Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Solving food challenges with more research -M.S. SWAMINATHAN

Solving Food Challenges with More Research

Linking agricultural and nutritional outcomes is crucial

The world’s population is booming. According to estimates, the global population is likely to exceed 9 billion by 2050, with 5 billion people in Asia alone. The capacity to produce enough quality food is falling behind human numbers. Food production in the region must keep pace, even as environment sustainability and economic development are ensured. The answer to these challenges lies in research for sustainable development. As the second goal of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals says: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.”
Investing in research
India’s fivefold increase in grain production over the past 50 years is largely the result of strong scientific research that has focussed on high-yielding crop varieties, better agronomic practices, and pro-farmer policies. However, India continues to face challenges such as food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in rural areas.
Providing the world’s growing urban population with safe and healthy food requires both a rural and a peri-urban agricultural movement — a huge challenge, but also an opportunity for ingenuity. Integrating agricultural production, nutrition, and health is emerging as a key focal point throughout Asia, with policymakers shifting their attention to the role of biodiversity and the power of local farming systems to improve nutritional status.
There is considerable potential in targeting underused crops such as millets, pulses, and vegetables as a sustainable means of increasing agricultural production and improving nutrition and health in high-need areas. In one project, researchers tested the sustainable use of traditional crops, vegetables, and fruit trees, as well as greater livestock diversity, to increase income and improve food and nutrition security in rural India. This project demonstrated that in three Indian “agro-biodiversity hotspots”, home gardens could provide households with up to 135 kg of legumes, vegetables, tubers, leafy greens, and gourds per year — more than double the amount of vegetables they were buying in local markets. These crops add value to existing farming systems by providing an additional source of income and/or more nutritious food for the family. The Food Security Act of 2013 was welcome, as was the inclusion of millets in the Public Distribution System as millets are superior to common grains in many ways and are also climate-resilient. Bio-fortification is also important in overcoming hidden hunger caused by micronutrient deficiencies such as iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.
Empowering women
Studies show that women make up nearly half of agricultural labourers, yet they carry out approximately 70% of all farm work. Women are among the most disadvantaged because they are typically employed as marginal workers, occupying low-skilled jobs such as sowing and weeding. Our research shows that empowering women is one of the best ways to improve nutrition. Research needs to continue focussing on the needs of women farmers to ensure that they are the direct recipients of development impacts, such as access to markets and income, to improve theirs and their children’s access to adequate and diversified diets.
Most importantly, it is crucial to continue to identify issues and seek evidence-based solutions through research. Building on the momentum of recent efforts by the government to improve understanding of India’s nutritional situation, there is considerable potential in building partnerships to extend the reach of research for development and to improve the connections between agricultural and nutritional research with extension services and policy. Taking a multisectoral approach that links agricultural and nutritional outcomes will help India sustainably grow, feed its people, and maintain the agricultural sector over the coming decades.
India’s research community is poised to be a leader in meeting new food challenges by increasing food quantity and quality to improve food security and nutrition. The world needs to tap into India’s research excellence to experiment, innovate, share knowledge, and scale up effective solutions.
M.S. Swaminathan is the founder of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, and Jean Lebel is the President of Canada’s International Development Research Centre



Friday, 22 September 2017

Wildlife Sanctuaries in News

Wildlife Sanctuaries in News

Kuno wildlife sanctuary to be notified national park
BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh

Wildlife board clears 2 oil refinery projects near Amsang sanctuary
GUWAHATI: The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has given nod to two projects of Gauhati Refinery located within 10 km of the Amsang Wildlife Sanctuary.

'No water woes for wildlife at Dalma this summer'
JAMSHEDPUR: Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS) has taken steps to ensure that wild animals here do not face any problem in availing clean water this summer.

Armori tigress shifted to Chaprala wildlife sanctuary, to be released today
Interestingly, the entire team of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) including tiger expert Bilal Habib, who is working on radio collaring project for tigers in Tadoba and its landscape, were conspicuous by their absence.

Nagpur: Fifteen days after it was captured from Armori in Wadsa Division of Gadchiroli, the three-year-old problem tigress was shifted to 134 sqkm Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary, 225 km from here, late on Monday evening.

Kodaikanal wildlife sanctuary's living centenarians
MADURAI: Once thick with indigenous vegetation, especially lush Shola forests and meadows, the flora of the Kodaikanal hills have changed since 1970s thanks to the industrial planting of eucalyptus, wattle and pine trees. While this endangered the native trees, some species predominantly three of them have stood the test of time.

Kela Maram (Chionanthus ramiflorus) is assessed to be about 300 years old, Thani Maram (Terminalia bellerica) about 200 years old, and Kona Maram (Celtis tetranda) is believed to be about 150 years old were documented recently by an avid conservationist in the Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary.

The sanctuary , spread in Western Ghats, is known for luxuriant flora and interesting fauna. It is bestowed with a variety of forests such as dry deciduous, semi-evergreen, evergreen, grassland and Shola forests.

Shola forests found here act as the overhead tank of the region supplying water not only to residents in the hills but those living in the foothills. "We could call these century-old trees inside forests as living organic monuments. The conservation of the trees and the forests is very much essential", said Sun dararaju.  

