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Hindrances have increased in filing RTI applications after reorganization of J&K

Marking the International Day for Access to Information, J&K RTI Foundation discussed weakness of RTI Act in J&K. A note: *** On the occasion of International Day for Universal Access to Information, J&K RTI Foundation held an event on Zoom wherein top RTI Activists across the country participated actively and passed a resolution to knock doors of Lieutenant Governor’s Administration for awareness and implementation of the RTI Act in Jammu and Kashmir. The event was held in consonance with the UNESCO General Conference declaration in 2015 recognizing the significance of access to information and proclamation of 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI). This year’s theme for the day was “Artificial Intelligence, e-Governance and Access to Information"; but J&K RTI Foundation deliberately discussed the sub-themes “Importance of Right to Information Law, Obstacles in Filing RTI Applications, Government’s Responsibilit
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Child leaders' presence at global stage a living testimony what all children can achieve

Child leaders from India address world leaders at United Nations. A India4Children note: *** Kajal Kumari from remote village in Koderma district of Jharkhand and Kinsu Kumar from Virat Nagar, Rajasthan appeal to world leaders “to invest more in education to create better opportunities for children and help in eliminating child exploitation and child labour” at the United Nations in New York. Both the child leaders spoke at United Nations “Transforming Education Summit”. The Summit is a key initiative of UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. On the sidelines of the Summit they also highlighted the importance of education at the 4th “Laureates and Leaders for Children” Summit. “Laureates and Leaders for Children” is a brain-child of Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi as a first of its kind platform bringing together Nobel Laureates and Global Leaders to build a sense of urgency, collective responsibility and a strong moral voice to galvanize political will for making this world pe

Built on delta of two mighty rivers, trade, culture once flourished in ancient Cuttack

By Sudhansu R Das  Trade and culture once flourished in the ancient city Cuttack. Built on the delta of the two mighty rivers, the Mahanadi and the Kathajodi, the city has vast economic potential to create inclusive employment opportunities. Cuttack was a river port from where huge Boitas (traditional ships) sailed off to the Indian Ocean nations. The skilled artisans of Cuttack used to make silver filigree, horn craft, ivory craft, wood craft, clay idols and gold ornaments etc for export. Today the city has fallen from grace; the artisans have lost their skill and artistry; a large number of educated youth leave the city for jobs outside; the business has shrunk due to lack of demand; online marketing of products by big investors adversely affects the sale of small shops. All these factors contribute to growing unemployment and poverty in the city. In order to reweave the city’s economic fabric the government should improve its road condition. The city roads erode people’s hard earn

Remembering Jutsice O Chinnappa Reddy: most rational of Marxists in our judiciary

By Harsh Thakor  On September 25th,we celebrated the 100 th birth anniversary of justice O.Chinnappa Reddy. His life is an illustration of relentless service to the cause of social justice. He is most relevant today when our judicial system has been completely defaced or fabric torn apart with the penetration of Hindutva fascism. At every juncture of his life he braved all odds to shimmer the spark of secularism, scientific spirit and revolutionary democracy. Justice Chiinappa Reddy was a unique jurist, with deep passion for championing social justice, human dignity and bettering conditions of victims of unjust social structures. At the very core he exposed how the judicial system was an integral part of an autocratic social order since 1947 and barely played a role as a representative of the working class or peasantry. His judicial announcements were a manifestation of humanism and illustrated his relentless quest to achieve radical humanism and social revolution. His work encompassed

Myanmar's false, baseless claim of Arakan Army and ARSA bases in Bangladesh

Kamal Uddin Mazumder*  Myanmar has blamed the Arakan Army and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army or ARSA for the mortar attack on the border. At the same time, they claimed that the base of these organizations is in Bangladesh. According to media reports, Myanmar Foreign Ministry Director General U Jau Phyu Win summoned Bangladeshi Ambassador Manjurul Karim Khan Chowdhury on Monday and explained his position regarding the mortar attack inside the border of Bangladesh. Win called the ambassador of Bangladesh and blamed the Arakan Army and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) for the mortar attack on the border. At the same time, he accused Arakan Army and Arsa of having 'bases' inside Bangladesh and demanded to take quick steps to investigate and remove them. Although Dhaka has followed the diplomatic path since the beginning to find a solution to the shootings and casualties on the border, Myanmar on Tuesday blamed the Arakan Army and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army or

