organization:indian government

  • Five Reasons the Indian Government should Hand Over Regulation of #crypto Assets to #sebi

    India is among the few countries in the world that has seemingly no idea what to do with cryptocurrencies. While some countries like China have completely banned cryptocurrencies, many others like Japan, Thailand and Malta are becoming the launchpad for new #blockchain and #cryptocurrency startups. The Indian government, due to part ignorance and part lack of prioritization, has never given this nascent asset class the attention that it deserves. This existing regulatory gap is leading to cryptocurrency scams, brain drain and the risk of getting left behind in a revolution where other countries are miles ahead.Now, one of the big problems for regulating cryptocurrencies is that it cuts across jurisdictional boundaries. According to the existing regulatory framework, both the Reserve Bank (...)


  • Faces in the Darkness: The Victims of ’Non-Lethal’ Weapons in Kashmir.

    At first glance, their scars look like pockmarks. Some have their eyes closed; others have a far-away look, eyes glazed over. They could be gazing out at a distant view.

    But these Kashmiri men, women and children aren’t looking at anything. The darkness that surrounds them in Camillo Pasquarelli’s photographs surrounds them in life, too; they are all fully or partially blind.

    Their injuries weren’t caused by ordinary bullets. Security forces in the disputed region of Kashmir haven’t used those to police demonstrations since 2010, when they fired on protesters and killed 112 people. International outcry followed, prompting the Indian government to supply regional police and the army with pellet guns they called “non-lethal.”

    • Is India Creating Its Own Rohingya ?

      Echoes of the majoritarian rhetoric preceding the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya can be heard in India as four million, mostly Bengali-origin Muslims, have been effectively turned stateless.

      On July 30, four million residents of the Indian state of Assam were effectively stripped of their nationality after their names were excluded from the recently formed National Register of Citizens.

      Indian authorities claim to have initiated and executed the process to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which shares several hundred miles of its border with Assam, but it has exacerbated fears of a witch hunt against the Bengali-origin Muslim minority in the state.

      Assam is the most populous of India’s northeastern states. As part of a labyrinthine bureaucratic exercise, 32.9 million people and 65 million documents were screened over five years at a cost of $178 million to ascertain which residents of Assam are citizens. The bureaucrats running the National Register of Citizens accepted 28.9 million claims to Indian citizenship and rejected four million.

      The idea of such screening to determine citizenship goes back to the aftermath of the 1947 Partition of British India into India and Pakistan. A register of citizens set up in Assam in 1951 was never effectively implemented. Twenty-four years after the Partition, the mostly Bengali Eastern Pakistan seceded from Western Pakistan with Indian military help, and Bangladesh was formed on March 24, 1971. The brutal war that accompanied the formation of Bangladesh had sent millions of refugees into the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.

      Politics over illegal migration from Bangladesh into Assam has been a potent force in the politics of the state for decades. In 2008, an Assam-based NGO approached the Supreme Court of India claiming that 4.1 million illegal immigrants had been registered as voters in the state. In 2014, the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to update the National Register of Citizens.

      The updated list defines as Indian citizens the residents of Assam who were present in the state before March 25, 1971, and their direct descendants. In keeping with this criterion, the N.R.C. asked for certain legal documents to be submitted as proof of citizenship — including the voter lists for all Indian elections up to 1971.

      People born after 1971 could submit documents that link them to parents or grandparents who possessed the primary documents. So each person going through the process had to show a link to a name on the 1951 register and the only two voter lists — those of 1965-66 and 1970-71 — that were ever made public.

      Such criteria, applied across India, left a good percentage of its citizens stateless. Front pages of Indian newspapers have been carrying accounts detailing the absurdities in the list — a 6-year-old who has been left out even though his twin is on the list, a 72-year-old woman who is the only one in her family to be left off, a 13-year-old boy whose parents and sisters are on the list but he is not.

      The Supreme Court, which had ordered the process underlying the National Register of Citizens, has now directed that no action should be initiated against those left out and that a procedure should be set up for dealing with claims and objections. A final list is expected at the end of an appeal process. And it is not clear what transpires at the end of that process, which is expected to be long and harrowing. So far six overcrowded jails doubling as detention centers in Assam house 1,000 “foreigners,” and the Indian government has approved building of a new detention center that can house 3,000 more.

      The N.R.C. may well have set in motion a process that has uncanny parallels with what took place in Myanmar, which also shares a border with Bangladesh. In 1982, a Burmese citizenship law stripped a million Rohingya of the rights they had had since the country’s independence in 1948.

      The Rohingya, like a huge number of those affected by the N.R.C. in Assam, are Muslims of Bengali ethnicity. The denial of citizenship, loss of rights and continued hostility against the Rohingya in Myanmar eventually led to the brutal violence and ethnic cleansing of the past few years. The excuses that majoritarian nationalists made in the context of the Rohingya in Myanmar — that outsiders don’t understand the complexity of the problem and don’t appreciate the anxieties and fears of the ethnic majority — are being repeated in Assam.

