Friday, November 24, 2017
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India promises to be a global food processing hub
Investors ready to bet their billions
By Nantoo Banerjee
An investment commitment of nearly $19 billion from food firms during a three-day industry-specific business meet in Delhi - from November 3 to 5 - may be a world record. It seems multinational companies have, for once, been able to gauge somewhat correctly India's appetite for large varieties of processed foods. They are now ready to pump in billions to tap Indians' taste buds. One Delhi road show - Global Food India - brought some of the world's 60 food giants together to a venue that offered them to witness the confluence of world culinary cultures. India, the world's fastest growing processed foods market, appreciates good cookeries from countries across the world. Investments already committed in food processing by private sector foreign and local firms at the food meet were a mi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Patriarchy: Bridging The Gender Gap
By Moin Qazi
Women and girls play a lesser recognised role as drivers of growth and progress and powerful agents of change. Gender remains a critically important and largely ignored lens to view development issues across the world. Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge. India has a larger relative economic value at stake in advancing gender equality. However, despite some significant gains, some gaps remain. Although India has narrowed the divide between men and women in primary education and health sector, it doesn't measure well in major metrics for measuring gender parity. Gender equality refers to the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of women and men, girls and boys. It does not imply that women and men are the same, but ...
Kashmir Times News Report
First World Day of the poor in 2017
By Moin Qazi
Poverty won't allow him to lift up his head; dignity won't allow him to bow it down —Malagasy Proverb "When solutions that recognise the poor as clients or users and not as passive recipients of charity are designed, a real chance to end poverty is created. Humility is needed for any revolution to succeed. This logic comes from the power of empathy-not a form of empathy that comes from superiority, but one born from a profound humility." The global battle against poverty has acquired a new dimension this year with Pope Francis declaring 19 November 2017 as the First World Day of the Poor. Hereafter it will be observed on 33rd Sunday of every year. The occasion provides us an opportunity to reflect on growing inequalities and realign our thinking and approach in the light of our learn...
Kashmir Times News Report
Will we get rid of smoggy pollution in North India?
By Humra Quraishi
Will we, the masses of North India, ever get rid of the smoggy pollution around? Or will we die with this dangerous haze hovering around? Yes, once again we sit trapped, with air quality levels getting to be 'very poor'! If only the sarkar of the day could show the same level of enthusiasm for clearing the pollution that it's showing for banning Triple Talaq, then, perhaps, there would be some relief coming otherwise not. But all this hue and cry by the Right-Wing lobbies to ban Triple Talaq reeks of political opportunism. One of those political ploys at work, one of those triple- strategies in action which the RSS - BJP is infamous for. Today the stark truth is this: till a political party or a politician doesn't take up the deteriorating pollution levels on an absolutely serious note...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Syrian war orphans one million children
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
"Al Jazeera spoke to some of the children who have lost one or both their parents. The children's accounts reveal how the ongoing war and the rising casualties it is bringing is creating challenges for their well-being inside Syria and in countries where they are living as refugees." As many as a million children have been orphaned by the war in Syria which is in its sixth year, Aljazeera reported Sunday (Nov 19). The UN has warned against the dangers facing children without parents such as lack of education, trafficking and being indoctrinated by armed groups. Many children are living in orphanages being run by local charities both inside Syria and abroad. "I was five years old when Shabiha attacked and rounded everyone up," Mariam al Shalan, an orphan from Homs told Al Jazeera. "Then...
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Zimbabwe: Good luck, grace
By Gwynne Dyer
"Someone, anyone, with close links, please make sure Uncle Bob reads the correct speech ... Old man reads the 2013 inauguration speech and we're in kak for another 5 years," tweeted Mubaiwa Bandambira just before Zimbabwe's beleaguered president, Robert Mugabe, went on television with what was supposed to be his resignation speech. After all, Mugabe is 93 years old, and he has read the wrong speech before. He did it again, but it was not a mistake. With the generals who intervened last week to remove him from power ranged in chairs behind him, Mugabe stumbled and bumbled through a 20-minute speech in which he made no mention of resignation. No doubt his resignation was a key part of the speech they had agreed he would make, but he skipped those pages. The Old Man is clearly delusional. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Nearly 200 million are modern slaves or child labourers
By Trévon Austin
According to a report by the United Nation's International Labour Organization, nearly 200 million people are victims of modern slavery or child labor around the globe. In 2016, 40.3 million men, women and children were victims of modern slavery. Nearly one in ten children, or 151.6 million people, are victims of child labor. The report defines "modern slavery" as "the various forms of coercion prohibited in international instruments on human rights and labour standards." This definition includes slavery, state-imposed forced labor, forced marriage, and human trafficking. One in four victims of forced labor are children, and 71 percent of total victims are female. On any given day in 2016, approximately 16 million individuals were forced to work in the private sector. More than half of ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Can India join hands with Japan, Australia & U.S. to confront China
By Satish Misra
From all accounts, India, though it participated in the talks on Quad, yet it is not rushing into it, as it is evident from the statement. New Delhi said that the quadrilateral is not aimed at any other country. India is also involved in similar groupings in the region to deal with security and political issues, the statement said. Four countries did not issue a joint statement after the meeting but instead opted for issuing separate statements. Rise of 'Quad' (quadrilateral) between India, US, Japan and Australia has raised eyebrows in Beijing but whether the move to join hands between four is feasible and workable in the prevailing regional and international circumstances needs a close look. When the idea of 'Quad' between four Asia-Pacific countries came up in 2007, it did not g...
