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Two passenger trains collide on track in Czech Republic

Fourteen people, including three children, were injured when two passenger trains collided near the town of Cesky Krumlov in the southern Czech Republic, Radio Prague reported Thursday. Emergency helicopters reportedly attended the scene. Around 50 passengers were on board the trains, and most of them were tourists, according to police. The cause of the collision was not immediately clear. The 80km (50 mile) stretch of line between Ceske Budejovice and Cerny Kriz was expected to remain closed into the mid-afternoon, officials said.

Migrant care in Europe

Many of the migrants and refugees hoping to reach Europe are seeking refuge from violence and deepening economic insecurity in their home countries, in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Europe Migrants
While overall numbers reaching Europe were down in 2017 compared to 2016, the flow of desperate migrants to Spain climbed, and the number reaching Greece surged in the latter months of last year.
“Asylum-seekers arriving by sea to Greece faced extended stays in overcrowded and dire conditions on Greek islands,” the report said.
As Hungary tightened its borders, for example, more migrants are crossing from Serbia to Romania while others move from Greece through Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia. Women, especially those travelling on their own, and unaccompanied children remain particularly exposed to risks of sexual and gender-based violence along the routes as well as in some locations within Europe, the report said. EU has launched infringement proceedings against Hungary over its draconian asylum laws, while giving Belgrade far more money to boost border security than to improve conditions in its camps. Serbia insists it is doing its best with limited resources to handle thousands of people who do not want to be here.
German to  migrants are to be provided -Anchor refugee centres
Dutch government has accused Italy and Greece of allowing two-thirds of migrants arriving on their shores to slip into the Europe by failing to register them properly as the EU rift over the migrant crisis deepens.
Mark Harbers, the country’s migration minister, made his remarks as he sought to underline serious shortcomings which he said were undermining the EU’s border-free Schengen travel zone.  Mr Harbers said: “95 percent of irregular migrants and asylum seekers arrive from other Schengen states. 
“This means about two thirds still manage to enter and travel through other member states undetected and unregistered, despite all measures taken to improve registration.”
Because other countries had failed to register migrants making claims for refugee status, EU asylum rules meant the Netherlands was therefore not permitted to return them to the country through which they first arrived in the continent.
Mr Harbers said: “The Netherlands ends up granting protection to large numbers of asylum seekers who consciously refuse to apply for protection in the member state of first arrival.
“Giving asylum seekers this de facto choice of which member state they want to settle in is in itself a pull factor.”

“Only one-third have been registered previously.
Germany’s interior minister has vowed to speed up the deporting of failed asylum seekers after a group of migrants violently forced the police to release a young African man about to be deported. Berlin faces mounting public pressure to toughen its approach towards deportation, especially of young criminals and refugees accused of harbouring extremist views. Angela Merkel is planning to set up so-called anchor refugee centres that will house new arrivals
Regional police statistics show that 56.9 per cent of crime in the German town Sigmaringen was committed by asylum seekers last year. The figures reflect ‘real crimes’ as offences of breaking migration laws were excluded, newspaper Schwäbische reports.
Crime, especially drug-related crimes (+69.6%) and shoplifting (+44.8%), has risen sharply due to migrant criminality. But other more serious crimes increased significantly, as well, such as street crimes (+33.5%), assault (+39.5%) and sexual offences (+14.7%).
Therefore the region’s Ministry of the Interior has now developed a security plan for Sigmaringen, a special group of investigators. The group recently arrested 21 multiple offenders among the asylum seekers.
The massive public consumption of alcohol by some asylum seekers, especially at the station, angers the local residents. As a result, Mayor Schärer has called for compulsory prevention courses for asylum seekers who have repeatedly been apprehended for alcohol abuse.
Swedish government allocates 3.7 million Swedish Crowns (347,000 euros) to the country’s Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU). The budget will be spent among other things, on the production of films in different languages and themes.
Minister Strandhäll says it is “extremely urgent” to inform new arrivals about the sexual and reproductive rights that are relevant in Sweden. According to her, new arrivals ‘have a completely different view of sex’ than Swedes.
“We can find that some of the women in this group of new arrivals come from communities where there are completely different norms, laws and regulations,” Annika Strandhäll told SVT Nyheter.
While Sweden’s government tries to cover it up, the country faces a serious rape crisis since importing hundreds of thousands of Third World migrants.
Statistics from last year revealed that migrants from Muslim-majority countries commit 84 per cent of ‘very violent’ rapes. At the start of this year research showed that rape reports have increased by 400% in Sweden’s capital since 1996.
Another child rape in Sweden, another ridiculous sentence. 12 year old girl was raped in the city of Stenungsund. The police didn’t have any resources to arrest the suspect for a long time, it took many months. Now finally he is convicted – He got 6 months prison.

