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Showing posts from March, 2012

'42 per cent children below five malnourished'

More than 42 per cent of children below five years in the country are malnourished, a "complex and multi-dimensional" problem which cannot be tackled by a single sector intervention, the government said.

"As per the NFHS-3 Survey (National Family Health Survey conducted in 2005-06), the level of malnutrition amongst children below five years is 42.5 per cent," Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

"However, the level of malnutrition amongst children below three years has declined from 42.7 per cent in 1998-98 (NFHS-2) to 40.4 per cent in 2005-06," Tirath said.

The Minister also noted that the problem of malnutrition is a very "complex, multi-dimensional and inter-generational in nature" which cannot be tackled by a single sector or programme.

The determinants of malnutrition, she said, include household food insecurity, illiteracy, poor access to health services, lack of safe dri…

Pranab's budget not so green this time

The Union Budget is less green as compared to last year with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee increasing the allocation for the Environment and Forests ministry by a marginal Rs 130 crore this time.

The budgetary allocation for Environment and Forests Ministry for 2012-13 has been fixed at Rs 2,430 crore while it was Rs 2,300 crore in 2011-12.

Last year, while earmarking Rs 200 crore from the National Clean Energy Fund for protection of forests under the Green India Mission, Mukherjee had said that conservation and regeneration of forests has great ecological, economic and social value.

The documents say an amount of Rs 906.68 crore will be utilised for generation of forests, protection of wildlife and eco-development programmes.

This include the allocation for the government's ambitious programmes like Green India Mission and national afforestation programmes.

The Green India Mission is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change and it has been operat…

Half of Indian popln defecate in open, but more have mobile

Half the country's population may not have a toilet at home but they are not without a mobile phone.

Bringing to light this feature of the population, Census 2011 data on houses, household amenities and assets released today said 49.8 per cent Indian households defecate in open but in sharp contrast 63.2 per cent households own a telephone connection, 53.2 per cent of them a mobile.

The data reflected the controversial remarks of Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh who said recently that women demand mobile phones but they are not demanding toilets.

According to the Census figures released by Union Home Secretary R K Singh, only 46.9 per cent of India's 24.66 crore households have a latrine facility while 49.8 per cent go for open defecation and 3.2 per cent people use public toilets.

Jharkhand tops the list with 77 per dent of households having no toilet facilities, followed by 76.6 per cent people in Odisha and 75.8 per cent population in Bihar.

Tele density is the hig…

Women in politics: India ranks 105th in world

As the country celebrates Women's Day today, data on parliaments across the world reveal that India, the largest democracy, lags much behind other countries including its neighbours such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal when it comes to women's participation in politics. With only 11 per cent of representation of women in Lok Sabha and 10.7 per cent in Rajya Sabha, India ranks 105th in the world, according to the latest comparative data released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an international organisation that works for promoting democracy in the world.
India, the world's largest democracy, has only 60 women lawmakers in the current 543-member Lok Sabha, while there are 24 women MPs out of 240 members in Rajya Sabha at present. Two seats in Lok Sabha and five in the Upper House have been lying vacant.

While India shares the 105th position with West African country Cote d'Ivoire, it is ranked 85 places below Nepal and 53 places behind Pakistan. Even China at 60th spo…

Income barrier blamed for low Muslim presence in higher edu

Blaming income barrier for low presence of Muslims in higher education, a study has suggested modernisation and mainstreaming of madrassas because they have been found to play a positive role in helping students from the community attain higher education.

Referring to the sample survey of 2007-08 which shows gross attendance ratio of Muslims at 8.7 per cent as opposed to 16.8 per cent in case of non-Muslims in higher education, the study stressed on mainstreaming madrassas on par with secondary schools.

"At the level of religious community there is premium attached with higher studies. The progressive role of madrassa/school education is accepted in helping to join higher education. We had thought this to be barrier, but to our surprise it turns out to be strength in various ways for participation in higher education," said the study conducted on 402 Muslim students enrolled in higher education.

The findings are expected to be discussed in details at the meeting of the National…