Kashmir Times News Report
Sino-India relations: Genesis and way forward
By Kanchan Basu
'Sino Indian Border Conflict' has got accelerated on account of 'Dokalam' stand-off. China published a map on the disputed 'Sikkim Territory' on 30th June, 2017. It has no similarity with the demands of either India or Bhutan. China had claimed that Indian forces have intruded their area. Both the forces look upon the other doubtfully. Still it is true that none has fired a single shot during the last 55 years (Except 'Nathula Pass Conflict' in Sikkim, 1967). The Dokalam Plateau is situated at the border of India, China and Bhutan. It is complained that India is constructing road intruding Bhutan. When India protested strongly and asked China to stop China demanded that Indian Army intruded their territory. And there will be no talks until Indian Forces are withdrawn from 'Dokalam'. I...
Kashmir Times News Report
Embedding the army in politics
By Latha Jishnu
EVERYONE wants an army tank these days. Or an RCL gun. Obsolete and unusable, of course, but the symbolic hardware of war is much in demand in educational institutions across India. A number of universities and schools, elite institutions such as Delhi's Modern School and Lucknow's La Martiniere College among them have sought and been allotted old Vijayanta or T-55 tanks by the army. Ostensibly, this is to display the patriotism of the institution, or to instil it in their students. For the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime of Narendra Modi, which equates its muscular nationalism with glorification of the military, it must be a source of satisfaction that dozens of such military hardware have been installed in educational institutions. Its trusted vice chancellors have taken up...
Kashmir Times News Report
Icy road ahead for 11th WTO ministerial at Buenos Aires
India needs to safeguard domestic interests
By G. Srinivasan
In less than a month from now, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) numbering 164 would gather for the biannual ministerial to take stock of how far and fair the liberal trade regime of the post-war era has been shaping up. The 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, scheduled to be held at Buenos Aires (Argentina) in the second week of December, has already evoked winter woes among trade envoys as the WTO was not able to gather its scattered wits since the collapse of its ministerial in Cancun (Mexico) way back in 2003. This is particularly so as the much-vaunted Doha Development Round launched in the Qatari capital in 2001 remained broken and bruised with no substantive agreements of the genre achieved in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations under the umbrella of the G...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trump's actions are making the rich richer in USA
United movement by Democrats is needed to defeat Republicans
By John Bachtell
The Trump administration in the United States is authoritarian, deeply corrupt, and replete with pathological liars. It is directly linked to the so-called "alt-right"-re-branded fascists and Nazis-including those who serve in the White House. The constitutional crisis and mass resistance to Trump and the GOP has increasingly led to political paralysis. Such moments have been openings for authoritarianism and fascism in the past. The broad grassroots resistance movement against Trump, however, is unprecedented and relentless. The defeat of the GOP in 2018 elections is key to defending democracy and addressing climate change, the nuclear danger, and other tipping point crises. The sweeping Democratic victory on Nov. 8 is a great sign for the battles ahead. The Trump/GOP policies represen...
Kashmir Times News Report
Crime and politics
But who is to bring them to book?
Apart from those convicted of crime and those facing criminal cases there are 'history-sheeters with criminal records'.
By A.G. Noorani
ON Nov 3, a leading English daily Indian Express published a full-page report on criminal cases against union ministers and current and former chief ministers. Most of the 1,581 cases relate to rioting, unlawful assembly, murder and attempt to murder. In 1981, one of India's most upright civil servants, B.K. Nehru, described the situation in these terms: "It is interesting, as an index to the kind of person who now wields power, that in one particular state no less than 30 per cent of the legislators are involved in criminal cases of one type or the other. The aim is to become a minister, but opportunities for private gain are not limited to ministers alone; these are available in plenty to all members of the legislatures." Apart from those convicted of crime and those facing criminal ...
