Showing posts with label kathmandu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kathmandu. Show all posts

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Nepali Army corporal injured in Pokhara blast

Pokhara, April 18

A Nepali Army corporal attempting to defuse an improvised explosive device in Pokhara has been injured, officials said.

The army was called in after a suspicious object was reported near the Provincial Assembly building in Pokhara-3. Corporal Dharma Thapa and his team discovered a denotator and they trying to defuse the bomb when it exploded.

Kaski Police spokesperson DSP Rabindra Man Gurung said that the injured personnel has been rushed to Fishtail Hospital for treatment. Authorities said that they have received several calls reporting sucpicious objects around the city on Thursday.

This comes as the banned communist outfit Netra Bikram Chand enforces a nationwide shutdown on Thursday protesting a government crackdown against the group. While private vehicles can be seen on the road, public vehicles remain off the road. Schools and colleges are also shut.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nepal fail to qualify for ICC U19 Cricket World Cup


Kathmandu, April 18

Nepal have failed to qualify for the 2020 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

After the UAE defeated Oman by 10 runs in their match under the Asia Regional Qualifier being held in Malaysia, Nepal’s disqualification has been certain. The UAE earned 10 points from five matches whereas Nepal earned 6 points from three wins.

They had lost the match against the UAE by one run.

Nepal’s last match against Kuwait is underway currently.

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KMC launches free checkup service for senior citizens

Kathmandu, April 17

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has begun a free checkup service targeting senior citizens receiving social security allowances.

The Mayor’s Free Health Checkup service has begun from ward 15 of KMC.

The senior citizens receiving social security from KMC would get checkup services and also get 20 per cent discount in medicines.

Ishwar Man Dangol, KMC spokesperson, shares that this service would be provided to around 1,600 social security allowance recipient senior citizens from ward 15 in the first phase.

This is the pilot initiative which will be replicated to other wards after arrangement of budget, human resource and logistics, he adds.


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UN sends 10-pg letter to Nepal demanding peace process progress

Kathmandu, April 17

The United Nations has called on the government of Nepal to ensure that the country’s peace process moves forward smoothly, maintaining impartiality, independence and transparency.

The UN Office of the High Commission on Human Rights sent a 10 page letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali through Nepal’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva last Friday, demanding that the government pay attention to multiple concerns raised by national and international stakeholders.

Stating that the UN received information about “the reported lack of impartiality, independence and transparency in the existing procedure for the appointment of the members of the Turth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission on the Investigation of Enforced Disappearance (CIEDP), which may affect the selection of new commissioners in April 2019,” the letter has expressed doubts over the independence of the panel formed to recommend the commissioners.

Likewise, fearing that the government may introduce blanket amnesty for those involved in gross human rights violation cases during the conflict era, the global agency has called on the government to ensure that all procedures of the peace process are moved forward in compliance to the international norms and values.

The UN has also told the government to address the demand of civil society organisations to make substantive amendments to the TRC act with broad-based consultations with stakeholders.

“We further call on your Government to ensure fairness, impartiality and transparency in the appointment of members of the commissions.”

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In India, job creation the biggest issue in voters’ minds

India will goes to the polls between April 11 and May 19 for the election of representatives to the country’s lower house Lok Sabha.

As India’s working-age population has increased, unemployment reached a 45-year high in 2017, at 6.1%. Job creation has, therefore, become one of the most important issues in this election.

In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power by promising to create jobs for millions of Indians. But his program – Make in India – has not created jobs at the rate India needs. Nearly 30% of the respondents of an online poll by The Times Group in mid-February believed job creation was one of the biggest failures of Modi’s government.

Unmet potential

From the makeup of its population, India should be reaping demographic dividends, a condition where a country can catapult its economic growth by having more people in the working-age group than dependent population (children and senior citizens).

By next year India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country. In the span of three decades, India is estimated to have added 400 million extra people to its population, taking it to 1.73 billion by 2050. Most of these people will be of working age (15 to 59).

