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Over 10,000 violations of Right to Education in Delhi

Just nine months after the Right to Education (RTE) Act was implemented in India, promising free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6-14, over 10,000 cases of violation have been registered by a child rights body in the capital.

Some children were denied admission to school, some were subjected to corporal punishment by the school authorities and yet others were denied the benefit of the economically weaker section (EWS) quota for poorer students in Delhi schools.

According to chairman of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), the body has registered 10,500 cases of RTE Act violation since its implementation.

"As per the RTE Act, the DCPCR monitors its implementation in Delhi. We have registered cases which involve violations of at least 15 kinds, like screening tests before admissions, corporal punishment, admission denial, mental harassment and others," DCPCR Chairman told.

"Initially, we had taken suo motu cognisance of med…

Most migrant women in Delhi work in unorganised sector: Survey

A large number of migrant women in Delhi work in the unorganised sector, including as domestic help, construction and vegetable sellers, an Assocham survey said.

It added about 70 per cent migrant women belong to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

"...(they are here) in search of job opportunities and better education for their wards," Assocham Secretary General said.

Home Minister P Chidambaram recently sought to blame migrants to Delhi for crimes like rape, a statement that came under attack from political leaders, following which he withdrew it.

Later, the Home Minister issued a clarification saying he did not refer to any state or region or language or race or religion and was conscious that every one who came to work in Delhi was, in a sense, a migrant, including himself.

SC orders DDA to rebuild night shelters for all homeless

The Supreme Court Thursday directed all states and union territories to ensure that no night shelter was demolished amid the biting winter cold and slammed the Delhi Development Authority for demolishing two such facilities in New Delhi.

Rebuking DDA for demolishing two of the 64 shelters built by the Delhi government last year on the court's instructions, a bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma ordered that they be rebuilt within three days.

The bench issued the orders, taking suo motu cognisance of the news reports on demolition of two night shelters by DDA at Nehru Place and Kalkaji, forcing destitutes to brave the biting winter chill in the open.

The apex court said that as a welfare state it was the duty of the government to ensure that not a single citizen across the country sleeps under the open sky in such "intense" winter.

"We are greatly anguished, disappointed and astonished as to how could the authorities be so insensitive, impervious and callo…

Poor response to MCD survey to detect out-of-school children

The MCD, which had deployed its teachers to undertake a door-to-door survey in the city this week to detect out-of-school children, is not satisfied with the response it got from the people during the exercise.

The civic body got poor response from the citizens during the survey in resettlement colonies, slum clusters and rural areas and the data gathered will not be enough, officials said.

The MCD is now planning to write to the HRD Ministry so that the exercise can be undertaken afresh, they said.

The MCD's 14,000 teachers had conducted the survey for two days in weekend in 181 municipal wards.

Municipal teachers of 91 of the total 272 wards had conducted a similar door-to-door survey under 'Education for All' campaign in March, Chairman of MCD Education Committee said.

During the survey, teachers tried to find out whether there is any child between the age of 6 and 14 years who is not going to any school, besides the education and economic condition of the family and about p…

MCD survey to detect out-of-school children in Delhi

Aiming to implement the concept of 'education for all', MCD will deploy its teachers to undertake a door-to-door survey in the national capital from Sunday to detect out-of-school children.

The civic body said its 14,000 teachers will conduct the survey on December 11 and 12 in 181 municipal wards.

Municipal teachers of 91 of the total 272 wards had conducted a similar door-to-door survey under MCD's 'Education for All' campaign in March, Chairman of MCD Education Committee.

During the survey, teachers will find out whether there is any child between the age of 6 and 14 years who is not going to any school, besides the education and economic condition of the family and about physically or mentally challenged children, if any, in the family.

Principals, school inspectors, assistant and deputy education officers have also been deputed to monitor the work of survey, Nagpal said and appealed to citizens to cooperate and provide the accurate information.

"The survey is …

India's leadership unknown to much of world: survey

As New Delhi seeks to cement its place as a world leader with its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, a survey released said that the Indian leadership is not much known in the world.

