Criminals in Fray in Himachal Pradesh Polls

For all the regular shouting that Congress and BJP indulge in, the truth is that both the parties are no less when it comes to putting up people with criminal records against them to power.  So, if you are a right wing or a left wing or a middle path supporter, truth is that they are all corrupt.  As Arvind Kejriwal of Indian Against Corruption has pointed out, both BJP and Congress have their hands in the till.  Both are good at looting the public money.  Both are good at putting up criminals as candidates in elections.

So, wipe that silly smirk off your face when you read another scam being exposed against a party that you dont support and rue the fact that the one you are supporting is stabbing you in the back.  By just saying that the other party also has a few murderers in their group doesnt give you an open ticket back murderers in your party too.  Given is the number of criminals being put up as candidates in the Himachal Pradesh elections to be held on the 4th of November 2012. For a complete list of candidates contesting (district wise) along with their assets, criminal cases, education, liabilities etc, go to the My Neta website.

The poll-bound Himachal Pradesh (HP), known as “dev bhoomi” ( land of the Gods) appears to be no exception to party candidates with criminal backgrounds as at least 69  of 459 candidates in fray have declared criminal cases against them.

As per the report released by the Himachal Pradesh Election Watch (HPEW), out of the 69, 30 have declared serious criminal cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery and extortion.

In the 2007 Assembly elections in HP, 18 per cent candidates had declared criminal cases against them as compared to 16 per cent for the 2012 elections.  As per the analysis of the affidavits submitted by the 445 candidates analysed for the HP Assembly elections, all major parties have given tickets to candidates who have declared criminal cases. With 10 out of 16 (63 per cent) candidates with criminal background, the CPI-M leads the list.

It is followed by the INC with 16 out of 68 (24 per cent), the BJP with 7 out of 67 (10 per cent), the BSP with 8 out of 62 (13  per cent), the newly formed HLP with  6 out of 32 (19 per cent), the AITC with 2 out of 26 (8 per cent) candidates who have declared criminal cases against them. Nine of the 98 independent candidates have also declared criminal cases.

Out of 30 candidates who have declared serious criminal cases, while five each belong to the CPI-M and the INC, the BJP has four, the HLP has one and the BSP has five  of these candidates. As per the HPEW report, out of these 69 candidates, charges have been framed against 41 candidates in cases the include kidnapping, theft and dacoity.

News source: The Statesman

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Indians Top Immigrant Technology Entrepreneurship in US

Indian entrepreneurs are the faces behind a growing number of US tech startups. A study by the US based Kauffman Foundation shows that 33.2% of the cofounders of engineering and technology firms founded by immigrants in the US since 2006 were Indians. The next came the Chinese, at 8.1%. Another study done in 2007 for the period 1995 to 2005 had found that Indians accounted for 26% of the co-founders during that period. So there’s been a 7 percentage point increase in the Indian contribution in the post-2005 period. In fact, the Indian immigrant contribution was the only one that increased; most other immigrant communities saw a decline in their contributions, leading to a general stagnation in immigrant entrepreneurship in the US.

Pic source: http://www.indiapost.com

The Kauffman study examined a random sample of 1,882 companies out of a total of 107,819 engineering and technology companies founded in the last six years. Of those companies, 458 had at least one foreign-born founder. Sridhar Mitta, founder of social entrepreneurship firm NextWealth Entrepreneurs, attributes the phenomenon to the large number of smart Indian students who went to the US for higher studies and made careers there. “Many quit their jobs to chase the big American dream of starting something of their own,” he says. Most had mastered frugal engineering and so broke through the US glass ceiling.

“Indians are bright and very good at networking. They have a will to succeed and that makes them tick as entrepreneurs,” says Prof S Sadagopan , director, IIIT-Bangalore . First generation entrepreneurs like Vinod Khosla became poster boys of immigrant startups. Some of them donned the avatar of mentor and investor for the immigrant community in the US. “The IndUS Entrepreneurs broke the ice by creating an entrepreneurial culture, blurring regional differences that existed among immigrant entrepreneurs,” says Sharad Sharma, entrepreneur in residence in venture capital firm Canaan Partners.

