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Drought

Seated left to right are Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Congress party President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defense Minister A.K.Antony at the Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi. The party's highest policy-making body is meeting in the country’s capital to discuss the drought situation.

AP Photo/Manish Swarup

Not every body loves a good drought. Women return from a paddy field on a cloudy day on the outskirts of Gauhati. With monsoon 25 percent below normal this year, and drought declared in 161 out of 625 districts of the country, agriculture which accounts for 17.5 percent of India's GDP is suddenly in the limelight as a weak harvest can lead to rising food prices and decreasing rural demand.

AP Photo/ Anupam Nath

A man looks for monsoon clouds in the sky from his parched field at a village near Patna.

PTI Photo

A farmer looks at his dried up farm as he waits for monsoon showers, in Gurgaon.

PTI Photo

Farmers wait for rain in Rongdoi Dagaon area in Jorhat, Assam.

PTI Photo

A farmer walks with his cow on his dry farm in the outskirts of Bhopal, Tuesday, May 26, 2003.

Gaurav Tiwari / AP

A farmer returns home through his dry paddy field in Jamtola village, about 59 kilometers west of Guwahati. While northern and western India is facing a flood fury, farmers in Assam and other parts of the north east are facing a drought-like situation due to less rainfall and extreme heat this year. The Assam government has waived land tax for the affected farmers and had announced special holidays for schools from August 15 to 20 in view of the heat spell.

AP Photo/ Anupam Nath

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