Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scheme for girl child- Hindustan times


India and sex selection conundrum

·         CSR declined from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 to 914 in 2011
·         Immediately government acted by putting in place a supervisory board for PNDT
·         Rate of decline in CSR seen in both urban and rural areas
·         This depsite legal provisions, incetives and media campaigns
Faulty policy
·         State policy ahs been focused on regulating access to technology that enables sex selection
·         It is based onr ationale that lack of access will lead to reduced demand for determination of sex
·         However this has led to curtailment of right of women to safe and elgal abortion under termination of pregnancy act 1975
Government steps
·         Announced a national girl child day in 2009
·         Beti bachao campaign
·         Incetives to BPL families for incentivising birth of girl child
Way ahead
·         The reason for prevalence of sex selective abortions in India against girld child are
o   Cultural attitude
o   Patriarchal prejudice
o   Socioeconomic pressures
o   Misuse of technology
o   Lack of old age social security
o   Inheritance laws
·         There is a need for a holistic policy to address each of these problems
·         China  adopted policies to
o   Promote gender equality
o   Increase female workforce
o   Ensure old age security
·         Each out to primary decision makers and decision supporters through targeted media campaigns

Saturday, January 21, 2012

History mindmaps




Kurukushetra article: ICT a catlytic intervention for empowering rural india


20th jan 2012 newsupdates

    • world's timescale, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), is based on the time measured by atomic clocks, which use the incredibly regular vibrations in atoms to count the seconds.
    • As a result, leap seconds were established in 1972 to keep the time told by atomic clocks and the Earth's time in phase
    • They are added once the International Earth Rotation Service, which monitors the Earth's activity, has found that the two have drifted out of time by 0.9 seconds.
    • those seeking to abolish the leap second say these one-second jumps are becoming increasingly problematic for navigation and telecommunication systems that require a continuous time reference.
    • include satellite navigation, financial services, the internet, flight control and power systems, among others.
    • decision to stop using leap seconds to keep UTC aligned with mean solar time would be perhaps the most fundamental change to timekeeping for hundreds of years.
    • civil time worldwide would be based purely on man-made clocks and no longer tied closely to the Earth's rotation
    • Over decades, the difference between Earth-based time and atomic clock time would amount to a few minutes, but over 500 years, they would be out by an hour. Over millennia, the discrepancy would grow even more.
    • Without leap seconds we will eventually lose the link between time and people's everyday experience of day and night
    • IMT-Advanced system uses radio-frequency spectrum much more efficiently, and devices built with it will need less bandwidth to access the Internet
    • fourth generation of mobile wireless standards, were approved by the ITU Radiocommunication Assembly at its meeting this week in Geneva
    • ITU said some current technologies such as LTE and WiMax could be billed as forerunners to 4G, even though they don't meet the requirements of the IMT-Advanced system.
    • 2G, 3G and 4G families of standards have been set by the International Telecommunication Union to define the services and download speed provided by networks.
    • current 3G mobile technology, known as International Mobile Telecommunications, has been widely used since 2000
    • new IMT-Advanced systems will deliver "a much higher quality and a much higher bit rate, typically of the order of 100 megabits per second."
    • ew technology would allow devices to obtain data fast enough that most TV shows could be downloaded within about 20 seconds, and CDs within about a minute.
    • compulsive social networking has led to insomnia, depression, poor inter-personal relationships, lack of concentration, high level of anxiety, ignorance and rudeness in their general behaviour as they tend to replace real-life social interactions with online social media.
    • privacy is being breached
    • young Indian women seem to flock social networks more frequently as compared to their male counterparts.
    • youngsters have started finding social media boring, confusing, frustrating and time-consuming as they surf these websites less frequently and are tend to surf other informative websites, send e-mails, search the internet and play games instead of accessing their accounts, hardly respond to comments and other material posted on their walls
