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

Himachal PradeshSubscribe to Himachal Pradesh

Forest Rights Act Enables State Control of Land and Denies Most Adivasis and Forest Dwellers Land Rights

Over a decade after the landmark Forest Rights Act, 2006 was enacted, a relatively small number of claimants have been able to access the rights it promises. The author identifies limitations built into the legislation and investigates the obstacles that have hampered the provision and recognition of forest rights in three districts of Himachal Pradesh.

Forest Rights Act in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

The emergence of the Forest Rights Act reasserted the vitality of the role people play in conservation and management of natural resources and carving out legal channels for recognition of their forest rights. But, in Himachal Pradesh, the FRA suffers at the hands of a bureaucracy that has buried it under the weight of colonial power structures. The conflicting narratives from Kinnaur are discussed, where instead of being recognised under the FRA, the tribals’ identity and forest dependence are being ripped away from them.

Children's Illnesses

Acute respiratory illness and diarrhoea cause high levels of child morbidity and mortality in Jammu and Kashmir, and high levels of insurgency and an unstable political environment have usually been identified as the two main causes for the poor health conditions in the state. This article is based on a study which compares J&K with Himachal Pradesh and finds that some of the causes for poor health oucomes in the former may be unrelated to insurgency or related issues.

Census in Snowbound Areas

Census-taking in snowbound areas poses a tremendous challenge to the census authorities. It is indeed a formidable task, in particular in Ladhak district of Jammu and Kashmir, in Tawang and other such districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Lahul and Spiti, Kinnaur and several pockets of other districts which are snowbound in Himachal Pradesh.

Cooking with Biofuels

The use of biofuels in rural households of developing countries generates indoor air pollution that imposes health risks, especially for those actively involved in cooking. This study examines risk factors for respiratory symptoms for rural women on the basis of comprehensive data on socio-economic variables, smoking habits, characteristics of the kitchen, cooking practices, fuel used, health symptoms, etc, from a very large number of sample households in three north Indian states, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. The study points to a need for creating awareness on the issue in addition to making available more efficient stoves and clean fuels and highlighting the importance of proper ventilation in the cooking areas.

Himachal Pradesh : Critical Issues in Primary Education

Primary education has made impressive strides in Himachal Pradesh. These have been due to investments made in the sector, the relatively less iniquitous social structure in rural areas and greater opportunities available to women. However, the increased attraction of private schools offers new challenges to government-run schools, where processes directed at improving the quality of education are yet to take root.

Ethnography of the Forest Guard

For agenda setting and policy design, public policies that involve or affect local communities are often negotiated in the field rather than the office, yet development literature has surprisingly neglected the characteristics, social conditions, perceptions and attitudes of field-level implementers of policy. In the context of Indian forestry for instance, forest guards are the representatives of the forest department in rural society, who interpret and explain forest policies to local people. Thus far, little literature has been devoted to their perceptions of forest policy and administration and the social context in which they function. This essay presents an ethnography of the social and professional life of forest guards in Himachal Pradesh with a view to understanding the pragmatic realities of implementing forest policies in India.
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