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India is second most ignorant nation of the world: Survey

“Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions on these issues, while South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish,” the survey said.

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India has the “dubious honour” of being the second most ignorant nation in the world after Mexico, according to a survey which posed questions on issues like inequality, non-religious population, female employment and internet access.The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a London-based market research firm, polled 25,000 people from 33 countries and found that while people “over-estimate what we worry about”, a lot of major issues are underestimated.”Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions on these issues, while South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish,” the survey said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rankings of the nations were based on the “Index of Ignorance” which was determined by questions about wealth that the top 1 % own, obesity, non-religious population, immigration, living with parents, female employment, rural living and internet access.Most Indians “underestimate” how much of their country’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1%, the survey said, adding that the top 1% actually own an “incredible” 70 % of all wealth.The survey also found that most Indians “hugely overestimate” the proportions of non-religious people in the country to be 33% when the true figure is under 1 %.While Israel significantly underestimates the proportion of female employment (by 29 % points), people in countries like India, Mexico, South Africa and Chile all think of more women in work than really are, it said.India fell in the list of nations which overestimate representation by women in politics.Countries like Columbia, Russia, India and Brazil all think there is better female representation than there really is, the survey said.However, the Indian population seriously underestimates the rural population of the country and thinks more people have internet access than in reality.In India the average guess among online respondents for internet access is 60 per cent – an overestimation of the true picture of 41 percentage points, the survey added.

Is it so bad? Survey says India is second most ignorant nation of the world!

The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a London-based market research firm, polled 25,000 people from 33 countries and found that while people “over-estimate what we worry about”, a lot of major issues are underestimated

India-population

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India has the “dubious honour” of being the second most ignorant nation in the world after Mexico, according to a survey which posed questions on issues like inequality, non-religious population, female employment and internet access.The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a London-based market research firm, polled 25,000 people from 33 countries and found that while people “over-estimate what we worry about”, a lot of major issues are underestimated. “Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions on these issues, while South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish,” the survey said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rankings of the nations were based on the “Index of Ignorance” which was determined by questions about wealth that the top one per cent own, obesity, non-religious population, immigration, living with parents, female employment, rural living and internet access. Most Indians “underestimate” how much of their country’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1 per cent, the survey said, adding that the top 1 per cent actually own an “incredible” 70 per cent of all wealth.The survey also found that most Indians “hugely overestimate” the proportions of non-religious people in the country to be 33 per cent when the true figure is under 1 per cent. While Israel significantly underestimates the proportion of female employment (by 29 percentage points), people in countries like India, Mexico, South Africa and Chile all think of more women in work than really are, it said.India fell in the list of nations which overestimate representation by women in politics.Countries like Columbia, Russia, India and Brazil all think there is better female representation than there really is, the survey said. However, the Indian population seriously underestimates the rural population of the country and thinks more people have internet access than in reality. In India the average guess among online respondents for internet access is 60 per cent – an overestimation of the true picture of 41 percentage points, the survey added.

15 things you need to know about the Father of Constitution BR Ambedkar

Some highlights from Ambedkar’s life .