    • succeeded in getting mental disorders included in the global list of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
    • India, along with the U.S. and Switzerland, will move a resolution
    • “to develop comprehensive policies and strategies to develop mental health promotion, prevention of disorders, in particular among children and adolescents, support and treatment of persons with mental disorders by promoting human rights, tackling stigma
    • calls for collaboration with WHO in the development of an action plan to enable persons with mental disorders live a full and productive life
    • proposed action plan should address protection, promotion and respect for the rights of persons with mental disorders
    • access to quality comprehensive health services that include mental health at all levels of healthcare system
    • availability of adequate human resources to provide such services equitably
    • calls for providing services to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders
    • support to and protection of children in catastrophic situations and in families with severe difficulties,
    • India had been instrumental in getting mental disorders included in the NCDs list at the first ministerial conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease Control in Moscow last year.
    • “like all non-communicable diseases, mental disorders required long-term treatment and affected the quality of life
    • principal non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases
    • accounting for over 60 per cent of global deaths, 80 per cent of which occur in developing countries.
    • India is working towards framing a mental health policy
    • draft Mental Health Care Bill, 2010.
    • 12-member policy group entrusted to frame the National Mental Health Care Policy
    • prepare a situational analysis of the need for mental health care in the country, taking into account the issues of human resources, essential drug procurement and distribution, advocacy, prevention, and rehabilitation of mental health patients.
    • advocates of a free Internet have mounted a determined bid to stall new legislation that can chill free speech
    • What makes the two laws obviously detrimental for free speech worldwide is their focus on poorly defined “rogue” websites that are not based in the United States.
    • definitions in the draft legislation are vagu
    • legal tools to punish “infringing” websites as originally drafted in SOPA included a provision for Domain Name System blocking
    • attempt to introduce strong-arm measures
    • persistent effort in the U.S. to use judicial processes to access personal data about individuals abroad using services such as Twitter
    • new Bills aim to create a procedure to blacklist inconvenient websites and censor them.
    • include ordering search engines to remove them from results, prohibiting distribution of advertising
    • stopping companies such as PayPal or Visa from processing their financial transactions.
    • observed its power to bring communities together in the Middle East, North Africa and the Occupy movement cities
    • legitimate fear that if the new legal provisions go into force, technology companies coming under U.S. legal jurisdiction could be compelled, or perhaps even be willing, to disclose information on them.
    • purge foreign websites with an inconvenient point of view
    • dread a new, high-cost technology landscape emerging in America, driving innovation, online traffic, and thus jobs and commerce to other countries that guarantee freedom
    • McKinsey study that shows 3.4 per cent of GDP in 13 countries is accounted for by the Internet
    • Internet has increased the productivity of small and medium-sized businesses
    • at the behest of traditional media companies including those trying to save old models of distribution and profits (for which they massively funded a lobbying campaign during 2011), can crimp growth and the new ventures.
    • reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet
    • Censoring of Internet content is not new. All search engines remove content and filter search results based on directions and orders issued in different countries to meet the requirements of domestic laws.
    • marked preference among some leading politicians, such as Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, for a purge of websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, of content that is deemed “offensive”
    • Google has been asked to remove several items on the ground that they criticise the government or individual politicians.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CSR essay contest: RÔLE of media in society