UN, international community must address the Myanmar-Bangladesh border tension

By Samina Akhter*  Myanmar's persistent use of mortars to invade Bangladeshi land amounts to a declaration of war on Myanmar's part and diplomatic blunder on the part of the government of Bangladesh. In the most recent incident, Myanmar fired three mortar bombs on September 16 into Bangladeshi territory near Tambru border in Bandarban, killing one man and injuring six others, who were taken to the hospital that night. On September 3, Myanmar fired at least two deadly shells 120 meters into Bangladesh at the Tambru border. On August 28, it launched two additional mortar shells across the same border into Bangladesh, but they did not explode. On August 20, a comparable occurrence occurred at the same border. Following each incidence, Bangladeshi authorities called the ambassador of Myanmar to Dhaka and gave him protest letters. What started with mortar rounds that hadn't detonated has so far come to a close with the deaths and injuries caused by shell explosions. Bangladesh h

Aadhaar number database a tool for electoral surveillance, weapon of mass destruction

By Gopal Krishna*  Disregarding the ten fathom deep burial of the notorious majority opinion of the Supreme Court Justices P. N. Bhagwati, A.N. Ray, M.H. Beg and Y.V. Chandrachud in ADM Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla (1976) case that had suspended a person's right to not be unlawfully detained by 9-Judge Constitution Bench in Justice Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2017), the majority opinion of Justices A. K. Sikri, Ashok Bhushan, A.M. Khanwilkar and D. Misra in Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2018) resurrected the notorious verdict by declaring Aadhaar Act to be partially constitutional on 26 September 2018. Court declared Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which enabled body corporate and individual to seek authentication is held to be unconstitutional. Section 57 which was titled “Act not to prevent use of Aadhaar number for other purposes under law” has been “Omitted by the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Act 2019”. Section 57 provided that “nothing contained in this Act (Aadhaar Act

Educated youth use the scope of political patronization to get a government job

By Harasankar Adhikari  The government of West Bengal has totally failed to combat unemployment in the state for the last decade. The rate of educated unemployment (or all sorts of unemployment) increased during the era of the left-front government. The reasons are diversified. Of course, lack of industrial initiative, surplus agricultural labor, land policy, etc. are primary reasons. It has broken the mental state and other qualities of the youth. But youth unrest has been resisted by political parties and their crude politics. They are mishandled by the political parties. It influences the migration rate undoubtedly. On the other hand, the youth of this state are cheaply directed to actively get involved in politics, which creates a hope for employment through patronization of the political party in power. Therefore, ‘doing party’ has become a new job venue for the youth of West Bengal. In particular, the educated youth use the scope of political patronization to get a governme

Art provides healing balm, inviting people to leave voicemail for someone they lost

By Gajanan Khergamker  Probably the most peaceful yet powerful influence of Street Art can be gauged by Japanese garden designer Itaru Sasaki who initiated the Wind Phone project in 2010 to help cope with his cousin's death. After Itaru lost his cousin to terminal cancer, he set up an old telephone booth in his garden in December 2010, to continue to feel connected to him by "talking" to him on the phone. The wind phone was not designed with any specific religious connotation but as a way to reflect on his loss. However, in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed over 15,000 people in the Tohoku region, including over 1,200 people in Ōtsuchi (about 10 percent of the town's population), he threw access to the structure open to the public. The wind phone since, received more than 30,000 visitors. On 7 January 2017, strong winds blew off the roof of the wind phone and broke the glass doors. On hearing about it, local carpenters, including ones who had previously visi

A film industry splashed on public walls in Mumbai: a virtual art-lovers' paradise

By Gajanan Khergamker  The walls adjoining the streets of Mumbai's Western suburb Bandra are strewn with art works depicting old Hindi films, graffiti and the works, converting the zone into a virtual art-lovers' paradise. The wall-paintings are impressively colossal in size, strategically placed and sure to leave an indelible mark in public memory. The Street Art that has begun making pleasant appearances across Mumbai’s streets has been facilitated by the civic authorities and overseen by local politicians. With all permissions in place and authorisations, even financial support provided through non-profits involved in the venture, Mumbai’s Street Art completely overlooks issues of strife and sensitivity that feature on public walls in most other foreign cities. Unlike French Street Artist James Colomina, who literally lives underground and refuses to even identify himself or his family for fear of reprise, the artists working across Mumbai’s streets feature, without fear, ac