      Throughout the 20th century, the fear of being reduced to a minority has repeatedly been invoked to consolidate an ethnic Assamese identity. If at one time it focuses on the number of Bengalis in the state, at another time it focuses on the number of Muslims in the state, ignoring the fact that the majority of the Muslims are Assamese rather than Bengali.

      Ethnic hostilities were most exaggerated when they provided a path to power. Between 1979 and 1985, Assamese ethnonationalist student politicians led a fierce campaign to remove “foreigners” from the state and have their names deleted from voter lists. They contested elections in 1985 and formed the state government in Assam. In the 1980s, the targets were Bengali-origin Muslims and Hindus.

      This began to change with the rise of the Hindu nationalists in India, who worked to frame the Bengali-origin immigrants as two distinct categories: the Bengali-origin Hindus, whom they described as seeking refuge in India from Muslim-majority Bangladesh, and the Bengali-origin Muslims, whom they see as dangerous foreigners who have illegally infiltrated Indian Territory.

      The N.R.C. embodies both the ethnic prejudices of the Assamese majority against those of Bengali origin and the widespread hostility toward Muslims in India. India’s governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has been quick to seize on the political opportunity provided by the release of the list. The B.J.P. sees India as the natural home of the Hindus.

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a long history of using rhetoric about Pakistan and Bangladesh to allude to Muslims as a threat. In keeping with the same rhetoric, Mr. Modi’s confidante and the president of the B.J.P., Amit Shah, has insisted that his party is committed to implementing the N.R.C. because it is about the “national security, the security of borders and the citizens of this country.”

      India has nowhere to keep the four million people declared stateless if it does not let them continue living their lives. The Indian government has already assured Bangladesh, which is already struggling with the influx of 750,000 Rohingya from Myanmar, that there will be no deportations as a result of the N.R.C. process.

      Most of people declared stateless are likely to be barred from voting as well. While the Indian election commission has declared that their removal from the voter’s list will not be automatic, in effect once their citizenship comes into question, they lose their right to vote.

      Apart from removing a huge number of voters who were likely to vote against the B.J.P., the party has already shown that as Mr. Modi struggles on the economic front, the N.R.C. will be a handy tool to consolidate Hindu voters in Assam — the majority of the people rendered stateless are Muslims — and the rest of the country going into the general elections in the summer of 2019.
      #islam #musulmans #génocide #nettoyage_ethnique

    • s’en remettre à des avantages obtenus par la démographie confessionelle ne représente pas un suplément éthique , c’est peu dire en restant correct . dans le cas Ismael faruqui verdict la remise en question de la cour suprème en est la caricature pesante . C’est totalement inique de dénier aux protestataires montrés sur la photo du nyt le droit de contester ce qu’ils contestent , c’est terriblement biasé !

  • Les femmes dans la ville

    Partout dans le monde, les #violences faites aux femmes sont massives et récurrentes. La majorité des #agressions ont lieu dans la sphère privée mais les femmes sont loin d’être épargnées dans l’#espace_public, où elles sont touchées de façon disproportionnée. Tour du monde des initiatives qui visent à rendre les villes plus justes et plus sûres.

    #femmes #villes #genre #géographie_culturelle #urban_matter #ressources_pédagogiques
    #gadgets #Rapex #arts_martiaux #transports_en_commun #Pink_Rickshaws #Anza (fondation) #patriarcat #harcèlement_de_rue #No_estoy_sola #Frauen_Werkstatt (Autriche) #espaces_sûrs #sécurité #toilettes #No_toilet_no_bride (Inde) #vidéo #film

    • Women in northern India said, ‘No toilet, no bride,’ and it worked

      For about 12 years, young women in the northern Indian state of Haryana have been telling suitors, “No loo, no ‘I do!’” And according to a recent study, the bargain is working: Toilet ownership has significantly increased as men scramble to attract brides in a marriage market where discrimination has made women scarce.

      Through radio spots, billboards, posters and painted slogans on buildings, the “No Toilet, No Bride” campaign, launched by state authorities in 2005, encourages women and their families to demand that male suitors build a private latrine before they will agree to marriage. According to the study, published last month in ScienceDirect, private sanitation coverage increased by 21 percent in Haryana among households with boys active on the marriage market from 2004 to 2008.

      However, the study also found that the low-cost social marketing campaign was only successful because it was able to take advantage of “one of the most severely skewed sex ratios on earth.”

      Like most of northern India, Haryana values males much more than females. Even before birth, males often receive far better care, while females face a high risk of selective abortion because of their gender. Once born, girls continue to face discrimination through constraints on health care, movement, education or employment. However, they also face much higher risk of violence due to the widespread practice of open defecation.