Tansa wildlife sanctuary falls prey to quarrying, timber mafia & brick kilns

Tansa spans 320 sq.km. in Thane and consists of tropical moist deciduous forests. The sanctuary also encompasses Tansa Lake, a critical source of drinking water for Mumbai and Thane supplying 455 million litres to the city daily. Yet its catchment forests are devoid of biodiversity that sustains similar ecosystems across the Western Ghats landscape. With approximately 60 villages located inside, the sanctuary faces tremendous anthropogenic pressure.

The Tansa Sanctuary is home to the critically endangered Forest Owlet. The species was considered extinct for 113 years until its rediscovery in November 1997 in Toranmal Reserve Forest of Shahada in Nandurbar. It was first spotted in Tansa in 2014. A recent survey by the Indian Bird Conservation Network reveals that the sanctuary and surrounding areas support a minimum population of 42 such birds.

7 arrested for unauthorized entry to Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, teasing wildlife

KOZHIKODE: Forest officials arrested seven persons for unauthrorised entry to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and engaging in destruction of wildlife habitat and teasing wild animals.

ZSI and IUCN comes together for tiger conservation in Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary

DEHRADUN: Following their successful collaboration on a project aimed at conservation of lions at the Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat, the Zoological Society of London (ZSI) and International union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are coming together for the second time in another venture aimed at protection of tigers in the Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary (NWLS) in Kumaon

Unique twin Shivlinga found in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary

KERI: A group of heritage lovers trekking through the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary along the ancient trading route to Karnataka found a unique twin Shivlinga in Caranzol akin to one in Khadki area of Sattari.

"A twin Shivlinga signifies worship of Shiva and Shakti in indivisible form. The bigger in shape represents Lord Shiva while the smaller one his consort, Parvati," according to a noted indologist, Pramod Pathak.

''The trekkers were on their way to Krishnapur in Karnataka through the ancient trading route passing along river Mhadei in Kelghat towards Khanapur.

"Thick growth of shrubs and trees used to make it difficult for the traders to locate the route for the next season. As such, they used to build some religious shrines as landmarks for their ease. Traders mostly used the route to Halshi, an old capital after the completion of monsoon," a source said.

In Goa, Shiva is worshipped in the form of a linga -- a cylindrical mass resting in the middle of a rimmed, disc-shaped structure. It's a popular tradition here to worship a single shivlinga on the 'yonipitha'.

Damodar Kosambi, a well-known historian, mentions that great Buddhist monasteries were built especially along mountain passes on the main trade routes.

Two jumbos for Dalma sanctuary
Daltonganj: Decks have been cleared for transfer of two female elephants from Dalma sanctuary to National Park Betla here. One of the two elephants will replace the aged and sick female elephant Anarkali at the Betla national park

The park has two domesticated female elephants, Anarkali, whose health is deteriorating and Juhi. Anarkali had joined the park way back in 1981 when she was just 20 years old. The two elephants offer ride to tourists twice a day.

Umred wildlife sanctuary renamed
NAGPUR: In a populist move, the state government has renamed Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary (UKWS) in Bhandara and Nagpur districts as Umred-Paoni-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