Other successful Indianorigin entrepreneurs including Kanwal Rekhi, Pramod Haque, Gururaj Deshpande, and B V Jagadeesh won the goodwill and heart of American investors. Sabeer Bhatia, founder of Hotmail, became the face of internet ventures, drawing admiration from aspiring entrepreneurs who wanted to make it big in the dot com era. Many Indian Americans have been encouraged to launch startups knowing they can tap into the enormous amount of technology talent in India. Dhiraj Rajaram founded analytics firm Mu Sigma in Chicago, but built its entire delivery centre in Bangalore. AbsolutData, founded by Anil Kaul, Suhale Kapoor and Sudeshna Datta in California, has its delivery centre in Delhi. Fractal Analytics was founded by Nirmal Palaparthi , Pradeep Suryanarayan , Pranay Agrawal, Ramakrishna Reddy and Srikanth Velamakanni in California , with most of its delivery out of India.

Mukund Mohan, CEO in residence at the Microsoft Startup Accelerator, says Indians working in the technology space gave many immigrant entrepreneurs a head start into tech ventures. “The Bay Area has only six million people of which half a million are Indians. And of those Indians, 72% work in the tech sector. Of the total tech firms that get funded in the US, 50% are in Silicon Valley. So the chances of Indians becoming founders or co-founders of these companies is high,” he says.

News source: TimesofIndia

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Exclusive Health Scheme for 9 Crore Urban Poor to be unveiled

After years of wait, India is all set to have a health programme for its nine crore urban poor. The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) on Tuesday cleared the Union health ministry’s blue print of a National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). The ministry will soon take the Rs 22,000-crore proposal to the Cabinet. Nearly 75% of this budget will be funded by the Centre. NUHM will be launched in 779 cities or towns that have a population of 50,000 or more along with seven mega cities — Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Contrary to popular belief, the health standards of the urban poor in most cases are worse than their rural counterparts.

Pic source: The Hindu

More than two million births occur annually among the urban poor, and the health indicators in this group are poor. Around 56% deliveries among the urban poor take place at home. The under-5 mortality among urban poor at 72.7% is significantly higher than the urban average of 51.9%. Nearly 60% urban poor children do not receive complete immunization compared to 58% in rural areas, 47.1% urban poor children less than three are underweight as compared to 45% in rural areas and 59% of women (15-49 age group) are anemic as compared to 57% in rural India.

Over 285 million urban people in India account for 28% of the country’s total population. It is expected to increase to 33% by 2026. According to projections, out of the total population increase of 371 million during 2001-26, the share of increase in the urban population is expected to be 182 million, who suffer from serious health problems. A health ministry official said, “The Centre has pledged around Rs 17,000 crore for NUHM. Every state will soon start mapping their existing infrastructure to fill the gaps so that smooth health services are made available to the poor. It will be a city-specific plan. The primary health centres will carry out preventive, clinical and curative services. We envisage keeping the PHC near these slums open from 12 noon to 8 pm so that poor don’t miss their wages and can come to a PHC for treatment after work. The PHCs will carry out diagnostics, OPDs, antenatal care, immunization rounds with a referral linkage to a satellite hospital.”

Pic source: Economictimes

NUHM also got the backing from President Pranab Mukherjee, who as the then finance minister in his Budget speech on March 16, had said, “NUHM is being launched to encompass the primary healthcare needs of people in urban areas.” The NUHM will ensure health services for all urban dwellers — urban poor population, living in listed and unlisted slums besides all other vulnerable population such as homeless, rag-pickers, street children, rickshaw-pullers and other temporary migrants.

