Ideals of Tagore and Gandhi provide the best way forward for a world confronted with intolerance, bigotry and terrorism, President Pranab Mukherjee said at a public lecture yesterday, in Uppsala University, Sweden.
Speaking on ‘Tagore & Gandhi: Do they have Contemporary Relevance for Global Peace?’, the President said that the ideas of truth, openness, dialogue and non-violence espoused by the thinkers are more relevant today than any time before. He said that the world is desperately in search for a permanent solutions to conflict and tensions and therefore theses ideals need to be propagated far and wide, especially amongst the youth.
Mukherjee said that with its population of 1.25 billion, India has been home to a harmonious mingling of many ethnic and religious communities for centuries. He further added that lasting peace can be built only on a foundation of mutual respect which was consistently and eloquently advocated by both Tagore and Gandhi.
“Enduring peace can only be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. Political and economic agreements will not on their own build lasting peace. Peace has to be founded on the belief that there is only one humanity.” Mukherjee said.
The findings indicate women’s cognitive functioning past middle age can get affected with the degree of gender equality in the country in which they are living
This research is a first attempt to shed light on important, but understudied, adverse consequences of gender inequality on women’s health in later life
Sweden came out as a country with the highest female advantage in cognitive performance and Ghana as the country with the highest male advantage
Washington D.C. (USA), August 2, 2017: The results of one of its kind study highlighted the ill effects of gender inequality on women’s health in later life.
The findings indicate women’s cognitive functioning (cerebral activities that lead to knowledge, including all means and mechanisms of acquiring information like reasoning, memory, attention, and language that can lead directly to the attainment of information and, thus, knowledge) past middle age can get affected with the degree of gender equality in the country in which they are living.
According to the ANI Report, researcher, and lead author on the study, Eric Bonsang, explains, “This research is a first attempt to shed light on important, but understudied, adverse consequences of gender inequality on women’s health in later life.” He holds a Ph.D., of University Paris-Dauphine and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Bonsang said that it shows that women living in countries with gender equality have better cognitive test scores later in life when compared to women living in gender-unequal societies. Moreover, in countries that became more sensitive to gender equality over time, women’s cognitive performance improved relative to male counterparts.
The researchers analyzed the cognitive performance data of participants aged between 50 and 93, drawn from multiple nationally representative surveys such as the US Health and Retirement Study, Europe’s Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, and the World Health Organization Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health. When all the above-mentioned surveys were taken together, they provided data for a total of 27 countries.
Bonsang and his colleagues Vegard Skirbekk of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and Ursula Staudinger, director of the Columbia Aging Center noted that the difference in men’s and women’s scores on cognitive tests had wide variation across countries.
In Northern European countries, women tend to perform better than men on memory tests, while it’s the opposite case with several Southern European countries. “This observation triggered our curiosity to try to understand what could cause such variations across countries,” said Ursula Staudinger, Ph.D., who is also Robert N. Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health.
Though economic and socioeconomic factors are likely to play a crucial role, Bonsang, Skirbekk, and Staudinger also studied about sociocultural factors such as attitudes about gender roles and if that might also contribute to the variation seen in gender differences in cognitive performance around the world.
The hypothesis was that the women who live in a society with Orthodox attitudes about gender roles would likely to be having lesser access to opportunities for education and employment and would, thus, show lower cognitive performance later in life compared with men of the same age.
All of the surveys included an episodic memory task to measure cognitive performance. Participants were asked to respond to a list of 10 words and were asked to recall as many words as they could immediately; in some surveys, participants were asked to recall the words after a delay also. In addition, some surveys included a task given in order to assess executive function in which participants were asked to name as many animals as they could within one minute.
To examine gender-role attitudes, the researchers focused on participants’ self-reported agreement with the statement- “When jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women.”
Overall, the data showed considerable variation in gender differences and resulting cognitive performance based on it, across different countries. In some countries, women outperformed men; Sweden came out as a country with the highest female advantage in cognitive performance. But in other countries, men outperformed women; In Ghana, the male advantage was the highest.
