Merkel to be German chancellor for fourth term:

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is set to be German chancellor for fourth term in the general election next Sunday. Latest opinion polls conducted just days before the election unanimously forecast that Merkel, who has been in power since 2005, will remain at the helm of the next government.

The polls forecast that Merkel’s conservative bloc, that comprises her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian ally Christian Social Union (CSU), will emerge as the largest group in the next Bundestag(the lower house of parliament).

The two parties together are expected to poll around 37 per cent of the votes on Sunday compared to 20 per cent forecast for Merkel’s main challenger Martin Schulz and his Social Democratic Party (SPD).Opinion polls also unanimously forecast that the anti- migrants far-right party Alternative for Germany (AFD) will enter the Bundestag for the first time.

FM Arun on Rohingya refugees,oil cost hike

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said, the government in an affidavit to the Supreme Court has stated its policy stand on Rohingya issue. Responding to a media query in New Delhi, Mr. Jaitley said, this is a policy issue which has been stated before the Apex Court. He said, the security, foreign policy, humanitarian grounds and effect on population balance have been taken into consideration while taking a decision over the issue.

Two days back, the government termed the Rohingya refugees as illegal immigrants in the Court saying some of them were part of a sinister design of Pakistan’s ISI and terror groups whose presence in the country will pose a serious national security threat.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has termed the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel as temporary phenomena saying it will soon be normalized.

Replying to a media query over the issue, Mr. Jaitley said, the recent spike is also due to shrinking of refining capacity which has been affected due to Hurricane in US.

He also targeted the opposition parties for questioning the Centre over the issue saying why they are not reducing taxes on petroleum products if they are so serious.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said, the government will take additional measures, if needed, in view of present economic situation to improve the growth.

Replying to a media query after Cabinet meeting, Mr. Jaitley said, he had held series of meeting with concerned Ministers and Secretaries in the last two days and discussed the factors relating to the economy.

In the Tuesday’s meeting, the Finance Minister reviewed the state of economy, including export scenario and infrastructure spendings. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar attended the meeting.

The Cleaning Brigade: Connects and Disconnects


  • Dr Sanghmitra Acharya
    Dr Sanghmitra Acharya’s talk on ‘The Cleaning Brigade: Connects and Disconnects’ will address factors characterising sanitation work and how the instricially discriminatory nature of this work impacts the lives of those engaged in it. Caste is a unique determinant of social discrimination in the Indian Sub-continent that has impacted the sanitation workers in specific ways. The process of caste based social discrimination embedded in religion and history has accentuated deprivation and denial among them. While much of the literature has explored social discrimination in general; not much seems to reflect on the experience of social discrimination and humiliation experienced by these workers; and consequences of such experiences. The present research explores the determinants of engaging in scavenging and cleaning; notion of dignity associated with it; and the factors which govern their continuance in these works and what is the alternative available. Social discrimination experienced by Dalits engaged in scavenging and cleaning in accessing resources to enhance literacy, skills, health, basic housing and related infrastructure has also been examined. The present work, thus endeavours to understand the current status and identify the gaps to inform the policymakers.

    Dr Acharya is Director, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi, currently on deputation from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she is a Professor in the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, School of Social Sciences. She has been a Visiting Fellow at CASS, China; Ball State University, USA and UPPI, Manila, The Philippines; East West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii and University of Botswana. She was awarded Asian Scholarship Foundation fellowship in 2005. She has published extensively in peer reviewed journals on the issues of health and sexuality among youth; gender in urban spaces; North East India and social discrimination in health care access. She has three books and about thirty articles to her credit. Her recent work includes a co-edited book titled ‘Marginalization in Globalizing Delhi- Issues of Land, Labour and Health’ published by Springer.

    Surface cleaning by women Sewer cleaning to Men is the order .

  • National Commission set up are not with housing health care education to kiths kins no info to sanitation workers

  • Sanitation workers definition collecting waste garbage sewer cleaning road , surface cleaning Night soil.Is Skill to tool, mechanical training imparted?

150 million children are child labor

150 million children are child labor

40 million in modern slavery


UN labor agency says more than 150 million children were engaged in child labor around the world in 2016. That’s one out of every ten children in the world.

The International Labour Organization released a report on Tuesday.

The report says that across the world nearly 152 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 were forced to work.

It states that almost half of them did hazardous work which directly endangered their health, safety, and moral development.

New research developed jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO)1  and the Walk Free Foundation2 , in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM)3 , has revealed the true scale of modern slavery around the world. The data, released during the United Nations General Assembly, shows that more than 40 million people around the world were victims of modern slavery in 2016. The ILO have also released a companion estimate of child labour, which confirms that about 152 million children, aged between 5 and 17, were subject to child labour.

