on the critica Show Less -
The past decade has seen many major natural disasters across South Asia: the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, 2007 cyclone in Bangladesh, and recent flooding in India. Among... Show More + many other such events, they demonstrate how subject South Asia and its people are to natural disasters. Coupled with this geographic vulnerability are rising population density and low levels of development, which is potentially devastating for human life and property.What are the disaster risks and challenges for South Asia? Relative to economic size, flood losses are about 15 times greater than in industrialized countries. South Asia is at particular risk of damage from disasters, lying above the most active continental plates, its coastline in the path of cyclones, and its rivers subject to flooding from the yearly monsoon. Since 1971, there have been over 1,000 disasters in the region, at increasing frequency per year on average. It already has 65 cities with populations over a Show Less -
On an early afternoon in a quiet village in Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state, and also one of its poorest – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim experienced the challenges an emerging India... Show More + faces in meeting the soaring aspirations of its people and reducing poverty.The magnitude is formidable – if Uttar Pradesh were a country, it would be the fifth-largest in the world. And his visit was memorable: crowds greeted him at every stop, including one neighborhood in which women rained flowers on his head.Over several hours, Kim visited the village of Tilsari Khurd to see a child care center and village health center; traveled to a neighborhood in Kanpur, where he walked around an urban settlement; and then went to the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) River, where he saw a drainage system that pours human waste into the sacred waterway.In Tilsari Khurd (population 3,791) past a patchwork of ripening winter wheat, Kim sat down with a group of preschool children at an early childhood Show Less -