The curious case of Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act, 2009 and Air Pollution

By Akshat Jain, Madras School of Economics, Tamil Nadu.

India is going through a period that can be regarded as its worst environmental crisis. The air quality index in India is worsening with every passing day. 7 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India. Many reasons have been cited for the plummeting Air Quality Index in north Indian cities; the most prominent amongst which is the burning of the stubble by farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. In Punjab alone, which accounts for more than 50% of cases of stubble burning during the Diwali period, there have been 48,155 recorded cases of stubble burning from September to November, 2019.  (more…)

Searching for Greener Pastures: Agrarian Distress in India

By Parvathy Ramesh, University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

In the 1950s and 60s, the green revolution led to an overhaul of the agricultural sector in India. Following this period, production improved to such an extent that in the present year of 2019, India remains self-sufficient for almost all agricultural produce. However, this positive gain is offset by escalating issues of agrarian distress spread across the country – farmers living in abject poverty, low productivity compared to viable land, and growing indebtedness that result in suicide and distress migration. This distress is punctuated by headlines of death and mass protests, which leads us to examine the issues that give rise to such a wide-spread problem. (more…)