Compulsory registration of pregnancy. Well conceived. TN’s Plan to improve maternal and baby health.
The Tamil Nadu State Government is planning a laudable scheme. The idea is to make formal registration of pregnancy mandatory. The State Health Secretary Mr J Radhakrishnan believes this will help reduce infant mortality rates (infant deaths per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality rates (maternal deaths per 100,000 live births).
TN already faring well vis a vis Rest of India
|Infant Mortality Rates (deaths per 1000 live births)||2008||2013||2008′||2013′||08||13|
|Maternal Mortality Rates (deaths per 100,000 live births)||2004-06||2007-09||2010-12||2011-13|
Tamil Nadu is already faring well. It ranks second (behind) Kerala on infant mortality (21 for TN and 12 for Kerala). On maternal mortality, only Kerala and Maharashtra are better (79-TN, 68 – Maharashtra and 61 – Kerala) . As this data from 2008-13 shows, Punjab has reduced (improved) best on both these rates. Against All-India drops of 25% each in 2013 against 2008 rates, TN has the second highest percentage drops in both these indices 32% for Infants and 33% for mothers. Punjab with 37% and 36% respectively has had the largest drops in this five year period.
It is never a easy choice to make for would be parents. When to announce the news of the would-be mother’s pregnancy is one. Whom to inform first? Whether the girl’s mother or the boy’s mother to put it (ironically) humourously. When to communicate to friends/ neighbours/ relatives/ etc could be another poser. The Registrar of Conceptions will now definitely know, courtesy the doctor or hospital that the expectant mother/ couple frequent.
Programs to improve health, especially of the vulnerable sections are very welcome. However with this move one cannot but wonder about the increasing ‘Big Brother’ watch on individual citizens. Even George Orwell in his 1984 would not have remotely suspected how a State could actually implement the ‘Big Brother’ program. The young Aadhar Card program in India is slowly getting ‘embedded’, socially, politically, financially, et al.
Stages in the Process. ‘Registration’ rearing its ‘roving eye/head’ ?
In ending, the typical Indian family goes though four stages in the child birth process. Two of these, marriage and birth of child already need to be mandatorily registered in India. Tamil Nadu is now proposing regulation on registering pregnancy. Only one stage is still private. For how long, one cannot say!
Besides these potential ‘on-line’ onslaughts on offline activities, many might still have mis-givings about the recent development. What if there is a miscarriage? The trauma / ‘social stigma’ associated with it, were the information to be made public. Or what if the pregnancy itself had been a misconception, rather ‘mis-diagnosis’? A few years back, a lady believed to be pregnant was later discovered very sadly to be carrying a tumour. Or what if the person (from a very conservative environment) has conceived but wishes to keep the news under wraps since she is still a miss? Are the laws and processes robust enough to respect her right to privacy, even if she can muster the courage to register her pregnancy.
Boeing to usher in pilotless jets thanks to AI
Ahead of the Paris Air Show, commercial jet maker Boeing said that pilotless jetliners were a possibility in the not so far future. Drones are already making their presence felt in various fields. 2016 being one of the safest years for the aviation industry may also be giving confidence. The manufacturer may be looking at niche markets hitherto not well served which may benefit from point to point services enabled by artificial intelligence (AI).
Pilotless Flying. Nothing Artificial About IT
Musk is not Elon in leveraging artificial intelligence. If Tesla’s Khan can, Boeing being Boeing surely can. The only caveat is that even driverless cars have had their trials and tribulations before becoming relatively mainstream. Even now, we see some accidents/ death due to the gaps in the software (artificial intelligence). That is understandable because the AI is built on the concept of improving with more inputs/ feedback over repeated uses. Mistakes and subsequent mistake proofing are intrinsic to the development of a robust AI asset/ ecosystem.
