‘Untouchables’

‘Untouchables’

Our economy is being ruined between inefficient government and sluggish opposition, if the situation does not improve then we will become the new ‘untouchables’

Untouchability has been a stigma for our country for centuries. Ambedkar, who fought for his whole life, claimed that there is enough evidence to suggest that it has been going on since 400 BC and it has always been the way of Indians to live.
This is the reason why devout Hindus on one hand and committed inclusionist Gandhi, on the other hand, believed that it is good for us to end this deadly practice. And Nehru, who relied on social justice, had said that India will never reach its true height until we end the caste system and ensure equality for all Indians.

This is the motive that our constitution made untouchability illicit and considered it a punishable offence.
But is it over? No.
Untouchability is deeply ingrained in our thinking and is seen openly. Its ugliness has recently increased, which has been promoted by some political parties, who want to keep it alive to achieve ruthless majoritarianism.

Now only the lower castes, Dalits are not suffering from it. In some parts of India, poor people belonging to a particular community have become new untouchables. So in some parts, some tribes are the new untouchables, who have been left marginalized by governments to grab land, forest and mineral wealth from them.

And now, after this pandemic in the country, we see a new class of untouchables is emerging. These are sick, migrant labourers, unemployed and extremely impoverished people. Their connection with the cities is broken and their villages do not want to take them back because they are unemployed and miserable and additionally there is a risk of health issues.

Today the suffering/affected people are being boycotted openly. Their wives and children are not allowed to be home quarantined as per the regulations. People are getting them out of the village, throwing them along with their family members from trains, refusing to burn in the crematorium when one dies. Dead bodies are being collected in hospital corridors. Nobody wants to accept them, not even own family. The corpses are placed next to the patients being treated. It is like a return to the fierce plague.

But, today who is the frustrated-indigent?
No, not the farmers who commit suicide every year due to poverty. Now, these dispirited poor are those who were working in our factories, offices and our homes till back in the days. It also includes small traders, food carts, autorickshaw drivers, small restaurant workers, multiplexes and security guards standing outside malls.

Viruses and lockdowns left them unemployed, homeless and nearly devastated. And now about 14 crores middle-class families have also been associated with them. According to research, their savings will end by the end of July. That is, they will be poverty-stricken.

A recent survey shows that 84 per cent of the households have suffered severe loss of income after lockdown. They are living on their savings right now. By the end of this month, with the increase in rains, many middle-class families will fall into the category of destitute.

They will also be unable to spend on treatment or meet basic family needs. They will have to leave the rented house, sell their goods and borrow money at such a rate, which will become impossible for them to repay later. They are also worried pensioners who relied on interest from the bank, as banks have reduced interest rates.

Those who counted on their children working abroad are also trapped because their children have lost their jobs or lost wages. Meanwhile, the prices of petrol and diesel are continuously increasing, while the prices should have been reduced based on the global trend. This is going to make everything expensive.

Overall, the pace of the wave is not stopping and more and more people will continue to drown. The government is refusing to provide cash in their hands, as some other countries are doing. These are the new untouchables. Nobody has time for these and the government has the least interest in their future or prospect. Instead, govt is making hefty policies of millions for billions, which will never reach out to these people.

An economy that was ready for a better future, is being wrecked.

Free Spine for those who don’t have one!

DOWRY: A CURSE FOR SOCIETY

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On Prima facie, this matrimonial advertisement published in a daily national newspaper bears testimony to the fact that marriage in Indian society has undergone a transformation. But while going deep into the root of the matter, we find out that no matter how marriage proposals have undergone a transformation, from arranged one to advertisement to the online matrimonial application, dowry system which is not seen in any of the forms but is still under the practice of ‘give and take.’ In many societies, the union of souls is not the sole criterion for marriage, rather dowry plays the role of ‘requisite criteria.’

So what is dowry? Dowry is the money, goods or estate that a woman brings to a marriage. In a court judgement “The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961’’ legal definition of dowry is defined as:-
“Dowry” in the sense of the expression contemplated by Dowry Prohibition Act is a demand for property or valuable security having an inextricable nexus with the marriage, i.e., it is a consideration from the side of the bride’s parents or relatives to the groom or his parents and/or guardian for the agreement to wed the bride-to-be.

Although Dowry is illegal in India by the Dowry Prevention Act 1961, it is still prevalent and widely practised in many societies.
Pertaining to the history of the dowry system in India different scholars claim different things based on interpretation of ancient Sanskrit fiction and inconsistent smritis from India. The Shastras, the reservoirs of Indian culture and heritage is replete with references to the practices of dowry. The marriage hymns of Rigveda and Atharveda are its instances. The Smritis have recognized the right forms of marriage. It was only in Brahmin marriage and the gifts to be given in dowry were left entirely at the discretion by the bride’s father.
Al-Biruni further claims that a daughter, in 11th century India had legal right to inherit from her father, but only a fourth part of her brother. The daughter took this inheritance amount with her when she is married, claimed Al-Biruni, and she had no rights to take income from her parents after her marriage or to any additional inheritance after her father’s death. If her father died before her marriage, her guardian would first pay off her father’s debt, then allocate a fourth of the remaining wealth to her upkeep till she is ready to wed, and then give the rest to her to take along with herself after her marriage. (source: Wikipedia)

The idea behind the dowry system was very clear. Brides’ parents used to give money, land, assets, to the bride as a gift or blessing. But when British Rule came into the picture, they restricted women to own any property. Women were not allowed to buy any property, land, or assets. This leaves women dependent upon their husbands and in-laws, who keep the dowry when she marries. In 1956, India gave equal legal status to daughters and sons among Hindu, Sikh and Jain families, under the Hindu Succession Act (India grants its Muslim population the Sharia derived personal status laws). Despite the new inheritance law, dowry has continued as a process whereby parental property is distributed to a daughter at her marriage.

CURRENT SCENARIO
The magnitude of the problem of dowry today is to be assessed not only on the basis of money/goods, land etc given by brides family but also on grounds of reported cases of different forms of violence on a bride. These outbreaks of violence vary from burning of brides, cruelty, domestic violence against women, abetment to suicide, dowry murder, female infanticide and many more.
Although there are laws and acts which makes practising dowry illegal.


THE DOWRY PROTECTION ACT 1961
This legislation came into force from 1 July 1961. This act prohibits the practice, request, payment or acceptance of a dowry by either party to a marriage. This law also punishes demanding and advertising dowry. Any violation of the act leads to imprisonment up to 5 years plus fine of up to Rs 15000 or the value of the dowry given, whichever is true.

There are also sections in IPC that deal with dowry like:-
Section 304B
It is related to dowry deaths
Stipulates that death of a woman within 7 years of her marriage by burns or bodily injury with evidence of cruelty or harassment by her husband or his relatives in connection with dowry demand is ‘dowry death’ and punishable with imprisonment for not less than 7 years.

Section 406
Related to the recovery of streedhan (It is what a woman claim as her own property within a marital household. It may include jewellery, gifts, and dowry articles.)
It is Non-bailable and cognizable offence.

Section 498A
For any act of cruelty, imprisonment of husband or his relative for up to 3 years plus fine.
It is also Non-bailable and Non-compoundable(once a case is lodged there can’t be a compromise)

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,2005
It was passed in order to provide a civil law remedy for the protection of women from domestic violence in India.
It encompasses all forms of physical, verbal, emotional, economic and sexual abuse and forms a subset of the anti-dowry laws to the extent it is one of the reasons for domestic violence.

Despite such stringent laws and acts which are in force, Dowry practice is prevailing. In 2019, 913 cases pertaining to dowry deaths have been reported. And this is the number of reported cases. In Bengaluru, only the number of cases filed under the Dowry Prohibition Act witnessed a rise from 690 in 2018 to 739 in 2019.

Consequences of the dowry system
This system of dowry has solidified its root in our society that it is seen as a form of prestige in Indian marriages. The more dowry means more respect to the grooms family. Dowry or the amount of money given as dowry is proportional to the groom’s income. It is very clear that dowry is creating violence. Apart from this, sometimes brides’ parents have to lend money to give a huge amount of money demanded as dowry by the groom’s side. There are other ill consequences also like:-
Low Women Literacy:- In many cases girls are not allowed to pursue higher education after 12th or graduation because of the ill mentality that they have to take care of the family after marriage and from where the capital is going to be arranged for her marriage if all savings will be invested in her education.
Female Foeticide:- In the avarice of dowry, and because our society gives more preference to the boys, female foeticide takes place. Although Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal gender screening or testing are illegal in India by Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994.
Gender Discrimination:- Dowry coupled with female foeticide is the leading reason to gender discrimination and low sex ratio in India.
Violence against women:- Domestic violence, marital rape, physical and verbal abuse, torturing of women etc. There are many forms of violence which took place and still unreported either due to lack of knowledge or suppressed voices because few women try to save the sanctity of marriage which never really existed.

It should also be noted here that there are also false cases of harassments reported and these laws and acts are being misused as it happened in case of Nisha Sharma Dowry case in which IPC 498A was misused. But this does not show that every case or violence pertaining to dowry is false or fabricated.

So, Dowry is the tool of harassment and inhuman expression out of the coalescence of processes and relationship which are degrading women turning them into commodities. The central message of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and honour” only echoes a hollow concern. Be it in democracy or dictatorship, war or peace, women’s rights have been violated daily, systematically. Their freedom, dignity and parity are persistently compromised by law and customs.

WAY FORWARD
The dowry system developed from India’s inheritance laws in which it is the mentality of people that Dowry is a form of inheritance which the bride brings along with her to the groom family. Law and acts should be made enforceable on the ground, not on paper only.
All groom need to take a step up and say “NO” to dowry as they can be a milestone in abolishing this dowry system. Boys need to convince their parents that they will not take dowry. They should have the confidence to earn for their living.
Parents must educate their daughters so that they can have dignity and become self-dependent or start earning which will make them financially stable and courageous. A well-educated girl will also be able to compete against any turmoil or raise her voice against the mishaps.
All the expenses of marriage must be shared by both families according to their own capability.
People must give encouragement to simple marriages without taking/giving dowry.
Dowry is a social stigma that can be removed with all our contributions and awareness. It will take time to abolish but it can happen if preferred.

There is a very well known quote- “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of a woman is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.
There is no hope for that family or country where there is no estimation of women, where they live in sadness. For this reason, they have to be raised first.”
– Swami Vivekanand.

Vitriolage

Kitna achha hota agar acid bikta hi nai, bikta hi nai to phir fikta bhi nai!!” – Chhapak


This famous dialogue from a Bollywood movie clearly depicts the pain and hopelessness of a victim when she was being attacked for nothing but denial. It clearly shows how insensitive and callous we have become as a society.

Acid attack is one of the most gruesome and brutal crime. Most of the acid attack victims are women. Men have also been the preys, but they’re minimal in numbers compared to the women. Section 326A & 326B in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) lays down the punishment for acid attacks. The minimum punishment is 10 years’ imprisonment which can be extended up to life imprisonment along with a penalty. But this punishment is not enough for such criminal minds who think it is okay to distribute, torture or kill an innocent person if she is refusing his so-called lusty love, or they can’t digest a marriage refusal. Conflicts regarding property or land disputes have also been reported as reasons for acid attacks. Attacks against individuals are also based on their religion and religious beliefs or socio-political activities.

The crime data for 2018 from the National Crime Bureau (NCRB) exhibits, the cases of acid attacks are constantly being transferred and delayed even though there are fast-track courts to handle these cases but unfortunately they do not seem fast enough!

Why do they take months and years to pronounce a decision?
Why can’t they declare the verdict in such cases as soon as possible? So that the attackers at least fear the law before committing such heinous crime.

If nearly 90% of cases in a year are being transferred for trial to the following year, how can a survivor get justice or can even hope for it?
This is shown by the data; in Indian courts, 523 cases were slated for trial in 2018 which are adding to the 407 cases in 2016 and 442 in 2017. Many such cases of acid attacks occur but never get filed because in multiple cases, settlements are done outside the courts or several other factors come into play like class, caste, power, religion, etc.

The percentage of cases that the courts cleared out of the cases that went for the trial, was 6.6% (27 cases out of 407) in 2016; 9.9% (44 cases out of 442) in 2017 and 6.11% (32 cases out of 523) in 2018 respectively.
The total number of cases of acid attacks that police investigated dropped consistently- 196 cases in 2016, 182 in 2017 and 150 in 2018.
While the attempt to commit such sin has increased in the last three years. The growth of the conviction rate is almost negligible. 2.45 per cent cases in 2016, 3.39 per cent in 2017 and 3.36 per cent in 2018 respectively.
Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have been reporting the most number of acid attack cases in between 2016 and 2018 as per the NCRB data.