Orban vows tougher laws on migration, names new deputy PMs

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday that his new government would soon bring forward tighter immigration rules. “We are building a Christian democracy,”Orban told public radio. “We will defend Christian culture and will not surrender the country to aliens,” Orban said. He named Interior Minister Sandor Pinter and Economy Minister Mihaly Varga as deputy prime ministers, and gave notice he would take a tough stance against the EU over the bloc’s next budget, Reuters reports. Orban was re-elected in an April landslide that gave his ruling Fidesz party a two-thirds parliamentary majority, enabling it to rewrite major laws.
European migrant crisis,or the European refugee crisis,is a term given to a period beginning in 2015 when rising numbers of people arrived in the European Union (EU), travelling across the Mediterranean Sea or overland through Southeast Europe. These people included asylum seekers, but also others, such as economic migrants and some hostile agents, including Islamic State militants disguised as refugees or migrants.
Most of the migrants came from Muslim-majority countries of regions south and east of Europe, including Western Asia, South Asia and Africa.By religious affiliation, the majority of entrants were Muslim (usually Sunni Muslim), with a small component of non-Muslim minorities (including Yazidis, Assyrians, Mandeans, etc.). According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the top three nationalities of entrants of the over one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals between January 2015 and March 2016 were Syrian (46.7%), Afghan (20.9%) and Iraqi (9.4%). Inputs Wikipedia.

National Museum to host mammoth exhibition  on Indian Civilization

FRI, 4 MAY. National Museum to host mammoth exhibition
on Indian Civilization. Having all the trappings of an iconic showstopper, an ambitious and mammoth international exhibition is all set to be mounted at National Museum, which chronologically encapsulates the evolution of Indian civilization since antiquity and its interconnections with the outside world through a raft of exquisite artifact from India and abroad. 
The exhibition, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories, is an extensively collaborative effort of the British Museum, London; National Museum, New Delhi; and ChhatrapatiShivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai and is actively supported by the Culture Ministry.
Planned as part of commemoration of 70 years of India’s independence and a year of major cultural exchange between India and the UK (UK/India 2017), the nearly two-month-long watershed show at National Museum, which gets underway on May 5, is traveling to the national capital from Mumbai where it drew an enthusiastic response from critics and public alike at CSMVS.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), will inaugurate the exhibition at 5.00 pm on Saturday, May 5.

Gov enters agreement with World Bank

The government has entered into a legal agreement with the World Bank for a flexible financing arrangement to accelerate research towards early development for biopharmaceuticals.
A Statement issued by the government said the mission has been approved at a cost of 250 million dollars for five years with 50 per cent funding through the World Bank Loan,
The aim is to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products.
The statement also said the agreement was executed yesterday between the project implementing agency, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a PSU of Department of Biotechnology, Department of Economic Affairs Ministry of Finance and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on behalf of World Bank.

US warns Beijing

United States has warned China that there will be consequences for its growing militarisation of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter-claims.
The warning comes after Beijing deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the disputed waters.
Talking to reporters, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, the Trump administration has raised the issue with the Chinese leadership.
The Pentagon has also expressed concern over the Chinese military buildup in the disputed region.
China yesterday defended the missile deployment, saying it has indisputable sovereignty over the area.
China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea.  It claims almost all of South China Sea.

Twitter urge to change password

Naresh Kumar Sagar

@Nksagar

Sagar Media Inc. Online Media,Theo, MSME- Mentor, Enterpreuner, Fiscal & Hydro Adv, Org, Branding, Social transform,Media, Motivator.Intutive mind.
Social networking Twitter has urged its more than 330 million users to change their passwords, which were unintentionally unmasked internally by a software bug.
The social media site said it found no sign that hackers accessed the exposed data, however, users are advised to change their passwords, to be safe.
The blog did not say how many passwords were affected. But a person familiar with the company’s response said the number was “substantial” and that they were exposed for “several months.”
Twitter discovered the bug a few weeks ago.

