Wednesday, December 31, 2014


CRPF(Central Armed police force) is doing a great service for our nation by guarding our borders,
fighting with maoists and mainitaning law and order in times of emergency but Our Nation has not reciprocated the same
to these forces . We have not given them their rights , dues and respect that they deserve.
The central Reserve Police Act(1949), an act that provides for the constituition and regulation of an armed CRPF has many problems:
1) This act is inherited from Crown’s Representative Police Force Law, 1939 which are not in sync with current times.
2) Our Constitution guarantees Fundamental rights to the citizens of India but there many provisions in the act which violate their fundamental rights-
the right to equality, equal protection in public employment, and the right to protection of life and personal liberty.
3) Legislative changes are not done in accordance with the Modern India and which follow Constitution.
These changes are done for Army, navy, BSF but not for CRPF.
4) CRPF Act is further compounded by the fact that the Commandant, after conducting a judicial trial for convicting and sentencing a member of the force, is also further authorized to punish the same member of the force departmentally dispensing with a formal inquiry on the ground of conviction on a criminal charge. To be given the opportunity of a hearing, a departmental inquiry, or the right of departmental defence, has been dispensed with, without giving any reasons as provided by the CRPF Rules, 1955. 
Government and CRPF higher officials needs to act immediately to revise this act in accordance with the Constitution and Modern India. We need to give respect to the people who are working day and night just to safeguard this country and these changes can be done in line with BSF, Indian Air force and other forces.

institutions and their problems

Our pre independent institutions like the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature have failed to adapt. Collusion between the private sector and all three of these institutions is well known. Swindling of resources runs an parallel and almost equal black economy.
The Judiciary: The pending cases are creating great hardship and the economic burden is crippling to most.
The legislature is but a cacophony. It is used either too stall bills or to guillotine them, but never to discuss.
Post independent institutions, like regulatory agencies, are themselves co-opeted to serve the individual purpose instead common good. 
Panchayat raj institutions are struggling for funds, functions and functionaries.
State owned banks are require frequent bail outs and ever falling standards.
State owned schools are the highest paid per student, with one of the lowest educational outcomes.
Transparency and accountability in all aspects is a must. The fact that the Right to Information Act has brought to light several discrepancies shows that is the way to go.
The legislature must be used for discussion crucial matters. To hammer out contentious points, other fora like the Inter State Council, can be used. Guillotining bills should be avoided.
Judiciary needs a massive overhaul in quality, quantity and technology. Appointment and removal procedures must be streamlined in lines with the reports of various committees and international best practices. Innovative methods like fast track courts, lok adalats should be expanded.
The executive too needs a overhaul in terms of quantity. There is a serious need to fix accountability for their actions, and for this, they should be protected from undue influence.
Once these bedrock institutions begin to work as envisaged, the change will emanate in other institutions.
Appointment procedures in regulatory agencies must be transparent and based on a clear criteria. And in case of regulatory absence, immediate step should be taken to rectify the situation.
Post liberalization has brought in the private sector, but instead of using them to increase competition and quality, their collusion with public agencies for nefarious purposes has created vested interests who will stubbornly resist change. 
There is a need to overhaul the entire structure.

Uranium Import | Nuclear Energy

There has been increase in the demand for electricity due to
various factors including rising demand from manufacturing and domestic sector,
and increased rural connectivity. Nuclear energy is gaining importance over the
years as the supply of fossil fuels is not only limited but they also cause environmental
Country’s uranium reserves are small and thus have to depend
on imports. Besides, the quality of uranium ore is low which is resulting in
escalation of costs. This has resulted in the demand-supply mismatch. Country is
trying to overcome this mismatch by importing uranium fuel.
As India is not a
signatory to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, India was kept out of trade in
nuclear materials till 2008, when Indo-US civil nuclear deal was signed which
removed restrictions on the sale of nuclear equipments to India. Since then
many countries have come forward to sell nuclear fuel to India and India has
signed nuclear cooperation agreements with countries such as Canada, France,
South Korea, the UK, and recently with Australia.
Nuclear energy is cheap and clean source of energy. With advancements
in technology, the fuel has become safe. India which has sufficient expertise
in the operation of nuclear reactors has
to take measures to promote the energy with sufficient care.