कचरे के पहाड़ तले दबे शहरों को अपनाने होंगे विकल्प

कचरे के पहाड़ तले दबे शहरों को अपनाने होंगे विकल्प


सुनीता नारायण

पिछले पखवाड़े दिल्ली में कचरे का पहाड़ गिरने से दो लोगों की मौत हो गई। ‘लैंडफिल’ के नाम से संबोधित किया जाने वाला कचरे का यह ढेर 50 मीटर से भी अधिक ऊंचा है। यह दिल्ली के तीन लैंडफिल में से एक है। वैसे यह लैंडफिल काफी पहले ही अपनी क्षमता पूरी कर चुका था। हर किसी को यह मालूम था कि ऐसा हादसा कभी भी हो सकता है। और आखिरकार ऐसा हो ही गया। सवाल है कि कचरे के पहाड़ को लेकर शहर क्या करेगा? हादसा होने के अगले ही दिन नगर निगम के अधिकारी कचरे के इस ढेर को दूसरी जगह भेजने पर विचार करने लगे। इसके लिए एक जगह की तलाश भी कर ली गई। लेकिन रानी खेड़ा गांव के लोगों ने इसका तीखा विरोध किया। उनका कहना था कि उनकी लाशों से गुजरकर ही कचरे का यह ढेर वहां भेजा जा सकता है। वे लोग ऐसा क्यों नहीं करते? क्या हम लोगों में से कोई भी व्यक्ति यह चाहेगा कि हमारे इर्दगिर्द कचरे का पहाड़ खड़ा हो? लेकिन जब यह कचरा हमारा है तो इसे हमारे पिछवाड़े क्यों न रखा जाए?सच तो यह है कि ‘हमारे पिछवाड़े ऐसा नहीं होगा’ कचरा प्रबंधन में एक गेम चेंजर है। कचरा प्रबंधन का वैश्विक इतिहास इसकी तस्दीक भी करता है। वर्ष 1980 के दशक की शुरुआत में अमेरिका और यूरोप के समृद्ध शहरों के कचरे के पहाड़ों को जहाजों पर लादकर अफ्रीकी देशों में ले जाया गया था। वह मामला एक घोटाले की तरह सामने आया था। इसके बाद ही हानिकारक कचरे को दूसरे देश ले जाने और उसके निपटान पर रोक संबंधी बेसल समझौते पर दुनिया भर में सहमति बनी। इस मामले में वैश्विक अमीरों की वह सोच उजागर हुई थी कि कचरा उनके पिछवाड़े नहीं रखा जाएगा। इसी सोच ने उस कचरे को अफ्रीका के गरीब निवासियों के पिछवाड़े भेजा था। लेकिन ये गरीब जब विरोध करने लगे तो अमीरों को अपना कचरा वापस लेना पड़ा और ऐसे तरीके खोजने पड़े कि कचरा उनके घर के सामने न जमा हो। पश्चिमी देशों में कचरा प्रबंधन का विकास ही इसी तरह हुआ है। उनके पास अपने कचरे को पिछवाड़े में ही खपाने, उसके पुनर्चक्रण या दोबारा इस्तेमाल लायक बनाने के सिवाय कोई चारा नहीं रह गया था।
इसी वजह से भारत को भी खुश होना चाहिए अब लोग कचरे को अपने पिछवाड़े रखने के लिए तैयार नहीं हैं। लंबे समय से हमने अपने शहरों के पिछवाड़े का इस्तेमाल कचरा फेंकने के लिए किया है जबकि गरीब लोग वहां रहते हैं। लेकिन सामाजिक एवं राजनीतिक जागरूकता बढऩे और शिक्षा का स्तर बढऩे से अब ये  लोग भी खुलकर कहने लगे हैं कि ‘बस बहुत हो गया। अपना कचरा हमारे पिछवाड़े नहीं फेंक सकते हैं।’ लेकिन उनके विरोध को अधिक तवज्जो नहीं दी जा रही है। शहरी प्रशासन और न्यायपालिका इस तरह के प्रदर्शनों को अक्सर गलत बताते रहते हैं। वजह यह है कि कचरा निपटान को नगर निगम का अहम काम समझा जाता है। ऐसे में लैंडफिल बनाने या कंपोस्ट संयंत्र बनाने के विरोध से खड़ी होने वाली अड़चनों को गैरजरूरी या गैरकानूनी माना जाता है। दरअसल प्रदर्शनों का नतीजा भी अलग होता है और वह इस पर निर्भर करता है कि विरोध करने वाले कौन हैं, अमीर या गरीब? इससे गरीबों का अपने पिछवाड़े में कचरा जमा करने से इनकार करना अपेक्षाकृत धनवान लोगों के विरोध से अलग हो जाता है। मध्यवर्ग अमूमन इस समस्या को दूसरे के पिछवाड़े डालने की कोशिश करता है। लेकिन अब गरीबों ने भी चुप्पी साधने से मना कर दिया है लिहाजा कचरे के इन ढेरों का निपटारा मुश्किल हो गया है। ऐसे में इसे अलग तरीके से निपटाना पड़ेगा। गरीबों के इस प्रतिरोध में कचरा निपटान को लेकर क्रांतिकारी आगाज की क्षमता है जिसमें कचरे को कचरा न मानकर संसाधन समझा जाएगा। स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में जोर-शोर से लगे शहरों में ऐसा ही कुछ हो रहा है। इन शहरों ने ठोस कचरा प्रबंधन के नए तरीके अपनाए हैं क्योंकि उनके पास कोई चारा ही नहीं रह गया था।
तिरुवनंतपुरम शहर से सटे विलप्पाल्सला गांव ने जब कचरे को अपने यहां फेंकने का विरोध किया तो उसे उच्चतम न्यायालय से राहत नहीं मिल पाई थी। लेकिन गांव के लोग अडिग रहे और प्रशासन को कचरा प्रबंधन के वैकल्पिक तरीकों के बारे में सोचना पड़ा। नगर निगम का कहना है कि कचरा डालने की तय जगह नहीं होने से वह कचरा इक_ïा भी नहीं कर सकता है। ऐसी स्थिति में या तो लोगों को बदबूदार कचरे के साथ रहने की आदत डालनी होगी या फिर कचरे का अलग करने और पुनर्चक्रण का तरीका सीख लेना होगा। ऐसा हो भी रहा है। इसी तरह के प्रदर्शन की वजह से पड़ोस के अलपुझा शहर में भी इकलौते लैंडफिल को बंद करना पड़ा है।कचरे को लेकर बगावत की घटनाएं बढ़ रही हैं। पुणे में उरुली देवाची गांव के लोगों ने मना कर दिया है कि अब वे इस शहर का कचरा अपने यहां नहीं डालने देंगे। बेंगलूरु में कन्नाहल्ली और बिंगीपुरा कचरा निपटान केंद्रों के आसपास रहने वाले लोग इनका विरोध कर रहे हैं। वेल्लूर में तो सदुप्पेरी के गांव वालों ने तो हथियारों के साथ घेराबंदी कर रखी है। इस सूची में और भी कई नाम हैं।इसके बावजूद दिल्ली जैसे शहरों के प्रशासक अब भी कचरा डालने के लिए दूसरी जगह की तलाश में लगे हैं। उन्हें उम्मीद है कि जल्द ही विरोध के स्वरों को शांत कर दिया जाएगा या फिर अदालत ही कोई मनमाफिक आदेश पारित कर देगी। तब तक पुरानी जगह पर ही कचरा फेंका जाता रहेगा और यह उम्मीद की जाती रहेगी कि कचरे का वह पहाड़ दोबारा न खिसके। लेकिन यह लंबे समय तक चलने वाला नहीं है।अब हमें यह मानना होगा कि यह असंतोष न केवल विधिसम्मत है बल्कि जरूरी भी है। दिल्ली को अब कचरा फेंकने के लिए नई जगह तलाशने के बजाय इसे अपने ही घर के पिछवाड़े ठिकाने लगाने के तरीके सीखने चाहिए। इसके लिए कचरा निपटान की पूरी प्रक्रिया अपनानी होगी।