Kashmir Times News Report
World Television Day
By S Mukhtar
"Uncle, World Television Day…when?" "Dear, on 21 November." "Uncle, when and how come the Day?" "The UN General Assembly in December 1996, commemorating the date on which the first World Television Forum was held that very year, proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day." "Unanimously or…" "Not unanimously: 11 abstentions there were at vote on the resolution. Germany's delegation was forthright that 'There are already three United Nations days encompassing similar subjects: World Press Freedom Day; World Telecommunication Day; and World Development Information Day. To add another day does not make much sense... Television is only one means of information and an information medium to which a considerable majority of the world population has no access... That vast majo...
Kashmir Times News Report
Annihilate Caste
Where There Are No Sewers; The Toilet Cleaners Of Lucknow
By C S Sharada Prasad
Co-Produced by C.S. Sharada Prasad & Isha Ray November 19th is World Toilet Day. Enormous progress has been made in the global effort to provide safe and affordable toilets for the world's poorest citizens since World Toilet Day was first declared in 2001. Significant strides have been made in "reinventing" toilet designs for low-income, water-short, un-sewered urban zones; celebrities such as Bill Gates and Matt Damon have brought this once-taboo topic into the open; and the Prime Minister of India - the country with the highest number of people still practicing open defecation - has publicly declared that his country needs toilets over temples. Well over 2 billion people today lack access to basic sanitation facilities, according to the World Health Organization; about 760 million of ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Left democrats record big wins in U.S. elections
Sanders gets massive response to his programme
By Branko Marcetic
A year ago, on November 8, Hillary Clinton lost the presidency to Donald Trump. Ever since then, the Left's refrain has been: "Bernie would have won." In the face of pundit after pundit after pundit warning Democrats to embrace Wall Street, move to the center, and abandon policies like Medicare for All and tuition-free college, the Left has insisted that the only way to fight Trumpism is to to embrace an unapologetic message that appeals to all working people. That was the theory. And the evidence from nationwide Democratic sweep in last week's elections suggests it's also the case in practice, as mayoralties, city council seats, judgeships, and even state legislature seats around the country were won by not just unapologetically progressive Democrats, but open socialists as well. Take ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Mapping India in Global Hunger Index 2017
By Siba Sankar Sahu
'An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.' —Albert Einstein The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. Calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), it was released on October 9, 2017. It reflects India's unplumbed status on poverty, hunger and malnutrition. India's rank is 100th out of 119 countries in the world; it slipped from the 55th rank in 2014 to 100th in the Global Hunger Index 2017. Our Prime Minister declared that the bullet train project signifies India's progress where thousands of villages in the country are still unconnected and lack electricity. The bullet train will go from "my Ahmedabad to our Mumbai", the Prime Minister said after the inaugurat...
Kashmir Times News Report
Damage done by demonetisation cannot be undone in hurry
By K R Sudhaman
A year down the line, the economic growth has slipped by over two percentage points from 7.9 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2016-17 to 5.7 per cent in 2017-18. This has only proved that what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Parliamant about demonetisation that it was a "monumental mistake". A year after demonetisation, economic pundits have spoken for and against the measure. Economists toeing the line of the ruling BJP have spoken in favour of it saying the measure was needed to cleanse the economy of black money and the ensuing digitisation will help in the long run to root out corruption, a major factor in generation of black money. But economists particularly those airing the opposition parties view say that it has only pushed down the economy and virtually c...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP trying out its options in Tamil Nadu
Will Periyar heirs team up with Hindutva?
By Amulya Ganguli
Tamil Nadu continues to flounder in the political confusion caused by Jayalalithaa's death. As may have been expected in a one-person outfit which the AIADMK was in her time, the party is yet to find its feet. The situation has been made worse by the influence which Jayalalithaa's companion, Sasikala, who is now in jail, continues to wield over the shaky organization via her nephew. Seeing the political vacuum in the state, ambitious outsiders like the ageing filmstars, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth, have been trying the enter the field although they haven't yet gathered enough courage to announce the formation of their parties. Given the unsettled conditions, it is not surprising that the BJP has decided to try its luck. At first, it appeared to be close to the AIADMK, which was its all...
Kashmir Times News Report
Democracy and fabricated values
Morals and emotional appeals should not be the basis of Public policies
By Manik Raj
Finance minister Arun Jaitley defended demonetisation as a step that was "morally and ethically correct" and hence "politically correct". If morals can be justification for public policy then democracy is no longer a rational premise than to value based judgements. Democratic setup is a rational premise. In today's form of democratic setups, governments are instruments (means) to achieve this end which need to be check through public consciousness, if subverted. It is obvious that any governmental policy has a moral and ethical dimension, but can it be a basis of justification for any public policy? Finance minister Arun Jaitley defended demonetisation as a step that was "morally and ethically correct" and hence "politically correct". If morals can be justification for public policy ...
Kashmir Times News Report
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