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Showing posts from October, 2011

'Media misguided: Deliberate action of the media divide the people'

Press Council Chairman Markandey Katju has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggesting that the electronic media should be brought under its purview and should be given "more teeth".

"I have written to the PM that the electronic media should be brought under Press Council and it should be called Media Council and we should be given more teeth. Those teeth would be used in extreme situations," Katju told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.

Katju said that he had received a letter from the Prime Minister that his letter had been received and "they are considering it".

The former Supreme Court judge said he had also met Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and that she had told him probably there will be a "consensus".

Thapar had asked Katju whether he was seeking more teeth for Press council.

"I want powers to stop government advertisement, I want to suspend license of that media for a certain period if it behaves …

Study: Crime not war main source of armed violence

More people are killed by armed violence resulting from crime than are killed in war, with Latin America and a swath of countries through the middle of Africa among the hardest hit, an international study claimed.

About 526,000 people die violently every year or more than 1,400 people every day, according to the 2011 Global Burden of Armed Violence report.

Only about 55,000 of those killed die in warfare, while an estimated 396,000 people are murdered outside of armed conflict. Some 54,000 people die due to unintentional violence, and 21,000 are killed in police operations.

"Most of the states that are worst affected by armed violence are not at war," said Keith Krause of Geneva's Graduate Institute, one of the authors of the report.

The Swiss-funded study found 14 countries had rates of violent death above 30 per 100,000, compared with the global annual average of 7.9 per 100,000.

Those countries, led by El Salvador, Iraq and Jamaica, have less than 5 per cent of the world&#…

Poor waste management in Kerala's urban areas: CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found serious flaws in waste management by urban local bodies in Kerala.

The CAG report for 2009-10, released by Principal Accountant General (A and F) J Mahalkeshmi Menon, pointed out that most of the town bodies did not have any effective system of waste movement and processing.

It also faulted State Pollution Control Board and other agencies concerned for not properly discharging their duties.

The CAG found that the urban civic bodies, which are test-checked, did not maintain any record on quantity and composition of wastes generated to assess the magnitude of the problem.

In most cases, waste collection was much less than the waste generated. The collected wastes were dumped without processing in many places, seriously harming the ecosystem, sources of agriculture.

Since urban local bodies had no reliable information about the quantum of solid waste being generated in the respective areas, the situation made it difficult to make any kind of…

India needs double agricultural graduates by next decade

India will require more than double agriculture graduates from the present 29,000 per annum in the next 10 years, a top official of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) said.

Taking into consideration the manpower requirements in different sub-sects of agriculture, ICAR in an assessment and draft policy paper suggested that there was need to double agricultural graduates in another decade, S Aiyappan, Director General, ICAR, said.

He was addressing the Centenary celebrations of Sugarcane Breeding Institute in Coimbatore.

Aiyyappan, who is also secretary,Department of Agriculture Research and Education, Government of India, said there was a need to have agricultural colleges in every district.

Later clarifying to a question by reporters that agricultural graduates were disappointed in not getting jobs, he said these graduates were really under employed. Unlike Information Technology or Communication Technology sector, these graduates were not getting high salaries, he claimed.


Celebrate an Environmentally Safe Diwali !

It's that time of the year when the sky dazzles with fireworks and houses are lit up. But with so many potential fire hazards on Diwali day, here's a rundown below on how to celebrate a safe festival of lights this year.
Flame-producing crackers are relatively more dangerous than other crackers and nearly 80 percent of burn cases received by hospitals on Diwali day are due to fire crackers like the conical anar, chakri and rocket.
Flame-producing crackers are relatively more dangerous than other crackers.
Experts say taking some basic steps can thwart accidents. They suggest going for community celebrations, buying crackers from only licensed shops and keeping two buckets of water ready.
But with a major chunk of population vouching for celebrating the festival of lights with firecrackers, doctors say the measures are not enough. An extensive approach to first aid is also needed to keep people prepared.
Since you cannot tell people to choose a defined and restricted way of celebrat…

'62% Rajasthanis not aware of consumer protection laws'

A quarter of a century has elapsed since the Consumer Protection Act (COPRA) was enacted in the country in 1986, but 62 per cent of the people in Rajasthan have not even heard about this legislation safeguarding consumer rights.