(1) Chhattisgarh Mine (2) Karwan-E-Mohabbat (3) Questioning the consumption (4) Biodiversity (5) Smart City (6) Invitation: Wild Vegetables festivals

(1) A Successful Protest Against a Chhattisgarh Mine Highlights the Failure of India’s Coal Auctions


Monday, 11 September 2017

Inequality in India

Income inequality in India at its highest level since 1922, says Lucas Chancel

The Hindu link here 

• According to a research paper titled ‘Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?’ by renowned economists Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel, income inequality in India is at its highest level since 1922, the year the Income Tax Act was passed.
• The top 1% of earners captured less than 21% of total income in the late 1930s, before dropping to 6% in the early 1980s and rising to 22% today.
• China also liberalised and opened up after 1978, and in doing so, experienced a sharp income growth as well as a sharp rise in inequality. This rise, however, stopped in the 2000s so that inequality is currently at a lower level there than in India (top 1% income share in China today is 14%).
• In December, they will release the first ‘World Inequality Report’ where they will compare India’s inequality trajectory with other emerging, industrialised and low-income countries and suggest ways to tackle global and national inequality.

Oxfam's Inequality Report Has Big Flaws, But That Doesn't Narrow India's Stark Wealth Divide

Global inequality data may be skewed by debt, but Indian inequality really is as bad as it says.

Mark Zuckerberg is wealthier than the poorest 40% of Indians, and Mukesh Ambani is worth more than the poorest 30% of Indians, a new report by Oxfam says. While Oxfam might be misstating some facts on global inequality, the data on Indian inequality really is that bad.

The report, released on Monday morning, is an annual publication released by the advocacy group Oxfam to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. This year, Oxfam found that the world's eight richest men - including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook co-founder Zuckerberg - were worth $426 billion between them, or more than the combined wealth of the poorest half of the world.

for more info link here:

  Equality for what?

 We must incorporate the right to equality into our political vocabulary to arrest deepening inequality

In 1820 the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, in his magnificently crafted Philosophy of Right, had written with some despair of the moral squalor and of the ravages that poverty brings in its wake. The state of poverty, he argued, is not an aberration, it is a product of industrial society, of the overproduction and underconsumption which marks this social order. But it is precisely society that banishes its victims to the twilight zone of collective life. Here, removed from the advantages of solidarity that civil society offers, the poor are reduced to a heap of fragmented atoms, rabble, poebel. When the standard of living of a large mass of people falls below a certain subsistence level, he wrote, we see a loss of the sense of right and wrong, of honesty and of self-respect. “Against nature man can claim no right, but once society is established, poverty immediately takes the form of a wrong done to one class by another.”
Hegel suggests that poverty is a social phenomenon. One, society is complicit in the creation and recreation of poverty. Destitution, that is, is the outcome of a skewed economy. Two, poverty breeds unfortunate consequences, such as suffering, which seriously demoralises human beings. Three, the existence of large numbers of the poor pose a direct threat to the social order, simply because the poor are (justly) resentful of their exclusion from the benefits of society.
We should be seriously reflecting on Hegel’s criticism of a society that refuses to correct the wrongs it has heaped on its own people, in the light of the research findings of the economist Thomas Piketty and his colleague Lucas Chancel.

Inequality in India

In a paper aptly titled ‘Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?’, they conclude that income inequality in India is at the highest level since 1922, when the country’s income tax law was conceived, and that the top 1% earners corner 22% of income. These research findings should send a powerful warning signal to power elites, leaders who prefer to concentrate on the politics of beef, brutal repression of dissent, and curtailment of basic human freedoms, even as the lives of thousands of Indians are mired in mind-numbing poverty.

There is more to the proposition that some persons are poor beyond belief, and others are rich beyond belief in India. P is poor, we can say, when she does not possess access to the basic resources which enable q, or s, or m to consume nutritious food, avoid ill health, attend school, take up a job, and own a home, let alone go on holiday or possess a car. This implies that p is not just poor, she is unequal to q, s, or m, since the latter three, unlike p, have access to certain advantages that p does not. Poverty is the effect of inequality as well as the prime signifier of inequality. And inequality is demeaning.

Implications for society

Arguably, inequality is not only a matter of statistics. It is a shattering reflection on the kind of society we live in. Logically, if the economic ordering of society is responsible for ill-being, it is obliged to remedy the wrongs that it has visited upon the heads of the poor. This constitutes a basic code of justice. People who have been wronged are entitled to ask for justice. If justice is not delivered, inequalities are reinforced and compounded over time.

Resultantly, people fated to occupy the lowliest rungs of the social ladder are not only denied access to basic material requirements that enable them to live a decent life, they are likely to be socially overlooked, politically irrelevant except in times of elections when their votes bring parties into power, disdained, and subjected to disrespect in and through the practices of everyday life. To be unequal is to be denied the opportunity to participate in social, economic, and cultural transactions from a plane of equality.
Starkly put, the presence of massive inequality reflects sharply and pejoratively on the kind of social relations that we find in India. Because these social relationships are indisputably unequal, they cannot but be entrenched in massive discrimination and exploitation. Can we reflect on inequality without taking on exploitation and discrimination? And unless we confront these background inequalities directly, will not inequality continue to be produced and reproduced along with the production and reproduction of a lopsided social order, indeed as an integral part of this order?