      Globally, 1.1 billion people today defecate in open spaces, such as fields, but the problem is especially concentrated in India, where 626 million people do so. To maintain some semblance of privacy and dignity, women and girls usually take care of business under cover of darkness, making them more vulnerable to harassment, rape, kidnapping and wild animal attacks. According to the study, about 70 percent of rural households in Haryana did not have a private latrine in 2004.

      Recognizing the urgent need for sanitation, the Indian government launched a community-led “Total Sanitation Campaign” in 1999. But Haryana state authorities, inspired by the work of a local nongovernmental organization, saw a unique opportunity to achieve a public policy goal (sanitation) by exploiting deeply rooted social norms (marriage) and marriage market conditions (a scarcity of women).

      “Despite widespread and persistent discrimination, heightened competition on the male side of the market has shaped the overall bargaining environment” and increased women’s bargaining power, the study said.

      The benefit has been felt most deeply not only by the brides, but also the sisters and mothers of the grooms who can enjoy the safety, convenience and health benefits of a latrine in their home as well. And after years of the information campaign, brides do not even have to make the demand themselves in some cases. Men have begun to recognize that saving up to build a latrine is a standard prerequisite to marriage.

      “I will have to work hard to afford a toilet,” Harpal Sirshwa, a 22-year-old at the time, told the Washington Post in 2009. “We won’t get any bride if we don’t have one now. I won’t be offended when the woman I like asks for a toilet.”

      Based on government household surveys, the study reported that 1.42 million toilets were built between 2005 and 2009. Of those, 470,000 were built by households below the poverty line. The numbers may not overshadow those of other sanitation campaigns and randomized control trials in India, but the “No Toilet, No Bride” campaign is comparatively very cost-effective.

      Unfortunately, in marriage markets where there is not a significant scarcity of women the study found that “No Toilet, No Bride” had little to no effect. However, in regions like northern India where the sex ratio is skewed, the campaign has already begun to expand into neighboring states, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. In February, 110 villages took it one step further by requiring grooms obtain certificates verifying their toilets before they can marry.

      “Open defecation is not only an unhygienic habit, but also it often leads to crime against women,” Yahya Karimi, who oversaw the decision, told Times of India. “So, unless a groom has a toilet at his house, he won’t get a bride.”

  • India makes U-turn after proposing to punish ’fake news’ publishers - CNN

    (CNN)The Indian government is shelving a rule to punish journalists for publishing “fake news” just 48 hours after its introduction.
    The proposed order would have given the government the authority to strip individuals and media organizations of their accreditation — which is needed to go to government functions and makes access to government offices easier — if they received a complaint of reporting so-called fake news, a term that was not specifically defined.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said the measure was meant to help stop the spread of misinformation throughout the country, but critics swiftly condemned it as an attack on free speech in the world’s most populous democracy.
    “Make no mistake: (T)his is a breathtaking assault on mainstream media,” Shekhar Gupta, one of India’s most prominent journalists, tweeted to his nearly 2 million followers. He is the editor-in-chief of ThePrint, an Indian website focusing on politics and policy.

    The measure’s introduction was troubling to some who saw it as the latest effort among powerful leaders of Asian democracies to target the free press under the guise of combating so-called fake news, a term popularized by President Donald Trump in his effort to fight negative press coverage.
    Malaysia’s Upper House passed a bill criminalizing the spread of fake news this week, the first step in it becoming law. Singapore is also planning legislation to tackle online misinformation. Journalists in Myanmar and Cambodia — two countries the West has invested heavily in to ensure successful transitions to democracy — have been arrested in recent months.
    And Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has railed against the media by employing the term on a regular basis. His government has come under fire for reportedly targeting the online news site Rappler over its negative coverage of the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs. A presidential spokesman denied the allegations.
    India appears to be following a similar path, said Prem Panicker, a prominent journalist who used to be Yahoo India’s managing editor
    “There is a worldwide leaning toward hard-right governing style and hard-right leaders, and the corollary to that is that there’s increasing stresses on the press,” Panicker told CNN.
    “The single biggest problem is that this is when you want a very free, very vibrant press.”
    Despite the fierce criticism of New Delhi’s proposed rule, some of its opponents do believe there’s a need for either more regulation or greater responsibility on the part of publishers.
    India has one of the world’s most saturated and fastest-growing media markets, boasting thousands of options in print, television and online journalism.
    With that freedom and booming market has come a thriving tabloid culture, which has frustrated mainstream journalists who get lumped in with those peddling misinformation and flouting common standards.

    #Fake_news #Asie #Censure

  • India makes U-turn after proposing to punish ’#fake_news' publishers - CNN

    The Indian government is shelving a rule to punish journalists for publishing “fake news” just 48 hours after its introduction.

