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Showing posts from April 18, 2014

Science And Technology Update The HIndu

An unscientific report on ‘mitigating’ EM radiation effects The document hardly has any scientific basis, uses scary language and is riddled with questionable claims On March 27, 2014, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) uploaded a draft document titled “Guidelines for mitigation of the effects of electromagnetic radiations in built places” on its website (accessed on April 15). The document hardly has any scientific basis. The document uses scary language, too. “Electromagnetic radiations are energy waves having time varying electric and magnetic fields at right angles to each other and form the most pervasive and prominent man-made hazard in today’s environment. These can also be termed as electromagnetic pollutants exposing human beings to greater health risks.”

Beyond male and female, the right to humanity

Importantly, the Supreme Court accepted the broad definition of transgender as including persons who did not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth The Supreme Court judgment recognising the rights of transgendered persons is a landmark ruling and restores faith in the Court’s ability to recognise gross injustice. The Bench comprising Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri has also restored the image of the Court as capable of bold moves when it comes to addressing the denial of the right to be human simply on the basis of one’s sexual status and conduct. The Court’s progressive image was in tatters after the Suresh Kumar Kaushal v. NAZ Foundation ruling in December 2013 that re-criminalised gays and lesbians, and overruled the 2009 Delhi High Court’s decision that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was not applicable to consensual sexual relations between adults.

IMF’s cautious optimism

The latest edition of the IMF’s flagship publication, World Economic Outlook, is cautiously optimistic on the prospects for the global economy. The update, prepared on the eve of the spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington, projects a modest growth in world output by about 3 per cent in 2013, going up to 3.6 per cent in 2014 and to 3.9 the next year. This increase is attributable to the pick-up in the industrial economies led by the U.S. Economic conditions around the world have not changed substantially since the last report released in October 2013. Global economic recovery is becoming broader, but across many countries it is still uneven and below par. Reiterating its earlier observations,

Haunted by inflation

Price rise is one of the key issues in this election, and the latest data on inflation spell bad news for the incumbent UPA government; the monster is rearing its head again after lying low over the last three months. Retail inflation, specifically food price inflation, has rebounded in March on the back of rising prices of vegetables and fruits. Wholesale food prices rose 9.9 per cent with rice shooting up 12.6 per

Obamacare and vanishing facts

The April 11 resignation of U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) SecretaryKathleen Sebelius shows both the importance of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation, passed in 2009, and the extreme partisan divisions which obtain in the U.S. Congress. Ms. Sebelius has ostensibly resigned over the problems faced by those Americans who tried to enrol online for health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) when the scheme opened in October 2013.