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Big machines, experts 'can't tame' Himalayas: Big lesson from Silkyara tunnel collapse

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*   The safe return of the 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel near Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand is a matter of great satisfaction for the entire nation. Kudos to all those involved in the rescue operation for the last 17 days! The tale must have been horrifying, but the way we saw the smiling workers coming out, reflected their energy level despite all odds. Yes, in one sentence, these are the sons of the soil, who toil hard to make our lives better.
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Stands 'exposed': Cavalier attitude towards rushed construction of Char Dham project

By Bharat Dogra*  The nation heaved a big sigh of relief when the 41 workers trapped in the under-construction Silkyara-Barkot tunnel (Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand) were finally rescued on November 28 after a 17-day rescue effort. All those involved in the rescue effort deserve a big thanks of the entire country. The government deserves appreciation for providing all-round support.

In a first, ex-BJP CM brings 'warring' Congress, AAP Gujarat Adivasi leaders on one platform

Counterview Desk  In an interesting development, former Gujarat BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta brought together Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tribal leaders of the eastern tribal belt on one platform to claim that under the BJP rule in the state Adivasis are being pushed to the margins because of large scale siphoning off of funds meant for the scheduled tribes, comprising nearly 17% of the state population.

Union Health Ministry, FSSAI 'fail to respond' to NHRC directive on packaged food

By Our Representative  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed deep concern over the adverse health effects caused by packaged foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Recognizing it as a violation of the Right to Life and Right to Health of Indian citizens, the quasi-judicial body called for a response from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regarding its selection of front-of-pack labels aimed at providing consumers with information to make healthier choices.

UN nuclear chief 'ignoring' huge costs for India, neighbours in the event of a mishap

By Shankar Sharma*  The UN nuclear chief has said that nuclear energy must be part of the equation to tackle climate change. Keen observers of the nuclear power industry will find this continued advocacy of nuclear power as a solution to climate change as bizarre and against the true interest of humanity; because there have been no credible argument in favor of such an advocacy, and because the numerous associated concerns raised by civil society groups from around the world have not been addressed by any credible agency yet.

Crackdown on Chhatisgarh tribal protestors a 'carpet security' for mining operation

Counterview Desk  The civil rights group, Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemning the District Reserve Guards' (DRG's) alleged attack on protestors at the Orcha Nadia Par, Narayanpur, Chhattisgarh, has said that the "militarization" of the region is "closely tied to the corporate loot of people’s resources by crushing people’s democratic resistance against it".

POCSO victim 'taken handcuffed' to court: Madras HC 'must take suo moto cognisance'

Henri Tiphagne By Our Representative  Henri Tiphagne, director of the human rights organisation People’s Watch, based in Madurai, has taken strong exception to a woman constable taking a 15-year-old Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act victim to the court handcuffed to record a statement. The victim, said Tiphagne in a complaint to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, was accompanied by a woman police constable from Annai Sathya Home to the magistrate court in Kotagiri to record a statement under section 164. The woman police constable took the victim in a bus to Kotagiri from Ooty.

China now 'sole challenger' to IMF, World Bank, other global lenders to poor nations

By John P Ruehl*  In October 2023, amid celebrations commemorating the 10th anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Beijing, Pakistan and Chinese leaders signed a multibillion-dollar deal for a railway project. As a pivotal component of China’s efforts to promote economic integration and develop infrastructure abroad, Pakistan has received significant developmental assistance from Beijing through the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

'Very low rung in quality ladder': Critique of ICMR study on 'sudden deaths' post-2021

By Bhaskaran Raman*  Since about mid-2021, a new phenomenon of extreme concern has been observed throughout the world, including India : unexplained sudden deaths of seemingly healthy and active people, especially youngsters. In the recently concluded Navratri garba celebrations, an unprecedented number of young persons succumbed to heart attack deaths. After a long delay, ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has finally has published a case-control study on sudden deaths among Indians of age 18-45.

SC 'appears to foster' culture of secrecy, does not seek electoral bond details from SBI

By Rosamma Thomas*  In its order of November 2, 2023 on the case of Association for Democratic Reforms vs Union of India contesting constitutional validity of electoral bonds, the Supreme Court directed all political parties to give particulars of the bonds received by them in sealed covers to the Election Commission of India. SC sought that information be updated until September 2023.