Pilotless Benefits: Of the Cat’s Whiskers, catnaps and Whiskeys
A pilot’s job is no doubt a very responsible one and stressful to boot. They may hence be forgiven for their ‘arrogance’. On its part, AI seems a natural evolution to Information Technology, nothing artificial about it. But till such time that this pilotless technology becomes mainstream, pilots can continue to be the cat’s whiskers. The positive takeaway for the average flyer is that he or she need not worry much about cat naps being taken in the cock-pit or whiskeys being downed.
Yogi se Yeddyurappa tak. Lucknow taken, Karnataka to be BJPlured?
Amit Shah, BJP’s master strategist has indicated the leader in the May 2018 elections for the Karnataka assembly. Mr. Yeddyurappa, ex-Chief Minister would be face of BJP. This may not have come as much of a surprise to many. But it definitely raises some uncomfortable questions.
Yeddyurappa, a prominent symbol of corruption by power
There have been allegations aplenty about the abuses of power by Yeddyurappa. His closeness to and dealings with the infamous Reddy brothers had put BJP on the backfoot in Karnataka. This was also a strong reason behind the Karnataka electorate voting the BJP out of power. If the BJP again stoops to pick Yeddyurappa to conquer Karnataka, it would only confirm that even for the BJP, politics trumps governance.
What a Fall, after choosing Yogi in UP
The BJP’s choice is all the more glaring after it famously chose a young and dynamic leader like Yogi Adityanath to govern Uttar Pradesh. The BJP’s senior leaders have also been highlighting the corruption free three years’ governance at the Centre. One has to admit in all fairness that this has been one of the ‘most working’ governments in recent times.
But Yeddyurappa’s choice doesn’t show the BJP in great light. The BJP may not wish to take much risk with the only state in South India with some amount of traction. It is also amongst the largest states from a GDP perspective. There are some reports indicating it has overtaken Uttar Pradesh recently to be number three in the Indian GSDP rankings. Only TN (a relatively close second) and Maharashtra (a very strong first) are bigger economically.
Yogi, Yeddyurappa and Edapaadi Palaniswamy (TN)
If BJP does win Karnataka, it would add to its list of heavyweight states under its governance. It already has Maharashtra, UP, Gujarat Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the Top 10 (GDP wise). If the BJP loses, it would almost certainly be due to the yeddy currents of its own making.
One’s take without batting an eyelid is that Yogi will ensure Karnataka and TN don’t have it easy. It will take the southern states some doing to keep UP from overtaking them. A healthy competition between states is good for India. Jai Ho! If
Go, Nitin Gogoi, Go. Neat work. Why ‘dar’ ?
Army Officer Nitin Leetul Gogoi has recently been honoured by the Indian Army for his ‘innovative’ action which saved lives. Gogoi had tied a local kashmiri youth to the army vehicle while trying to rescue poll officials. He acted ‘practically’ when opposed by stone pelting Kashmiri youths. The youths were about to burn down a polling station with civilians trapped inside. Seeing one of the locals tied to the vehicle, the mob/s avoided throwing stones and let the army vehicle / men pass unharmed.
Why the fuss?
Human Rights Activists and the ‘Azadi’ demanding stone-pelters believe Gogoi should not have exposed the local youth, Farooq Ahmad Dar, to danger. Danger of what? Getting hit by stones which the other youths were pelting on the army vehicle.
Is it ok to pelt stones and assault army men who are not authorized to shoot or use force on local Kashmiris? Looks like, to these souls criticizing Gogoi.
What finally happened?
The army vehicle was able to reach the polling station which had been surround by the mob and was able to rescue the officials. The mob was on the verge of burning down the booth. Thus, lives were saved without any harm to Farooq Dar.
Why pick Farooq Dar?
Gogoi claims Dar was one of the leaders of the mob. Dar says he is innocent. He says he is an artisan earning only Rs 3000 per month and needs to support his aged mother too. He says the army had put him to grave danger by using him thus. One wonders why a guy like him (fragile socio-economic situation) is hanging around with stone pelters.