Nearly half of the world's residents surveyed (44 per cent) don't know enough about the country's leadership to have an opinion, and the rest are mixed.

Across 110 countries surveyed in 2009, a median of 22 per cent approve and a median of 27 per cent disapprove, the Gallup, a public opinion research group, said in a statement.

More than half of people in the former Soviet Union, the Americas, and Europe don't have an opinion about India's leadership, it said adding that this may be understandable given their proximity to the country, but many in Asia also don't have an opinion.

Overall, residents in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa region are more likely to express opinions about India's leadership, it said.

Gallup said outside of some of i…

30,331 prisoners lodged in Bihar jails

Altogether 30,331 prisoners were lodged in 55 central and district jails in Bihar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.

Replying to a question, he said the total number of prisoners lodged in 55 central and district jails in the state stood at 30,331.

The jails were almost filled to capacity as there was space for 33,937 inmates in the jails.

There were eight central jails, 31 districts jails and 16 sub-jails in the state, he said, adding that there were several jails under-construction at present and once these projects were completed, the lodging capacity would rise to 46,116, the parliamentary affairs minister said.

He also added, a total of 52,343 criminals have been convicted in the state since 2006.

India has 5.07 crore diabetes patients in 20-79 age group

India has 5.07 crore diabetes patients in the age group of 20-79 years besides 1.14 children affected by it, according to a report prepared by International Diabetes Federation.

The exact data regarding persons suffering from diabetes in India is not known, however, as per the International Diabetes Federation report published in 2009, it is estimated that there are about 507 lakh cases in the age group of 20-79 years and 1.14 lakh cases of Type-I diabetes among children.

Type-1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type-1 diabetes is fatal unless treated with insulin.

Type-II diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.

Another type of diabetes is gestational diabetes when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregna…

Delhi police's crime-solving rate dipping

One-fourth of the total cases of theft, dacoity and murder reported in the national capital were solved this year with official figures showing that the work out rate of these crimes has come down in the last four years.

to Delhi Police statistics, only 4,308 of the 17,773 cases of theft, dacoity and murder reported this year till October 31 have been worked out with the arrest of 6,701 people.

"Only 24.23 per cent of the cases under these three heads have been worked out. A whopping 13,465 cases remain unsolved. We are working on these cases," a senior police official said.

figures show that the success rate in solving cases has been going down in the past four years, though the number of theft, dacoity and murder cases was on the decline.

year, police managed to solve 27.8 per cent (6,210) of the total 22,319 cases arresting 9,785 people while in 2008, the solving rate was 31.21 per cent (6,069) of 19,445 cases. As many as 9,426 people were arrested in 2008.

2007, 35.46 per cen…

Anupam Kher, William Dalrymple, ACRA honoured

New Delhi: Ctrl S & iCONGO (Indian Confederation of NGOs) in association with UN recently presented the 5th Annual KARMAVEER PURASKAAR and KARMAVEER CHAKRA, India's most prestigious civilian award for social work recognising INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS who are pivotal in leading a change, beyond their business and profession, by being committed at individual levels to work on social issues.

On this occasion, Actor Anupam Kher, author William Dalrymple, and members of the popular music band Indian Ocean were among individuals honoured in New Delhi by the Indian Confederation of NGOs for their contribution to society and work on social issues.

At a function in the capital, the group awarded a number of individuals with the fifth annual Karamveer Puraskars and Karmaveer Chakra award for their contribution beyond their work areas.

Besides Kher, Dalrymple, Sanjana Jon and Indian Ocean, also on the awardee list was journalist and social activist Shahid Siddiqui among others.

While Dalrymple w…

Over 6 lakh people die every year by passive smoking: WHO

Secondhand smoke is estimated to cause more than 600,000 deaths a year worldwide, 165,000 of them among children younger than 5, according to a World Health Organisation research group.

The group urged policymakers to immediately enforce the global body's framework convention on tobacco control to create smoke-free environments in all indoor workplaces as well as in public places and on public transport.

