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India holds 130th position in Human Development Index: UNDP

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New Delhi: The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in its latest report has placed India’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2014 at 0.609, as the country climbed five spots to 130 in a list of 188 countries and territories.

Between 1980 and 2014, India’s HDI value increased from 0.326 to 0.609 — an increase of 68.1 percent or an average annual increase of about 1.54 percent.

The HDI is a summary measure of assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development — long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

India loses 28.6 percent HDI due to inequalities, largely due to inequalities in education (42.1 percent). Among BRICS, South Africa has the highest loss due to inequalities at 35 percent and lowest is in Russia at 10.5 percent,

On the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India ranks 130 out of 155 countries with a value of 0.563.

The GII reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions — reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity.

The 2015 Global Human Development report by the UNDP, named “Work for Human Development”, was released on Monday in Ethiopia.

The report encourages governments to look beyond jobs to consider the many kinds of work such as unpaid care, voluntary or creative work that are important for human development.

As per the report, 2 billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years.

The report shows that providing universal social protection in India could cost an estimate 4 percent of GDP.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of direct jobs in information and communications technology in India jumped from 284,000 to more than 2 million.

As per the data provided in the report, only 39 percent of women in India were internet users compared to 61 percent of men in 2013.

The report cites that off-grid solar photovoltaic technologies will generate 90 direct and indirect jobs per megawatt in India.

For India, unpaid work, predominantly performed by women, is estimated at 39 percent of GDP.

It further stated that India’s workforce participation of women is declining — from 35 percent in 1990 to 27 percent in 2013.

In 38 countries, including India, Pakistan, Mexico and Uganda, 80 percent women were unbanked.

Globally, 74 million youths were unemployed. In India, over 10 percent of youth were unemployed, the report says.

Haoliang Xu, assistant administrator and director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, said: “The availability and quality of work are key for human development in Asia and the Pacific, a region that is home to two-thirds of the world’s working-age population.

In order to ensure that the workforce is capable of adapting to rapidly changing demands, the governments need to make strategic investments into education and health care.

Commending the Indian government for its leadership role in the design and adoption of the Sustain Development Goals, Yuri Afansasiev, UN resident coordinator and UN resident representative in India, said: “With national development programs like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Skill India, Digital India, and Make in India in place, the government of India is on a strong footing for the SDGs.

A greater focus on work, especially for women and youth will undoubtedly ensure success in the achievement of Agenda 2030.(IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:www.undp.org)

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US Offers $181 million Humanitarian Aid as Iraq launches drive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State

There is no clear plan yet for how Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, will be managed if and when it is recaptured from Islamic State

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FILE - Hundreds of civilians flee villages outside Mosul a day after Iraqi Kurdish forces launched an operation east of Islamic State-held Mosul, Aug. 15, 2016. VOA
  • The advance on Mosul, the biggest city held by the militant group also known as ISIL, could begin as soon as next month
  • The United Nations expects up to 1 million people could flee their homes in Mosul, the group’s de facto Iraqi capital
  • Critics say preparations for the humanitarian and political fallout have not kept pace with military gains

The United States said on Wednesday it would give Iraq $181 million in humanitarian aid, anticipating a wave of displaced people when Iraqi forces launch a drive to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State.

The advance on Mosul, the biggest city held by the militant group also known as ISIL, could begin as soon as next month.

“We are now in a position where ISIL here in Iraq is increasingly on the run and on the ropes, and the urgent work ahead is to complete that effort. And Mosul, of course, is the big piece ahead of Iraq and ahead of us,” Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Baghdad.

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On a visit to discuss planning for the offensive with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other officials, he said the money would be used to the pre-position emergency food and relief supplies.

The United Nations expects up to 1 million people could flee their homes in Mosul, the group’s de facto Iraqi capital.

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Critics say preparations for the humanitarian and political fallout have not kept pace with military gains.

