Five stories you must read over the weekend
GN Bureau | June 16, 2017
About 15 lakh engineers pass out every year; but there are jobs only for about a third of them. Most passouts have degrees in information technology and electronics, because the IT sector was booming over the last two decades. Now, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) says the IT sector has only 1.5 lakh jobs to offer to the huge army of engineering undergrads.
In India, since the fifties, engineering has been a coveted stream. Seats were limited, since most colleges were run either by the centre or by state governments. It was only after private engineering colleges came into the picture in a big way, mid-eighties onwards, especially in states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, that engineering became an easy option: anyone who had passed higher secondary with science and maths could get a seat. There were jobs, too, to absorb the steady stream of engineers flowing out of the hundreds of colleges across the country. But that’s no longer the case. Read: Engineering a glut
After browsing through several such videos and educating themselves in the hacking tools, it was time to experiment. Their method was simple: they took a matchbox, removed its cover, filled it with liquid wax and pressed their index finger against it. Once dry, a reverse image of the fingerprint gets imprinted on the wax. To bring it to its original form, the students spread sticky Fevicol glue over it, and left it for 12-16 hours until it solidified – the climate in Mumbai anyway remains humid during summers. And, voila, a duplicate fingerprint impression was made. However, this was just one part of the experiment. The real test lay in actually checking the fingerprint against the biometric device in the institute. Read: Aadhaar: On a sticky wicket
This generation of Kashmiris was fed such anti-India stories to ignite the fire in their bellies, while on the ground the gun culture was resulting in the mushrooming of tombstones in the Valley’s graveyards. The reality is that, in those days, elections in Kashmir were as much rigged as they were in, say, Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. The ostensible dispute as regards the 1987 elections was limited to five to six constituencies; the MUF had won just four seats in the elections. With the benefit of hindsight, one can say today that the MUF was a premature idea and therefore didn’t trigger as much euphoria as its leaders had expected. Years later, the PDP, with its politics of soft-Muslim identity, did become a reality. However, the MUF and the 1987 polls created militant leaders like Yasin Malik and gave rise to the most violent phase in Kashmir’s history. Read: Stone’s throw from Pakistan
His colleagues in the bureaucracy say he’s clean. His 37 years as an IAS officer were spotless. His services batchmate SY Quraishi, a former chief election commissioner, goes so far as to say: “He’s a sadhu. He has not done anything wrong and is not capable of doing anything wrong. I’m not [merely] saying this, but claiming this with authority, because I have seen him all these years.” But a court has held Harish Chandra Gupta, 67, a 1971 batch IAS officer who retired as coal secretary in November 2008, guilty in corruption cases related to the allocation of coal blocks – Coalgate, as it has been dubbed in the media. He has been fined Rs 1 lakh and sentenced to two years in jail. The case and the sentencing happened post-retirement. Read: The curious case of HC Gupta
In a world that sees far-from-perfect global healthcare systems, lack of access to cancer treatment – a disease which currently is the second leading cause of death – is the most unjustifiable fissure in the global health terrain resulting in more than 8.2 million deaths every year. The inhumanity of the situation apart, where a person dies even when medicines for her cure exist, non-communicable diseases (NCD), which include cancer, is a growing economic strain that is squeezing health budgets. A group of governments and non-government organisations (NGOs) working on global health came together to kick-start a conversation on redressing the situation during the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) held between May 22 and May 31. Common sense decrees that it should have been easy to get governments to speak in one voice around the issue, since the economic health of a country has proved to be an irrelevant factor as far as soaring cancer drug prices are concerned, but the battle has not been easy for the initiators of the dialogue. Read: Making cancer treatment accessible
Ashish Shelar, 47, is the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP. He is also the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with Geetanjali Mi
The Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 goes to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." The prize, known as “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”, was announc
Prime minister Narendra Modi has accepted president Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China in 2020 for their third informal summit after Wuhan and Mamallapuram, indicating both sides’ realization of the importance of the mechanism which gives the two leaders of the Asian giants an opportunity t
Dharma: Hinduism and Religions in India By Chaturvedi Badrinath Edited by Tulsi Badrinath Penguin, 194+ xiii pages, Rs 499 How to live: That is the most fundamental question of human existence.
Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar and popularly known as Balasaheb Ambedkar, heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The three-time MP founded this new political party last year with a vision of Ambedkarism, secularism, socialism and progressivism. The VBA, registered this year before the Lo
Political parties that contested the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections in 2014 spent the largest part of their expenses, Rs 280.72 crore (77.35 percent), on publicity, shows an analysis by the National Election Watch (NEW). This was followed by Rs 41.40 crore on travel expenses, Rs 22.59 crore on