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India beats China to win crucial election to UN commission on women

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UNITED NATIONS: In a significant victory, India got elected as Member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the principal global body focussed on gender equality and women empowerment, beating China in a hotly-contested election.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The 54-member ECOSOC, holding the first plenary meeting of its 2021 session in the General Assembly Hall on Monday, held elections for two seats in the Asia-Pacific States category with Afghanistan, India and China in the fray.

Afghanistan, which is led by Ambassador Adela Raz at the UN, garnered 39 votes and India got 38 votes of the 54 ballots cast.

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, got only 27 votes and could not even cross the half-way mark and also failed to get the required majority of 28 votes.

“India wins seat in prestigious #ECOSOC body! India elected Member of Commission on Status of Women #CSW. It’s a ringing endorsement of our commitment to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all our endeavours. We thank member states for their support,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti tweeted.

India beat China in the hotly-contested election to the prestigious UN body in the year when the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, that was held in

Beijing

in 1995, is being commemorated around the world.

It is highly notable and telling that China lost the election to the UN’s principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment when the silver jubilee anniversary of the landmark Beijing conference on women is being commemorated and of which China takes a lot of ownership on.

The election result is being seen as sending a strong signal about China’s own record of women’s equality and empowerment.

India’s Permanent Mission to the UN worked tirelessly for the hard-fought election, reaching out and sensitising all Member States, sources said.

India and Afghanistan will join Argentina, Austria, Dominican Republic, Israel, Latvia, Nigeria, Turkey and Zambia, which were elected by acclamation, to the Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year term beginning from 2021-2025.

India’s election win at the CSW is highly significant as it comes on the eve of India gearing up to sit at the UN Security Council high table as non-permanent member for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2021.

Former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Lakshmi Puri congratulated the Indian Mission and Ambassador Tirumurti on the election win.

“Victory Earned! #CSW is an important normsetting organ for #Gender #Equality & #WomenEmpowerment & #India has made a significant contribution to evolving global women’s human rights standards in UN including #SDG5 in Agenda 2030!,” she tweeted, referring to the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The Commission on the Status of Women is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

In 1996, ECOSOC expanded the Commission’s mandate and decided that it should take a leading role in monitoring and reviewing progress and problems in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and in mainstreaming a gender perspective in UN activities.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Socio-economic cost of a road death Rs 91L, Rs 3.6L for those grievously injured

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NEW DELHI: The average socio-economic impact or cost of every person dying in a road crash was around Rs 91 lakh and it’s close to Rs 3.6 lakh in the case of each victim left with grievous injuries during 2018, a study commissioned by the road transport and highways ministry has found.

Going by the government’s report on fatalities and injuries, it has estimated the total impact at Rs 1.47 lakh crore during 2018 when 1.51 lakh people were killed and 4.69 lakh were left with grievous and minor injuries. However, considering that there is under reporting of fatalities and injuries, the study has also projected loss to the tune of Rs 5.9 lakh crore, which is 3.1% of the GDP.

The study was carried out by the TRIPP of IIT(Delhi) and DIMTS, which has come out with three different estimates of the socio-economic impact under three scenarios. The third estimate is based on the Global Burden of Disease (GDB) Study and the impact has been estimated close to Rs 8.63 lakh crore.

This is the second such study after 1999 to quantify the total economic loss due to road crashes, fatalities and injuries. Such studies are carried out across the world frequently to prepare strategies to see how with less investment in creating safe infrastructure and enforcement rules, huge cost in terms of lives and the socio-economic loss can be prevented. The report is yet to be made public and the ministry is going through the report.

Sources said the estimates have been calculated taking into account medical expenses, loss of income which is also known as lost output cost, pain, grief and suffering, damage to vehicle, public asset and administrative costs. The total impact in financial terms has been arrived at using the human capital approach method, which uses the present value of expected future earnings to estimate the potential loss to society, if an individual dies or becomes permanently disabled. It has also taken into account other studies across the globe and also in India.

TOI has learnt that major share in the socio economic impact of fatalities in road crashes is on account of lost output cost, which is nearly Rs 74 lakh per person while in the case of grievous injuries more than 50% of the share of the cost is towards medical expenses.

The report has also highlighted how the share of victim-related costs is about 98% of the total cost of road crashes and 70% of the entire accident cost is towards victims in the age group of 18-45 years.

Sources said the study was done after collecting primary data from police stations across 14 cities and 53 hospitals spread across 20 cities.

It has also revealed that 78% of the cost of all accident victims is towards two-wheeler drivers and pedestrians, who are most vulnerable and need attention of the government to improve enforcement of laws, improving infrastructure and healthcare services.

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INDIA

Govt will need 80,000 crore for Covid vaccine, says Serum CEO

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MUMBAI: The government may need Rs 80,000 crore over the next one year for distribution of Covid-19 vaccine and immunization of the country’s population, Adar Poonawalla, CEO and promoter of the world’s largest vaccine producer, Serum Institute, said on Saturday.

Calling it the “next concerning challenge”, which needs to be tackled, Poonawalla posted a tweet tagging the Prime Minister’s Office, which read: “We need to plan and guide vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution.”

Serum has tie ups with global manufacturers AstraZeneca and Novavax for potential Covid-19 vaccines, which are currently undergoing clinical trials. The tweet, perceived by many as alarming, also raised concerns over the government’s ability to fund the massive vaccine programme.

“The government has assured that there will be plenty of funds available for vaccines. We have now been assured by the highest levels in the government that enough funds will be available for vaccine procurement, supply and logistics. This is good news,” Poonawalla told TOI, when contacted.

While addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday PM Modi said that as the world’s largest vaccine producing country, India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help people across the world.

Although further details on Poonawala’s calculations were not immediately available, sources said, it could be assuming the benchmark price of $3-5 per dose, and including two doses for the over 1.3 billion population.

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Congress may rope in Prashant Kishor for 2022 Punjab election

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NEW DELHI: Pollster Prashant Kishor may get to manage Congress in the Punjab elections scheduled for early 2022. Party sources said CM Amarinder Singh is in talks with the former JD(U) member and election strategist, and a decision may be announced soon.

While Kishor is likely to get the contract for advance poll planning in the state, Congress members said he could even get an official perch to manage the affairs. Kishor had widely been credited with helping Congress ride back to power in the state in 2017. A senior AICC manager said the talks are being held by the chief minister and that the party is not involved in the negotiations.

While speculations about Kishor coming on board the Congress campaign in Punjab have been on for a while, it is only now it appears to be reaching a finality. Having been expelled from JD(U) following a scrap with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Kishor is said to be on the lookout for a new political platform – a reason why there are also speculations that he is looking for an entry in Congress.

Well-placed sources in Congress said Kishor has a direct line with the Gandhi siblings, a reason why not many are willing to hazard a guess about the pollster. There is some confusion in Congress ranks about Kishor.

Sources said a possible reason for CM Singh to get Kishor on board in Punjab would be to ensure that he does not work for Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, which is set to make a strong pitch in the state in the next polls.

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