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India has taken a quantum jump in the wrong direction after 2014: Amartya Sen

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, July 8: Eminent economist Amartya Sen said that despite being the fastest-growing economy the country has taken a “quantum jump in the wrong direction” since 2014.
He also said that due to moving backwards, the country is now second worst in the region.
“Things have gone pretty badly wrong… It has taken a quantum jump in the wrong direction since 2014. We are getting backwards in the fastest-growing economy,” Sen said.
Twenty years ago, he added, of the six countries in this region — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, India was the second best after Sri Lanka.
“Now, it is the second worst. Pakistan has managed to shield us from being the worst.”
The Nobel laureate was speaking here at the launch of ‘Bharat Aur Uske Virodhabhas’, the Hindi edition of his book ‘An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradiction’ that he co-authored with development economist Jean Dreze.
The economist said that the government has also deflected from issues of inequalities, the caste system and the schedules tribes have been kept out.
There were a whole group of people, those who clean lavatories or sewage with their hands, he said, whose demands and needs has been neglected.
While highlighting the recent report of a Dalit youth who was whipped for asking a salary hike from the manager of a petrol pump in Madhya Pradesh, he said they (dalit) are going around without any kind of certainty about their next meal, healthcare or education.
Taking a dig at the BJP-led government, he added that during freedom struggle it was difficult to see that a political battle could be won by playing up the Hindu identity, but that has changed now.
“But, that has happened. Which is why, at this time, the whole issue of Opposition unity is so important,” the 84-year-old economist said.
“It is not a battle of one entity against the other (or) Mr Modi against Mr Rahul Gandhi, it is an issue of what India is,” Sen added.
Also speaking at the event, development economist and activist Jean Dreze termed the soon-to-be launched Ayushmann Bharat health scheme a “hoax” as it was actually not big as it was being claimed to be.
“The budget (for the scheme) for this year is 2,000 crore. Even if it is spent, it’s less than 20 rupees per person,” he said.
It is projected as health insurance for 50 crore people, but it is virtually nothing, said Dreze, who helped draft the first version of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).


State

Valley prepares for snow

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Jan 18: With the MeT department’s weather advisory predicting moderate to heavy snowfall from January 19 to 23,The Kashmir Monitor spoke with various people at Lal Chowk to find out how Valley is gearing up for the tough week ahead.

 “I have stockedup grocery items for a week in my home,”  Pedestrian, Basharat Jabeen

 

Keeping in mind, the work would be slow in next few days, I decided to give off to our employees. For home, I have brought extra groceries and necessary food items for children.   Owner, Caliph Restaurant, Mushtaq Ahmad

Apart from grocery items, I brought extra coal and fire wood for heating purposes–Alluchi Bagh resident, Fazal Ahmad

 

Have covered water pipes and hoses with the wool insulations and plastic to ensure running supply of warm/cold water pedestrian.Besides, I have also purchased extra battery for inverteras there is no guarantee of power supply during snowfall.Aquib from Mazhama

 

I purchased extra cooking gas cylinder as an alternative, incase of power supply is not restored immediately. Besides, have also purchased some cough syrups and antibiotics.  Rasiq Manzoor, Sonwar resident

 

 

Brought groceries for a week– Saliq Parvaiz Rangreth resident

 

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Govt keen to tap Ladakh’s immense tourism potential: CS

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Leh, Jan 18: Chief Secretary, B.V.R Subramanyam Friday said that Leh district of frontier Ladakh region possesses immense tourism potential and the Governor’s administration is keen to upgrade its tourism-related infrastructure to attract increased tourist footfall to the region.

The CS made these remarks at a meeting with Executive Councillors of LAHDC, Leh headed by Chairman and CEC, JamyangTseringNamgyal here.

Expressing happiness over the increasing trend of tourist inflow to Leh, touching around 3 lakh mark last season with 50,000 foreigners, the Chief Secretary stressed on LAHDC Leh to work out a master plan for guiding tourism sector towards inclusive and sustainable development of the district.

