Global Hunger Index 2021: India falls to 101 from 94; far worse than Pak, Bangla, Nepal, Myanmar

News Network
October 15, 2021

New Delhi, Oct 15: India has slipped to the 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th and is behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Eighteen countries, including China, Brazil and Kuwait, shared the top rank with a GHI score of less than five, the website of the Global Hunger Index that tracks hunger and malnutrition said on Thursday.

The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, termed the level of hunger in India "alarming".

In 2020, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries. Now with 116 countries in the fray, it has dropped to 101st rank.

India's GHI score has also decelerated -- from 38.8 in 2000 to the range of 28.8 - 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.

The GHI score is calculated on four indicators --undernourishment; child wasting (the share of children under the age of five who are wasted i.e who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition)  and child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

The share of wasting among children in India rose from 17.1 per cent between 1998-2002 to 17.3 per cent between 2016-2020, according to the report.

"People have been severely hit by Covid-19 and by pandemic related restrictions in India, the country with the highest child wasting rate worldwide," the report said.

Neighbouring countries like Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the 'alarming' hunger category but have fared better at feeding their citizens than India, according to the report.

However, India has shown improvement in other indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food, the report said.

According to the report, the fight against hunger is dangerously off track. Based on the current GHI projections, the world as a whole -- and 47 countries in particular -- will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030.

Food security is under assault on multiple fronts, it said, adding that worsening conflict, weather extremes associated with global climate change, and the economic and health challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic are all driving hunger.

"Inequality -- between regions, countries, districts, and communities -- is pervasive and, (if) left unchecked, will keep the world from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) mandate to “leave no one behind," the report said.

Further, the report noted that it is difficult to be optimistic in 2021 because the forces now driving hunger are overpowering good intentions and lofty goals.

Among the most powerful and toxic of these forces are conflict, climate change, and Covid-19—three Cs that threaten to wipe out any progress that has been made against hunger in recent years, it added. 

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News Network
November 23,2021

Riyadh, Nov 23: The Arab coalition said on Tuesday that it had carried out airstrikes in Yemen’s capital.

The coalition cautioned civilians in Sanaa from approaching or gathering near the targeted locations in the Dhahban neighborhood of the city.

The strikes hit sites storing ballistic missiles, said the coalition, accusing the Iran-backed Houthi militia of endangering Yemeni civilians by using them as human shields.

Residents told Reuters the strikes targeted two military sites.

The coalition said on Monday that the Houthi militia in Yemen have turned Sanaa airport into a military base for experiments and cross-border attacks.

Saudi Arabia claims that it is targeted by the militia nearly daily using explosive drones, which are often easily destroyed by the Kingdom’s air defenses.

Houthi attempts to target civilians has been labeled as war crimes by the Kingdom.

The Arab coalition has been supporting the Yemeni government regain full control of the country after the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014. 

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News Network
November 30,2021

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With his elevation as the CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, in whom co-founder of the microblogging giant Jack Dorsey has “bone-deep” trust, joins the growing power club of Indian-origin executives helming US-based global multinationals.

Twitter’s outgoing CEO Dorsey announced on Monday that 37-year old Agrawal, an IIT Mumbai and Stanford University alumnus, will be the company’s new chief executive as he stepped down after 16 years at the company that he co-founded and helmed.

A report in The New York Times said that Agrawal will receive an annual salary of $1 million, in addition to bonuses, restricted stock units and performance-based stock units.

“After almost 16 years of having a role at our company...from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO...I decided it's finally time for me to leave. Why?

“There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being 'founder-led.' Ultimately I believe that's severely limiting and a single point of failure. I've worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders. There are 3 reasons I believe now is the right time.

“The first is Parag becoming our CEO. The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He's been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.

Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He's curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble. He leads with heart and soul and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone-deep,” Dorsey said.

Agrawal’s ascension as Twitter CEO puts him in the growing ranks of Indian-origin and Indian-born executives being named to the helm of global multinationals.

In January last year, Indian-born technology executive Arvind Krishna was named Chief Executive Officer of American IT giant IBM after a "world-class succession process", succeeding Virginia Rometty, who had described him as the “right CEO for the next era at IBM” and “well-positioned" to lead the company into the cloud and cognitive era.

