Lala Lajpat Rai
The death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai, the firebrand Indian nationalist leader affectionately called ‘Punjab Kesari’ was recently observed.
Born at Dhudike near Ludhiana in Punjab in 1865, Rai studied law at the Government College, Lahore, and had a legal practice in that city.
Early in life, he became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj, and went on to become one of the society’s leaders.
In 1885, Rai established the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School in Lahore and remained a committed educationist throughout his life.
In 1881, he joined the Indian National Congress. Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal (called Lal-Bal-Pal) fervently advocated the use of Swadeshi goods and mass agitation in the aftermath of the controversial Partition of Bengal in 1905 by Lord Curzon.
In 1913, Rai set out for a lecture tour to Japan, England, and the United States. During his travels, he met many diaspora communities and founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York City in 1917.
Upon his return, Rai was elected President of the Indian National Congress during its Special Session in Kolkata in 1920, which saw the launch of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement. He was subsequently imprisoned from 1921 and 1923.
In 1928, Rai opposed the Simon Commission, a British-appointed group of lawmakers arrived in India to study the implementation of the Government of India Act, 1919 (the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms). The group of 7 did not consist of a single Indian member, a fact that was heavily resented by the Congress.
He was severely lathi-charged during a protest against Simon Commission in Lahore on October 30, 1928. It was after this that Rai famously said, “The blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India.” He died a few days later on November 17.
He also wrote extensively in English and Urdu. His important works include: ‘The Arya Samaj’, ‘Young India’, ‘England’s Debt to India’, ‘Evolution of Japan’, ‘India’s Will to Freedom’, ‘Message of the Bhagwad Gita’, ‘Political Future of India’, ‘Problem of National Education in India’, ‘The Depressed Glasses’, and the travelogue ‘United States of America’.
World Fisheries Day
Department of Fisheries organized a function to celebrate the World Fisheries Day in New Delhi.
The day is celebrated every year on November 21 throughout the fishing communities to highlight the importance of lives of water creatures to humans.
It started in 1997 where “World Forum of Fish Harvesters & Fish Workers” met at New Delhi leading to formation of “World Fisheries Forum” with representatives from 18 countries and signed a declaration advocating sustainable fishing practices.
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Blue Revolution” – Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries launched in 2016 for a period of 5 years made vital contributions towards the development of fisheries sector in terms of fish production and productivity.
The annual production of fisheries in India has reached up to 13 million metric tonnes and the Ministry is working on achieving target of 20 million metric tonne in the next five years.
13 MK 45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4)
The US State Department has approved the sale of 13 MK 45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and some other equipment worth $1 billion to India for use against warships, anti-aircraft and shore bombardment. The items will be manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments.
The MK 45 is a fully automatic naval gun system that is installed on ships and provides a Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) range of more than 20 nautical miles (36 km) along with improved propelling charge.
MK 45 is an upgraded version with a 62 caliber barrel, strengthened gun and mount subsystems, advanced control system enhancements, greater range and firepower, a reduced signature and low maintenance gun shield.
This system of guns is currently in use by the US Navy on their fleet of Ticonderoga class cruisers and Arleigh Burke class destroyers.
Other countries that have been sold the MOD 4 naval guns are Japan, Australia and South Korea. The US may also sell these guns to other allies including Britain and Canada.
The Indian government had requested the US to buy up to 13 MK 45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and 3,500 D349 Projectile 5 inch/54 caliber (MOD 1) ammunition.
Four-Day Aalmi Tablighi Ijtima
In Madhya Pradesh, the four-day Aalmi Tablighi Ijtima, world’s biggest Islamic Congregation began in Bhopal. More than one million people from 54 countries are expected to attend the congregation which will continue till 25th November.
Alami Tablighi Ijtima is a forum for delivering some important religious-spiritual messages to Muslims around the world. Scholars speak on a variety of subjects including the Islamic way of life and the Six Principles.
One of the most prominent features of Alami Tablighi Ijtima is that it has no political affiliation.
Ijtima started in the era of Nawabs in Bhopal. The first Alami Tablighi Ijtima took place in Bhopal in 1944 and only 14 people attended it then. Now the number has increased to millions.
Thousands of people from various countries across the world including Russia, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have reached Bhopal to participate in this event.
Nomura’s Food Vulnerability Index (NFVI)
According to a new report by Nomura Global Market Research, India is ranked 44 out of 110 countries in Nomura’s Food Vulnerability Index (NFVI).
Nomura’s Food Vulnerability Index (NFVI) ranks countries on the basis of their exposure to large swings in food prices.