Morality of mutual respect

Let us not understate the implications of inequality, it violates a basic democratic norm: the equal standing of citizens. Persons have equal standing because each human being has certain capacities in common with other human beings, for instance, the capacity to make her own history in concert with other human beings. Of course the histories that persons make might not be the histories they chose to make, but this is not the issue at hand. What is important is that each person realises this ability.

The principle of equal standing generates at least two robust principles of democratic morality. For one, equality is a relation that obtains between persons in respect of some fundamental characteristic that they share in common. Equality is, morally speaking, a default principle. Therefore, and this is the second postulate, persons should not be discriminated against on grounds such as race, caste, gender, ethnicity, sexual preferences, disability, or class. These features of the human condition are morally irrelevant.
These two postulates of political morality yield the following implications. To treat persons equally because they possess equal standing is to treat them with respect. The idea that one should treat persons with respect not only because some of these persons possess some special skill or talent, for example skilled cricketers, gifted musicians, or literary giants, but because persons are human beings, is by now part of common sense morality. If someone were to ask, ‘equality for what’, we can answer that equality assures equal standing and respect, and respect is an essential prerequisite for the making of human beings who can participate in the multiple transactions of society from a position of confidence and self-respect. If they cannot do so, the government is simply not taking the well-being of its citizens seriously.
There is urgent need, in the face of government inaction and insensitivity towards people trapped in inequality as a social relation to invoke the collective conscience of Indian citizens. If the right to equality is violated, citizens should be exercised or agitated about this violation. But for this to occur, for society to feel deeply about the right on offer, we have to incorporate the right to equality into political thinking, into our values, and into political vocabularies. The project requires the harnessing of creative imagination and courage on the one hand, and careful reasoning, persuasion, and dialogue on the other. The task also demands the investment of rather high degrees of energy and time. But this is essential because a political consensus on what constitutes, or should constitute the basic rules of society, is central to our collective lives. The political is not a given, it has to be constructed, as Karl Marx had told us long ago, through determined and sustained political intervention.

Neera Chandhoke is a former Professor of Political Science at Delhi University 

source: The Hindu; Link: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/equality-for-what/article19677980.ece

 Income inequality is the greatest irony of a Welfare State

Income inequality is the unequal distribution of household or individual income across the various participants in an economy. Income inequality is often presented as the percentage of income to a percentage of population.
Income inequality is often associated with the idea of income “fairness.” Most people consider it “unfair” if the rich have a disproportionally larger portion of a country’s income compared to the general population. The causes of income inequality can vary significantly by region, gender, education and social status.
First and foremost cause of undermining equality in India is growth factor. With economic growth taking place at a higher rate than before, different people in the country continue to earn differently. In particular, the incomes of Indians in upper and middle quartiles are rising faster as compared to those for the poor do. This is a common phenomenon when an economy is in its growing stage. The main explanation for this disparity is the shift from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy.
Implications of income inequality:
  1. High and sustained levels of inequality, especially inequality of income and opportunity can entail large social costs. Entrenched inequality of outcomes can significantly undermine individuals’ educational and occupational choices.
  2. Inequality of income does not generate the “right” incentives if it rests on rents. In that event, individuals have an incentive to divert their efforts toward securing favored treatment and protection, resulting in resource misallocation, corruption, and nepotism, with attendant adverse social and economic consequences.
  3. Income inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient, which is 0 when everybody has the same income and 1 when one person has all the income) negatively affects growth and its sustainability.
  4. Higher inequality in income lowers growth by depriving the ability of lower-income households to stay healthy and accumulate physical and human capital.
  5. Income inequality dampens investment, and hence growth, by fueling economic, financial, and political instability.
Ways to tackle inequality in India:
  • Despite being important to the electorate, inequality of income is absent from major political campaigns. There is need to make inequality as a political agenda.
  • Government should work towards reducing asset inequality through redistributive land reforms but also through rationalising taxes, preventing monopoly of control over water, forests and mineral resources and reducing financial concentration.
  • There is need to tackle bias against caste and gender first of all by recognising the value and dignity of all work (including unpaid work) and all workers (including those in the most difficult arduous and degraded occupations).
  • Inequality can be reduced by providing greater voice to traditionally oppressed and suppressed groups, including by enabling unions and association, and making public and corporate private activity more transparent and accountable to the people generally.
  • The media in India plays a role in sustaining inequality. This is becoming an urgent problem. We must take measures to reduce corporate takeover and manipulation of mass media.
  • Policymakers should not forget that technology has helped in reducing some of the access barriers in India, particularly in relation to access to information. Policymakers should focus on making technology cheaper and deepening its penetration.
  • As far as India is concerned, most of the public places are inaccessible to people with disabilities. As per the 2011 census, India has about 2.7 million people with disabilities, and only a handful of those enjoy education and/or employment.
  • The gender inequality can be reduced by woman empowerment in genuine manner with a right based approach, rather that treating woman as a beneficiary of public schemes.
Measure of Income inequality: Gini coefficient
In economics, the Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measure of inequality. It was developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini.

