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India's poverty level will fall to 22% in 2015 : UN
Report dated 10/07/2011 @ 1:46 AM
According to a UN report India's poverty rate is projected to decline to 22 percent in 2015, down from 51 percent in 1990. Poverty is measured based upon those living on less than $1.25 a day.
The UN World Food Programme representative in Delhi stated that despite impressive economic growth in India over the last few years, inequalities persist among people based on class, gender and cast.
The report states that China and India combined show the number of people living in extreme poverty declined by about 455 million between the years 1990 and 2005. South Asia continues to lag in terms of nutrition, sanitation and gender equality.
By 2015, the global poverty rate is expected to fall well below the 23% target.
Champion women's relay team falls from grace
Report dated 10/07/2011 @ 1:45 AM
The brilliant Indian women's 4x400 relay team that won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year has, regrettably, fallen from grace. Three of the four member team have failed drug tests over the last few days.
Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose tested positive for anabolic steroids and are suspended pending further investigation. Their Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogrodnik has been sacked. He said he knew nothing about any of his athletes using drugs and the athletes also protested their innocence blaming contaminated food supplements for the test results.
The tests were carried out either at the training camp in Patiala or in Bangalore after a track meeting in June.
Sports Minister Ajay Maken is having none of it. He said the coach wasn't doing his job, he should know what his athletes are using and as far as the ladies' explanation, the strict liability rule allows no excuses whatsoever.
Akkunji was the poster girl of Indian athletics and hopes were high for a medal at the London Olympics. The issue may very well have changed the direction of track and field not just in India, but in Asia.
High end property demand starts to ebb in cities
Report dated 09/07/2011 @ 1:20 AM
Following 2 years of an almost unprecedented boom that saw developers minting profits and burgeoning investments flow into the property markets, the situation has slumped severely with rising construction costs, falling demand for high-priced properties, labour scarcity and tightening liquidity.
One expert says major cities are now seeing multi-thousand housing units lying unsold. Rows upon rows of empty apartments, unmanned cranes and silent machines bear witness to the slump.
Developers are now seeing mounting debts, outstanding bank loans and inordinate delays because of shortages of funds.
According to the World Bank the labour shortfall is serious and is attributed primarily to the national rural employment guarantee programme that is an anti-poverty scheme launched in 2005 that promises 100 days a year of employment to one member of every rural family.
In the main, the slump has taken even the professionals by surprise, but is not likely to go away for a long long while.
Indian sacrifices keep the West supplied with hair extensions
Report dated 08/07/2011 @ 1:10 AM
India has long been the world's biggest exporter of human hair, with business worth an estimated $1 million plus a year.
Hair is offered as a sacrifice to the thousands of Gods in the Hindu pantheon, particularly in South India where people from all over the country go to have their heads shaved as part of a religious ritual.
Lately there has been a change with the younger generation, who, rather than be tonsured, prefer to cut their hair. That being the case Indian women are the mainstay of the industry and provide salons in the West with hair for extensions, for which there is a large demand.
Tonnes of Indian tresses are cut and sold at auction to wholesalers who then prepare and export them for use across the world.
A kilo of Indian human hair fetches on average $250. Indian hair is the most sought after for the reason it belongs to the Caucasian race.
Get Sterelised, Win a Car
Report dated 07/07/2011 @ 0:04 AM
The state of Rajasthan was falling behind their sterelisation targets of 21,000 persons a year, so they came up with an innovative plan with the hope that at least 6000 people will volunteer for sterilisation.
Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan has launched a lottery prize scheme to promote sterilisation in which anyone who voluntarily opts for sterilisation from now to September 30 will be entered into a lottery to win prizes. The first prize is a Tata Nano car. Other prizes include motorcycles and televisions.
According to census data released this year, India's billion-plus population is poised to grow in the next few decades making the country the world's most populated, surpassing China.