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New Social Compact

Circularity and Social Impact of Education

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No foreign policy, no matter how ingenious, has any chance of success if it is born in the minds of few and carried in the hearts of none. 

The relations between nations are not solely based on a play of politics and economics. It certainly is the integration of culture and the structural elements that exist in the countries which brings best of the cords between the nations. 

To sum up, Diplomacy at its best must be well constructed to include critical thought process. It can not be oblivious of the economics of our society nor the political links that bind us as a world. High level discussions with inclusion of Global Governance, Cultural Homogenization must extend full respect to the unique cultural traditions of each nation. Only then can we bring the world pacing towards a healthy development and prove Thomas Friedman’s analysis of his groundbreaking book, The World Is Flat.

Globalization, primarily in the early 21st century has leveled our global playing field as it relates to commerce–as Friedman states. The playing field among industrial and emerging market countries is leveling. Whether a large corporation, a small company, or an individual solo entrepreneur, we are fast becoming participants of the larger global supply chain extending across borders and oceans.  Friedman also argues that in regards to jobs, the increased accessibility of technology plays a major role in equalizing the playing field. No longer is there a need to rely on hierarchical structures to access information. He regards the “convergence of 10 major political events, innovations and companies” that helped flatten the world. These include: Fall of the Berlin Wall, Internet, workflow software, uploading, outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, insourcing, informing and the wire connectivity of our digitized world.

The widely held notion that the pessimists are usually correct, while the optimists are usually wrong, can be argued–since all great changes in our world have been accomplished by the optimists. Thus, as global citizens we have no other choice but to stand as optimists. Positivity is the best way to sustainable success.

And as global citizens of a global community, we must all strive to establish and secure peace as the ruling principle that guides us in our lives and in our diplomatic world. This can be the guiding, collective survival not just for one country, but for our world. This is only possible if we join forces, globally, to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and hunger. 

Placing Circularity Of Education At The Heart of Modern Diplomacy

Education is the most powerful weapon for peace. Education is the third eye of a child.

Education flattens the playing field across socio-economic status. Focusing on the 3E formula of “Enable, Educate and Empower” the most disadvantaged can be empowered.  The indigenous communities can be empowered with knowledge while they preserve the unique cultural heritage and traditions of tribal communities.

The transformative powers of education are a personal part of my own journey from abject poverty to becoming a member of the parliament.  When poverty creates illiteracy, literacy can eradicate poverty. By providing free education to millions of disadvantaged children, our world can reap the benefits of the transformative powers of education. It can empower individuals to build–not destroy.

World Peace can be attainable if we empower peaceful and peace-loving individuals.  But one person can’t be the sea-change. They must empower, inspire and congregate like-minded individuals.  We need educationists who believe in the collective power of education for all and set a socio-cultural itinerary for holistic social reform and transformation.

Working in collaboration, change-makers can strengthen the global mission. Those who have achieved a platform for sharing thoughts, can gain a level of strength, power, and collectively give back to the society. Imagine if the art of giving can become the ethos of everyone’s life. In being obliged, not ungrateful, we can all work together as a global force to achieve world peace.

Globalization has connected all parts of the world, expanding the international cultural, economic, and political activities. As with everything else, globalization has advantages and disadvantages of economic, social, political, and cultural impacts. While in a country like India, with 65% rural population, globalization was impossible to decipher, the onset of Covid-19 pandemic has equalized and flattened awareness that a virus from “wet market” in Wuhan, China, can affect 202 countries. Reaching India’s borders, it affected nearly 900,000 in 90 days, killing over 44,000 victims–the speed of which proves our highly compact and globalized world.

The pandemic has also united policymakers and experts to work collaboratively. The pandemic’s destructive repercussions for corporations and businesses have proven the economic interdependence supported by cross-border supply chains. Many companies, dependent on China have seen the negative impact of the pandemic–from tourism, economy, education, and nearly all sectors of our global economy–both developed and developing countries.

