New Delhi: An Indian-origin researcher recently said in his study that the number of male smokers in India rose to 108 million between 1998 and 2015.
However, there was no considerable increase in young female smokers.
It is quite alarming that men of ages 15-69 years smoking any type of tobacco rose from 79 million in 1998 to 108 million in 2015, representing an average annual increase of about 1.7 million male smokers.
According to the study published in BMJ Global Health, the percent of smokers declined from 27 in 1998 to 24 in 2010 but the total number rose due to the population growth.
Sadly, about one million deaths were caused in 2010 due to smoking equivalent 10 per cent of all deaths in India, out of which 70 percent of deaths occurred between the ages of 30 and 69.
China is the only country in the world with more smokers than India.
The study covered smoking trends in India, using three nationally representative surveys covering 14 million residents between 1998-2010, which made forward projections to 2015.
The study also found that cigarettes were replaced by the traditional bidi, a small, inexpensive Indian cigarette, possibly due to substantially higher income in India and population growth.
In urban India, the number rose about 68 percent from 19 to 31 million while in rural India it was 26 percent from 61 to 77 million.
At the ages 15-69 years, there were about 11 million women who smoked – about one-tenth of the total of male smokers.
The smoking prevalence in women born after 1960 was about half of the prevalence in women born before 1950, suggesting that there is no increase in young women smoking.(IANS)
This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
The area is of strategic importance for both the nations
Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.
In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.
Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.
India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.
Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.
A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff
On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.
On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.
On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory. According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.
Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.
On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.
What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.
India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.
On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.
On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.
On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.
The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.