December 6 is the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar, best known for being the architect of the Indian constitution and for his struggle against untouchability in the Indian society. Ambedkar passed away in 1956, when he was 65 years old.Here are 9 facts you need to know about this great man, who made the Indian constitution possible. 1. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 in Mhow ( currently in Madhya Pradesh). He belonged to the Mahar caste, considered as untouchable and dalit. A young Ambdekar faced blatant discrimination in school. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Ambedkar’s father served in the Indian army and his ancestors had worked with the East India Company.3. Ambedkar was a student par excellence. He had degrees in law and economics from iconic places like the Columbia University and the London School of Economics. 4. He was the first Union Minister of Law and Justice in the Nehru government. 5. Ambedkar wrote a short autobiography called Waiting For a Visa in 1935-36. It chronicled his experience with untouchability, including his struggles after he returned to India and started working in Baroda. 6. While working in Bombay at Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, he faced hostility from colleagues for being from a lower caste. 7. Ambedkar strongly spoke out against Manusmriti for justifying caste discrimination and untouchability and even burnt its copies. 8. In 1936, Ambedkar formed Independent Labour Party, to give a voice to the downtrodden. 9. In 1942, he formed the Scheduled Castes Federation. However, his party had very limited electoral success.10. Ambedkar was the Chairman of the constitution drafting committee. 11. He resigned as the Union Law Minister when his Hindu Code Bill failed to pass in the Parliament. 12. Ambedkar was the man behind the setting up of the Finance Commission of India. His ideas were also used when the Reserve Bank of India was founded. 13. He was fervently against Article 370, which grants special status for Jammu and Kashmir. 14. He converted to Buddhism in 1956 along with his wife.15. He suffered from severe diabetes towards the end of his life.

Incidents like Dadri killing hurt country’s image, says Arun Jaitley

Jaitley further said that we as a country need to rise above such incidents.

Arun Jaitley

Reuters
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has condemned the lynching of a man over beef eating rumour in UP, saying such incidents hurt the country’s image. “India is a mature society. We need to rise above these kinds of incidents because they certainly don’t give a good name as far as the country is concerned,” he told reporters here after a lecture at Columbia University on Monday. He was responding when asked to comment on the lynching incident in Dadri which has happened at a time when the government was wooing foreign investors.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “I have also said they can amount to policy diversions in that context so it is the responsibility of every Indian in his actions or comments to stay clear of unfortunate and condemnable instances like this,” the senior BJP leader said. A 50-year-old man was lynched and his son was critically injured by a mob in Dadri on last Monday after rumours that they had consumed beef.

Gau mata, really? Why cows are symbols of our hypocrisy

Every morning, on a road next to a Metro station near my house, the Indian way of life has a communion with Swacch Bharat.

After collecting garbage from nearby colonies, contracted workers of the municipal council, dump it in the middle of the road. Within minutes, stray cows and dogs start scavenging for food in this putrid pile.

Plight of cows in Jaipur.Plight of cows in Jaipur.

Plight of cows in Jaipur.

The cows search patiently: plastic bags, sanitary napkins, stale vegetables, dry rotis and newspapers laced with food get carefully scanned for anything that is edible. In the end, not satiated by the garbage, the cows turn to the carts of roadside vegetable vendors, who, instead of feeding them, drive the animals away with sticks and chappals.

This, essentially, is the plight of the animal that is leading to murders, violence, bigotry and bans in India. While people fight over whether cattle can be turned into food, the poor Gau Mata struggles daily for nourishment.
Cows are symbols of our hypocrisy. We use them in every possible manner, squeeze every drop of milk out of them, inject them with chemicals and hormones to increase their output and then leave them on the roads, hoping some pious Hindu would throw food at them and reduce our cost of feeding them.

No, Hindus don’t kill cows. They only leave them out on the streets once they become dry, barren to die, either because of hunger or disease (some say, like the vanprastha stage of our lives, this is the inevitable roadprastha stage of bovine life!). If they do not want a calf, they ensure that it gets kicked to death by the mother by yoking it with a large wooden triangle that irritates her udders while feeding. And then there is of course the easier method of tethering an animal until it starves to death and vultures and dogs pounce on it.

But, we are ready to kill human beings on the mere suspicion that one of these unfortunate animals we had left in the street to die had become part of his dinner.

So, gau hamari mata hai, right? Let us compare the plight of our holy mother with cows in other countries. In a study of livestock in West Bengal, a professor at the University of Missouri found that the cattle ate only the inedible remains of crops (apart from what they find in streets). A similar study in the US by scientists at Cornell University found that 91 percent of the cereal, bean, and vegetable protein suitable for human consumption is consumed by livestock.