The study, which the group claims is the first global estimate of deaths from the exposure to secondhand smoke, was recently released in British medical journal The Lancet.

Analysing data from 192 countries, the group found that 40 per cent of children younger than 15, 35 per cent of female nonsmokers and 33 per cent of male nonsmokers were exposed to secondhand smoke worldwide in 2004.

This exposure led to heart disease, respiratory infections, asthma and lung cancer, resulting in 603,000 deaths that year, accounting for about 1.0 per cent of worldwide deaths, it said.

About 60 per ce…

Manual scavenging still prevalent in western UP

India may be hailed as a world power with impressive economic growth but there are places where people, mostly women, are still engaged in the inhuman age-old practice of manual scavenging.

Thousands of people in Badaun district of western Uttar Pradesh clean 'dry toilets' every morning and get Rs 20 per month from each family in return.

Shockingly, these women remove human excreta from the dry latrines with bare hands -- making their lives unhygienic and undignified.

"We put some ashes on the excreta and remove it with bare hands. We work in a dry latrine once in a day. We mostly complete the work before noon. The next day, when we come for work, it will be filled with waste," said 45-year-old Munni, mother of four children, who belongs to a village close to Badaun town.

Taking serious note of the situation, UNICEF and the district administration, armed with the support of locals, have been able to free at least 2,000 people from the cruel practice in the last four mont…

JD(U)-BJP combine headed for clear victory in Bihar: polls

Exit polls at the final phase of the Bihar Assembly elections predicted a clear victory for the JD(U)-BJP combine.

While CNN-IBN-The Week post poll study projected that the JD(U)-BJP alliance will sweep the polls with 185-201 seats, a Star AC Nielson exit poll predicted that Nitish Kumar-led NDA will get 150 seats.

An exit poll, conducted by CVoter, projected JD(U)-BJP combine coming back to power in Bihar. It said the combine will get 142-54 seats.

The CNN-IBN-The Week post poll study projection claimed that NDA will emerge victorious with 185-201 seats out of the total 243 assembly seats.

The CNN-IBN-The Week post poll study projected JD (U)-BJP combine emerging as the single largest alliance in Bihar with 46 per cent vote share in its kitty followed by RJD-LJP alliance at a distant 27 per cent and Congress at merely 9 per cent as the sixth and final final phase of polling comes to an end.

The Lalu Prasad-led RJD-LJP alliance was predicted to be gaining 22-32 seats while Congress gain b…

Over 93 mn people will be living in slums by 2011: Govt

The country will have about 93.06 million people living in slums by next year, up by over 18 million in the past 10 years, the government said.

An expert committee, constituted to look into various aspects of slum census, projected the population living in this cluster in 2011 at 93.06 million, up from 75.26 million since 2001, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

The expert committee, which submitted its report to the Ministry on August 30, was headed by Pranab Sen, principal adviser to the Planning Commission and the country's former chief statistician.

According to the Minister, the committee has recommended that it is absolutely essential to count the slum population even in cities having less than 20,000 population for policy formulation purposes.

For the purpose of planning for Rajiv Awas Yojna and a slum-free India, it has suggested that "it would be necessary to count the population of slums in …

Less than a third of ruralites have access to tap water

Painting a dismal picture, a government survey revealed that only 30 per cent of rural population had access to safe drinking (tap) water in the country.

It said 55 per cent depend on tube well or hand pumps to meet their drinking water requirement.The findings are stated in the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) study on Housing Condition and Amenities in India, 2008-09.

It may be recalled that the government is working on a comprehensive water policy to charge for the use of the natural resource.

In public outburst yesterday, the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had said the country needs to charge a reasonable price for water to minimise wastage.

The report of NSSO reveals that 15 per cent of rural populations were still looking for a dependable source of water.