A law that failed to keep pace with time | CRPF Act

From fighting insurgents in Kashmir, the Maoists in Chhattisgarh, and terrorists in strife-stricken areas to acting as troubleshooters in sensitive areas, guarding the borders of Punjab and maintaining law and order during times of emergency, the 230 battalions of India’s largest Central Armed Police Force, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), are staunch sentinels. But despite the valiant services that they perform for the nation, they get a raw deal. Gallant soldiers must get their due and the first step towards this is to examine their rights and the laws that govern them.
The Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949 (CRPF Act), an Act that provides for the constitution and regulation of an armed CRPF, is a colonial inheritance of the Crown’s Representative Police Force Law, 1939. Despite 67 years of independence and the framing of our own Constitution, we have retained certain provisions in the CRPF Act which are violative of fundamental freedoms — the right to equality, equal protection in public employment, and the right to protection of life and personal liberty. These ought to be granted to members of the CRPF in course of their duties and service to the nation. Fundamental rights provided by the Constitution, which have evolved over a period of time, need to find recognition in the CRPF Act.
According to the Act, the extent of heinous offences are to be judged by the Commandant of a Battalion by exercising powers of a judicial magistrate conferred by the Central Government. All trials are to be held in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (CrPC). Even though CrPC 1973 repeals CrPc 1898, legislative changes have not followed in the CRPF Act. This leaves no option but to read down the CRPF Act by assuming applicability of CrPC 1973 to confer a presumption of constitutionality on the pre-constitutional CRPF Act. However, this does not make palatable the exercise of judicial powers by the Commandant of Battalion, as CrPC 1973 clearly separates the judiciary from the executive in line with Article 50 that mandates this separation.
However, the CRPF Act follows CrPC 1898. The provisions of this code invested executive officers with judicial powers to try as a magistrate all offences not punishable with death. The 41st Report of the Law Commission of India, which was submitted in September 1969, recommended the separation of the judiciary from the executive on an all-India basis to ensure improvements in the quality of justice by having judicial magistrates, who were appointed by the High Courts. Dispensing with the arbitrary exercise of discretionary powers and acting in a manner consistent with known principles of law was desired. After being discussed by a joint select committee and being approved by both Houses of Parliament and the President, CrPC 1973 came into force. Consequently, all functions relating to appreciation of evidence, imposition of punishment, detention in custody, inquiry or trial, came to be exercised by a judicial magistrate under the CrPC 1973, and all ministerial functions were left to the executive magistrates. Since then, all judicial magistrates are appointed by the High Courts and special judicial magistrates can be notified by the High Courts, if they possess such qualification or experience in relation to legal affairs as the High Courts’ rules may specify. However, executive magistrates can be appointed by the State governments to perform executive functions.
Further authorisations
The dilemma in the CRPF Act is further compounded by the fact that the Commandant, after conducting a judicial trial for convicting and sentencing a member of the force, is also further authorised to punish the same member of the force departmentally dispensing with a formal inquiry on the ground of conviction on a criminal charge. To be given the opportunity of a hearing, a departmental inquiry, or the right of departmental defence, has been dispensed with, without giving any reasons as provided by the CRPF Rules, 1955. In a hypothetical situation, a Commandant may be framing the charge as a prosecutor, convicting and sentencing as a judicial magistrate and then punishing summarily as departmental head, without any separate inquiry to complete the process in closed quarters, in one or two weeks.
In the light of the 1973 code, providing for criminal trials by judicial magistrates or duly notified special judicial magistrates — besides constitutionally mandating a departmental inquiry except in certain situations — the CRPF Act is a pre-constitutional law caught in a time warp. Members of an emergency force may require a high degree of discipline, but they do not deserve such a straitjacket procedure which not only circumvents the law but also defies all canons of the process of natural justice. The government cannot remain oblivious to laws requiring equality in matters of public employment and at the same time ignore the mandate of basic criminal laws of the land. CRPF soldiers need to be treated fairly and with a spirit of natural justice.
Revisiting the Act
The CRPF could consider revisiting the CRPF Act and CRPF Rules to amend them in line with the existing provisions of the CrPC 1973 and the Constitution. Changes can be made by creating a rank and file of judicially trained officers lettered in law. They could constitute a separate cadre in the force to exercise special functions. Alternatively, a special court, such as the Security Force Court of the Border Security Force (BSF), could be constituted. Amendments can be made in the CRPF Act in tandem with the provisions of CrPC 1973 for the exercise of judicial functions to suit the requirements of this special force. Legal practices adopted by the BSF, the Indian Army, the Navy and the Air Force, which all meet the test of time and are in consonance with the prevailing provisions of law, can be emulated without compromising on the need for an independent disciplinary procedure. A separate judicial forum can be legislatively made in the CRPF. Leaving the current state of affairs to the outmoded colonial position of the CRPF Act makes it an unjust, arbitrary, unfair and discretionary process subject to bias and misuse. Members of the force who sacrifice their lives for the nation deserve to be treated better. It would be unfair to leave them to their fate while they serve us well.