The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution (for example, levels of income). A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same (for example, where everyone has the same income). A Gini coefficient of 1 (or 100%) expresses maximal inequality among values.

The Gini coefficient is usually defined mathematically based on the Lorenz curve, which plots the proportion of the total income of the population (y axis) that is cumulatively earned by the bottom x% of the population (see diagram). The line at 45 degrees thus represents perfect equality of incomes. The Gini coefficient can then be thought of as the ratio of the area that lies between the line of equality and the Lorenz curve (marked A in the diagram) over the total area under the line of equality

source: http://www.insightsonindia.com/2017/09/18/secure-synopsis-14-september-2017/

Friday, 8 September 2017

Uninhabited Lakshadweep island Parali I vanishes, 4 others shrinking fast: study

Uninhabited Lakshadweep island Parali I vanishes, 4 others shrinking fast: study


A new study has revealed that one of Lakshadweep’s bio-diversity rich islands Parali I has vanished. Parali I island, part of Bangaram atoll, which was 0.032 km2 in 1968 has been eroded to an extent of 100%, resulting in its inundation. Additionally, four other territories in the sea are also shrinking.

Key facts:
A general trend in erosion has been noticed in almost all islands he studied. The magnitude of such events was higher in Parali group, evidenced by the complete erosion and inundation of the island Parali I. The magnitude of net erosion was higher in Parali I island (100%), which resulted in its inundation. Apart from Parali I, net erosion was higher in Parali II (80%), followed by Thinnakara (14.38%), Parali III (11.42%) and Bangaram (9.968%). The complete erosion and inundation of Parali I was pointing to the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within the atoll.

What needs to be done now?
The study said the complete erosion and inundation of Parali I was pointing to the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within the atoll. Therefore, the results are indicative of the urgent measures to be implemented on each islet of the atoll to check further erosion. It is recommended to check the feasibility of a bio protection strategy using mangroves, in addition to the conventional physical protection measures.

Way ahead:
It is now widely recognised that islands and coastal areas are going to get eroded and inundated due to rising sea levels because of increasing global temperature. India’s coasts and islands, which are densely populated, are highly vulnerable. With the sea levels predicted to rise further, we should start preparing for building defenses to protect our coastlines and islands.

Sources: the hindu.

धर्म, अर्थ, काम और मोक्ष जीवन का ‘‘प्राकृतिक नियम’

                       धर्म, अर्थ, काम और मोक्ष जीवन का ‘‘प्राकृतिक नियम’

कालिदास रंगालय में हुई ‘‘समकालीन चुनौतियां और चार पुरु षार्थ की अवधारणा’ विषय पर परिर्चचा उपभोक्तावाद के कारण, समाज में विचारों की विविधता का लोप : पाठक
द सहारा न्यूज ब्यूरोपटना। कालिदास रंगालय के सेमिनार हॉल में ‘‘समकालीन चुनौतियां और चार पुरु षार्थ की अवधारणा’ विषय पर परिर्चचा का आयोजन किया गया। कार्यक्रम का आयोजन बुधवार को फाउंडेशन फॉर आर्ट कल्चर एथिक्स एंड साइंस (फेसेस) और साउथ एशियन डायलॉग्स ऑन इकोलॉजिकल डेमोक्रेसी (सेडेड), नई दिल्ली के संयुक्त तत्वावधान में किया गया। कार्यक्रम में राजबल्लभ ने डॉ. रविन्द्र कुमार पाठक की पुस्तक ‘‘चार पुरु षार्थ, जीवन एवं मृत्यु’ का परिचय देते हुए परिर्चचा का ‘‘विषय-प्रवेश’ कराया। मुख्य वक्ता डॉ. रविन्द्र कुमार पाठक ने अपने वक्तव्य में स्पष्ट किया कि भारतीय वांग्मय में चार पुरु षार्थ (धर्म, अर्थ, काम और मोक्ष) की जो अवधारणा है वह कोई धर्म विशेष का सूत्र नहीं है। बल्कि मानव के व्यक्तिगत और सामाजिक जीवन को सम्पूर्णता प्रदान करने के लिए निर्मित व्याहारिक सूत्र हैं जिन्हें जीवन का ‘‘प्राकृतिक नियम’ कहा जा सकता है। अपने व्याख्यान में उन्होंने वर्तमान समय की चुनौतियों की भी र्चचा की और कहा कि उपभोक्तावाद के कारण, समाज में विचारों की विविधता का लोप होता जा रहा है।मुख्य अतिथि डॉ. विजय प्रताप ने कहा कि चार पुरु षार्थ मानव जीवन के चार आयाम हैं जिनका अनुशीलन इस जीवन में मनुष्य द्वारा किया जाता है। यदि इन चार पुरु षार्थो को सही अर्थ में समझ लिया जाए तो एक सुखी और सफल जीवन को जीया जा सकता है। सामाजिक व्यवस्था पर टिप्पणी करते हुए कहा कि करीब-करीब सभी धर्मो में यह अवधारणा है कि मनुष्य सृष्टि के उपभोग के लिए पैदा हुआ है। इसलिए मानव केन्द्रित क्रिया कलापों से पर्यावरण को इतनी हानि हुई और हो रही है। धर्म गुरुओं और प्रबुद्ध वर्ग का आह्वान करते हुए उन्होंने कहा, कि समय के साथ इस अवधारणा में परिवर्तन करना जरूरी है। हमें यह बताना होगा कि हम प्रति में प्रदत्त संसाधनों का प्रयोग करने के लिए नहीं बने। बल्कि हम उसी प्रकृति का हिस्सा हैं, जिसके संसाधनों का दोहन हम करते हैं। डॉ. उमेश चन्द्र द्विवेदी ने इस समाज को बांटने के विषय पर एक महत्वपूर्ण बात कही कि समाज को किसी भी आधार पर बांटने की प्रक्रिया का कारण सामाजिक कम और राजनैतिक ज्यादा है। देखा जाए तो सबसे अधिक आपसी वैमनस्य तो भाइयों में होता है जो एक ही मां-बाप की पैदाईश होते हैं। उन्होंने इस बात पर जोर दिया कि सनातन धर्म के नियमों को हिन्दू धर्म के रूप में संकीर्ण चश्मे से न देखा जाए। बल्कि यह समस्त मानव जाति के धर्म के रूप में प्रतिष्ठित हो। क्योंकि यह जीवन जीने के मूलभूत नियमों का संग्रह है। कार्यक्रम की अध्यक्षता करते हुए डॉ. महेन्द्र नारायण कर्ण ने कहा कि भारतीय संस्कृति बहुत ही उदार संस्कृति रही है। इसमें नियंतण्र तत्व मौजूद रहे हैं। उन्होंने इस प्रकार की परिर्चचा को युवाओं के लिए उपयोगी बताया। उन्होंने समाज बांटने की राजनैतिक प्रक्रिया पर कटाक्ष करते हुए कहा कि बिहार ही एकमात्र राज्य है जहां दलित को भी दो श्रेणियों- दलित और महादलित में बांटा गया है। सभा का संचालन अवधेश झा और धन्यवाद ज्ञापन फेसेस की सचिव सुनीता भारती ने किया। कार्यक्रम में इतिहासकार डॉ. चितरंजन प्रसाद सिन्हा सहित अन्य लोग भी मौजूद थे।