The Media in some form or other has remained an integral part of human civilisation serving its purpose as a medium to inform people. In Indian society, the form of media has been changing over time. Its form evolved from the vedas and upanishads in ancient India, ashokan stupas in medieval era to modern day television and press.  Media in India has played an important rôle in shaping our society. Even in freedom struggle, media played an important rôle. Several freedom fighters made use of newspapers as a platform to criticise excesses by britsh government and to put forth their demands. These include newspapers like Tilak’s Maharatta, Annia beasant’s common weal etc. Post independence, Indian media has grown phenomenally and today is one among the world’s largest comprising of over 50000 news papers and hundreds of televisions channels.
                Technological innovations have expanded the scope and coverage of media. With television entering the drawing rooms of Indian households in 1990s, a new segment of electronic media emerged. The World Wide Web and web 2.0 technologies have enabled web journalism through blogs, facebook, twitter and other social media sites. All these have led to creation of a richly diverse media industry in India.
                Media is considered the fourth pillar of democracy along with Judiciary, executive, and legislature. Media plays an important rôle in informing the public and creating public opinion on important issues. It serves as a link between the government and public.Indian democracy would be poorer without an active media. Media provides a platform for the voiceless many to put forth their greivances. Media serves as an important tool to ensure accountability of government to the public between elections. It informs public of the government schemes and its beneficiaries. At sametime it also highlights the mistakes committed by government. Hence it ensures government’s accountability. Impact of indian media can be seen in the fact that all the recent scams ranging from Common wealth to 2G were first brought to light by television and print media through their in-house investigation. Constant pressure by media on government to act led to the government taking actions ranging from suspension of ministers to sending sitting MPs to jails. Had it not been for the constant media campaign, government might have been slow on taking action.
The flood of scams has created a public mood against corruption. This has been well captured and packaged by media. This led to peaceful organised protests across India, sending a strong message across to the political fraternity. With modern day tools , news media are able to better grasp mood of public and put it across to the political masters.
New age media like social media sites have helped organise people and also enabled interaction with government. Even government has realised the potential and crucial ministries like finance and external affairs ministry have their presence in facebook and twitter. It provides an opportunity to provide information and also receive instant feedback from people. It also serves as a medium for greivance redressal. However there are drawbacks that arise from it like the anonymity allows people to spy or stalk on people without revealing their identity. In India, social media is limited to only upper middle class. But through the huge numbrs online it acts as a pressure group thought it doesn’t represent the majority.  While traditional media involves few publishers of information, social media and internet allow anyone to publish and hence can’t be regulated. Social media in India is still in a nascent stage and its impact on society is expected to remain minimal as it is limited to only a literate minority in India.
                Despite the commendable work done by media in exposing the scams and making governments accountable, there are problems that exist within the media which threaten the legitimacy that they enjoy in Indian society. The recent trend of paid media, sensationalism, private treaties don’t augur well for Indian media fraternity. The true purpose of journalism is to communicating reliable, accurate facts in a meaningful context. The advent of 24X7 news channels led to intense competition in electronic media. The urge to increase their TRP ratings lead to sensationalism. Focus is now more on politics and celebrity trivia while the real issues bothering the nation are being put on backburner. Issues like malnutrition, sanitation which don’t appeal to Indian middle class, who form bulk of viewers ,were deliberately given a lookby. As a result non issues became issues. This sensationalism has lead to shallow reporting. Often little or no research is done on news item before being telecast. There is widespread manipulation, distortion of facts. The recent instance of paid media has brought to light the collusion between the politicians and journalists. This is especially rampant in the regional newspapers.
                Most of media houses are owned by business houses and political parties. With such ownerships structure, its difficult to have unbiased reporting. Often media is used as a tool for political vendetta.  This has lead to erosion of legitimacy of indian news media.  Apart from these factors, there is the issue of government control over media. Although consitution enlists freedom of expression and speech as fundamental right, often this right is violated by government by way of sensorship. Although media in India seems to be under no direct government regulation, yet most of revenue for media houses particularly in print media come from government advertisements. Governments often use this to arm twist media into providing favourable coverage to them. This has lead to curtailment of free and fair reporting.  Contempt powers and defamation laws also put curbs on freedom of press.
                Another major concern that has emerged oflate is the media trials. This has become more rampant now with increased TV viewers in nation. The traditional judicial principle is to treat an accused as innocent until proved guilty. Yet, media coverage projects an accused guilty even before he/she is produced before court. TV anchors are turning into judges. This brings courts under undue pressure.
It is hightime that media houses introspect and take corrective measures. The major threats to Indian media arise form their limited autonomy and commercialisation and politicisation of news media. Indian media houses need to strike a balance between their business goals and the journalistic goals. Media houses should have separate research wings to conduct indepth study on problems faced by indian society. This will help identify rootcause of problems and provide solutions. Hence journalists will not just report news but also provide solution to issues.  
India should setup a public broadcasting organisation onlines of public broadcasting service in US and BBC in UK. This organisation can help set the standards of journalism which may inturn improve the standards in other media organisations. More competition can also help enrich the news content. Government must reduce the entry barriers for setting up news channels. Although consitution guarantees free press, it doesn’t imply unregulated press. Any right is bound to have reasonable restrictions in interest of public. Hence media too needs to be regulated to some extent. However this regulation should be done by a regulatory body which remains independent of government.
Paid media is a threat to Indian media and democracy. Election commission in collaboration with press council should formulate rules to prevent the malaise from spreading further.  Steps should be taken to depoliticise media houses. Advertisements or sponsored news should have a different font from that of regular news items. Every newspaper and news channel should have an in house ombudsman to redress greivances if any.
Contempt powers of court and defamation laws have acted as a deterrent for journalists to provide free and fair views. These laws were framed during the british era when there were severe curbs on indian media. These laws are a misfit in 21st century in India. These laws need a fresh relook in interest of society.
As India marches towards becoming a developed nation free from poverty and disease, its media has important rôle to act as a vehicle to carry forwards the vision of developed India. Oflate there has been an increased negitivity in media coverage comprising of scams and scandals. There are several good things happening in this nation of a billion, it is important that while media exposes the malapractices and wrongs in India it also highlights the achievements and successes of indians. It is only through positivism that we can instill a spirit of optimism in Indians. This optimism will inturn help India face challenges more confidently on its path towards becoming a developed nation.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

