For first time, India has more women than men, finds latest survey

News Network
November 25, 2021

New Delhi, Nov 25: For the first time, India has 1,020 women per 1,000 men, according to the Phase-II report of the fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

This is the first time in any NFHS survey or census that the number of women on the sex ratio is more than men. In the 2005-06 NFHS-3 report, the ratio was 1000:1000. However, it went down to 991:1000 in the next NFHS report in 2015-16.

 “The improved sex ratio and sex ratio at birth is also a significant achievement; even though the real picture will emerge from the census, we can say for now looking at the results that our measures for women empowerment have steered us in the right direction,” Vikas Sheel, additional secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Mission Director, National Health Mission, told Hindustan Times.

Even though the sex ratio of 1020:1000 is a significant milestone achieved by the country, the gender ratio at birth in the past five years stands at 929.

The government on November 24 released the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for India and 14 states and UTs, clubbed under Phase-II of the 2019-21 NFHS-5.

The states and UTs that were surveyed in the second phase were Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The findings of NFHS-5 for 22 states and UTs were covered in Phase-I, which was released in December last year.

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News Network
November 28,2021

New Delhi, Nov 28: India on Sunday recorded 8,774 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, according to health ministry data.

In the meantime, 621 new fatalities were also recorded, taking the death toll due to the fatal virus to 4,68,554.

Over 3.45 crore infections have been recorded in the country so far.

With 9,481 recoveries, the total recoveries surged to 3,39,88,797.

The recovery rate is currently at 98.34 per cent, the highest since March 2020.

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Agencies
November 20,2021

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New Delhi, Nov 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have caved in to farmers' demands that he scraps laws they say threaten their livelihoods.

But the reaction to the shock U-turn in the northern states, where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces key elections next year, has been less than positive, a worrying sign for a leader seeking to maintain his grip on national politics.

In Uttar Pradesh's Mohraniya, farmer Guru Sevak Singh said that he and others like him lost faith in Modi and his party.

"Today Prime Minister Modi realised that he was committing blunder, but it took him a year to recognise this and only because he now knows farmers will not vote for his party ever again," said Singh.

For the young farmer, the matter is deeply personal.

Singh's 19-year-old brother Guruvinder was killed in October when a car ploughed into a crowd protesting against the farm legislation, one of eight people who died in a spate of violence related to the farmers' uprising.

Thousands of agricultural workers have protested outside New Delhi and beyond for more than a year, shrugging off the pandemic to disrupt traffic and pile pressure on Modi and the BJP who say the new laws were key to modernising the sector.

"Today I can announce that my brother is a martyr," Singh told Reuters, weeping as he held a picture of his dead brother.

"My brother is among those brave farmers who sacrificed their lives to prove that the government was implementing laws to destroy the agrarian economy," he added.

Around him were several police officers, who Singh said were provided after his brother and three others were killed by the car. Ashish Mishra, son of MoS Ajay, is in police custody in relation to the incident.

Ajay Mishra Teni said at the time that his son was not at the site and that a car driven by "our driver" had lost control and hit the farmers after "miscreants" pelted it with stones and attacked it with sticks and swords.

'How can we forget?'

In 2020, the Modi government passed three farm laws in a bid to overhaul the agriculture sector that employs about 60 per cent of India's workforce but is deeply inefficient, in debt and prone to pricing wars.

Angry farmers took to the streets, saying the reforms put their jobs at risk and handed control over crops and prices to private corporations.

The resulting protest movement became one of the country's biggest and most protracted.

Leaders of six farmer unions who spearheaded the movement in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab states said they would not forgive a government that labelled protesting farmers as terrorists and anti-nationals.

"Farmers were beaten with sticks, rods and detained for demanding legitimate rights ... farmers were mowed down by a speeding car belonging to a minister's family ... tell me how can we forget it all?" said Sudhakar Rai, a senior member of a farmers' union in Uttar Pradesh.

Rai said at least 170 farmers were killed during anti-farm law protests across the country. There are no official data to verify his claims.

A senior BJP member who declined to be named said the decision to repeal the laws was taken by Modi after he consulted a top farmers' association affiliated to his party.

The politician, who was at the meeting when the party agreed to back down, said those present conceded the BJP had failed to communicate the benefits of the new laws clearly enough.

Leaders of the opposition and some analysts said Modi's move was linked to state elections next year in Uttar Pradesh - which accounts for more parliamentary seats than any other state - and Punjab.

"What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections!" wrote P. Chidambaram, a senior figure in the opposition Congress party, on Twitter.

But farmers like Singh warned that the government could pay a price for its treatment of farmers.

"We are the backbone of the country and Modi has today accepted that his policies were against farmers," said Singh. "I lost my brother in this mess and no one can bring him back."

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News Network
November 19,2021

Lucknow, Nov 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the previous regimes had 'looted' Uttar Pradesh, even as he sought to woo Muslim women by referring to the law against triple talaq.

In his first public meeting at Mahoba, after announcing scrapping of the three farm laws, Modi made no reference to them but listed the measures initiated by the government for the benefit of the farmers.

"They (opposition regimes) never got tired of looting UP and we never get tired of working for the development of the state," the prime minister told the crowd after inaugurating several developmental projects at Mahoba.

Modi said that he had promised to the Muslim women of Mahoba a few years back that the government would scrap the menace of triple talaq. "The promise has been fulfilled," he added.

He said that the natural resources of the Bundelkhand region had been handed over to the mafia elements by the previous governments. "Now when the mafia elements are being bulldozed their sympathisers are feeling the pain," he said.

The prime minister said that his government had taken several steps for the welfare of the farmers. "Rs 1.62 lakh crore has been sent directly into the accounts of the farmers through the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi," he added.

Modi also said that the government had initiated several measures to prevent migration from the arid Bundelkhand region.

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