The additional aid brings U.S humanitarian assistance to more than $1 billion since 2014, when a U.S led coalition started bombing Islamic State in Iraq and neighboring Syria as well as providing training and advice to Iraq’s security forces.

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There is no clear plan yet for how Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, will be managed if and when it is recaptured, or how pro-government forces will be positioned to avoid aggravating ethnic and sectarian tensions in the diverse region.

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Blinken said Islamic State has lost half the Iraqi territory it seized in 2014 when the army and police dropped their weapons and fled despite billions of dollars of aid from Washington since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

He said the Mosul offensive would not be easy, and the timing was up to the Iraqis. Iraqi commanders have indicated the operation could start by late October.

Blinken is due to visit Erbil on Thursday to meet leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government, whose peshmerga forces are expected to participate in the Mosul campaign. (VOA)

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When language instigated the freedom movement

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“Motherland, mother tongue and the mother herself are essential to epitomize a person’s life.

The importance of these in the overall development of an individual is immense.

Without the proper identity of these in life a person is like a wingless bird.

The mother tongue is like the wind under the wings.

It is the medium through which self- expression takes place in its highest form.

There are people who can express themselves well in foreign languages too.

However history seems to show that it is the mother tongue that bears the beacon.”

                                                                               – “Daily Star” (Bangladeshi Newspaper)

 

By Arka Mondal

21st February, the International Mother Language Day, has a special significance for Bangladesh not because of its relentless effort before the United Nations (UN) to declare the day as a celebration of one’s mother tongue, but this was the day in 1952 when the proud sons of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) laid down their lives to trigger the historic “Bhasha Andolan” (Language Movement) that later fuelled the liberation movement of the nation.

Immediately after Pakistan got its Independence, it faced a serious challenge of selecting a State language. Urdu was an obvious choice as both Pakistan’s “founding father” Mohammed Ali Jinnah and scholars felt the language to have the repute of being the cultural symbol of all the Muslims living in the Indian sub-continent.  But what about East Pakistan (Bangladesh) ? Miles apart and culturally different, Urdu was literally forced upon the people. Moreover, people in East Pakistan spoke “Bangla” and considered Urdu as a language of the elite as it was spoken merely by 7 per cent of the population in their territory.

The language imbroglio took a serious turn in the beginning of 1952. In the absence of

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stalwarts like Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, newly-appointed Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin was not in position to address the issue as people of East Bengal were critical about the anti-Bengali policy of the Punjabi and Mohajir dominated ruling class.

Nazimuddin, however, declared in the Dhaka session of the ruling Muslim League party on 27 January 1952  at the Paltan Maidan that “Urdu will be the state language of Pakistan”. He also stated that Bangla will be written in Arabic script.

On 21st February, the world witnessed the barbaric atrocities by a government force on peaceful demonstration by “language martyrs”.  At around nine o’clock in the morning, students began gathering at the Dhaka University premises in defiance of Section 144.  A clarion call of peaceful defiance with the chanting of “moder gorbo, moder aasha, a’mori Bangla bhasha“(our pride, our hope, our Bengali language) was met with indiscriminate firing from the Pakistani police. A number of students were killed but Abdus Salam, Abdul Jabbar, Abul Barkat, Rafiq Uddin and many others kept living in the hearts of the people to trigger a mass uprising that ultimately brought freedom to Bangladesh in 1971. The firing might have silenced the mortal voice, but it failed to curb the legacy of the language.

The language movement was something more than just a fight or a movement. It was not merely a fight to uphold the relevance of a language that was over 1,000 years old but it was a fight for one’s own identity, a fight for social and economic justice. It was a battle against the state powers taken up by ordinary innocent people sans weapons so that the future generation can have an identity. It was a bout against the tyranny to talk, laugh, love, cry, dream and quarrel in one’s mother tongue, a fight not to give in to the measures that usurps one own mother tongue.

There are over 6,900 living languages in the world and Bangla is the 6th most spoken language with nearly 300 million speakers in the Indian subcontinent alone. It is spoken by three times more people than Urdu.