India, the country with the most number of acid attacks has the least number of convictions, even less than 5%. At least one case of acid attack takes place daily in India.
Supreme Court has ordered all the state governments to regulate the sale of acid in an attempt to stop or at least reduce these crimes. The court said that acid should not be sold to anyone below the age of 18, and that too only to the person who shows a valid identity card. And if anyone doesn’t follow the rules it will be a non-bailable offence. But all these rules and regulations are found to be just in paper. Anyone can still walk into a store and purchases a bottle of acid. The non-bailable charges also have loopholes through which the attackers get through easily and roam around freely while the victims undergo reconstructive surgeries and are bound to visit hospitals after hospitals.
The pathetic thing is that with a bottle of liquid that would cost a demon just Rs.10, he can degrade anyone’s life within seconds.

ESP- Extra Sensory Perception


Telepathy- communication without communicating! Is it possible?


This is often regarded as unrealistic, and it may sound absurd as if someone is making these perceptions in its own head. But, recent researches suggest that it is possible and it’s effective in many ways. Many studies assert that one can read minds as we have neurons functioning as mechanical mirrors. It has also been said that telepathic connection is not only restricted to humans, animals and birds can also communicate via this. Considering the wheeling flock of birds as a representation, it is said that the thought of all the birds is parallel and it could possibly be because of their telepathic connection that we witness them darting and wheeling together through the sky.

Telepathy has been derived from two Greek words: Tele meaning distant and pathos meaning feeling, perception, experience, etc.
There is no adequate evidence to prove its existence but one cannot overlook it completely and that’s why telepathy falls under the category of pseudoscience. There are statements, shreds of evidence and hypotheses that claim telepathy to be both, scientific and factual but it’s inefficacious to pass the scientific protocol.

There is an infamous example of a magician and mentalist Washington Irving Bishop, who used to perform ‘thought reading’ which we now call telepathy. He was examined by a group of scientists including the psychologist Francis Galton. Bishop performed several feats diligently like identifying a spot on a table or locating a hidden object. For this he required physical contact with a subject who knew the correct answer, he would hold the hands of the helper and give his answers. Still, the scientists concluded that the Bishop was trained in skill to detect ideomotor movements (a psychological phenomenon in which a subject makes motions unconsciously) and was not a telepath.

There are certain examples as well where people tried to bluff others for having the psychic ability.
E.g: In the late 19th century the Creery Sisters (Mary, Alice, Maud, Kathleen and Emily) were tested by the Society of Psychical Research and believed to have some genuine psychic ability. But later during an experiment, they were found to be fraudulent and they confessed that they were using signal codes.

There have been hundreds of incidents and experiments throughout the ages which at first seemed to prove the existence of telepathy. But when reviewed or explored further they came out to be flawed or observational. Some showmen tricked their audience with the information received about them before their show began.

Some experiments were not approved because the subjects were husband and wife, so it was claimed that an intuitive wife would know how her husband thinks or reacts to a situation. This experiment was performed by an American writer Upton Beall Sinclair on his second wife Mary Craig Sinclair. She tried to replicate 290 pictures drawn by her husband. Mr Sinclair claimed that she successfully copied 65 of them, 155 were partially successful and 70 were failures.

Just like the existence of God which is controversial for Science, it believes in the presence of supernatural power, energy or entity but can’t depict its physical appearance hence doubts it; telepathy has always been a mystery and has become even more mysterious and exciting for the modern generation. As we have heard or read in many books written by philosophers like Vivekananda and many more that how ancient Gurus could communicate by clairvoyance, just by their thoughts and senses. Just like our modern communicating devices like computer and its medium, the internet. Today scientists are trying their best to understand and acquire this skill like we have understood hypnotism which is very resourceful in medical science now. But just like everything else telepathy has its vices and virtues too. By reading one’s mind and further controlling it we can use this skill to help a person to deal with difficult situations such as depression, mental illness, negative thoughts, etc. But if it becomes easy to access, people with criminal mentality can use it for the worst of things.

As per me, if it becomes attainable by mankind, people are either going to control their own sensitivities or to control everyone else as per their own discretion. And for the worst, we can end up being robots!

The same ‘piece’ of every puzzle!

How fair is it to say that cricket has strangled other sports?

Despite the numerous irregularities in cricket, the level of the game prevailed while the other sports which remained under the government, their irregularities rose up to such serious deck that the game itself went into the abyss.

Cricket’s popularity in India has long been cited as a threat to other sports. There is also a section which believes that the popularity of cricket is a product of corporate houses. Cricket is a game of corporate and power, and it is played to benefit them. Therefore, this game should be resisted and its popularity should not be allowed to become intoxicating, otherwise, the ‘silverware‘ of corporate and controlling people will be lost.

But if you consider, every game has turned into a corporate one. From football to hockey, badminton, wrestling, tennis, kabaddi, corporate houses interfere in all these sports.
Are the Premier Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi League, Pro Wrestling League being held without corporate intervention?
Then why to oppose corporate interference in cricket?

Various sports associations of the country which are under the government, all have the intervention of corporate bodies and leaders. In every union, they hold large positions. Allegations of economic rigging are going on in the courts within the sports association. Corruption in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is not hidden from anyone. It is said that the BCCI has got the disease of corruption, disease; that for several years till now, the Sports Ministry has not been able to implement the Sports Code in the sports associations which falls under it. Because the sports associations do not want to do, the vested interests of their officials are coming in the way. More than half of the sports associations of the country have been disbanded because of the same.

Consider the boxing federation, players enter the Olympics but not with the Indian flag, because our federation does not have the recognition of the International Boxing Association. It is just because there is corruption, there is government intervention, there is opacity.

Instead of making cricket evitable on account of the corporate interference in it, the need is to understand why this shift happened!
After all these, why the corporate houses were successful in getting entry into the games and the games rely on them? It went on because the government failed to encourage sports.

Football was supported by the government. The Indian football team played the Olympics, but where does India stand today? It has come a long way over five decades. After participating in the Olympics, we had to get up from the ground and reach the sky, but we reached Hades. Football has been gulped by the government machinery.

Basketball has become the wrestling arena of Congress-BJP in the country today. Players are searching for a future outside the country. The role of the Sports Ministry itself is questionable in the whole matter.

Weightlifting is under detention and the association itself is involved in it, according to a coach associated with weightlifting association himself. But what policy did the government make to prevent doping in weightlifting? If a coach made such serious allegations, then was it investigated?

A similar system ate hockey. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) also reveals irregularities. Who can even forget the Commonwealth scam!

We can say that when the government could not handle the games, the corporate bodies interfered. The Games needed them to raise their standards.  Today, almost every well-known athlete is playing under the mercy of some corporates. They are sponsoring them and earning through their popularity. That’s why not only cricket is the game of hegemony and corporate, all sports have become the same.

The only good thing with cricket is that despite the irregularities, the level of the game is retained.

Help!!

Is the central government again going to demand funds from RBI?
Corona crisis has a profound impact on revenue collection.


Amidst the ongoing Corona crisis in the country, the news is coming that the Central Government can once again demand funds (money) from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its urgent expenses. In fact, the government can also do so because the Corona epidemic has had a profound impact on revenue collection and is facing difficulties in meeting its regular expenses. In such a situation, it can ask the RBI directly to buy government bonds or ask for financial help in the form of a dividend.

According to the news published in the Economic Times, the coronavirus epidemic has had a major impact on the revenue of the government. The government’s budget has increased to 7 per cent of GDP. According to one estimate, this is the highest in two decades. Quoting Sabyasachi Kar, a New Delhi-based professor of public finance and policy (RBI chair), the newspaper has written that taking measures to reduce losses would be the right step. If the government spends, only then demand will arise in the economy.
Sabyasachi Kar said that central banks from America to Japan are helping their governments in combating the corona epidemic. This is also seen in emerging markets. This week, the central bank in Indonesia has agreed to buy billions of dollars of bonds directly from the government. However, countries with emerging economies have their own risks. This can affect inflation, currency and central bank autonomy.

In India, RBI cannot buy bonds directly from the government in primary markets. There is a provision in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, but this law is allowed to do so under special conditions. This can be done in an atmosphere of national emergency or too much economic lethargy. Although the RBI has made some purchases of bonds in the secondary market so far, it has not said yet how it will implement the plan to raise Rs 12 lakh crore of borrowings for the government in this financial year.

RBI works for the central government to raise debt from the market. Right now banks are investing in government bonds with the hope that the central bank will buy these bonds later. Right now, banks have a lot of cash and on the other hand, loan demand is limited. Because of this situation, they have invested their money in government bonds.  Investors of banks in government bonds reached Rs 41.4 lakh crore on June 19. This is 13 per cent additional, compared to the end of March.

It is worth noting that due to the autonomy of the Reserve Bank and the demand of Rs 3.6 lakh crore from RBI’s Reserve Fund by the Government, there was a fierce battle in the month of October-November of 2018. As a result, on 10 December 2018, the then RBI Governor Urjit Patel had to resign his post. After his resignation, the government appointed Shaktikanta Das as the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

Actually, the pull of 2018 was not just between the government and the RBI. It was the same at the level of fiscal policy and monetary policy in the economy. Fiscal policy and monetary policy have different effects on the economy. The Reserve Bank was established under the Reserve Bank of India Act. The central bank runs its monetary system through this act. Under Section 7 of the same Act, the government issues an order to the RBI if it considers it necessary to discuss any important issue.

Inaccessible or Untouchables?

There is more to this existence than meets the eye!

Our economy is being ruined between inefficient government and sluggish opposition, if the situation does not improve then we will become the new ‘Untouchables.’


Untouchability has been a stigma for our country for centuries. Ambedkar, who fought for his whole life, claimed that there is enough evidence to suggest that it has been going on since 400 BC and it has always been the way of Indians to live.
This is the reason why devout Hindus on one hand and committed inclusionist Gandhi, on the other hand, believed that it is good for us to end this deadly practice. And Nehru, who relied on social justice, had said that India will never reach its true height until we end the caste system and ensure equality for all Indians.

This is the motive that our constitution made untouchability illicit and considered it a punishable offence.
But is it over? No.
Untouchability is deeply ingrained in our thinking and is seen openly. Its ugliness has recently increased, which has been promoted by some political parties, who want to keep it alive to achieve ruthless majoritarianism.

Now only the lower castes, Dalits, are not suffering. In some parts of India, indigent people belonging to a particular community have become new untouchables. So in some parts, some tribes are the new untouchables, who have been left marginalized by governments to grab their land, forest and mineral wealth.

And now, after this pandemic in the country, we see a new class of untouchables is emerging. These are sick, migrant labourers, unemployed and extremely impoverished people. Their connection with the cities is broken and their villages do not want to take them back because they are unemployed and miserable and additionally there is a risk of health issues.

Today the suffering/affected people are being boycotted openly. Their wives and children are not allowed to be home quarantined as per the regulations. People are getting them out of the village, throwing them along with their family members from trains, refusing to burn in the crematorium when one dies. Dead bodies are being collected in hospital corridors. Nobody wants to accept them, not even own family. The corpses are placed next to the patients being treated. It is like a return to the fierce plague.

But, today who is the frustrated-indigent?
No, not the farmers who commit suicide every year due to poverty. Now, these dispirited poor are those who were working in our factories, offices and our homes till back in the days. It also includes small traders, food carts, autorickshaw drivers, small restaurant workers, multiplexes and security guards standing outside malls.

Viruses and lockdowns left them unemployed, homeless and nearly devastated. And now about 14 crores middle-class families have also been associated with them. According to research, their savings will end by the end of July. That is, they will be poverty-stricken.

A recent survey shows that 84 per cent of the households have suffered severe loss of income after lockdown. They are living on their savings right now. By the end of this month, with the increase in rains, many middle-class families will fall into the category of destitute.

They will also be unable to spend on treatment or meet basic family needs. They will have to leave the rented house, sell their goods and borrow money at such a rate, which will become impossible for them to repay later. They are also worried pensioners who relied on interest from the bank, as banks have reduced interest rates.