    The proposed order would have given the government the authority to strip individuals and media organizations of their accreditation — which is needed to go to government functions and makes access to government offices easier — if they received a complaint of reporting so-called fake news, a term that was not specifically defined.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said the measure was meant to help stop the spread of misinformation throughout the country, but critics swiftly condemned it as an attack on free speech in the world’s most populous democracy.

    Ouaouh, à la première plainte on te sucre ton accréditation… Bon, ben, apparemment, il faudra faire plus subtil

  • For India’s Hindu Nationalists, Religion Alone Defines Entitlement, Rights and Citizenship | Alternet

    It’s a worldview at odds with modernity and republicanism crafted in the Indian Constitution and the state: A fundamental belief, indoctrinated through skewed ‘history’ lessons in the shakha, that asserts religion and faith systems, some more than others, inherently determine entitlement, rights and citizenship.

    It is this prism that governs officialdom and India today and that tells us—quite unashamedly—that the Rohingyas (never mind that they are poor, distraught and below any poverty line) are a security threat, simply because they are Muslim. The Chakmas are not, the Hindus from Myanmar are not, but Rohingyas are a threat, simply because of their faith. (Source: Indian government’s affidavit before the Supreme Court of India dated September 18, 2017.)

    At the core of this instrumental use of a militarized form of faith is the transformation—through a climate and fear of violence and death—of India as articulated in the decades long struggle for independence from British colonial rule and exemplified in India’s founding document: its Constitution.

    Theocracy, or religion based nationhood, was unequivocally rejected by India’s Constituent Assembly, by leaders of all ideological dispositions. It was exclusivist outfits who were one in their worldview, the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, with the Muslim League—who also successfully projected that Muslims could not be part of a composite nation with India’s Hindus.

    Today, this worldview, which unashamedly articulates nationhood, citizenship and entitlements based on narrow definitions of faith, dominates Indian Parliament and rules 12 states (another five in alliance). The game of numbers, finally, is on their side.

    For any dispensation in the 21st century, in a country of over 1.324 billion people, a good 15 percent of whom are Muslim, 2-3 percent Christian, 27 percent Dalit, a physical ethnic cleansing of those ‘not Hindu’ may not be easy nor practical. But periodic and brute lynchings, by the brainwashed and armed cadres of these multi hydra organizations, are useful to build such an ethos, based on the fear of death.

    #Inde #Théocratie #Epuration_ethnique #Fascisme #Religion

  • Seas: The naming of seas: The associated problems and their resolutions - The Economic Times

    In May 1988, the Times of India (ToI) reported on an issue riling readers of Pakistan Times, a now defunct newspaper that was then owned by the Pakistani government. This was the name of the Indian Ocean which they felt was unfairly linked to this country simply because “by calling itself India the country seemed to have become heir to the entire history of the subcontinent.”

    One writer felt that the fairer approach would be to limit the use of India up to August 1947 and after that “what remained outside Pakistan and Bangladesh should be called Bharat.” But since the Indian government had not been so obliging, writers felt Pakistan should not go along with this historical and geographic appropriation and should stop using the term “Indian Ocean’.

    #cartographie #frontières #territoires_contestés #toponymie #chine #inde #pakistan

  • India’s Supreme Court says privacy is a fundamental right in blow to government - The Washington Post

    Le gouvernement fasciste indien vient de connaître un retour de bâton sur sa tentative de ficher toute la population. Mais ils essaieront autrement.

    A noter : « c’est pour lutter contre la fraude aux aides sociales » est devenu un leitmotiv pour tous les gouvernements réactionnaires. Le deal « une fiche biométrique contre un crouton de pain » est une insulte à la dignité humaine.

    NEW DELHI — In a blow to the Indian government’s efforts to roll out the world’s biggest biometric database on its billion citizens, India’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that privacy was a fundamental right for people.

    Over the past few years, the government has aggressively pushed to compile the database, known as Aadhar, by sending officials out to remote villages to take iris scans and fingerprints. To ensure complete enrollment, the government this year put out several notices restricting access to essential government services for those not part of the system.

    The unanimous ruling by the nine-judge bench will have huge implications in a number of ongoing cases involving Aadhar, which means base or foundation in Hindi.

    It could put an end to the government’s efforts of making enrollment mandatory. It also guarantees privacy for Indian citizens as an intrinsic right — removing it could have had far reaching implications beyond biometric IDs for the daily lives of Indians such as the possible decriminalization of homosexuality.

    In recent months, government notices said that as part of the Aadhar program, Indians would have to use a 12-digit unique identification number (known as the UID) to participate in almost every aspect of civic life — filing income tax returns, applying for railway job s or opening bank accounts.

