The resentment towards the government was fuelled by the country’s economic malaise 0SHARES Share Tweet Email The writer is a researcher at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute The scale of recent protests in Iran due to the rise in the prices of everyday commodities was unprecedented. Some demonstrators even called for the resignation of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. President Hassan Rowhani’s immediate response to the protests was that the people have a right to protest. “We are a free nation … people are completely free to express their criticism and even their protest,” he said in a pragmatic tone. As per government estimates, the protesters numbered around 15,000, while journalists put the figure at 50,000. By the time the protests died down, up to 22 people were killed and a number of arrests were made. The resentment towards the government was fuelled by the country’s economic … [Read more...] about Economic woes behind Iran protests
Socio economic impact
Established at a cost of Rs1.2b, it has been unable to conduct studies or research helpful in policymaking 0SHARES Share Tweet Email The Centre of Excellence website carries three published reports, which are largely based on day-to-day issues. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) policy think tank, set up at a cost of Rs1.2 billion to fill policy gaps, is struggling to perform its core tasks even two years after its establishment due to misplaced priorities of the government. Due to absence of a home-grown policy, the $60 billion CPEC is guided by a voluminous study that was carried out by the China Development Bank which became the basis for the Long-term Plan 2017-2030. At the time of approving the Centre of Excellence project, there was hope that the country will soon have research-based studies in important areas of CPEC, according to government officials who were involved in setting up the … [Read more...] about CPEC’s Centre of Excellence fails to fulfill core responsibility
Increased variation in performances between schools in Sweden has coincided with an increase in ethnic school segregation, the study notes, which means policy makers, school administrators and parents have drawn the intuitive conclusion that "ethnic school segregation impedes the education progress of both native born and immigrant studies". In order to put the validity of that conclusion to the test, Maria Brandén and Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund from Linköping University, and Ryszard Szulkin from Stockholm University studied data from students between 1998 and 2012 and sought to assess whether the proportion of immigrant students in a classroom had any impact on the performance of pupils. The results show that the influence of the ethnic composition of classrooms on educational performance was close to zero. In order to prove that, the researchers specifically looked at siblings who went to the same school at different times, where the number of immigrants in the school … [Read more...] about Impact of school segregation on performances overstated, Swedish study shows
Soldiers usually pride themselves on leaving politics to the politicians. This week in London they spoke out. Senior European officers urged action on what remains a polarizing issue in the broader community: climate change. "We've increasingly come to recognize that, as well as the environmental and socio-economic impact of climate change, there is the potential to increase the risk to global stability and national interests," said Neil Morisetti, a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy. The British Medical Journal invited Morisetti, who is also an envoy on climate change for the UK government, to speak on the health and security implications of global warming alongside other high ranking officers and senior physicians from across Europe. Assembled security and health experts warned that rising global temperatures this century threaten food and water security, and could exacerbate tensions in some of the world's least stable regions. Health warnings A warming climate is expected … [Read more...] about Security experts warn of climate conflicts
Introducing the 2016-17 federal budget to parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on February 29 that the government would allocate more funds to bring electricity to all of the country's villages by May 2018. New Delhi's target is to provide electrification to around 200 villages per week. The goal, however, is limited to bringing electricity to all villages, and not to provide power to all households. There is a clear distinction between the two as India's 2011 census highlighted that even in villages which had access to electricity, only 55 percent of homes used it as the primary source of lighting. Of the estimated 300 million Indians - nearly as many people as the entire population of the United States - who do not have access to electricity, around two-thirds of them live in rural areas. In fact, government data show that over 12,000 villages in the South Asian nation are currently not connected to the power grid. Socio-economic impact The lack of access to electricity … [Read more...] about Can Modi electrify all of India within two years?
The Uniting to Combat NTDs coalition has published its annual report on the progress of the 2012 London Declaration on neglected tropical diseases (NDTs). Around the world, over a billion of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people suffer from a range of NDTs. The global effort has focused on treating and eradicating 10 of them, including Chagas' diesease, trachoma, visceral leishmaniasis, leprosy and lymphatic filariasis. DW: Professor Martin Kollmann, since 2012 there have been new efforts globally to fight, eradicate and also treat these diseases. Have much progress have we actually seen? Martin Kollmann: I think we've seen fantastic progress since the London Declaration in 2012, when a very broad partnership of various stakeholders came together and made concrete pledges. The pharmaceutical sector pledged to donate drugs so that programs can become as cost effective as possible. We have the NGDOs, governments and funders coming together to make this happen and scale up … [Read more...] about ‘More progress needed’ to eliminate tropical diseases
Twelve years ago, Afghanistan's economy lay in ruins. The country had been devastated by two decades of war and political infighting and found itself under the rule of the Taliban, a religious extremist group that had seized power in 1996. But a terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 would end up having a tremendous impact on the development of the South Asian nation in the years that followed. The toppling of the Taliban regime by a US-led coalition and the formation of a new Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai led to a significant economic expansion in the impoverished country. This development, however, has been fueled in large part by foreign aid. Foreign aid dependency Since 2002, foreign countries have been pouring vast sums of money into nation-building and establishing democratic institutions in Afghanistan. The United States alone has spent about 100 billion USD in nonmilitary funds to rebuild the country, according to US … [Read more...] about Afghan economy at a crossroads
Media is considered to be one of the pillars of a modern nation. As an indispensable tool for democracy, the press is expected to act as a watchdog of government and empower the public. But at the dawn of a US-led invasion of Afghanistan over 12 years ago, the media in the war-ravaged South Asian nation found itself in tatters. Under the Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, nearly all forms of media in the country were banned except for the regime-run Radio Sharia, which only broadcast religious programs, and a few other Islamic publications. Listening to music and watching television were outlawed by the extremists. The country's communications infrastructure lay in ruins. But when NATO troops ousted the Taliban from power in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Afghanistan's media experienced a renaissance. Vast sums of foreign investment flew into rebuilding the country's crippled press and broadcasting, propelling a transformation of the … [Read more...] about Afghanistan – Media gains in jeopardy
Give developing countries the tools to improve their position as trade partners and both their own development and the international trade situation will also improve. That's the idea behind "Aid for Trade," which the WTO launched in Hong Kong four years ago, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy tells Deutsche Welle. "Developing countries very often face trade barriers, which either stem from their own infrastructure - for example roadways, transport or energy - or they face technical trade barriers, for example if someone wants to export flowers to the US or to Europe he will have to meet the maximum pesticide residue standard," he says. Africa, more so than any other continent, faces these kinds of problems as it tries to increase its trade capacity. And to make matter worse, Lamy says, Africa has seen a decrease in participation in international trade over the last 10 years. "In absolute value African trade has grown, but in relative value, as compared to the whole world trade, it … [Read more...] about Financial crisis hits African trade, aid as WTO gears up for summit
The Silk Road is a German invention. At least the name is, anyway. It largely goes back to German researcher Ferdinand von Richtholfen, who referred to it as a historical network of caravan routes which linked the Mediterranen by land via Central Asia to East Asia in the 19th century. Richtholfen's name soon became immensely popular. In 2013, the Chinese government used the well-known label to promote its new infrastructure project, the "One Belt, One Road" initiative. The Silk Road of modern times is an ambitious and coordinated project planned from Beijing, which will connect China on land and sea with Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South, Central and Southeast Asia. Unanswered questions When the first information on the Chinese project became public in 2013, many German entrepreneurs initially didn't know what to make of it. "My perception was that the initiative has only really come to companies in 2015 when the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIB) was … [Read more...] about China’s Silk Road: a lucrative opportunity for Germany?