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Leading Muslim Scholar Tufail Ahmad proposes Revolutionary Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to initiate Public Debate on the Issue

A draft Uniform Civil Code is the first-ever attempt to bring specific issues before the public for a wider discussion, said Tufail Ahmad

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Women belonging to Muslim community, VOA

New Delhi, November 30, 2016: Tufail Ahmad, a leading Muslim scholar on Wednesday proposed a draft Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to initiate a public debate on it.

A former journalist with BBC World Service and author of Jihadist Threat to India – The Case for Islamic Reformation by an Indian Muslim, Ahmad has called it a working draft for public consultation.

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A uniform civil code was desired by the framers of the Constitution to ensure that basic fundamental rights of citizens, irrespective of their religious and other identities, are protected within a larger human rights framework, he said in a statement.

This UCC is drafted within a broader context of a Universal Bill of Rights for the Indian citizen (Ubric). This draft UCC is the first-ever attempt to bring specific issues before the public for a wider discussion, he added.

The 12-clause document is a working draft to be improved through wider public consultation.

At present, no draft UCC exists that could enlighten the people of India regarding the specifics that will constitute such a code, Ahmad explained of his venture.

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It is necessary to emphasise that the word ‘uniform’ in the uniform civil code is not meant to homogenise the lifestyles and identities of Indian citizens but to ensure that certain fundamental rights to equality and liberty are protected for them by the Indian state.

Ahmad also questioned political parties and civil society who have failed to make any attempt towards advocating UCC and said: No attempt has been made by the Indian government to draft a Uniform Civil Code for fear that political parties could lose Muslim votes.

Even civil society organisations and human rights activists have shied away from advocating a UCC for Indian citizens. This is a result of the prevailing erroneous belief that the uniform civil code is meant to curb personal laws, especially only of Muslims.

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The Law Commission had, on October 7, floated a 16-point questionnaire on its website asking the common people, activists, organisations and other stakeholders to give suggestions on the implementation of the UCC. The Commission has extended the period for submission of replies to December 21. (IANS)

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Crossfire between Rohingya Insurgents and Myanmar Military leaves Hindu Refugees In a Deadlock

Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh

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Rohingya Hindu refugees
A Rohingya refugee distributes wheat, donated by locals, among other refugees at a camp for the refugees in New Delhi, India.
  • The Hindu refugees, who fled to Bangladesh, have placed their hopes on the Modi  government 
  • The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state
  • The Indian government was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting Rohingya Muslims from the country 

New Delhi, September 21, 2017: The crossfire between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar’s military has left hundreds of Hindus, who fled to Bangladesh, placing their hopes on the Indian government.

Around 500 Hindus have taken shelter in a cleared-out chicken farm, in a Hindu hamlet in the southeast of Bangladesh. The place is situated at a distance of a couple of miles, where most of the 421,000 Rohingya Muslims, who also fled violence in Myanmar since August 25, have taken abode, mentions the Reuters report.

The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to their villages in the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s restless Rakhine state. Modi government, meanwhile, is working to make things easier for Hindus, christians, Buddhists, and other minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh to gain access to Indian citizenship.

“India is also known as Hindustan, the land of the Hindus,” said a Hindu refugee, Niranjan Rudra, “We just want a peaceful life in India, not much. We may not get that in Myanmar or here.”

The fellow refugees agreed and shared their desire of getting this message received by the Indian government through media.

The Indian government, however, has declined to comment on hopes of Hindu refugees. it was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India.

Achintya Biswas, a senior member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also called the World Hindu Council, on the other hand, stated India as the natural destination for the Hindus fleeing Myanmar.

Also readStop Lecturing And Demonizing India over its Plan to Deport 40,000 Stateless Rohingya Muslims: Minister

“Hindu families must be allowed to enter India by the government,” Biswas said, according to a report by Reuters, “Where else will they go? This is their place of origin.”

Biswas said the VHP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, would be submitting a report to the home ministry demanding a new policy that would be allowing Hindu refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh to seek asylum in India.

While India’s Home Ministry spokesman, K.S. Dhatwalia declined to comment, a senior home ministry official in New Delhi, on the condition of anonymity, mentioned that no Hindu in Myanmar or Bangladesh affected by the violence had approached Indian authorities.

“At this juncture we have no SOS calls from Hindus,” the official said.

“Also, the Supreme Court is yet to decide whether India should deport Rohingya Muslims or not. The matter is sub-judice and any policy decision will be taken only after the court’s order.”

Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Rudra along with other Hindu refugees talked about how they fled soon after Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 Myanmar police posts, instigating a fierce military counterattack.

“Our village in Myanmar was surrounded by hundreds of men in black masks on the morning of Aug. 25,” said Veena Sheel, a mother-of-two whose husband works in Malaysia.

“They called some men out and asked them to fight the security forces … a few hours after we heard gunshots,” she added.

Soon after taking office in 2014, the Modi government issued orders stating that no Hindu, or refugees of other minority from Bangladesh and Pakistan would be deemed as illegal immigrants even if they had entered the country without having the required documents, on or before December 31, 2014.

India, indeed, is in a tough situation, where it can’t compromise with the principles it holds being a Secular nation that is always engaged in humanitarian activities, but will also need to keep in mind the potential security threats that might come along with such an act of acceptance.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Gender Equality Charter Soon to be Launched in India

ECU and Indian National Science Academy collaborate to reduce the gender gap

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Gender Equality. Pixabay.

