India set to become water scarce by 2025: report


Muslim sex ratio improves further



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2.Muslim sex ratio improves further


The data on Population by Religious Communities of Census 2011, released on Tuesday, show that between 2001 and 2011, Hindu population grew by 16.76 per cent and that of Muslims by 24.6 per cent. The population of both communities grew faster during the previous decade, at 19.92 per cent and 29.52 per cent, respectively. As a long-term trend, say demographers, the communities’ growth rates are converging.

“This is completely along expected lines, and has been an ongoing process,” P. Arokiasamy, demographer and Professor at the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, told The Hindu . “With rising education and changing family expectations, declining fertility is an expected demographic phenomenon. It begins among better educated groups with better access to health care — as in India’s southern States — and then other groups catch up and converge,” Dr. Arokiasamy explained. In Kerala, for instance, the Muslim fertility rate (while higher than among the Hindus) is extremely low, especially compared with all communities in the northern States, he said. The numbers show that the sex ratio among Muslims, already better than among Hindus, has further improved.

The sex ratio among Muslims now stands at 951 females for every 1,000 males, substantially better than 936 in 2001, while among Hindus, it is 939 females for every 1,000 males, a slight improvement over the 2001 value of 931. Assam remains the State with the largest Muslim population as a proportion (34.22 per cent) and saw the largest increase in the Muslim proportion between 2001 and 2011, followed by Uttarakhand and Kerala.

As has been the case since Independence, the rate of increase of the Muslim population is higher than that of the Hindu population as a result of higher Muslim fertility, higher child mortality among Hindus and a greater life expectancy among Muslims, demographers say.


3.Fix call drop problem urgently, PM tells officials


After he was apprised of the status of mobile connectivity across the country in a meeting with the senior bureaucrats of the infrastructure ministries on Monday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed serious concern over the issue of “call drops” and asked officials to explain the steps being taken to address the problem, which, he said, directly affects the common man.

He directed that steps be taken urgently to resolve the problem, and also to ensure that the problems in voice connectivity do not extend to data connectivity in the future, according to an official release. The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of digital infrastructure, rural infrastructure, and connectivity sectors at the meeting with the officials.

Mr. Modi sought details from officials on the preparations for providing electricity to all unconnected villages in the country within 1000 days, the target he set in his Independence Day address earlier this month. He directed the officials to monitor progress on a real-time basis, the release said.

He directed officials to explore the possibility of leveraging existing resources, including railway and other communication infrastructure, to provide mobile connectivity in remote, unconnected areas. He emphasised that the targets for digital infrastructure should be synchronised with the targets for the Digital India initiative.

“The Prime Minister said that with enough funds now being provided for infrastructure creation, the onus is on the ministries concerned to ensure that these outlays are converted into proportionate outcomes,” the release said.

Mr. Modi also reviewed progress of solar energy-related projects, especially with regard to railway stations and airports and gave directions for speeding up the work related to setting up of Railway Universities.

Asks them to ensure that problems in voice connectivity do not extend to data connectivity in future.

What is call drop issue?



4.Another circular on Sanskrit Week


In the hope of “revitalising the use of simple Sanskrit in the youth,’’ the Central Board of Secondary Education has once again asked all its affiliated schools inside and outside India to observe Sanskrit Week beginning Wednesday. But, it is not mandatory.

Not mandatory

In a circular issued on Monday, the CBSE has argued that “it is important to familiarise oneself with Sanskrit if one has to understand the growth of Indian civilisation and culture.’’

While suggesting various “child-centric’’ activities to be organised during the week, the CBSE has made it clear that it is not mandatory for schools to join in. As for reporting back to the Board on what schools did to celebrate Sanskrit Week, the circular states that “schools may also prepare a detailed report regarding… activities.”

Competitions

The activities suggested include ‘kavita rachna’ (poetry writing), essay competition interlinking Sanskrit with other modern Indian languages or similar subjects, “Sanskrit Shloka Antyakshari’ (recitation competition of shlokas), ‘Yuva Sansad (youth parliament) on Indian languages,’ screening of a Sanskrit film, interaction with eminent scholars in Sanskrit and a national-level essay competition.

