Prespectives

May 16, 2018
The Bondas of Malkangiri in Odisha, like other particularly vulnerable tribal groups, have been left out of India’s development story. (Photo by Saurabh Chatterjee)

India’s bureaucracy has failed its forest dwellers

The country’s particularly vulnerable tribal groups, who live mostly in dwindling forests, have not been well served by the government’s administrative machinery, but have slowly been reduced to virtual serfdom

May 9, 2018
A woman member of the local village energy committee in Khamda, Maharashtra. (Photo by Adam Barr)

Can managing electricity access empower women in rural India?

Even as India provides electricity to all villages, it is important to reflect on how electrification affects men and women in different ways, and the opportunities that decentralized energy access creates for sustainable gender-balanced development

May 2, 2018
How do you define success and failure in the context of rural development? (Photo by Prasenjit De)

The importance of succlure and faiccess in rural development

It is not always easy to measure the success in any rural development intervention because it often depends on the differing frames of reference of the village community and that of the grassroots worker

April 11, 2018
The use of computers and the Internet is not yet widespread in rural areas. (Photo by Chetan Soni)

Telcos, techies and teachers: travesty of digital inclusion in rural India

Although digital networks have penetrated into remote rural areas, their use is still limited among villagers due to a variety of reasons, the shortcoming of local teachers not the least among them

March 28, 2018
The use of harvester-cum-thresher machines has led to stubble burning in farms, which has worsened the problem of air pollution in India. (Photo by Vivian Fernandes)

How to develop divisible technology for the rural poor

There is a need to develop easily divisible technologies that do not need heavy investment, after taking into consideration social customs and cultural practices of rural users

March 14, 2018
Farmers near Nashik in Maharashtra on their way to the market with their tomato harvest. (Photo by Michael Foley)

There’s more to horticulture than tomatoes, onions and potatoes

While the priority given to tomato, onion and potato (TOP) farmers by the Prime Minister is a welcome move, special attention must be given to smallholder vegetable growers, since horticulture provides a nutrition and income buffer to the rural poor

March 9, 2018
A water harvesting structure in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh helps farmers to increase the local farm moisture regime for both the summer and winter crops.

Rainwater harvesting is the best way forward for irrigation

As intensive agriculture spreads across India, there is an urgent need to encourage rainwater harvesting to irrigate multiple crops instead of the current unsustainable practice of groundwater extraction

February 28, 2018
Mobile phones have become ubiquitous across much of rural India (Photo by Mark Charmer)

How to spread technology rapidly among the poor?

The remarkable spread of mobile phones and related telecom infrastructure throughout India holds important lessons on how to reach latest technology to the rural poor at a fast clip, and how unit costs can be optimized

February 21, 2018
Government procurement of tur dal leaves much to be desired. (Photo by ALC India)

Tur dal farmers left in the lurch due to tardy procurement

Farmers cultivating pigeon pea continue to suffer losses because of inadequate preparation on the ground for government procurement even as India aims for self-sufficiency in lentil production

February 14, 2018
Solutions like improved bullock carts do not cut any ice with the poor any more. (Photo by Pixabay)

What technology does the poor need?

Although it is true that the poor needs affordable technological solutions that meet their requirements, these solutions frequently fail to account for their aspirations and often do not offer what the user really wants