People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 33

August 16, 200


on file


EVERY five minutes, a woman dies in India while delivering a child, a recent report said. The report released by Centre for Reproductive Rights said that the maternal mortality in the country is 301 per one lakh live births.

The report said, “Every five minutes, roughly one maternal death occurs in India.”

UN special rapporteur on health Anand Grover said that in most cases, such deaths “are avoidable” and called for empowerment of women at the grass-roots level. Maternal mortality rate in India has become unacceptable, which in most cases are avoidable. We, instead of empowering the civil society, must work of empowerment of women at the grass-roots level,” he said.

Legal adviser of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, New York, Melisa Upreti said “It is a matter of shame for the government of India which has failed to provide basic nutrition and health care for women.” Zameen Kaur of Human Right Law Network claimed that out of the total maternal deaths, 25 per cent are from the Dalit community in the country.

--- The Asian Age, August 02


THE government may have enhanced allocation for its social sector in the current budget but the net expenditure as percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) is still too low in comparison to some of the developed economies.

The total combined expenditures of central and state governments on social services in 2008-09 was 6.72 per cent of GDP at current prices. This is too low when compared to what some of the western countries spend on their people.

Germany leads others by spending a significant 25 per cent of its GDP on social services that include education, sports, art and culture, medical and public health, family welfare, social security and nutrition. France is a close second with an expenditure of 23 per cent of gross domestic product while UK and US come third and fourth with 13 per cent and 12 per cent respectively, according to data from the IMF……

For instance, expenditure on education as a proportion of total expenditure has increased from 9.5 per cent in 2003-04 to 10.8 per cent in 2008-09. Share of health in the total expenditure has also increased from 4 per cent in 2003-04 to 5 per cent in 2008-09.

However, despite improvement in central allocation, there are still leakages in the system which are preventing the benefits from reaching the intended target group.

--- The Times of India, August 02




A FORMER FBI translator has claimed that the US was on ‘intimate’ terms with the Taliban and al-Quida and used the militants to further certain goals in Central Asia.

“With those groups, we had operations in Central Asia” said former Turkish language translator Sibel Edmonds on Friday (July 31) speaking on the radio programme, the Mike Malloy Show. Sibel said the US maintained “intimate relations’ with bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”

These “intimate relations’ included using bin Laden, for ‘operations’ in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These ‘operations’ involved using al-Qaida and the Taliban in the same manner “as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,” that is, fighting ‘enemies’ via proxies.

--- The Times of India, August 03