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saded meeting on 6 september 2017

Mountains of garbage

Mountains of garbage


Mountains of garbage

Waste management rules continue to be ignored even a year after they were notified

The collapse of a great wall of garbage in east Delhi’s Ghazipur area, sweeping people and vehicles into a nearby canal, is a stark reminder that India’s neglected waste management crisis can have deadly consequences. More than a year after the notification of the much-delayed Solid Waste Management Rules, cities and towns are in no position to comply with its stipulations, beginning with the segregation of different kinds of waste at source and their scientific processing. Neither are urban local governments treating the 62 million tonnes of waste generated annually in the country as a potential resource. They have left the task of value extraction mostly to the informal system of garbage collectors and recyclers. Improving on the national record of collecting only 80% of waste generated and being able to process just 28% of that quantum, requires behaviour modification among citizens and institutions. But what is more important is that the municipal bodies put in place an integrated system to transport and process what has been segregated at source. The Swachh Bharat programme of the Centre has focused too narrowly on individual action to keep streets clean, without concurrent pressure on State and municipal authorities to move closer to scientific management by the deadline of April 2018 set for most places, and arrest the spread of pollution from trash.
In the absence of stakeholders at the local body level, recoverable resources embedded in discarded materials are lost due to dumping. Organic refuse, which forms about 50% of all garbage, readily lends itself to the generation of compost or production of methane for household use or power generation. But it is a major opportunity lost. Organic waste that could help green cities and feed small and affordable household biogas plants is simply being thrown away. It is also ironic that while some countries such as Rwanda and Kenya have introduced stiff penalties for the use of flimsy plastic bags, India is doing little to prevent them from drifting into suburban garbage mountains, rivers, lakes and the sea, and being ingested by cattle feeding on dumped refuse. A new paradigm is needed, in which bulk waste generators take the lead and city managers show demonstrable change in the way it is processed. There has to be a shift away from large budgets for collection and transport by private contractors, to the processing of segregated garbage. As the nodal body for the implementation of the new rules, the Central Pollution Control Board should put out periodic assessments of the preparedness of urban local bodies in the run-up to the deadline. Without a rigorous approach, the national problem of merely shifting city trash to the suburbs, out of sight of those who generate it, will fester and choke the landscape. Considering that waste volumes are officially estimated to grow to 165 million tonnes a year by 2030, many more suburbs are bound to be threatened by collapsing or burning trash mountains.