A similarly-worded circular issued last year by the Board had riled political parties in Tamil Nadu resulting in Chief Minister Jayalalithaa writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi objecting to an official celebration of Sanskrit in the State.

5.Yunus to help Maharashtra in reviving MSMEs


Social entrepreneur and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh will guide Maharashtra on microfinance and how to revive dying Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the State.

On a special invitation extended by the State government, Mr. Yunus — the founder of Grameen Bank — will hold a discussion with top ministers and bureaucrats on September 6.

Apart from sharing his experience, he is also expected to discuss the government’s thrust on a road-map for future development of the MSME sector in the State.

At present, the State is suffering from the closure of high number of small scale industries. Out of the total number of 2.54 lakh, around 30,549 units are closed for various reasons, ranging from lack of finance to unavailability of skilled labour.

“We have been annually allotting money for this sector in every budget. Despite that, the small scale industry is facing a number of problems. It’s an effort to learn from him and know how he succeeded,” said Finance Minister Sudhir Munguntiwar.

While Mudra Bank will be ensuring capital flow for this industry, the State is also exploring ways to ensure finance to small scale industries through Self Help Groups (SHG). “Mr. Yunus will be the ultimate authority to guide us on this front,” said Mr. Munguntiwar.


6.“LeT may benefit from Indo-Pak. tensions”.


Sounding a warning over the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s plans to “indigenise” its operations in Jammu and Kashmir, a U.S. expert on the LeT says the group responsible for the Mumbai 26/11 attacks could benefit from tensions between India and Pakistan. “Even when I had spoken to members of the LeT earlier, they had confirmed that they were looking to “get things going”.

“I do not believe we are going to see a return to the levels of violence we saw in Kashmir during the 1990s or post-2000. What we might see and what we are seeing is a rise from a few years ago,” says Professor Stephen Tankel, who has written a book on the LeT’s rise, and was appointed senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Defence for 2014.

Significantly, Dr. Tankel says he has seen “no evidence” of a “strategic shift” in the Pakistani establishment’s support for the LeT and its leader Hafiz Saeed after the Peshawar massacre in December.

In the aftermath of the brutal attack that saw the death of more than 140 schoolchildren, Islamabad had drawn up a “National Action Plan” vowing to crack down on all terror groups.

“LeT has uses for the Pakistani state both externally and internally,” Dr. Tankel told The Hindu in an interview, explaining why no crackdown has occurred on the LeT.

“LeT doesn’t support attacks on Pakistan, it provides intelligence about the other militant groups, it has been used to attack other groups such as the TTP [Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan]. It has internal utility as a result.” However, he does feel there is a “debate within the establishment” over whether groups such as the LeT should be cut off by the state, while the Army was clearly going after groups such as the TTP and the LeJ [Lashkar-e-Jhangvi] in recent months. The Pakistani government has always denied that it provides any support to the LeT and its off-shoot, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, claiming that it had banned the organisations on several occasions.



“U.S. can’t wave a magic wand”

Dr. Tankel rejects the idea held by many in India that the U.S. has focussed more on Pakistani action against the Haqqani network that attacks its troops in Afghanistan than it does the LeT that targets India. “The U.S. can’t wave a magic wand and get Pakistan to take certain actions,” Dr. Tankel replied to a specific question about the ease of mobility for Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, and a lenient plea bargain to 26/11 conspirator David Headley in the U.S.

“The Haqqanis have attacked the U.S. primarily; so they do get more focus. But the U.S. has pressured Pakistan to prosecute the LeT, restrain them from further attacks, and to take actions against their leaders,” he says.

Based on his study of the group in Pakistan and operatives in Europe and other countries, Dr. Tankel says there are growing divisions within the LeT, including on the succession plan for Hafiz Saeed.

“I think there are divisions in the LeT between those who want to push for political influence in Pakistani society, and those who want to stick to militancy. Also those who want to globalise, and those who don’t. There are those more willing to abide by state diktats, and some who want to fight the state. And then there is the generational shift,” he says explaining that the group could face pressure from those such as the Islamic State.

He says that as a result, an “Osama-style” operation against Hafiz Saeed may not actually shut down the LeT’s operations against India.