The study also brings out that even in Urban India there are still eight per cent population that does not have any drinking water source although in this case 74 per cent urban population have…

14 lakh infants died in India from preventable med conditions

Nearly 14 lakh infants died of five preventable medical conditions in India during 2005 due to want medical intervention, says a latest study, raising concern that neonatal death rate is not falling fast enough in the country.
The study led by Registrar General of India estimates 23 lakh child between the age group of 1-59 months died during the year 2005 in which nearly 14 lakh died from preventable causes like Pneumonia, Diarrhoea, premature birth and low birth weight, delivery infections and trauma and suffocation during the delivery process.
The results were presented in two categories- deaths within one month of birth and deaths within 1-59 months of birth. The study published in the latest issue of medical journal Lancet shows nearly 10 lakh infants succumbed within one month of their birth while another nearly 13 lakh died before completing their fifth birth day.
This figure corresponds to more than 20 per cent of all deaths in children younger than five years worldwide, which …

9.4 pc unemployment rate in labour force in 2009-10: survey

The unemployment rate in the labour force was estimated to be 9.4 per cent during the 2009-10 financial year, a government survey has said.
According to the first national level household survey conducted by the Labour Bureau, out of 1,000 employed persons, 455 were employed in agriculture, forestry and fisheries group during this period.
The survey was conducted with a view to study the overall employment-unemployment situation in 300 districts of 28 states and union territories except the North Eastern states, a government release said today.
It also revealed that out of 1,000 persons employed, 439 persons were self-employed.The worker-population ratio was estimated at 325 persons per 1,000 persons.
A total of 45,859 household schedules were canvassed during the survey, out of which 24,653 were in rural areas and 21,206 are in urban areas.
Another finding that emerged out of the survey was that the sex ratio (number of females per 1000 males) was estimated at 917 for the rural and urban …

'India's growth fails to translate in poverty alleviation'

India has failed to make any significant improvement in its poverty figures, with over 400 million -- more than the total in the poorest African nations -- still struck in poverty, the Human Development Report 2010 said today, listing India at the 119th position on the Human Development Index.

Though India has jumped one position during the last five years, it continues to have high absolute poverty of people living below USD 1.25 per day along with high incidence of multidimensional poverty which is characterised by lack of access to health, education and living standards.

"Eight indicant states with poverty as acute as the 26 poorest African countries, are home to 421 million multidimensionally poor people, more than the 410 million people living in those African countries combined," says the Report issued by the UN Development Program, highlighting the magnitude of people subjected to "widespread deprivations".

"That success doesn't mean fast growth but ho…

India slips 10 spots to 88th on Global Prosperity Ranking

India has slipped 10 places to the 88th spot, way below neighbouring China, in the World Prosperity Index due to poor healthcare and education systems coupled with weak entrepreneurial infrastructure.

While last year, India stood at 78th position, according to London-based Legatum Institute that compiled the index.

China is ranked 58th in the list of 110 countries, which is topped by Norway. Other countries in the top five are Denmark (2), Finland (3), Australia (4) and NewZeland (5).

The prosperity index is based on 89 variables over 110 countries, grouped into eight sub-indices, and claims to comprehensively rank the level of prosperity in 110 nations of the world.

It is done by taking into account both economic growth and citizens' quality of life, drawing on data from various sources, including the Gallup World Poll 2009 and UN development Report.

The country ranked low on education ground (89th in the Index), health (95th), entrepreneurship and opportunity (93rd), and social Capit…

'70 pc girls in Hindi belt marry before 18'

The National Commission for Women said it was "alarming" that around 70 per cent of girls are below 18 at the time of their marriage in Hindi-speaking states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.

According to NCW reports, 73 per cent girls under 18 marry in Madhya Pradesh followed by Rajasthan 68 per cent, Bihar 67 per cent and Uttar Pradesh 64 per cent.However,In Andhra Pradesh too 71 per cent girls tied the knot while still below 18.

Even in two districts in Kerala there was child marriage despite education being "quite good" in the state.

Now, there is urgent need for uniformity in marriageable age for men and women.There should not be any kind of harassment of women and no room for discrimination.

'Child abuse,Corporal punishment widespread in India'

More than 65 per cent of Indian children on average received corporal punishment in schools despite the fact that the practice being illegal, a report has claimed.