नहीं सूझ रहा विकल्प

अभिषेक कुमार
 शहरों में साफ-सफाई की व्यवस्था को लेकर केंद्र सरकार एक तरफ सर्वेक्षण करवाती रही है, जागरूकता अभियान चलाती है, तो दूसरी तरफ शहरों में ही लगे कूड़े के ढेर उसके सारे प्रयासों को धता बताते हैं। हाल में दिल्ली के गाजीपुर स्थित कूड़े के पहाड़ में हुए विस्फोट और भूस्खलन जैसे हालात ने दो जानें लील लीं और कई वाहन क्षतिग्रस्त कर दिए तो सरकार-प्रशासन को अहसास हुआ कि शहर के बीचों-बीच जमा होता कचरा कितनी अराजकता पैदा कर सकता है।विडम्बना यह है कि 70 एकड़ में फैले 50 मीटर से ज्यादा ऊंचे कूड़े के पहाड़ का कोई विकल्प अभी भी दिल्ली सरकार को नहीं सूझा है। विकल्प खोजना आसान है भी नहीं क्योंकि हमने पश्चिमी देशों से यूज एंड रो का रिवाज तो सीख लिया है। लेकिन उनकी तरह यह नहीं सीखा कि कूड़ा-करकट कैसे और कहां फेंका जाए, जिससे कि वह देश, समाज, जनता के लिए अभिशाप न बन जाए। शहरों में ठोस कूड़े-कचरे (सॉलिड वेस्ट) को ठिकाने लगाने के इंतजामों के बारे में रिपोर्ट है कि हमारे देश के ज्यादातर शहरों में कचरा निष्पादन के पुख्ता इंतजाम नहीं हैं। आज भी शहरी कचरे का 90 फीसद हिस्सा कहीं भी फेंक दिया जाता है। प्रशासन कूड़े को बटोर कर बिना किसी समुचित नियोजन के लैंडफिल के नाम पर खुले में कोई जगह तय कर देता है, जो आसपास के कई किलोमीटर इलाके में रहने वाले नागरिकों की सेहत और आबोहवा के लिए मुसीबत बन जाता है। दिल्ली में कुल तीन लैंडफिल हैं जो पूरी तरह भर चुके हैं। मुंबई में देवनार लैंडफिल इकलौती ऐसी जगह है। लखनऊ में शिवरी गांव स्थित लैंडफिल इसके लिए जाना जाता है। सिर्फ इन तीन शहरों में ही सबसे ज्यादा बदइंतजामी दिल्ली में दिखती है। मुंबई और लखनऊ में कचरे को छांटकर अलग किया जाता है ताकि उसकी रिसाइक्लिंग की सुविधा हो। लखनऊ में शिवरी गांव के लैंडफिल में पहुंच कचरे में से सॉलिड वेस्ट की छंटाई होती है। उसमें से एकदम बेकार कचरा जमीन में खाद बनाने के लिए दबाया जाता है। शेष बचा 25 प्रतिशत कचरा रिसाइक्लिंग के लिए भेजा जाता है। लैंडफिल तक पहुंचने वाला कचरा कई लोगों की रोजी-रोटी का जुगाड़ भी करता है।मोहल्लों-कॉलोनियों और आवासीय सोसाइटियों से कचरा उठाने, कचरे में कागज, कांच, धातु, सिंथेटिक व प्लास्टिक से बनी चीजें, चमड़े के सामान, दवाएं, क्रीम, अनाज-सब्जी, साबुन, डिटज्रेट आदि में से बच्चे-नौजवान काम की चीजें छांटते हैं और काफी कचरा खुले में सड़क किनारे जला भी देते हैं। इससे भयानक प्रदूषण होता है। जाहिर है कि कूड़े के निस्तारण के आधुनिक प्रबंधों की जरूरत है, जिसमें शहरी कचरा न सिर्फ समुचित तरीके से ठिकाने लगाया जा सके बल्कि उसका ऐसा ट्रीटमेंट हो, जिससे भी बिना कोई प्रदूषण फैलाए गायब किया जा सके। इस बीच देश में स्मार्ट सिटी बनाने की परियोजना शुरू हो चुकी है पर कूड़े के निष्पादन के लिए गुजरात की स्मार्ट सिटी ‘‘गिफ्ट’ जैसी व्यवस्था सभी जगह बन पाएगी-इसमें संदेह है। अहमदाबाद के नजदीक देश की इस पहली स्मार्ट सिटी में 12 किमी. लंबी एक भूमिगत सुरंग बनाई जा रही है। इस सुरंग से पूरे शहर के लिए पानी की पाइपलाइन, बिजली की लाइन, ऑप्टिकल फाइबर, सीवर व अन्य चीजों का जाल बिछाया जा रहा है। घरों और दफ्तरों में पैदा होने वाले ठोस कचरे को सुरंग के भीतर मौजूद एक पाइपलाइन के जरिए 90 किलोमीटर प्रति घंटे की रफ्तार से चूसने का इंतजाम किया जा रहा है, जहां से कूड़े को सीधे कचरा निष्पादन प्लांट में भेजा जाएगा। हमें विदेशी उदाहरणों की तरफ देखने की जरूरत नहीं है, बल्कि गिफ्ट और मौजूदा वक्त में इंदौर, भोपाल, विशाखापत्तनम जैसे शहरों की तरफ देखना होगा, जिन्होंने केंद्र सरकार के हालिया स्वच्छ सर्वेक्षण में साफ-सफाई के मामले में बड़ा उलटफेर किया है। इन शहरों ने स्वच्छता के मूल्यांकन के लिए पांच कसौटियों-कचरा जमा करने की प्रक्रिया, ठोस कचरे का प्रबंधन, शौचालय निर्माण, सफाई की रणनीति और इस पर लोगों से संवाद के तरीके-इन पर रैंकिंग में ऊंचा स्थान हासिल करके एक मिसाल कायम की है। इंदौर में स्वच्छता के लिए बड़े पैमाने पर और योजनाबद्ध प्रयास किए गए। ध्यान रहे कि देश के कई शहर कूड़े के ढेर के आगे निरु पाय हैं, तो इसकी एक बड़ी वजह यह है कि वहां के स्थानीय निकाय काहिली, भ्रष्टाचार और क्षुद्र राजनीति से ग्रस्त हैं। मगर इसकी काट तो ढूंढ़नी ही होगी।