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Showing posts from December, 2018

Amidst prvatisation move, corruption scandal "rocks" Ahmedabad's top public hospital

Counterview Desk
Four independent board members of the Vadilal Sarabhai General and Chinai Maternity Hospitals, Ahmedabad's top public health care facilities catering to the needs of the poor for decades, have taken strong objection to the failure of the city authorities to cope corruption scandals rocking them.

India's CO2 emissions projected to grow by 6.3% in 2018, highest in the world: Study

By Rajiv Shah
An international interdisciplinary journal, “Earth System Science Data (ESSD)”, has raised the alarm that global fossil CO2 emissions in India grew at a rate of +5.2% per year on an average during the last one decade (2008-17), and are expected to grow even higher in 2018. Suggesting that this growth is higher than China’s CO2 emissions, an increase of +3.0%, an article in the journal says, while the global average for the decade was 1.5 % per year, the emissions decreased in the European Union (EU) countries by −1.8%.

Govt of India "undermines" transparency in appointing information commissioners

Counterview Desk
Several concerned citizens write to the Selection Committee responsible for recommending names of Central Information Commissioners (CICs), expressing strong reservations about the process followed by the government for inviting applications and short-listing candidates for the posts of information commissioners in the CIC.

India could have averted 76,000 deaths: "Failure" to comply by 2015 emission norms

Counterview Desk
On the third anniversary of notification (December 7) and one year since the deadline lapsed for implementing the emission standards for coal based power plants, a Greenpeace India analysis has pointed out that approximately 76,000 premature deaths could have been averted if the coal power plants in India had implemented the emission standard norms notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC in 2015) on time.

Curious case of sexual "offence", when Apex Court pulled up Gujarat High Court

By RK Misra*
The law is an ass unless you propose to ride it. Then it bucks you to spread eagled state! Is the search for truth in the quest for justice a matter of just right or wrong, a matter of bland rules, and just plain guided legality, or does one need to break through the straight-jacket, at times, to dispense it? The question brooks an answer. Here’s a case study.

Increase in N-capacity at Kaiga NPP would "increase" river pollution, radiation density

By Shankar Sharma*
The decision by the Government of India in May 2017 to commission ten nuclear power reactors of the type PHWR of 700 MW capacity, each in different parts of the country, and the proposal to add four more reactors of the type VVER of 1,000 MW capacity each at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (NPP), has given rise to many serious concerns to the communities around these projects, and to the concerned civil society groups in the country.

#MumbaiToxicHell: Rally on December 15 as Maharashtra govt "fails" to relocate residents

Counterview Desk
Mumbai's civil rights organization Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) has said that after receiving a number of false assurances of rehabilitation in a safer residential area, the residents of polluted Mahul (#MumbaisToxicHell) have decided to hold a mass rally from their protest site, which they have ‘occupied’ in Vidya Vihar, to Mantrayala on December 15, 2018.

More people dying due to air pollution than tobacco use: Govt of India-supported study

Counterview Desk
A Government of India-sponsored study has raised the alarm that 1.24 million deaths, or 12.5% of the total deaths, in India in 2017 were "attributable" to air pollution, which is one of the highest in the world. Titled "The impact of air pollution on deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy across the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017", the study, funded by the Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says, this suggests India has a "disproportionately high mortality and disease burden due to air pollution."

2019 polls: Return to political conservatism of Vajpayee years with a new BJP leader?

By Mohan Guruswamy*
2019, like 2014, will be another presidential election year. Not since 1971, when the Congress Party fought with Indira Gandhi as its only face and only reason, will India see such a personality-focused election. Her campaign call then was “I say ‘Garibi Hatao’ and they only say Indira Hatao!” Narendra Modi now cannily implies just that. He says when he promises “development” his opponents’ only chant “Modi Hatao”.

Assam: "Conspiracy" to declare lakhs stateless, 80% "foreigners" yet to resubmit claims

Counterview Desk
In a detailed note, well-known civil rights organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), which has taken up the cause of lakhs of people in Assam who are in danger of being permanently declared “foreigner”, has said that, with less than 10 days to go for re-submitting claims for citizenship before the National Register of Citizens (NRC) offices, the future of nearly 32 lakh people is at stake.