Corporal punishment and child abuse are widespread in schools in India despite the fact that they are illegal, according to a report by Plan International.

More than 65 per cent of children on average said they had received corporal punishment while more than 50 per cent of children interviewed for a survey in India said they had faced sexual abuse, the report said.

According to Plan International, a children's organisation, India is dubiously ranked third among 13 countries in terms of estimated economies cost of corporal punishment.

Plan calculated that anything between USD 1.4 billion and USD 7.4 billion was lost every year in India by way of social benefits because of physical ill-treatment in schools.

Only the US and Brazil, suffered greater economic damage in the same sphere.

Plan also studied Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, N…

India slips down, Afghanistan, Iraq among most corrupt nations: Survey

India has slipped to 87th spot in latest ranking of nations based on the level of corruption, with the global watchdog asserting that perceptions about corruption in the country increased in the wake of the scam-tainted Commonwealth Games. However, Iraq and Afghanistan came near the top of a closely watched global list of countries perceived to be the most corrupt, despite efforts to stamp out graft in the war-torn nations.

Nearly three-quarters of the 178 countries in Transparency International's annual survey scored on the sleazier end of the scale, which ranges from zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (thought to have little corruption).

'Corruption Perception Index' report covering the public sector in 178 countries shows that India fell by three positions from its ranking of 84th in 2009.

With an integrity score of 3.3, India is now ranked 87th in the world in terms of corruption. Neighbouring China is ahead of India in the list at 78th place, with a score of 3.5…

Report encounter deaths within 48hrs: NHRC

Tightening its scrutiny of police encounter cases, the National Human Rights Commission has directed all the state governments to report such incidents to it within 48 hours.

"All the cases of deaths in police action in the states shall be reported to the Commission within 48 hours," the NHRC said in fresh guidelines on the procedure to be followed by police in cases of encounter.

The Commission, revising its previous guidelines under which police had to report cases of encounter only once in six months, has also made it mandatory for them to send a second report about all such deaths "within three months" from the date of incident.

The second report should include post-mortem report, inquest report, and finding of enquiry conducted by magistrate and senior officers concerned, the revised guidelines of the Commission said directing the states.

Earlier, the report of encounter cases was sent to the Commission by the DGPs of respective states. The reports will now be sen…

India records sharp decline in polio cases

In a positive sign for the fight against polio, India has recorded a significant drop in the number of cases of the debilitating disease this year.

The number of cases of type-1 polio is only 16 this year as compared to 51 last year, while type-3 cases stand at 23 against last year's 343, the latest World Health Organisation data show.

The WHO has attributed this drop to effective surveillance of migrant population and vaccination drive.

Only 39 cases have been reported so far this year as against 395 at the same time (September) last year.

For the first time, Uttar Pradesh has not reported even a single case of type-1 polio so far. The only hurdle so far is the inability to break transmission of type-1 polio in the country despite reducing it to a very low level.

Uttar Pradesh has reported just 10 type-3 cases as compared to 569 last year.

In Bihar, the type-1 cases are three as compared to 38 last year while type 3 cases are only six as compared to 79 last year.

Since January, two nati…

Over 1000 of child labour rescued : Delhi Police to HC

The police told the Delhi High Court that more than one thousand children, working in various places in the national capital, have been rescued by it in last one year.

The Delhi Police said 1,111 children working in various places including factories, shops and small restaurants, have been set free after raids were conducted and cases under various penal provisions registered against the owners of the units.

"The offenders found to be involved in the commission of various offences under IPC, Bonded Labour Act and Abolition of Child Labour Act and Juvenile Justices Act were booked and trials are pending in the courts of Metropolitan Magistrates (MMs)," Delhi police said in an Action Taken Report placed before a Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan.

The police furnishing the data from various districts about the raids and rescue operations conducted jointly with other agencies since September last year.

It said a standing order was issued to all police s…

Much of planet could see extreme drought in 30 years: study

Large swathes of the planet could experience extreme drought within the next 30 years unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut, a study released warns.