Those who counted on their children working abroad are also trapped because their children have lost their jobs or lost wages. Meanwhile, the prices of petrol and diesel are continuously increasing, while the prices should have been reduced based on the global trend. This is going to make everything expensive.

Overall, the pace of the wave is not stopping and more and more people will continue to drown.  The government is refusing to provide cash in their hands, as some other countries are doing. These are the new untouchables. Nobody has time for these and the government has the least interest in their future or prospect. Instead, govt is making hefty policies of millions for billions, which will never reach out to these people.

An economy that was ready for a better future, is being wrecked.

The Perusal of Animus!

Racism is the belief that a specific race is superior or inferior to another, that an individual’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. It means prejudice and discrimination directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity.

The idea of race was invented to magnify the differences between people of European origin and those of African descent whose ancestors had been involuntarily enslaved and transported to the Americans. By characterising Africans and their African American descendants as lesser human beings, the proponents of slavery tried to justify the system of exploitation while portraying the United States as the flag- of human freedom, with human rights, democratic institutions, unlimited opportunities and equality. Along with all these, they seemed to demand the dehumanisation of those enslaved. Source:(Britannica)

According to a “United Nation convention on racial discrimination” superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable and socially unjust. The Convention also declared that there’s no justification for racialism, anywhere, in theory, or in practice.
Yet racism has existed throughout human history. It is defined as the hatred of one person by another- or the belief that another person is less than human because of his/her skin colour, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the fundamental nature of that person. It has influenced wars and slavery, the formation of nations and legal codes. **Racism has long existed in the society, but the current sociopolitical scenario demands an analysis of one’s own position in being an apologist of this utterly discriminatory system. Examining the complexities of White racial belief proves essential in understanding how race is framed and disseminated within the dominant culture. Racism is so ingrained in the system and people’s lives that the subtle indicators of racist behavioural patterns are often ignored as humorous remarks.

Studies applying the colourblind racism approach examine the ways in which Whites use rhetoric to deny the impact of race on the everyday lives of individuals (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; Bonilla-Silva et al., 2004). This denial of privilege is one of the most problematic aspects because of which racism exists, even in the 21st century.
For dismantling this system white folks first need to acknowledge it’s existence. They need to understand that black people have their own culture, their own faith and their own being. Giving space to black people’s voices through literature, popular culture and various other platforms are the requirements. It’s been so long that white folks have been speculating about the lives of the black people, now is the time to listen and understand their experiences from their perspective.

Africa is not the dark continent which would quench the imperialist thirst of the Europeans. Its indigenous culture, customs, literature, language etc. is of as much importance as that of any other European country. Its homogenization needs to be stopped and it’s history to be recognized which was never taught and talked about in the larger social setup. The white folks need to educate themselves about the existence of Africa and it’s people in their totality and not in their distorted representation which has been there for centuries.

Does EIA need revaluation?

This year, in March, a new draft of the EIA has been proposed by the Union Government. It constitutes some complicated and argumentative changes in the rules.


What was the need to bring out this notification in the midst of the pandemic?
How are people going to take part in public consultation during this lockdown?
How will they protest if they want changes in it?
Is the government trying to lay the blame on this pandemic for their decisions?


What is EIA?
On 27th January 1994, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MEF), Government of India, under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, proclaimed an EIA notification making Environmental Clearance (EC) mandatory for expansion or modernization of any activity or for setting up new projects listed in Schedule 1 of the notification.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has proposed a draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification to replace the current one, which dates back to 2006. The EIA process is extremely important because it is the only process which is supposed to prioritize Environment safety over Economic benefits. A prior, free and informed consent of people is welcomed in it; people can ask questions about the need of the process. In this process, the project can be rejected on precautionary grounds. The values that are fundamental to the EIA process are sustainability, equity, environmental justice, accountability, transparency; it is these values that make the EIA meaningful.

But the new draft of 2020 is considered to change some of these basic values of EIA and some of the provisions are:
 Projects can receive clearance post-facto; a project operating in violation of the EPA can now apply for clearance.
 The draft says that no information on such projects shall be placed in the public domain. This list also includes all inland waterways projects.
 Violations on any project can only be reported by any government representative or the project proponent, not citizens.
Now, the EIC members typically are bureaucrats, project proponents from previous projects who do not have any environmental credential.
 Priorly the EIA report does not go directly to the decision-maker, that report is to be shared with the public. A person who may be directly affected by the report or anyone interested in knowing about its impact can participate in the public hearing. But now the Public Consultation may be cancelled owing to the local situation, i.e; if the people are protesting against a project that itself can be used to cancel Public hearing. Isn’t it a violation of our rights?
 Once the EC is granted it will be included for the lifetime in the project without any review. EC cannot be revoked even in case it violates EIA.
 The time allotted for public hearings has been reduced to speed up clearance process, this makes it difficult for people living in rural and tribal areas who are most often directly influenced by these projects. Today we have 30days notice period which is itself insufficient, now it’s been said to be reduced to 20days. The only motive behind this is that people will not be able to participate.
 Earlier buildings of 20,000sq.m or above required an environment clearance after detailed scrutiny by the state-level expert committee. Now, in this draft, it has been proposed to make it 150,000 sq.m, more than 7times if you count.

The 2020 EIA draft seems to be leaning in favour of the industries and does not take care of the environment. This is important amidst the climate crisis and the pandemic. In the last 6 years, MoEFCC has given environment clearance to 2,256 of the 2,592 received proposals. At least 49 industrial projects have been approved since the lockdown began. Some of the projects which are in question are:
• Dibang Valley Hydropower Project, Arunachal Pradesh
A 3,097 MW project is being developed by Etalin Hydro Electric Power Company Limited which comprehends the felling of 2.7 lakhs trees in the subtropical rain forests.
• Coal Mining Project in Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, Assam
The government is discussing a proposal to divert 98.59 hectares of the reserve forest in Assam for a coal-mining project. This Reserve is home to a vibrant habitat including Asian elephants, Royal Bengal tigers, Leopard, and crab-eating mongoose.
• Oil Drilling in Baghjan, Assam
In 2016, Oil India Limited decided to extend its drilling and bypassed the public hearings clause. On May 27, 2020, an oil well in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district experienced a blowout which led to a fire.
• Talabira coal mines, Odisha
The forest area has been cleared in Odisha for an opencast coal mining project. Parts of the forest have been protected over decades by the local community are now gone forever.
• Gas leakage in LG Polymers, Vishakhapatnam
In May, there was a gas leak in this company and this project didn’t have all the clearances as the company admitted this subsequently.
• A dyke at a Reliance power plant in Madhya Pradesh broke, spilling ashes over hundreds of acres of cropland, polluting the river and killing many people.

Recently the state government of Goa was caught for being engaged in fraudulence. It submitted a false report to obtain clearance for an airport near the ecologically sensitive Mopa plateau which will not only affect the vegetations or animals but also plunder the livelihood of hundreds of farmers. Even after this, no one was blamed for it. On the other hand, the EAC of MoEFCC revisited the project and issued a clearance.

Question- what is the importance of birds?

The data of the recently released State of India Birds 2020 report is extremely shocking.

Wherever you live in the country, from dense forest to desert or any other city to streets. Possibilities are you wake up in the morning and the very first thing you hear is birds’ chirping. There are a number of countries around the world where there is a vast population of birds like ours. Bird watchers have recorded 867 species of sightings so far, which includes locals as well as expatriates.

The truth is that for decades our subcontinent has welcomed migratory birds from places that are miles away like Siberia. In the Lakkundi village near Hampi, relief carvings of migratory birds can be found on the walls of the Chalukya temple which is thousands of years old. It includes goose, cranes and flamingos.

If seen, birds are remarkably acknowledged in our culture. Coming to mythology, we do not even need to be reminded which birds are the vehicle mount of the Gods or Goddesses, or which birds had impressions in the emblems of our royalty. Whether it is music or art, we can find its presence symbolically.
Every child remembers stories of birds, must remember the story of a clever crow, birds are in every story of Indians. Even India, itself was known as ‘The Golden Bird.’

However, the data of the recently released State of India Birds 2020 report is extremely shocking.  This is the detailed (first of its kind) assessment of the conservation status of birds in abundance in the country. Tens of organizations like NCF, NCBS and A Tree have come together to collect bird data in India. They have reposed great faith in the 1 crore observations of 15,500 common people who have recorded their data on the easy-to-use ‘e Bird’ platform.

According to the data, out of 867 species, 101 are highly in need of preservation, 319 in general and 442 the least. Long-term trends were considered for 261 species, of which 52 per cent, more than half, have declined since 2000 while 22 per cent of these numbers have fallen significantly. Annual trends were read for 146 species and 80 per cent of them are declining and 50 per cent are at alarming levels. This situation requires immediate attention.

We did not know the objective of our birds’ lives until the arrival of this report. We knew about selected species, such as peacock. Its situation is quite better and the number is increasing well and about Gauraiya (Sparrow), which environmentalists thought was coming to an end.

Simply because their presence in urban areas was decreasing, while in reality, their numbers are stable. This report has now revealed that migratory birds such as the Golden Plover, prey birds such as vultures and Habitat specialists such as Forest Wagtail are in great danger.
But why should we worry about them? What is the importance of these birds?

Birds play an important role in our ecosystem.  They are pollinators for other species, seed dispersers, scavengers and also sustenance for other organisms. Birds can become part of the local economy, as several people like to watch them. A growing number of bird watchers in the country have promoted ecotourism.

The truth is that human health is closely related to the well being of birds and their number is threatening. There is an English metaphor, ‘Canary in the Coal Mine’ i.e. a canary bird in a coal mine. In the old days, while going to the mine, labourers used to carry the canary bird in the mines. If the levels of methane or carbon dioxide in the mine were high and the gas reached a dangerous level, the bird would die and workers used to come out of the mine safely.

The State of India Birds Report 2020 can alert us just like this canary bird. What can we do to save our birds? We need to observe, understand and protect them. Many of you would be a bird lover or chances are that birds give you immense pleasure.  In a way, to pay their debts, you should allow a part of your garden to remain untouched so that birds can reach there and make their nest. Many species of Munia (Lonchura), Bulbul and Sunbird are flourishing around us. Try to keep water for birds in different corners at different altitudes of the garden.

Many communities in India are doing a lot for the conservation of birds, sometimes even at the cost of their livelihood. There is a special connection between the villagers in Kokrebellur, Karnataka, and the two types of bird species, the spot build pelican and the painted stork. Villagers in Pangati, Nagaland, have vowed not to kill Amur Phalkan in the past. These birds pass through that area in large numbers.

Recently, the Supreme Court has taken the initiative to direct the Government of Rajasthan to save the endangered Sarang (Herons). It’s lesser-known fact that Sarang was in the race to become our national bird while picking peacocks. Such examples can be found everywhere. Birds fill our sights with grandeur, lends peace to our souls. As a nation, we should think about what we can do to preserve India’s incredible diversity of birds. For them as well as for us.

What does empowerment/bravery have to do with gender?

Not making women Commandant Officers in the army is simply prejudice and fear of the fraternity of male officers.

The argument made by the Solicitor General in the Supreme Court that women officers of the Indian Army cannot be made as Commandants because male soldiers will not obey their orders is in fact irrational. In 1992, women were first included in the Armed Forces through the Short Service Commission. This service is of 10 years which can be extended up to 14 years.

They train in OTA Chennai and work shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. Their posting takes place at risky, rough and tough areas, whether it borders Kashmir or as a UN Peacekeeper, Libya and Congo. In areas bordering Pakistan and in the North East, there are hardly 4-5 officers and even sometimes just a sole woman officer with her male soldiers.

The question is when the head of NCC battalion of over 800 girls can be a male commandant, then why can’t a woman be the commandant of that battalion? The argument that the physical difference in women makes them less capable of the military is ridiculous. Whether the fighter is at the junior level or senior position.

There is no need for more or less muscle power anywhere. At the senior level, job profile supervision, strategy making and decision making have to be done. An order issued by the Ministry of Defense on 25 February 2019 calls for giving a permanent commission to women in the army from the date of the order. But this leaves off the demand of women who have served the country for 24-25 years and most of them have crossed 40 years of their age.

It is necessary that the policies of the government should be proposed considering those who are currently the officers in the army and should not be made considering the future. Now that the time has come for these high-ranking women officers to be given their right to serve in high positions, the appellant suspects that selective 332 women officers, who are just 4% of their entire capacity, will purloin the vacant positions at a higher level in the military. This is nothing but prejudice and fear of the fraternity of male officers.

