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Religion not the cause for Indian population growth, development is

Education and awareness more significant factors than religion when it comes to determining population growth rate of India.

Source: Pixabay
An Indian Family Source: Pixabay

Sept 05, 2016: The phenomena of unrestrained population growth that our country faces are generally attributed to the chaotic religious scenario that fills India.

 But how far this conclusion is from reality?

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According to the cessation made from a recent study conducted by the IndiaSpend analysis of Government data and research evidence, the fertility rates, birth rates, sex ratio and all the aspects of a population are somehow closely related to the literacy, development, edification and financial state of the society. Education of families, especially that of women highly determines the mentality and consequently the status of family growing and family planning.

When the fertility rates for Indian population were released last year, the discussion has strategically deviated to the difference in growth rates with regard to different religions. And it was seen that the percentage of Muslims in India had grown to 14.2% of the total population in 2011, increasing from 13.4% in 2001, while the Hindus have reduced to 79.8% from 80.5%. There was no significant change in the percentage of Christians and Jains as the population growth rates were 2.3% and 0.4%, respectively, while the population growth rate was observed in a declining state of Buddhists from 0.8% to 0.7%, and that of Sikhs from 1.9% to 1.7%.

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The facts if properly examined show that richer(middle class, upper-middle class  , and elite class) families, living with better healthcare amenities, surrounded by a comparatively broader mindset regarding education contribute to lower population growth rates in India. And also on the global platform, there is quite a little evidence to link religion and fertility rates as relating it to poor living conditions, conflict-ridden state situations and lower female empowerment have reported higher population growth rates.

The curious case of Kerala and UP

Taking a significant example of our country by comparing the literacy rates and population growth rates of two states (one from north) Uttar Pradesh and (one from south) Kerala, clears a lot of arguments over this issue.
Kerala has a literacy rate of 93.9%, compared to 69.7% in Uttar Pradesh in 2011. In the same year, 99.7% of mothers in Kerala received proper and necessary medical attention at delivery compared to the 48.4% of mothers in UP. 74.9% of women were above the age of 21 in Kerala at marriage while only 47.6% in Uttar Pradesh.

Economic status of family also works as a factor

The poor families also work on the motto, ‘more heads-more income’, and hence it is observed that families in lower wealth quintiles have more children as compared to the families having more economic stability.

And if factors such as quantity & quality of education, the eminence of healthcare facilities provided, awareness regarding sexual education & family planning is considered, these show much more significance than the religious identity of a family.

More poverty, less education, More children
More poverty, less education, More children Source: Pixabay

Also, according to the 2014 World Bank Data, when two Muslim-countries were compared another connotation was observed:  Bangladesh, India’s Muslim-majority neighbor, had a Total Fertility Rate of 2.2 where Iran, another Muslim country, had a TFR of 1.7 which is even below the replacement level; correspondingly Malaysia & Indonesia (Muslim-majority countries) have a comparatively logical fertility rates of 1.9& 2.5 respectively but Egypt has a TFR of 3.3.

So, if the issue of Indian population growth is observed on a larger scale considering more and more factors that somehow affects this, it can be understood that socioeconomic factors, literacy, rejuvenation, urbanization, mindset, awareness regarding contraceptives, and effectiveness of state policies for development, all determine fertility more than the religious distinctiveness of a person.

-prepared by Arya Sharan

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)

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India sends Emergency Fuel Supplies to Sri Lanka

According to Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan, Modi assured all assistance from India to Sri Lanka following Siriena's request for emergency fuel supplies and petrol shipments.

emergency fuel supplies
India is sending additional fuel to Sri Lanka, confirmed PMO onTwitter (representative image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 9, 2017 : Following reports of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) rejecting a shipment of petrol from Lanka IOC (LIOC), the Sri Lankan subsidiary of Indian Oil, India on Wednesday made emergency fuel supplies to Sri Lanka following a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

“In the telephone conversation with Sri Lankan President @MaithripalaS, PM @narendramodi conveyed that India is sending additional fuel to Sri Lanka and assured India’s continued support for development cooperation,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.