Air Asia talks HNA over asset purchases

Asia.nikkei.MAYUKO TANI, Reports :AirAsia discussed possible acquisitions from debt-laden Chinese hospitality conglomerate HNA Group, the founder and CEO of one of the region’s largest budget airlines said Tuesday.
Tony Fernandes said he met HNA co-founder and Chairman Wang Jian and spoke with him about a wide range of possible cooperation, adding that he “for sure” will consider acquiring businesses from HNA.
“We had a discussion,” Fernandes told the Nikkei Asian Review on the sidelines of the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference. “They own a lot of airlines … lots of infrastructure and catering. They are a big boy in the aviation industry. If we can work together, learn from them, why not?”
Asked if he is interested in buying Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express, which are owned by HNA, Fernandes said, “We are always interested in whatever opportunities go our way.” But he said the discussions he has had so far with Wang have not been about airlines in Hong Kong specifically.
HNA, which also owns Hainan Airlines, was an aggressive buyer of overseas property, hotels and businesses. Chinese regulators and creditors are now pressuring HNA, which is hurriedly offloading assets to ease its debt load. The Hong Kong-based airlines are on a list of assets the company could sell.
The cash-strapped company is also considering listing wholly owned unit Swissport International, the world’s largest airport services operator.
On another front, Fernandes said AirAsia Japan is his airline group’s “big priority,” adding that AirAsia Japan’s growth is hindered by country’s the conservative regulators and slow route approval process.”Our expansion could be much bigger and quicker, but we are held back. Nowhere in the world do the [regulatory approvals] take so long,” Fernandes said, describing the process as “old fashioned.”

TASVEER by Derry Moore

       (Rahul Bali, Senior Correspondent, Sagar Media Inc, Delhi)
An exhibition at Bikaner House in New Delhi displaying very rare portraits of Indian buildings photographed by Derry Moore, the 12th Earl of Drogheda who made his name photographing the interiors and portraits of European aristocracy, including those of Queen Elizabeth II and the late Queen mother was organized. This exhibition features a selection of colonialism on the fabric of Indian society, customs and life. Derry Moore photographed the architectural work of British and European in the “shadow of the Raj”. These fascinating, eye-catching, highly captivating photographs are the rare masterpiece of art.
Moore was particularly taken with the anachronistic architecture of Calcutta and Bombay which presented palpable, material traces of hybridity that fascinated him. Lovers, connoisseurs from the elite class having a knowledge, passion, and taste for the work of art participated in the exhibition. Mr. Naresh Sagar, MD, Sagar Media Inc and Rahul Bali, Bureau Chief of the Asian Independent UK interacted with Khushboo Talwar, the Tasveer Gallery during the exhibition.
Tasveer began as the first pan-Indian gallery dedicated exclusively to photography, founded by Abhishek Poddar, Shalini Gupta, and Naveen Kishore. The gallery is now the premiere photography venue in India, having a head office in Bengaluru. Tasveer parallels its exhibition programme with other special events, lecture, outreach activities and publications.