-- Anil Malhotra | Source:

Huge population at fluorosis risk / SMRITI KAK RAMACHANDRAN

With drinking water in 14,132 habitations in 19 States still containing fluoride above the permissible levels, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry fears that a huge population is at risk of serious health conditions such as skeletal fluorosis.
The Ministry has now urged the Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry to ensure the supply of safe drinking water in these habitations.
Data collated by the latter say Rajasthan has the highest number of such habitations (7,670), affecting 48,84,613 people. Telangana has 1,174 such districts with 19,22,783 affected people. Karnataka has 1,122 such districts and Madhya Pradesh 1,055. Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh too face the problem.
The World Health Organization guideline value for fluoride is 1.5 mg per litre, with a target of between 0.8 and 1.2 mg per litre to maximise benefits and minimise harmful effects. Fluoride levels in the body depend on climate and intake of the chemical from drinking water and other sources, the WHO says.
Fluoride contamination affects the teeth and bones and long-term excessive exposure causes abdominal pain, excessive saliva, nausea, vomiting, seizures and muscle spasms.
The WHO says fluroide levels above 1.5 mg per litre causes pitting of tooth enamel and deposits in bones. Levels above 10 mg per litre cause the crippling skeletal fluorosis.
The government has started the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis in 2008-09. In 2013-14, the programme was brought under the National Rural Health Mission, which has so far covered 111 districts.

The programme includes surveillance of fluorosis in the community, training and manpower support, establishment of diagnostic facilities, treatment and health education. The Indian Council of Medical Research has formed a task force on fluorosis to address issues related to prevention and control.


Sebi flags down govt on India-US tax pact | FATCA / Jayshree P Upadhyay

Signing of an (IGA) between India and the US on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) might not be smooth, despite New Delhi getting a one-month extension for this, as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has raised some concerns over the US tax norms.

According to sources in the know of the matter, the market regulator has written to the finance ministry, saying in its current form lacks complete reciprocity from the US counterparts, and there is an asymmetry in due-diligence requirements.

"In a note to the Fatca council, has sought that the council iron out the issues, including the registration requirement, penal provisions and reciprocity from US counterparts," said a source.

In June this year, India had in substance reached an agreement on the terms of an to implement Fatca; India is treated as having an IGA in effect from April 11, 2014. But the inter-government pact can be signed only after the Union Cabinet's approval. It was originally to be inked by the end of this year but the US has now extended the deadline for it to January 31 next year.

Sources close to the development say the signing has been delayed because of Indian financial institutions' unpreparedness.

Fatca was enacted by the US to detect and discourage tax evasion by persons living and earning in that country. Under this Act, the in signatory countries have to report their American clients to the US' Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - failure to do so leads to a withholding tax liability of 30 per cent on the institutions concerned.

After reaching an in-principle agreement with the US, the Indian government set up a council, with representatives from the and regulators as members, to frame rules on reporting under the Act.

