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Showing posts from February, 2011

'68% rural women can't afford sanitary napkins'

About 68 per cent rural women cannot afford sanitary napkins available in the market, according to a survey.

The study throws light on the dismal state of feminine hygiene care in India.

According to gynaecologists, use of alternative sanitary care measures such as unsterilised cloths, sand and ash make women susceptible to infections and diseases.

The study found that awareness on basic health and feminine hygiene is very low, with 75 per cent rural women lacking adequate knowledge on menstrual hygiene and care.

On the issue of affordability of quality sanitary care, the survey found that 81 per cent rural women use unsterilised cloths since they are cheaper and 68 per cent said they cannot afford to buy sanitary napkins.

Adolescent girls in rural India are unable to attend up to 50 days of schooling in a year due to inadequate menstrual care, the report said.

The nationwide survey was conducted in October on a sample size of 1,033 rural women and 151 gynaecologists.

97 per cent gynaecologi…

Poor states to benefit from India's rising workforce: IMF

India's swelling working age population is expected to increase the income of poor states as well as boost the overall growth, according to an IMF working paper.

Working population is generally defined as those between the age group of 15 to 64 years.

"... Going forward, it is the poorest Indian states that stand to gain the most from the forthcoming demographic transition, since they are the ones that have so far lagged behind in both transition and in income growth," the recently released paper said.

One of the most-populated countries in the world, India has well over 1.1 billion people.

As per estimates, the world population is to grow by 2.4 billion people. About a quarter of the projected increase in the global population aged 15-64 years between 2010 and 2040 is expected to be in India.

The trend of increasing number of working age population, also termed as "demographic dividend", is mainly due to declining infant mortality rates as well as falling fertility…

"Delhiites don't react to molestation, eve-teasing"

Unlike Mumbaikars or Kolkatans, Delhiites do not react sharply to incidents of molestation and eve-teasing.

This assessment has been made by Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta, who feels that the active cooperation of the public is of "paramount importance" as police presence may not be available at all places.

"As compared to Mumbai and Kolkata where citizens sharply react to any incident of molestation or eve-teasing, such reactions are totally lacking or missing on the part of citizens of Delhi who have a vital role to play in preventing harassment to the women travelling in the city," Gupta said.

He made these comments in a letter written to a senior editor of a leading publication, seeking to dispel the impression that the capital is unsafe for women where a number of cases of crime against women were reported.

He pointed out that the police was not the only stake holder in preventing such crimes where the perpetrators are mostly known persons.

"It is, in fac…

'Condition of adolescents India among the worst'

Home to 20 per cent of the world's adolescent population, India has one of the worst track records in their health and education parameters, according to a new report.

Almost 47 per cent of girls in the age group of 11 to 19 years are underweight in India, which is the highest in the world, a UNICEF report on the 'State of the World's Children' released said.

The report said, the country's adolescents constituted 20 per cent of the world's 1.2 billion adolescents.

Nine out of ten among the 1.2 billion adolescents live in the developing world, report said, Assam was home to an estimated 6.5 million adolescents, comprising 21.3 per cent of the state's population.

The report says that around 25 per cent (243 million) of Indians belong to the age-group of 11-19 years. Almost 40 per cent of the section is out of school and 43 per cent get married before the age of 18, out of whom 13 per cent become teenage mothers.
School attendance in the 11-13 years age group is …

'Reform education sector to reap demographic dividend'

The pre-budget Economic Survey today called for more reforms and bold decisions in education sector, including smooth implementation of the Right to Education Act, to make the most of India's young population for economic growth.

"Reaping the demographic dividend needs a vision, a long-term plan, and bold decisions," the Economic Survey for 2010-11 tabled in Parliament said.

It said that given the advantage of a young population, the realisation of the demographic dividend is another factor that calls for reforms in the education and health sector.

The RTE Act "must face no implementation deficit for it to work towards realising the demographic dividend," it said.

The RTE Act makes it mandatory for every child in the 6-14 age group to get at least eight years of elementary education.

The pre-budget document also said that reforms are needed for universities and in higher education and the demand-supply mismatch in the job-market needs to be corrected.

While recognisi…

26% of urban population does not have access to water supply

About 26 per cent of the urban population does not have access to piped water supply and depend on tube wells and hand pumps, a study said.

Quoting data from National Sample Survey, Minister of State for Urban Development informed the Lok Sabha that 74 per cent of urban households have access to piped water supply, leaving the rest 26 per cent dependent on other sources like tube wells and hand pumps.

Of the 423 Class-I cities surveyed, only 39 qualified on all three basic tests -- turbidity, residual chlorine and Thermo Tolerant Coliform bacteria -- conducted to check water quality at consumer end.

The NSS report also said though 77 per cent of the urban households use either septic tanks or flush latrines, 11 per cent have no latrines and eight per cent use pit toilets.

Further, as per 2001 Census, less than two-third of the urban households were connected to sewer system.