“Lack of economic resources inhibiting or restricting their access to private facilities, illegal status, poor environmental condition, overcrowding and pollution has contributed to their poor health status,” a Planning Commission report said. “Conservative estimates show that 38 crore people are living in urban areas, and it is projected to increase to 54 crore by 2050. This unprecedented urbanization brings with it influx of migrants, rapid growth of populations, expansion of the city boundaries and a concomitant rise in slum populations and urban poverty,” it added.

At the primary care level, one urban primary health centre will be established for every 50,000 population. An urban social health activist will be posted for every 200-500 households, and a mahila arogya samiti will be established for every 50-100 households, which will be provided an annual united grant of Rs 5,000 per year. NUHM’s launch is being constantly deferred since 2008.

News source: TimesofIndia

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Central Government Pushes States on Police Reforms

Giving a new lease of life to various recommendations on police reforms, the Centre has written to all the states asking for their feedback and take appropriate action on over four dozen functional areas that may help in improving law and order machinery in the country. Besides making police more responsive to citizens’ concerns, these measures are aimed at infusing a sense of accountability among police personnel through adequate legislative measures and also by insulating them from any kind of interference.

Though a number of such recommendations had attracted public attention in the past couple of years after the Supreme Court intervened in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on police reforms, the majority of suggestions was gathering dust in states’ secretariats. “An elaborate note has been sent to states by the home ministry. States are expected to express their views so that appropriate measures can be taken through consultations,” said an official.

Pic source: http://www.indiatogether.org

He said an online system has also been introduced where states can send their opinion and other suggestions electronically to avoid delay. The Centre would initiate the process of taking steps on the suggestions in Union Territories, he added. Some of the measures which are supposed to be implemented by the states at the earliest include abolition of “orderly” system in police department, creating a system of District Attorney to guide investigation of crimes in districts, setting up metropolitan police authorities in all cities that have population of more than one million, establishing an independent Inspectorate of police to carry out performance audit of police stations and introducing a citizen-friendly system of registration of FIRs.

“Since all these recommendations relate to state governments by virtue of ‘law and order’ being state’s subject in Indian Constitution, it require consultations keeping in mind the federal structure of the country,” said the official. Although the orderly system (posting orderlies at the residence of police officers) has been abolished in many states, most of them still practice it by attaching constables for screening visitors, attending to telephone calls and for delivering urgent messages. Taking strong view of this system, the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) and other panels on police reforms had recommended abolishing it completely which they

found not only humiliating for constables but also felt a waste of human resources that had been trained to do core policing jobs. Under the head – Empowering the Cutting Edge Functionaries – the ARC had in 2007, as part of its 165 recommendations on Public Order, also suggested substituting the existing system of constabulary with recruitment of graduates at the level of assistant sub-inspector of police (ASI).

“This changeover could be achieved over a period of time by stopping recruitment of constables and instead inducting an appropriate number of ASIs. Recruitment of constables would, however, continue in the Armed Police”, said the ARC. Seeking to set up Metropolitan Police Authorities in all cities having population above one million, the reform panel expressed that such body should have powers to plan and oversee community policing, improving police-citizen interface and suggesting ways to improve quality of policing. “All these suggestions along with the ARC report have been sent to the states for taking action to improve police functioning,” said the official.

News source: TimesofIndia

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An Economic Theory on Why Indian Muslims Lag People of Other Religions

Going back to the 2006 Sachar Committee report and research that’s followed, it’s been widely documented that Muslims in India have lagged behind the population as a whole on a range of economic and social indicators, such as education and health. Specifically, data in the Planning Commission’s India Human Development Report 2011 suggest that Muslims lag all social groups except scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

Economist Michael Walton of Harvard’s Kennedy School presents data showing that Muslims account for 89% of household expenditure per capita as a share of the national average, whereas Hindus account for 97%, Christians are above 100%, and other religions (principally Sikh and Jain) are at 132%. Again, only SCs and STs are worse off than Muslims, coming in at 78% and 67%, respectively. A share below 100% means that a particular group is spending less than the national average and a share over 100%
means it is spending more than the national average.