    Government rules especially targeted the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society, Ramanathan said, by restricting access to services such as free midday meals and allowances for tuberculosis patients.

    Unlike social security numbers, UIDs would be accessible to various government agencies and private organizations. In recent months, government websites have mistakenly leaked thousands of UIDs.

    #Vie_privée #Inde #Surveillance

  • India’s Supreme Court says #privacy is an intrinsic right in blow to government - The Washington Post

    In a blow to the Indian government’s efforts to roll out the world’s biggest #biometric_database on its billion citizens, India’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that privacy was a fundamental right for people.

    Over the past few years, the government has aggressively pushed to compile the database, known as #Aadhar, by sending officials out to remote villages to take iris scans and fingerprints. To ensure complete enrollment, the government this year put out several notices restricting access to essential government services for those not part of the system.

    The unanimous ruling by the nine-judge bench will have huge implications in a number of ongoing cases involving Aadhar, which means base or foundation in Hindi.

    It could put an end to the government’s efforts of making enrollment mandatory. It also guarantees privacy for Indian citizens as an intrinsic right — removing it could have had far reaching implications beyond biometric IDs for the daily lives of Indians.

  • Menstrual Hygiene Products Are Not Luxury Goods: Indian Rural Women Speak Out · Global Voices

    This post was written by Madhura Chakraborty and Shradha Shreejaya and originally appeared on Video Volunteers, an award-winning international community media organization based in India. An edited version is published below as part of a content-sharing agreement.

    At the stroke of midnight on July 1, the Indian government rolled out what is being touted as the biggest tax reform in 70 years of independence — the Goods and Services Tax (GST), an indirect tax applicable throughout India that aims to replace multiple taxes levied by the state and central governments. With this, menstrual hygiene products will be taxed in the same category as ‘luxury’ commodities, while Vermilion (applied to the forehead of Hindu women to indicate married status), mangala sutra (a necklace worn by married women) and bangles not made out of precious metal (also a sign of marriage) will not be taxed. If this was a move to appease women, it backfired massively. There has been a surge on social media of articles and online petitions regarding the taxing of sanitary napkins. Female students in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, even mailed crate loads of sanitary napkins with the message ‘bleed without fear, bleed without tax’ to the finance minister.

    #règles #inde #discrimination

  • Amazon Removes Indian Flag Doormat After Threat to Pull Visas

    Amazon removed doormats depicting the Indian flag from its website Wednesday after Indian government officials threatened to withhold and rescind visas from the retail giant’s officials and representatives.

    The doormats, offered with various countries’ flags on them, were sold through a third-party seller on Amazon’s Canadian portal, Reuters reported. However, laws in India prohibit any desecration of its flag and punish offenders with fines and even jail time.

  • Land reform failures: Only 5% of India’s farmers control 32% farmland | Landportal

    Five facts, gleaned from the 2011-12 agricultural census and 2011 socio-economic caste census and this correspondent’s data, summarise the failure of India’s land reforms:

    – No more than 4.9% of farmers control 32% of India’s farmland.

    – A “large” farmer in India has 45 times more land than the “marginal” farmer.

    – Four million people, or 56.4% of rural households, own no land.

    – Only 12.9% of land marked – the size of Gujarat – for takeover from landlords was taken over by December 2015.

    – Five million acres — half the size of Haryana — was given to 5.78 million poor farmers by December 2015.

    What has largely failed nationwide — with the exception of West Bengal — over 54 years since a land redistribution law was passed, is not likely to improve, according to data in a response this correspondent received to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed with the department of land resources of the Indian government’s Ministry of Rural Development.

    #Inde #foncier #agriculture

  • The Washington Post Says Doctors Without Borders Is Silly to Worry About the Impact of the TPP on Drug Prices | Beat the Press | Blogs | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

    The humanitarian group, Doctors Without Borders, along with many other NGOs involved in providing health care to people in the developing world, have come out in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) over concerns that the deal will make it more difficult to provide drugs to people in the developing world. Their argument is that it will raise drug prices by making patent protection stronger and longer and by making it more difficult for countries to scale back protections that they may come to view as excessive and wasteful.

    But the Washington Post editorial board tells us not to fear, that the TPP is actually “a healthy agreement.” The gist of its argument is an analysis by Council on Foreign Relations Fellow Thomas Bollyky, which finds that there were few incidents of large increases in drug prices for countries following the signing of previous trade deals. 

    As I noted in a previous post, this analysis almost seemed designed not to find substantial rises in prices. Bollyky looked at changes in drugs prices immediately after a trade deal took effect. The problem with this approach is:

    "In most cases, the rules in these agreements will only apply to new drugs, and even then to a subset of new drugs, for example patent protection for a drug that is a combination of already approved drugs. They may also allow for the extension of patent terms beyond the date where they would have expired under pre-trade deal rules, but here again the impact will only be felt gradually over time.

