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  • New education policy a game-changer for India: Kasturirangan
    Bengaluru, Jul 30 (IANS): Terming the Union Cabinet's approval of the New Education Policy as historic, its draft committee chairman Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan on Thursday said it (policy) would be a game-changer for India over the next 20 years. "It is a significant milestone for education in India from school to college. The policy gives hope for a bright future, as it aims to build quality human resources to sustain the country's socio-economic growth and development
  • The board game helping South Asian girls escape arranged marriage
    Nashra Balagamwala's game highlights the pressures faced by girls and women being pressured to enter an arranged marriage LONDON, July 30 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Nashra Balagamwala's Pakistani family started pressuring her into an arranged marriage, she decided to get creative to avoid the myriad of suitors being foisted upon her. Like many young women in South Asia, she was targeted by older women, nicknamed Rishta aunties, who wanted to pair her up with el
  • Pandemic turns smartphones from luxury to must-have as India's schools go online
    Smartphones help classes continue as schools remain closed, but the poorest families are struggling to keep up MUMBAI, July 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kuldip Kumar, a farmer from northern India, sold his only cow to buy a smartphone so his children could keep up with lessons that shifted online when the coronavirus lockdown closed schools four months ago. Kumar was already in debt and the cow was his only asset. He sold it last week for 6,000 rupees ($80), almost all of
  • Remembering martyr Capt. Vijayant Thapar on Kargil Diwas Day
    New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Captain Vijayant Thapar of 2 Rajputana Rifles was awarded a Vir Chakra, the nations third highest medal for gallantry for having fought bravely the crucial battles of Tololing and Knoll in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir during the 1999 war with Pakistan. His story, that provides a rare glimpse into the heart of a brave soldier has now been immortalised in "Vijayant At Kargil, The Life of a Kargil War Hero", co-authored by his father, Co
  • 'Coronavirus is preventable, not treatable till vaccine found'
    BY FAKIR BALAJI Bengaluru, July 26 (IANS) With no sign of the pandemic flattening the curve, as evident from the daily surge in positive cases across the country, Bengaluru-based eminent pediatric cardiologist Vijayalakshmi I. Balekundri said Coronavirus is preventable but not treatable till its vaccine is found. In an exclusive interview to IANS, the Bengaluru Medical College and Research Institute Emeritus Professor said the only way to avoid getting infected is to wear mask,
  • China has built new structures in Pangong Tso area
    New Delhi/Ladakh, July 25 (IANS) A month and a half after the violent face-off with Indian soldiers along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Chinese troops have disengaged but built and retained several news constructions in the Pangong Tso area, as per the latest satellite images. Early this month, both the countries withdrew from the disputed Patrol Post 14 (PP14) in Galwan Valley where 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops had been killed in a violen
  • 'Gandhi had dubbed Dadabhai Naoroji Father of the Nation, Mahatma'
    BY VISHNU MAKHIJANI  New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) He was one of the early architects of global anti-colonialism, a co-founder of the Indian National Congress that he headed thrice and the first Asian to be elected to the UK's House of Commons. His call for 'swaraj' echoed around the world and prompted Mahatma Gandhi to anoint him Father of the Nation and Mahatma, says a new biography of Parsi scholar and politician Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917) who "punctured Bri
  • It was spontaneity that worked for Shaheen Bagh: Seema Mustafa
    BY SUKANT DEEPAK  New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) No leaders or political parties. No questions asked when people wanted to join. She says it was almost like visiting someone's home -- local women coming out with warmth and hospitality of a kind rarely seen in Delhi. "And this was on the streets, the smiles, the reassurance of being together, the courage... I think the fact that it was not political, no politicians leading it, and the participation was voluntary and spontane
  • Signs of farm 'revolution' in India as coronavirus prompts change
    RAIPUR JATTAN, India/SINGAPORE, July 23 (Reuters) - For more than two decades, Indian farmer Ravindra Kajal cultivated rice the way his forefathers had - every June he flooded his fields with water before hiring an army of farmhands to plant paddy seedlings. But a scarcity of workers this year because of the coronavirus forced Kajal to change. He irrigated the field just enough to moisten the soil and leased a drilling machine to directly sow seeds on his 9-acre (3.6-hectare) p
  • 'COVID-19 making it worse for 40 mln children missing pre-school'
    United Nations, July 23 (IANS) The COVID-19 pandemic has made the crisis in early childhood development worse, with more than 40 million children worldwide missing education in critical pre-school years, said a UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) report released. "Families need support from their governments and their employers to weather this storm and safeguard their children's learning and development," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a release accompan