The negative side of globalization is the global disparities that enable international terrorism and cross-border crime, allowing the rapid spread of the disease. On the positive side, the cross-border flow of people, goods, money and information creates new wealth and opportunity.  And throughout this, a certain level of economic stability has been made possible with technology–itself a by-product of globalization.

Empathetic leadership is also critical to transforming our world and world peace. Good leaders are harbingers of hope, can in still a sense of self-belief and think beyond limited goals pertaining to their own organization for the larger good. Good leaders can galvanize key stakeholders, envision a blueprint of change, analyze, foresee and take the best step for the greater good of humanity.

Amidst a pandemic this has brought to focus how every human being has the potential to become a leader, take charge and ease suffering. It has become very clear that our pandemic-stricken world needs leaders who can:

  • Deploy an analytical approach to solving problems 
  • Ensure fairness
  • Connect people and organizations, and value collaboration
  • Be resourceful but also humble.

Good leaders must be realists and guard against being overwhelmed by challenging circumstances. They must uphold compassion, empathy, righteousness, proactiveness and embrace diversity and commitment to the right to dignity. Diversity is essential–it broadens perspectives, ensuring the canvas is wide, large and all accommodating for a spectrum of views. Diversity ensures that decisions taken and implemented cater to all and leave no one behind–creating a flattened playing field.

Ideal leaders can inspire active citizenship by all members of their societies, which can widely spread to a global level. We must all take responsibility to fulfill our roles to our society, our communities and countries–and ultimately to our world. This activism doesn’t require wealth and power­–it simply means that citizens can, in a balanced way, fulfill both their rights guaranteed under their constitution and take on the responsibilities to become model citizens.

When each of us takes the responsibility to become actively involved as a good citizen, we can feel empowered to achieve for the greater good of our community and our society. Once empowered with this sense of responsibility, we can galvanize and inspire others to join us on this journey which can start from our classrooms, our schools, our village, our town, our state and can grow to reach greater heights.

Dr. Achyuta Samanta is a Lok Sabha member of Parliament from Kandhamal, and Founder of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), and Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar, capital of India’s eastern state of Odisha. His mission is to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, and early girl marriages through education and by elevating India’s overlooked, poverty-stricken indigenous population. Since August 2017, KISS has been designated as the First University in the World exclusively for the tribal populations and provides U.G, P.G, M. Phil and PhD Programs. Furthermore, KISS takes education and learning to new heights focusing on teaching and research in unique and emerging areas of studies including: Tribal Culture, Philosophy and Eco-spiritualism, Tribal Heritage and Indology, Comparative Tribal Linguistics and Literature, Indigenous Knowledge, Science and Technology, Comparative Studies and Tribal Sciences, Tribal Resource Management, Tribal Legal Studies and Tribal Rights, not being pursued by any other Institution in the World.

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New Social Compact

The Death News of Sidharth Shukla: In the remembrance of Sidnaaz

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For most individuals, the death news of Sidharth Shukla seems implausible. Sidharth Shukla, popular actor, and 13 winner Bigg Boss died on Thursday 2 September suffering a severe cardiac arrest at Cooper Hospital in Mumbai.  Actor Sidharth constantly challenged the odds in his profession. For many in the TV and movie sector, it is a last-ditch and sometimes fruitless effort to stop a slide into irrelevance in the popular reality program Bigg Boss. But Shukla was the household name that became a feather reality TV sensation for himself who won the 13th show edition in 2019. For the first time, Shukla entered the television limelight, working on BalikaVadhu (2012), in which he tried the part of District Collector Shivraj Shekhar. Shukla portrayed the character throughout the space of three years and won several accolades. A few whiles later, in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), he was reputed to a costar, once again receiving acclaim. Born and reared up in Mumbai, Shukla began as a model by taking a position as a leader in the Manhunt and Mega model Gladrags contests and then starred in Bajaj and ICICI Banking television commercial campaigns. Shortly thereafter, he premiered on Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na, followed by a range of dramatic TV shows such as CID and Aahat, which include criminal dramas. In 2016 Khatron Ke Khiladi won Fear Factor as well. Shukla has also been a popular television host with such series as Savdhaan India and the Got Talent 6 of India. His death caused a shock to the television and film industries.