The Army considers women officers as an effective workforce for lower-level positions which extends up to 14 years of service and considers them incompetent and unfit for the Commandant level, which is a culmination of hypocrisy. People argue that this battle is parallel to fighting against the government. But they have to understand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it clear that women should be taken for bureaucracy and all senior positions of government. The Prime Minister’s words are political volition.

It should be believed that a person’s rank or role in life should be according to integrity and merits. On the one hand, we send Captain Tanya Shergill in the Republic Day Parade to lead the contingent and on the other hand, we argue in the Supreme Court that she is not entitled to be a commandant in the army. This reflects the military’s dual policy towards its people. The fight is not against the government but against the misconception and mindset of bureaucracy.

Our women officers have suffered sentimental throbs during their 25-year job. To be sidelined despite having the ability, the lack of job security due to the ambiguous cadre status and working below the 6 batch Junior Officer affects the morale of giving 100 per cent for the service. The argument that can be made in favour of these women officers is that the mode of war in the world is changing. The world is evolving in a cyber age and even wars are not left rearwardly. Signal communication has to govern in ever-increasing adverse surroundings.

New technologies and methods of demolition are being prepared every day. And analytical skills are more than the physical ability to deal with them. Women are making missiles in DRDO and Chandrayaan in ISRO, then why can’t they command a battalion? We all know the answers to these questions. This idea needs to attain policies.

Men and women live in the same bunker in the army. Once a woman or a man joins the army, he/she is just a fighter, apart from gender. It is only the qualification that should decide their position in the service. Are women kept in the army only as fancy chunks? So that the army is not labelled as ‘men zone.’

And they only maintain a women-men ratio so that the data can be shown internationally.
How is heroism related to gender? When a woman can handle the election campaign of Srinagar, which is currently the most unstable area in the world, without being in the army, then why can’t women handle the commandant’s charge?

A woman can be second in command but not a commandant because women can perform in the army only as long as they do not hurt the ego and arrogance of men. However, when we look at the other side of the coin, there are some false feminists who have used the card of family and child care responsibility to deny the call of duty. There was a case when a female officer refused to go to Nagpur to court-martial because she had to take care of her newborn. Such excuses should be condemned.

If the Supreme Court and the government feel that women are not competent for combat or defence service because they are women, then their entry into the service should be stopped altogether. But Punita Arora, Padmavati Bandopadhyay, Mitali Madhumita, Priya Jhingan and Tanya Shergill prove all those arguments wrong. High positions are being demanded as rights, not in charity.

Don’t let self-criticism curtail your self-esteem.

Humans keep looking at their own flaws and keep condemning them. We spend a large part of our energy on this. But, is it appropriate? Every human has its own limitations.

We totally agree with the insight that comparing ourselves to others is not a reasonable thing to do. We know that every human being and its excellence differs. Similarly, we know that we are unique and extraordinary in ourselves. Everything is known to us. But despite this, why do we evaluate and compare ourselves to others?
Why do we get submerged in the thoughts like -why I’m not like him/her?
Why do we think of ourselves as inadequate and start sinking in the blues?

Why do we start questioning our own validity?  Why do we feel that we are not capable of being loved?
Why do so many people get entangled in the cords of such thoughts?

The biggest struggle of a man is with himself.  Constantly struggling with the distress that arises within oneself becomes part of his lot. We discover new flaws within ourselves by making excuses. Like – ‘Why I’m alone? I earn very little.  Why my life isn’t jovial and sociable?
Why does it make a difference in my behaviour in front of others?’
As you go deeper into such thoughts, this list gets longer and longer. And this undue pressure leaves us completely bereft of life. We do not get time to look at our specialities.

Our attention gets stuck to a fixed notch. Self-critic within us outwears our self-esteem. We start to feel hostility towards ourselves.
Currently, for the whole day either we like to eat, binge-watch tv shows, scroll down to the posts on social media or sleep. But, is it a valid existence?  Self-analysis is effective and to improve it over time is even fairer. Self-criticism isn’t that bad either but to let it take precedence over oneself is completely unacceptable.

Accept the fact that at the end of the day you are a human being and you have some limitations. And it’s not irrational.
Yes, we must strive every day to increase our potentials. But, whenever your flaws begin to dominate your existence, this mere fact should be remembered.

We compare ourselves to others. But the problem begins when you look at someone with enviousness and judgmental impressions. The need is to be neutral. With this, you might be able to appreciate and end up getting to know the person better. You will notice that as you compare yourself to someone, they are doing the same. To say that the sense of imperfection is within everyone and everyone is struggling with it.

Everyone has good and bad characteristics. You are no exception, which has some flaws.
Founder of the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them….Without knowing it, we are colouring everything, putting our spin on it all.”
He adds, “When people talk about my shortcomings, then I start feeling my strengths and affection. I realize how many things I love about myself. I like that I am alive and also trying to explore new dimensions of life.”
“Maybe the fear is that we are less than we think we are when the actuality of it is that we are much much more.”

At the moment when you are feeling weak, love yourself the most. You must have realized that when you are a sufferer of anger, anxiety or depression, the attitude of people towards you becomes different. Expecting warmth and compassion from someone at such times becomes a bit challenging. But, by changing your perspective, you can accept this change. You need to learn to cherish yourself. Learn to appreciate yourself. Sometimes this isolation gives you the opportunity for self-realization. At this time you need yourself the most.

Progress should be emphasized, not perfection

Nobody is perfect. You should focus on the quest for an evolved personality. It is more important to know how far you have come than to assess how far you have to go further. We are often worried about the journey ahead, but it is also necessary to stop and see how far we have come. And if our progress is not satisfactory, then we should reconsider our ways. It does not mean that we need to get stuck in the past, it means that we need to learn from our past experiences and prepare to enrich the journey ahead.

We know that the easier it is to say, the more difficult it is to do. But what on earth is easy to find or do? To keep making an effort is a part of the human tendency. Keep appreciating yourself and keep lifting yourself to move forward. Take a step ahead!

Silent Pandemonium!

No more silence about violence

Just a slap, but he can’t hit me” -This sentence not only reveals a dialogue of a film but also exposes the stark reality of different societies. Domestic violence is existing in almost every community in the world. The term can be classified on various grounds including some instances of violence against spouses, children or elders and transgenders. The various types of activities adopted by the attacker against the victim include physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse or deprivation, economic exploitation, abusive, taunting, etc. Domestic violence is not only a problem in developing or less developed countries, but it is also very prevalent in developed countries. Domestic violence is a reflection of our pseudo-civilized society.

Violence has no place in a civilized society. But the number of domestic violence cases reported each year underlines a worrying situation. In our country, people are being tortured behind closed doors. This shameful act of violence is also being done in rural areas, towns, cities and metros. Domestic violence across all social classes, gender, race and age groups is becoming a legacy from generation to generation. In this article, efforts will be made to find the causes of domestic violence, the impact on the society and children, and solutions to the problem.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence means any act that causes health, safety, life-threatening, economic loss and damage to a woman and child (child and girl under 18 years of age) and such damage that is unbearable and which causes grief and humiliation to the woman and child. All these are included in the scope of domestic violence.

Under the Domestic Violence Act, an aggrieved woman can prosecute any adult male, i.e can file a case against him.

Various forms of domestic violence in India

According to the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 in India, any women as a victim of domestic violence and children and girls below 18 years of age are protected. The various forms of domestic violence in India are as follows:

Domestic violence against women – giving physical pain to a woman – such as assault, pushing, stumbling, hitting something or physically hurting the woman in any other way, forcing the woman to look at pornography or pornographic images, Raping, abusing, humiliating, hurting a woman’s family and social reputation, humiliating a woman or girl, blaming her character, against her marriage will, threatening suicide, verbal abuse, etc. According to the United Nations Population Fund report, nearly two-thirds of married Indian women are victims of domestic violence and 70% of married women aged 15–49 in India are beaten, raped, or forcibly sexually abused.

Domestic Violence Against Men – There is no question on the fact that domestic violence against women is a serious and major problem, but domestic violence against men is also increasing gradually in India. The supremacy of men in society gives confidence that they are not vulnerable to domestic violence. Recently hundreds of men gathered in Chandigarh and Shimla, who sought protection and safety from domestic violence against their wives and other family members.

Domestic Violence Against Children – In our society, children and adolescents also face domestic violence. In fact, this form of violence is the second in the number of reported cases after violence against women. There is a lot of variation in the case of urban and rural areas and in the upper class and lower class families in India. It is treated as more personal in urban areas and is hidden within the fences.

Domestic Violence Against Elderly – This form of domestic violence refers to the violence against the elderly in the house committed by their children with other family members. This category of domestic violence is becoming highly sensitive in India. This includes beating up elders, asking them to do excessive household chores, not giving food etc. and keeping them separate from the rest of the family members.

Reasons for domestic violence

The main reason for domestic violence towards women is the senseless mindset that women are physically and emotionally weaker than men.

Including dissatisfaction with the received dowry, arguing with partner, refusing to make an intimate relationship, neglecting children, going out of the house at odd times without telling partner resulting in the barrage, oddities in the regular behaviour.

Indulging in extramarital affairs, not caring for in-laws, in some cases, sterility in women also lead to attacks on them by family members.

Reasons for domestic violence towards men include not following wives’ instructions, ‘insufficient men’s earnings, extramarital affairs, not helping in domestic activities’, not taking proper care of children, abusing husband and family, Sterility etc. of men.

Reasons for domestic violence with children may include disregarding parental advice and orders, poor performance in education or not being on par with other neighbourhood children, arguing with parents and other family members, etc.

The reasons for domestic violence with children in rural areas can include child labour, physical abuse or harassment for not following family traditions, forcing them to stay at home and not allowing them to go to school, etc.

In order to get money in poor families, there have been reports of parents selling body parts of retarded children. This incident shows the high level of cruelty and violence against children.

The main reasons for domestic violence against older people are the children hesitating to bear the expenses of the old parents. They torment their parents emotionally and beat them to get rid of them.

On various occasions, they are beaten up for acting against the wishes of family members. One of the most common reasons is the torture given to grab property.

Effects of domestic violence

If a person has faced domestic violence in his life, it is very difficult for him to come out of this fear. Negativity, gloom and apathy dominate the intuition of a person after he is perpetually a victim of domestic violence. It takes years for that person to return to the mainstream of a stable lifestyle.

The worst aspect of domestic violence is that the person suffering from it does not come back from the trauma. It is often seen in such cases that people either lose their mental balance or fall prey to depression.

This is the most dangerous and tragic situation of domestic violence that when the people whom we trust so much and live with -when they give us this kind of grief, the person loses faith in relationships and starts living solitarily. Many times people even commit suicide in this condition.

The most widespread effect of domestic violence is on children. CT scans show that children who have spent their lives in domestic violence shrink the corpus callosum and hippocampus part of their brain, affecting their learning, cognitive ability, and power of emotional regulation.

Children learn vicious and aggressive behaviour from their father. The effect of this can be seen in the violent acts of children towards other unstable and weak children and animals at times.

Girls learn cynical behaviour and often become submissive, silent or tend to run away from situations.

The quality of life of each person is adversely affected because the women who have been victims of violence take less part in various activities of social life.

Solution measures

According to the researchers, it is important to note that not all victims of domestic violence are aggressive. We can help them to get out of the mental turmoil of domestic violence by providing them with a better atmosphere.

India is still lagging behind in surveying, peering, understanding and trying to change the mindset of assailants. We are still largely ignoring the view propagated by experts that- “in order to end violence and discrimination against women and children in the true sense, we need to consider men not only as a reason for the problem but they’re also to be seen as an integral part of the solution to this.”

As a first step towards reform, it will be fundamental that men should be put in as a part of the scenario instead of putting it like “men against women”. It will be mandatory to promote the spirit of masculinity in a healthy way and get rid of old worn-out mould.

The Government has passed the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 from Parliament to protect women and children from domestic violence. To get the full benefit of all the provisions comprised in this law, it is important to understand who is the victim. If you are a woman and someone among relatives misbehaves with you, then you are suffering under this act.

India has become serious towards mental health by the Mental Health Act, 2017, but it needs to be made more effective. Policymakers need to develop mechanisms to provide benefits of professional mental health services to families recovering from domestic violence.

The government has launched schemes such as ‘One-Stop Centers’, which aim to facilitate and ensure their access to an integrated range of medical, legal and psychological services to help women who are victims of violence.