"We are facing the possibility of widespread drought in the coming decades, but this has yet to be fully recognized by both the public and the climate change research community," National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Aiguo Dai, who conducted the study, said.

"If the projections in this study come even close to being realized, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous," he said.

Parts of Asia, the United States, and southern Europe, and much of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East could be hit by severe drought in the next few decades, with regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea seeing "almost unprecedented" drought conditions, the study says.

Meanwhile, higher-latitude regions from northern Europe to Russia, Canada, Alaska and India could become wetter, according to the s…

Bihar polls: Nitish, Modi, Lalu seeking votes for criminals

For a state seeking to erase the taint of corruption and lawlessness, this sure is a step backwards. As top politicians campaigning for candidates with criminal records. The criminal and financial background of the candidates who will contest phase 2 and phase 3 of the poll is revealed. It may be taken that the same pattern would have been repeated for the candidates of phase 1.

All the major political parties have given tickets to contest on their respective symbols to these aspirants with pending criminal cases. 71 per cent of the LJP, 69 per cent of the BJP, 66 percent of the JD(U), 63 per cent of the RJD, 38 per cent of the BSP and 31 per cent of INC candidates have self confessed criminal backgrounds and face pending criminal cases. 272 candidates, 54 per cent, have not declared their PAN card details. Under electoral law they should be debarred from contesting the poll. Nothing of the sort will happen of course.

Against only 36 multi-millionaires in the last assembly elections, t…

Malaria deaths in India 13 times more than thought - study

Malaria kills more than 200,000 people in India each year, 13 times higher than UN estimates, according to a paper published by The Lancet.

The UN's World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the malarial death toll in India, the most populous country where the disease is endemic, is around 15,000 annually, comprising 5,000 children and 10,000 adults.

But the new study says the WHO's reporting method is flawed, as it depends indirectly on patients who have been diagnosed by a doctor.

Many deaths in India occur at home, rather than in a hospital or a clinic, which means the underlying cause of many malaria fatalities is likely to be misattributed, it says.

Investigators sent out field workers to 6,671 randomly-selected areas of India to interview relatives or careworkers of 122,000 people who had died between 2001 and 2003.

The field workers sent back a half-page report on each case as well as answers to specific questions which were asked if the individual had died of a fever.

This d…

High prevalence of 'poor man's diseases' in India: WHO report

India continues to rank very high in the prevalence of neglected tropical diseases like dengue, rabies and soil-transmitted helminthiases, according to a report released by the World Health Organisation.

"Of the world's poorest 2.7 billion people (defined as those who live on less than USD 2.00 a day), more than 1 billion are affected by one or more neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), says the report.

Though country-wide estimates are not provided, India is expected to have a majority of the 1 billion NTD-patients given the high incidence of poverty coupled with poor sanitary and hygine conditions.

The diseases which are prevalent in rural areas and urban slums include leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, and trachoma.

Of the 17 NTDs, nine are caused by microparasites which have simple life-cycles and a tendency to replicate within the host.The remaining eight NTDs are caused by macroparasites which have complex life-cycles involving intermediate and reservoir hosts and a tendenc…

India has highest prevalence of underweight kids: study

India has highest prevalence of underweight children under five and the level of hunger there is "alarming" as the country ranks 67, out of 84 countries, on the Global Hunger Index, a new study has found.

About 40 per cent of under-five children in India, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, and Yemen were underweight, while Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, and Somalia have the highest under -five mortality rate - 20 per cent or more, a report by Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has found.

"Globally, the biggest contributor to the world GHI (Global Hunger Index) score is child underweight," it said. The GHI was calculated on three factors - the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the child mortality rate.

The report found that in South Asia, India was among the countries with hunger levels considerably higher than their GNI (Gross National Income) per capita would suggest, while…

Over 100 MLAs in Bihar Assembly face criminal charges

About 110 members of Bihar Legislative Assembly have pending criminal cases against them, including for serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping and extortion, says a new survey.

