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Showing posts from October, 2010

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…