The new estimates also show that women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting almost 29 million, or 71 per cent of the overall total. Women represent 99 per cent of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry and 84 per cent of forced marriages.

The research reveals that among the 40 million victims of modern slavery, about 25 million were in forced labour, and 15 million were in forced marriage.

Child labour remains concentrated primarily in agriculture (70.9 per cent). Almost one in five child labourers work in the services sector (17.1 per cent) while 11.9 per cent of child labourers work in industry.

Mr Andrew Forrest AO, Chairman and Founder of the Walk Free Foundation said: “The fact that as a society we still have 40 million people in modern slavery, on any given day shames us all. If we consider the results of the last five years, for which we have collected data, 89 million people experienced some form of modern slavery for periods of time ranging from a few days to five years. This speaks to the deep seated discrimination and inequalities in our world today, coupled with a shocking tolerance of exploitation. This has to stop. We all have a role to play in changing this reality – business, government, civil society, every one of us.”

The number of children engaged in child labor decreased from 2012.

But the figure indicates that 1 child out of every 10 was still forced to work.

The highest figure was in Africa. More than 72 million children were working. 62 million were engaged in child labor in Asia and the Pacific.

The ILO says the estimates indicate that the pace of decline has slowed considerably over the last 4 years, at a time when substantial acceleration is needed to reach the ambitious 2025 target date for ending child labor.



The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, has taken many steps to brings about a paradigm shift in biotechnology in the country’s North-East Region (NER). Eyeing an inclusive growth, DBT has announced a series of new programs and missions to turn this into a reality. DBT has established a dedicated ‘North Eastern Region Biotechnology Programme Management Cell (NER-BPMC)’, with an annual investment of Rs. 180 crores, to evolve, implement and foster biotechnology research in the north east states.


On the occasion of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya centenary, the Minister of S&T and Earth Sciences is happy to announce three major new initiatives in the North East. These new initiatives are in congruence to the Pandit Deendayal  Upadhyaya’s philosophy of Integral Humanism which is a synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective, which the world is now calling as “One Health” embodying the health of human, animal and environment as one.


  1. Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission: this is a Rs 50 crore mission aimed at conservation and cultivation of endangered and threatened endemic medicinal plants, and discovery of new botanical drugs for unmet medical needs using the rich traditional ethno-botanical knowledge and biodiversity of these states and at the same time also improve availability of authentic and quality botanical raw material on sustainable basis for a boom in the phytopharmaceutical industry. Through this mission, it is expected to enable farmers from NE states and phytopharmaceutical industry to become global leaders in production and export of some quality botanical drugs for unmet medical needs. For this Mission, DBT will be the nodal coordinating and implementing department and work closely with Ministry of DONER and other identified institutions.


  1. Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4) on the Brahmaputra River, a major ecology hotspot. In NER. In collaboration with DONER, B4 will establish a large barge on the river with a well-equipped laboratory for analysis of all components of the entire ecosystem of the river and surroundings. The B4 will link to all the local research institutions along the river, as well as national and international laboratories.


B4 will have capability to analyse soil, water, environment, plant and animal life, human health and agriculture and  an  equal component that involves local citizens in the experimental process of science in data generation and management. B4 will also have a teaching laboratory for school/college children. It is also proposed to have mobile satellite boat labs which will run along the tributaries of Brahmaputra to feed in data to the main B4.


III. Frugal microscopy through the Foldscope: a frugal microscope assembled from simple components, including a sheet of paper and a lens, is acting as a tool connecting students and science from the region, with the rest of the country.

A total 525 applications from schools, colleges have been received: 112 from schools, 357 from colleges and 56 from citizen scientists. All applicants will receive a micro grant between Rs 4 lakhs to 8 Lakhs as well as a supply of Foldscopes while being linked with NER


Existing programs flagged off by DBT in the region have been enormously successful with almost all the allocated budget being utilised for the proliferation of biotechnology in the North-Eastern states of India. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences has been instrumental in implementing these initiatives in the region and has personally visited each and every state in NER to review on-the-spot progress of these programmes and to interact with students, academia, scientists and local communities. This has resulted in skilled human resources and enhanced research infrastructure and resource building





Skilling Human Resources:


Twinning Programme:  DBT has initiated 480 R&D twinning programs that link institutes in NER with those across the country. With an investment of Rs. 90 crores in the last three years, this effort has resulted in 252 research publications and 600 Junior and Senior Research fellowships awarded to the students to pursue biotechnology research.


