RTE sparks a centre-state row: We want your views!

Posted on:07-04-10
India made international headlines last week with the official enactment of Right to Education Act (RTE) guaranteeing the right to free and compulsory education to every child between the age group of 4 and 16 years. But barely a week after it was passed by Parliament, the RTE has been mired in an intense debate over centre-state relations. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati has led criticisms of the RTE, arguing that the new law puts an immense implementation and fiscal burden on already cash strapped states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Social audit under JNNURM

Posted on:26-03-10
Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, is planning to include social auditing in its Basic Services for the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) Schemes.

US introduces Public Online Information Act

Posted on:23-03-10
The US has recently introduced a bill, the Public Online Information Act (POIA) which will make it mandatory for all government departments to publish all publicly available information and data online.

Assam to Guarantee Right to Health

Posted on:22-03-10
Sruti Bandyopadhyay

Assam became the first state in the country to introduce a bill guaranteeing the right to health and well-being. The state government tabled the Assam Public Health Bill, 2010, in the assembly on March 12, 2010. The bill, will be put to vote on March 31.

Launch of the Right to Education Portal

Posted on:22-03-10
A new Right to Education Portal has been launched by the Centre for Civil Society, as part of the RTE Coalition created to nurture a democratic space where each coalition partner and interested citizen will be able to strategize and contribute as to make universal elementary education a reality in India. The focus is on the Right to Education Act and its implementation at all levels. To access the portal click here

ADB Report: Ensure Transparency and Enforce Accountability

Posted on:18-03-10
"Implement priorities , monitor results, ensure transparency and enforce accountability" - that is the message of the Asia Development Bank's 2009 report entitled "India 2039: An Affluent Society in One Generation". The report talks about the need to rethink what the government does and how it does it. It specifically highlights seven facets of governance which are critical to the transformation of the Indian economy and society:

Its Our Money, Where's it Gone? Social Auditing in Kenya

Posted on:17-03-10
In Kenya, members of parliament receive approximately one million dollars per year to spend on development projects in their constituencies through a scheme called the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). However, with no system to hold them accountable, MPs spend these funds as they like and the CDF is plagued with corruption. Drawing on the experience of social audits in India, a civil society organisation, MUHURI is helping local slum dwelling communities in Mombasa investigate how their local CDF is being used.