মোদের গরব, মোদের আশা, আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
মাগো তোমার কোলে, তোমার বোলে, কতই শান্তি ভালবাসা !
মাগো তোমার কোলে, তোমার বোলে, কতই শান্তি ভালবাসা !
আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
মোদের গরব, মোদের আশা, আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !

কি যাদু বাংলা গানে- গান গেয়ে দাঁড় মাঝি টানে,

কি যাদু বাংলা গানে- গান গেয়ে দাঁড় মাঝি টানে,
গেয়ে গান নাচে বাউল-

গেয়ে গান নাচে বাউল- গান গেয়ে ধান কাটে চাষা।
মোদের গরব, মোদের আশা, আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
মোদের গরব, মোদের আশা, আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !

বিদ্যাপতি, চণ্ডী, গোবিন, হেম, মধু, বঙ্কিম, নবীন-
বিদ্যাপতি, চণ্ডী, গোবিন, হেম, মধু, বঙ্কিম, নবীন-
ঐ ফুলেরি মধুর রসে,
ঐ ফুলেরি মধুর রসে, বাঁধলো সুখে মধুর বাসা ।
আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
মোদের গরব, মোদের আশা, আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !

বাজিয়ে রবি তোমার বীণে, আনলো মালা জগৎ জিনে-
বাজিয়ে রবি তোমার বীণে, আনলো মালা জগৎ জিনে-
তোমার চরণ-তীর্থে –

মাগো তোমার চরণ-তীর্থে – আজি, জগৎ করে যাওয়া-আসা
আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
মোদের গরব, মোদের আশা, আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !

ওই ভাষাতেই প্রথম বোলে ডাকনু মায়ে মা, মা বলে
ওই ভাষাতেই প্রথম বোলে ডাকনু মায়ে মা, মা বলে
ওই ভাষাতেই বলবো হরি, সাঙ্গ হলে কাঁদা-হাসা

আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
মোদের গরব, মোদের আশা, আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !
মাগো তোমার কোলে, তোমার বোলে, কতই শান্তি ভালবাসা !
মাগো তোমার কোলে, তোমার বোলে, কতই শান্তি ভালবাসা !
আ মরি বাংলা ভাষা !

-অতুলপ্রসাদ সেন

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Emergency medical assistance just a stone’s throw away

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Now, emergency medical assistance will be just a stone’s throw away. San Francisco-based MUrgency Inc – founded by a Keralite – has developed a new mobile app to ensure fast emergency medical assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The company, founded by Shaffi Mather, through the new app, aims to reach out across the globe by the end of 2015 through the MUrgency platform.

Mather said it is a well-known fact that timely medical assistance is the most critical factor in saving lives.

“Unfortunately, it is not readily available to 90 percent of world’s population. At MUrgency, it is our mission to make fast emergency medical assistance available through the mobile phone to anyone, anytime, anywhere with just one tap on your phone,” said Mather on Thursday.

The company has also joined the UNDP’s Business to Call Action program with the app.

While the platform and app are available globally, the MUrgency Responder function on the app is being rolled out gradually, starting with Punjab in India in August 2015, following strict validation of responders’ credentials.

Before launching this app, MUrgency was tested in various markets such as Dubai in UAE, Punjab in India and Israel and it was found that the app helped in reducing response time to less than half of what it takes an ambulance in an efficiently run ambulance system to reach the emergency victim.

According to WHO estimates, more people die owing to lack of timely medical assistance as compared to AIDS, TB and malaria combined.

This app ups the power of mobile technology, cloud network and cell phone networks to create a seamless global emergency response network that aims at emergency response by connecting people who need help directly with trained responders like doctors, nurses, paramedics and ambulances.

On the supply side, the network aggregates existing emergency responder resources, validates their credentials and onboard them to the MUrgency Network.

(IANS)