Police authorities in Mumbai claimed that at around 9 a.m. before death, Shukla complained about cardiac pressure in his home in Oshivara, Mumbai.  At that time, his sister, his mother, and brother-in-law were in the house. A physician who came to the house found that he was pulseless. “The family went to Dr. RN Cooper hospital and requested an ambulance. They reached about 9.45 am and before admission he had been proclaimed dead.” The Forensic department leader, Dr. R Sukhdev, verified that on Thursday morning, Shukla was brought dead. The afternoon postmortem exam was performed. No external damage on his body was detected before the autopsy by physicians and police. The Dean of Dr. RN Cooper Hospital, Dr. Sailesh Mohite, refused to comment on the autopsy findings.

Many Celebertities Condolences

“Siddharth, gone too soon. You’ll be missed…” said Actor Salman Khan, who gave him the trophy of Bigg Boss. Kapil Sharma TV comedy host tweeted, “Oh god, it is truly shocking, my condolences to the family, and prayers for the the departed soul” Several TV and film fraternity members, like Rajkummar Rao, came to Mumbai to pay their final honors in Shukla Residence. On Friday his last rites will be conducted.

Shehnaaz Gill on Sidharth Shukla death

Sources close to the actor and individuals who went to his house and told Sidharth Shukla’s family that Shehnaaz is in a condition of shock and cannot cope with his loss today. Source further stated Shehnaaz was deeply impacted by the untimely death of the Balika Vadhu actor. Shehnaaz was very near to Sidharth, and she frequently publicly demonstrated her affection for him. Her compassion and caring for him never shied away. She said she was even in love with him openly. Fans liked their duo much after BB 13, and invented their moniker with affection, Sidnaaz. In two recent programs, Back-to-Back Bigg Boss OTT and Dances Deewane 3, the reported couple had featured.

Sidharth Shukla breathed his last in Shehnaaz Gill’s arms

Sidharth was still complaining of discomfort, and Shehnaaz and his mother begged him to relax. Sidharth was unable to sleep, on the other hand; thus Shehnaaz was requested to remain with him and pat on his back. Sidharth lay on the lap of Shehnhaaz at 1:00 a.m., and the latter walked away gently. She slept, too, and when she woke up at 7am, she found Sidharth sleeping in the same position without moving, and he didn’t stir when she tried to wake him up. From the 12th story to the fifth level, where his family resided, Shehnaaz was terrified and hurried. She notified Sidharth’s sister and phoned their doctor of the family, who told Sidharth that he hadn’t been there anymore.

Ye ‘Dil’ hai Muskil

Why are young people suffering from heart attacks? The death of Siddharth Shukla, 40 years old, has stunned everyone. Initial stories indicating that a heart attack is the reason for Thursday’s death were killed, along with the big boss winner Season-13. In recent times, heart disease has been a worry for health professionals among young Indian people. The question is why in very young age groups in India there has been an increase in cardiac attack.

Concluding Remarks

The greatest way I can escape the trap of thinking that you have anything to lose is to remember that you will die. No excuse to not follow your heart. Nobody wants to die. Nobody wants to die. Such people don’t even want to die to go to paradise to get there. And yet death is our common destination. Nobody has ever avoided it and this is why death is perhaps the finest invention of existence. Life is the agent of transformation. The old one is clearing way for the new one.

Death is, however tragic, probably God’s most beautiful creation. Death is merely another trip; birth and life will never take place without death. It’s unavoidable to lose somebody. Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, illustrates this wonders: Death is transitory and the meaning of life and death. Death is temporary. Death is a normal part of life, we have to realize. Death gives life its full significance. Let life be like summer flowers, let life be lovely and death be like fall leaves. But would it not be much easier to face our own mortality, rather than being unhappy, knowing that our life has been fully and without regret? Even if we don’t want to go to die, it’s just as unavoidable for the sun at night. In conclusion, when your time comes, you don’t have to die happy but you need to die satisfied, since from start to finish you have lived your life.

