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The delayed withdrawal of monsoon, coupled with the flood situation in various parts of the country, soaring fuel prices and the festive season demand have all set the prices of vegetables, especially essentials such as onion and tomato, to shoot up within a week or so. The Centre has claimed it is keeping tab on the prices and even announced that it has maintained a buffer stock to moderate prices and ensure minimal storage loss.
The prices were relatively stable till about last month and the rates were comparable to that of the same time last year. However, floods in several parts of south India in September and early October led to supply shortages. For instance, according to state wise 'Wholesale Prices Monthly Analysis for Onion' for the month of October 2021 shows that in Delhi, the rate of onions in this month is Rs 2,970.62 per quintal, compared to Rs 1,711.18 per quintal in September 2021, which is a whopping 73.6 per cent increase. However, the rate in October 2020 was Rs 3,161.94 per quintal, which is minus 6.05 per cent compared to current month price.
The prices were relatively stable till about last month and the rates were comparable to that of the same time last year. | Photo by M. B. M. on Unsplash
Similarly, for Maharashtra, the rate is Rs 2,760.69 per quintal in October 2021 compared to Rs 1,521.68 per quintal in September 2021, which is 81.42 per cent increase. However, the rate in October 2020 was Rs 3,374.71, which is minus 18.19 per cent. Almost similar prices played out in Madhya Pradesh where the rate for October 2021 is Rs 2,523.79 compared to Rs 1,391.11 in September 2021, which is again, 81.42 per cent rise. And very similar to Maharashtra, the price in October 2020 was Rs 3,181.28, which is minus 20.67 compared to current month savings.
"The onion and tomato prices have shot up because there have been continuous rains in Maharashtra from where Delhi gets its onions. Tomatoes come from Maharashtra and Karnataka, which too has witnessed rains and flood fury in recent weeks," said former president of Federation of Fruit and Vegetables Trade Associations of Delhi, Rajendra Sharma. This has had a cascading effect on retail rates in Delhi. Around navaratri time, the rates were stable, tomatoes cost Rs 50 per kg but days after Dussehra, on Monday, the rates had soared to Rs 80 per kg. Onions are currently being sold at Rs 60 per kg in most areas, with rates in south Delhi tad higher.
Vegetable rates rarely soar in just one area or one metro. The price rise is almost all the time pan-India, especially for the metro cities. An onion grower and trader from Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, Sanjay Holkar, said, the diesel prices have hit the roof and that is the reason why the cost at the consumer end has escalated. "I send in 30-40 truckloads of onions to north every week. The prices won't come down till the time the diesel prices are lowered," Holkar told IANS on phone.
The corruption has led to this artificial price rise," said Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat of Devi Ahilya Sahakari Vipanan and Prakriya Sanstha Ltd, Indore. | Photo by Didier Provost on Unsplash
The Centre's Department of Consumer Affairs has said, it has taken up a "calibrated and targeted release of onions" from its buffer stock guided by the twin objectives of moderating prices and ensuring minimal storage loss. Onion buffer has been maintained by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) with the objective of effective market intervention to moderate prices. In 2021-22, against the target of building 2 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) onion buffer a total of 2.08 LMT was procured from the Rabi-2021 crop from April to July 2021, the Centre had said on Sunday. Sharma criticized that the buffer stock maintained by the Centre is just too little.
The government also claimed that till October 12, a total of 67,357 MT has been released in major markets such as Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Kochi and Raipur. However, not all are convinced that the soaring prices have got anything to do with either rains or rising fuel costs. "It is sheer mismanagement on the part of the government and officials, who are hand in glove. The corruption has led to this artificial price rise," said Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat of Devi Ahilya Sahakari Vipanan and Prakriya Sanstha Ltd, Indore. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: september,onions,maharashtra,buffer,october,prices, india, market, vegetables, onions
MALMÖ, SWEDEN — Social media giants were urged to act Wednesday to stem online antisemitism during an international conference in Sweden focused on the growing amount of hatred published on many platforms.
The Swedish government invited social media giants TikTok, Google and Facebook along with representatives from 40 countries, the United Nations and Jewish organizations to the event designed to tackle the rising global scourge of antisemitism.
Sweden hosted the event in the southern city of Malmo, which was a hotbed of antisemitic sentiment in the early 2000s but which during World War II welcomed Danish Jews fleeing the Nazis and inmates rescued from concentration camps in 1945.
"What they see today in social media is hatred," World Jewish Congress head Ronald Lauder told the conference.
President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder speaks in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27, 2020. Credit: vao
Google told the event, officially called the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Anti-Semitism, that it was earmarking 5 million euros ($5.78 million) to combat antisemitism online.
"We want to stop hate speech online and ensure we have a safe digital environment for our citizens," French President Emmanuel Macron said in a prerecorded statement.