Pic source: http://www.zawaj.com

Mr. Walton also shows Muslims in India fare poorly on poverty indicators, with incidence of 35.5% only ahead of SCs at 38.5% and STs at 46.5%. Poverty incidence among Hindus is 26.9%. All of these data are culled from the National Sample Survey 2004-05, the last year for which data has been analyzed and are consistent with the findings of the Sachar report.

A team headed by Abusaleh Shariff, lead economist on the Sachar report, has produced new research, reported on here, that reconfirms the impression Muslims lag on economic and social indicators, in particular the share of their contribution to high value-added sectors of the economy.

Mr. Shariff and his team suggest that the lower performance and productivity levels of Muslims provide a prima facie case that they’re disadvantaged, adding  that this provides a case for “pro-poor and just policies” to help bridge the gap. While the raw data are not in dispute, Mr. Shariff’s interpretation is incomplete because, beyond referencing a state of deprivation, it doesn’t probe into the reasons why Muslims may be faring poorly.

Could it be that the poor performance on economic and social indicators by India’s Muslims today doesn’t just reflect current disadvantage and deprivation, but also has
far deeper historical, cultural, and religious roots? Timur Kuran, an economics professor at Duke University, together with Anantdeep Singh, a researcher at the University of Southern California, in a new study have argued that the roots of Muslims’ lagging performance may be attributed to institutional differences that go back to the British colonial period. In doing so, they discount conventional explanations including the supposed “conservatism and insularity” of Islam, the supposed “demoralization” of the Muslim community after the fall of the Mughal empire, and the supposed animosity of the attitude of British colonizers against the Muslims and in favor of the Hindus.

Instead, Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh argue that the real culprit is the Islamic inheritance system, which the British codified and enforced after coming to power in India. They suggest that the typical Muslim form of saving across generations, family trusts known as Waqfs, were not well suited for the pooling of capital across families, nor were they well suited to pursuing profit-making enterprises. What they were good at, though, was providing a safe way for an individual family to save its wealth over time.

By contrast, more flexible Hindu inheritance practices were much better suited to capital accumulation within a given family, the pooling of resources within extended family and clan networks, and the preservation and growth of wealth across generations. What is more, Hindus tended to do business within family run enterprises that were able to transition to modern corporate setups in the 20th century, whereas Muslims tended to rely on transitory and short-lived business partnerships with other Muslims that were difficult to translate into the structure of a modern corporation.

While it’s obviously true that Islamic inheritance practices predate British rule, the study documents that these laws were only loosely enforced during the late Mughal period and many Muslims, especially converts, continued to live by non-Islamic customs including inheritance practices. However, the British, who set up common law courts, more rigorously applied the distinct inheritance laws of different communities. Crucially, as Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh argue, the British, being unfamiliar with Indian traditions, institutionalized a more “classical” or Arabic form of Islamic law than the more flexible practices derived from Persian and other sources that had existed under the Mughals.

The end result was that in practice many more Muslims became subject to a stricter enforcement of Islamic laws. Tellingly, the Muslims who’ve fared best economically come from small  ”nonconforming” communities that converted from Hinduism – the Khojas, Bohras, Memons and Girasias – who as it happens were allowed by the British to retain their original inheritance practices. Azim Premji, India’s richest Muslim and the only Indian Muslim on the Forbes list of billionaires, is a Khoja.

To borrow a term from historian Niall Ferguson’s book “Civilization: The West and the Rest,” were the majority of Indian Muslims deprived of a “killer app” that Hindus and nonconforming Muslims had access to, preventing their development of modern enterprises? Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh make a compelling case that the answer is yes and
that this helps explain their current state of relative deprivation.