NFVI has three components: (1) country’s GDP per person, (2) the share of food in household consumption and (3) the net food imports. Typically, lower per capita GDP, higher share of food in household consumption and high net food imports would make a country more vulnerable to spikes in food prices.
The 50 countries most vulnerable to food price surges in the coming months largely belong to the Emerging Market group. The top 50 together account for almost 60 per cent of the global population.
India has been ranked 44 out of 110 countries; a higher rank is worse.
At 4.6%, India’s retail inflation for October touched a 16-month high because of the jump in food prices. Food inflation grew by almost 8% – almost double the rate of overall retail inflation. Key items that contributed to this rise were pulses (inflation rate 12%) and vegetables (inflation rate 26%) and fish and meat (inflation rate 10%).
Nomura is an Asia-headquartered financial services group with an integrated global network spanning over 30 countries.
Global Bio-India (GBI) Summit, 2019
India’s first largest biotechnology conference – the Global Bio-India (GBI) Summit, 2019 concluded in New Delhi.
The three-day event was organized by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India along with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
The Department plans to turn the GBI into an annual event with support from all stakeholders.
The Summit provided an opportunity to showcase the potential of India’s biotech sector to the international community, identify, create opportunities and deliberate on the key challenges in the areas of Bio-pharma, Bio-Agri, Bio-Industrial, Bio-Energy and Bio-Services and allied sectors.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC):
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
It has been setup as an Interface Agency to empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation.
76th Round of National Sample Survey (NSS)
The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has conducted a survey on Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Condition as a part of 76th round of National Sample Survey (NSS). Some important findings of the survey are given below.
Drinking water facility:
The major source of drinking water was hand pump for the households in the rural areas and piped water into dwelling in the urban areas.
About 42.9% of the households in the rural areas used hand pump as the principal source of drinking water. About 40.9% of the households in the urban areas used piped water into dwelling as the principal source of drinking water.
Bathroom and sanitation facility:
About 50.3% of the households in the rural and about 75.0% in the urban areas had exclusive access to bathroom.
About 71.3% of the households in the rural and about 96.2% in the urban areas had access to latrine. About 50.9% of the households in rural and 48.9% in urban areas used flush/pour-flush to septic tank type of latrine.
About 48.0% of the households in the rural areas and about 86.1% of the households in the urban areas had bathroom and latrine both within household premises.
Tenurial status and household characteristics:
About 96.0% of the households in the rural and about 63.8% in the urban areas had their own dwelling unit.
Among the households living in houses, about 76.7% of the households in the rural and about 96.0% in the urban areas had the house of pucca structure.
Among the households living in houses, about 93.9% of the households in the rural and about 99.1% in the urban areas had electricity for domestic use.
Among the households living in houses, about 48.3% of the households in the rural and about 86.6% in the urban areas used LPG as fuel for cooking.
Among the households living in houses, about 80.4% of the households in the rural areas had no arrangement for collection of household garbage. In the urban areas, municipality made arrangement for collection of household garbage for about 74.1% of the households.
75th round of National Sample Survey (NSS)
The National Statistical Office (NSO) has conducted the survey on Household Social Consumption related to Health during the period July 2017 to June 2018 as a part of 75th round of National Sample Survey (NSS). Some important findings of the survey are given below.
Percentage of persons that responded as ailing in a 15-day period: 5% in India as a whole (6.7% for males and 8.3% for females).
Proportion of persons treated as in-patient any time during a 365-day period: 9% in India as a whole (2.8% for males and 2.9% for females).
In-patient hospitalization (excluding childbirth) by type of hospital for availing treatment: Public hospitals accounted for 42%, Private hospitals (excl. charitable, NGO-run) accounted for 55% and Charitable/trust/NGO-run hospitals accounted for 2.7%.
Healthcare service provider for treatment of ailments: Government hospitals in case of 30% ailments; Private hospitals in case of 23% ailments; Private doctors/clinics in case of 43% ailments and Informal health care provider and Charitable/trust/NGO-run hospitals in case of remaining 4.1% of ailments.
14% of the rural population and 19% of the urban population reported that they had health expenditure coverage.
In both rural and urban India, 95% of ailments were treated by allopathy.
Average medical expenditure per hospitalisation case (excluding childbirth) in rural India is about Rs. 16,676 and Rs. 26,475 in urban India.
Place of childbirth: In rural areas about 90% childbirths were institutional (in Government/private hospitals) and in urban areas it was about 96%.
Surgery was done in about 28% of hospital childbirths in India (rural: about 24%; urban: about 41%).
Immunisation among children aged 0-5 years: About 59% of boys and 60% of girls at all-India level had been fully immunised (i.e., received all 8 prescribed vaccinations).