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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

India's business entry density, indicator of entrepreneurial dynamism, is one of the poorest: World Bank report

By Our Representative
At a time when India’s rulers are basking in happiness that international consultants, Ernst and Young, have pointed to how India has overtaken China in foreign direct investment (FDI), considering this an indicator of the new business climate under the Modi government, a World Bank report has found that the country utterly lacks in dynamism in entrepreneurial activity.
The just-released World Bank report, “World Development Indicators 2016”, has found India’s business entry density, which calculates the number of newly registered limited liability corporations per 1,000 people in the age group 15–64, is one of the lowest in the world.
At just about 0.12 per 1000 people in the age group 15-59, the calculation shows that the world average of business entry density is 4.01. By way of comparison, the density in the United Kingdom is 12.90, in South Africa it is 6.54, in Russia it is 4.20, and in Brazil it is 2.88.
Of course, there is some consolation, as the neighbouring Pakistan’s business entry density is worse than India’s, at just 0.04, and Bangladesh’s 0.09, yet in Sri Lanka it is higher, at 0.51, in Nepal it is 0.69, and in Afghanistan it is 0.15.
A measurement which shows the rate at which new businesses are added to an economy, suggesting dynamism and entrepreneurial activity, the data on business entry density are from the World Bank’s 2015 Entrepreneurship Database, which includes indicators for more than 150 countries.
“Survey data are used to analyze firm creation, its relationship to economic growth and poverty reduction, and the impact of regulatory and institutional reforms”, the World Bank report points out.
Another World Bank source says that the new business entry density would show the number of newly registered firms, in which ownership liability is limited to its investment, per calendar year, normalized by population.
“This is a valuable indicator which quantifies the impact of regulatory, political, and macroeconomic institutional changes on new business registration, a vital component of a dynamic private sector”, it adds.
Data on India’s poor business entry density, significantly, has been revealed at a time when the manufacturing value added as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), claimed to capture the role of manufacturing in an economy, has been nearly stagnant in India.
While worldwide, the World Bank report shows, it is 16 percent, in East Asia and Pacific it is 22 percent, in China it is 32 percent, and in Thailand 28 percent. It says, “In South Asia the share has remained fairly constant since 1990; it was about 17 percent in 2014. Between 1990 and 2014 the share increased slightly, from 16 percent to 17 percent, in India, while Bangladesh registered a larger increase, from 13 percent to 17 percent.”
Coming to yet another measure, of innovation is the intensity of research and development, measured as expenditure on research and development as a percentage of GDP, the report says, “Worldwide, it increased slightly from 1.6 percent in 2007 to 1.7 percent in 2013, despite the period’s global financial crisis.”
It adds, “Asia was the first to recover; in particular China’s research and development intensity grew from 1.4 percent in 2007 to 2.0 percent in 2013. In other emerging economies the rise was slower — from 1.1 percent in 2007 to 1.2 percent in 2012 in Brazil — or stagnant — around 0.8 percent in 2007 and 2011 in India.”
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Click HERE to download full report

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.