According to a latest survey conducted by Association of Democratic reforms and National Election Watch, an umbrella body of about 1,000 NGOs across the country, a total of 109 MLAs in the 243-member Assembly have criminal cases pending against them.

Out of these, 64 members have serious criminal charges pending against them, according to the data.

The analysis was done on the basis of affidavits submitted by a total of 919 candidates for contesting Bihar Assembly elections in 2005. Out of which, 358 had declared pending criminal cases against them and 213 had serious criminal cases pending against them.

The ADR-NEW analysed affidavits of 233 MLAs and found that 109 had pending criminal cases against them when elected. A highest of 39 MLAs were from JD(U), followed by 32 from BJP and 19 from RJD among others.

Six…

Cities unsafe for girls but provide more scope: Survey

Seventy-seven percent of girls feel that eve-teasing is the biggest challenge they face in Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, while 69 percent feel cities offer an unsafe and insecure living environment, a survey revealed.

At the same time 53 percent surveyed agreed that better employment opportunities in cities are an advantage and one in every four girls said that cities offered better access to healthcare services and provided requisite space for leisure activities, according to the NGO that works for child rights.

The report reveals that 74 percent of girls feel most vulnerable in public places, 40 percent coped with harassment by ignoring it and 39 percent urged an alert and effective police force as a prerequisite for an ideal city.

The report, NGO said, is an attempt to highlight and address the issues faced by urban adolescent girls in their living and communication spaces. With the urban population expected to reach 586 million by 2030, more than 50 Indian cities are e…

Dengue mess ahead of CWG: Cases rising, DBCs on strike

Even as dengue cases in the month of August reach a five-year high in the national capital, MCD contract workers undertaking door-to-door checks to prevent mosquito breeding have gone on a strike from today demanding regularisation of their jobs.

The strike by 3,500 domestic breeding checkers (DBCs) are on indefinitely cease work from September six in support of their demand will compound problems for the MCD which is already grappling with rapid increase in dengue cases. All the 3,500 DBCs have signed a letter stating that they will only get back to work after their demands have been met.

With the total cases of the vector-borne disease crossing 1200, MCD statistics shows that the number of cases till this time in 2009 was only 12.

The figure was 136 and 24 in the same periods in 2008 and 2007 respectively. According to the MCD, in the previous years, the total number of dengue cases and deaths were 1,312 and 2 (2008), 548 and 1 (2007) and 3,366 and 36 (2006).

MCD officials said stagnati…

Prevalent dengue strain least life threatening: experts

Amid concern over rising dengue cases ahead of Commonwealth Games, there is now some relief with experts saying that the strain of the hemorrhagic fever in circulation this time is the least life threatening.

Dengue fever has four known strains worldwide out of which type-III is the most lethal and type-I the least life threatening, Dr V M Katoch Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.

In India, the type I strain of dengue has been prevalent for quite some time and has very less severity, Katoch told.

"Though the type II strain was dominant when dengue fever made a comeback in the country, the type I strain has prevailed since the last major outbreak four years ago".

The comparative severity of the type I strain is low at less than one per cent. Out of the over 1,100 cases reported in Delhi so far, there have been only three deaths.

Most dengue infections result in relatively mild illness, but some can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever.

With deng…

Urban slum population to be 93.06 million by next year

There has been a growth of 17.8 million in urban slum population of the country in the last decade, according to a government committee formed to create a "reliable statistical model" of enumerating people living in such areas.

The Committee headed by Pranob Sen, Principal Advisor to the Planning Commission, states that the projected slum population in the country for the year 2011 would be 93.06 million from the 75.26 million estimated in 2001.

However, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja said such a trend was expected due to increase in urbanisation but assured that the percentage of slums will come down due to government programmes for slum-development.
The Committee's report, submitted on August 30 to her Ministry, also gave a broader definition of slums to replace the existing one used by Census of India and the states.

"The Committee suggested to adopt a normative definition based on appropriate indicators and checklists for the purpose …