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There's been a lot of buzz recently about Sikkim becoming a completely organic state. The state government has won kudos from many quarters, from being featured on the popular TV show Satyamev Jayate to being effusively praised by PM Modi. While there is no doubt that Sikkim is one of better governed small states in India, a more balanced view has been missing from the general discourse.
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Every consumer in India has a stake in the food economy. And the biggest risk facing our food economy and food security is the lack of reliable big data on the availability of cereals, pulses, sugar, cooking oil, fruits and vegetables. Its absence is also the primary cause of rural distress.
We need to ask if we have managed to ensure that each child of this country is "free", in all senses of the word. Have we managed to ensure that every child is strong enough to live past his/her first birthday? Why has it taken us so much time to ensure the effective implementation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme?
The BJP has clarified that it will be rejecting the Shanta Kumar panel's proposal to cut food security coverage, but the waters are still muddy. There have been no clarifications on the status of other big-ticket suggestions of the report such as almost fourfold increase in the price of foodgrains.