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5 THINGS FIRST G7 summit to begin in UK; French Open: Men’s singles semifinals (Alexander Zverev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal); Industrial production data for April to be released; Pulitzer prize winners …



G7 summit to begin in UK; French Open: Men’s singles semifinals (Alexander Zverev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal); Industrial production data for April to be released; Pulitzer prize winners to be announced; Euro 2020 begins in Rome

1. What missing women in India’s vaccination drive say
1. What missing women in India's vaccination drive say
  • For every 1,000 men vaccinated in India so far, only 854 women have received the shot. This gender skew could have been attributed to there being fewer women than men in the adult population. However, the skew in vaccination in most states is much worse than in the adult population.
  • Kerala and Chhattisgarh are the only states where more women than men have been vaccinated. In Chhattisgarh, the sex ratio of the adult population is 1,013 women for every 1,000 men, but in the vaccinated population, the proportion of women is 1,045 women for every 1,000 men. In the case of Kerala, though it has the highest proportion of women in the vaccinated population (52.2% or 1,087 for every 1,000 men), this is less than the sex ratio of the adult population, which is 1,126.
  • Women’s lack of agency, inability in many cases to book a slot on Cowin on their own and lack of independent mobility are important reasons that could explain this skew. But there seem to be other factors too.
  • In states with high vaccination coverage like Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, for instance, the gender skew among the vaccinated is much lower.
  • That low vaccination coverage could mean a higher gender skew — as men gain priority over women — is borne out by states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar and West Bengal. In Uttar Pradesh, where only 12% of the adult population has been vaccinated, though the adult sex ratio is 936, among the vaccinated it’s just 746. Similarly, in Bihar where only 13% of the adult population has been covered, the sex ratio among those vaccinated is 810 in a state with an adult sex ratio of 923.
  • There’s a pronounced gender skew in almost all big cities, probably because of the presence of a large population of predominantly male migrant labour. Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bhopal all have much worse sex ratios among the vaccinated than their states.
  • Check out more details and statewise data on gender gap in vaccination here
2. Eight children among 12 dead as Mumbai building collapses on another
2. Eight children among 12 dead as Mumbai building collapses on another
  • Twelve people, including eight children, were killed after two floors of a three-storey residential building collapsed on an adjoining single-storey house located at the New Collector Compound on Abdul Hamid Road in Mumbai’s Malwani. The tragedy occurred late on Wednesday night following extremely heavy downpour.
  • Seven others were injured, with one of them critical. Per civic and fire brigade officials, some people might still be trapped under the rubble and the search and rescue operations were on.
  • According to the BMC, the ill-fated building was located on collector’s land (allotted in 1970) and its owner got permission from the collector’s office while constructing a permanent structure.
  • However, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Vishwas Nangre Patil said the building was constructed illegally and had serious structural faults. The land was meant to have only a one-storey structure, but illegal alterations came in later.
  • During Cyclone Tauktae last month, the building suffered certain damages, he pointed out, adding the incident could have been averted if proper precautions had been taken. An FIR was registered against the building contractor, Ramzan Nabi Shaikh (he has been arrested), its owner Rafique Siddiqui (who lost nine members of his family) and others.

A ‘realty’ check

  • The BMC’s P-North ward, which includes Malad, is Mumbai’s most populous administrative ward but has not had a full-time assistant municipal commissioner or ward officer since February. In fact, the BMC’s Zone IV under which P-North ward falls doesn’t even have a full-time deputy municipal commissioner (DMC).
  • Also, senior officials point out that government lands owned by agencies like BMC, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, the state public works department (PWD) and central PWD, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and railways are most vulnerable to encroachments, and authorities turn a blind eye when shanties come up. Once the lands are taken over by slums, illegal extensions continue unabated, and the buck passes from one agency to another to demolish them.
3. Courts, live-in couples’ right to live and confusion
3. Courts, live-in couples’ right to live and confusion
The Rajasthan High Court dismissed the plea of a live-in couple seeking “protection of life and liberty” on the grounds that their relationship didn’t meet the criteria for a legally sanctioned live-in relationship.

