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 India decriminalises gay sex

India took a giant, albeit belated, step towards globalisation on Thursday when the Delhi high court delivered a historic judgement to amend a 149-year-old colonial-era law — Section 377 of the IPC — and decriminalise private consensual sex between adults of the same sex. It is the biggest victory yet for gays rights and a major milestone in the country's social evolution. India becomes the 127th country to take the guilt out of homosexuality

 There is a crying need for adolescent education across the country

Sujatha Rao, director-general of the National AIDS Control Organisation, explains in an exclusive interview with Rashme Sehgal why it is important as part of the HIV/AIDS programme in India to promote life skills education amongst young people. NACO receives a huge amount of funding, which has crossed $1billion from the Global Fund alone, apart from receiving funding from USAID, UNDP and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

 Delhi's infant mortality doubles in 2 years

In India's showpiece capital, the number of children dying within the first year of birth has almost doubled in the past two years, according to the Delhi government's own statistics. Data released in the Economic Survey of Delhi for 2008-2009 shows that the infant mortality rate in 2007 was 25.4 deaths per 1,000 children between the ages of 0 and 1 years, compared to 12.9 in 2006 and 18.1 in 2005.

 Girls win President’s praise for resisting early marriage

Their courage to say no and conviction to push for their rights have made Rekha Kalindi, Sunita Mahato and Afsana Khatun role models for hundreds of young girls fighting the age-old practice of child marriage.

 World Bank paints a bleak picture of India

India now is ahead of only Sub-Saharan Africa among developing countries in terms of the percentage of population below the poverty line, though it fared better than China on this count in 1990, according to the World Bank.

 States take a U-turn, adopt sex education

While the Committee on Petitions has recommended that there should be no sex education in schools, states that had earlier banned the manual claiming it would have a corrupting influence on young minds have now taken a U-turn.

 Child marriages still child’s play

Akha Teej, or Akshaya Tritya, an auspicious day in Hindu calendar, was the chosen day for child marriages in Rajasthan. A revised law and a watchful administration have seen fewer children, some as young as one, being married off on the day, but underage marriages are rampant across the state (see box). Two years after the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 was notified, fewer marriages are solemnised on the day.


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