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Modi celebrates Moody’s ratings while Indians suffer in poverty and dearth of resources

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PM Modi at ASEAN

Credit rating company Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded India’s sovereign rating to Baa2 by a notch from Baa3 (moderate credit risk) after the request made by the Narendra Modi government.

Modi government is rejoicing over  the upgradation of the ratings so crucial for positioning India as a destination for foreign direct investment  and to benefit his image and his Bharatiya Janata Party polls prospects at the time of Gujarat state assembly elections because  India’s Economic growth decelerated to 5.7% in the June quarter, the slowest pace in three years due to the implementation of the goods and services tax GST and the lingering impact of demonetisation.

The upgradation of sovereign credit rating should not serve a reason for rejoicing as the big three credit-rating agencies — Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings gave deceptive ratings to American sub-prime housing mortgage crisis that was responsible for the Great Recession of 2008-2009. These agencies are criticized for  failing to warn investors of the dangers of investing in many of the mortgage-backed securities at the epicenter of the financial crisis in America.

To look and analyse in a larger perspective , the credit rating is an assessment of the creditworthiness of the government as a borrower and Moody assigned credit rating to the Modi government on factors such as political stability taxation, currency values and labour laws.

But there remains a risk in it as Moody has warned that India’s rating can take a  downward trend if the banking system deteriorates or external vulnerability increases. The agency rating is not on the basis of the reforms that directly impacts the betterment of the common man like providing jobs , reducing poverty  and improving agriculture productivity and the condition of farmers.

The Congress  has also accused the Modi government of “clutching at straws” to reclaim the lost credibility, and said it and rating agency Moody’s have failed to gauge the mood of the nation.

“Modiji and Moody’s ‘jodi’ (duo) have failed to gauge the mood of the nation,” Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said, adding that hunger deaths, agri-distress, job losses, lowest credit ratings, rising prices, plunging exports, flawed GST, demonetisation disaster, stagnant growth are the real indices to measure it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repackaged as many as 23 legacy schemes of the UPA government and rebranded them as its own to deceptively showcase as the achievements of his government to other countries to build his image as a global leader while the Indians continue to suffer from the wrong policies of Modi government that have created internal rifts by creating polarization among various communities, price rise, rising suicides and acute dearth of resources.

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day: J-K Lt Governor Pays Tribute To Sikh Guru

Manoj Sinha noted that the pious day is a reminder to respect and uphold the ‘faith, belief and rights of people’.

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Manoj Sinha

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha paid rich tributes to Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, on his martyrdom day on Tuesday.

“The teachings and martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur underline one of the most fundamental principles of human existence, which is ensuring the right of everyone to breathe free and live unshackled,” Sinha said.

Guru Teg Bahadur’s sacrifice is an important reminder for the future generations to be committed towards upholding the faith, belief and rights of people, he added.

On this pious day, everyone must resolve to dedicate themselves to selfless service of others, the LG said.

“Peaceful co-existence, mutual respect for each other’s religious beliefs go a long way in uplifting individual lives and achieving harmony and compassion in the society,” he added.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was born on April 1, 1621. He resisted forced conversions of Hindus, Sikhs, Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam and was killed on this day in 1675 on the orders of the then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi.

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More Than Half Of 20-Year-Olds In India’s Metros Likely To Develop Diabetes In Lifetime

As many as 134 million people in India, with more women at risk, could be afflicted with diabetes by 2045 due to reduced physical activity and poor diet.

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More than half of men and nearly two-thirds of women currently aged 20 years in India could develop diabetes in their lifetime, with most of those cases likely to be type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

The research, published in the journal Diabetologia, estimated the probability of a metropolitan Indian of any age or body mass index (BMI) developing diabetes in their lifetime.

According to the scientists, including those from the Centre for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC) in New Delhi, the country already has a significant health burden caused by diabetes with more than 77 million adults currently afflicted by the condition, and the number expected to almost double to 134 million by 2045.

As urban centres continue to grow rapidly across India, they said decreasing diet quality, and decreased levels of physical activity are all contributing to this hidden epidemic.

In the study, the researchers assessed age-, sex- and BMI-specific incidence rates of diabetes in urban India based on data from the Centre for Cardiometabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia (2010-2018).

They also analysed the age-, sex- and urban-specific rates of mortality from period lifetables reported by the Government of India (2014), and the prevalence of diabetes reported by the Indian Council for Medical Research India Diabetes Study (2008-2015).