In their book, “Why Nations Fail,” MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist Jim Robinson persuasively argue that institutional structures going back centuries to colonial times help explain the different performances of countries today. The same logic that they apply to nations may also apply to communities within a
given nation. Where we came from might well affect where we are today, and history casts a longer shadow than we might think.

News source: WSJ

Average Indian’s Life Expectancy Up 4.6 Years

An average Indian lived 4.6 years longer in 2008 compared to a decade earlier. An average Indian woman lived three years more than her male counterpart in 2008. While the life expectancy at birth for women was 67.7 years, for men it stood at 64.6 years. This was an increase of 2.5 years and 1.8 years, respectively, when compared to the life expectancy (LE) in 2002. According to the latest life expectancy data — to be released by the Registrar General of India this week after a gap of almost five years — the LE of a rural Indian increased by 2.2 years between 2002 and 2008. However, the LE of an urban Indian was up by just 1.2 years over the same period.

Interestingly, an urban female lived 4.9 years longer than a rural female and 7.9 years longer than a rural male. A woman living in rural Kerala had the highest LE at birth across all categories at 77.2 years. In contrast, LE at birth was lowest at below 60 years for a rural male in Madhya Pradesh. Rural males also lived longest in Kerala at 71.2 years, which was 7.7 years longer than the average rural Indian male. Kerala’s rural female LE of 77.2 years was also 10.7 years more than the average rural female LE in the country.

Pic source: agefotostock.com

Interestingly, women seem to have a longer life span than their male counterparts in most of the major states.  In West Bengal and Rajasthan, for example, women lived 3.6 years longer than their male counterparts in 2008. In Tamil Nadu, women lived 3.8 years longer, while in Punjab it was 4.2 years, Maharashtra (4 years), Haryana (2.5 years), Gujarat (4.1 years), Himachal Pradesh (4.7 years), Karnataka (4.8 years) and Kerala (5.4 years).
When it comes to urban males, Himachal Pradesh took the top spot with an average man living till 72.6 years at 4.6 years longer than an average urban Indian male.

An urban female was living longest in Kerala – 76.4 years, which was five years longer than an average urban Indian female. Deputy registrar general Bhaskar Mishra said, “LE of an average Indian is improving by the year. What is most interesting is the widening gap between LE of an Indian male and a female which is a trend similar to developed countries. This may be because of the rapid bridging of the gap in child mortality between males and females.  The previous data on LE came out in 2007.”

So what are the main reasons for Indians living longer now than a decade ago?

Experts say that the three big reasons for LE to have increased are better food supply and nutrition, healthier lifestyle and better hygiene. “More people are interested in the nutritional content of the food they eat and plan their diet accordingly. People are consciously making better lifestyle choices that reduce chances or delay the risk of developing diseases. People wash their hands more often that reduces infection rate,” a health ministry official said.

In terms of the highest increase of LE between 2002 and 2008, the top five states were Assam and MP (3.1 years), J&K (2.8 years), Odisha (2.6 years), Maharashtra and
Rajasthan (2.4 years). The lowest increase in LE in the same period was in Himachal (0.5 years) and Haryana (0.9 years). Between 2000 and 2004, the overall life expectancy of an average Indian stood at 63.9 years. Between 2006 and 2010, it increased to 66.1 years. In men, it increased from 62.8 years in 2000-04 to 64.6 years in 2006-10. Among women, it increased from 65.2 years to 67.7 years during the same period. In rural India, it increased from 62.7 years to 64.9 years (up by 2.2 years).

However in urban India, it increased from 68.4 years to 69.6 years during the same period.
Between 2006 and 2010, men were living the longest in Kerala (71.5), Jammu & Kashmir (69.2), Maharashtra (67.9), Himachal Pradesh (67.7), Punjab and West Bengal (67.4)
and Tamil Nadu (67.1). LE among males was lowest in Assam (61). When it came to females, Kerala once again took the top spot with the average LE between 2006 and 2010 at 76.9 years, followed by Himachal Pradesh (72.4), Maharashtra (71.9), Punjab (71.6) and J&K (71.1). Assam was once again at the bottom of the ladder with an average woman expected to live till just 63.2 years.