    “Furthermore, the date of a trade deal with the United States may not be the key factor in pushing up drug prices. The United States signed a deal with South Korea in 2012 that required stronger patent and related protections, but most of these conditions were already law as of 2009 due to a trade agreement Korea signed with the European Union.”

    In other words, this before and after approach is a bit like weighing people the day after they gave up drinking sugary soda to determine whether this decision will affect obesity. It’s not serious stuff.

    There is evidence that prior trade agreements have affected drug prices. As I noted in that earlier post:

    "An analysis of the impact of the rules in the 2001 trade agreement between the United States and Jordan found that it had increased annual spending on drugs by $18 million by 2004. This is slightly less than 0.16 percent of Jordan’s GDP in that year, the equivalent of $28 billion annually in the U.S. economy today.

    “There is a similar story of sharply higher drug spending in Morocco, which signed a pact with the United States in 2006. In Morocco, spending on drugs went from $662 million in 2009 (0.7 percent of GDP) to $1.4 billion (1.4 percent of GDP) in 2015.”

    To be clear, Bollyky does have a limited point in his piece, any specific trade deal should not be viewed in isolation. It a process of creating ever stronger and longer patent protections, which mean ever larger gaps between the protected price of drugs and their free market price. (For some reason, none of the modelers ever factor in the negative impact of higher drug prices into their analysis of the economic impact of these trade deals.)

    In this sense, the TPP should be understood as working alongside other steps, like the Obama administration’s pressures on the Indian government to give up flexibilities granted under TRIPS, to ensure that U.S. drug companies can get ever higher prices from their drugs as protections are extended more broadly around the world. For people who are concerned about public health and would prefer a less corrupt and more efficient mechanism for supporting drug research, this sounds like a really bad deal.

    #arnaque #manipulation #libre_échange #pharma #Etats-Unis

  • India Is Accused of Bowing to Chinese Pressure in Canceling a Uighur Leader’s Visa | TIME

    India on Monday reportedly canceled a visa it had issued to a Uighur leader exiled from China and wanted by the Chinese government, days before he was scheduled to attend a conference with other anti-Beijing activists.

    Dolkun Isa, a leader of the World Uyghur Congress, told Indian newspaper the Hindu that he had received an email from the Indian government saying his visa had been denied. He was scheduled to attend the Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conference in the northern town of Dharamsala (where exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama currently resides) from April 30 to May 1.
    Indian officials responded by telling the Hindu that the visa Isa was granted is invalid for addressing public gatherings, and will be reissued if he applies for the correct category. Other government sources said the cancellation took place because of a “Red Corner Notice” issued against the Uighur leader by international law-enforcement agency Interpol, reportedly at Beijing’s behest.

    Isa said that the notice pointed to “clear abuse” by China of Interpol’s authority and was “concerning.”

  • India: BJP backtracks on opposition to retail liberalisation

    The previous central government signed into being legislation allowing FDI in multi brand retailing up to 51%, but through the government route- requires prior approval of the central Government which are considered by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance- and with some riders. The present central government, led by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), was and, in principle, still is against its predecessor’s decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail. But the consolidated FDI policy of the present BJP led government has not reversed the earlier decision. Instead, the Indian government is further liberalising the sector. The new Indian government has eased FDI norms and the conditions on minimum capitalisation. Floor area restrictions have also now been removed for the construction of shopping complexes.

    Up to 100% FDI is now allowed in coffee/rubber/cardamom/palm oil and olive oil plantations via the automatic route- without prior approval either of the Central Government or the Reserve Bank of India. Manufacturers can now sell their products through wholesale and/or retail, including through e-commerce without Government Approval.

    #Inde #commerce #détail

  • Revealed thirty years on ... the secret role that America’s Henry Kissinger played in the Bhopal tragedy | Herald Scotland

    Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put pressure on the Indian Government to agree a legal settlement that let the American chemical company Union Carbide off the hook for the 25,000 people killed by the toxic gas disaster in Bhopal 30 years ago.

    A letter released under freedom of ­information legislation reveals that the late Indian steel magnate JRD Tata wrote secretly to the Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in May 1988 conveying ­Kissinger’s concern about the delays in reaching agreement on the compensation to be paid to victims. (...)

    The letter, obtained by Bhopal activists, is important because it confirms what many have long suspected: that the US and Tata were complicit in allowing Union Carbide to evade responsibility for the world’s worst industrial accident.


  • Jocalyn Clark: Why has Bangladesh had such success in improving sanitation, but not neighboring India? - BMJ Blogs

    Access to toilets is not enough, which the current Indian scenario illustrates: billions of rupees have been spent or pledged to spend on building toilets in the past 15 years, but the majority of people with government latrines don’t use them. A trial last month in PLOS Medicine revealed the failings of an Indian government program providing financial incentives to build improved latrine facilities

    [meanwhile in Bangladesh the open defecation rate fell to under 3%:]

    it wasn’t just health messages, but “shame and disgust” messages that were part of the campaign, says Dr Begum. Messages such as: “if we openly defecate, you will be eating other people’s feces.”