Come again?

  • The high court said that since the 31-year old man, who was living in with a 29-year-old woman, was already married, such “a live-in-relationship between a married and unmarried person is not permissible”.
  • The high court further said that a live-in relationship needs to meet the criteria set out by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2010, which says a live-in “couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses and must be of legal age to marry or qualified to enter into a legal marriage, including being unmarried”.
  • Interestingly, the same high court had earlier observed that “irrespective of the fact that the relation between two major individuals may be termed as immoral and unsocial”, their “personal life and liberty” had to be protected.

Is this unusual?

  • Not really. Just earlier this week, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which passed several seemingly contradictory orders on live-in couples just last month, directed the SSP of Faridkot to look into the grievance of a married woman and an unmarried man who sought protection, fearing a threat to their lives.
  • Last year, the Allahabad High Court in a judgement made it clear that if the man and the woman in a live-in relationship were already married to other persons and hadn’t legally dissolved their marriage, they were not entitled to any protection as they were “virtually flouting the law of the land”.

Meanwhile, a single judge bench of the Madras High Court has referred to a larger bench the question of whether a woman in a live-in relationship with a married man can be deemed to be the man’s spouse after the death of his legally married wife and consequently be entitled to receive pensionary benefits upon the man’s death.

4. A 9-year-old India-Italy diplomatic wrangle ends today
4. A 9-year-old India-Italy diplomatic wrangle ends today
  • The Centre has deposited in the Supreme Court Rs 10 crore paid by Italy as compensation to the families of the two Kerala fishermen who were shot dead in February 2012 by two Italian Marines aboard the ‘Enrica Lexie’ ship, in lieu of closure of criminal cases against the two navy personnel in India.
  • Though the Centre on April 9 had sought closure of the proceedings involving the two Marines in the SC while promising to deposit the Rs 10 crore to be paid by the Italian government within three days, the money was not deposited even when the SC took up the case on April 19. The SC had said it would take over disbursal of the compensation amount. Centre finally deposited the money with the SC on April 26. The apex court will hear the case today.
  • The Rs 10 crore compensation is over and above the money already paid by the Italian government to the kin during pendency of the cases against the Marines in India. With this, the nine-year-old controversy and diplomatic wrangle comes to an end.
  • The compensation was based on the May 21, 2020, award of the Arbitral Tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS). The tribunal had ruled that “actions of the Italian Marines breached India’s freedom and right of navigation” and upheld the conduct of Indian authorities with regard to the February 15, 2012, firing incident. The tribunal has precluded India from proceeding further with the criminal case against the Marines as Italy promised to resume criminal investigation into their conduct.
6. How Indians in US discriminate and are discriminated against
6. How Indians in US discriminate and are discriminated against
A survey conducted jointly by the Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace finds that 50% of 4.2 million strong Indian-American community say they have faced discrimination, the most common of which was racial bias.

So, what else did the survey find?

  • While 30% of the respondents of the Indian American Attitudes Survey (IAAS) said they faced discrimination on the basis of their skin colour, 18% apiece said they felt discriminated against on the basis of their gender and religion.
  • Muslims of Indian origin living in the US bore the brunt of religious discrimination, with 39% of them at the receiving end of a bias, in the last 12 months, folowed by Hindus (18%), Christians (15%) and other faiths (5%).
  • Interestingly, when it came to caste-based discrimination, a greater number of respondents (34%) said they were discriminated on the basis of their caste by non-Indians than by Indians (32%) — which appears to be a dichotomy considering that the caste system is unique to India.

What the survey missed out on

  • While the survey delves into the historical bias against Indians, especially Hindus over the decades — it mentions the 1911 US Congress Commission’s report declaring that they were “universally regarded as the least desirable race of immigrants” — it seems to miss out on the hate crimes perpetrated in recent years, especially against Sikhs.