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New Social Compact

4.1 billion lack social safety net

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More than four billion people live without any welfare protection today to cushion them from crisis, the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday, while highlighting how the COVID-19 crisis has pushed up government spending by some 30 per cent.

Leading the call for countries to extend social safety nets far more widely than they do now, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder insisted that such a move would help future-proof workers and businesses in the face of new challenges.

“This is a pivotal moment to harness the pandemic response to build a new generation of rights-based social protection systems,” said Mr. Ryder.

“These can cushion people from future crises and give workers and businesses the security to tackle the multiple transitions ahead with confidence and with hope. We must recognize that effective and comprehensive social protection is not just essential for social justice and decent work but for creating a sustainable and resilient future too.”

In a new report the UN body acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis had led to greater social protections worldwide, albeit mainly in wealthy countries.

It noted that only 47 per cent of the global population are covered by at least one social protection benefit, while only one in four children has access to national welfare safety nets.

Newborns’ needs unmet

Further research indicated that only 45 per cent of women with newborns worldwide receive a cash benefit, while only one in three people with severe disabilities receive a disability benefit.

Coverage of unemployment benefits is even lower, ILO said, with only 18.6 per cent of jobless workers effectively covered globally.

On retirement welfare, the UN body found that although nearly eight in 10 people receive some form of pension, major disparities remain across regions, between rural and urban areas and women and men.

Regional imbalances

The ILO report underscores the significant regional inequalities in social protection.

Europe and Central Asia have the highest rates of coverage, with 84 per cent of people having access to at least one benefit.

Countries in the Americas are also above the global average (64.3 per cent), in stark contrast to welfare roll-out in Asia and the Pacific (44 per cent), the Arab States (40 per cent) and Africa (17.4 per cent).

Highlighting differences in government spending on social protection, ILO said that high-income countries spend 16.4 per cent of national turnover (above the 13 per cent global average, excluding health), while low-income countries budget just 1.1 per cent.

Billions more needed

The UN body noted that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have had to increase spending massively to ensure minimum social protection for all, by around 30 per cent.

And it maintained that to guarantee basic social protection coverage, low-income countries would need to invest an additional $77.9 billion per year, lower-middle-income countries an additional $362.9 billion and upper-middle-income countries a further $750.8 billion annually. That’s equivalent to 15.9 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent of their GDP, respectively.

“There is an enormous push for countries to move to fiscal consolidation, after the massive public expenditure of their crisis response measures, but it would be seriously damaging to cut back on social protection; investment is required here and now,” said Shahra Razavi, Director, ILO Social Protection Department.

Underscoring the multiple benefits of social welfare protection, Ms. Razavi insisted that it could promoted “better health and education, greater equality, more sustainable economic systems, better managed migration and the observance of core rights…The benefits of success will reach beyond national borders to benefit us all”.

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New Social Compact

Hell for Women?

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35-years-old woman and her daughter were raped by rickshaw driver and his accomplice in Lahore; On independence day of Pakistan, a TikToker was sexually harassed in Lahore; woman on rickshaw was harassed publically in Lahore and people were cheering; Noor Mukadam, daughter of a Diplomat, was brutally bumped off in Islamabad; a female school teacher was raped by owner of the school; a minor girl was raped by principal of seminary; a woman was gang raped by robbers in front of her family in Sheikhupura; a man with his three friends gang raped his fiancée and snatched jewelry; 16-years-old girl was raped by her stepfather in Lahore; mother of four children was raped in Bhagatpura; a 10-years-old was raped in Manwan; 17-years-old girl was raped after being promised a job; a minor girl was raped and sent to cemetery in Korangi; a woman was abducted and gang raped; an elderly woman was tortured, dragged and attempted to rape. Few cases have been quoted here. Sorrowfully, numerous other cases are remaining to be mentioned here. Unfortunately, a tiny figure of cases have been reported, still beaucoup cases are unreported.