News updates

    • all the big automobile companies have a major presence in India, which is touted as the market of the future especially for passenger cars
    • automobile industry is up against stiff challenges on multiple fronts
    • rising petrol prices
    • high interest rates on car loans
    • possibility of the government imposing a higher tax on diesel cars to correct the distortion in sales pattern due to the wide gap between petrol and diesel prices is a source of anxiety
    • poor state of infrastructure in ports and connectivity
    • labour unrest in some automobile hubs
    • government support is the sine qua non for the party to continue
    • responsibility of both the public governance system and the private sector to enhance the focus on research
    • education and research institutions must spend more time in interacting with the industry in understanding their problems and in solving their problems.
    • We must create a platform like the National Science Foundation (an independent United State's government agency aimed at promoting science and engineering). The Indian Parliament passed a bill six years ago to constitute a similar agency, but it has not yet been created.
    • Akhaura-Agartala rail link
    • operation of Ashuganj as a multimodal trans-shipment point
    • transportation of Over Dimensional Cargo for the Palatana power project
    • bridge over Feni river; use of Chittagong and Mongla Ports by India, Nepal and Bhutan
    • four new border haats (markets)
    • Bangladesh was keen to undertake a joint venture project for power generation
    • policy on narcotic drugs to check illicit production of psychotropic substances, curb drug abuse and halt trafficking of such items as they constitute a major component of black money proliferation
    • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) policy
    • the private sector may be allowed to produce alkaloids — chemical substances used in the pharmaceutical industry — from opium and products from poppy straw
    • Hitherto, alkaloids from opium are made only in government-owned opium and alkaloid units
    • To check illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis, the government will use satellite imageries to detect and eradicate such crops.
    • policy lays emphasis on developing alternative means of livelihood for growers.
    • NCTC would work under the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and report to its Director, the Home Secretary and the Home Minister
    • drawing up plans and co-ordinating all actions to counter terrorism
    • ntegrating all intelligence, coordinating with relevant intelligence agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of terror are brought to justice
    • comprehensive database of terrorists, their associates and supporters
    • Counter-terrorism in today's day and age is a specialised function
    • here must be an organisation that devotes its complete time and energy to anticipating and countering terrorists.
    • Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease which mainly affects young children.
    • ransmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system
    • Acute Flaccid Paralysis is a disabling condition where there is absence of muscle tone in one or both limbs, and tendon reflexes
    • oral polio vaccine prevents the transmission of infection effectively.
    • If all tests for the wild polio virus in India — including laboratory analysis of acute flaccid paralysis cases with onset up to mid-January and environmental sewage sampling — return negative, India will officially be deemed to have stopped the transmission of the indigenous wild polio virus.
    • e next step would be to look at a polio-free South East Asian Region in 2014
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saving people and tigers