Vogue India launched a ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ campaign to spread awareness about violence against women, while the global human rights organization ‘Breakthrough’ launched a campaign against domestic violence. Both these campaigns were spectacular efforts made at the private level to deal with domestic violence against women.

The conclusion

If we really want to create an “India free from violence against women”, then the time has come that we, as a nation, should discuss this subject collectively. A good way could be to start a nationwide, sustained and prosperous social campaign.

Putin for life?

Russia may have command of Putin till 2036, know how it is possible.

In 1999, Indian politics was going through a period of instability. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister at that time, but he had to leave the chair within 13 months. Two months after Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin knocked into power in Russia.  Since 1999, India has seen three Prime Ministers but Putin is still the President of Russia and this sequence can continue till 2036. The people of Russia have supported the necessary constitutional amendment for Putin to remain in power till 2036 in the referendum. According to Russia’s Central Election Commission, the ballot count is almost complete and 78 per cent of the people have supported the constitutional amendment so far. On the other hand, the opposition has accused the government of disturbing the voting. Let us know that Putin’s current six-year term is ending in 2024. Russia’s constitution prescribes a two-term term for the presidency, so after 2024, Putin would have to be out of power.
Putin has been the President of Russia from 1999 to 2008 and from 2012 till now. He was also the Prime Minister of Russia in 1999 and till 2008-12. If 67-year-old Putin remains in power in Russia until 2036, then his age will be 83 years.


The date of the referendum on constitution amendment was fixed earlier on 22 April but due to the Corona epidemic, it had to be postponed.  Apart from allowing Putin to serve two terms of the president, the referendum also includes about 200 other amendments. This includes issues like guarantee pension and bans on gay marriage.  This amendment will also increase Putin’s dominance over Ukraine.
In January, when the entire cabinet of Putin, including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, resigned, there was speculation that Putin was going to make a big perversion. It is now clear that this was done to ease the process of the constitution amendment process.

Putin first became president in 1999 for the first time. He held this post after Boris Yeltsin resigned. Before joining politics, he used to work in the Soviet Union’s intelligence agency KGB.  The constitution of Russia allows the president only for two consecutive terms. Hence Putin became Prime Minister after his initial two terms.
When Putin crossed this deadline in 2008, he swapped positions with Medvedev very easily.  However, he remained in control of the government even during this.
Putin has been in power in Russia since 1999.  After Stalin, the record for the longest tenure in the name of Putin is recorded. Leader of the Opposition Alexei Navalny said in an interview that all the changes are simply giving the same message that Putin is not going to give up power in any case. After this new step, some editorial articles are also saying how stupid those people were who were talking of Putin’s farewell in 2024!

India deployed Integrated Battle Group to deal with China, know what is the speciality of these soldiers.

Tension has been building between India and China since the violent clash in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. In this violent clash, 20 soldiers of the Indian Army were killed. Meanwhile, India has deployed Mountain Corp’s Integrated Battle Group (IBG) along the Line of Control. IBG soldiers are adept at fighting in high mountainous areas.

These soldiers are especially adept at combating in the mountainous areas. These commandos are the 17th Mountain Carp Seals, specially designed to deal with China. According to sources, at least three Battle Group (IBG) of Mountain Carp are deployed on the front from India. Apart from this, there are a large number of ITBP personnel who have been trained in combat in the mountainous areas.

What is IBG or Integrated Battle Group?

Within 12 hours of the Army’s Integrated Battle Group (IBG) order, it sneaks into the enemy’s shack and strikes down. This is included in its special efficiency. This squad is prepared for every moment to deal with any situation like defence, attack or combat. It is not just a squad of specially trained commandos, but a complete unit equipped with all the sophisticated weapons of infantry, tanks, artillery, air defence, communication and warfare. It has every possible ability to thwart every adversary’ move. That is why it is called Integrated Battle Group.

To invade immediately as and when required is their greatest feature. That is, these soldiers do not require any extra time for preparation or strategy, it is only late to get orders. Its combatants are specially trained to take into account- enemy threats, geographical challenges and targets such as 3T- Threat, Terrain and Task in every area adjacent to the border. As soon as the order is received, they are ready to enter the enemy’s territory at any moment. These fighters are capable of more active and rapid action than the current striking corps.
According to sources, the soldiers of this Battle Group can also be airdropped at any place if needed. The commandos have also been trained for this and these commandos have also practised several times on the Chinese border. Sources say that the preparations of the Indian Army have received frequent backups of the Indian Air Force.

The Air Force is fully prepared to airdrop the commandos along with surveillance on the LAC. Let us know that China’s fighter aircraft and helicopters are hovering on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). These activities in China persist in the 10 km area of ​​LAC. In such a situation, India has also now prepared to respond to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in its own dialect.
According to military sources, the army has deployed the ‘Akash’ advance air defence missile system in East Ladakh to keep track of China’s fighter aircraft and helicopters on the LAC. With this, the Indian Army can easily keep an eye on the antics of China. In such a situation, if a Chinese aircraft crosses the LAC, then it will be exterminated immediately by the air defence missile system.

Sources say that on the Line of Actual Control, China has recruited large-scale climbers and martial arts fighters in its army. The Dragon has sent five such divisions to LAC.

However, according to reports in the Chinese media, these are for deployment in Tibet. But according to sources, these have been sent to LAC and deployed before June 15. After this, India has deployed Mountain Corp’s IBG (Integrated Battle Group) on the Line of Control. Not to forget that on the night of June 15, there was a bloody clash in the Galwan valley between the armies of both the countries.

IMAGE: ©BCCL

When somebody/something starts deterring you…

If prosperity, enthusiasm and courage are prevailing in life, on the other side there is always a setback. There comes a time when our inner strength begins to shatter, or at times somebody else starts smashing it.
Struggles and turmoils are a very vast part of our existence. This is the moment when we have to act with courage. There is always someone in our lives who often breaks our courage, makes us feel pathetic, after which we start losing our strength, even if we don’t want to.

We can infer this in two ways.
First, we do nothing and sit down seizing the corner which implies that we have kneeled down and we have lost our courage.
The other way is – acknowledging it as a challenge and believe that we are and we deserve better than this.

With the right attitude, think about tackling the situation. You can choose whether you want to give yourself courage or deplete it.

When any unfavourable moment arrives, we feel that there is an overcast by the dark clouds- trouble is on the way. The truth is, there is no soul which does not undergo; every person feels sorrow and happiness no matter how strong or how mindful. But the difference lies in the way of grasping it. Some of us lose courage and some face it valiantly.

Typically, we come across individuals-

-who solely utter pessimistic things to us in one whack! Like – ‘you will not do this, you will not be able to do this.’ ‘This isn’t for you.’ ‘Stop wasting time.’
Their intentions are quite clear. They have only one task – to break your morale, to thwart you, make you dodge your determination.

What should be done in such a situation?

There are two ways to circumvent, first, keep a distance from such people or confront them- it might seem absurd but whenever somebody tries to besiege you with cynical things, you simply start ‘smiling’ within yourself. That way you are strengthening yourself!

It is just because you know that you have identified such an individual – and that realization should make you laugh! You won’t lose your confidence that way. Now, carry such circumstances positively, no one will dare break your solidity.

-who aren’t concerned about you at all, or don’t have anything to do with you or your life, but they just like talking about you or make fun because they just enjoy doing it!

They have no personal enmity with you, they only ‘enjoy’ speaking low of you and like doing tittle-tattle.

Sadly, you can do nothing but ignore them. Because for them, you’re merely a source of entertainment!

If you ever run into them and get a chance to mock yourself, do it!
Laugh with them and make them laugh! Take it sportingly.
Chances are, it won’t happen again.
Think of how many stand-up comedians make fun of themselves and make us laugh. Have we ever made fun of them? Not at all, but we end up being an admirer.

And then exceptionally, there are few people who are courteous and rational. Acknowledge them. Although they will show your shortcoming, their intention is not to scramble your courage but to make your path easier by manifesting your stumbling block.
You don’t have to avoid such people, rather you have to learn.

It’s all about recognizing the difference between the perceptions of others and perspectives of own.

Job is lost, not the mastership!

Get the ‘tasks’ of your own!

You’ve lost your job but you are still in the possession of your skills.

“Unemployed, what to do now?”
“From where to start?”
“I can’t find anything else to do!”
It’s better to ponder over the strategies to get a job instead of spoiling the mood following such qualms.
Stop worrying, start learning something new. Because it’s just the scepticisms talking!

Many fundamental tasks at home must have been hung back, caused by unemployment. But it does not mean that all the portals are closed.
You have got time to think something raw, something fresh and to do something new as well. Then why not to do the enhancement of your skills?
First and foremost, start making a plan to control the expenditures and start executing it at your earliest convenience.
You can do anything you want to do. Just think ahead about what to do.

Think of ahead, what do you want to do


It happens many times that we stay in a job despite the fact that it is bearing no interest. Or say that we never really wanted to do.

Co-founder of a career assessment – ‘Map My Talent’, Rohit Sehgal says, “About 80% of employees believe that they are stuck in their jobs which actually is not for them.”


So you seek such a job that interests you.
For that, if you need to do any course or get enrolled in any program of two or three months, just go for it.
Can do work from home or would like to start something of your own, considering all these aspects, search for a new job.

“Don’t Worry About Job Burn-Out. Worry About Job Boredom.” -Darius Foroux

Learn something new

HR consultant, Nirmala Menon says, “You’ve to remember one thing that whether the company has fired you or you’ve left the job, no matter what’s the case with you, your skills are still lodging in there!”
Instead of being disappointed, think about the ways in which you can reinforce your skills.
Due to lockdown, you’ve got enough time to train yourself to be a multitasker. If you want to learn something new, then choose the hi-tech way! Choose your desired online course from a list of choices and join online programs. (‘Modern problems require modern solutions!’)

Don’t flatten the graph of evolution

Networking is constructive


A survey of Yale University claims that 70% of jobs are available through the networks only.
So you need to find a new networking strategy.
You need to be active on social media platforms. Keep your revamped profile on job providers or search engines, particularly for jobs like LinkedIn and other job sites.
If you are looking for a job in marketing, then you can join the space of global marketing and communication professionals on LinkedIn.
Stay connected to your seniors and ex-colleagues. Discuss and swap viewpoints, seek pieces of advice.
Thrive the flexibility of decision-making as per the requirement of time.
Don’t think twice about challenging yourself otherwise you’d stop evolving.

Still in denials!

Art of discovering!

On Tuesday, within one day, the highest number of new cases of coronavirus was recorded in the U.S. The stretch of this pandemic has marked off over 100 days and during this period, 23 million people in America have got the infection, out of which about one lakh twenty thousand people have lost their lives. More than any other country in the world. The situation of the primary centres like New York and New Jersey is now under control. But in the meantime, multiple new hotspots have emerged such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona.

Here, the number of daily cases is increasing and the whole world is also taking cognizance of this. European Union is deeming such restrictions on travelling, which will obstruct the access of Americans in any country of the European Union because America has proven to be a failure to deal with the pandemic. But any of this chain of events, could not stop the denial of the White House.
White House is in this state from the very beginning.

Last week, in an article, written for the Wall Street Journal, vice president Mike Pence termed the second wave of the infection as ‘exaggerated’.
On Tuesday, Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading specialist in the contagious disorders told a House panel that America is yet to overcome its first wave and second is coming anytime sooner. It’s possible that we may not be able to deal with it.
We are still in the midst of the transition-explosion.

President Trump’s statements are no longer shocking. They spent weeks in underestimation and risked the virus, and said that it will fade away with the arrival of Spring!
But the facts and figures are in front of everyone now. Some companions of the President are also acknowledging reality. But Trump still appears to be in the mood for gags and jeering at the note to cut down on the testing of cases.
If the number of tests is lessened, the number of cases may be recorded less but the number of demises will undoubtedly increase.

Diesel being costlier

Crack in the limping bone!

Prices of petrol and diesel have been increasing continuously for 18 days and it was drawing attention but what alarmed more was diesel’s price.

In Delhi and its nearby areas, diesel is now about 12 paise costlier than petrol. Why did this happen?