To create an environment of training and research in medial biotechnology, DBT has supported Medical Diagnostic facilities at 11 medical colleges in NER with an investment of Rs. 40.00 crores. This facility is providing quality diagnostic services as well as carrying out research on various health problems prevalent in the region using modern biotechnology tools and technologies. So far more than 4.70 lakhs tests in different disease have been conducted by these diagnostic facility.


DBT’s ‘Overseas Associateship for North East Region’ has seen 208 scientists from NER being trained overseas with Rs. 5.25 crore invested every year to support this programme.  Through the DBT-NER Visiting Research Professorship (VRP) Scheme, 30 Scientists/Faculty are selected for bringing advancement in the field of biotechnology and life sciences in various institutions by sharing their vast experience and expertise with NER researchers and students.


At school levels, DBT has launched the ‘Biotechnology Labs in Senior Secondary schools (BLiSS) programme’, a first of its kind in India, for schools where biotechnology labs have been set up at 88 Senior Secondary Schools from NER with an investment of Rs. 2.20 crores.


For universities, DBT has set up 30 Bioinformatics Centre at an investment of Rs. 9 crores for conducting research on genomics, proteomics and data analysis.


Under the ‘Biotech Industrial Training Programme’, deserving students have been provided stipends during their training at biotech/life science industries. DBT is also supporting 15 institutes in NER recognised as ‘Star colleges’ to provide them with enhanced lab infrastructure and mentoring by leading scientists and Fellows of various national academies.


To provide these students with access to world-class journals and publications, the DBT                        e-Library consortium (DeLCON) has been launched in partnership with 18 institutions of NER, which provides access to more than 900 high impact e-journals. With an investment of Rs. 54. crores in last 3 years, this facility has been extended to more than 150 colleges benefiting about 1500 life science students.


Infrastructure and Resource building


Infrastructural support for biotechnology has been provided under many programs. DBT has established 126 ‘Biotech Hubs’ at various institutions, universities and colleges to promote education, training and research in biological sciences including biotechnology. With over Rs. 22 crores invested in last three years, about 1000 training programmes were conducted by these hubs, with more than 1000 students, researchers and school teachers as beneficiaries.







DBT has also created biotech infrastructural facilities at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (​NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, at an investment of Rs. 4.50 crores.


The DBT has established many centres of excellence across NER to focus on different applications of biotechnology. The DBT-AAU Centre of Excellence on Agriculture Biotechnology at Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat, promotes agriculture biotechnology research and is helping farmers by developing elite varieties for local crops and improving their yield. The centre, established with an investment of Rs. 36.70 crores.


The Centre of Excellence on Fisheries & Aquaculture Biotechnology (FAB) in Tripura has adopted 2 villages to provide local fishermen with good quality fish seeds to produce high quality fish products, benefiting 200 farmers.


DBT has also sanctioned an amount of Rs. 45.00 cores for the establishment of a regional level Animal House facility at Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Dibrugarh in Assam, which will be accessible to entire biomedical research community of NER for carrying out critical animal experiments in disease biology, molecular medicine, vaccinology and pharmacology.


Another related initiative is the Advance Animal Disease Diagnostic & Management Consortium (ADMaC) for surveillance and control of trans-boundary, exotic and zoonotic pathogens from NER. This programme will house a first Animal-BSL 3 lab in NER.


To conserve the delicate ecology of the region, DBT has sanctioned Rs. 26 crores for a major network programme on chemical ecology of NER in collaboration with leading institutions in India like IISc, NCBS, and UAS Bangalore.


Recognising the rich biodiversity of the region, DBT is also pushing for the development of ‘NER-Scented Rice’ — a biotechnology inspired variant of the aromatic rice, and NER-Banana. The aromatic rice of NER, especially Joha and Black rice, are of premium value because of their aroma and high medicinal characteristics. But, these are also poor yielders and are susceptible to pest attacks. DBT is now seeking innovative approaches that use biotechnological intervention to ameliorate the agronomic characteristics of this aromatic rice and other scientific properties, besides yield enhancement. Under the various twinning programmes, projects like these are being implemented with an investment of Rs.16.67 crores.

A Case of Urban Heritage Conservation in Chandernagore

CPR and CSH are pleased to invite you to a workshop on
The Heritage of the Ordinary – A Case of Urban Heritage Conservation in Chandernagore
Aishwarya Tipnis
Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 3:45 p.m.
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Image: Aishwarya Tipnis Architects
The profession of heritage conservation has been dominated by monument conservation in India and has largely been the purview of the Archaeological Survey of India. The recognition of our everyday buildings (homes, educational institutes, courts of law, railway stations) as heritage is a fairly recent phenomenon. While cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Madras, Calcutta, Nagpur, Pune have adopted local legislation for the protection of this everyday heritage, there is a plethora of heritage buildings that lie unprotected across the country. What then is the future of non-monumental heritage especially in small towns in India?

