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Lack of sustainable development pushing India downwards in happiness index: Pranab

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Pranab-Mukherjee

Kolkata, July 26 (IANS) Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said lack of holistic approach and narrow-vision focus on economic development is pushing India downwards in the World Happiness Index in spite of its steady economic progress.

Hailing India for becoming the sixth largest economy in the world, Mukherjee said the country should strive for “sustainable development” by focusing on the concept of “Triple bottom line”.

“Despite our country’s economic progress, India is constantly going downwards in the happiness index. It has dropped down to 133rd place in 2018. This indicates a lack of holistic approach towards development.

“The quest of happiness is closely tied to the quest for sustainable development which is a combination of social inclusion and environmental sustainability,” Mukherjee said while speaking at a seminar on People, Planet and Profit organised by the Indian Chamber Of Commerce.

“A narrow vision focus on economic development may have given us a better GDP and increase in per capita income but moved our focus from environmental sustainability, social welfare, emotional and mental wellbeing of our people. These are the primary reasons of our ranking in the world happiness index year after year.”

The veteran politician said in scenarios as this the concept of ‘triple bottom line’ – an accounting framework that puts equal focus on social, environmental and financial development – becomes important.

Mukherjee pointed out while India has managed to bypass France with substantial figures in terms of its value of economy, it must be remembered that the current progress was not achieved in the last couple of years.

He said the country has shown steady improvement in GDP, national per capita income, life expectancy, literacy and food production while managing to bring down the poverty ratio significantly over the past 70 years.

“The recent World Bank report has placed India above France in terms of the value of economy in US dollar terms. But obviously it did not happen in the last couple of years or even in a couple of decades. IT has happened over seven decades,” he added.

Health

Prince Charles highlights Covid-19 impact on youngsters

Prince Charles, who had tested positive for the virus earlier this year, has set up the Young People Relief Fund to provide extra support to young people affected by the impact of the virus.

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Prince Charles

London, Sep 27 : The UK’s Prince Charles on Sunday highlighted the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on young people, saying it was a “particularly difficult time to be young”.

“For anyone, this is a difficult time – but it is a particularly difficult time to be young,” the BBC quoted the Prince of Wales as saying in an article published in the Sunday Telegraph.

He compared the current situation to “other times when hope was scarce”, citing concerns over youth unemployment in the 1970s that prompted him to set up his charity, the Prince’s Trust which helps people aged between 11 and 30 seek employment opportunities and life skills.

“This year, we celebrate the fact that over the last nearly 45 years, we have helped a million young people to change their lives for the better,” he wrote in the article.

“Over all these years since the trust was launched, there has never been an easy time.

“However, there has never been a time as uniquely challenging as the present, when the pandemic has left perhaps another million young people needing urgent help to protect their futures.

“The task ahead is unquestionably vast, but it is not insurmountable,” he was quoted as saying.

Prince Charles, who had tested positive for the virus earlier this year, has set up the Young People Relief Fund to provide extra support to young people affected by the impact of the virus.

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Serum Institute CEO has a question for govt: ‘Will it have Rs 80k cr to give each Indian Covid vaccine’

Serum Institute of India has the licence to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one being developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala Saturday asked if the government will have Rs 80,000 crore available over the next one year to buy and distribute the Covid-19 vaccine.

Terming it as “next concerning challenge” that needs to be tackled, Poonawala tweeted, “Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India.”

He also tagged the prime minister’s office in his tweet. “I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide, vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution,” he added.

SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has the licence to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one being developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax. The Oxford University vaccine is currently undergoing phase-II and phase-III trials in India. Earlier, the institute had announced that it will make the Oxford vaccine available at USD 3 for low-and-middle-income countries including India.

Apart from bringing some of the leading contenders of a coronavirus vaccine to India, the Serum is developing its own vaccine as well. It is partnering with SpyBiotech, a spin-off of Oxford University, for this purpose. Their vaccine candidate has entered into combined phase-I/phase-II clinical trials, which are being done in Australia. The trials began in the first week of September.

Meanwhile, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that as the largest vaccine producing country of the world, India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help people across the world. “As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis,” PM Modi said.

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Health

Eyesight problems rising among kids

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

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childrens vision problems

Lucknow, Sep 26 : With children spending more time on computers and mobile phones for online classes and gaming, cases of eye sight problems are on the rise.

Children and teens between the ages of 6 and 18 years have been found to be suffering from convergence efficiency, computer vision syndrome, reflective errors and other eye sight problems.

According to rough estimates, nearly 40 per cent children have complained of various eye and vision related problems in recent weeks.

Majority of the children are being diagnosed with convergence insufficiency — a condition in which the eyes are unable to work together when looking at nearby objects. This condition causes one eye to turn outward instead of inward with the other eye, creating double or blurred vision, said Anil Rastogi, a well-known ophthalmologist.

Children working long hours on computers and smart phones usually complain of itching or burning in eyes, watering, loss of retention power, besides headache and eye pain, Rastogi added.

Shikha Kumar, another ophthalmologist, said that since the national lockdown, most children have been found to be spending eight to 10 hours on electronic devices.

“They are either attending online classes, or watching cartoons or television and playing video games. Parents feel that this is the best way to keep them occupied but this prolonged exposure to electronic devices is playing havoc with their eyesight,” she pointed out.

Doctors say that children are being diagnosed with computer vision syndrome where they complain of pain, redness, dryness, blurring of vision, double vision and other head and neck sprains.

Besides, cases of reflective errors in terms of myopia and hypermetropia have also surfaced among children.

Doctors suggest eye exercises, frequent breaks from TV/computer/ mobile phone screens to prevent permanent damage to the eyes.

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