“Any plan of Indian operatives targeting Hafiz Saeed would have a very destabilising effect on the region. So I can’t suggest it. I would just say the costs and benefits have to be weighed,” Dr. Tankel, who is writing a second book about the U.S.’s counter-terrorism partners, said.

The terror outfit looking to “get things going”.


7.Muslim population growth slows

Gap with Hindu growth rate narrows.


India’s Muslim population is growing slower than it had in the previous decades, and its growth rate has slowed more sharply than that of the Hindu population, new Census data show.

The decadal Muslim rate of growth is the lowest it has ever been in India’s history, as it is for all religions.



The Muslim population still grows at a faster rate than the Hindu population, but the gap between the two growth rates is narrowing fast.



India in numbers

India now has 966.3 million Hindus, who make up 79.8 per cent of its population, and 172.2 million Muslims, who make up 14.23 per cent. Among the other minorities, Christians make up 2.3 per cent of the population and Sikhs 2.16 per cent.

The Registrar-General and Census Commissioner released the data on Population by Religious Communities of Census 2011 on Tuesday evening.

The distribution of data is of the total population by six major religious communities — Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain — besides “Other religions and persuasions” and “Religion not stated”.

The data are released by sex and residence up to the levels of sub-districts and towns.

As has been the case since Independence, the rate of increase of the Muslim population is higher than that of the Hindu population as a result of higher Muslim fertility, higher child mortality among Hindus and a greater life expectancy among Muslims, demographers say. However, Muslim fertility rates in India are falling faster than among Hindus, Pew Research’s Future of World Religions report showed recently, and the Muslim community is expected to reach replacement levels of fertility by 2050.



Muslim sex ratio improves further

The data on Population by Religious Communities of Census 2011 show that between 2001 and 2011, Hindu population grew by 16.76 per cent, while that of Muslims by 24.6 per cent. The population of both communities grew faster during the previous decade, at 19.92 per cent and 29.52 per cent, respectively. As a long-term trend, say demographers, the communities’ growth rates are converging.

“This is completely along expected lines, and has been an ongoing process,” P. Arokiasamy, demographer and Professor at the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, told The Hindu. “With rising education and changing family expectations, declining fertility is an expected demographic phenomenon. It begins among better educated groups with better access to health care — as in India’s southern States — and then other groups catch up and converge,” Dr. Arokiasamy explained. In Kerala, for instance, the Muslim fertility rate (while higher than among the Hindus) is extremely low, especially compared with all communities in the northern States, he said.

The numbers show that the sex ratio among Muslims, already better than among Hindus, has further improved.

The sex ratio among Muslims now stands at 951 females for every 1,000 males, substantially better than 936 in 2001, while among Hindus, it is 939 females for every 1,000 males, a slight improvement over the 2001 value of 931. Assam remains the State with the largest Muslim population as a proportion (34.22 per cent) and saw the largest increase in the Muslim proportion between 2001 and 2011, followed by Uttarakhand and Kerala.

Religion

Numbers (Per cent of the population)

Hindu

96.63 crore (79.8 %)

Muslim

17.22 crore (14.2%)

Christian

2.78 crore (2.3%)

Sikh

2.08 crore (1.7%)

Buddhist

0.84 crore (0.7%)

Jain

0.45 crore (0.4%)

Other Religions & Persuasions (ORP)

0.79 crore (0.7%)

Religion Not Stated

0.29 crore (0.2%)

Growth rate

The growth rate of population in the decade 2001-2011 was 17.7%. The growth rate of population of the different religious communities in the same period was:



Religion

Growth

Hindu

16.8%

Muslim

24.6%

Christian

15.5%

Sikh

8.4%

Buddhist

6.1%

Jain

5.4%

The Census data on religion comes after a significant delay; the 2001 Census data on religion was released in 2004 and the 2011 round results were expected in 2014. However, the numbers remained unreleased, even as a draft of the key data was selectively leaked earlier. The data comes in the backdrop of much fear-mongering over Muslims and their population, and RSS thinkers were quick to term the new data as proof of the end of Hindus, even while the numbers belie their claim.

28-08-15



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