 

On the occasion, CEC Namgyal thanked Chief Secretary for his intervention in fulfilling long pending demands of Leh district including sanctioning of Cluster University for Ladakh, Khaltse Degree College, filling up of 33 posts of Medical Officers and up-gradation of SNM Hospital from 150 to 300 bed  capacity.

A charter of demand and issues were taken up with Chief Secretary by CEC, Deputy Chairman and Executive Councillors, like inclusion of villages along ALC bordering China in Changthang region under reservation policy for recruitment to various posts, grant of 10% SDA in favour of State Government Employees serving in Leh for which the State Government has in principle agreed.

Besides, special consideration for regularization of casual labours of PWD Circle Leh and PDC Leh in view of the peculiar working condition in the District, inclusion of left out villages in BADP schemes, creation of posts  in LREDA.

They further sought creation of separate Hydraulic PWD Circle, Leh and three more Hydraulic Special Sub Divisions, creation of 124 posts of Bhoti  and Arabic  teachers, up-gradation of PHCs of Nyoma and Khaltse  to SDH, creation of posts for Nubra Development Authority,  PRC signing authority for Khaltsi and Liker Sub Divisions, financial support for organic project of Leh district and release of funds from higher education to EJM College Leh, establishment of Ice Hockey Academy at Leh.

Responding to the demands, the Chief Secretary assured to give due consideration to all the projected demands.

Principal Secretary, Planning & Development RohitKansal, Deputy Chairman Gyal P Wangyal, Executive Councilor for Agriculture, PhuntsogStanzin, Executive Councilor for Health TseringSandup and DC/CEO, LAHDC, Leh AvnyLavasa were also present in the meeting.

 

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Hurriyat (g) protest against prolonged detention of Hurriyat leaders

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Hurriyat (g) Conference leaders and activists on Friday held peaceful protests after congregational Friday prayers in Hyderpora about the prolonged detention and the “ill-treatment” meted out to Hurriyat leaders especially deteriorating health condition of Hurriyat leader Peer Saifullah in Tihar jail.

In a statement issued to the media, the spokesman said that Hurriyat Conference leaders and activists including Abdul Ahad Parra, Bilal Sidiqui, Molvi Bashir Ahmad Irfani, Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, Mohammad Yasin Ataie, Syed Mohammad Shafi, Khawaja Firdous, Mohammad Maqbool Magami, Arshid Aziz, Mubashir Iqbal, Showkat Ahmad Khan, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, Rameez Raja, Abdul Hameed Elahi and Abdul Rashid Lone organized a peaceful protest at Hyderpora Srinagar against the inhuman attitude meted out towards the political prisoners in and outside state especially in Tihar Jail.

Hurriyat leaders while condemning the pro-long detention of political prisoners said that suppressing even the pro-freedom voice and curbing their peaceful activities is no bravery but shameful, which government itself is responsible for the consequences.

 

While demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners including leaders lodged in and outside state particularly in Tihar Jail include Shabir Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Raja Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal, Dr. Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Syed Shahid Yousuf, Syed Shakeel Ahmad, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Asia Indrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Fehmeeda Sofi. Hurriyat leaders said that by pushing people to wall Delhi will achieve nothing; they should face the political leaders and workers on political turf.

Hurriyat Leaders appealed Amnesty International, Asia Watch, and other international organization for human rights to break the silence and take cognizance of the plight of people in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and urged to fulfil their obligations in accordance with human rights specified for the political prisoners.

Meanwhile, All Parties Hurriyat Conference has strongly condemned the raids on the houses of Muslim League leader Rafiq Ahmad Ganie and political activist Sabzar Ahmad of ArinhalBijbihara and said that Jammu and Kashmir have been turned into a police state, where political leaders and activists are regularly harassed by the men in uniform.

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