    Social norms changed too: having a household toilet became a status symbol signifying dignity. Marriage arrangements began to include latrine reviews in the homes of prospective spouses. Gender sensitivity was recognized: women were included in making decisions about the location and type of latrines, and they sat on the community committees, while men were given tailored health promotion about hygiene.

    Incentives were key

    #toilettes #santé #inde #bangladesh

  • #Areva's Jaitapur Nuclear Project: Another Catastrophe in the Offing?

    The Indian Government is planning to build the world’s largest nuclear power plant in Jaitapur, in the Western state of Maharasthra. The plant is to be based on Areva’s EPR technology. The site is a biodiversity hotspot and is also known to have high seismic activity. According to critics, the project is an untested, expensive and dangerous gamble with health and land, which is being vehemently opposed. Areva and the Indian government are currently negotiating to finalise their agreement. (...)


    / #zoom, #Energy, #India, Areva, #Nuclear_Energy, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), #public_campaign, #local_communities, #social_impact, #environmental_impact, nuclear (...)

    #Nuclear_Power_Corporation_of_India_NPCIL_ #nuclear_energy

  • Within 5 years every Indian home will be lit by solar, Indian government official announces

    NEW DELHI: India’s new government anticipates that by 2019 at least one light bulb in every home will run on solar power, Bloomberg news agency has reported.

  • Rights groups urge #India, #Qatar action on migrant deaths

    India came under pressure Friday over the deaths of over 450 nationals in almost two years in Qatar, the host of the 2022 #World_Cup, with rights groups branding the figures as “very disturbing”. Amnesty International called on the Indian government to release more information about the deaths amid mounting criticism over safety and working conditions of migrants in Qatar’s booming construction community. read more

    #migrant_worker_abuse #Top_News

  • Somali author #Diriye_Osman’s “Fairytales for Lost Children”

    In a dark couple of weeks for #LGBT_rights, the Indian government’s supreme court has re-criminalised gay sex, ensuring men and women now face police harassment and potential life imprisonment, stating gay sex is “unnatural, immoral and a reflection of a perverse mind.” While in Australia the first same-sex marriage law was revoked by the […]

    #BOOKS #OPINION #Fairytails_for_Lost_Children #Review #Somalia

  • 10 companies profiting the most from war

    10. United Technologies (UTX) — aircraft, electronics, engines
    Arm sales: $11.6 billion, total sales: $58.2 billion
    Gross profit: $5.3 billion, total workforce: 199,900
    United Technologies makes a wide range of arms — notably military helicopters, including the Black Hawk helicopter for the U.S. Army and the Seahawk helicopter for the U.S. Navy. The company was the biggest employer in the top 10 though arms sales accounted for just 20% of revenue. UTX also produces elevators, escalators, air-conditioners and refrigerators. International sales comprised 60% of the company’s revenue in 2012.

    9. L-3 Communications (LLL) — electronics
    Arm sales: $12.5 billion, total sales: $15.2 billion
    Gross profit: $956 million, total workforce: 61,000
    Some 83% of L-3 Communications sales in 2011 came from arms sales, but this was down from what it sold the prior year. The company has four business segments: electronic systems; aircraft modernization and maintenance; national security solutions; and command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Among many products manufactured, the company has become a major provider of unmanned aircraft systems.

    8. Finmeccanica — aircraft, artillery, engines, electronics, vehicles and missiles
    Arms sales, $14.6 billion, total sales: $24.1 billion
    Gross profit: $ -3.2 billion, total workforce: 70,470
    Italian company Finmeccanica makes a wide range of arms, including helicopters and security electronics. Nearly 60% of the company’s sales in 2011 were in arms. Finmeccanica lost $3.2 billion in 2011. The Italian company is currently fending off allegation that it paid bribes to win an approximately $750 million contract to provide 12 military helicopters to the Indian government in 2010. The then-head of the company, Giuseppe Orsi, was arrested in February but has denied wrongdoing. Other executives, including the head of the company’s helicopter unit, have been replaced, and the company has delayed the release of recent financial results.

    7. EADS — aircraft, electronics, missiles and space
    Arm sales: $16.4 billion, total sales: $68.3 billion
    Gross profit: $1.4 billion, total workforce: 133,120
    The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), based in the Netherlands, had sales in 2011 roughly in line with the prior year. Arms sales comprised just 24% of the company’s revenue. EADS and BAE Systems unsuccessfully attempted to merge for $45 billion in 2012, which would have created the world’s largest aerospace company. The deal collapsed in October after German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed concerns about the merger.

