Modi govt moves to include transgender children in schools

transgender2NEW DELHI: The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has advised all States and Union Territories (UTs), barring Jammu and Kashmir, to take appropriate action for the inclusion of “third gender’’ children among socially and educationally backward classes for admission in educational institutions under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to universalise elementary education.

This is in keeping with the Supreme Court order of April 15, 2014, to treat and grant legal recognition to the “third gender”. Continue reading

Nuclear fog hangs over Modi’s visit to US

Obama-ModiNEW DELHI: As the Indian administration gears up to launch a civil nuclear cooperation blitz with the US and reiterate its petition to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in September, industry experts said that decisions in these complex matters “will not materialise overnight,” and New Delhi may have “painted itself into a corner,” on nuclear liability. Continue reading

India’s life expectancy improving

populationNEW DELHI: India’s life expectancy has increased from 58.5 years in 1990 to 66.4 years in 2013. While this is a significant increase, both Pakistan and Bangladesh have slightly better life expectancy.

Among the BRICS countries, only South Africa has a lower expectancy at 56.9 years, primarily due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. China’s life expectancy is 75.3 years. Continue reading

India votes for probe on Israel offensive

unsecurity councilGENEVA: India along with BRICS countries on Wednesday voted in support of a UN Human Rights Council resolution to launch a probe into Israel’s offensive on Gaza.

India joined Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa to vote for a Palestinian-drafted resolution on “Ensuring Respect for international law in The Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jersusalem”. Continue reading

Kedarnath pilgrim route suspended due to bad weather

rishikeshroadDEHRAUN: With the Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway blocked at Doliyadevi near Fata and intermittent rains continuing, district authorities on Thursday decided to keep the Kedarnath yatra suspended till July 26.

The highway to Kedarnath as well as Guptkashi-Kalimath motor road is blocked by boulders following landslips and nearly half a dozen places in Kedar valley are being lashed by moderate showers. Continue reading

Jayalalitha dwells on values emphasised by Islam

jayalaithaCHENNAI: Following Prophet Mohammed’s teachings will ensure India remains a haven of peace, Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said at an ‘Iftar’ party she hosted here on Monday.

Jayalalithaa pointed out the Prophet not just sermonised virtues but also lived by them. The holy month of Ramadan was “spring season’’ to the followers of the Prophet. Continue reading

Poorer UP Congress scales back on Roza Iftaar party

upcongressLUCKNOW: At Roza Iftaar on Thursday, the UP unit of the Congress party will create history. Launching never-before austerity measures in light of the party’s recent poll debacle, senior leaders of the party have, for the first time, ditched the tradition of drawing from party funds to host the annual Roza iftaar at the UP Congress Committee head quarters.

Instead, the event will be hosted with the help of personal, voluntary contributions made by senior leaders of the UPCC as well as some in Delhi. Continue reading

Toilets, drinking water in schools: Court warns Andhra govt

andhra schoolsNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has taken a stern view of Andhra Pradesh government not complying with its directions to ensure drinking water and separate toilets for girls and boys in schools and directed the state’s Principal Secretary to appear before it and explain the exact position.

Earlier in May 2014, a bench of justices Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda said these provisions are essential for basic human rights that enhance the atmosphere where the education is imparted. Continue reading

‘Only divine intervention’ can check rape and crime

aziz-qureshiLUCKNOW: A day before he demits office, Uttar Pradesh Governor Aziz Qureshi Monday, in a controversial remark, said incidents of rapes could not be stopped even if the entire police force or Army was deployed. He said only a divine intervention can help check such crimes.

“Rape incidents cannot be stopped. Even if the entire police force or Army is deployed then also rapes will not end,” Qureshi told a TV channel. Continue reading