  • The refugee in us all
    BY SUKANT DEEPAK  New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The conversation starts with the quote she once used in her work -- "Who is not a refugee". The Baroda-based artist, Nilima Sheikh insists we all have experienced the feeling sometime or the other. "At one level, migration may mean newer and greater opportunities, in other instances, complete devastation," she says.   For someone, who has touched upon a multitude of themes including displacement, longi
  • How women were disgraced in politics, wars in ancient India
    BY BRIJ KHANDELWAL  Agra, July 20(IANS) Women in the modern era are comparatively safer, better empowered and they enjoy a more dignified life than women during the days of 'rajas and maharajas' in ancient India. Often, women were publicly disgraced as victims of war or despicable politics practiced by feudal lords, says historian Dr. S. Chandnibi, Associate Professor, in the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University.   Women had no political role in
  • Mom laughed when I said I wanted to be a writer: Ruskin Bond
    July 19 (PTI): When Ruskin Bond told his mother that he wanted to be a writer, she laughed saying with his good handwriting he could only be a clerk in a lawyer's office.        This was early in 1951 when Bond was waiting for his school board results. He knew he would do well in English literature, history and geography, but wasn't too sure about maths and physics.      Bond's aim was to write stories and become an author, but
  • Rajasthan schools denying education over non-payment of fees
    BY ARCHANA SHARMA Jaipur, July 18 (IANS) Amid the Covid-19 pandemic when educational institutions are shut and are striving to complete courses online, Rajasthan schools are traumatising parents and students over non-payment of fees by blocking them from online classes and dropping them from school WhatsApp groups, flouting the state government order.   In a July 7 order, the state government said no school should demand payment of tution fees till they remained closed
  • Pandemic upheaval creates 'perfect storm' for land rights abuses
    As countries bolster economies battered by the pandemic, more land may be privatised   WASHINGTON, July 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - From forced displacement to conflict over resources, the coronavirus pandemic has created a "perfect storm" for land rights abuses - and the situation is likely to worsen, researchers and activists warned on Thursday.   The migration of men to rural areas due to lockdowns and job losses has increased competition over l
  • Nearly one billion people scared of losing homes or land, poll finds
    Housing and land insecurity make it harder for people to plan for the future, hampering economic growth   LONDON, July 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Almost one billion people around the world fear losing their homes or land within five years, with owners and tenants in Burkina Faso and the Philippines the most concerned, a survey of 140 nations showed on Wednesday.   About one in five adults (19%) worry that their housing, fields or other land could be taken awa
  • DCGI approval enabled Biocon to bring Itolizumab for Covid treatment: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
    BY SHARON THAMBALA  Bengaluru, July 15 (IANS) At a time when the world is reeling under the COVID-19 health catastrophe, city-based bio-pharmaceutical major Biocon has received the approval of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to market a repurposed injection, Itolizumab. It was originally launched in 2013 for treating chronic plaque psoriasis.   Costing Rs 7,950 for a 25mg/5 ml injection, Itolizumab is a novel biologic therapy which the company is recomm
  • Privatisation 'wave' hurts poor as pandemic heightens risks
    Countries trying to boost economic growth are privatising land and other resources, uprooting rural and indigenous communities   BANGKOK, July 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A push to privatise land and other resources in countries from Ukraine to Papua New Guinea is hurting indigenous people and the rural poor, while increasing the risks linked to climate change, researchers at a U.S.-based think tank said on Tuesday.   From a rise in deforestation in the Amazon
  • More than 1/3rd say Raj Cong govt will collapse, BJP to return: IANS CVoter snap poll
    New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) More than one third of respondents to a snap poll feel that the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan will collapse and the BJP will return in the state, as per IANS CVoter.   The poll comes on a day when Congress rebel Sachin Pilot was sacked from two key posts -- one in the party and the other in the government, that of Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President.   With a sample size of 1,200, the p
  • Digital play with Indian business models
    BY TAPONEEL MUKHERJEE IANS | July 12 The last decade has seen rapid digitisation. However, the last three months have seen the pace of digitisation accelerate rapidly. Even as the world adjusts to a new normal, the ability to leverage digitisation to improve, create and innovate business models will be vital in deciding the winners of the future. In India, in this context, the two issues that assume significant importance are business models that can monetise user bases using tra