According to policy-makers, the thinking within is that there should be a Common Reporting Standard (CRS) acceptable to the nations, instead of rules for reporting of American clients alone.

Market participants believe the penal provision of 30 per cent liability for non-reporting is 'too-high'. "The 30 per cent withholding tax liability on assumption of non-compliance is not creditable under the Indian Tax Act. The Indian institutions will need to work on processes to be able to furnish information and comply with the regulations and avoid being penalised for unintentional lapses," said Rahul Garg, leader (direct tax), PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Other tax experts believe the extra-territorial aspect of Fatca remains a concern.

"The Indian tax laws do not have provisions to extract data or information on Indian income from other countries. The question of complete reciprocity from US counterparts does not arise, as the Indian tax laws do not tax non-residents even if the income generated is based out of India," said Sunil Shah, partner, Deloitte Haskin & Sells.

The Indian government is to sign the IGA under 'Model A', which will entail reporting by financial institutions to the US authorities through the Indian regulators and government.

Accounts under $50,000 in value will not be scrutinised. Large broking and mutual fund houses predominately tapping foreign investors are likely to be affected, as compliance norms for high-value accounts will be more stringent. Financial institutions might be required to assign relationship managers for these accounts and clients.

According to data on the Sebi website, the total investments by non-resident Indians through custodians this financial year stood at close to Rs 2,000 crore until November. More than 90 per cent of the accounts involved were higher than $50,000 in value.

The amount likely to come under scrutiny is close to Rs 130 crore under the mutual fund route.

  • Sebi has written to the finance ministry over lack of complete reciprocity from the US counterparts
  • Regulator has raised market concerns on penal provisions and lack of symmetry in reporting standards
  • Fatca council to draft common reporting standards for market intermediaries that are acceptable to G-20 nations
  • As of Nov, had invested a total of Rs 2,000 cr through Indian custodians
  • Rs 130 cr channelled through the mutual fund route could come under scrutiny


Monday, December 29, 2014

Ugly | Short Review

एक कहानी जो बेहद आसान सी हो सकती थी... किसी का खोना और फिर धीरे धीरे मिल जाना, या मनमोहन देसाई नुमा फिल्म सा बड़ा होकर हीरो बन जाना...लेकिन हम अनुराग कश्यप को देख रहे हैं, सब कुछ सीधे सीधे नहीं होता न आसानी से. बहुत पहले ही हमें पता था की इस फिल्म की कहानी एक छोटी बच्ची के खोने की कहानी है....लेकिन कहानी इससे कहीं आगे की है... ये कहानी एक पुलिस अफसर की है जिसका दम्भ एक औरत को 'कीप' बनाता है, शारीरिक और मानसिक रूप से टॉर्चर करता है और जो अपने पास्ट में जी रहा है. एक औरत की है जो अपने प्रेमी के साथ भागने की गलती कर चुकी है और अपने एकतरफा-प्रेमी के साथ रह रही है. जो ज़िन्दगी से ज्यादा नशे में रहना पसंद करती है. एक असफल एक्टर की है जिसकी असफलता ने उसकी पर्सनल ज़िन्दगी बर्बाद कर दी. एक कमीने लड़के की है जो अपने बाप-बहिन को ठगने से नहीं डरता. एक दोस्त की है दोस्ती जिसकी जात नहीं है... और (साल्ले) सब के सब भावनाहीन और स्वकेंद्रित हैं. ये कहानी आज के महानगरीय समाज की है जो अंदर से सड़ा है लेकिन बाहर से बहुत सारा ताम-झाम लगा सुन्दर बनने की कोशिश कर रहा है. एक लड़की के गुम होने की चिंता न उसकी माँ को है, न उसके बाप को है (न शायद सौतेले बाप को ही ). सबके अपने अपने मकसद हैं और उसे पाने में जुटे हुए हैं. गुम लड़की का नाना जिस तरह अपनी जमा पूँजी लगाने को तैयार हो जाता है, और लड़की की माँ अपने ही बाप को ठगती है... ये ज़रूर दो पीढ़ियों के बीच का अंतर बताता है. शायद पीढ़ी दर पीढ़ी हम और भी कमीने होते जाने वाले हैं.... कभी न वापिस इंसान बनके आने के लिए.

