The victory of Geert Wilders, a far-right, anti-Islam populist, in the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands. It highlights the rise of far-right parties and populists across Europe and the challenges faced by establishment parties.

  • Geert Wilders, a far-right, anti-Islam populist, has emerged as the single largest party in the Netherlands parliamentary elections
  • His Party for Freedom (PVV) won 37 seats in the 150-member lower house
  • The Labour-Green coalition won 25 seats and the incumbent People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) secured 24 seats
  • Although the PVV does not have a majority, Wilders is now in a position to start coalition talks and potentially become the country’s first far-right Prime Minister
  • Wilders has called for “de-Islamising” the Netherlands, shutting down mosques, banning the Koran, and closing the borders to migrants from Muslim-majority countries
  • His focus on the influx of migrants during the campaign helped him deal a blow to the political establishment.
  • The PVV, led by Geert Wilders, has won the highest number of seats in the Dutch House of Representatives.
  • Geert Wilders has been pushing his brand of populism in Dutch politics since splitting from the conservative VVD in 2004.
  • The PVV’s victory places them at the center of Dutch politics, even if they are not able to form a governing coalition.
  • The rise of far-right parties and populists, such as Marine Le Pen in France and the AfD in Germany, is a trend across Europe.
  • The far-right is using immigration and the cost-of-living crises to mobilize the public under an ethno-nationalist brand of politics.
  • Establishment parties in the West should have a clear economic agenda and political vision to counter the rising tide of far-right politics.

The issue of air pollution in Indian cities, specifically focusing on the contribution of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution caused by the transport and construction sector. It highlights the need for urgent mitigation strategies and emphasizes the importance of transitioning to electric trucks to reduce pollution.

  • The air quality index (AQI) in many Indian cities has reached dangerous levels, posing serious health hazards to millions of people.
  • Two studies have identified PM2.5 and PM10 pollution from the transport and construction sector as significant contributors to urban smog.
  • India adds about 9 lakh new trucks to its roads every year, contributing to over 90% of road transport CO2 emissions and consuming one-fourth of Indian oil imports.
  • The rate of increase in the truck fleet is expected to continue growing in an emerging economy with a growing network of roads.
  • Electrification of rail freight transportation and electric vehicle penetration on roads have made progress, but electric trucks remain a challenge due to upfront costs and charging infrastructure constraints.
  • The government’s focus on electrifying the bus fleet and setting electrification targets for bus aggregators is commendable, but attention must also be given to diesel trucks and dust mitigation as significant sources of PM pollution.
  • Addressing these issues is crucial for both energy security and sustainability.
  • India has a demand for 7,750 e-trucks by 2030, which could save over 800 billion litres of diesel till 2050.
  • The Indian truck fleet is expected to reach 1.7 crore in 2050, highlighting the need to accelerate the transition to e-trucks.
  • Public funding alone is not enough to meet the scale of transformation required.
  • Bankable projects that can attract private and institutional capital are needed.
  • Three-wheelers’ electrification in India has achieved more than 50% penetration, but truck electrification is crucial for decarbonization.
  • The upfront cost of a mid-range electric truck in India is around ₹1.5 crore, compared to ₹40 lakh for a diesel truck.
  • Charging logistics and high upfront costs are major obstacles to the transition to e-trucks in India.
  • Green freight corridors could be a solution to promote the adoption of e-trucks.
  • Declaring expressways and national highways as green freight corridors will have a demonstration effect in the country.
  • Feasibility studies, demand aggregation, supplier readiness, and a prudent risk allocation strategy are required to create green freight corridors in India.
  • Green freight corridors can first evolve in small stretches of 500 kilometres on routes with heavy truck movement.
  • Innovative financial instruments, incentivisation of charging infrastructure, facilitation of entrepreneurial efforts, and a conducive regulatory environment can bring forth breakthroughs for truck electrification in India.
  • Urgent concerted efforts are needed to improve air quality in cities.

 The alarming issue of gender-related killings of women and girls across the globe. The article provides data and statistics from a recent study by the United Nations, which can help you understand the magnitude of the problem and its impact on society. It also sheds light on the factors contributing to these killings, such as intimate partner violence and family-related homicides. By reading this article, you will gain insights into the challenges faced by women and the need for measures to ensure their safety and empowerment.

  • A recent study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women reveals that 88,900 women and girls were intentionally killed worldwide in 2022 due to gender-related factors.
  • This is the highest number of such fatalities in the past 20 years.
  • While the total number of homicides worldwide decreased in 2022, femicide increased.
  • Men formed 80% of the total victims of homicide in 2022, while women’s share was 20%.
  • Women are more likely to be murdered by their partners or someone known to them, as they are subjected to physical violence mostly from their immediate family members.
  • Of the 88,900 female victims of homicides in 2022, 55% were killed by family members or intimate partners, compared to only 12% of male homicide victims.
  • Across all regions, the share of intimate partner/family-related homicides among women was higher than among men.
  • In Europe, over half of the female homicides were committed by partners or relatives, while the share among men was only 18%.
  • In the Americas, the disparity was also significant, with 45% of women homicides and 12% of men homicides being committed by partners or relatives.
  • In 2022, Africa had the highest number of female victims of intimate partner/family-related homicide, with about 20,000 cases.
  • This surpassed Asia, which had 18,400 cases during the same period.
  • The Americas reported 7,900 cases, but Africa had the highest rate of femicides per 100,000 female population at 2.8, followed by the Americas at 1.5 and Asia at 0.8.
  • There was a general trend of reduction in gender-related killings of women before 2021, but it increased drastically in 2021 and 2022, especially in Africa.
  • In South Africa, the female intimate partner homicide rate halved between 1999 and 2017, but it increased from 9 victims per 1 lakh women in 2019 to 12.7 victims per 1 lakh women in 2022.
  • India has seen a small decline in gender-based killings over the past decade, but dowry-related killings, accusations of witchcraft, and other gender-related factors still persist.
  • Dowry has consistently been the leading cause of gender-related deaths in India, followed by honor killings and murder related to witchcraft accusations.

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