ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Children's Development

The Integrated Child Development Services scheme and maternity entitlements can play a crucial role in improving children's food and nutrition security. Both interventions are part of the National Food Security Act, though maternity entitlements have yet to be activated. Odisha has experimented with several creative policies, including initiating a maternity entitlements scheme in 2011 before the NFSA was enacted, introduction of eggs and decentralised procurement of take-home rations in the ICDS. This article, based on a field study of the two children's schemes in four districts in December 2014, reports how they perform and identifies areas for further action.

New Health Policy and Chronic Disease

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has made public the National Health Policy 2015 Draft for discussion. The draft is more exhaustive and better organised in its coverage compared to the National Health Policy of 2002. It touches upon contemporary issues of concern, including the rapid emergence of chronic non-communicable diseases. From the latest available evidence, issues crucial to tackling chronic illness in India are discussed.

Human Resource Development in Health Services

This response to Javid Chowdhury ("National Health Policy 2015: A Narrow Focus Needed," EPW, 28 February 2015) and Anant Phadke ("Slippery Slope for Public Health Services," EPW, 28 February 2015) argues that a course designed to create a mid-level cadre of healthcare providers lacks the vision to address the country's needs.

National Health Policy 2015

The draft National Health Policy 2015 is an improvement over its predecessors--the policies of 1984 and 2002. However, it also reveals several gaps, inconsistencies and blind spots which tend to dilute otherwise constructive proposals. The purpose of this article is to open up the draft to further public debate and comment.

Fish in the Time of Malaria

A visit to the District Malaria Officer’s premises reveals that the National Malaria Control Programme could well be upset by urchins stealing larvae-eating fish to make pakoras.

Understanding Issues Involved in Toilet Access for Women

While insufficient sanitation facilities often get represented in statistics and are reported in the literature on urban infrastructure planning and contested urban spaces, what is often left out is the everyday practice and experience of going to dysfunctional toilets, particularly by women. By analysing the practices and problems associated with toilet use from a phenomenological perspective, this article aims to situate the issue in the everyday lives of women.

D(o) N(ot) A(nalyse) My DNA

With its latest endeavour to collect mass DNA data, the government spreads its net far too wide and falls short of constitutional rights to liberty and privacy.

Food Security

Bihar's public distribution system used to be one of the worst in India, but the system has improved significantly from 2011 onwards. The National Food Security Act, backed early on by the political leadership, enabled the state to include the bulk of the rural population in this improved system. However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that the system is reliable, transparent and corruption-free.

Politics of Immunisation

The health ministry's move on HPV vaccine feasibility is ill-advised.

Falling Sick, Paying the Price

The decennial National Sample Survey on health and education provides useful information on the health and education of the population. The summary report on health from the 71st round conducted in 2014 allows us to make an initial assessment of three sets of issues. One, the trends in morbidity rates and patterns of morbidity, two, the effectiveness of the public sector in ensuring access to healthcare, and three, the cost of healthcare across public and private sectors.

Safe Abortion as a Women's Right

A study conducted among law enforcement officials in seven countries across Asia by the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership to measure the level of knowledge, attitude and awareness of women’s rights as well as safe and legal abortion shows lack of understanding about the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and the subsequent amendments. Many lawyers believe that even if it did become a regular component of the law curriculum, there would be few takers, given the low potential for such cases in the practice. In the current environment, where the issue of implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act tends to wrongly overshadow discussions on safe abortion and the MTP Act, these views are important as they affect the way safe abortion is perceived as a women’s right and have an impact on restriction or liberalisation of women’s access to safe abortion services.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign aims at arresting India’s deteriorating child sex ratio through communications and advocacy. It must be acknowledged, however, that behavioural and larger social changes are not effective without wider policy changes. The lesser...

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