Noting that those keeping the size of their
families small are practising a form of patriotism, Prime Minister
NarendraModi, in his Independence Day speech on Thursday, set off
speculation that a renewed governmental push for population control may be
in the offing, as in the States such as Assam.
A total of 35 private member Bills regarding
population control have been introduced in Parliament since Independence, with
the Congress MPs contributing the largest number.
Going beyond educational and mass awareness
programme on population control or policy interventions has always been a touchy
issue, following incidents of coercive sterilisation, even forced vasectomies,
during the Emergency between 1975 and 1977.
Manu Gaur heads Taxab, which works on population
issues, and his Responsible Parenting Bill, 2019, was the model for Mr.Balyan’s
Bill. He acknowledges that there is a mental block, but says population control
should not run aground overs fears of forced sterilisation.
With Indian farmers facing post harvest losses
amounting to a whopping ₹93,000 crore, a slew of agritech start-ups are now
trying to bridge that gap with demand driven cold chains, warehouse
monitoring solutions and market linkages that can significantly boost farmer
According to a new study from Information
technology industry body NASSCOM, these efforts to create supply chain
efficiency are the focus of more than 50% of India’s booming agritech industry,
which has received 300% more funding in the first half of 2019 than in the whole
In its report “Agritech In India: Emerging Trends
in 2019” released this week, NASSCOM noted that India is home to more than 450
startups in the agriculture technology sector, of the global total of about
With regards to funding, the start-ups received 10
times more money in 2017-18 than in 2013-14. Over the same period, funding for
global start-ups only doubled.
Corporates and investors are playing a vital role
with over $200 million in the last 18 months coming for B2B start-ups, with
technology innovations that are aimed directly at the farmer.
“India’s agriculture sector is advancing steadily
towards its digital transformation and the start-up ecosystem is playing a
critical role here, bringing innovation and disruption in much-needed areas,”
says NASSCOM president DebjaniGhosh.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will
meet on August 16 morning to discuss Kashmir (India’s abrogation of Article
370), Poland’s mission to the UN confirmed . The Presidency of the UNSC is
currently with Poland.
Consultations are a way for Security Council
members to informally take up an issue and the “closed” refers to the fact that
the consultation is not open to the public and no record of statements is kept.
The format also precludes Pakistan from participating, a diplomat said.
Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the
U.N., MaleehaLodhi had handed over a letter from the country’s Foreign Minister,
Shah MahmoodQureshi to the UNSC President and Polish Ambassador to the U.N.,
Joanna Wronecka, requesting that the Council take up the issue.
Diplomats in New Delhi have pointed out that
China’s push to bring back Kashmir to the UNSC shows that Beijing remains
committed to its ties with Pakistan. Diplomats said the presentation of the
Indian case by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar earlier this week has not
influenced Beijing’s decision makers.
A former Indian representative to the U.N. said the
body will have to first address how it can take up Kashmir under the
“India-Pakistan Subjects”, which was relevant till 1971 but is known to have
lapsed after U.N. recognised the Simla Agreement of 1972 between India and
Minute microplastic particles have been
detected in the Arctic and the Alps, carried by the wind and later washed
out in the snow, according to a study that called for urgent research to
assess the health risks of inhalation.
Every year, several million tonnes of plastic
litter course through rivers and out to the oceans, where they are gradually
broken down into smaller fragments through the motion of waves and the
ultraviolet light of the sun.
The new study, conducted by scientists at Germany’s
Alfred Wegener Institute and Switzerland’s Institute for Snow and Avalanche
Research, found that microplastic particles can be transported tremendous
distances through the atmosphere.
Ms. Bergmann and her colleagues used an infrared
imaging technique to analyse samples collected between 2015 and 2017 from
floating ice in the Fram Strait off Greenland, visiting five floes by
helicopters or dinghies.
The team’s hypothesis for airborne transportation
builds on past research conducted on pollen, where experts confirmed that pollen
from near the equator ends up in the Arctic.