Severe Dust storm across North India expected today

Dust storm Alert. Severe Dust storm across North India expected today also. The weather system still prevailing over Western India near Rajasthan. Heavy moisture surge also prevailing in the Eastern coast near Odisha. Heavy rain accompanied by dust storm expected. Stay safe.
Met,  Meteorological Department has issued warning of another dust storm in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the next 36 hours.
The MeT office said Satellite images have shown wind pressure developing in two states.
It said thunderstorms, gusty winds and heavy rain in several districts of eastern, western and Terai regions of UP may occur. In Rajasthan also high-intensity winds and dust storm may occur in eastern and western parts.
Weather office has forecast that thunderstorm accompanied with squall is also likely at isolated places over Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha.
Hilly states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand as well Delhi are expected to witness thunderstorm in the coming two to three days.
Talking to AIR, Director General, Indian Meteorological Department, K J Ramesh said Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala and South Karnataka are also likely to witness thunderstorm today and in coming days.
The fresh warning comes even as the two north Indian states are still recovering from the impact of Wednesday’s severe dust storm, which took lives of over 100 people and left a trail of destruction.
The UP government has asked the officials for taking precautions as per alert issued by the Met department. AIR correspondent reports that 74 people from in 22 districts have died and 83 injured in the Wednesday’s storm.
Maximum damage was done in Agra where 45 people were killed and 51 injured. Standing crops in thousands hectares of land have also been destroyed.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the Ministers to visit the affected districts to monitor the relief and rescue operations and provide financial and medical relief to the affected families.
Four Lakh rupees have been provided to families of each deceased and two Lakh to injured who have received serious injuries and 60 thousand rupees who sustained fifty percent injuries.
The government has also asked the officials of the affected district to submit the reports of losses by this evening. The Government has also written to the Centre seeking the monitory help of above 153 crore rupees from National Disaster Relief Fund.
In Rajasthan, the death toll has risen to 39 in the Wednesday’s storm-related incidents. More than 200 have been injured.
In Telangana, at least six persons were killed as heavy rain accompanied by thunderstorm and strong winds lashed several parts across the state.
The untimely rains which struck several parts of the state last evening, also caused traffic snarls, uprooting of trees and electricity supply failures in Hyderabad and other parts of the state.
The authorities have set up two special control rooms in Hyderabad and Warangal to receive complaints relating to electricity supply following yesterday’s rain havoc.

Taipei to create bio tech cluster

Taipei City Government has announced that they have launched a biotechnology industry cluster as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project in the City’s Nangang District. As per the estimation done by the Taipei Department of Economic Development, the biotech industry will create about 3100 jobs and will give an annual output of USD 1.69 billion.
The project is part of the central governments “five plus two” innovative industries plan and the city’s East District Gateway Project. The city government held 11 forums to consult experts on the project before deciding the industrial layout and strategy. The project would complement missing function in the nearby Academia Sinica and National Biotechnology Research Park.
The East District Gateway Project includes plans to make nearby Nangang stationinto an important transportation hub, providing access to science parks in Hsinchu County’s Jhubei City and a link to Neihu Science Park and Nangang Software Park.
Inputs biospectrum.asia

SKoreans Plan investment 35 bn $ medical AI

 South Korean government plans to invest 35.7 billion won ($33.4 million) over the next three years to build a homegrown medical artificial intelligence (AI) system that analyzes patients’ medical data to offer personalized diagnostics and treatment plans.
The Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology recently held a ceremony in Seoul to formally mark the beginning of efforts to develop the Korean medical AI system dubbed “Dr. Answer,” which uses medical big data to guide doctors in their diagnosis and treatment planning, similar to IBM’s Watson.

Dr. Answer will be developed to specifically target eight maladies: breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, cerebrovascular disease, heart disease, epilepsy, dementia and pediatric rare refractory genetic disease.
The ministry plans to carry out this medical artificial intelligence project over the course of three years, with aims to conclude it by 2020. This year, it plans to inject 5 billion won into the project.
The state-run medical AI project will be led by Seoul’s Asan Medical Center and is to involve 25 local hospitals and medical institutions as well as 19 artificial intelligence tech software developers, including Vuno, JLK Inspection and Kakao Brain.
biospectrum.asia inputs

Lockheed ask Japan to design fighter Jet

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin has approached Japan with plans for a next-generation fighter jet based on its elite F-22 stealth fighter, demonstrating both Washington’s trust in Tokyo as a defense partner and its eagerness to balance the scales on trade with expensive equipment.
The advanced aircraft would enter service around 2030, when Japan is set to start retiring its fleet of F-2 fighters. It would combine elements of the F-22 and Lockheed’s smart F-35 stealth fighter. Developing a new fighter typically takes more than 10 years.
The Japanese government has pegged the total cost of its next-generation fighter project at around 6 trillion yen ($55 billion). This includes 1.5 trillion yen for development and another 1.5 trillion yen for acquiring around 100 of the jets, in addition to costs such as maintenance and decommissioning.
Tokyo to decide as early as this year whether to accept Lockheed’s offer so that the government can draw up a medium-term defense plan that would begin in fiscal 2019.
The inclusion of F-22 technology in the new jet is of particular significance to Japan. When Tokyo sought to purchase a fleet of F-22s a decade ago, U.S. lawmakers barred the Japanese government from doing so due to concerns about sending information on sensitive military technology abroad. The fighters are no longer in production.
Trade, more than military strategy, seems to have spurred Washington’s change of heart. President Donald Trump looks to score political points by lowering America’s roughly $70 billion trade deficit with Japan, and sees expensive military equipment as a prime tool for doing so.