As far as public transport is concerned, it accounts for 22 per cent of urban transport in India. Out of 85 cities w…

Bihar projected to grow at 10.05 per cent

The growth rate for Bihar for 2010-11 is projected at 10.05 per cent, a marginal fall from 11.70 per cent during the corresponding period previous year, according to the state's economic survey 2010-11 presented in the state Assembly.

The economic survey 2010-11 brings out that at current prices, the GSDP for Bihar in 2009-10 was Rs 1,72,138 crore, with a per capita income of Rs 17,959 as compared to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Rs 75,608 crore in 2004-05, with the corresponding per capita income of Rs 8,528, Bihar Finance Minister & Deputy CM said.

During 1999-00 to 2004-2005, the economy had grown at an annual rate of 3.5 per cent, but it grew at the rate of 10.93 per cent during 2004-005 to 2010-11.

This is the highest among the growth rates of different Indian states.

Since the finalisation of this survey, the Directorate of Statistics and Evaluation, Bihar, communicated a fresh set of estimates of GSDP and NSDP in Bihar, according to which the GSDP at current pr…

Jamia is minority institution, rules Commission

The long battle for the minority status of Jamia Millia Islamia ended on a good note Tuesday morning.

Jamia Milia Islamia University was today granted minority institution status by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, a first for any central university which will allow it to reserve up to 50 per cent seats for Muslims.

"We have no hesitation in holding that Jamia was founded by the Muslims for the benefit of the Muslims and it never lost its identity as a Muslim minority educational institution," chairman the commission Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui said in his judgement.

The varsity will no longer have to give reservation to SC and ST students following the ruling by the Commission, a quasi-judicial body, on the petitions by Jamia Students Union, Jamia Old Boys Association and Jamia Teaches Association filed in 2006 seeking minority status for the varsity.

Jamia became a Central University by an Act of Parliament in 1988.

Siddiqui said Jamia would continue t…

UNIQUE EFFORT: 'School' for eunuchs to give them lessons

In a unique effort to bring eunuchs in social mainstream, a "school" has been specially set up for transgenders in Bareilly district (UP) which will also provide them vocational training.

"Eunuchs are generally ostracised by society. They have full right to live like normal people," Syed Ehtshaam Huda, chief medical superintendent and the brain behind the school.

The school, which has been named as 'Aas' (hope), will also offer rehabilitation services.

"There is a need to identify and address problems being faced by eunuchs," Huda said, adding the school will not only provide general education, but will also give them vocational training in sewing, nursing, computers, beauty care and cooking.

"The eunuchs will be trained in personality development skills and made aware about their fundamental rights and duties," said the doctor, who had in the past launched a campaign for separate enumeration of transgenders.

He said that initially the school…

Over 30 Delhi policemen booked for sexual harassment in 3 yrs

More than 30 personnel -- from the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police to constable -- were booked by Delhi Police on sexual harassment charges in the past three years.

The alleged offences committed by personnel of one of the most elite forces of the country include molestation, rape with minors, beating up women, forcefully developing illicit relationship on fake identities, writing a letter using indecent and objectionable language and dowry harassment.

Exercising his Right to Information, Ashwini Shrivastava sought information on cases of sexual harassment against Delhi Police personnel registered between 2007 and September 2010. According to the information received in response to his query, such cases were registered against 33 Delhi Police officers during that period.

Some of the cases registered by it are still under investigation, while in some cases the policemen are facing departmental action. In a few cases, the officers were either terminated from the service or exonera…

Delhi Police chief to hold 'Janta Durbar' everyday

Delhiites can now directly put their problems before Police Commissioner B K Gupta who has decided to open his doors to public everyday beginning Monday (21st Feb.'11).
Gupta will meet complainants and hear their problems for 90 minutes on all weekdays from 12 PM to 1.30 PM and has also instructed other senior officials to follow suit.
"I have to take out some time for the people. We are here for the people. I will be available to hear the grievances from this Monday (21st Feb.'11) on all week days for 90 minutes.... The exercise is to improve functioning of police force in the city," he told.
All Deputy Commissioners of Police, Assistant Commissioners of Police and other senior officials will also be available for the public for two hours -- 12 PM to 2 PM -- at their offices on weekdays and will listen to their grievances and problems from Monday.
"I have been meeting a few complainants now...But I am not doing it everyday. So, I wanted it to happen everyday. I…

Family earnings above-average in smaller urban centres

Jalandhar, Aurangabad and Agra may be smaller in size than many Indian cities, but household earnings in these places are much more than the urban average across the country, says a new survey.

