Vedanta, Niyamgiri and the Congress

Plans by Vedanta Resources to mine bauxite in Niyamgiri in Orissa, already delayed by vehement protests from non-governmental organisations, seem likely to suffer further damage—quite possibly terminal—as the Congress reaches out to India’s tribal population, sections of which have come under the influence of the grand old party’s arch rival BJP while others have fallen under the sway of Maoists.

the whole story, hither.

Microfinance Messiahs?

On the ground… the MFIs’ growth is creating an unnerving situation. Even among those in the industry, there are fears of a mass-delinquency. In fact, Andhra is the most penetrated market in the world, on par with Bangladesh, says Daniel Rozas, a contributor at industry blog Microfinacefocus.com. “The state was already at 6% overcapacity a year ago. Explaining these numbers without allowing for extensive multiple borrowing is indeed a challenge,” he says.

an Economic Times in-depth report on rampant overlending by MFIs in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Or what the development mafia could learn from hackers

why do most development programmes result in unforeseen outcomes? because…

Interventions in rural India — by companies and government — are surrounded by tens of thousands (if not lakhs and millions) of people looking for ways to improve their lot in life. As they try to use these interventions in a manner that will maximise personal gain, subversion is one of the outcomes — village elites trying to get family members into position of power , the local grain trader accessing the PDS system by retaining the BPL card of someone he has lent to, a farmer pushing a poor harvest into the government’s procurement machinery by bribing the buyer who, as it were, is similarly seeking to maximise his own private gain.

more here. 🙂