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Quotas for women to reduce Gender Discrimination and to help them advance in Leadership Positions

The government is also committed to 33 per cent reservation in Parliamentary and State assemblies for women through a Constitutional amendment

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New Delhi, Jan 13, 2017: In an attempt to reduce gender discrimination Union Minister Anupriya Patel today favoured establishing quotas for women. This will help them compete in mixed-gender environments and advance in leadership roles. This step is taken keeping in mind that companies and public offices with women at senior positions tend to do better.

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While mentioning the other details she also said that the government is also committed to 33 per cent reservation in Parliamentary and State assemblies for women through a Constitutional amendment.

The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare said here at an Assocham event that “Research has shown that companies perform better during economic turbulence when they have women on their boards, and communities with women in public offices have greater investment in public goods.”

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Patel said that one of the effective ways to help women advance in leadership positions and enhance their decision-making role “could be establishing quotas,” although she did not specify the areas for establishing the quotas to women.

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This can increase “women’s willingness to compete in competitive mixed-gender environments resulting in more qualified candidates, men and women alike, applying for competitive positions,” said Patel, who herself is an SRCC (Shri Ram College of Commerce) Graduate from Delhi University.

“Also, modelling female leadership can go a long way,” she added while addressing the BIMSTEC-SAARC Women’s Economic Forum organised by Assocham.

In order to build a stronger economic life across all sectors and achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, Patel has favoured this decision for empowering women.

 – prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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The Families Of Victims In Railway Accident Incident In India Stage Protests

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a "heart-wrenching tragedy" and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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People gather at the site of an accident after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people on rail tracks near Amritsar, India. VOA

Angry relatives of the scores of people who were killed in India when they were run over by a speeding train staged protests Saturday while one of the country’s railway officials maintains the railway is not responsible for the tragic accident.

The train was traveling at high speed when it ploughed through a crowd Friday at a religious festival on the outskirts of the northern city of Amritsar, killing 59 people, Punjab state’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, told reporters Saturday. Singh said 57 others were injured and an official investigation would be carried out over the next four weeks.

The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was traveling at 90 kilometers per hour when it hit the crowd, which had gathered on the tracks to watch a fireworks display marking the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

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The Hindu festival of Dussehra.

Hundreds of relatives of the victims engaged in sporadic protests on and near the tracks Saturday, calling for action against local authorities and the train operator, who was questioned Saturday by police.

Authorities moved the protestors off the tracks and brought in reinforcements to control the crowd.

‘No lapse on our part’

The railway accident was India’s worst in years, but the junior minister who manages Indian Railways, the world’s fourth largest rail system, refused to accept responsibility.

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A man mourns next to the burning pyre of a family member who died after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people, at a cremation site in Amritsar, India. VOA

“Railways cannot be blamed. Railways were not informed about the ceremony,” Manoj Sinha told reporters Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Sinha ruled out any punitive action against his staff, saying, “There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated.”

Local government officials said the festival takes place every year on the outskirts of Amritsar and that railroad authorities are alerted to run the trains at slow speeds.

Witnesses said the victims did not realize the train was coming because of the sound of the fireworks and celebrations.

‘Heart-wrenching’

Some witnesses said the train did not sound its whistle as it sped past the festival site.

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With India, Indian Railway is also digitizing, Pixels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a “heart-wrenching tragedy” and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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India’s railway network remains the main form of travel in the vast country, where railway accidents are relatively common.

Millions of Hindus celebrate the Dussehra festival by burning giant effigies of the demon Ravana, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. (VOA)