Dar claims he had come to that location to exercise his right to vote as an indian Citizen. This, despite the calls for boycott by pro-Azadi elements. Dar feels cheated because he has now been used as a ‘human shield’.
Is the logic of ‘Human Shield’ tenable?
Rioting youths in Kashmir have used human shields (women and children) to fire or throw stones at the Indian Army. Did Gogoi or his men use Dar in like manner? On the contrary, Dar was used only to protect Gogoi and his team from the locals’ stones….. And to reach the polling booth in time to save the officials. The Army is not authorized to use force or fire against Kashmiri civilians.
What is the long and short of the incident?
It is possible that Dar is indeed a proud and loyal Indian who had come to do his duty as a citizen and vote. But if this were the case, he should have been prouder to have enabled the rescue of polling officials. The fact that he was unharmed proves that he is one of the rioters or that Gogoi’s understanding of the situation was practical or both of the above.
Having said the above, there have also been some incidents (including the infamous Kunan Poshpora atrocity) which will remain a permanent blot. The problem is that a few cases like these (genuine or otherwise) have also been used by vested interests to help fan anti-India rhetoric.
In ending, it is with irony and sadness that we note the following. The youth of Afghanistan is finding huge benefits of associating with/ leveraging India. But our Kashmiri lads are being deluded into destroying their own lives.
Bombay HC Bench vindicates Bilkis Bano’s faith in Judiciary
The Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of the accused in the Bilkis Bano case. The Court has also set aside the acquittal of two doctors and five policemen for hampering the course of justice. These judgements though delayed may give some solace for the victim and doughty fighter, Bilkis Bano. But no amount of ‘judicial intervention’ however just, will wipe away the misery and trauma that Bilkis and her husband have gone through.
Removing the Red Beacon VIP Culture
The Prime Minister Mr Modi and his BJP government deserve a big round of applause. They have done something most of us would not have dreamt possible. The common man is going to be treated at par with politicians, government officials etc on India’s roads. The so called VIPs will now be grounded.
Go with the flow now
They will no longer have the privilege of whizzing past their fellow citizens. Among whom could be many normal commuters, sick patients, expectant mothers, or even students anxious to reach in time for their exams. VIPs have to go with the flow now, however maddening it may be.
This move would also bring the powers that be, more in touch with the harsh realities facing the average Indian. One move will have many attendant benefits. The time spent in traffic will hopefully open the eyes of law makers and officials to the many ways they could change things for the better. Being in the sun and rain even if inside air conditioned cars could probably give them additional time. Added time and context to feel where the common citizen’s shoe pinches irrespective of whether he or she has footwear or not.
The perk is my personality
For many of the peoples’ representatives and officials this move may have come as an unpleasant surprise. A significant proportion of these anyway would have had little to show for their role/ post other than the red light on their vehicles.
From the first of May this year, only the police, the ambulance and essential services will now be authorized to use a light (blue beacon) on their vehicles.
Many MPs , MLAs, not to speak of (even educated) officials also generally have a good time wasting public money on electricity, travel accommodation etc not only for themselves but also for their hangers on. They must surely be worried now. The red light embargo may just be for starters. More changes could be afoot to minimize wastage of public money.
In ending, No surprise this, but more surprises in store?
One thing makes one wonder about this development. Why has it taken India almost 70 years since independence to do away with this abominable VIP Culture.
It probably takes an egalitarian tea vendor Prime Minister to serve these beneficial policies. Obviously thinking of the well being of the masses is not everyone’s cup of tea.
TTV Dhinakaran dancing. Stage has a few nails. FERA, Bribery Charges, Leads from Income Tax Raids await him
The Bhava before getting bombed or nailed
One could fault TTV Dhinakaran on a few things. He is one of the coolest ‘operators who is still free to operate. Not many good things can be heard of him. But irrespective of the image he has built, one cannot fault the smile on his face. It definitely brings one on your