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New Books – Insects as Allies

Climate change

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Agriculture and Allied Sectors
Rao, GSLHV Prasad, ISBN 9788172336790, 2011, March, 330 Pages, Rs. 1675

Weather related disasters like occurrence of floods, droughts, heat wave and cold waves is not uncommon across the Country. It is true world over. Increase in sea surface temperature and sea level has potential impact on monsoon uncertainties, water resources, shift in coastal population and marine products. Vulnerability to extreme weather events is higher than vulnerability to changing average climatic conditions. The society linked sectors like agriculture, biodiversity, fisheries, forestry, water resources, human and animal health and infrastructure are the worst sufferers in the event of weather uncertainties. As a result it is realized that food security is under threat due to global warming.

The book deals with climate change impacts and adaptation strategies in agriculture, horticulture, plantation crops in the humid tropics, livestock, fisheries, forestry, water resources and biodiversity. The invited and research papers, included in the book, provide clues for developing adaptation and mitigation strategies in coping up with the expected climate change in future. Although global food grain production is likely to increase in tune with rising population and demand in ensuing decades, it may suffer unless new approaches to adapt crop plants to climate change are adopted. Therefore, research and education policy in climate change adaptation and mitigation is the need of the hour to address the climate issues in various sectors as the frequency of occurrence of floods and droughts, cold and heat waves are likely to increase under projected climate change scenarios and a threat to food security.

India Human Dev Report 2011


India Human Development Report 2011: Towards Social Inclusion
Institute for Applied Manpower Research, Planning Commission, Government of India, ISBN: 9780198077589, Oxford University Press, 2011, 568 pages

The India Human Development Report 2011 examines whether certain sections of the Indian society suffer from multiple deprivations by investigating how different castes and religious  groups fare in terms of various socio-economic indicators. It provides a comprehensive picture of the human development situation in India through detailed state-wise profiles. Analysing whether the social indicators of excluded groups are converging or diverging with the rest of the population, the report provides insights on the following: (i) Do different social groups like the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and minorities get excluded from the development process? (ii) Has India experienced inclusive growth in the true sense? (iii) How are flagship programmes of the government addressing some of these concerns? Specifically, this Report examines: economic attainment of the population, in terms of two major sources of income – employment and assets; availability, access, and absorption of food and state of hunger and malnutrition; health indicators vis-à-vis inputs, processes, and outcomes; achievements and challenges in education; state of infrastructure such as roads, electricity, housing, and telephony; and challenges facing vulnerable sections of India’s population – child labourers, the elderly, and the disabled.

Debt and Death in Rural India


Debt and Death in Rural India – The Punjab Story
Aman Sindhu and Inderjit Singh Jaijee, ISBN: 9788132106531, SAGE India Publication,
September 2011, Pages 360

Debt and Death in Rural India is a study of farmer suicides in rural Punjab from the mid-1980s up to 2008. Based on comprehensive original research work, it examines various factors  ranging from central to state policies and critically analyses political, economic and social trends that have led to the dismal condition of farmers in Punjab. This study presents a unique trajectory on the issue of farmer suicides and contextualises the problem within a historical and geographical framework. It includes interviews of family members of a number of farmers who committed suicide in the subdivision of Lehra and Moonak of Sangrur district of Punjab, India. This outstanding work analyses the interplay of economic and political forces and recommends concrete policy measures to enable Punjab to break out of the vicious farmersuicide cycle.