Chandernagore is an erstwhile French Colony situated about 40 kms from Kolkata and falls with the metropolitan area of Kolkata under the purview of KMDA. Once an important trading town, it is now relegated to being a suburb of Kolkata, and is under tremendous threat of piecemeal suburban redevelopment and of losing its essential urban character. The presentation will focus on the multiple efforts initiated by the voluntary sector that have been made over the last seven years for its valorisation and preservation. It shall discuss how citizens can make a difference in the preservation of their heritage in the absence of robust policies for heritage conservation.

Aishwarya Tipnis is the principal architect of an eponymous architectural practice based in New Delhi working on making the past relevant to the future through a diversity of projects on architectural and urban heritage conservation in India. She is the recipient of the UNESCO Award for Heritage Conservation in the Asia-Pacific Region in 2016 and was selected to represent India at the Global Cultural Leadership Programme, First Edition as part of the European Union’s Cultural Diplomacy Platform. She is also the recipient of Commonwealth Professional Fellowship 2011, Bonjour India Travel Fellowship 2010 as well as Scottish International Scholarship 2006. She is visiting faculty at the Department of Urban Design at School of Planning & Architecture New Delhi and the author of “Vernacular Traditions: Contemporary Architecture” published in 2012. An alumnus of the School of Planning & Architecture New Delhi, she received a Masters Degree in European Urban Conservation with distinction from the University of Dundee, Scotland.

This workshop is free and there is no registration required. Find all the videos of our previous workshops, here.

This is the ninety-second in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: CSH at, Partha Mukhopadhyay at or Marie-Hélène Zerah at

Desi Ghee purchase scam by GK and Sirsa exposed -Sarna


  • T.I. disclosed scam:
  • Without tender, quotations invited from selected companies:
  • Purchased Desi Ghee on higher price despite lower quotation:
  • Supply company/factory not existed at given address:
  • Complaint submitted to Delhi Police for probe:

New Delhi – 20 September 2017

While addressing a press conference here today, Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi President, Paramjit Singh Sarna said that a big scam of Manjit Singh GK. and Manjinder Singh Sirsa in purchased of Desi Ghee for making of Prasad is exposed, which not only substantiate plundering of Golak money by both of them but also their nefarious act has put the health of devotees at stake. He further said that for supply of Desi Ghee to DSGMC from                  June -2017 to November 2017 G.K. & Sirsa have selected two companies M/s. Bharat Organic and Dairy Products, 1882 HSIIDC, Industrial Estate, Rai, Sonepat, Haryana, which offered Rs.5630/- per Tin and                          M/s. Smriti Products, D-218-A Vivek Vihar, New Delhi-110095, which submitted quotation at Rs.5400/-per Tin.

Mr. Sarna said that Public Information Officer (P.I.O.) DSGMC in reply to an R.T.I. has provided certain documents, which exposed Desi Ghee purchase scam by G.K. and Sirsa. He said that these documents also included a letter of Assistant Manager (Purchase) which is addressed to General Manager DSGMC, wherein purchase of Desi Ghee on higher rate by G.K. and Sirsa is established.

Mr. Sarna said that GK and Sirsa have purchased Desi Ghee at Rs.5630/- per Tin instead from the company that offered Rs.5400/- per Tin. Moreover, this company, M/s. Bharat Organic and Dairy Products, 1882 HSIIDC Industrial Estate, Rai, Sonepat, Haryana does not exist at the given address, neither is a Desi Ghee manufacturing unit or factory nor an office of it found at the given address. What was surprising that a sign board of Avinash Agarwal, Advocate found fixed at the entry gate there. Even at the address of second company                M/s. Smrit Products, D-218A-Vivek Vihar, New Delhi-110095, there was no factory or office of the company found there rather it was a residential unit (Kothi). He said that these are substantive evidences to corroborate Desi Ghee purchase scam by G.K. and Sirsa. He said that what hearts the most is that they have not considered once about the health of the devotees and became blind in their personal monetary greed.

Mr. Sarna said that on several times we have produced evidences before Sikh Sangat about unreasonably excessive bill payment made to Tent walas, Auditors etc; and release of cash financial help in fictitious names by GK and Sirsa. But no Sikh can imagine that they will fall to such an extent by keeping commission in purchase of Desi Ghee for Parshad, distributed amongst the devotees.

Mr. Sarna said that the Badal Dal has plundered Gurdwara funds in such a way that employees of the DSGMC have not been getting their salary on time, but they do not to come forward due to fear of termination from services.

Mr. Sarna said that now G.K. and Sirsa have left with no moral right to be continued in their offices, they should resign from their respective posts immediately.