India set to become water scarce by 2025: report

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Pakistan accused India of “concocting terror incidents and keeping the LoC [Line of Control] hot”, while India said Pakistan was using firing at the LoC and terror attacks to “run away from the talks”.

If on Friday, the two nations sparred by exchanging media statements, on Saturday, they sparred at press conferences addressed by Mr. Aziz in Islamabad, followed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Delhi. The deadlock over the talks, due to be held between Mr. Aziz and India’s NSA Ajit Doval from 10 a.m. on Monday morning at Hyderabad House here, remained the same, however. While India said Mr. Aziz could not meet Kashmiri separatist Hurriyat leaders during his visit, and would have to restrict the agenda to issues of terrorism, Pakistan said it would accept no conditions and would have an “open agenda”. In a late-night statement, the Pakistani Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “The scheduled NSA-level talks cannot be held on the basis of the preconditions set by India.” The talks “would not serve any purpose if conducted on the basis of the two conditions set by Ms. Swaraj”.

2. Bengal tops the list in human trafficking

The highest number of cases of human trafficking in the country is from West Bengal, which alone accounts for 20 per cent of all reported cases in India.

According to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 5,466 cases of human trafficking were recorded in the country in 2014 of which 1,096 were from West Bengal.

The number of victims of human trafficking is also the highest in the State at 1,200. In all, 8,099 victims of human trafficking were registered in India during 2014.

Tamil Nadu recorded the second highest number of 509 cases, less than half of what has been registered in West Bengal.

Under the category of human trafficking, crimes under Section 370/ 370 A of Indian Penal Code include bringing girls from abroad and procuring, buying and selling girls for prostitution.

West Bengal also accounts for the bulk of cases relating to procuring minor girls.

With 509 cases registered in 2014, Tamil Nadu comes next.

3. Users face risk of digital amnesia

Today, getting access to information is child’s play, courtesy Google. With so much information available, people tend to transfer most of the memory functions to their smartphones, raising the spectre of digital amnesia.

According to a survey by the Internet security solutions provider Kaspersky, 50 per cent of users treat the Internet as an extension of their brain, while 74 per cent use their smartphones to connect to the information highway.

The survey, conducted among a little over 1,000 Indian respondents between June 23 and July 2, found that half of them were not so much interested in remembering facts as they were about where they sourced the information from.

About 25 per cent respondents said they ‘strongly agreed’ that they just need to remember the source of the information, 47.8 per cent said they ‘slightly agreed’ with the statement. Likewise, 26.5 per cent respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that almost everything they need to recall or know is on their smartphone while 37.80 per cent ‘agreed slightly’ with this. As a result, memory is the first to be affected. Additionally, since digital communication has become incredibly high with websites such as Twitter, human minds can’t possibly store so much of information without some help. “It is not just about reliance but rather something more severe, an addiction,” the survey said.

“It is very important to limit the dependence on smartphones primarily because of its addictive properties. The mind is a muscle and if it’s not used for the reasons it was made, it will become lazy. The smartphone addiction may lead to digital amnesia, which should not be taken lightly,” Altaf Halde, Managing Director (South Asia) at Kaspersky Lab said.

The survey, however, pointed out that the trend of smartphone dependency seems to decrease as the age increased; smartphones have not been around long enough to influence a 55-year-old as it is influencing a teenager.


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