Nation
21 AAP MLAs get time till Oct 17 to respond to EC notice
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has given Delhi's 21 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators time till October 17 to explain why they should not be disqualified from the assembly after their appointment as Parliamentary Secretaries.
 
The 21 lawmakers have faced disqualification from the Delhi assembly for allegedly holding 'office of profit' as Parliamentary Secretaries.
 
In the notice issued on Monday, the ECI also told petitioner Prashant Patel to submit his rejoinder to the 21 AAP lawmakers' reply by October 21.
 
The AAP legislators had earlier written to the Election Commission requesting for more time to file their replies, following which the extension till October 17 has been given.
 
"It may be noted that if no reply is received by the aforesaid date, it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in this matter and the Commission will take appropriate action without any further reference to you," the notice said.
 
After coming to power in February 2015, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's government appointed 21 party lawmakers as the Parliamentary Secretaries, saying this would facilitate smooth functioning of the government but would not cause any burden on the exchequer.
 
The Delhi High Court in September quashed the appointment of 21 Parliamentary Secretaries.
 
In June 2015, a major row was sparked off on the issue of 'Office of Profit' after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the Delhi government's bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the 'Office of Profit' definition. 
 
The Delhi government sought through the bill an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, so as to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of 'Office of Profit'.
 
The AAP has maintained that none of the Parliamentary Secretaries was given "pecuniary benefits" and the appointment of the party legislators as Parliamentary Secretaries did not amount to creation of a "public office".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

Why Indian universities score dismally low in global rankings
Indian educational institutions have again had a poor run in global ratings with none, including the prestigious IITs, making it to the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings. And experts are now rooting for a complete overhaul of the education system in a country that is home to nearly one-fifth of the world's population.
 
Only two institutions could make it to the top 200 universities of the QS Rankings -- the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bengaluru at 152, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi at 185. While there were four more IITs ranked among the 400 top universities, the other jewel in the crown of India's higher education system, the University of Delhi, didn't figure even among the top 500.
 
Experts attribute several reasons for such poor showing, from lack of competent teachers to shortage of funds. But for some, the reasons do not solely concern the quality of the institutions per se.
 
"Two of the factors on which educational institutes are ranked are the number of foreign faculty and foreign students. We score zero on these two," Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT-Delhi, told IANS.
 
He said ranking agencies were of the view that "if you are globally-reputed then why don't students and teachers flock to your places? And then you get marked down on the criterion of 'perception' as well".
 
Rao said enrolling international students at the cost of domestic students was always a concern.
 
"But owing to the rankings pressure, from this year we are starting a special fee structure for foreign students, and JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) will be conducted in five different countries from next year. We are looking forward to hiring foreign faculty on contract basis as well, but the question remains who will stay on at our salary standards," asked IIT-Delhi Director.
 
Jamia Milia Islamia Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmed also underlined the same points even as he discredited the world university ranking system as prone to rigging and unsuitable for Indian educational institutes.
 
"The criteria laid down by them (ranking agencies) are favourable to Western universities. America hunts its faculty from around the world, and scoops away the most brilliant of minds. Moreover, good students who don't get accommodated here leave for Western countries. Both these work in their favour," Ahmed told IANS.
 
"We have ended up creating a few 'islands of excellence' in the country. That's all. But we are trying to change that. National Institutional Rankings Framework (NIRF) is a step in that direction," he said, referring to the internal assessment methodology of the Ministry of Human Resource Development adopted last year.
 
However, the assessment system is not in itself a panacea for all ills.
 
As C. Raj kumar, Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University, said, global rankings cannot be ignored because "that will only reinforce our inability to focus on improving the quality of our higher education institutions.
 
"The last decade has witnessed enormous progress in universities across Asia such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taipei and, of course, Japan. Unfortunately, India has not seen this improvement."
 
Raj Kumar also emphasised on the need to make our universities "completely autonomous and independent", and make provision for at least 10 per cent of foreign teachers and students.
 
He welcomed the government's recent proposal of empowering 10 public and 10 private universities and making them world class.
 
Raj Kumar also suggested creating Special Education Zones (SEZ)-- on the lines of Special Economic Zones -- for building world-class universities in India.
 
But several shortcomings of the Indian higher education system are not merely infrastructural but attitudinal as well, said Yugank Goyal, Associate Professor of Economics at O.P. Jindal Global University.
 
He said he had found Indian students reluctant to be academicians "because the job of teaching is not financially rewarding (and) the most talented pool of individuals gets scared away from this profession".
 
"As a result, we have to create an army of ad-hoc teachers in colleges. We are not sincere about education in India."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

50% rise in diabetes deaths across India over 11 years
With a genetic predisposition brought to the fore by changing lifestyles, deaths due to diabetes increased 50 per cent in India between 2005 and 2015, and is now the seventh-most common cause of death in the country, up from 11th rank in 2005, according to data published by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD).
 
Ischemic heart disease continues to be the highest cause of death, followed by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infection, diarrhoeal diseases and tuberculosis.
 
In 2015, 346,000 people died of diabetes, which caused 3.3 per cent of all deaths that year, with an annual increase of 2.7 per cent from 1990, according to the GBD study.
 
Nearly 26 people die of diabetes per 100,000 population; diabetes is also one of the top causes of disability and accounts for 2.4 per cent of the disability-adjusted life-years lost (sum of years lost due to disability or premature death due to the disease).
 
There are 69.1 million people with diabetes in India, the second-highest number in the world after China, which has 109 million people with diabetes. Of these, 36 million cases remain undiagnosed, according to a 2015 Diabetes Atlas released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Nearly nine per cent in the age group of 20-79 have diabetes.
 
The figures are alarming since diabetes is a chronic disease that not just affects the pancreas' ability to produce insulin but impacts the entire body. Complications caused due to diabetes include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss and neuropathy or nerve damage leading to leg amputation.
 
Unlike other countries, where a majority of people with diabetes are over 60 years old, the prevalence in India is among the 40-59 years age group, affecting productivity of the population.
 
"Diabetes strikes Indians a decade earlier than the world," Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, New Delhi, told IndiaSpend. "This causes reduced productivity, increased absenteeism in working population and gives more time for complications to arise."
 
Indians are especially predisposed to diabetes due to social and genetic reasons. Peculiar genetic composition of Indians known as "Asian Indian Phenotype" makes them appear thin but with fat depositions around their internal organs.
 
It makes them prone to greater abdominal fat, insulin resistance, higher levels of bad fat and increased chances of suffering from diabetes and coronary artery disease.
 
Lifestyle changes with reduced physical activity and carbohydrate-rich diets, along with environmental factors, are increasing India's diabetes burden, IndiaSpend reported in June 2015.
 
It is estimated that diabetes patients in urban areas spend Rs 10,000 and patients in rural areas spend Rs 6,260 every year on treatment, according to a 2013 study published by The Association of Physicians of India.
 
Since most of the healthcare cost is borne out of pocket in India, those in lower economic groups have to bear the greatest burden. Urban poor spend as much as 34 per cent while rural poor spend 27 per cent of their income on diabetes treatment, the study found.
 
India is predicted to have 123 million diabetes cases aged between 20 and 79 by 2040, according to estimates by IDF. "We need a national campaign on the level of pulse polio to tackle diabetes, it is soon going to be a problem bigger than TB, HIV and malaria together," Misra said.
 
Even though diabetes features in the National Health Mission's National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke for district-level intervention to prevent non-communicable diseases, it needs to do more to screen, create awareness and monitor and treat the disease to stem the tide.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)