    6. Northrop Grumman (NOC) — aircraft, electronics, missiles, ships, space
    Arm sales: $21.4 billion, total sales: $26.4 billion
    Gross profit: $2.1 billion, total workforce: 72,500
    Northrop Grumman’s 2011 arms sales comprised about 81% of total sales even after a sharp decline in arms sales year over year. The company attributed the decline to reduced government spending on defense projects. Nevertheless, the company was more profitable than in the prior year.

    5. Raytheon (RTN) — electronics, missiles
    Arm sales: $22.5 billion, total sales: $24.9 billion
    Gross profit: $1.9 billion, total workforce: 71,000
    Raytheon, based in Waltham, Mass., is one of the largest defense contractors in the U.S. The company makes the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, among others. Arms sales comprised about 90% of the company’s sales in 2011 though they as a total they were lower than in the prior year. The slide hasn’t let up. Total sales in 2012 fell 1.5%, and Raytheon is expecting sales to fall 3% in 2013, a projection which doesn’t take into account the effects of mandated budget cuts. The company can rely on overseas customers to somewhat offset weak sales at home. As of January, approximately 40% of the company’s backlog was booked overseas. The company expects approximately a 5% increase in international sales in 2013.

    4. General Dynamics (GD) — artillery, electronics, vehicles, small arms, ships
    Arm sales: $23.8 billion, total sales: $32.7 billion
    Gross profit: $2.5 billion, total workforce: 95,100
    With 18,000 transactions in 2011, General Dynamics was the third-largest contractor to the U.S. government. Of those contracts, approximately $12.9 billion worth went to the Navy, while an additional $4.6 billion went to the Army. The company’s arms sales in 2011 comprised 73% of total sales. Arms sales in 2011 were slightly below 2010 levels. The company makes a host of products, including electric boats, tracked and wheeled military vehicles, and battle tanks. The company announced layoffs in early March, blaming mandated federal budget cuts.

    3. BAE Systems — aircraft, artillery, electronics, vehicles, missiles, ships
    Arm sales: $29.2 billion, total sales: $30.7 billion
    Gross profit: $2.3 billion, total workforce: 93,500
    BAE Systems was the largest non-U.S. company based on arms sales. Arms sales represented 95% of the company’s total sales in 2011 even though they were lower as a total of overall sales compared to the prior year. The products BAE sells include the L-ROD Bar Armor System that shields defense vehicles and the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer that provides sophisticated simulation training for military pilots. In 2013, the company said its growth would likely come from outside the U.S. and Great Britain — its home market. BAE noted that its outlook for those two countries was “constrained,” likely due to the diminished presence in international conflicts and government budget cuts.

    2. Boeing (BA) — aircraft, electronics, missiles, space
    Arm sales: $31.8 billion, total sales: $68.7 billion
    Gross profit: $4 billion, total workforce: 171,700
    Boeing was the second-largest U.S. government contractor in 2011, with about $21.5 billion worth of goods contracted. The Chicago-based company makes a wide range of arms, including strategic missile systems, laser and electro-optical systems and global positioning systems. Despite all these technologies, just 46% of the company’s total sales of $68.7 billion in 2011 came from arms. Boeing is the largest commercial airplane manufacturer in the world, making planes such as the 747, 757 and recently, the 787 Dreamliner. The company is also known for its space technology — Boeing had $1 billion worth of contracts with NASA in 2011.

    1. Lockheed Martin (LMT) — aircraft, electronics, missiles, space
    Arm sales:$36.3 billion, total sales: $46.5 billion
    Gross profit: $2.7 billion, total workforce, 123,000
    Lockheed Martin notched $36.3 billion in sales in 2011, slightly higher than the $35.7 billion the company sold in 2010. The arms sales comprised 78% of the company’s total 2011 sales. Lockheed makes a wide range of products, including aircraft, missiles, unmanned systems and radar systems. The company and its employees have been concerned about the effects of the “fiscal cliff” and sequestration, the latter of which includes significant cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense. In the fall of 2012, the company planned on issuing layoff notices to all employees before backing down at the White House’s request.

  • Despite mass opposition, India pushes ahead with operationalizing nuclear plant

    By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara
    27 September 2012

    Despite mass protests by villagers, the Indian government in partnership with the Tamil Nadu state government is pushing ahead with the loading of nuclear fuel at the recently built 2000 MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) located on the Tamil Nadu coast.

    This massive power plant is a joint venture between India and Russia and has cost 172 billion Rupees (about $3.2 billion) to build. The plant currently houses two nuclear pressurized water reactors (PWR) reactors, each capable of driving a 1000 MW electric generator. But there are plans to construct four additional reactors at the site.

    #inde #nucléaire #contestation #résistance