How the discriminated discriminate

  • The survey also revealed the inherent biases prevalent among the Indian-Americans — such as the fact that 48% of Hindus are not comfortable having a close Muslim friend while 54% of Muslims are not comforatble having a Hindu as a close friend.
  • In fact, when it came to discrimination based on religion and gender, almost a fifth — 19% for each — said they were discriminated by a fellow Indian while another 32% and 43% said they were discriminated against by both Indians and non-Indians on the basis of religion and gender respectively.
  • Finally, the survey also points to the strong caste-based association — while 74% of the respondents were aware of the caste of their friends, another 46% said that most or all of their friends were from the same caste.
7. Two obituaries
7. Two obituaries
  • Asian Games gold medal-winning former boxer Dingko Singh (pic above) died on Thursday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017.
  • Dingko became a national hero and a household name in Manipur when he returned with a gold medal in bantamweight from Bangkok Asian Games in Thailand in 1998, India’s first boxing medal at the Games in 16 years. That Asiad gold, in fact, inspired six-time world champion and Olympic medallist MC Mary Kom to take up the sport.
  • This after winning the King’s cup in Bangkok in 1997. He was conferred the Arjuna Award in 1998 and the Padma Shri in 2013.
  • Also on the day, renowned Bengali filmmaker and poet Buddhadeb Dasgupta (pic below) died at the age of 77. He was suffering from a kidney ailment. Five of his films — Bagh Bahadur, Charachar, Lal Darja, Mondo Meyer Upakhyan and Kaalpurush — won the National Awards for Best Film, while Uttara and Swapner Din fetched him the National Awards for Best Direction.
  • Dasgupta also won National Awards for Best Feature Film In Bengali for Dooratwa, Phera (also won the National Award for Best Screenplay) and Tahader Katha. His A Painter of Eloquent Silence: Ganesh Pyne was given the National Award for Best Arts/Cultural Film.
Buddha (1)

8. Suu Kyi faces new corruption cases
8. Suu Kyi faces new corruption cases
  • Myanmar’s military authorities have charged deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with corruption. She faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.
  • The cases are the latest of a series brought against elected leader Suu Kyi, 75, who was overthrown by the army on February 1 in a coup.
  • The state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar quoted the Anti-Corruption Commission as saying the accusations related to the misuse of land for the charitable Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which she chaired, as well as earlier accusations of accepting money and gold.
  • The foundation was set up in the name of her late mother to help develop education, health and welfare in Myanmar.
  • Cases Suu Kyi already faced ranged from the illegal possession of walkie-talkie radios to breaking the Official Secrets Act. Her supporters say the cases are politically motivated.
  • The army overthrew Suu Kyi saying her party had cheated in November elections, an accusation rejected by the previous election commission and international monitors.
  • Since then, the army has failed to establish control. It faces daily protests and strikes that have paralysed the economy.
  • A military plane crashed on Thursday near Myanmar’s second-biggest city Mandalay, killing 12 people. There was no immediate indication that the crash was related to the crisis. Full story here
9. Pavlyuchenkova to battle Krejciokova for French Open women’s crown
9. Pavlyuchenkova to battle Krejciokova for French Open women’s crown
Pavlyuchenkova (left) & Krejciokova

  • Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Tamara Zidansek in straight sets (7-5, 6-3) to reach a first Grand Slam final at the French Open on Thursday at a record 52nd attempt, 14 years after her Slam debut.
  • Both players struggled with their serves but Pavlyuchenkova managed to hold her nerves better on important points. And it was Zidansek’s 33 unforced errors that proved to be her undoing.
  • In the other semifinal, Czech Barbora Krejciokova took over three hours on court to prevail 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 over Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari.
  • Down 5-3, 30-40 on her serve in the final set, Krejcikova hit a backhand winner at the net to stay alive in the match. She finally held and broke back in the next game to level at 5-5. The World No. 33 needed five match points to seal the win.
  • It will be the sixth successive French Open to crown a first-time women’s major champion on Saturday.
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UEFA European Championship. Euro 2020, the 16th edition of the tournament which was postponed for a year due to the pandemic, kicks off tonight (12:30 am IST) in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico with Italy facing Turkey. Rome, along with 10 other cities in Europe will stage the tournament’s 51 fixtures; the final is scheduled on July 11 at Wembley Stadium in London.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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