How the President of India is elected

If you haven’t decided whom to vote for in the upcoming election for the next President of India – to be held on July 17 – don’t worry. Unless you’re an MP or an MLA, you don’t get to vote.

Unlike most of India’s elected representatives, who must battle it out for citizens’ votes, the President of India is instead chosen by an electoral college. The electoral college comprises the elected members of the Parliament (MPs) and state legislative assemblies (MLAs). Nominated members are, like the rest of us, unable to vote.

There are 4,986 electors in the electoral college: 4,120 MLAs and 776 MPs.

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In normal elections, everyone’s vote is counted equally. In a presidential election, however, electors’ votes are worth more or less depending upon their job titles. In general, MPs’ votes are worth more than MLAs’, and MLAs from bigger states count more than those from smaller ones.

The total value adds to10,98,903

The Constitution of India lays out the process for calculating each elector’s worth. There are two guiding principles.

First, in order to uphold the principle of federalism, neither the Union government nor the state assemblies, taken together, should be able to overrule each other. So, the combined value of all the MPs’ votes is roughly equal to the combined value of all the MLAs’.

Each MP’s vote contributes 708 points to the pool, but the value of MLAs’ votes depend on their state. That’s because of the second guiding principle: the value of each MLA’s vote should be proportional to the number of citizens he or she represents.

More populous states have a greater stake
Value of each state assembly
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For instance, Mamata Banerjee’s vote as an MLA from West Bengal is worth 151 points, nearly three times as much as Arvind Kejriwal’s in Delhi, which is worth 58 points. Why is Banerjee’s vote worth more than Kejriwal’s? Because he represents more people. If you want to get technical, the value of each MLA’s vote is calculated by dividing the population of the state by the number of MLAs, and then multiplying that figure by 1000.

Let’s compare an MP, an MLA from Uttar Pradesh, whose vote is worth the most, and one from Sikkim, whose vote is worth the least.

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Voting to elect India’s 14th President will take place on July 17, and counting will be held on July 20.

To win, NDA’s (BJP and allies) candidate Ram Nath Kovind must secure more than half of the value of all valid votes. So far, the NDA have confirmed 48%of the vote on their side. The opposition has 35%. Other parties are yet to decide their preferences.

One in six older adults abused globally, one in five in India, says WHO

A WHO-supported study found that close to 16% of people aged 60 years and older are psychologically abused, financially exploited, neglected, physically hurt or sexually abused.

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Around one in six older people experience some form of abuse, a number predicted to rise as the global population of people above 60 years more than doubles from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050, said the World Health Organisation. The national estimate for India is one in five people.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Close to 16% of people aged 60 years and older are psychologically abused, financially exploited, neglected, physically hurt or sexually abused, found a WHO-supported study published in the Lancet Global Health that draws data from 52 studies in 28 countries, including India.

The national estimates of past-year abuse prevalence rate varied widely, from between 43.7 in Egypt, 36.2% in China, 29.3% in Spain and 20.8% in India to 2.6% in the UK.

The rates of abuse are higher for older people living in institutions than in the community.

“The abuse of older people is on the rise; for the 141 million older persons worldwide this has serious individual and societal costs,” says Alana Officer, senior health adviser, department of ageing and life course, WHO Geneva.

“Despite the frequency and the serious health consequences, elder abuse remains one of the least investigated types of violence in national surveys, and one of the least addressed in national plans to prevent violence.”

ELDER ABUSE
  • Close to one in six persons over age 60 years are abused.
  • Elder abuse may cause physical injuries ranging from minor scratches and bruises to broken bones and head injuries leading to disability to long-lasting depression and anxiety.
  • Psychological abuse: 11.6%
  • Financial abuse: 6.8%
  • Neglect: 4.2%
  • Physical abuse: 2.6%
  • Sexual abuse: 0.9%

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s death anniversary today, PM Modi pays tributes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, on his 53rd death anniversary on Saturday. Modi tweeted, “Tributes to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary”.

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Born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad, Pandit Nehru played a vital role in the freedom struggle of the nation. He joined the Indian National Congress in the year 1919 and was part of the independence movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi.

Pandit Nehru who became the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee in September 1923, was one of the signatories to the Nehru Report which demanded dominion status for India which meant the Indians would partially govern themselves. The Nehru report was  proposed at the All-Party Conference in 1928, chaired by Pandit Nehru’s father Motilal Nehru after whom the report was named.