The researchers hypothesized was proven true that women in countries with less traditional attitudes were likely to have better cognitive performance later in life compared to women in more traditional countries.
Bonsang and his colleagues also noted a good point that changes in gender-role attitudes within a country over time were associated with changes in women’s cognitive performance relative to men.
“Although the data have a correlation, several more detailed examination point towards a causal relationship. The analysis also suggests that gender-role attitudes may play a notable role in important outcomes for women across different countries,” according to the researchers.
Bonsang said, “These findings strengthened the need for policies aiming at reducing gender inequalities as we show that consequences go beyond the labor market and income inequalities.” He also said that it also shows how important it is to take in notice that seemingly intangible influences, such as cultural attitudes and values, when trying to understand cognitive aging.”
The finding of the above research is published online in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08
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Kolkata, May 20, 2017: President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday lavished praise on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, lauding her government’s competence especially in the education and health sectors.
“She is doing lot of work, in education, in health. I have been a part of the state politics for 50 years. After becoming President, I have come to the state so many times,” the President said at a programme here.
“… From my personal experience I can say her government is working competently. I bless her as an elder. She is much younger to me,” he added.
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Then, turning to Banerjee, who was present on the dias, he said: “You go ahead, God will help you”.
Mukherjee, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences — Eastern India’s first full-fledged healthcare institute dedicated to liver diseases — also commended Banerjee for taking immediate action after she received complaints that medical treatment was being “sold at an exorbitant cost”.
Banerjee had in February met private hospital authorities and pulled up many of them for “unethical” money-making practices and followed it up by passing the stringent West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017 that led to the formation of a regulatory commission to monitor the activities of private healthcare providers.
“After receiving complaint that instead of service, treatment was being sold at an exorbitant cost, she has taken immediate action.
“She has spoken to doctors, talked to the departments concerned, and individual and organisations who are involved in the matter. And she has found out a way through discussions,” Mukherjee said. (IANS)
New Delhi, May 13, 2017: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said Indira Gandhi was still the “most acceptable ruler” of the country and hailed the late Prime Minister for her decisiveness and fearlessness.
“To the people of India, she is the most acceptable ruler of a democratic country, even today,” Mukherjee said at the launch of the book “India’s Indira – A Centennial Tribute” during her birth centenary year.
He said that Indira Gandhi’s short period in political wilderness revealed her true strength.
“She remained undaunted in the face of attacks and criticism. She never lost courage. If the Congress party came back into power within a short period of three years, it was because of Gandhi’s hard work and determined action,” said Mukherjee at the event attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi among others.
“When Congress was defeated in 1977, when I met her, the first thing she told me was ‘Pranab, don’t get unnerved by the defeat. This is the time to act. And she acted,” he said.
The President, who had served as a minister in her cabinet, said that she had “waged a relentless war against communal and sectarian violence, throughout her life” while successfully rising above “divisive identities of caste, community, religion and creed and established a direct connect with people”.
“It was this unhindered rapport that made her acceptable from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Mizoram to Dwarka. She had only one identity – that of an Indian,” said the President.
He said that Indira Gandhi’s life was infused with a tremendous passion for India and its people, and hailed her contributions towards the progress and development of India.
About Indira Gandhi’s decisiveness, Mukherjee referred to several of her bold decisions including the Operation Blue Star the 1984 military operation to remove Sikh militants from the Golden Temple in Punjab.
“Sometimes history demands some action which may not prove correct later on, but perhaps is most relevant at that time,” he said.
“Fearlessness in action and boldness in decision making was the unique hallmark of her character,” said Mukherjee who was presented the first copy of the book edited by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma. “It was in Indiraji’s time that India became the third largest reservoir of skilled scientific and technical manpower, the fifth military power, the sixth member of the nuclear club, the seventh in the race for space and the tenth industrial power,” he said.Gandhi was Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and then from 1980 to 1984 when she was assassinated. (IANS)