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The Week That Was:

From: Vartaa Editorial Team on Jul 24, 2016

Floods in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

Heavy rains has caused the Brahmaputra to swell and flow at dangerous levels. Assam has been the worst hit with more than 14 districts with over 5 lakh people have been affected. While the Noa-Dehing river among others has wreaked havoc in several villages in Arunachal Pradesh. About 81 relief camps have been setup in Assam alone. So far 3.5k crore has been released to 20 states by the center for State Disaster Response Force(SDRF) this year. However the situation still remains grim.

AAP vs the Centre

AAP in Delhi has been in news often. By now CM Arvind Kejriwal has made his frustration known by accusing the Centre, the police and the PM in particular of blocking governance and targetting AAP. Sunday added fuel to this fire when 2 AAP MLA's were arrested. AAP reacted strongly to the arrests claiming that the charges of intimidating a woman with rape and murder on Amanatullah Khan were false. Naresh Yadav on the other hand has been accused of desecrating the Holy Quran by the Punjab police. Early last week, Sidhu's accusation that he was asked to stay away from Punjab sparked a series of remarks and accusations between AAP and BJP.

Naxal problems

In Bihar near the Gaya-Aurangabad border, 10 CRPF commandos were killed during a Naxal ambush with an IED blast. The encounter resulted in the death of 2 suspected Maoists. Two dozen IED's were recovered during a routine search operation of police in Latehar districtt Jharkhand. On the other hand, 12 Naxals surrendered in Chattisgarh, along with a few in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The Government approved 12 CRPF batallions to tackle Naxal problem of which 4 are to be deployed in Chattisgarh, 3 in Jharkhand and Odisha and 2 in Maharashtra.

The Thalaivar Phenomenon

Rajnikanth's latest movie Kabali released last week. From 6am movie shows to special flights by Air Aisa to Chennai to official Friday off's in companies, the sensation had it all. While the movie itself had mixed reviews from fans and critics, Kabali raked in Rs 90 crore on the first day.

Opinions you must read:

  • Deepak Nayyar from The Hindu recounts India's step towards liberalization 25 years ago.
  • Sandip Ghose pens ITC's progress over the last decade.
  • Shobhit Mahajan from Indian Express lists the problems with India's educational system.

Chart of the Week

This week we look at the Sex Ratio (Number of females per 100 males) in India by state and how close each state is to achieving gender parity. We would like to remind our readers that this data is from the 2011 census so it is slightly dated but we are hopeful that things have only improved in the last 5 years especially given the efforts of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) campaign. This translates as 'Save girl child, educate girl child.'

First the good news- overall Sex Ratio (Number of females per 1000 males) in India has improved from 933 in 2001 to 943 in 2011. This is very encouraging. What is worrying though is that the Sex Ratio for children 0-6 years of age dropped from 927 2001 to 919 in 2011. This was a major reason why the government launched the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign and reports from Gujarat suggest that it has been successful so far. To put things in context China- another major country struggling with low Sex Ratio- has a reported Ratio of 928. Russia which has one of the largest Sex Ratios among large countries has a reported ratio of 1160.

So how do states fare? The high-literacy state of Kerala tops the list with a Sex Ratio of 1084. Other Southern states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh (numbers were not reported separately for Telangana in 2011), and Karnataka also fare relatively well. Large northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab do poorly. The worst performer is Haryana with a worrisome Sex Ratio of 879. The BBBP campaign certainly seems to be a step in the right direction and it would be interesting to look at its impact, preferably before the 2021 census. We urge our readers to share their thoughts an also share sources of reliable data around the ambitious BBBP campaign.