Based on the analysis, the scientists said the lifetime risk of developing diabetes in 20-year-old men and women free of diabetes today is 56 and 65 per cent, respectively.

Women generally had a higher lifetime risk across the lifespan, the study noted.

According to the researchers, for those currently aged 60 years and currently free of diabetes, around 38 per cent of women and 28 per cent of men would go on to develop diabetes.

They cautioned that obesity had a substantial impact on these projections, with the lifetime risk highest among obese metropolitan Indians — 86 per cent among 20-year-old women, and 87 per cent among men.

People with lower BMI had considerably higher diabetes-free life expectancy and obese 20-year-olds were estimated to have around half of their remaining life years free from diabetes.

However, those with normal or underweight BMI were projected to live out most of their remaining years diabetes-free, the scientists said.

“The remarkably high lifetime risk of developing diabetes and the low diabetes-free life expectancy in India’s metropolitan cities, especially for individuals with high BMI, implies that interventions targeting the incidence of diabetes may be of paramount importance moving forward,” the researchers noted in the study.

They noted that metropolitan Indians at every age and BMI have an alarmingly high probability of developing diabetes compared with results from high-income countries, and that proactive efforts to prevent diabetes in cities are urgently needed.

According to the scientists, this is particularly needed given the rapid increase in “urban obesogenic environments” across the country.

In addition to these risk factors, the scientists said Indians already have a relatively high predisposition to developing the condition at both lower ages and lower BMIs when compared with white European populations.

“Such high probabilities of developing diabetes will have severely negative implications for India”s already strained health system and also out-of-pocket expenditure on diabetes treatment by patients, unless diabetes is immediately acknowledged for what it is,” said study co-author Shammi Luhar from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

“Despite these very high predicted lifetime risks of diabetes, it is possible to prevent or postpone diabetes by effective lifestyle modification, such as following a healthy diet, by increasing physical activity and reducing body weight in those who are obese or overweight,” added Viswanathan Mohan, another co-author of the research from the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai.

The scientists believe the need of the hour is policy and investment with clearly spelt out targets and commitments to meet by 2030.

“Perhaps an aspirational target of ’90-90-90′ (90 per cent of people with diabetes detected, 90 per cent of those detected treated, and 90 per cent of those treated controlled), is imminently needed,” said study co-author Nikhil Tandon from the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

“Such a target could operate in the same way as the 90-90-90 targets introduced some years ago for HIV, which has since been replaced by even more ambitious 95-95-95 targets,” Tandon added.

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Tarun Gogoi: Supreme Court lawyer who went on to become longest serving CM of Assam

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Tarun Gogoi started his political career as a ward member of the Jorhat Municipality in 1968. In 1971, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha and served for six terms till 2001, first from Jorhat and later from Koliabor.

Former Assam chief minister and veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi succumbed to post-COVID complications on November 23. The Congressman was rushed to GMCH on 2 November due to post-Covid complications, just a week after he was released. He was first admitted to the hospital on 26 August after testing positive for Covid-19.

Expressing his grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Shri Tarun Gogoiji was a popular leader and a veteran administrator, who had years of political experience in Assam as well as the Centre. Anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.”

Political Journey:

Tarun Gogoi started his political career as a ward member of the Jorhat Municipality in 1968. In 1971, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha and served for six terms till 2001, first from Jorhat and later from Koliabor.

As the leader of the Congress party in Assam for over 50 years, Gogoi was first elected joint secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1976 under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He later served as general secretary of the AICC (1985–90) under Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Gogoi served six terms as a Lok Sabha MP from Assam. He first represented Jorhat for three terms between 1971 and 1985. He was later elected from Kaliabor in 1991-96 and then 1998-2002. The Kaliabor seat is currently held by his son Gaurav Gogoi.

He stayed CM from 2001 to 2016, a total of 15 years.

Gogoi, a lawyer by profession, was in court to assist Congress leader P Chidambaram. The last time the former chief minister was in court to argue a case was in 1983. After more than three decades, Gogoi in December attended court proceedings as a lawyer as the Supreme Court took up a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act. Gogoi had opposed the Citizenship Act, calling it “discriminatory”.

States in the Northeast, especially Assam, witnessed intense protests in the wake of the Citizenship Amendment Act, ever since the Bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha. Army and paramilitary columns were called in to control the violence.

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