Krishna, 59, had joined IBM in 1990 and has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In August 2015, Sundar Pichai was named CEO of the newly organised Google, becoming only the third chief executive of the company after former CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page. In December 2019, Pichai became the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Pichai wished Dorsey “the very best ahead” and congratulated Agrawal and Board Chair Bret Taylor, saying he is “excited for Twitter's future!”

In February 2014, Microsoft veteran Satya Nadella was named CEO of the technology giant. MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen are among the other Indian-origin executives who have climbed up the corporate ladder and helmed multinational giants.

Mumbai-born Agrawal tweeted Monday “Deep gratitude” for Dorsey and the entire team.

In a note posted on Twitter, he said he is “honoured and humbled” on his appointment and expressed gratitude to Dorsey’s “continued mentorship and your friendship.”

Agrawal had joined Twitter 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees.

"While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I've walked in your shoes, I've seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter's incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us,” he said.

“Our purpose has never been more important. Our people and our culture are unlike anything in the world. There is no limit to what we can do together,” he said.

“The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before. Lots of people are going to have lots of different views and opinions about today's news. It is because they care about Twitter and our future, and it's a signal that the work we do here matters,” he said.

A report in The New York Times said Agrawal, who was Twitter’s chief technology officer since 2017, “is little known to the public, with even some Twitter insiders saying they were surprised by his appointment."

But behind the scenes, the India-born engineer has been a Twitter veteran and confidant of Dorsey who has been involved in many of the company’s biggest strategic initiatives, it said.

The NYT report said that in 2005, Agrawal moved to the United States and pursued a doctorate in computer science while enrolled at Stanford University.

“Even among students at Stanford, Agrawal stood out for his strong grasp of the math and the theory that underpins computer science,” the NYT report quoted Jennifer Widom, who led the research lab and served as his thesis adviser, as saying.

As CTO, Agrawal was responsible for Twitter’s technical strategy, leading work to improve development velocity while advancing the state of Machine Learning across the company.

“Even as chief technology officer, Agrawal has kept a low profile. He worked behind the scenes to rebuild Twitter’s technical infrastructure, which had been cobbled together over the years. That led to engineering problems and prevented the company from introducing new products and services as quickly as it wanted. Agrawal helped Twitter shift to using cloud computing services from Google and Amazon, streamlining its operations,” the NYT report said.

Prior to being appointed CTO, he “had risen to be Twitter's first Distinguished Engineer due to his work across revenue and consumer engineering, including his impact on the re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017,” company said.

Agrawal also managed Twitter’s effort to “incorporate cryptocurrencies into the platform, letting users send tips in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. And he has supported efforts to be transparent about Twitter’s algorithmic mistakes, urging the company to go public with its findings that a photo-cropping algorithm it used was biased,” the NYT report said.

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coastaldigest.com news network
November 22,2021

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Mangaluru, Nov 22: Activists of the Campus Front of India today staged a protest to exert pressure on the police to intensify investigation and arrest the real culprits in the suspected rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl on the outskirts of the city. 

The girl's body was found inside a drain of a tiles factory in Parari village in Ulaibettu on Sunday evening. The girl, the daughter of migrant workers, was reported missing around 4 pm, when she was playing on the premises of the factory. After an extensive search, her body was found in the drainage late in the evening.

Addressing the protesters at Parari junction, gram panchayat member Azhar Ulaibettu said that week laws are one of the reasons for repeated cases of violence against women and children in India. 

He urged the district administration to keep an eye on the migrant labourers from other states who are working in various factories in the coastal district. 

The police have taken 19 persons into custody for questioning in connection with case.

The girl's parents are suspecting the role of factory workers. A total of 30 workers from Karnataka and other states work at the factory. Among them, 10 had not turned up for work on Sunday.

Mangaluru Rural police have registered a case of murder that took place in Parari village. Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashikumar said, "We have taken many people into custody. We will ascertain the cause of murder and arrest the culprits soon."

The parents suspect that their daughter was raped and murdered. The police have presently lodged a case of murder and investigating the case.

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