Part of that reasoning is economic: Fighters cost much more on a unit-by-unit basis than do cars or farm products. Another is political. The U.S. defense sector was shaken by attempts under former President Barack Obama to curb defense spending growth. By bringing contractors new business, Trump aims to fill out his record ahead of what promises to be a tough round of midterm elections in the U.S. Congress in November.
  • Japan, however, faces a difficult decision over whether to accept Lockheed’s offer. The country has long sought to produce its next-generation fighter aircraft on its own soil. At the same time, the Northeast Asian security environment is in constant flux as China expands its military might and North Korea refuses to commit to abandoning its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. It would be difficult for Japan to turn down an offer of arms from the U.S., its strongest ally.
Lockheed will draw up the details of its development plan for the F-22/F-35 hybrid aircraft as soon as this summer.
“We look forward to exploring options for Japan’s F-2 replacement fighter in cooperation with both the Japanese and U.S. governments,” said Lockheed. “Our leadership and experience with fifth-generation aircraft [such as the F-22 and F-35] can be leveraged to provide innovative, cost-effective capabilities to meet Japan’s future security needs.”
Japan hopes to hand much of the work involved to domestic companies. One potential route would be to have companies such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries take the lead on development while cooperating with American businesses. Another plan would involve joint development by Japanese and British contractors.
Drawing technology from the F-22 would give the new plane top-of-the-line stealth capabilities as well as the ability to travel at supersonic speeds. Although stealthiness and excellent flight performance are generally seen as incompatible, the F-22 puts them into a single package, earning the jet its reputation as the world’s most lethal fighter. The F-35, meanwhile, has unparalleled network and software capabilities that allow it to communicate with other aircraft and facilities on the ground and share radar data.
Nikkei Asia inputs

The Inside Story of Rohingya

CPR is pleased to invite you to a discussion on
The Inside Story of the Rohingya Crisis: The Road Ahead for Myanmar’s Democracy
A conversation between Khin Zaw Win and Nimmi Kurian
Thursday, 10 May 2018, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Image Source
About the talk:
The Rohingya issue has been reduced to a single-issue debate fixated on the security dimension largely concerned with issues of illegal migration, religious radicalisation and terrorism. Despite being intensely debated, the underlying causes and the potential consequences of the crisis are dimly understood.
Join us as we unpack and interrogate the multiple and contradictory narratives of the Rohingya issue in the wake of the UN Security Council delegation’s visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh earlier this week. These will be debated in a conversation between Khin Zaw Win and Nimmi Kurian that will delve deeper into the historical narrative, the complexities of the issue, the challenges it poses, and the possible solutions going forward.
About the speakers:
Khin Zaw Win has decades-long experience as one of the most respected and independent political commentators from Myanmar. He has had a ringside view of Myanmar’s transitions from authoritarianism to democracy including the contested debate on devolution of power and recognition of ethnic aspirations. He is currently the Director of the Yangon-basedTampadipa Institute and works on policy advocacy and capacity building issues. He has previously served in the government health services of Myanmar, and Sabah, Malaysia. He is a former Fellow of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, New York, a UK FCO Chevening Fellow,University of Birmingham and holds a degree in Public Policy programme from the National University of Singapore. He is currently closely involved in addressing the ongoing Rohingya crisis.
Nimmi Kurian is an Associate Professor at Centre for Policy Research and Academic Advisor at the India China Institute, The New School, New York. Her research interests include Asian borderlands, comparative regionalism, transborder mobilities and Indian foreign policy. She is one of the contributors to the India Country Report as part of the Bangladesh China India Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM EC) Joint Study Group, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Her recent publications include: India and China: Rethinking Borders and Security (co-author) University of Michigan Press, 2016;  ‘Why the ‘Good’ Refugee is a Bad Idea’, Open Democracy, 30 April 2018; ‘An Uneven Flow? Navigating Downstream Concerns Over China’s Water Policy’ in K. J. Joy et al, Water Conflicts in Northeast India, Routledge, 2017. ‘How Suu Kyi can Change the Rohingya Narrative’, Diplomatist, November 2017; ‘Footnotes of a Forgotten Text: Turning the Page on Myanmar’s Federal Debate’, CPR Policy Brief, June 2018, forthcoming; ‘Addressing the Drought of Ideas on the Brahmaputra’, China-India Brief, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, October 2017.

