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Showing posts from March 28, 2015

ISRO bags Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014

NEW DELHI: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been selected for the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014 for its contribution to the country's development through space technology and satellite-based services.

The award, comprising Rs one crore and a citation, was decided after the jury for the prize met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening.

Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Member of Parliament L K Advani and Gopalkrishna Gandhi are other members of the jury.

The Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation through non-violence was instituted in 1995. Some of its previous winners are Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Julius K Nyerere, Baba Amte, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and Ramkrishna Mission.

ISRO, a government of India organisation, is engaged in making space technology a catalyst of development…

Kerala to become 'zero population growth' state

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Kerala registering the lowest growth rate of population in the last one decade, the state is all set to achieve "zero population growth" in the coming years.

While the national rate of growth of population in the last 10 years is 17.6 per cent, the growth rate of state population during the period is 4.9 per cent, the lowest rate among Indian states, according to the latest Economic Review by the state Planning Board.

"The population growth trend shows that Kerala is moving towards zero population growth or towards negative growth," the Review for the year 2014, placed in the just concluded assembly session, said.

Quoting the final data published by the Directorate of Census, it said the state's population as on March 2011 was 3,34,06,061, which was 3,18,41,374 in 2001.

Of the total state population, 1,60,27,412 (48 per cent) are males and 1,73,78,649 (52 per cent) are females, it said.

The report reveals that six southern districts - Idukki…

India’s unrealised maternity entitlement(HinduEditorial)

Photo: Jasmeet Khanuja
The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana was introduced to provide partial wage compensation during pregnancy, but various issues plague its implementation The latest official figures indicate that India is well short of meeting the Millennium Development Goals that pledged to reduce the country’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by three quarters and the infant mortality rate (IMR) by two-thirds. The Sample Registration System (SRS), 2013, records MMR at 167 per 1,00,000 live births and IMR at 40 per 1,000 live births with a majority of these infants dying within seven days of birth. India’s high MMR and IMR are partly due to delayed diagnosis and limited access to health care. Additionally, rest during or after pregnancy is not an option for most women who are unorganised workers. According to the District Level Household Survey 3, nearly a quarter of women in India do not receive any antenatal care and over 50 per cent do not receive any postnatal care for up t…

Growth for a few, loss for many(HinduEditorial)

Land-grabs for urban infrastructure and real estate are being promoted to bring investment and employment for a few, at the cost of lives and livelihoods of many Finance Minister Arun Jaitley claims that the Land Ordinance 2014 was promulgated to bring 13 Acts within the purview of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, before the six- month deadline to include them ran out on December 31, 2014. Despite controversy, the latest Amendment Bill approved by the Lok Sabha, and currently facing a logjam in the Rajya Sabha, makes minor modifications to the Ordinance. Both replace acquisition for ‘private company’ with ‘private entity,’ that includes a “proprietorship, partnership, company, corporation, non-profit organisation or other entity under any law for the time being in force.” Exemptions from social impact assessments (SIAs) for all projects and consent provisions for private companies (80 per cent of land owners) and Public-Private Partnerships (70 per cen…

Twitter evolution(Hindu editorial )

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched Twitter Samvad, a service that allows people to receive tweets by government leaders and agencies as text messages over mobile phones, it was a striking testimony of how quickly the social media has evolved to a position of being perceived as a communication channel for the officialdom. The San Francisco-based Twitter, which was not even around a decade back, made its name when it became an invaluable tool for those protesting against the regimes in Iran and Egypt to organise themselves. These protests, which took place at the dawn of the social media age, even came to be referred to as the “Twitter Revolutions”. This was not a deliberately cultivated tag. In fact, as the book Hatching Twitter states, the social media network’s co-founders wanted to steer clear of such a narrative. One of them is quoted as saying, in the backdrop of the protests in Iran, “We are not standing with, or against, the protesters. We just love this use of…

Not a zero-sum game(Hindu editorial )

With his state visit to China just weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena appears to be trying to balance relations with the two countries that have the greatest influence in the island nation today: India and China. Since taking charge, several decisions by Mr. Sirisena’s government have given China cause for concern, in particular thesuspension of the $1.4-billion Colombo port project. His government has said it would re-examine Chinese projects signed by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, while on the strategic front Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced that Chinese nuclear submarines would no longer be welcome to dock in Sri Lankan harbours, even as Sri Lanka ups maritime cooperation with India. Sri Lanka also signed its first nuclear agreement with India, albeit one that envisages nuclear safety operations and not energy generation at present. All these moves, capped by Mr. Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka, sent out a …

For a renaissance in Indian S&T(Hindu editorial )

The apathy of successive Central governments towards science and technology continues in numerous ways. The premier national scientific agencies have been made to languish, and no effort has been made either to formulate a national S&T policy No one would doubt that science and technology (S&T) are an intrinsic part of the socio-politico-economic fabric of our society, yet the cold fact is that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government has paid scant attention to science in particular, which has been the basis of all technologies that have transformed lives through history. This is not to say that the United Progressive Alliance government did better. Let me look at the new government’s apathy towards S&T, exemplified in these ways: No direction

Three of the leading scientific agencies in the country have been without a head for various periods. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been without a regular director-general …

Saina makes history, becomes world no.1

PTI Saina Nehwal, who became World no. 1 after Carolina Marin lost her India Open semifinal on Saturday, plays a forehand smash at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi on Friday.
While the official rankings will be out on Thursday, reigning champion Carolina Marin's India Open semifinal loss on Saturday made Saina Nehwal the first Indian woman to reach the top spot. Saina Nehwal on Saturday scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman shuttler to attain the number one spot in world rankings, reaffirming her status as the country’s most consistent performer in the international circuit. The 25-year-old zoomed to the top after her closest challenger for the position, Spain’s Carolina Marin, lost in the India Open Super Series semifinal here. Though the official rankings will be out only on Thursday next week, Saina has been assured of her ascent to the top owing to the reigning world champion’s 19-21 23-21 20-22 loss to third seed Thai Ratchanok Intanon. Saina thus becom…