According to the World Health Organization’s health statistics 2011, the global average life expectancy at birth stood at 68 years in 2009 — an increase by two years since 2000. WHO said since 1990, LE has increased globally by 4 years (both sexes). However, during the 1990s, it stagnated in Europe and decreased in Africa.

News source: TimesofIndia

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Bhojpuri likely to be included in Eighth Schedule

Bhojpuri may get into the Eighth Schedule but it will not feature among the languages recognized by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for its competitive exams. As the struggle for Bhojpuri-speaking people scattered among a huge swath enters its last lap, the UPSC has proposed a constitutional amendment to delink the new entrants to the Eighth Schedule from its scheme of exams. If ratified by Parliament, Bhojpuri will finally make to the list of the scheduled languages.

Scheduled status brings certain advantages to a language. It makes it mandatory for the government to take measures for the development of a scheduled language so that it grow and become effective means of communication in due course of time. “Government is favourably inclined to accept the Commission’s suggestion. A note in this regard will soon be placed before the Union Cabinet for its approval,” said a senior home ministry official.

He said a separate note would simultaneously be sent to the Cabinet for including Bhojpuri – enlisted as mother tongue by over 3.3 crore people during the 2001 Census – in the list of scheduled languages. After getting the Cabinet’s nod, the government will bring the amendment Bills in Parliament in the Winter Session. Though the then home minister P Chidambaram had expressed the government’s willingness to include Bhojpuri – the language is spoken by people in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and even by migrants in countries like Mauritius – in the Eighth Schedule during Budget Session of Parliament in May, his promise had later hit the UPSC’s wall.

The Commission’s representatives in the meetings, held during June-September, had argued that holding examinations in Bhojpuri or any other new language would be very difficult due to acute shortage of language experts. Besides, they contended that all the languages do not have their own literature – a prerequisite of considering them as separate subjects in the Civil Services Examination (CSE) at par with other languages or optionalcompulsory papers. As a solution, the Commission has now suggested constitutional amendment so that it takes care of its concerns besides meeting the aspirations of people who have been demanding inclusion of new languages in the Eighth Schedule,” said the official.

Under constitutional provisions, it is obligatory for the UPSC to give an option of the languages to candidates as one of the qualifying papers along with English in the CSE, include them as optional papers and also allow aspirants to use the languages as medium for instructions. Besides, it is expected from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to mention denomination on currency notes in all the scheduled languages. The RBI has, however, not been able to fulfill this provision with respect to all the 22 scheduled languages due to space constraints in the currency notes. “The RBI’s provision will not be a problem as it can be dealt with through an executive order,” said the official.

The move to include Bhojpuri as scheduled language is, however, fraught with the possibility of opening a Pandora’s Box as more people may come out with demands to include other languages in the Eighth Schedule. Besides Bhojpuri, requests for 37 other languages, including English, have already been pending with the government for long.

These languages include Angika, Banjara, Bazika, Bhoti, Bhotia, Bundelkhandi, Chhattisgarhi, Dhatki, Garhwali (Pahari), Gondi, Gujjari, Ho, Kachachhi, Kamtapuri, Karbi, Khasi, Kodava (Coorg), Kok Barak, Kumaoni, Kurak, Kurmail, Lepcha, Limbu, Mizo, Magahi, Mundari, Nagpuri, Nicobarese, Himachali, Pali, Rajashthani, Sambalpuri, Shaurseni, Siraiki, Tenyidi and Tulu.

