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Showing posts from March, 2019

"Failure" of a Modi campaign: 51% Gujarat men tobacco addicts, higher than 14 states

By Rajiv Shah
While the Gujarat government may claim to have decided to begin a “tobacco free Gujarat” campaign in 2011 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state chief minister, yet, latest available data suggest that as many as 51.4 per cent of men and seven per cent of women in the state use any form of tobacco – it can be smoking cigarettes, bidis, cigars pipes, or hookas, chewing pan masalas with or without tobacco, use of gutkha or pan masala with tobacco, or use of khaini or snuff.
What is worse, data show, while the percentage of those using tobacco has come down, Gujarat has faltered in the fight against tobacco vis-à-vis other states. However, compared to other states, the effort to free its population from tobacco addiction has clearly not been as effective.
Indeed, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data for 2015-16, released a year ago, suggest that 51 per cent of men and seven per cent of women in the age group 15-49 “use some form of tobacco”, which is the se…

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.
The samples, says a GPCB report, were taken in October and December 2018 following a complaint the official watchdog body’s Vadodara office received from the top environmental  voluntary organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), and Farmers’ Action Group (FAG), representing farmers of the region.
Following the complaint, says the report, officials of GPCB regional office and vigilance office, Vadodara, swung into action with Rohit Prajapati of PSS and Ghanshyambhai Patel and Kirit Amin of FAG, visiting villages in Padra …

Women, business, law: India scores worst among all BRICS, several African nations

By Rajiv Shah
A new World Bank report ranks India 125th in its Women, Business and the Law (WBL) index among 187 economies it seeks to analyse across the globe. The report's main aim claims to be to "gain new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination. On a scale of 100, India's score is 71.25, worse than the global average of 74.71.
Analysing ten years of WBL data through an index "structured around the economic decisions women make as they go through different stages of their working lives", the results in the report find that six economies — Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden — score 100 in the Women, Business and the Law index, meaning they give women and men equal legal rights in the measured areas.
Pointing out that a decade ago none of these economies scored 100, indicating they all reformed over the past ten years, the report says that on a scale of 100, the global score…