According to Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan, Modi assured all assistance from India to Sri Lanka following Siriena’s request for emergency fuel supplies and petrol shipments.

LIOC has made available 3,500 kilo litres of its own stock to CPC, Doordarshan said in a shared tweet.

A ship with an additional 21,000 kilo litres of petrol also left for Sri Lanka and additional petrol is being made available from Kochi refinery in Kerala.

Citing CPC sources, the Sunday Times said an emergency fuel supplies’ shipment that arrived at the Colombo harbour on October 17 had been tested for a second time and rejected on a quality test.

However, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he did not agree that LIOC was responsible for the current fuel shortage in the country and said two oil shipments would be arriving in the country within two day, acording to a report in the Colombo Page.

“Apart from petrol shipment arriving on November 8, another shipment is due from India on November 9, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe informed the parliament on Tuesday responding to a question raised in the parliament regarding the fuel crisis,” the statement said.

It said that Wikremesinghe said a discussion was held with the Indian High Commissioner in this regard and the Indian ship would arrive either November 9 or 10. (IANS)

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Rape Survivors in India Still Face Humiliation with Two-Finger tests and Barriers to Justice says Human Rights Watch

Indian Rape survivors still face barriers in justice and humiliation with two-finger tests, reported the Human Rights Watch

Rape Survivors
Rape survivors face humiliation during investigation. Pixabay.

New Delhi, Nov 9: Five years after the Nirbhaya gang rape case in Delhi, rape survivors are still facing barriers to getting justice in India, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

Rape survivors in India face significant barriers to obtaining justice and critical support services despite legal and other reforms adopted since the December 16, 2012 gang rape-murder of a 19-year-old physiotherapy intern in the national capital, who came to be known as ‘Nirbhaya’, said the international human rights NGO in an 82-page report “Everyone Blames Me: Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India” released on Wednesday.

The report said women and girls who survived rape and other sexual violence often suffered humiliation at police stations and hospitals.

“Police are frequently unwilling to register complaints, victims and witnesses receive little protection, and medical professionals still compel degrading two finger tests. These obstacles to justice and dignity are compounded by inadequate healthcare, counselling, and legal support for victims during criminal trials of the accused,” an HRW statement said.

“Five years ago, Indians shocked by the brutality of the gang rape in Delhi, called for an end to the silence around sexual violence and demanded criminal justice reforms,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director of HRW.

“Today, there are stronger laws and policies, but much remains to be done to ensure that police, doctors, and courts treat survivors with dignity,” she said.

The HRW said it conducted field research and interviews in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan — selected because of their large number of reported rape cases — as well as Delhi and Mumbai.

The report details 21 cases — 10 cases involving girls under the age of 18.

Rape survivors
Rape survivors feel harassed at police stations and hospitals. Pixabay.

The findings are drawn from more than 65 interviews with victims, their family members, lawyers, human rights activists, doctors, forensic experts, and government and police officials, as well as research by Indian organisations.

“Under the Indian law, police officers who fail to register a complaint of sexual assault face up to two years in prison. However, Human Rights Watch found that police did not always file a First Information Report (FIR), the first step to initiating a police investigation, especially if the victim was from an economically or socially marginalised community.

“In several cases, the police resisted filing the FIR or pressured the victim’s family to ‘settle’ or ‘compromise’, particularly if the accused was from a powerful family or community,” the statement said.

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It said that lack of witness protection law in India makes rape survivors and witnesses vulnerable to pressure that undermines prosecutions.

The human rights body said that some defence lawyers and judges still use language in courtrooms that is “biased and derogatory” toward sexual assault survivors.

“The attempt at shaming the victim is still very much prevalent in the courts,” Rebecca Mammen John, a senior criminal lawyer in Delhi, was quoted in the statement. (IANS)