Though Pali and English are not part of the Eighth Schedule, these two languages were included by the UPSC in its scheme of examination long ago. Incidentally, over 2.2 lakh people had mentioned English as their mother tongue during the 2001 Census. The Census data show that the country has as many as 234 mother tongues. The 22 languages which are listed in the Eighth Schedule are Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

While 14 of them have been under the Eighth Schedule even since Constitution came into force in 1950, Sindhi was added in 1967. Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added in 1992, whereas four others – Dogri, Bodo, Maithali and Santhali – were included in 2003.

News source: TimesofIndia

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All Schools Must Have Toilets Within 6 Months – Supreme Court

Ah…as someone on Twitter commented, looking forward to a commode scam / toilet scam / shit scam

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the centre and state governments to provide basic infrastructure, including drinking water and toilets, in all schools within six months.

A bench headed by Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan fixed the time limit and asked the governments to take steps to provide the basic facilities in schools across the country. The bench said that all its previous directions pertaining to providing infrastructure should be implemented within the time frame fixed by it.

On October 18 last year, the Supreme Court had directed all states and union territories to build toilets, particularly for girls, in all government schools. The court passed the order on a PIL seeking its direction to Centre and state governments to provide basic facilities of drinking water and toilets in schools.

The Supreme Court had earlier stated that it was imperative that all schools provide toilet facilities, as empirical researches indicated that wherever toilet facilities are not provided in schools, parents do not send their children (particularly girls) to schools. The court had also observed that not providing the infrastructure was a violation of the right to free and compulsory education of children guaranteed under Article 21-A of the Constitution.

News source: Hans India

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October is Domestic Violence Against Women Awareness Month

No matter how much we progress, the true growth of a country is measured by looking at how a country treats its women.  Sad to say that India lags far far behind most of the nations in this respect.  In this day and age, when we have no qualms forwarding silly and pompous mails purporting the greatness of India, women are being beaten, raped, molested on the roads or burnt in the name of dowry. Also sad is the instance where a senior minister in the central cabinet, Sriprakash Jaiswal, the Coal minister gets off with saying that “once a wife gets old, she loses her charm“.  And he hardly gets chastised in public by his boss (Prime Minister) or the leader of his party (Sonia Gandhi) who herself is a woman. The fact that he can get away saying that he was just repeating an old proverb is sickening.

Also a so called Gujarat ka Sher (lion of gujarat) gets away by saying that the pathetic level of malnutrition in his state (after he being in power for more than 10 years and being hailed by all and sundry that he has turned Gujarat into a land of milk and honey but scores worst in the human index) is because “Gujarat is …a middle class state. The middle class is more beauty conscious than health conscious – that is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk they have a fight. She will tell her mother ‘I wont drink milk, I will get fat.

These are the kinds of uneducated, uncivilized louts we elect to power; who win elections even after abusing their own citizens.  Heck, the so called sher has been in
power even after lording over mass killing of his citizens. He is not Gujarat ka sher, but Gujarat ka geedar (Jackal of Gujarat). Also, there have been at least 4-5 gang rapes in Haryana in the past 1-2 weeks.  We are yet to hear any of the perpetrators either being booked or being even caught. Such is the state of women in India.

Pic courtesy: http://vawprevention.org

Its more to do with the patriarchal system of society in India where women are supposed to keep their counsel and be subservient and obedient to the male head of the family.  This happens more in North India where still most of the society is feudal.  Hence you see more of honour killings and violence against women.  This has led to skewed sex ratio in the country.  Some of the worst performers are

For every 1000 men, the number of women in each state are given below

The best performing states being

Pic courtesy: www.indianexpress.com

Within the United Nations charter, this October marks the 25th observance of the Domestic Violence Against Women Awareness Month”. The first sign of unity towards this
cause was in 1987 when thousands around the world agreed that millions of women worldwide were being abused physically and mentally inside their homes. Decades later,
this is where we stand. In the world’s largest economy — the United States — a woman is attacked every nine seconds. In the world’s largest democracy, “a woman is raped every 22 minutes, and a bride burnt for dowry every 58 minutes”.

News source: Deccan Chronicle

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