If these people can find productive employment, with decent incomes, this can propel India’s economic development.

But OECD data indicate that more than 30% of India’s 15- to 29-year-olds are neither in schools nor in jobs.

India is thus facing an employment crisis, the magnitude and complexity of which has never been witnessed.

Disappearing jobs

Jobs are disappearing each year. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, a think tank, estimates 11 million jobs were lost in 2018. All India Manufacturers’ Organisation noted that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost between 2016 and 2018.

According to the latest World Bank and ILO data, women have been especially affected. Between 1990 and 2018, women’s participation in the workforce fell from 27.7% to 24.4%. In contrast, participation rates in 2018 for women were 43.5% in China, 38.5% in Malaysia and 40% in the Phillippines.

Modi’s 2016 move to withdraw two of its highest denomination banknotes from the market, amounting to 86% of all currency in circulation, contributed to jobs disappearing.

The banning of Rs500 and Rs1000 from circulation, called demonetisation, was touted to curb corruption and black money. But instead, it resulted in economic chaos all over the country.

There were work stoppages or reductions in all sectors. Prices of agriculture products fell and industrial activities were curtailed, creating widespread economic uncertainties. Even ten months after demonetisation, labour participation rates were 3% lower than what was before.

Rural areas suffered the biggest brunt of job losses in 2018, with 84% of all jobs lost there. Most of those who lost jobs were uneducated and unskilled wage and agricultural labourers and small traders.

A report of India’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) – which the government tried to suppress – shows that for the first time since 1993-94, India’s male workforce, or men who have jobs, has shrunk to 286 million in 2017-18 compared to 304 million during the last survey in 2011-12.

Not surprisingly, competition for the few jobs available is fierce. Some 200,000 people sent applications when the city of Mumbai advertised vacancies for 1,137 police constables in 2018, requiring grade 12 education. A constable receives a salary of Rs. 25,000 ($352) per month and a live-in quarter. Among the applicants, 423 had degrees in engineering, 167 had MBAs, and 543 hold postgraduate degrees.

Similarly, when the Indian Railways advertised 90,000 low-skilled jobs for high school graduates, some 28 million people applied. The starting salary offered was around Rs. 18,000–19,000 ($252–$263).

Structural problems

India has many structural problems to solve before good-paying and long-lasting jobs can be created.

There is a mismatch of jobs available and the skills of job-seekers. The formal sector does not contribute much to employment opportunities. Instead, 90% of India’s labour demand comes from informal sectors like day labouring for agriculture, construction, tourism, and other low-paid services and trades.

India’s 789 universities and 37,204 colleges churn out mostly unemployable graduates. For example, 6,214 engineering and technical institutions graduate 1.5 million engineers every year. Many of them do not have the skills required by employers.

Even after graduation, they lack basic work and communication skills. Not surprisingly, unemployment among graduates is 16%, nearly three times the national average.

Furthermore, 38% of students in India do not even complete their primary education. They struggle to read and write. They find it difficult to acquire any skill, which constrains their employment and economic potentials.

Meanwhile, many entry-level jobs are being automated with robots and artificial intelligence. This is also the case for repetitive manufacturing jobs. Such trends are likely to accelerate in the future, reducing the country’s capacity to generate employment.

What next?

To solve this, India must increase effective investment in education, improve capacity-building at all levels and sectors. The country must also improve health and public services. The government should enhance connectivity across the country by investing in infrastructure.

It is a rather tall order for the country to fulfill over the medium term. But, unless all these enabling conditions are met, jobs creation is likely to remain anaemic.

A determined effort has to be made to create new jobs and maintaining existing ones: otherwise, India’s demographic dividend will remain a mirage.

There is now a distinct possibility that instead of harvesting demographic dividends, India may witness social unrest and greater gender inequality by frustrated, restless and worried young job-seekers.The Conversation

Asit K. Biswas, Visiting professor, University of Glasgow and Cecilia Tortajada, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019


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