Many historians have argued that beef was our staple diet; kings slaughtered them regularly during celebrations and public functions, even Brahmins feasted on them. But gradually their killing and consumption was discouraged, primarily because of socio-economic reasons.

Cows gave us milk and other dairy products, they produced oxen that were used in fields and beasts of burden, their dung was used as fuel and manure. For many families, a cow was the centre of their economy. Killing it deprived them of milk, fuel and oxen to farm their land, leading to financial ruin. So, protecting them made lot of socio-economic sense.

“It seems probable that the sense of unutterable profanity elicited by cow slaughter has its roots in the excruciating contradiction between immediate needs and long-run conditions of survival,” argues Columbia University anthropologist Marvin Harris in an essay on the importance of cows in Indian culture.

But, urbanisation and mechanisation changed the man-bovine relation. Now, we find cows useful only till they can be milked. Once they serve their purpose, they are cast away in the urban jungle. I once asked a group of friends if any of them had ever brought home a stray cow, fed it, sought medical attention for it or tried to find a home for the animal. Did you?
Our cold apathy for cows is the reason we have that unique Indian institution: gaushala (shelter for cows), where hundreds of stray cattle are herded together in the hope that donations and government doles will keep them alive. Since we call cow our mother, these shelters seem inspired by old-age homes where our biological mothers await their end after being thrown out of homes.

How do these cows fare in gaushalas? Earlier this year, a report in the Times of India looked at a government-run gaushala in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, the only state in India to have a cow department. The gaushala records reveal every day 90 cows die of hunger and disease. The cow shelter, according to its in-charge, has around 9000 cattle and a per cent of them die daily.

Instead of killing others for treating cows as part of their food chain, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves why they die like dogs when there are so many pseudo sons to take care of the bovine mother of India?

US academics raise concerns over ‘Digital India’ campaign

“We are concerned that the project’s potential for increased transparency in bureaucratic dealings with people is threatened by its lack of safeguards about privacy of information, and thus its potential for abuse,” said the statement signed by about 137 academics, a significant majority of whom are of Indian-origin.

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Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley to promote ‘Digital India’ campaign, more than 100 prominent US-based academics have raised privacy concerns about the project.In a statement, these academics, said ‘Digital India’ seems to ignore key questions raised in India by critics concerned about the collection of personal information and the near certainty that such digital systems will be used to enhance surveillance and repress the constitutionally-protected rights of citizens.”We are concerned that the project’s potential for increased transparency in bureaucratic dealings with people is threatened by its lack of safeguards about privacy of information, and thus its potential for abuse,” said the statement signed by about 137 academics, a significant majority of whom are of Indian-origin.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Those who live and work in Silicon Valley have a particular responsibility to demand that the government of India factor these critical concerns into its planning for digital futures,” the statement said.”We urge those who lead Silicon Valley technology enterprises to be mindful of not violating their own codes of corporate responsibility when conducting business with a government which has, on several occasions already, demonstrated its disregard for human rights and civil liberties, as well as the autonomy of educational and cultural institutions,” the two-page statement added.Among prominent signatories to the statement are Meena Alexander, Distinguished Professor of English, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York; Arjun Appadurai, Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University; Shahzad Bashir, Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University; Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy and Director, South Asian Institute, Columbia University and Partha Chatterjee, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Columbia University.The views expressed by these academicians were dismissed by Indian-origin entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley, who hailed ‘Digital India’ and said that India under Modi has finally woken up to the potential that innovation and technology can bring to the country.”Only technology and innovation can enable massive changes that are needed in India. Prime Minister’s visit to Silicon Valley is a long overdue acknowledgement that the government in India has finally woken up to the potential that innovation and technology can bring to India,” Venktesh Shukla, president of TiE Silicon Valley, told PTI.TiE or The Indus Entrepreneurs is one of the most powerful and prestigious organisations in the Silicon Valley.Top Silicon Valley companies and entrepreneurs are its members.