Jawaharlal Nehru later went on to become the president of the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress which demanded that the moderate idea of dominion status be replaced by a demand for Poorna Swaraj or complete independence. He was also part of the independence movements called by Mahatma Gandhi and was jailed several times during 1930-35.

The day he was born, November 14, is celebrated as Children’s Day as his love for children was immense and popularly known. On August 15, 1947, when India got its independence from the colonial rule of the British empire, Pandit Nehru was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the country. He served as the Prime Minister of independent India until his death on May 27, 1964. Remaining in power for 17 years, he is till date the longest-serving prime minister.

Ransomware 5th most common attack this year

HYDERABAD: Days after the Centre sounded an alert about the accounts of senior government officials being vulnerable to cyber attacks, experts said ransomware attacks could get bigger with most government offices still being very susceptible.
According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report 2017, ransomware has moved from the 22nd most common variety of malware in 2014 to the fifth most common this year.

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From now on every zero day vulnerability which is discovered will be used to develop a ransomware. Ransomware attacks are inevitable and this will get bigger and bigger,” said Zaki Qureshey, chief executive officer, E2 Labs, a cyber security company. A zero-day vulnerability is an computersoftware vulnerability that hackers can exploit.

Any machine or gadget – mobiles, laptops, tabs, desktop which is not patched is susceptible to such attacks, Qureshey said, adding that most of the attacks are `targeted’ which makes things worse.
An alert in this regard sounded by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) had pointed out that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as well as key organisations in banking and finance, power, defence, telecom, income tax, and central and state governments will be on the target list of such attacks.
`Groups with key info hunted’
Warning orgnaisations that are vulnerable, a senior official said, “attacks are usually launched against organisations or people holding critical information.Anyone in possession of crucial financial information, especially of large number of people, are being hunted.”

Apple’s ‘Made in India’ iPhones to hit stores this month

 

BENGALURU: Apple will begin full-scale production of ‘Made in India’ iPhones coming out of a factory in Bengaluru later this year, as it awaits to seek more clarity on the goods and services tax (GST) rollout. The Cupertino-based maker of iPhones and iPads has completed the assembly of a few thousand iPhone SEs in Bengaluru that will reach its distribution masters Redington and Ingram shortly. The firm will start shipping iPhones to domestic customers later this month. The Wall Street Journal reported the development on Wednesday.

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India will be only the third country,globally,to assemble iphones.

India will be only the third country globally to assemble iPhones, signalling how important it has become for one of the world’s most valued companies. The 4-inch phone powered by an A9 chip that’s used in iPhone 6S, comes with a 12-megapixel camera. Taiwanese company Wistron, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of Apple, will make the iPhones out of its facility in the city’s industrial hub of Peenya. In response to TOI’s query, Apple said it is beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru. “iPhone SE is the most popular and powerful phone with a four-inch display in the world and we will begin shipping to domestic customers this month,” the company said in a statement.

World Asthma Day: India chokes, sales of medicines rise 43% in 4 years

India’s lungs has been choking and now we can put a number on that—by adding up the number of those salvaged. The sales of anti-asthma medicines in India went up 43% over the past four years, shows market data, with 2016 marking a 15% growth in anti-asthma prescriptions across children and adults.

Thirteen of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India, shows World Health Organisation’s ambient air pollution database. The air in Delhi, Patna, Gwalior and Raipur has the highest amounts of tiny suspended particles (PM2.5) that penetrate deep into the airways and lungs to cause asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, stroke and a clutch of other diseases.

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With routine monitoring of air quality almost exclusively confined to large cities¸ it’s harder to come up with estimates on the effect of air pollution in rural areas. More than 700 million people, mostly women and children, inhale smoke from biomass and kerosene stoves that burn wood, dung, crop residues, coal and kerosene and spew out carbon particles, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, sulphur oxides (mainly from coal), formaldehyde and cancer-causing substances such as benzene.

Epidemic in the Making

“People being diagnosed with asthma for the first time with no family history is definitely going up. As for asthma among children, they may not remain asthmatic if the triggers are taken away,” explains Dr Neeraj Jain, chairman, department of chest medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.

“Pollutants are also adding to wheezy bronchitis and flare-ups in people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which is controlled with asthma treatment.”

Between 15 and 20 million people have asthma in India, estimates the World Health Organisation, with some studies putting the numbers higher at 30 million.