·         relocate people
a.       lack of land
b.      cultural factors
·           lethal means to tackle problem tigers
·           protective fencing
·           maintain strong prey base inside habitat
·         Now  tiger population less than that of leopards

Friday, January 13, 2012

News Updates for 13th january 2012

    • nation had to overcome tremendous challenges to get here – not least of them, a huge population, the logistics of covering a vast geographical area, poor sanitation and infrastructure, resistance among some groups of people to taking the vaccine, and children of migrant communities who were difficult to cover.
    • Expanded Immunisation Programme in the late 1970s
    • 1985, it became a part of the Universal Immunisation Programme launched
    • National Pulse Polio Initiative (PPI) in 1995-96, targeting coverage of every child under five in the country with the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to be given on two National Immunisation Days, one each in December and January
    • PPI set for the nation a new target — eradication of polio by 2005.
    • involved better social mobilisation through involvement of millions of frontline workers from the private health sector, members of Rotary International, volunteers, anganwadi workers, besides the massive public health workforce
    • PPI created systems – cold chains for storage and transportation of the vaccines, ensuring vaccine vial monitors on each vial, follow up and mop up campaigns to track children left out during immunisation days.
    • In each PPI, 24 lakh vaccinators visit over 20 crore households to ensure that nearly 17.2 crore children, less than five years, are immunised with the OPV
    • Pockets of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were still endemic
    • government targeted 107 ‘high risk' blocks in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and identified the challenges, which included remote locations, refusal of vaccine in some areas, and migrating populations.
    • ‘Influencers', including religious leaders, were enlisted and tracked for each high risk area, and this helped polio teams reach more families.
    • UP and Bihar have not reported any case of polio since April 2010, and September 2010, respectively.
    • t there was no room for complacency, with the nation having to maintain its zero-cases record for the next three years to be able to totally ‘eradicate' poliomyelitis.
    • greatest concern is the possibility of infections carried across borders by migrating populations
    • Pakistan and Afghanistan both saw alarming increases in polio cases, and poliovirus from Pakistan re-infected China (which had been polio-free since 1999)
    • In Africa, active polio transmission continues in Nigeria, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with outbreaks in West and Central Africa in the past 12 months

Sunday, January 8, 2012

FM speech at 9th PBD

  • Today India has begun playing a global role
  • year 2011 marks two decades on the path of economic liberalisation
  • India is viewed as belonging to the group of the fastest growing nations of the world
  • colonial era we had witnessed the migration of large numbers of our fellow Indians
  •  in the post-colonial era the trend turned to a movement towards the industrialised nations
  • movement of the diaspora is no longer unidirectional as it was in the past. What started as a brain drain, has now become a brain gain, not just for India but the world as a whole
    1. it has brought in many global best practices into the Indian economy
    2. contributed significantly to India’s ‘soft power’ and global image
    3. contributed to its attractiveness as an investment destination.
  • much still remains to be done
  • that of investment and entrepreneurship.
  • , in China a large chunk of foreign direct investment has come from overseas Chinese.
  • 9th of January, marks the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India
  • there is need to engage in social enterprises in a proactive manne
  • improve the access of the poor and the vulnerable to vital public services
  • This requires not just financial contributions, but rather dedication of time, ideas and endeavour.
  • Our overseas Indian family with its multifaceted talents, excellent capacity for adapting to and ability to operate within different cultures and environments should make a concerted effort to connect with India’s growth and its prosperity in the times to come.