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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 …

Increase in major indicators for maternal, child health:Survey

A survey has shown significant increase in major indicators for maternal and child health, including immunisation in India.

The Coverage Evaluation Survey 2009 (CES-2009), a nationwide survey covering all states and Union Territories of India, commissioned by UNICEF was conducted during November 2009 to January 2010.

The report says the 'Janani Suraksha Yojana' has changed the scenario of institutional delivery in the country.

It said that since the beginning of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), institutional delivery has increased from 40.7 per cent to 72.9 per cent.

Safe delivery by skilled birth attendants has increased from 48.2 per cent to 76 per cent.

Mothers who had three or more Ante Natal Check-ups has also increased from 50.7 per cent to 68.7 per cent. Giving specific examples of so called backward states, the report says in Madhya Pradesh institutional delivery has increased from 29.7 to 81 per cent.

In Orissa, institutional delivery has increased from 38.8 per ce…

Nanded suspected to have 12,000 malnourished children

Nanded district is suspected to have 12000 malnourished children, a survey in 'Balwadis' by district administration has revealed.

A total of 12,718 children were found underweight in Nanded district and they might be the cases of malnutrition, official sources said. Loha tehsil has the maximum of such children, sources in the administration said.

Children studying in 424 'Balwadis' in addition to the neonates in the district are checked by the integrated child welfare department and the Primary Health Centers (PHC's) once in three months. During these check ups, it was revealed that more than 12.7 thousand children are underweight and might be malnourished, they told.

They all belong to the age group of 0-6 years and were found to be in different categories of the malnutrition.

Out of the 93, 272 children, who were checked, 12, 718 were found to be underweight as a result of malnutrition, they said.

It is mandatory for the health department to keep these children under …

59 pc pros likely to quit jobs due to lack of promotion:Survey

A majority of Indian professionals are likely to quit their jobs this year due to lack of promotional avenues despite good work results and a lack of communication and involvement by their top managements, according to a survey .

For 59 per cent of respondents, finding that the next rung in the career ladder is a no-show was the top "get me out of here" factor, a survey by Regus, revealed.

Lack of communication and involvement by top management was the other big reason for most professionals to quit their existing jobs, 50 per cent of respondents said.

Another 30 per cent said that they would leave a company which lacked 'vision'.

The job market in India is likely to get crowded after the summer vacation as Indian professionals may quit their existing jobs unless they are promoted, it said.

Over 15,000 business respondents from the Regus global contacts database were interviewed during the February-March 2010 period and the survey was managed and administered by Marketing…

Malaria mosquitoes 'use several kinds of odour sensors'

In what may help develop more effective repellents, scientists claim to have discovered that malaria mosquitoes use several different kinds of odour sensors to sniff out their human prey.

For years, it's known that Anopheles gambiae -- the species of mosquito that spreads malaria which infects 250 million and kills 900,000 people annually -- use one family of odour sensors to track its human prey.

Now, a team at Vanderbilt University has found that the mosquitoes possess a second set of olfactory sensors that are fundamentally different from the set of sensors which was known to researchers for the last 10 years, the latest edition of the 'Public Library of Science Biology' journal reported.

According to the scientists, they also have preliminary evidence that the mosquito's olfactory system may include additional families of sensors as well.

"It's not at all surprising that the mosquito's olfactory system is more sophisticated than thought. Olfaction is absol…