"Jalandhar, Aurangabad, Bhubhaneshwar, Agra and Raipur are among the 'cities of opportunities'. The households in these cities earn more than India's average urban household," according to a Morgan Stanley research report, titled, "AlphaWise City Vibrancy Index: A Guide to India's Urbanisation."
As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the quarterly average household income is about USD 1,009 (Rs 45,000) per quarter, per urban household across the country, whereas these 'cities of opportunities' have a quarterly average household income of above Rs 65,000.
The report noted that the key factors that drive urbanisation in the top 200 cities (by population) in India include infrastructure, job opportunities, modern consumer services and the c…

Cost of living in rural Orissa lowest in the country: report

Cost of living in rural Orissa was one of the lowest in the country even as the state government claimed reduction in poverty by 11.73 between 2004-05 and 2007-08. This was part of the Economic Survey 2010-11 report presented at the state assembly. "The cost of living in urban Orissa also used to be lower than the rest of India in the past. This is, however, no longer the case," the report said. The rural-urban poverty gap remains larger than all India average. While coastal region registered the sharpest decline of poverty according to 61st round of NSS (national sample survey), the extent of poverty in southern and northern regions is still very high and remains a matter of concern, it said. Pointing out that the state witnessed wide range of regional and social disparities in development, the report said that all regions have not developed uniformly. The analysis presented in the survey 2010-11 clearly brings out that there is perceptible structural change in Orissa's e…

80,000 rural youths to be trained for jobs

About 80,000 youths from rural poor families across the country would be trained and provided placement under special schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development.
"The Ministry of Rural Development has drawn up a massive programme for this. Under its National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), 14 projects have been approved by the government for skill training leading to placement of rural BPL youths in urban settings," an official statement from the ministry said.
These projects involve a total investment of about Rs 165 crore of which 75 per cent is to be funded by the Centre. The remaining investment is to be made by the training partners or employers.
These projects will cover about 80,000 rural BPL youths for short term training/skill development leading to their placement in entry level jobs in textiles, construction, computer-based accounting, security services, retail, BPO, hospitality, electrical and other sectors, it said.
In the North Eastern region, the projects i…

Homeless to be counted on the night of Feb 28

Come February 28 night, census enumerators will fan out across the city to count its homeless who sleep on pavements or take refuge under its many flyovers, at railway and bus stations and in shelters.

Unlike the three weeks dedicated to others, the homeless are to be counted all over Delhi simultaneously on February 28.

Similar headcount will be undertaken all over the country at the time to ensure that no one is left out in the crucial phase of Census 2011.

Homeless or "houseless" have been identified for the Census's purpose as those people "who have absolutely no shelter of their own to sleep in".

The 2001 census had put the figure at 24,966 in the national capital.

Surveys have already being conducted in August, September and October last year to identify the locations where the homeless take shelter.

Each and every inch of Delhi is technically going to be checked for this purpose. This is the method to minimise the chance of missing out.

The spots this time are …

India's middle class population to touch 267 million in 5 yrs

The Indian middle class, target consumers for many companies, is expected to swell up to 267 million people in the next five years, up 67 per cent from the current levels, thus providing a great market opportunity for firms, according to NCAER.

A report by National Council for Applied Economic Research's (NCAER) Centre for Macro Consumer Research said by 2015-16, India will be a country of 53.3 million middle class households, translating into 267 million people falling in the category.

As per the study, which uses 'household income' as the criterion, a family with an annual income between Rs 3.4 lakh to Rs 17 lakh (at 2009-10 price levels) falls in the middle class category.

(As per 2000-01 prices, middle class classification was based on annual income of Rs 2-10 lakh.)

Currently India has 31.4 million middle class households (160 million individuals).

"Factors such as the country's GDP growth, which is projected to be around nine per cent, going ahead and high growth…

Marked improvement in primary education sector: Study

The primary education sector has witnessed marked improvement due to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme, with significant increase in facilities like provision of drinking water and toilets in schools, said a government study.

The study conducted by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) for 2009-10 said 92 per cent of the 1.3 million schools that impart elementary education in the country now have drinking water facility.

It also said 54.31 per cent schools in the country had access to common toilets in 2009-10, of which about 59 per cent of total 1.3 million schools had girls' toilets.

The data was compiled from 1.3 million recognised schools imparting elementary education from across 635 districts spread over 35 states and Union Territories of the country.

The NUEPA comprehensive database on elementary education in India is known as District Information System for Education (DISE).

DISE's coverage for 2009-10 itself was 13,03,812 schools from 635…

57% Delhiites live in their own accomodation: Report

Around 57 percent of Delhi's population live in their own accommodation, 94 per cent of households have toilet facilities and 92 per cent families have pucca structures.

These are some of the interesting facts mentioned in a report, "Housing Conditions in Delhi," released by Urban Development Minister.

The report, prepared by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics on the basis of a survey conducted under 65th National Sample Survey Round during July 2008-June 2009, has vital information on various aspects of housing conditions in the capital city.

According to the report, there were 39.23 lakh households in Delhi out of which only 1.80 lakh were in rural areas and rest 37.43 lakh in urban areas.

Delhi has small families, the report said, adding that average size of per household is 4.44 persons. Further majority of the households in Delhi are nuclear family households instead of joint family culture. In urban areas, around 76 per cent of the total households were having…