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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 7% GDP growth leads to less than 1% job growth: 14-16% youth, highly educated are unemployed

By Our Representative
A just-released study “State of Working India 2018”, prepared by the Centre for Sustainable Employment of the Azim Premji University, has said that if in 1970s and 1980s, when GDP growth was around 3-4%, employment growth was around 2%, but “since the 1990s, and particularly in the 2000s, GDP growth has accelerated to 7% but employment growth has slowed to 1% or even less.”
Pointing out that today the situation has reached a point where a 10% increase in GDP would lead to “less than 1% increase in employment”, the study says, it calculates unemployment rate as “the share of the labour force that is not part of the workforce” – the reason being that “those above the age of 15 may be looking for work but are unable to find it for at least six months of employment.”
Calculated thus, the study says, in 2015 the unemployment rate was 5%, and stood at 5.7% in June 2018.
However, according to this study, “The unemployed are disproportionately young”, adding, “More than 60% of them are in the 15-25 year age group. In contrast, this group constitutes only 30% of the total working age population.”
“In fact”, according to the study, “If we look at the unemployment rate in just the 15-25 year group, it is much higher at 16.5%, similar to the rate amongst the college-educated.” Against this, the data released in the study show, the unemployment rate is 4.7% in the age group 4.7%, falling to 1.4% in the age group 36-45, and 0.8% in the age group 46.55.
Further, the study shows that among the higher educated sections, unemployment rate is very high – it is 16.3% among the graduates, 14.2% among the post-graduates and above, 11.1% among the diploma-level undergraduates, 11.3% among those with the certified course at undergraduate level, 4.2% among those who are only secondary educated, 3% among middle-educated, 2.4% among the primary educated, and 1.8-2% among among the illiterate or semi-illiterate.
The study states, “Highly educated unemployed people overwhelmingly report that the reason for unemployment is that they did not find a job that matched their skills”, adding, “This obviously points to the issue being not only one of job creation, but of the creation of decent and desirable jobs.”
According to the study, “This phenomenon of mass unemployment among educated, young men is manifested in various ways. Consider the fact that almost every public sector recruitment drive is massively over-subscribed.”
“For example”, it says, “In early 2017, the West Bengal government held an examination for 6,000 jobs in the Class IV or Group D category, the lowest category of permanent employment in government service. 2.5 million appeared for the exam, many of them holders of graduate and postgraduate degrees.”
Similarly, the study says, “In 2015, 2.3 million applied for around 400 Class IV jobs in Uttar Pradesh, of them 150,000 graduates”, adding, “Such examples may be multiplied.”
The study further says, “Another way the clamour for jobs has manifested is in mass youth rallies across the country demanding reservations in government jobs. Strikingly, these have been mostly led by youth from traditionally dominant agricultural castes such as Patels, Marathas, Jats, and so on.”
It adds, “Even a relatively better performing state such as Karnataka saw a major political campaign on the jobs issue in the lead up to its 2018 assembly elections.”
Thus, the study reveals that workers receiving a regular salary account were less than 20% of all workers. “A household earning over Rs 1 lakh per month is in the top 0.2% of income earners in the country, while 67% of households report monthly earnings of Rs 10,000 or less” – at a time when “the lowest government salary under the Seventh Central Pay Commission is much higher at Rs 18,000.”
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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.
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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".

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

By Nandini Oza*
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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.”