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 -
What is being done? The purpose of mitigating disaster and climate risks is to decrease the vulnerability of assets exposed to natural disasters.1. The first need... Show More + is to identify disaster risks, including understanding hazards, what is being exposed to the hazards, and the vulnerability of assets to the hazards.2. Once risks are understood, activities should mitigate these risks through retrofitting buildings, constructing protective infrastructure, as well as enforcing building costs and preventing construction in highly vulnerable environments.3. Lastly, strategies will be developed to ensure the availability of funds to respond to disasters.Disaster management agencies have been established across the region since 2004, but they currently lack clout to influence planning and development agendas. Policies and legislation for managing natural disasters are often insufficiently enforced Show Less -
Urban poverty – the new challengeNext, Kim visited Gwaltoli, a low-income neighborhood in the once-proud industrial city of Kanpur, long a magnet for poor rural migrants. With some 10 million people moving... Show More + into urban areas each year in search of jobs and opportunity, India is in the throes of a historic rural-urban migration, second in magnitude only to China’s.Gwaltoli epitomizes the challenges of unplanned urban settlements in India, where administrations are facing huge strains in providing jobs, housing, and infrastructure – power, water, sewerage, garbage disposal, roads, and transportation. With large extended families sharing tiny one-room homes and common toilets and taps, life in Gwaltoli spills into the streets. Women scrub clothes, winnow wheat, or sit in groups stringing garlands of marigolds to earn a paltry sum.Rural ways fill urban spaces. Cows lie in the middle of the road, goats bleat, and cow-dung cakes dry in the sun, to be used to cook the evening meal when mo Show Less -