Given obnoxious incidents give women sense of insecurity and uncertainty. Wretchedly, women in our society are deemed as prey and an open invitation by mad dogs (rapists) which they cannot evade and leave no stone unturned to assault them. The exponential rise in gender-based violence has proselytized our society into a hell for women, where they are considered as inferior segment of the society. This abysmal picture of our society adversely impacts our international image.

 The study conducted by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, despite improving in women’s perception of community safety, still ranks Pakistan fourth among the worst countries for women to live in.

In accordance with the official data- collected from law enforcement agencies and human rights commission of Pakistan- at least 11 rape cases are reported regularly in Pakistan. More, the last six years data unearthed an icky tally of 22,000 cases registered to police in Pakistan. Dolefully, the conviction rate stood at 0.3% of total figure. 

Research conducted by Geo News revealed that only 41 per cent of cases have been reported to the Police. A police official estimated the actual number could be as high as 60,000 in last five years.

Furthermore, the Cyber Wing of the FIA in Lahore told that they have received 6,168 sexual harassment complaints out of total 14,108 in less than eight months. It further explained that mostly the complaints were lodged by University and College students relating to blackmailing by peers through the use of doctored videos and photographs.

Regarding violence against women, Punjab made up to 73 per cent of total cases, Ministry of Human Rights Toll-free helpline data showed. Besides, recent data by Punjab police divulged 1,890 rape cases and 88 gang-rape cases have been registered just in first six months of this year.

The reasons behind alarming rise in rape cases, which are mostly opined and observed personally, are rivalries, perpetrators remain scot-free, and incompetency of police.

In rivalries, various women have been raped because perpetrators think that it is better mean to smirch antagonist and avenge. As of the June of this year, when a boy tied love knot with daughter of an influential person, in avenge his mother 50-years-old was kidnapped, tortured, dragged, burned half-naked body with cigarette butts and attempted to rape by that influential people in Mazaffargarh. Exclusively, in village sides, women are raped in compensation, if victim’s father, brother or guardian has raped any girl.

Besides, since 2015, more than 22,000 cases of harassment have been registered to police, more than 4000 cases are still pending in the courts and only 18 per cent cases have managed to reach prosecution. Backlog of cases, takes too much time to provide justice to women and deter others to execute same. Thereby, executors remain unpunished and rape another woman with impunity. In some cases, rapists are granted pre-arrest bails. Afterwards, they threaten victim and her family to withdraw case; which fingers out the competency and justice of honorable courts and provides free space to those rapists to continue harassing women.

Apart from this, various cases are not reported due to family or social pressure, because they have to undergo another victimization. Karachi-based organization, War Against Rape (WAR), exposed that women who report the crime are coerced to visit male-dominated police stations and asked unnecessary questions that is why people remain silent and do not register complaints to shun answering gratuitous questions, which creates obstacle in the way of justice by sparing space to rapists.

Apart, victim blaming also desists victim to register complaint. Victim’s character is questioned, she is blamed for the rape and some misogynists and advocates of patriarchal society put allegations on victim giving illogical reasons. In consequence, victim find it easy to be silent rather than being pilloried countrywide and does not register her complaint, which indirectly paves the way for rapists to feel free from being brought to book and harass women whenever and wherever they want.

To counter this evil, Punjab Police has launched a safety App that will enable women to contact police through a message and it will enable Police to trace location of complainants through smart phones. Senior Police official assured that App will be launched in all districts of Punjab soon and a special squad will be formed soon in this regard. This initiative is praiseworthy and can be fruitful, if cooperated. All women should download this App so that in any emergency they can contact Police easily.

Additionally, separate courts for rape cases should be operational as soon as possible in order to evade years of pending cases. More medico-legal officers should be appointed to speed up medical process. Police should enforce all anti-harassment, anti-rape and anti-crimes against women laws and all women should be acquainted to these laws so that they can report crimes easily and immediately.

To sum up, society will remain hell for women, until our society is patriarchal and culprits remain scot-free. No society can be stable and prosperous, if women of that society are not secure and honored by every individual. If mentioned laws are implemented effectively, women of our society can live respectfully and society can be a heaven for them.

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