European organizations accused tech companies of "completely failing to address the issue," saying antisemitism was being repackaged and disseminated to a younger generation through platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Antisemitic tropes are "rife across every social media platform," according to a study linked to the conference that was carried out by three nongovernmental organizations.
Hate speech remains more prolific and extreme on sites such as Parler and 4chan but is being introduced to young users on mainstream platforms, the study said.
On Instagram, where almost 70% of global users are aged 13 to 34, there are millions of results for hashtags relating to antisemitism, the research found.
On TikTok, where 69% of users are aged 16 to 24, it said a collection of three hashtags linked to antisemitism were viewed more than 25 million times in six months.
In response to the report, a Facebook spokesperson said antisemitism was "completely unacceptable" and that its policies on hate speech and Holocaust denial had been tightened.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speak during the Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism in Malmo, Sweden, October 13, 2021. Credit: voa
A TikTok spokesperson said the platform "condemns antisemitism" and would "keep strengthening our tools for fighting antisemitic content."
According to the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency, 9 out of 10 Jews in the EU say antisemitism has risen in their country and 38% have considered emigrating because they no longer feel safe.
"Antisemitism takes the shape of extreme hatred on social networks," said Ann Katina, the head of the Jewish Community of Malmo organization that runs two synagogues.
"It hasn't just moved there, it has grown bigger there," she told AFP.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has made the fight against antisemitism one of his last big initiatives before leaving office next month and has vowed better protection for Sweden's 15,000-20,000 Jews.
Reports of antisemitic crimes in the Scandinavian country rose by more than 50% between 2016 and 2018, from 182 to 278, according to the latest statistics available from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
The Jewish community in Malmo has fluctuated over the years, from more than 2,000 in 1970 to just more than 600 now.
In the early 2000s, antisemitic attacks in Malmo made global headlines. Incidents included verbal insults, assaults and Molotov cocktails thrown at the synagogue.
In response, authorities vowed to boost police resources and increase funding to protect congregations under threat.
Mirjam Katzin, who coordinates antisemitism efforts in Malmo schools, the only such position in Sweden, said there was "general concern" among Jews in the city.
"Some never experience any abuse, while others will hear the word 'Jew' used as an insult, jokes about Hitler or the Holocaust or various conspiracy theories," she said. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Antisemitism, Holocaust, Jews, World
Without referring to any incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that a selective view of human rights violation through a political lens is dangerous for democracy and will affect the country as a few have modified the definition of human rights as per their own convenience.
Prime Minister Modi was addressing the 28th National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) foundation day programme on Tuesday through video conferencing. He said India always upheld human rights, saying his government has provided new rights to Muslim women who were demanding laws against Triple Talaq and freed them from the compulsion of 'Mahram' and as a chaperone, a male family member accompanying them during haj.
Stressing on empowerment of women, he said India is providing paid maternity leave of 26 weeks to career women, aiming to protect the basic rights of newborn children.
Highlighting the strict law and order, Modi said his government has established 650 fast track courts and introduced the death penalty for the heinous offense of rape.
The fare gender can get all in one facility for temporary accommodation, counselling and medical help etc. "By amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, our government has paved way for safer and legal abortion options," he added. Modi said that his government has always thought of the last person in the queue and strived hard to ensure that no one, not even those who are unaware of their basic human rights is left out.
"This is why we came up with schemes like Jan-Dhan Yojna, Ujjwala Yojna and Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. These schemes and campaigns have dignified the lives of those who had never dreamt of having their own bank accounts and owning a debit card or thought of getting a gas cylinder at their doorsteps. Similarly, people are no longer forced to defecate in open and under the 'Saubhagya' scheme we have ensured that every household gets electricity," the prime minister said.
Modi also emphasized the steps taken by his government for the upliftment of specially-abled, saying, "Nationwide, thousands of institutes, public spaces, including buses and railways, 700 websites and even currencies have been made differently-abled friendly."
"For the transgender community, Transgender Persons' Protection of Rights Act has been introduced," he pointed out, adding that all these steps will help eradicate injustice from the country.
PM Modi further added that the NDA government has been seriously working towards the development of Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states as well, reiterating the point that his government is considerate of human rights and is working in the best interest of every section of the Indian society. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, India, National Human Rights Commission, Society, Rights.
Former Human Resource Development Secretary Amit Khare was on Tuesday appointed as advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Khare's appointment on contract basis on terms and conditions as applicable to re-employed officers of Secretary level.
An IAS officer of the 1985 batch from Bihar/Jharkhand cadre, Khare was instrumental in bringing to light the infamous fodder scam in Bihar in the 1990s. He was also Information & Broadcasting Secretary.
Khare's last achievement before retirement was to put un shape the National Education Policy 2020, an ambitious programme of the current regime. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, Prime Minister Office, HRD, Amit Khare, National Education Policy