Need of Children’s


PARLIAMENTARIANS FROM ACROSS SOUTH ASIA DISCUSS THE NEED FOR STRONGER INVESTMENT IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

BANGLADESH/ INDIA, 3 May 2018 – UNICEF is hosting parliamentarians from the entire South Asia region in an effort to increase investment in children and young adults, bringing about much needed change for millions of poor and improving the prospects for healthy economic growth in the region.

The South Asia Parliamentarian Platform for Children being held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 2–3 May 2018 aims to strengthen opportunities for children in the first two decades of their lives. Lawmakers from all eight countries in South Asia will meet to prioritize, promote, and safeguard children’s rights and discuss the prospects for further investment in Early Childhood and adolescent years. Over thirty parliamentarians from eight countries – Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives and India – are participating in the conference.

While South Asia is home to one fourth of the world’s population, its share of global income is just 4 per cent. This fact underlines one of the biggest challenges for South Asia’s progress on the social and economic front: namely the lack of investment in its largest asset, its Human Capital – and especially the young within the society,” said Ms Jean Gough, Regional Director of UNICEF
South Asia.

Ms Heena Gavit, Member of Parliament, BJP, Lok Sabha from Nandurbar, Maharashtra, Mr Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, Member of Parliament, TRS, Lok Sabha from Chevella, Telangana and Professor Azmeera Seetaram Naik, TRS, Mahbubabad, Telangana, represented India at this meet. The three Members of Parliament interacted with the Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament, Ms Shirin Sharmin Choudhury, and parliamentarians from seven other countries.

Speaking on the need for greater investments for children and adolescents, Ms Heena Gavit said, “The children and youth represent not just India’s future but are an integral part of securing India’s present. As the quality of human capital is one of the key determinants of economic growth, it is important for any Government to focus on enhancing child budgeting with an aim to improve healthcare and nutrition for young children and adolescents.

The budget outlays for nutrition in India increased to INR 3,45,238 crore in 2018-2019 BE from INR 3,09,272 crore in 2017-18 RE.[1] The outlay is 1.8 per cent of GDP. An increase in the allocation of National Nutrition Mission and Integrated Child Development Services will address the malnutrition problem of 36 per cent underweight and 38 per cent stunted children in India,” Ms Heena added.

Commenting on  the importance of budgeting for children for improved water and sanitation, Mr Konda Vishweshwar Reddy said, “Children are a vulnerable group that unfortunately do not have a right to vote. Politicians need to re-align their political interest with the goals of children, to reap the dividend from these young citizens 0-18 years of age. They  represent nearly 40 per cent of India’s population. Clean water, toilets and hygiene is essential to ensure children survive and thrive, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4.”

Professor Naik, emphasizing that the education of children deserves greater investment, said, “Quality education is the basic need for every child in the country. Education is an important component of India’s national budget. The Government of India has established special schools to increase enrollment of children from marginalized sections  such as Eklavya, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Jawahar Navodaya and Mini Gurukuls, To achieve sustainable progress in the sphere of child education, a holistic approach is crucial.”

This year’s meeting focused on the region’s commitment to increased investment in children. 300 million children in South Asia are so-called multi-dimensionally poor with too little to eat, a high risk of falling sick from preventable disease and a very slim chance of ever going to school.

Evidence shows that investment in young people pays strong dividends to society. One dollar invested in quality Early Childhood Development will give a return of between US$6 and 17. If low- and middle-income countries ensured preschool enrollment to half of the country’s children, the result could be cumulative lifetime earnings gains of US$15 – 34 billion. The urgent, timely and adequate investments in early childhood and adolescent years will lead to well-developed brains and a highly productive workforce.

UNICEF South Asia is honored to bring together law makers to discuss the increased need for investment for the most marginalized children.

“There are very good chances for bringing about radical and important change: in most countries
in the region, children and young people make up a large part of society and even smaller
investments now will give good results for children and South Asian societies”, said Ms Jean

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