New Delhi, July 24, 2017: Women in STEMM India workshop which was held last year in November, was organized by the UK, Australian and Indian government highlighted the importance of promoting women in the field of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) academic and professional endeavors.

It was observed in the workshop’s Summary Report that there is a very limited data available on the number of women working in STEMM in India. They also cited many reasons as to why there are so few of them working in these areas; a lack of role model in the family often acts as a demoralizing factor. When they do take part in the education programs in these fields, they are predominantly softer subjects or more suitable for women. While the so-called ‘hard’ science like- physics, observes a lack of participation from women.

Often the intensive coaching programs, which helps invigilate student’s preparations for qualifying admissions in these courses see a lack of participation from women, or are often made unavailable to them. If somehow they manage to enter employment in STEMM field their opportunities decline as they climb up the professional ladder, limiting their roles and responsibilities.

It was also observed in a keynote speech, that not only to women fall behind in numbers in STEMM but they’re equally invisible in other fields – be it for the lack of support system or be it the cultural boundaries. Many women after marriage end up being stay-at-home wives while the man of the house is ‘manned’ up for these jobs.

The report’s first recommendation was to create a proposal to extend the Athena SWAN charter framework in India to the Indian National Science Academy. Athena SWAN Charter was laid out by ECU which is headed in the UK.

The UK based Equality Challenge Unit laid out a proposal co-authored by Indian National Science Academy to bring their Athena SWAN charter in India; the charter was established in 2005 to promote women in higher education, research, and employment in STEMM. It was later extended to arts, humanities, social science, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. Universities are promoted to encourage a progress on equality and diversity, and the Athena SWAN charter recognizes their commitment to bringing this change by awarding them upon monitoring their progress and contribution.

Women in STEMM workshop was attended by ECU’s Athena SWAN manager, Dr Ruth Gillian, who said: ‘At the heart of ECU’s Athena SWAN charter is the advancement of gender equality for all, therefore I am pleased to see a commitment to promote and increase the participation and progression of women in STEMM careers by proposing the introduction of an Athena SWAN framework in India.’

‘ECU looks forward to partnering with the Indian Science Academies’ inter-academy panel to develop this proposal’, she added.

The report was concluded on the note that uniform data sources in STEMM and gender equality be identified in India, Australia, and the UK so that the issue can be reported systematically.

-Prepared by Nivedita Motwani of NewsGram. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


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Indian Government helping to Develop Homeopathic Education and Treatment in Ghana

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Indian Government helping to Develop Homeopathic Education and Treatment in Ghana. Wikimedia

– by Francis Kokutse

Accra, July 20, 2017: The Indian government is partnering with a Ghanaian company to build capacity of the country’s professionals in providing homeopathic education and treatment and recently sent two experts from the Ministry of Ayush to train doctors and staff at the company’s chain of C4C Hospitals. This health and wellness article will help people to look forward to the initiative taken by the Indian government.

“We would be ready to assist through capacity-building — be it in the form of visiting experts or through extra-curricular or sub-technical advice,” Indian High Commissioner Birender Singh Yadav said of the initiative, which could also see the hospital chain expand into other West African nations.

During their stay in Ghana, the two Indian homeopathic experts visited the Presidency where they met Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who promised that the ministry was ready to collaborate with the Indian government and the C4C Hospitals to promote homeopathic healthcare and education in Ghana.

The team also met the heads of the various departments of the National Professional Board For Techinical Examinations (NABPTEX) to discuss how to incorporate homeopathic education into the curriculum of the Technical Universities in Ghana.

“Officials of NABPTEX expressed their readiness to collaborate so that homeopathy can be taught in all their institutions, starting with a pilot scheme at the Accra Technical University for the award the Higher National Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine for graduates of the C4C Homeopathic Medical College,” C4C Hospitals Director Michael Kojo Kyeremateng told IANS.

The C4C chain has 10 branches in all the 10 regional capitals of the nation and some districts to make homeopathy accessible to all Ghanaians.

Kyeremateng, an Indian-trained Ghanaian alternative medical practitioner, has been recognised by the Indian government and the Ministry of Ayush for his passion and zeal in promoting education and homeopathic treatment in Ghana.

He recently represented Africa at the International Convention On World Homeopathy Day in New Delhi organised by the Ministry of Ayush.

Under the terms of assistance to the C4C Hospitals, “Indian experts would provide training for a continuous professional development programme for C4C staffers to enhance their practice and to lecture to the students of the homeopathic medicine college,” Kyeremateng explained.

He said the C4C Hospitals has signed an signed academic MOUs with two Indian entities –Vadodara’s Parul University and Kolkata’s IBAM Academy — to promoting homeopathic education and alternative system of medicine for Ghanaians through the C4C Homeopathic Medical College.

In line with this, the C4C Homeopathic Medical College will send its students to india for one year after three years of studies in Ghana for academic and practical training, for a joint degree awarded by the Parul University. There is also a programme to provide distance education for those who want to study any alternative system of medicine with the IBAM Academy.

In addition, Kyeremateng said the company is also venturing into the West Africa region by establishing homeopathic hospitals and had taken the lead to introduce a Homeopathic Health Insurance Policy to make homeopathy affordable to all Ghanaians in the region. (IANS)