Prevalence is high at 10% and 15% in 5–11-year-old children who have smaller airways that get constricted when exposed to allergens such as pollutants, dust, weather changes, pollen, mites and hazardous gases in indoor and outdoor air. This makes asthma the most common chronic disorder in children in India.

“About half the children who have wheezing and asthmatic episodes outgrow it,” Dr Jain says.

Asthma is a chronic condition that is triggered by allergens that inflame and constrict sensitive (hyperallergic) airways and make breathing difficult. What makes airways sensitive is your immune system’s threat perception. An asthma attack occurs when an allergen or a stress factor causes an immune reaction that leads to inflammation (swelling) in the airways, narrowing the air passage and reducing air flow in the lungs. This causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing, which can last for a few minutes or up to days, depending on the severity and length of exposure. If not treated, asthma attacks lead to frequent hospitalisation and death.

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Asthma Triggers

Experts are struggling to understand why asthma rates worldwide, on average, are rising by 50% every decade. “Some blame it on hygiene hypothesis, which holds that children with lower exposure to bacteria and viruses in early childhood do not develop a robust immunity,” says Dr Mehal Shah, consultant pulmonologist at Mumbai’s Saifee, Bhatia and Wockhardt hospital._34a12f26-2ed6-11e7-9a19-4de5eae5ad18

Other triggers include sudden overuse and misuse of antibiotics, indoor and outdoor air pollution, pollen, food colour and additives, obesity, smoking, second-hand smoke, poorly ventilated homes and workplaces (10% of adult asthma is work-related), cold weather, exercise and stressors such as domestic violence and even relationships breaking down.

“The fact is that airway sensitivity is going up among people in urban and rural areas because of sustained exposure to a combination of these triggers, which are increasingly unmasking asthma cases that would otherwise have remained under control,” says Dr Shah.

Asthma can be controlled with medicines, but without the appropriate treatment, it can lead to frequent asthma attacks. In 2016, there was a 15% rise in anti-asthma prescriptions over 2015, as per IMS Health estimates. What’s alarming is that in 2016, the prescription growth rate escalated from 9% in 2014, indicating a spike in cases. Among the different forms of treatment, inhalants accounted for a 56% share of the prescriptions in 2016.

India becomes fourth largest aviation market in the world India held the eigth position three years ago

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, projecting that passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034. IATA also unveiled the air traffic ranking, where India has gained the fourth position.

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According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), India has moved up two places to become the fourth largest aviation market in terms of passenger number. India saw the fourth highest number of passengers taking off in 2016, up two places from the previous year overtaking the UK and Brazil. The top three markets – the US, China and Japan – remain unchanged.

Last year, India’s aviation industry had 131 million passengers taking off – including domestic, international and connecting. During this period, IATA data shows that 3.8 billion passengers took off (50 pc domestic, 35 pc international and 15 pc connecting) across the globe, up from 3.5 billion in the previous year.

According to IATA, the big movers on this year’s rankings are the key emerging markets of India and Indonesia. India has jumped up two places to fourth, with a growth of 20 pc year-on-year. India continues to close in fast on Japan. India held the eighth position three years ago.

Fast-Growing Markets of the Future

IATA’s passenger growth forecast report, produced in association with Tourism Economics, analyses passenger flows over the next 20 years, forecasting passenger numbers by way of three key demand drivers: living standards, population and demographics, and price and availability. The report represents a 4.1 pc average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will result in more than doubling of the 3.3 billion passengers expected to travel this year.

By 2034, the five fastest-growing markets in terms of additional passengers per year will be China (856 million new passengers per year), the US (559 million), India (266 million), Indonesia (183 million) and Brazil (170 million). Eight of the 10 fastest-growing markets will be in Africa with Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania, Burundi and Kuwait in Asia making up the five fastest-growing markets.

“It is an exciting prospect to think that in the next 20 years more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance to fly. Air connectivity on this scale will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people. At present, aviation helps sustain 58 million jobs and USD 2.4 trillion in economic activity. In 20 years’ time, we can expect aviation to be supporting around 105 million jobs and USD 6 trillion in GDP,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Currently, the ninth largest air passenger market defined by traffic to, from and within for the period 2014-2034, India will see a total of 367 million passengers by 2034, an extra 266 million annual passengers compared to today. It will overtake the UK (148 million extra passengers, total market 337 million) to become the third largest market in 2031.

The Indian domestic market will also grow at 6.9 pc and will be adding 159 million extra passengers.