St Stephen’s student, whose e-magazine was banned by Principal Thampu, moves HC for character certificate

The student, Devansh Mehta, has contended in his plea that while one of his classmates was issued a provisional certificate with an endorsement of her character, his did not have that detail.

A student-editor of St Stephens’ banned e-magazine on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking a character certificate and alleging that the provisional graduation certificate issued to him does not certify his character as has been done in the case of others who graduated from the college.The student has moved the court saying he has secured admission into the Journalism School of Columbia University, USA, and requires his college leaving documents and this requirement is urgent as he leaves for America on July 26.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw agreed to hear the matter on July 24 in view of the strike in the high court on Wednesday.The student, Devansh Mehta, has contended in his plea that while one of his classmates was issued a provisional certificate with an endorsement of her character, his did not have that detail. He said he had written to Principal Valson Thampu on July 13 asking for a corrected certificate to be issued to him but till date he has not received any response due to which he had to move the court.The court had earlier rapped Thampu over the manner in which he had handled the suspension of Mehta, a Philosophy student and the editor and co-founder of ”St Stephen”s Weekly” e-magazine, for “violating” discipline and asked him to take back the step. It had also castigated Delhi University for not playing an impartial role in the entire matter. It had said it will appreciate if the matter was resolved “within yourself” as the court does not want to hear the issue again.The court had asked Mehta and other students to cooperate and try to arrive at an amicable settlement before September 17.Mehta has contended in his application that he had on one or two occasions requested Thampu for a meeting towards an amicable settlement as was suggested by the court but there has been no response from the Principal.The court had on April 17 stayed Thampu’s order of suspending Mehta and asked whether anyone can be suspended for speaking to the media. It had also stayed the findings of a one-man inquiry committee, appointed by Thampu, which on April 9 held Mehta, a then third-year student, guilty of violating disciplinary norms of the college.Mehta had been suspended from the college till April 23 following the report of the inquiry committee of Prof Sanjay Rao Ayde. Mehta had moved the court on April 16 seeking a stay on the action against him taken by the college.Mehta and three other students had started ”St Stephen’s Weekly”, which went live on March 7, and registered over 2,000 hits on an interview of Thampu, following which the Principal ordered a ban on the publication for not taking his clearance on the content.Thampu’s move had invited criticism from the reputed college’s alumni, including former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi and former Delhi Lokayukta Justice (retd) Manmohan Sarin who had requested the Principal to reconsider the decision, terming it as ”extreme” and ”disproportionate”.

PM Modi will change India forever, says British Columbia Premier Christy Clark

“British Columbia has already attracted a USD six billion investment in LNG from India, which is the biggest Indian investment ever in Canada. We are already exporting other goods, particularly agriculture, education, and think of the resources we have coal, LNG, agricultural products: this is what India needs,” she added.

Modi addressing Indian diaspora in Canada

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark on Thursday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts of supporting entrepreneurship, stating that the latter will change India ‘forever’.”He is a Prime Minister who has focused on trying to get government out of the way of the most entrepreneurial people in the world and that’s Indians. Indian government have over the years helped their citizens… Prime Minister Modi is going to change India forever, and India when it changes is going to change the world,” Clark told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”British Columbia has already attracted a USD six billion investment in LNG from India, which is the biggest Indian investment ever in Canada. We are already exporting other goods, particularly agriculture, education, and think of the resources we have coal, LNG, agricultural products: this is what India needs,” she added.Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Gurdwara Khalsa Diwan at Ross Street, before leaving for the Laxmi Narayan temple in the city.He will later attend an official dinner hosted by his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, before departing for India.Before arriving in Vancouver, Prime Minister Modi held a round table conference with heads of pension funds, banks and other financial leaders of Canada in Toronto.The Prime Minister also visited the memorial to the Air India ‘Kanishka’ bombing, paying tributes to the victims in a wreath laying ceremony. Prime Minister Modi, along with Prime Minister Harper also met the kin of the victims.Prime Minister Modi arrived in Canada on Tuesday, for the third and final leg of his three-nation, nine-day tour.