The biggest reason for this is the unevenness of the tax. Petrol is still expensive than diesel in the country but due to a higher toll on diesel in Delhi, the price has outpaced petrol. For now, we should endeavour so that the difference between petrol and diesel remains unchanged. We need to think back to the time when the price between diesel and petrol used to have a marginal gap between 20 to 30 rupees. The difference was because the use of diesel usually occurs in heavy vehicles for irrigation, riding or freight. The prices of diesel were handled by the governments because the price of diesel and the upshot of its hike was on the farmers and inflation. It is favourable for the economy to keep the gap between these two fuels.

It should be noted that private passenger vehicles that run on diesel also cost more than petrol vehicles, owing to the same reason the similarity between petrol and diesel’s price is even against our own vehicle policy.
By keeping the prices high in Delhi, customers can turn to states like Uttar Pradesh. In that case, Delhi itself will have to uplift the loss of revenue. Delhi and it’s neighbouring U.P has the difference by rupees 8.

So the effort should be to create a logical difference between the prices of petrol and diesel. It is also to be seen that there should not be much difference in the state-wise prices.
Seeing India as a whole economic unit is needed. In industrial sectors, even the difference between 10 and 20 paise counts. So the difference in state-wise prices should not exceed 50p or 1 rupee.

People do not understand the tax planning of governments but they definitely get upset to see that in Delhi if it is 79.76 rupees, so how is it for rupees 86.54 per litre in Mumbai?

The government should also notice oil companies. After keeping the prices stable for up to 82 days these companies are increasing the prices continuously from June 7, and there is a possibility of a hike in the coming days as well. International oil prices have already begun to rise.

It should be taken into consideration that in just 18 days, increment in the price which is approx rupees 10 is not good for the economy, hoping for improvement. The subsidy which is being given to the industrial world in this crucial time, it may so not happen that a large amount of economic support through petrol and diesel, gets snatched away from people.

At this time revenue is necessary for the government but that should be logical. Oil companies have been given the power to decide the price according to the cost but the increment should not happen in such a manner that everyday budget starts deteriorating.
It is important to take care of that selling oil for profit is not their only job, they will also have to think about the stability and strength of the economy of our country.

Why ‘social distancing’ is arduous to follow?

How it’s hard, the history of human civilization has one clear picture to reflect

At times, we see catchphrases behind the trucks. One of them we catch the most is ‘Keep distance’.
During this period of the pandemic COVID-19, we are coming across the same consistently- Keep Distance!
We are seeing that people are averting the crowds, staying at a distance in gatherings and advising the very thing to follow.
As we know that it’s a global threat and in such case, the only way to avoid it is following the sole idea of being distant.

For the management of any contagious malady, apart from the medications and treatments, the idea of social distancing has been prevailing in nature and historical human civilization for a long time.
Even animals like chimps, bats and various insects become remote from the ailing of their own species.
It is believed that in the history of humans, to isolate the ailing person was first and foremost cited in the Bible (Leviticus 13:46) –  “46as long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.”

In human history, every epidemic witnessed ‘social distancing’ and it has traditionally been followed in human civilization.
When the past record and nature, both exhibit the same convention, then why it’s so difficult for us to obey it now?

History asserts that human beings have always existed in groups, have cared for each other and shared with each other.
We, humans, are developed to be designated as administrators on the Earth because of our patterns of working together, in communities and helping out each other to perform a certain task.
This is why we are yearning for such activities, to do whatever we used to do before the current scenario. Like school, college, hanging out with friends, movies, restaurants or travelling.

In this epoch of social distancing, the sentiment of staying close to people and staying together seems far off. We are even apart from the ones who need us. Social distancing is contrary to our core tendency hence it’s strenuous.

We have swivelled towards the Internet and social media in the wake of this new normal!
Nevertheless, we aren’t detached socially even if we’re sequestered.
Previously, we were condemning Internet for making people anti-social but currently, it has brought us together. Be it via video conferences or chat groups.

This isn’t the world we’ve been living in, not the habits we’ve been living with, we wouldn’t even have any intention to be in such a world for the unpredictable stretch.
With this hope that all adversities will culminate one day, we need to follow the tagline truly that we often find behind the truck!

History and Nature, both imply that social distancing is the absolute best way to deal with such a wave.
However, this foisted ‘social distancing’ will thrive the value of human interactions and propinquity within us.
Hopefully, it will prevail as it’s forever legacy.

PM launches employment scheme for migrant workers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an employment scheme for migrant workers, saying that during the coronavirus-induced lockdown the talent from cities returned to villages and it will now give a boost to development in rural areas.

Launching the ‘Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan‘, Modi said there are some people who may not appreciate efforts of villagers in the fight against the novel coronavirus but he applauds them for their efforts. The way villages have fought coronavirus has taught a big lesson to the cities, he added.

Talent has returned from cities during the lockdown, those whose labour and skills were behind the rapid growth of cities will now boost development of villages with the help of this scheme, he said. Underlining that migrant workers were always in the Centre’s thoughts during the lockdown, the prime minister said it is an endeavour of his government that workers get jobs near their home and help in development of villages.

Talking about infrastructure development of villages with the help of this scheme, Modi said that for the first time the Internet was being used more in villages than in cities and now work to increase the speed of the Internet was being undertaken. This scheme will focus on durable rural infrastructure and providing modern facilities like Internet in the villages, he said.

The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan was launched by Modi via video conference in a village in Katihar district of Bihar in the presence of chief ministers of five states — Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand — and a minister from Odisha. The scheme with an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore will be implemented on mission mode in 125 days in 116 districts of the six states to which the maximum number of the migrant workers have returned.

The mission will be a convergent effort between 12 different ministries/ departments such as Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport and Highways, Mines, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, New and Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom, and Agriculture. It will help expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and those related to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.

These 25 works are related to rural housing for the poor, plantations, provision of drinking water through Jal Jeevan Mission, and construction of panchayat bhavans, community toilets, rural mandis, rural roads, cattle sheds and anganwadi bhavans, according to the Ministry of Rural Development, which is the nodal ministry for the project. The basket of a wide variety of works will ensure that each migrant worker is able to get an opportunity of employment according to his skill in the coming 125 days, it said, adding that the programme will also prepare for expansion and development of livelihoods over a longer term. Before launching the scheme, Modi spoke to several migrants and enquired their current state of employment and also whether the various welfare schemes launched during the lockdown period were available to them.

Modi expressed satisfaction and said that earlier, money used to be given in the name of beneficiaries but it never reached them but now things have changed. In the beginning of his speech, Modi paid homage to the soldiers of the Bihar Regiment who lost their lives in a violent clash with Chinese troops at LAC in eastern Ladakh. Officials said Garib Kalyan Rozgyar Abhiyan is separate from the MGNREGS.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) ensures 100 days of employment per household in an year. MGNREGS is applicable across the country and a large number of works are allowed under the scheme even working on own farms by small Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe farmers is allowed and government pay wages to them. Whereas the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana is a one-time scheme for providing employment to migrant workers who returned during the lockdown near their villages.

This scheme is only applicable to 116 districts with a selected list of works initially for 125 days. Later it could be extended, the officials said.

Source: PTI

Susceptibility doesn’t attract pitfalls

The best aspect of being human is to be able to connect with other humans. We are hardwired for it. We live in clans and families, work in unions, love as mates and thrive in camaraderies. The urge to connect is in all of us whether we concede it or not.
We are witnessing more loneliness, despairs, broken relationships and disconnections. What is going on?
Susceptibility is the driving force of connection. It is intrepid and tender. It is difficult to connect without it.
However, we have turned it into a drawback.
We have made ourselves ‘strong’. We have toughened up, hardened up and preserved ourselves from being hurt. We have safeguarded ourselves from vulnerability and refused to surrender. Here is the problem. When we close down our vulnerability we are shielded from hurt, but we are also shielded from love, intimacy and connection. They come to us through the same door. When we close it to one, we close it to all.
Without vulnerability, relationships struggle. Vulnerability is, Here I am – my frayed edges, my secrets, my fears, my affection. Be careful – they’re precious. In return, it invites, I see you there. It’s okay, you’re safe. It builds trust, proximity and a sense of belonging. Relationships won’t thrive without it.
Vulnerability is the openness to experiences, people and uncertainty. It’s terrifying at times, and brave enough always. 

Occasionally we get hurt. Relationship pain is an unavoidable part of being human. When it happens it can steal you. But we can see this for what it is – a mismatch of people, a redirection, learning, a happening – or we can take it as a warning and protect ourselves from the possibility of being hurt again. In this case, we make the decision to not be vulnerable.
We shut it down. By shutting down to the risks of being vulnerable, we also shut down to the possibilities – the possibility of joy, intimacy, closeness, gratitude and connection.

Listen to and move towards what you really want. It’s that voice that speaks from intuition, experience and things unsaid. It’s the signal, sometimes faint sometimes not, to love openly and honestly and receive it gratefully. And to walk away when it’s gone. Move towards what you want and be vulnerable to the risk – it’s the bravest thing you’ll do. When you live with heart, you’ll feel when there’s something missing, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

What would you do if you could act without fear of shame? Would you change jobs? Follow your passion? Tell someone you love them? Tell someone you miss them? Expect more for yourself? Get rid of relationships that hurt? Fight harder for the relationship you’re in? You can’t trust that there won’t be rejection and disappointment, but you can trust that you’ll cope with it if it happens – which you will. What’s harder to live with is teetering around the edges of something that feels important, wanting more but never dropping the guard enough – being vulnerable enough – to let it in.

Question your beliefs. Sometimes we believe things for so long they just settle in and stay. Challenge whether or not they’re still working for you. What could happen if you open up, take a chance, let yourself be vulnerable? Too often behaviour is driven by the need to avoid shame – the need to avoid receiving any proof that you’re not worthy of love, connection and receiving what you’ve asked for.  The more you think you’re not worthy, the more you’ll act as though it’s true and the more you disconnect. What if you believed you were worth the connection? The risk of not being received is always there, but this is no reflection of any unworthiness in you.

As explained by Brene Brown, people with a strong sense of love and belonging believe that vulnerability is a necessity. They believe that within their vulnerabilities are the things that make them beautiful and they’re right. Vulnerability is the key to correlate because it is the courage to be open to another human. It’s saying the words that are clutching within. It’s opening yourself up to somebody getting closer. It’s letting them know. It’s giving without expectation or agenda and receiving with an open heart.

Increasingly we are living in a fixit world. We have little tolerance for uncertainty or discomfort and tend to move quickly toward resolution. We fix everything – problems, health, feelings, people. Sometimes though, uncertainty or discomfort is exactly where we need to be. It’s here that we often find clarity and insight and a readiness to move forward or pull back. Don’t be too quick to move out of uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes they’re the richest source of growth and information about what’s right.

Vulnerability does not mean oversharing and offering every detail of your life up for consumption by anyone. It is about intention. There are those you hold close or want to, who are worth taking a risk for. You open up, you let them know, you offer some of yourself and hope it will be received. Then there are those who you know, but who may not have earned your vulnerability. 

Your vulnerability still has to be earned by others to some extent, but you have to be ready to see when someone deserves it from you.
Offering every detail of your life to the person behind you, can walk dangerously close to a lack of boundaries and can leave you overexposed.

Somewhere along the way, the need to protect ourselves from being vulnerable has trumped the need to connect. Few things hurt as deeply and completely as the heartache that comes from relationships. But heartache and uncertainty is part of being human and its avoidance is getting in our way.

In response to this, we have stopped allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. We have turned vulnerability into weakness and guardedness into a strength.

Of course, there are times to be guarded, but there are also times to be vulnerable. We are protected, but we are disconnected.

Life happens – really happens – in the midst of our vulnerability. It’s here, in strength and with the greatest of courage, that we ask for help, tell someone we miss them, ask where we stand, feel. When we shut down our vulnerability, we shut down the possibility.

There are no guarantees. There never have been. But what is certain is that we deserve more than to have our vulnerability – the greatest vehicle to connection – shut down by fear. We cannot guarantee the outcome, but we can have faith in our ability to cope with it. Living and loving with a vulnerable, open heart will bring its own rewards. There is no daring more honest and more courageous than that which comes with respecting our vulnerability, embracing it and acting from it.

Blacklist China!

