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Showing posts from February, 2019

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.
According to this leader, one only needs to divide the voting pattern in Gujarat into three parts: While the urban areas, forming about one-third of the seats, would almost all go to the BJP, as for the rest of the two-thirds seats (rural and semi-urban), one should divide them equally, 50:50. Half would go to the Congress, while the other hald would to go the BJP.
While I reported this in a Times of India blog without naming this Congress leader, then Sonia Gandhi political adviser Ahmed Patel, I was told later, came to know of thi…

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.
Indeed, Four-and-a-half years after India showed some “intention” to ban e-cigarettes, considering them as risk to public health, especially among the non-smoking youths, following the World Health Organization (WHO) in August 2014 seeking “stiff regulation” on it across the world, its “booming” $3 billion global market appears all set to dangerously invade India.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare, in October 2014 had called e-cigarettes, which use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced vapor, a “backdoor entry” to health risk, because has nicotine, pointing out that expert panels have already recommended regulation or a ban.
The ministry view came after e-cig…

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”
Carried out by a team of scholars led by Joan C Williams, distinguished professor of law, Hastings Foundation Chair Director of the Center for WorkLife Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, the study also found that 45% women as against 30% of men “reported feeling pressured to play submissive roles at work”.
Titled “Walking the Tightrope: An Examination of Bias in India’s Engineering Workplace”, the study  says, “40% of men and women reported that women should work less after having children, while 27% of men and women reported that men should work more after…