'Azaan' as noise pollution; it disturbs my sleep everyday: Vice-Chancellor of Allahabad University

News Network
March 17, 2021

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Allahabad, Mar 17: The vice-chancellor of Allahabad University, a Central university, triggered a controversy after she virtually termed the 'azaan' (a call from the mosques for prayers at prescribed times) as "noise pollution" and said it disturbed her sleep.

Professor Sangeeta Srivastava, the VC of the varsity, in a letter entitled "Noise Pollution in Civil Lines" to the district magistrate, said she was not against any religion but any religious practice must not disturb others.

"Every day in the morning at about 5.30 am, my sleep is disturbed due to loud azaan done on the mike by the maulvi in the surrounding mosque...even before the Eid, they announce Seheri (breakfast before Roza) at 4 am...the sleep so disturbed does not resume even after trying very hard...this also results in headache throughout the day," she said in the letter.

She quoted an adage that "your freedom ends where my nose begins" and said that the 'azaan' might be recited without the mikes.

Prof Srivastava also referred to some judgements of the Supreme Court regarding permissible sound levels.

According to the sources, the police have asked the mosque custodian to keep the sound levels within the permissible limits.

Sources said the mikes of the mosque facing the direction in which the house of the VC was situated has been turned off.

However, the letter triggered sharp reactions from the Muslim clerics, who referred to the 'Bhajan-Kirtans' and 'Aartis' in the temples to question the VC.

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News Network
March 31,2021

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India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia.

According to the report, India has closed 62.5 per cent of its gender gap till date.

The country had ranked 112th among 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020.

Noting that the decline also took place on the economic participation and opportunity subindex, albeit to a lesser extent, the report said India's gender gap on this dimension widened by 3 per cent this year, leading to a 32.6 per cent gap closed till date.

Most of the decline occurred on the political empowerment subindex, where India regressed 13.5 percentage points, with a significant decline in the number of women ministers (from 23.1 per cent in 2019 to 9.1 per cent in 2021).

"Among the drivers of this decline is a decrease in women's labour force participation rate, which fell from 24.8 per cent to 22.3 per cent. In addition, the share of women in professional and technical roles declined further to 29.2 per cent. The share of women in senior and managerial positions also remains low: only 14.6 per cent of these positions are held by women and there are only 8.9 per cent firms with female top managers," the report said.

Further, the estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men's, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator, it said.

Discrimination against women is also reflected in the health and survival subindex statistics. With 93.7 per cent of this gap closed to date, India ranks among the bottom five countries in this subindex.

Wide gaps in sex ratio at birth are due to the high incidence of gender-based sex-selective practices. In addition, more than one in four women has faced intimate violence in her lifetime, the report said.

"Conversely, 96.2 per cent of the educational attainment subindex gender gap has been closed, with parity achieved in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Yet, gender gaps persist in terms of literacy: one third of women are illiterate (34.2 per cent) compared to 17.6 per cent of men," it added.

Among India's neighbours, Bangladesh ranked 65, Nepal 106, Pakistan 153, Afghanistan 156, Bhutan 130 and Sri Lanka 116.

Among regions, South Asia is the second-lowest performer on the index, with 62.3 per cent of its overall gender gap closed.

"Within the region, a wide gulf separates the best-performing country, Bangladesh, which has closed 71.9 per cent of its gender gap so far, from Afghanistan, which has only closed 44.4 per cent of its gap.

"India is the third-worst performer in the region, having closed 62.5 per cent of its gap. Because of its large population, India's performance has a substantial impact on the region's overall performance," the report said.

In South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked below India.

The report stated that India, home to 0.65 billion women, has widened its gender gap from almost 66.8 per cent one year ago to 62.5 per cent this year.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, the income of an average woman is below 16 per cent of that of an average man, while in India it is 20.7 per cent, it said.

As the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt, the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years, the report noted.

Now in its 15th year, the report benchmarks the evolution of gender-based gaps in four areas: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. It also examines the drivers of gender gaps and outlines the policies and practices needed for a gender-inclusive recovery.

For the 12th time, Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world. The top 10 most gender-equal countries include Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Rwanda, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland.

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coastaldigest.com news network
March 31,2021

Mangaluru, Mar 31: A 21-year-old girl lost her life in a road accident when she was crossing the road at Marakada Junction in the city. 

The deceased has been identified as Pavitra, a college student. She was a resident of Jyotinagara.

The speeding bus bearing the name ‘Navadurga’, which was plying from Kinnigoli to Mangaluru knocked the girl down. She was crushed to death under the wheels of the bus 

A case has been registered at Mangaluru North traffic police station.

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News Network
April 1,2021

Bengaluru, Mar 1: As the state geared up to vaccinate everyone above 45 years of age from Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar appealed to the eligible people to make use of this protective cover against coronavirus.

Cautioning people not to underestimate the danger posed by Covid, Yediyurappa tweeted, "Our protective cover is the vaccine against corona. Everyone over the age of 45 can get the vaccine today. Go to your nearest vaccination centre and get the vaccine. Together we can defeat coronavirus."

Health Minister Sudhakar too tweeted, "As we begin vaccinating all citizens aged above 45 years from today, 5,500 vaccination sites will be operational across the state including 650 private and 4,850 government facilities."

According to him, 1.5 lakh doses of vaccine is supplied to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the civic body, which is distributed to about 600 sites across the state capital.

The Health Department said in a statement that Covid-19 vaccination will continue at all the primary health centres, community health centres, Taluk hospitals, district hospitals, medical colleges and private hospitals as already being done.

It added that Karnataka has in stock 13.5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and 1.5 lakh doses of Covaxin vaccine and it has been supplied to all the cold chain points across the districts as per their requirement.

The government of India has assured the state that additional vaccine doses will be supplied regularly in the coming days as per daily coverage, the department added.

The vaccination drive covering everyone above 45 years of age started at a time when there is an alarming rise in cases in Karnataka.

The state reported 4,225 fresh cases including 26 deaths on a single day on Wednesday.

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