Easier said than done

Economic retribution against China will have limited effect, constructing domestic potentials and leveraging the market is essential.
To begin with, boycotting Chinese products is easier said than done. India is dependent on China for a wide range of goods, lining-up from electronics to fertilisers — Made in China often helps Make in India too.
In the fallout of Monday night’s confrontation between India and China in the Galwan Valley, there has been a growing tumult for a boycott of Chinese products — in impact, a demand to use trade as a blunt instrument of retaliation against China. The Department of Telecommunications has reportedly conveyed to state-owned BSNL that it must not use Chinese made equipment in its network upgradation plans, even as the government is “actively considering” asking private mobile service providers to lessen their reliance on China-made equipment. Another Chinese engineering company is likely to forfeit a contract with the Indian railways, and there is reportedly talk of cutting down imports of products such as electronics from China. While the demand for boycotting Chinese goods may make for good optics, at this critical juncture, there is need to exert wariness, and for a deemed strategy. The harsh reality is that economic retaliation will have its own set of consequences. As India accounts for a nominal share of China’s export market, it will at best have limited impact on China. And the implications for India of such actions will play out at multiple levels.

Any endeavour to reduce imports from China, operationalized through tariffs or other non-tariff barriers, will put up the prices for Indian consumers. And as India also imports capital goods and intermediate products from China, such restrictions will affect domestic manufacturing competitiveness, and thus further worsen the country’s export competitiveness. Moreover, in the short-run, ensuring uninterrupted alternative supplies may not be a reasonable option. There is also the issue of Chinese investment in the Indian start-up space to contend with. Companies like Alibaba and Tencent have invested in “unicorns” such as Zomato, Paytm, Byju’s, Ola cabs and others. This relationship will be difficult to disentangle. The government will have to carefully think through the consequences of any policy action that it decides to pursue. The policy should flow from a careful cost-benefit analysis, not be driven by knee-jerk reactions.

This is not to deny the need to build up domestic capabilities, across sectors. The long-term objective should be to push through long-pending legislation that aims to address the structural bottlenecks that continue to plague and hinder domestic competitiveness. India’s strategy should be to boost manufacturing competitiveness, and increase its share in world trade. But this is a long-term proposition. The short-run costs of boycotting Chinese products will be heavy and may even be counter-productive.

‘PROXY WAR’ Yemen crisis: What is happening in Yemen?

A vicious civil war storming in Yemen has claimed more than 16,000 lives and left 13million people on the threshold of famine.

Credit: Getty Image

The conflict has been given a name to “proxy war” among competing powers in the Middle East as a Saudi-led coalition battles rebels backed by Iran.

How many people have been killed in the crisis?
The UN had confirmed the deaths of at least 7,500 civilians with most caused by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.

However, monitoring groups believe the death toll is far higher. In October last year, the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) said it had registered more than 100,000 deaths, including 12,0000 civilians killed in direct attacks.

More than 23,000 fatalities were reported in 2019.

According to the Yemen Data Project, more than 17,500 civilians have been killed and injured since 2015 -with a quarter of all civilians killed in air raids said to be women and children.

Some 100,000 people are now thought to be dead because of the conflict, from direct involvement and knock-on effects such as mass starvation and inadequate sanitation.

This week, Yemen has recorded 208 coronavirus-related deaths pandemic.

The country’s national committee against the virus confirmed the total number of infections stands at 844, while the number of recoveries is around 80.

International health officials have said Yemen’s population could be extremely vulnerable to an outbreak.

It would be hard to scan the outbreak in the country as Yemen’s health infrastructure has been destroyed by years of civil war.

Aside from the threat of COVID-19, Yemen is also suffering an outbreak of the mosquito-transmitted Chikungunya virus.

There are also more than 100,000 known cholera cases across the nation.
Famine in Yemen
Yemen, the Gulf’s poorest nation, has been torn apart by the conflict.
Supplies of basic goods and humanitarian aid have been halted by forces battling control of the strategic port in Hodeidah.
Violence has forced farmers to abandon their crops, and hospitals have been overwhelmed by sick, wounded and malnourished children.
Hadramout province has seen some of the worst pockets of malnutrition and disease in the war-torn country.

Many displaced people, returnees, refugees and asylum seekers are now reliant on regular humanitarian aid to survive, according to the UN.

Credit: TOI

Charity UNICEF says approximately 80% of Yemen’s population, or 24 million people, rely on aid, and 10 million are facing famine.
According to the charity Save the Children, 12.3 million children – 0r 93% -need humanitarian assistance and protection.
The charity says 1 in 5 of children have lost their homes, while 70% don’t have access to clean water and sanitation
A further 7.4 million children are in need of child protection assistance, while 2 million children are out of school.
The United Nations (UN) has put out an appeal for donations amidst growing fears regarding the situation in Yemen.

It comes as COVID-19 spreads rapidly throughout the country’s population, which has already been devastated by years of war.

A number of charities are running campaigns to raise money for the people affected by the war.
The civil war is considered one of the largest humanitarian crisis’ in the world right now, with millions affected.
International organisations such as The Red Cross, Save the Children, UNICEF and Oxfam are collecting donations to help Yemeni citizens and families.

Solo Parenting- Challenges and Accomplishments!

Parenting is not easy and single parenting is tougher as it entails added accountabilities. A single parent has to face continuous newer challenges every day.
A proper schedule if made will make the task much easier.


Here are some common challenges faced by single parents and the ways to overcome them. Read on.

Giving birth and raising a child is always a challenge. People all over the world are buoyed down when faced with the responsibility of parenthood. But when you have your partner by your side you feel a lot confident as you are assured of the presence of emotional support. Single parenthood is a huge challenge in itself as you have to deal with the situation where you have lost your loved one and at the same time, you need to take up the responsibilities of rearing the child and life as a whole. The challenges get multiplied by themselves.

The first challenge is to deal with the family all by yourself, where you need to fulfil the responsibility of both. You need to make all the decisions all by yourself, you need to ensure that all the requirements of your family are met, you need to deal with the overload of tasks that too efficiently, meet your career responsibilities and above all, deal with your emotional overload, not to overlook the emotional requirements of your baby.

For a single parent, these challenges appear in a series, in combination or even alone. Whatever the situation, there is no denying the fact that single parenting is full of challenges. You need to seek out options where you find a solution to deal with these challenges as they can easily lead you to anxiety and depression.

Single Parenting Challenges:

Have a quick look at the common challenges briefly explained.

Scheduling- As mentioned earlier, a single parent is flustered with heaps of responsibilities. They are thus required to juggle them all through a hectic schedule. Keeping afloat with the schedule is in itself a huge challenge.

Balancing– A single parent has to balance work and home all the more. The workplace is a whole new world of professional responsibilities. Then you need to take care of the child, provide them with all that they need, including your time and at the same time teach them to evolve as a disciplinarian by being a friend to them is an added challenge.

Financial– Financial problem is perhaps one of the biggest challenges faced by a single parent. You cannot be a stay at home mom or dad as you need to think of the expenses. Thereby you cannot spend all your time for rearing the child even if you believe that staying with the child throughout his growing up years is important. The challenge magnifies if you are not very well off. It is a tough job to plan your entire expenses and yet have savings through a single paycheck.

Finding childcare support – Since you need to go to work you need to make adequate arrangement for a childminder. The person needs to be reliable as well as competent. It is indeed a challenge to find such a person especially when you do not have a proper support system from your extended family.  

Being there for your child- Apart from juggling with the regular household chores, you must be there when your child needs you. It is a challenge to adjust your schedule and be completely involved with your child’s school activities. Your parenting skills, patience and understanding will constantly be put to test and it is a big challenge to instil discipline in your kids while you have to spend most of your hours outdoors.

Further, you need to ensure that the child does not feel isolated or ignored as it can spell doom for their all-round development. But as the child grows up, your difficulties will fade away with the decrease of certain responsibilities which you can share with the child and as his maturity level develops, he will also act emotional support that a single parent so desperately craves for.

Around the world and especially in deeply patriarchal countries such as India, single — divorced, widowed, unmarried or single by choice — parents, especially women, are judged harshly and stigmatised for their personal, marital and parenting choices.
According to a recently released United Nations report The Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World, which analyses diverse family structures and their impact on women, ending a marital relationship typically entails far more adverse economic consequences for women than for men. “All too often, women lose access to marital assets, resources, and even child custody” and face societal censure if not ostracism, write the authors of the report.
Despite this spurt in the number of OPHs in India, prompted by numerous factors including meltdown of joint families, increase in the number of nuclear households, social emancipation of women, economic liberalisation, relaxation of divorce laws, among others, social attitudes have been slow to change. Most people are hostile towards single parents, especially women. From financial anxiety to juggling work with child care duties, single moms are under constant pressure to meet societal and their own children’s expectations. Moreover, in deeply misogynistic and gender-insensitive Indian society, it’s not unusual for divorced/widowed single mothers to be propositioned and harassed by men, who believe they are fair game for sexual predators.
“Being a single parent, especially a single mom is a hard slog in India. Though education and financial independence have empowered many women to break free from abusive and unhappy marriages, Indian society doesn’t readily accept single mothers who don’t have strong parental support. Although these attitudes are changing — at least in metropolitan India — where single-parent households are multiplying, single mothers are often judged harshly and labelled headstrong, obstinate and blamed for failed marriages. Being a single mother is emotionally draining and stressful,” says Sushma Ramachandran, a Chennai-based psychotherapist.

A new 21st century phenomenon is single parenting by choice. Increasingly, successful women and men who side-stepped formal marriage, are becoming single parents through adoption or surrogacy. In 2015, the Union government’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) relaxed its rules to permit unmarried women/men to adopt children. In July 2017, the guidelines were further liberalised to permit single women over 40 years of age to adopt legally with their waiting period shortened by six months — the average waiting period for prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) is two years. However, the rules forbid single males from adopting girl children.

According to CARA data, over the past four years, there’s been a 50 percent increase in the number of single PAPs, especially women tendering adoption applications. In 2015-16, 412 single women registered for adoption with CARA. By end 2017, this number almost doubled to 817. Seventy-five single women adopted children in 2015-16, 93 in 2016-17, 106 in 2017-18 and 121 in 2018-19.

Don’t judge, enable single parents!

Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears, but also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride.

Is our nation suffering in providing basic teaching due to lockdown?

As schools and colleges are shut across India, every abode is becoming a school and every parent is at the verge of becoming a full-time teacher!

India has nearly 300 million kids in 1.4 million schools and 51,000 colleges.

While a nationwide lockdown is good for all in limiting the spread of the coronavirus, it has impacted not only businesses and common people but also education and teaching institutes.
Some schools are trying their best to provide online classes through various video conferencing apps but it’s not available to all. The rural schools and parents are devoid of these facilities. In urban areas as well, some of the versatile and experienced teachers are facing the problem to teach and express themselves as they do on a regular basis- due to the lack of knowledge about handling these technologies competently.
Many nuclear families are also facing problems in coping up with their work as parents are doing their work from home only and one can’t help but get engaged with their child at times along with the office work and household chores. The playtime and me-time are getting merged with school time and there is no any specific boundary between bedroom and classroom.
Then there is another difficulty for parents who are not educated enough to teach their children on their own. Although they try to make and manage a routine and are eager to help but they can’t help much in the studies and find themselves helpless. Students as well are facing problems in keeping the pace of their studies as they are getting limited time with their teachers through video lectures and their homework has somehow become the class work with the relief of not getting punished for any incomplete task, the oral tests and vivas has stopped. A con for sure!
In the last few days, eventually the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and various other regulators including CBSE, NCERT, etc. have shown some enthusiasm to find productive alternatives to ensure the continuation of education.
NCERT has released an Alternative Academic Calendar for four weeks of home-based activities for different subjects. For example, activities like categorizing objects including erasers, pencils, cloth, pulses, etc. to teach the concepts of colors, shapes and sizes have been suggested for the students of class I-IV.
For upper-class students, teachers will be conducting classes through internet-based platforms, in the absence of which SMS can be sent. Here, as well the basic problem faced by the lower-middle-class families is either they are not well-informed about the internet and technology or, if they know how to handle it, there is limited internet availability.
There is an even more basic issue at stake for rural people, the closure of schools has serious implications on the daily nutrition of students as the mid-day meal schemes have temporarily been shut. As of March 31, 2019, close to 12 crore students across the country were provided with food under with mid-day meal schemes.
Some state governments have come up with innovative ideas to address this concern.
The Delhi government has discussed an interesting idea to provide data packages to the students of class X and XII. Use of the internet can be restricted to specific applications prepared by the government.
Similarly, another interesting idea has been introduced in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar which is planning to use Doordarshan, All India Radio and community radio to promote audio-based learning among students who do not have access to the internet.

