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India's youth unemployment 13%, ninth highest among top 20 economies, though GDP growth highest in world

India's 13% youth are unemployed, if a recent social media monitor, Spectator Index, is any indication. This 9th highest among a group of 20 countries which has been selected as worst performers as far as youth unemployment goes.
While it is lower than South Africa (54%), Greece (42%), Spain (34%), Italy (33%), Iran (28%), France (20%), Turkey (17%), and Belgeum, it is higher than UK and Canada (both 12%), Australia, Ireland (11%), Poland (11%), Norway (9.7%), US (8.9%), Vietnam (7.3%), Netherlands (7.2%), Germany (6.2%) and Japan (3.8%).
Ironically, the poor performance of youth unemployment comes even as India experienced higher GDP growth in 2018, 7.2%, followed by Bangladesh and China 7% and 6.6% respectively. Pakistan's GDP growth this year is 5.4%, Indonesia's 5.3%, Ireland's 4.5%, Iran's 4%, and so on.
Yet another figure released simultaneously shows that the minimum wage, per hour, for 2018, is the lowest in India among 18 top world economies. Thus, it is $…

NAPM condemns "false cases" against tribal rights leader Ashok Choudhary, others

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The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), India’s top civil rights network, led by social activist Medha Patkar, in a statement has condemned “false cases” against All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUWFP) activists and “continued incarceration” of Adivasi activists since June 8, adding, the latest in the series is an arrest warrant was issued against AIUWFP leader Ashok Choudhary.
Chaudhary has been booked under several sections, including 147, 148, 149, 307, 323, 504, 332, 333, 336, 353, 427, 120-B of Indian Penal Code 1860 and 3/5 of 7 the Criminal Law Act, 1932 and 5/26 of Indian Forests Act 1927.
Earlier, on June 8, 2018, AIUFWP activists Sukalo Gond, Kismatiya Gond and Sukhdev Gond were arrested on their way back from Lucknow. They had gone to meet state forest minister Dara Singh Chauhan and forest secretary Sanjay Singh to lodge complaints against police brutalities and the forest officials who had falsely accused them.
“They are still being held in jail, …

Not just BJP, entire political class to blame for lynchings, mobocracy: Indian Bishop

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The entire political class is to blame for the “polarisation and radicalisation” of India that has spawned mob violence, President of the All India Christian Council and Moderator of the Good Shepherd Church of India, Bishop Joseph d’Souza, has said. After dozens of lynchings in recent months, people of all religions needed to join in countering the “mobocracy”, he added in a statement.
Reacting to 31 people having been killed in the past six months across ten states, in most cases after being accused of kidnapping children in viral posts on Whatsapp and Facebook, Bishop d’Souza said, “The people involved in mob violence believe that they have their own people in power, and the police don’t act when they should act.” He added, "Dalits, Muslims, churches, and Hindu leaders had all been targeted."
“You cannot say directly that Modi and his government is involved in this, because no sane government can back this. But, you can trace it to the radicalisation of groups along very…

Rahul Gandhi's London event is on, he will interact with MPs in Parliament, TOI report misleading: Sam Pitroda

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Strongly denying a Times of India report that Indian-origin millionaire Dr Rami Ranger and Tory peer Baroness Verma have "rescinded an invitation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi during his trip to London, scheduled for August 24-25, saying the event has been cancelled, top former Government of India technocrat-NRI Sam Pitroda has termed it "misinformation campaign", adding, "The event at Parliament in London is hosted by Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) in UK and not by any local political party."
Saying that TOI report has been printed "without verification", Pitroda, who is the key organiser of the event, said in a statement, Gandhi's visit to London is on as planned, and he will have "interactions in London at Think Tank, Parliament, London School of Economics and a variety of other institutions with political leaders, businessmen, academicians, students."
"Rahul Gandhi will give a series of talks at large public events, meet p…

One decade of Kandhamal carnage to be observed on Aug 25

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Several civil rights activists attached with the National Solidarity Forum, Ram Puniyani, convener; Dhirendra Panda, coordinator; Ajaya Kumar Singh, founder member/ co-convener; KP Sasi, co-convener; and Kandhamal Survivors’ Association’s Manoj Nayak (coordinator), and Paul Pradhan (convener) have issued Call for Action appeal on completion of one decade of the Kandhamal carnage on August 25.
In a statement, they have recalled that during the "brutal invasion" on the Christian community, around 393 churches and worship places which belonged to the Adivasi Christians and Dalit Christians were destroyed, around 6,500 houses were destroyed, over 100 people were killed, over 40 women were subjected to rape, molestation and humiliation and several educational, social service and health institutions were destroyed and looted. Over 12,000 children lost their education. More than 56,000 people were forced to flee from Kandhamal.
"None of the criminals responsible for destructi…

Attack on Umar Khalid in Delhi result of violent promotion of Hindutva ideology: AIFRTE

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Condemning the attack on former JNU student leader Umar Khalid outside the Constitution Club, New Delhi, where he had gone to address a meeting on August 13, the All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) said, he was physically manhandled by an armed assailant, who grappled with him and was fortunately overpowered by two of Umar’s friends before he escaped, firing and throwing away his gun.
AIFRTE said, "The present regime at the Centre, which is constantly proclaiming itself to be the sole guardian of national security, has to be held accountable for this blatant incompetence endangering the life of a student leader who had requested state security as he had received numerous threats to his life." It wondered why was no security provided to him.
AIFRTE said, the reason for the attack on students and public intellectuals, in particular -- who are "critical of the anti-constitutional and anti-democratic Hindutva ideology and the organizations that violently prom…

Over 500 wheat flour bags handed over to Gujarat govt to "collect" money for Dalit-Adivasi scholarship

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Dalit rights activists from 500 villages of Gujarat, led by Navsarjan Trust founder Martin Macwan, organized a rally from Gandhi Ashram to the Ahmedabad district collector’s office to highlight the failure of the state government to provide scholarship to nearly 70,000 Dalit and Adivasi students over the last two years. Carried out under the banner “Vote nahi Lot” (not vote, but wheat flour), the rally handed over hundreds of wheat flour bags to the Ahmedabad district collector to be handed over to chief minister Vijay Rupani.
“We wanted to send the message that if they don’t have money to disburse Rs 2.73 crore as scholarship to 70,000 children, they could l sell these wheat flour bags to give scholarships”, Macwan said. Twelve activists handed over the wheat flour packs along with a memorandum to the district collector. The memorandum said, “It is most unfortunate that on the eve of the 72nd year of India’s Independence Day celebrations, we would have to hand over collect wheat flo…