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Poor women's products get a brand name in Kerala
Report dated 06/09/2011 @ 8:18 PM
A Kerala women's anti-poverty initiative is bringing together over 40 ethnic products under a common brand name, the "Kudumbashree Community Brand".
The products were selected from 250, produced by about 42,000 enterprises under Kudumbashree, a poverty eradication mission under the state government.
Products selected include apparel, food, herbal products, and personal and home hygiene items. The items are being sold through traditional outlets. An e-commerce platform is under planning to make them available to NRKs.
India Against Corruption : Mumbai youth to visit every government office
Report dated 05/09/2011 @ 6:00 PM
As Anna Hazare has ended his anti-corruption fast and moved back to his village, the youth of Mumbai plan to visit every government office in the city as well as Thane, Kalyan and Navi Mumbai and ask the person in charge to sign declarations saying that state corruption of any kind will not be encouraged there. If an official refuses to sign the declaration, the Chief Minister will be informed. Stickers reading "Corruption Prohibited" will also be posted in the offices.
Around 200 activists from India Against Corruption (IAC) will begin their campaign at the ration shops and RTO offices followed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, municipal wards, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and other government offices.
In phase two the young activists plan to use the Right To Information Act to solve the pothole menace in the city by asking for information about contractors.
Mayank Gandhi the coordinator of IAC Mumbai, stated that these steps are to keep the momentum started by Hazare, alive and functioning.
US says India has 180 million Muslims
Report dated 05/09/2011 @ 5:58 PM
According to a diplomatic cable on the US' interpretation of Indian Islam, that was leaked by WikiLeaks, the US believes that the official Indian census of 2001 figure of 138 million is under represented, and that the actual number is closer to 160 to 180 million Muslims.
The cable originated from the American embassy in Delhi last year and says that the majority of Muslims live in a very poor condition despite some millionaires from the community like Azim Premji, who influence the Indian market. It also cited Shahrukh Khan the iconic Bollywood celebrity.
The communication noted however that Indian Muslims are eager to catch up to their compatriots and their Sufi heritage, that promotes pluralism and tolerance should leave them well-equipped to compete in secular India.
However lingering resentment from the partition and external influences threaten to divide the community.
The US believes that Islam in India presents a series of dichotomies like most issues affecting the world's largest democracy
India bans chewing tobacco
Report dated 04/09/2011 @ 5:30 PM
Under its new food safety guidelines, the government of India has now added chewing tobacco to the list of banned 'food' products that already include gutka and paan masala.
Following the ban on the use of plastic pouches to package chewing tobacco and pan masala, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a notification prohibiting the use of tobacco as an ingredient in any food product.
The FSSAI say chewing tobacco can be called a 'food' because it is consumed like any other food product.
Health activists have welcomed the move as the increasing incidence of oral cancer is evident, with the 2010 figure at over 70,000 cases.
Sports bodies in urgent need of a regulatory overseer
Report dated 04/09/2011 @ 5:28 PM
India has over 40 sports associations that cover every discipline from archery to yachting, each of which is headed by a politician or an an associate of one.
For example the BJP's V K Malhotra has headed the archery association for decades and is the acting president of the Indian Olympic Association.
Other than cricket, India's global rankings are miserable and medal prospects in international events are the pits.
Since most of these controlling bodies are funded by the government, everyone now agrees that the federations are inept and venal.