The standards are regular yet not entirely proportional to the basic knowledge that we often get out of the volumes!

Social Empowerment of Women in Rural areas

Empowerment means giving strength to an individual. The empowerment of women has been considerably reasoned and penned all over the world. As per a well-known sociologist, empowerment of women means furnishing them to be economically independent, self-sufficient, in addition to providing positive self-esteem to face any adverse situation. Women should be prepared enough to take part in any development procedure.

Known and probably ‘repetitive’ points- but never got commissioned appropriately!

But now, after making these the last of the priorities for a good amount of time, the measures that will be taken into consideration towards the cause are stated below. Positive efforts are always welcomed.

Here they go:

Education
Equal access to education for women and girls will be ensured. Special measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination, universalize education, eradicate illiteracy, create a gender-sensitive educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as the development of occupation/vocation/technical skills by women. Reducing the gender gap in secondary and higher education would be a focus area. Sectorial time targets in existing policies will be achieved, with a special focus on girls and women, particularly those belonging to weaker sections including the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes Minorities. Gender-sensitive curricula would be developed at all levels of the educational system in order to address sex stereotyping as one of the causes of gender discrimination.

Health

A holistic approach to women’s health which includes both nutrition and health services will be adopted and special attention will be given to the needs of women and the girl at all stages of the
life cycle. The reduction of infant mortality and maternal mortality, which are sensitive indicators of human development, is a priority concern. This policy reiterates the national demographic goals for Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) set out in the National Population Policy 2000. Women should have access to comprehensive, affordable and quality health care. Measures will be adopted that take into account the reproductive rights of women to enable them to exercise informed choices, their vulnerability to sexual and health problems together with endemic, infectious and communicable diseases such as malaria, TB, and water-borne diseases as well as hypertension and cardio-pulmonary diseases. The social, developmental and health consequences of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases will be tackled from a gender perspective. To effectively meet problems of infant and maternal mortality, and early marriage the availability of good and accurate data at micro level on deaths,
birth and marriages are required. Strict implementation of the registration of births and deaths would be ensured and registration of marriages would be made compulsory. In accordance with the commitment of the National Population Policy (2000) to population stabilization, this Policy recognizes the critical need of men and women to have access to safe, effective and affordable methods of family planning of their choice and the need to suitably address the issues of early marriages and spacing of children. Interventions such as the spread of
education, compulsory registration of marriage and special programmes like BSY should impact on delaying the age of marriage so that by 2024 child marriages are eliminated. Women’s traditional knowledge about health care and nutrition will be recognized through proper
documentation and its use will be encouraged. The use of Indian and alternative systems of medicine will be enhanced within the framework of overall health infrastructure available for women.

Nutrition

In view of the high risk of malnutrition and disease that women face at all the three critical stages viz., infancy and childhood, adolescent and reproductive phase, focused attention would be paid to meeting the nutritional needs of women at all stages of the life cycle. This is also important in view of the critical link between the health of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women with the health of the f infant and young children. Special efforts will be made to tackle the problem of micronutrient deficiencies especially amongst pregnant and lactating women as it leads to various diseases and disabilities. Intra-household discrimination in nutritional matters vis-à-vis girls and women will be sought to be ended through appropriate strategies. Widespread use of nutrition education would be made to address the issues of intra-household imbalances in nutrition and the special needs of pregnant and lactating women. Women’s participation will also be ensured in the planning, superintendence and delivery of the system.


Drinking-Water and Sanitation
Special attention will be given to the needs of women in the provision of safe drinking water, sewage disposal, toilet facilities and sanitation within accessible reach of households, especially in rural areas and urban slums. Women’s participation will be ensured in the planning, delivery and maintenance of such services.


Housing and Shelter
Women’s perspectives will be included in housing policies, planning of housing colonies and provision of shelter both in rural and urban areas. Special attention will be given for providing adequate and safe housing and accommodation for women including single women, heads of households, working women, students, apprentices and trainees.


Environment
Women will be involved and their perspectives reflected in the policies and programmer for the environment, conservation and restoration. Considering the impact of environmental factors on their livelihoods, women’s participation will be ensured in the conservation of the environment and control of environmental degradation. The vast majority of rural women still depends on the locally available non-commercial sources of energy such as animal dung, crop waste and fuelwood. In order to ensure the efficient use of these energy resources in an environment-friendly manner, the Policy will aim at promoting the programmes of non-conventional energy resources.
Women will be involved in spreading the use of solar energy, biogas, smokeless chulahs and other rural application so as to have a visible impact of these measures in influencing ecosystem and changing lifestyles of rural women.

Science and Technology
Programmes will be strengthened to bring about greater involvement of women in science and technology. These will include measures to motivate girls to take up science and technology for higher education and also ensure that development projects with scientific and technical inputs involve women fully. Efforts to develop a scientific temper and awareness will also be stepped up. Special measures would be taken for their training in areas where they have special skills like communication and information technology. Efforts to develop appropriate technologies suited to women’s needs as well as to reduce their drudgery will be given a special focus too.

Women in Difficult Circumstances
In recognition of the diversity of women’s situations and in acknowledgement of the needs of especially disadvantaged groups, measures and programmes will be undertaken to provide them with special assistance. These groups include women in extreme poverty, destitute women, women in conflict situations, women affected by natural calamities, women in less developed regions, the disabled widows, elderly women, single women in difficult circumstances, women heading households, those displaced from employment, migrants, women who are victims of marital violence, deserted women and prostitutes etc.

Violence against women
All forms of violence against women, physical and mental, whether at domestic or societal levels, including those arising from customs, traditions or accepted practices shall be dealt with effectively with eliminating its incidence. Institutions and mechanisms/schemes for assistance will be created and strengthened for prevention of such violence, including sexual harassment at workplace and customs like dowry; for the rehabilitation of the victims of violence and for taking effective action against the perpetrators of such violence. A special emphasis will also be laid on programmes and measures to deal with trafficking in women and girls.

Rights of the Girl Child

All forms of discrimination against the girl child and violation of her rights shall be eliminated by undertaking strong measures both preventive and punitive within and outside the family.
These would relate specifically to strict enforcement of laws against prenatal sex selection and the practices of female feticide, female infanticide, child marriage, child abuse and child prostitution etc. Removal of discrimination in the treatment of the girl child within the family and outside and projection of a positive image of the girl child will be actively fostered. There will be special emphasis on the needs of the girl child and earmarking of substantial investments in the areas relating to food and nutrition, health and education, and in vocational education. In
implementing programmes for eliminating child labour, there will be a special focus on girl children.

Mass Media

Media will be used to portray images consistent with the human dignity of girls and women policy. The policy will specifically strive to remove demeaning, degrading and negative conventional stereotypical images of women and violence against women. Private sector partners and media networks will be involved at all levels to ensure equal access for women particularly in the area of information and communication technologies. The media would be encouraged to develop codes of conduct, professional guidelines and other self-regulatory mechanisms to remove gender stereotypes and promote balanced portrayals of women and men.

Animal Cruelty


It’s June 2020 and currently, we are dealing with a plethora of crises around the world, but I believe that not the majority of people have deciphered that yet properly. The irony of the time is that at each point, where some of us are trying our best to give reminders or bestowing proposals to overcome the plight of the situation, the rest are busy acting despicably.

This is concerned with human civilization and it’s preceding and long-term support system, acting no less than any ‘ancillary’ – Animals.
We often overlook a very common thing, which ends up being stigmatic- every existence on this planet counts.
How could we act so cruel?

If we go back in time or could recall the memories of our childhood- watching animated shows on TV, and most of the time marking some of them as our favourites for the reason being that we could hear animals talking, like us. (at least it was mine for sure)
That was the time when we wanted to hear them and now, few of us are showing the barbarity towards them because they can’t talk!

We are witnessing these shameful acts for a long time and still waiting for the juncture that one day, things would change around us.
I still wonder at times, why the ruthlessness of humans is being compared to the savagery of animals? Because as of now, humans are less humane!

Recently, we heard the news of a pregnant elephant who died in Kerala because of eating a pineapple which had explosives inside.
People who were accused of feeding her had another angle of their tale. They explained that to protect their agricultural land from wild boars, they had planted those.
But the question that arises here is, who was at fault? The innocent animal or the rural people who did so for the protection of their only way of sustenance?
If the government of that state has allowed shooting the boars or killing them with any means, then how far it’s justified that the innocents get trapped unknowingly, get killed in the name of protection? Who will ensure their safety? We can’t just put an end to lives.

Laws aren’t just meant to be made, they need to be assessed well in the first place that how far their execution is going to be favourable to most of the beings.
Something similar had happened once to blue bulls (antelope) in Bihar. The government had the same reason to pass the order of killing them. 200 of them were killed.
We can’t just opt for the easy way out rather than making sensible decisions and then finding the ways in which we can protect all.

We have seen numerous incidents where humans have shown their heartlessness. Some of them are mentioned below-

Case of thrashing 20 stray dogs to death in Dehradun came out.

A Dog was beaten up brutally by a guard in Hyderabad.

In Himachal, miscreants blew off cow’s jaw with crackers.

It doesn’t end here, 49 people were arrested in Bareilly, U.P for illegal slaughtering of animals.

The list is endless but just hearing about the incidents is of no avail, it never was.

Many of us aren’t even aware of the laws that have been made for balancing the animal-humane society.
Here I am writing down six of them:

  1. Under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, it is a criminal offence to feed toxic food to stray animals.
  2. Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code and the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 make it unlawful to maim or cause injury to any animal. It is also illegal for vehicles to intentionally injure dogs, cats and cows on the streets.
  3. Stray dogs are safeguarded under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and rules enacted under Section 38 of the act, particularly, the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001; Indian Penal Code, sections 428 & 429 and Article 51A (g) of the Constitution.
  4. It is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures. Article 51A(g).
  5. Animal sacrifice is forbidden in every part of the country and considered illegal. Rule 3, Slaughterhouse Rules, 2001.
  6. Under Section 11(1)(i) and Section 11(1)(j), PCA Act, 1960, abandoning any animal for any reason can put you behind the bars for up to three months.
Enough of killing ‘humanity’ in the name of different motives at different times. We’ve screamed enough for human rights while violating much of the freedom given to us, and abovementioned were few of the examples. We can become the voice of the voiceless as well.
We need to act, need to be ‘humans’ in actual ways by saving animals and humanity!

“Playfulness, creativity and many other aspects can never be transferred through online learning”, says the former ISRO Chief

Implementation of the techniques to teach is lacking important facets.

The theory of procuring online education for school children does not seem favourable to the eminent scientist K Kasturirangan, who says that candid physical and cognitive association is essential to bring out the meaningful characteristics such as playfulness and ideation.

The National Education Policy, 2019, draft committee chairperson intensified the necessity for face-to-face communications, interactions, exchange of ideas and beliefs as he braced the traditional mode, amid a debate on online classes for children due to COVID-19 resulted in the closure of schools.

“Fundamentally, the physical and mental connection with children directly is extremely important. Playfulness, creativity and many other aspects can never be transferred through online learning”, Kasturirangan, who was Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation between 1994 and 2003, told news agency PTI.

He stated 86 percent of the brain develops by the age of eight, expanding that issues associated with the initial stage of children need to be scrutinized and evaluated carefully and any sort of new strategy prefers a scientific footing.

Development of a brain is a continuous process within these eight years, and if you don’t stimulate the brain properly by continuous interactions, then obviously you are missing a chance of really getting the best out of youngsters in terms of brain boat and performance, the recipient of Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan said.

There are issues of these which need to be analysed very carefully. Just the kind of solutions that we talk of for higher education like online and so on may not be the way to deal when it comes to dealing with the early phase of children, the former Rajya Sabha member said.

The issue of online education for school children needs to be looked into very carefully and one should not jump into any kind of approach without any scientific basis.


“There is much to be evaluated, and it has to be assessed”, underlined Kasturirangan, who had also served as a Member of the now-defunct Planning Commission of India.

Another renowned scientist, Prof. C N R Rao, who was awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 2014, also spoke out lately against inducting online classes for children, giving prominence to the importance of human interface for useful communication and motivating young minds.

The Honorary President of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and the Linus Pauling Research Professor said online classes for young children such as KG, first and second grade should be terminated.

I am not an enthusiast about online teaching. We need a human interface with students for good communication. That is how young minds can be inspired, Prof. Rao, who was Chairman of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister from 1985-1989, and from 2004-2014, told PTI.