17-year-old Indian-origin girl gets accepted at all 8 Ivy League schools

Washington: At just 17, an Indian-origin girl has earned admission to 14 top US universities, including all eight Ivy League schools considered the most prestigious universities worldwide.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Virginia-born Pooja Chandrashekar decided to apply to all eight ivies hoping to get into just one of them. But now she has the choice to get into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth, Columbia, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania besides six other elite universities in the US, including Stanford and MIT.

Pooja, the only daughter of two engineers who emigrated to the US from Bangalore, got a SAT score of 2390 out of 2400, a 4.57 grade point average and aced all 13 of her Advanced Placement exams.

The teenager has more than her academic achievements to fall back on. Besides the high score, what also boosted her application is enterprise, initiative, and creativity.

The brainy teenager, who graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a top-ranked magnet school in Virginia, has developed a mobile app that analyses speech patterns and predicts with 96 per cent accuracy if a person has Parkinson’s disease.

She has also founded a organisation that encourages middle-school American girls to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programmes.

Pooja said that she decided to apply to all eight ivies hoping to get into just one of them, “because college admissions is really unpredictable.”

“They are all fantastic schools, so I couldn’t discount any of them…I wanted to make sure I could get into a really good school and have more choices,” she told The Washington Post.

She has narrowed her list to Harvard, Stanford and Brown, where she got into a programme that guarantees her admission to the university’s medical school.

Pooja said that what sets her apart is her passion for promoting STEM among young girls. Her non-profit ProjectCSGirls, hosts nationwide computer science competitions, “dedicated to closing the tech gender gap.”

She wrote one of her college application essays about being a woman interested in a career in computer science, a field long dominated by men. She said she was often one of just a handful of girls in her high school technology classes.

“I want to encourage diversity in the field,” she told the daily. Even with her lofty accomplishments, Pooja is like most other teenagers. She enjoys watching television shows like Shark Tank and listening to Bollywood music.

She is also a fan of the Food Network channel and she said she is amazed by the chefs who show off their skills in the kitchen. However, it’s one subject she admits she has not mastered. “I can’t cook for my life,” she said.

PTI

Honoured to be appointed to NITI Aayog, says Arvind Panagariya

Noted Indian-American free-market economist Arvind Panagariya has said that he is honoured to be appointed as the first Vice Chairman of the newly created NITI Aayog, which replaces the 65-year-old Planning Commission.”I am honoured by this appointment, and I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi and policymakers across India,” Panagariya was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Columbia University on Monday.Panagariya is the professor of economics and the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy in the Department of International and Public Affairs. He will take a leave of absence from Columbia to accept his position at the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.The 62-year-old professor said he expects to continue to engage with Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) “when such opportunities arise” and will resume his work at the School when his assignment is completed.In his new cabinet position, Panagariya will work closely with Modi, who will serve as chair of the renamed institution.Officials envision NITI Aayog as a government “think tank” that will provide strategic and technical advising on key issues.Panagariya, who has been a strong supporter of Modi’s Gujarat model of development, had said some months ago that he wants the BJP government’s first budget to boost capital spending even at the risk of a higher fiscal deficit.He has earlier worked with various international bodies like World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank (ADB).Holding a Ph.D degree in Economics from Princeton University, Panagariya has also worked for the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in various capacities.During an address at Columbia in September last year on what the Modi government must do to transform the Indian economy, he had said a replacement for the Planning Commission must be “lean and thin” and had termed as “brave” the decision by Modi to do away with the 1950-dated institution.Panagariya had suggested that Modi should put in “as lean and thin a team” for the Commission’s replacement with 10-12 people and “lots of resources so that they can draw on the experts as necessary” and then periodically that team should meet with the Prime Minister and Finance Minister.SIPA Dean Merit Janow congratulated Panagariya on his new role and said his global perspective and broad experience would serve him well as the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog.