ICHRRF officially recognises Hindu Genocide - Business Guardian
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ICHRRF officially recognises Hindu Genocide

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The US based non-profit, International Commission for Human Rights and Religious freedom (ICHRRF) has called upon the Government of India and the Government of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir to acknowledge and recognise the 1989-1991 atrocities on Kashmiri Hindus as an act of genocide. The Commission exhorts other human rights organisations, international bodies and governments to step up to the plate and officially acknowledge these atrocities as an act of genocide. The world must listen to these profoundly moving stories, seriously introspect on the impact of their past silence and inaction out of political expediency and make proper recognition, it said. International Commission for Human Rights and Religious freedom is a US based non-profit focused on upholding Human Rights and Religious Freedom through continuous monitoring, policy intervention and collaboration.

ICHRRF held a special public hearing on the issue of Kashmiri Hindu Genocide (1989-1991) on March 27, 2022, during which a number of victims and survivors of ethnic and cultural cleansing testified under oath and submitted evidence. Profoundly heartbreaking, several Kashmiri Hindu victims of genocide, ethnic cleansing and exile from their homeland, courageously shared their traumatic stories of endurance, survival and recovery from atrocious human rights violations at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists that mirrored the Jewish Holocaust. Thousands of homes and temples were destroyed. Over 4,00,000 of Kashmiri Hindu men, women, and children were forced into exile by Islamic terrorists at gunpoint, ejected from their homes and everything they’ve known.

Women were gang-raped, cut into two pieces with a saw and killed in the most brutal manner. Now, this culture is on the brink of extinction after selfadvocacy over the course of 32 years, has been unsuccessful. Those who chose to remain in their homeland did so in faith believing in the goodness of their neighbours. The victims and survivors affirmed hope, peace, nonviolence, and safety, and found themselves raped, tortured, and executed by radical Islamic terrorists.

Abused corpses were denied cultural funeral traditions and desecrated in psychological warfare to intimidate and control the remaining masses, the statement said. Having lived peacefully for thousands of years as an indigenous religious minority, the cry for help from these Kashmiri Hindus fell on deaf ears globally. 

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WHO reports 8.6% surge in TB deaths in South-East Asia in 2021

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The tuberculosis mortality rate in the Southeast Asia region saw a rise of 8.6 percent in 2021 as compared to 2015, according to an official release from the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the release, the regional director of WHO, South-East Asia Region, Saima Wazed, said, “The TB mortality rate in the region increased by 8.6 percent in 2021 compared to 2015. The probability of death between the ages of 30 and 70 from four major diseases—cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases—is still unacceptably high at 21.6 percent.”

She added that the poorest and groups with vulnerabilities face the greatest barriers to accessing needed healthcare, often with catastrophic consequences for their health and well-being.

“Poor quality care accounts for more diseases and deaths than lack of access to care,” she said. The Regional Director stated further that gender inequality affects equitable access to diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable health conditions.

The WHO will focus the spotlight on the theme ‘My Health, My Right’ on World Health Day this year on April 7. According to an official press release from WHO, South East Asia, “In a world witnessing multiple crises, from diseases to disasters to conflicts and climate change, realizing people’s right to health is now more important than ever. To mark the foundation of the World Health Organization, the spotlight this year is on ‘My Health, My Right’, on World Health Day, celebrated on April 7.”

Wazed also expanded on the significance of acknowledging the ‘Right to Health’ for all. “Realizing the right to health for all means creating conditions where everyone, everywhere, can access high-quality health facilities, services, and goods that prioritize people’s needs, understanding, and dignity,” Wazed said. “It also means a full set of rights that enable people to live healthily, such as education, safe water and food, nutritious food, adequate housing, good working and environmental conditions, and information—or the underlying determinants of health,” she added. “To fulfill the right to health, both health services and the underlying determinants should be available, accessible, acceptable, and of adequate quality,” she said.

The right to the highest attainable standard of mental and physical health—or the right to health—has been core to the WHO’s mission, globally and in the region. It is enshrined in the WHO’s Constitution.

As WHO marks its seventy-sixth year on April 7, the Southeast Asia Region has seen many gains and has much to celebrate about the right to health. “The Universal Health Coverage Service Coverage Index has improved from 47 in 2010 to 62 in 2021. The average density of medical doctors, nurses, and midwives in the region stands at 28.05 per 10,000 population, up by 30.5 percent since 2015,” she said. “The region achieved a 68.5 percent reduction in the maternal mortality ratio between 2000 and 2020. The under-five mortality rate declined significantly from 84 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 29 per 1000 live births in 2021, and the neonatal mortality rate declined from 41 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 17 per 1000 live births in 2021. Between 2015 and 2021, new HIV infections declined by 25 percent and malaria incidence by 62 percent,” she added.

However, despite progress, we still have a considerable way to go to make the right to health a reality for all in the WHO South-East Asia Region, the Regional Director said. She added that despite global commitments to the right to health, nearly 40 percent of the region’s people lack coverage of essential health services. Investment in health by national governments, which is the foundation of advancing the right to health, is unacceptably low, which has resulted in high out-of-pocket expenditures, according to the release. The proportion of households experiencing financial hardship in accessing basic health care has been rising.

“Violence against women and girls—a violation of their human rights and a priority public health issue—remains pervasive. More than one in every three women in the region has experienced intimate partner violence at least once in their lifetime, with rural and uneducated women and those from the poorest households facing a significantly higher risk,” she said.

“Too many still face stigma related to certain health conditions, such as TB, HIV/AIDS, disability, or mental illness. They also face discrimination in the health system based on their gender, class, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or other characteristics,” the Regional Director said.

Wazed stated that equality and non-discrimination are core to a human rights-based approach to health. “A human rights-based approach also entails adherence to the principle of participation. For example, by ensuring that those most affected by certain health conditions or health policies and decisions have a say in how these decisions are made,” she said.

“Accountability is also integral to a human rights-based approach. For example, reporting back to affected groups and communities about the performance of the health system or health programs to address their needs,” she said.

All governments and other duty-bearers must respect, protect, and fulfill the right to health and other human rights, and to ensure their progressive realization, the WHO release went further, adding, “Governments need to increase investments in health—especially to advance universal health coverage grounded in a primary health care approach.

“Good laws can lay the foundation for more effective tobacco control, environmental protection, better nutrition, control of obesity and cardiovascular diseases, fair and equal working conditions, and much more. Health services need to be made more available, accessible, acceptable, and of better quality for all,” Wazed said.

“WHO is committed to advancing the right to health and other human rights. Let’s make the right to health a reality for all,” she added.

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Lanka Economy Records 4.5% Surge in Q4 2023: Central Bank

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Sri Lanka’s bankrupt economy is expected to grow by 4.5 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, following six consecutive negative quarters. In February, the Central Bank reported a decrease in headline inflation to 5.9 per cent from 6.4 per cent in January. The gross official reserves improved to 4.5 billion dollars by the end of February 2024. This includes a swap facility from the People’s Bank of China.

The Central Bank announced on Tuesday that Sri Lanka’s economy, which had been experiencing six successive quarters of negative growth, is estimated to have recorded a growth of 4.5 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023. Positive growth was only seen in the third quarter of 2023, following six successive quarters of negative growth experienced by the cash-strapped economy.

The headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index, had decelerated to 5.9% in February from 6.4% in January. The gross official reserves improved to 4.5 billion dollars by the end of February 2024, which includes the swap facility from the People’s Bank of China. Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said the reserve buildup was better than the Central Bank’s expectations. “The reserve buildup was supported by considerable net purchases by the Central Bank from the domestic foreign exchange market amidst increased foreign currency inflows compared to outflows,” Weerasinghe said. “The Sri Lankan rupee, which appreciated by 12.1% against the US dollar in 2023, continued to show an appreciation of 6.7% thus far in 2024,” he said.

Governor Weerasinghe said the agreements on debt restructuring with sovereign bond-holders could be completed by June in time for the next review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme. Governor said despite the sovereign default, the commercial loans granted by India along with currency swaps with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) continue to be serviced. In early 2022, amidst the onset of the economic crisis, India’s provision of a 4 billion USD assistance package served as a vital lifeline for Sri Lanka, enabling the importation of fuel and essential goods.

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Exploring How Japan’s Medical Technology Fuels India’s Healthcare Landscape

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Statistics suggest that India has approximately 2.8 million hospital beds, including both private and public. Therefore, there are 1.7 beds per 1,000 people in comparison with developed nations that have around 2.5 to 3.

Amidst the escalating global disease burden, healthcare providers worldwide are intensifying efforts to expedite delivery systems and implement more precise treatment therapies, aiming for swifter patient recovery outcomes. Correspondingly, healthcare stakeholders in India are actively enhancing procedures for high-risk treatments, striving for greater precision and efficacy.

Concurrently, the Indian government’s successful efforts in attracting major global medical device players from countries like Japan, Germany, and the USA have facilitated the introduction of advanced devices and therapies, revolutionizing treatment methodologies and improving treatment outcomes for high-risk diseases. Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI) has earlier recommended Japan as the preferred choice for medtech imports instead of China. Notably, India’s policy allowing 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under automatic routes for both Greenfield and Brownfield setups has encouraged global investors to participate in the healthcare sector.

The burgeoning adoption of Japanese medical technology in India marks a significant shift in the nation’s healthcare landscape, promising ground breaking innovations and collaborations that stand to revolutionize healthcare delivery nationwide. This trend is propelled by Japan’s renowned expertise in precision engineering and advanced medical devices, with Japanese companies leading the development of cutting-edge technologies in areas like diagnostic imaging, surgical robotics, and regenerative medicine. Collaborations between Japanese and Indian firms have played a pivotal role.

These collaborations facilitate technology and knowledge transfer, empowering Indian healthcare providers to leverage Japanese expertise while tailoring solutions to local needs. The contribution of Japan also extends notably to advancing cardiovascular treatment methodologies in India. One of the noteworthy instances of investment involves Terumo India’s introduction of Ultimaster Nagomi, a Drug Eluting Stent (DES) for treating coronary artery disease, reflecting their commitment to investing in next-generation stents to enhance the safety and efficacy of coronary artery treatments in India. Additionally, Terumo India recently unveiled innovative therapies like B-TACE for managing liver cancer in India. Through Occlusafe, Terumo’s B-TACE device offers patients a more precise and targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs to the tumour, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues.

Numerous other investments are made in India, such as Omron Healthcare’s manufacturing unit launch in Tamil Nadu and the collaboration between Japan Lifeline and Meril Sciences to promote medical devices or therapies. Statistics suggest that India has approximately 2.8 million hospital beds, including both private and public. Therefore, there are 1.7 beds per 1,000 people in comparison with developed nations that have around 2.5 to 3. Despite India’s cadre of proficient doctors and expanding healthcare infrastructure, comprehensive coverage remains elusive, hindering healthcare accessibility for many.

Addressing this challenge is crucial for optimizing the country’s healthcare resources and ensuring equitable access to healthcare opportunities. Further, the country needs to reduce the cost of healthcare and invest in technology to create better patient experience and clinical outcomes. As India grapples with healthcare challenges amid rapid urbanization, demographic shifts, and the burden of non-communicable diseases, the influx of Japanese medical technology offers hope.

By embracing innovation and forging strategic partnerships, India stands to leverage Japanese expertise for a healthier and more prosperous future. The surge of Japanese medical technology in India signifies not only technological advancement but also the power of collaboration and shared vision in driving positive change in healthcare delivery, promising transformative impacts across the Indian subcontinent.

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Infrastructure Development

NHAI completes largest monetisation of over Rs16,000 cr through InvIT

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National Highways Infra Trust (NHIT) has successfully concluded fundraising for national highway stretches of aggregate length of 889 kilometres. The NHIT is the infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and serves like a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of money from individual and institutional investors in infrastructure projects to earn a portion of the income as return. The largest ever by NHAI monetisation of over Rs 16,000 crore has been caried out through Round 3 ’InvIT and is one of the largest transactions in the history of Indian road sector.

The Letter of Acceptance (LOA) to raise the highest ever concession value through ’InvIT Round-3’ was issued last month in February 2024. Since November 2021, NHIT has cumulatively raised around Rs.12,000 crore through first two rounds of monetisation for acquisition of eight operating road assets with an aggregate length of 636 km from NHAI. Historically, units of NHIT were issued at a price of Rs 101 in November 2021 and were listed on both BSE and NSE. According to Anurag Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, the NHIT is a successful example of public private partnership in which it has played a very important role in supporting national monetisation pipeline. While doing that NHIT has established itself as a leading player in the InvIT space, playing a critical role in channelising financial capital into the further development of Indian roads sector.

In the third round of monetisation, NHIT has raised unit capital of around Rs 7,272 crore from marquee domestic and international investors and debt of around Rs 9,000 crore from Indian lenders, to fund the acquisition of National Highway stretches, at a base concession fee of around Rs 15,625 crore, and additional concessional fees of Rs 75 crore. The units were subscribed by investors through a book build process at a cut off price of Rs 124.14 per unit, at a premium over the current NAV of Rs 122.86 per unit.

The units witnessed strong demand from both existing and new investors, including foreign pension funds viz. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, which are existing unitholders and subscribed to the maximum limit of 25 per cent each. The other investors included domestic pension/provident funds (IOCL Employee’s PF, L&T Staff PF, Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Karamchari Pension Fund, SBI Pension etc.), insurance companies (Tata AIG, SBI Life, HDFC Life), mutual funds (SBI, Nippon India), banks and few others. NHAI also subscribed to its share of ~15% of the units at the same price.

With completion of the third round of monetisation the total realised value of all three rounds of InvIT stands at Rs 26,125 crore and holds a diversified portfolio of fifteen operating toll roads with an aggregate length of about 1,525 km spread across the 9 states of Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, with concession periods ranging between 20 to 30 years. The National Highways Infra Trust (NHIT), the Infrastructure Investment Trust sponsored by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), was set up in 2021 to support Government of India’s National Monetization Pipeline.

Santosh Kumar Yadav, NHAI Chairman expects the successful completion of the largest monetisation of roads for NHAI to continue to play a stellar role in the monetisation and development of the Indian roads sector.

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Business News

India’s smartphone exports to US soar to $3.53B in Apr-Dec FY24

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India’s smartphone exports to the US witnessed a substantial surge, reaching USD 3.53 billion from April to December in this fiscal year, in stark contrast to USD 998 million during the same period the previous year, as per data from the Commerce Ministry.

The data further reveals that this surge in outbound shipments propelled the market share of Indian smartphones to 7.76% during April-December in the current fiscal year, a significant rise from 2% during the same period last year. With this notable increase, India has secured its position as the third-largest smartphone exporter to the US.

Officials attribute this surge to the overall growth in smartphone production, which has subsequently fuelled exports. During the nine-month span of the fiscal year, both China and Vietnam experienced a decline in their market share.

Additionally, US imports of smartphones from the top five suppliers saw a decrease, dropping from USD 49.1 billion in FY’23 to USD 45.1 billion in April -December. China’s smartphone exports to the US decreased to USD 35.1 billion, down from USD 38.26 billion the previous year.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s shipments declined to USD 5.47 billion from USD 9.36 billion in the corresponding period. Other significant contributors to the US smartphone market include South Korea and Hong Kong. South Korea’s exports to the US surged to USD 858 million from USD 432 million, while Hong Kong’s sales dropped to USD 112 million from USD 132 million in April-December 2022-23.

The entry of smartphones into India’s export basket began in 2022-23, with shipments reaching USD 10.95 billion. Riding on this momentum, exports surged to USD 10.5 billion in April-December 2023-24.

India’s emergence as a key production hub for smartphones gained traction following the announcement of the Product Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme and the entry of US-based iPhone maker Apple into domestic manufacturing.

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Transform Lives and confidence with FUE Hair Transplant Technique

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Hair loss can profoundly impact self-esteem, but modern advancements in hair transplantation offer effective solutions to restore not only your hair but also your happiness and confidence. Renowned Hair Transplant surgeon and Dermatology expert, Dr. Amrendra Kumar, Director of Dermaclinix, MBBS & MD (AIIMS Delhi), shares insights on how the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique has revolutionized the approach to hair restoration.

Embarking on a hair transplant journey with the FUE technique is about more than regaining lost hair; it’s about reclaiming confidence and happiness. This advanced method offers natural-looking results, quicker recovery times, and a permanent solution to hair loss. The trend is growing, with many young and mid-age individuals in metro cities adopting this transformative procedure to gain newfound confidence. Hair transplant has become the new normal, and if you’re considering this transformative step, consult with a qualified and experienced professional to discuss which technique is best suited for your individual needs.

Understanding FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction):
FUE is a minimally invasive hair transplant technique that involves extracting individual hair follicles from the donor area, typically the back or sides of the scalp. Unlike traditional methods, FUE does not require a linear incision, resulting in minimal scarring and a quicker recovery time.

Key Points to Know:

Natural-looking Results: FUE allows for the precise extraction and transplantation of individual follicles, creating a natural-looking hairline and overall appearance.
Minimal Downtime: The absence of a linear scar means a faster recovery. Most patients can resume their regular activities within a few days.
Suitable for Various Hair Types: FUE is versatile and can be used for different hair types, including curly or coarse hair.

Additional Advanced Techniques:

In addition to FUE, Dermaclinix employs cutting-edge methods to enhance the transplantation experience:
Simultaneous Transplantation: Reduces outside body time for grafts.
No Touch to Root Technique: Avoids damage to grafts during transplantation.
Energy Delivering Solution: Enriches the grafts for better results.
Hair Revival Therapy (Instagraft Technique): Ensures instant results with 10 to 50% of grafts growing directly without shedding, providing immediate results.
Use of Matrix Protein: Enhances healing, reducing downtime significantly.
Cut-to-Edge Machines: Ensures high-quality graft extraction.
Long Hair Preview Transplantation: Embrace the natural allure with non-shaven FUE for a personalized touch, catering to the unique needs of female hair transplant recipients.

The benefits of hair transplantation extend beyond aesthetics. Restoring a full head of hair can significantly boost self-confidence, contributing to an improved self-image. This trend is not only about addressing hair loss; it’s a journey towards enhanced well-being. The procedure is gaining popularity among young professionals in metropolitan areas, where the fast-paced lifestyle often demands a quick and effective solution. With hair transplant becoming the new normal, individuals are embracing the opportunity to look and feel their best, transcending the limitations imposed by hair loss. Remember, investing in your hair is an investment in your overall happiness and quality of life.

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