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Diversifying Skill Training and Livelihood Opportunities in Kupwara

One thing that really struck me during my visit to Kupwara, apart from the scenic beauty of this district—situated at an average altitude of 5300 feet from the sea level and bound by the line of control towards the north—is the amazing potential its rural economy possesses. As a village elder pointed out during my interaction with the youth and progressive farmers in Kuchloo, ‘Youth in the region feel strongly connected to the local ecosystem.’ In Gulgam, where I participated in the inauguration of a honey processing unit, the district administration, led by the district development commissioner, was working on labeling and marketing ‘Kupwara honey’ for national and international markets.  The beekeepers were encouraged to register themselves with Farmers’ Producer Organisation (FPO) so they could be provided identity cards to enable easy movement outside the district and the state.

How the Khawa Cluster in Osmanabad Is Changing Lives En Masse

One of the perks of working in the development sector is gaining steady exposure to intricate, yet localised, problems that require a nuanced understanding of the complex interplay of state policy, environmental conditions and socio-economic practices prevailing in the area. A field visit to the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra provided me one such opportunity. Located in the parched Marathwada region of southern Maharashtra, Osmanabad is in many ways a slave of its geography. Comprising eight blocks, more than half of its geographical area lies in the lap of the Balaghat mountain range. The forest cover of the district is merely 0.81% and can be categorised as a mix of dry mixed deciduous and thorny open scrub types. Major tree varieties found here include neem, peepal, banyan, mango, tamarind, etc., among which, afforestation drives have focused disproportionately on planting neem saplings as they are not relished by stray cattle. The Bhoom tahsil is particularly blessed with attractive geography which, at times, resembles the undulating green pastures of Switzerland. Therefore, the local population has gravitated towards animal husbandry as a financially viable alternative to traditional farming dependent on vagaries of monsoon rains, which are rather erratic and almost invariably, deficient.

Wills of Steel

“Do you mean to say that Indians can produce Steel rails as per British specifications. If they succeed in making it then I will eat every pound of that steel” remarked Fredrick Upcott, the Chief Commissioner of Indian Railways and taking up the gauntlet TISCO supplied 1500 miles of Steel Rails to the British Railway during WWI and then Sir Dorabji Tata famously said I think that Mr. Upcott would have suffered slight indigestion.

In Bihar’s Alleys: Transformation at Grassroots

"Beta, where is the tiger?" One of the kids excitedly holds my hand and indicates towards the alphabet ‘T’ which has a tiger painted below it, while another one points towards ‘L’ with a lion painted. "That is a lion, sher, tiger is baagh."

India’s Static Red Treasure – It’s time to make it Dynamic

  • [1]Ishtiyaque Ahmed, Adviser, NITI Aayog
  • [2]Shantanu Rai, Consultant, NITI Aayog

At the outskirts of Delhi in Mehrauli, stands an Iron Pillar, which has withstood the adversities of time and has been corrosion-free ever since the bygone era. This marvel has intrigued metallurgists and material scientists from all over the world and is an ode to the rich history of India in the field of Metals & Mining.

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