In rural Rajasthan, 35 per cent of the respondents said they are unaware of their rights as consumers and 26 per cent had partial knowledge of their entitlements.

The situation was no better in urban areas, where almost 42 per cent of the people were unaware about their entitlements as consumers and 21 per cent had partial knowledge.

These findings emerged out of a field research survey conducted by the Consumer Unity & Trust Society under its ongoing 'Grassroots Reach out and Networking in Rajasthan through Consumer Action (GRANIRCA)' project, which is being implemented in 12 districts of Rajasthan with the support of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

In the survey, 2,349 consumers with diverse educational and socio-econo…

'Need to empower women for an equitable society'

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit underlined the need to empower women by imparting skills to them for building an "equitable society" where everyone's voice is heard.

She highlighted the importance of women getting equal access to opportunities and better representation in governance across the globe.

"A woman wants equality, she wants to be able to access whatever her brother, or father has been able to access. But to give her a sense of equality and capability, they need to have an access to education and health," Dikshit said addressing an international conference on 'Gender Equity and Exclusion in South Asia: Emerging Challenges at the Jamia Millia Islamia University.

Admitting that Delhi has an "awful system of imbalanced gender," Dikshit said the state government launched 'Ladli Scheme' and established Gender Resource Centres, where various vocational works are imparted to women to give them a sense of confidence and belief that they…

'Child labour ban seems to remain on paper'

It has been half a decade since the government prohibited employment of children below 14 years as domestic help, but the ban seems to be on papers only as the "modern-day slavery" still continues unabated across the country, a report say.

Through a notification on October 10, 2006, the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (CLPRA) specifically prohibited employing children below 14 years in domestic and hospitality sectors.

Five years on, unfortunately child labour in domestic sector, which is tantamount to modern-day slavery, is still rampant, said the report of NGO Save the Children India.

"Just in Kolkata alone, Save the Children estimates that there are over 50,000 child domestic workers who live with the employers. There are thousands more who work in middle-class homes but don't stay with their employer," report said.

Ashok Kumar, National Convener of Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL), said the ban on employing children in domestic and hospitality s…

NHRC received maximum complaints from Delhi, UP

Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have earned the dubious distinction of being on top of the list of states from where maximum complaints have been received by National Human Rights Commission in 18 years of its existence.
In cases of alleged death in police and judicial custody, the Commission registered the largest number of complaints from Uttar Pradesh.

The rights body also has recommended monetary relief of over Rs 51.09 crore to victims so far, according to the Commission which is celebrating its 19th Foundation Day today.

The NHRC has registered a total 10,94,113 cases of human rights violations, either suo motu or on complaints or on intimation by the prison and police authorities, out of which 10,77,622 cases have been disposed of till date.

Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 6,22,635 complaints followed by Delhi 69,409. The ten top states from where maximum complaints have been registered include Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.


'Kids in India engaged in worst forms of child labour'

Observing that children in India are engaged in the "worst forms" of child labour, the US has asked Indian government to establish a minimum age for employment in hazardous and non-hazardous jobs consistent with international standards.

"Children in India are engaged in the worst forms of child labour. Most work in agriculture producing crops such as rice and hybrid seeds.

Children who work in agriculture may carry heavy loads and apply harmful pesticides," said US Department of Labour in its 10th annual Congressional mandated report that provides information on the efforts of certain US trade beneficiary countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

"Children in India also work in dangerous conditions, quarrying sandstone and other materials, breaking stones and polishing gems as well as in manufacturing," said the report, according to which.

India along with Bangladesh and the Philippines lead the world in the number of products made by child work…