Modi, Adityanath "undermining" Ambedkar's view on theocratic state, Constitutional values

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
As the ruling leaders continue to violate the principles of Constitution, converting them into a hierarchical Brahmanical state, it is time for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of Constitutional morality as defined by Baba Saheb Ambedkar, who felt a theocratic state of Hindutva variety would be as dangerous and detrimental to India as Islamic theocracy.

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

India's lag in doubling farm income vis-a-vis China, South-East Asia? Go authoritarian!

By Rajiv Shah
This should sound some music to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his supporters: More than four years after he took over reins of power, the view appeared to have strong at an international scholars’ conference, held in Anand, Gujarat, that Modi should set aside democratic ways to achieve his declared intention to double farmers’ incomes, and instead adopt the type of means adopted by China to attain higher earnings.

India being dragged into "unmitigated" disaster by government, its unholy nexus

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On almost every sector, India has been faring very poorly on human rights. The situation has been deteriorating since the past four years. In the 2018 Human Development Index, India has reached an all-time low of 130 out of 189 countries. As far as democracies go, this is just unthinkable. In almost all other international analysis and studies, which are fairly objective and unbiased, India has touched abysmal depths.

Modi govt "shelves" water reforms report, shows "no interest" in its recommendations

By Our Representative
Has the Government of India shelved the Mihir Shah committee report, which two years ago had recommended setting up an overarching National Water Commission (NWC) in order to build partnerships with independent experts and civil society groups for participatory management of water resources? It would seem so, if committee members and government officials participating in an international conference in Anand, Gujarat, are to be believed.

Demanding return of Sabarimala temple, Adivasis oppose "Brahminical" control

Counterview Desk
Ten Adivasi organizations, even as insisting that Sabarimala has been an Adivasi place of worship, have said that as per the Forest Rights Act (FRA), Adivasis have the community rights for their places of worship, adding, "The control of the Brahminical priests on Sabarimala has violated these rights of the Adivasis."

Adanis' decision to self-fund Aussie project is "no guarantee" the mine will go ahead

By Samantha Hepburn*
Indian mining multinational Adani has announced that it will self-fund a significantly smaller coal mine in the Galilee Basin, after failing to secure finance from more than 30 domestic and international banks and lenders. Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan has described Adani as a “little Aussie battler” and praised the newly scaled-down project’s purported regional economic benefits.

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Proposed expansion of Karnataka N-plant "ignores" worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima

Counterview Desk
EAS Sarma, former secretary, Government of India (GoI), in a letter addressed to secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, with copies to chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and chairman Karnataka Pollution Control Board, has said that radiation and environmental risks have been ignored in DAE’s proposal to set up Units 5 & 6 (2X700MWe) at Kaiga Nuclear Power Station in Karnataka.

Tinkering with Article 35A intolerable, will "undermine" Kashmir's identity, character

By Syed Mujtaba Hussain*
The Supreme Court of India is currently hearing petitions under Articles 370 and 35A filed by an NGO over the special status of the state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The Kashmiris have rejected the move terming it ill-intentioned and BJP quest for change of demography.
To recall, according to Lord Mountbatten’s plan for partition of subcontinent (June 3, 1947), around 500 princely states acceded to India. But on October 27, 1947 the Indian army landed in the Himalayan valley of Kashmir, leading to what many consider as leading to one of the world's deadliest disputes.

Secularism a "precondition" for women’s, minority rights: Speakers at London meet

Counterview Desk
A recent International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism in London, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the founding of the One Law for All campaign, a civil rights movement in UK, has warned against the rise of fascism all over the world, even as insisting that the need to oppose both racism and fundamentalism within a framework of secularism has never been more urgent.

Anti- Islamabad activities get ground in Pak-occupied Kashmir, "reflect" eco-concerns

By Nava Thakuria*
Slowly but steadily the Kashmir region under Pakistan authorities becomes a happening place for anti-Pak activities, where the protesters come with clear voices against the Pakistan government in Islamabad in repeated times. Most recent one on November 18, 2018 was at Bagh, where the activists bluntly asked Pakistan to end its illegal occupation over Kashmir. For reasons best known to nearly 4.5 million residents of Pakistan-occupied/ controlled/ administered Kashmir (PoK), they have started raising voices against Islamabad.