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India rejects World Bank’s HCI report over data gaps

According to the HCI, a child born in India today will be only 44 per cent as productive “when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health”.

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New Delhi, Oct 12 : The Central government on Thursday rejected the findings of the World Bank’s Human Capital Index (HCI), which has placed the country at 115th position out of 157 countries on various parameters, such as survivability measured by under-five mortality rate.

“The government of India, therefore, has decided to ignore the HCI and will continue to undertake its path-breaking programmes for human capital development aiming to rapidly transforming quality and ease of life for all its children,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The HCI has been constructed for 157 countries. It claims to seek to measure the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect on attaining the age of 18.

The HCI index values are contended to convey the productivity of the next generation of workers, compared to a benchmark of complete standard education and full health.

“There are serious reservations about the advisability and utility of this exercise of constructing HCI,” the statement said.

“There are major methodological weaknesses, besides substantial data gaps. For instance, for the schooling parameter, though quantity is assessed using enrolment rates reported by UNESCO, quality is gauged using harmonised test scores from major international student achievement testing programmes.”

According to the HCI, a child born in India today will be only 44 per cent as productive “when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health”.

“The HCI in India for females is marginally better than that for males,” the report said.

On the probability of survival up to the age of 5, the report said it is “96 out of 100 children born in India”.

The report pointed out that in India, “a child who starts school at age of 4 can expect to complete 10.2 years of school by her 18th birthday”.

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Cities

Cyclone Phethai intensifies; over 50 trains cancelled in Andhra Pradesh

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Photo Credit- Hindustan Times

Vijayawada, Dec 17: Cyclone Phethai has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal and is set to hit the coast near Kakinada on Monday afternoon.

Following this, The South Central Railway has cancelled over 50 trains in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

As per the IMD report, Cyclone Phethai has moved further north-northwestwards with a speed of 26 kmph during past 06 hours. The storm has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and lay centred at 17:30 hrs.

The cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 70-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph has been predicted. The Met department has also issued a warning of heavy rainfall over isolated areas in coastal Andhra, north Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Jharkhand, south Chhattisgarh, and the parts of West Bengal.

Many trains from Vijayawada to various destinations in coastal Andhra were suspended as a precautionary measure.

The Visakhapatnam-Guntur Simhadri Express, Guntur-Visakhapatnam Simhadri Express, Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada Ratnachalam Express, Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam Ratnachalam Express, Narsapur-Nidadavolu Link Express and Nidadavolu-Narsapu Link Express were among the trains cancelled.

Passenger trains between Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Guntur and Bhimavaram were also cancelled.

Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) passenger trains between Vijayawada and destinations like Rajahmundry, Kakinada Port, Tenali, Bhimavaram, Guntur and Machilipatnam, MEMU trains between Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam, Visakhapatnam and Kakinada Port, Tenali and Guntur, Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry, Rajahmundry and Bhimavaram, Bhimavaram and Nidadavolu, Rajahmundry and Narasapur and Narasapur and Guntur were also cancelled.

The other cancelled trains include Kakinada Port-Kotipalli Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger, Kotipalli-Kakinada Port DMU passenger, Machilipatnam-Gudivada, Bhimavaram-Rajahmundry, Nidadavolu-Bhimavaram, Ongole-Guntur passenger trains.

Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railway directed officials of divisions likely to be affected to be prepared to handle any emergency situation.

Helplines were opened at Vijayawada, Guntur and Guntakal station for round-the-clock monitoring of the situation.

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India

Winter Session: Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm

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New Delhi, Dec 17: The house was adjourned till 2 p.m. after the members created a ruckus on a range of issues.

Earlier, Amid uproar Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced the Triple Talaq Bill in the house.

Following this, Congress member Shashi Tharoor opposed the bill saying it is targetted at a particular religion and hence unconstitutional.

The bill was brought in as per the direction of the Supreme Court, retorts Prasad and said several women belonging to the Muslim community suffered because of an instant divorce.

Later, again the Lok Sabha was disrupted, prompting the speaker to adjourn the house.

Prior to this, the house was adjourned till 12 p.m. after the opposition created a ruckus on a host of issues.

Soon after the Lok Sabha resumed for the day, AIADMK and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members trooped near the Speaker’s podium and started raising slogans.

The AIADMK members took the Cauvery water issue while the TDP sought special status for Andhra Pradesh.

The Congress members were seen sloganeering against the government for misleading the apex court on the Rafale deal.

They were countered by the Bharatiya Janata Party, who demanded an apology from Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan requested the agitating leaders to allow the Question Hour to progress but the members continued with their protest.

Amid the din she adjourned the House till 12 p.m.

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13 miners trapped: Very difficult and complicated situation, says Meghalaya CM

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Ksan, Dec 17: Flagging concern over the incident where 13 miners were trapped in a mine at Ksan in East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday described the situation very difficult and complicated said that the NDRF trying to save them but it looks very difficult.

“Very difficult and complicated situation. NDRF trying to save them but it looks very difficult. No matter how many pumps we put, water force is too much to bring it down to a level where we can enter and save them”, he told ANI.

The CM also said that he spoke to Union Minister Kiren Rijiju regarding the incident and requested him to send more professional help.

“We’re trying really hard but the water level is really high, the day after this incident took place I spoke to Union Minister Kiren Rijiju and requested him to send more professional help”, Sangma asserted.

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