अंत में मिली 10 साल को छोटी बच्ची की सड़ी हुई लाश हमारे अंदर के मरे हुए इंसान की लाश लगती है (सबके अंदर का इंसान कुछ कुछ मरा हुआ है, अपने अंदर भी ज़रा झांक के देखना.) और उसकी सड़ांध हमारे समाज की सड़ांध है. दीपक सौलंकी का लिखा अंत का गाना पूरी गाथा लगता है... और फिल्म का अंत देख सुन्न पड़े कानों में सच का शोर सा है.

अभिनय सबके लाजवाब हैं...लेकिन इंस्पेक्टर के रोल में गिरीश कुलकर्णी ने कमाल किया है.

Watch for Story, Acting, Anurag Kahyap.

Do not watch if you wanna miss year's one of best film.

My Rating: 83%

Nationwide hydrology data soon

With flood damage in the country pegged in the range of Rs. 6,000 crore a year, according to official estimates, India is poised to adopt a World Bank-funded hydrology project. Such a project has already made a difference in 13 States which opted for it in the earlier two phases.
Under the proposed expansion of the project, States will be able to generate and digitise their own data without waiting for central help. The project for the whole country is estimated to cost Rs. 3,000 crore.
The project, the first phase of which began some 20 years back, has digitised real time data in 13 States, according to Anju Gaur, senior water specialist, World Bank. Some of the main reasons for floods are poor reservoir management systems as was witnessed some years ago in Western Maharashtra. Farmers sometimes face problems as they plant crops without knowing if there is assured water from reservoirs.
There is no reliable hydrological data and some of the figures are as old as 1993. The project, in partnership with the Union Water Resources Ministry and other agencies, was aimed at developing monitoring systems in the States. The use of such data on water storage and availability is unlimited, Ms. Gaur pointed out and can be used in decision support system (DSS). The project has completed two phases and established the basis for a Hydrological Information System (HIS) for reliable records.
Data collection was near primitive till as recent as 2009 when in Karnataka, gauge readers from drought-affected areas would send in figures on post cards. Karnataka first asked for mobile phones so that data could be sent speedily and later moved to setting up systems for real-time data since gauge readers often did not venture into the field.
The major handicap was the unwillingness to share data across States citing confidentiality issues. There is a culture of not sharing data and the project resulted in a major breakthrough by the government which introduced a data policy, she said.
The Bhakra Beas Management Board and the Krishna Bhima Basin in Maharashtra are two examples where real time water data has helped to take many decisions and to prevent floods. Maharashtra is one of the best managed States in terms of water, Ms. Gaur said and one of the earliest to go in for the hydro meteorological system.
The project gives data which can help release of water from reservoirs and prevent untimely floods. The operating costs have gone down by half due to advance knowledge of water availability, rainfall and even water quality, Ms. Gaur said.
Though the initial investment is high, over the years the States have found that it is worthwhile. “The project made information travel faster than flood waters,” remarked Ms. Gaur. The data also uses satellite to help figure the amount of snow melt, and make projections on the flows into the reservoir. This is particularly useful in the case of the Bhakra basin.
Apart from flood prevention, the data and real time monitoring of water flows also helps in analysing and testing proposed projects. She said a tunnel project to divert water in Pune was dropped as a result.

As part of the project, water quality stations have been set up in the Ganga river at 10 locations from Hrishikesh to Kolkata. The Rs. 550-crore project in two phases which is complete, is a loan to the government of India and aimed at a complete standardised centralised water data system.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

दिल को बासी रोटी के साथ गाय को खिला देना

जब अंदर से थक जाता है
सर के बल खड़ा हो जाता है
आदमी उलटबंसी है
अरमान तोड़ दिमाग के डिसीजन्स
उफ़! की ज़िंदा हो तुम अब भी?

चार आदमी मरे चालीस के पहले
गुरुदत्त के मुंह से खून निकला....देखा तुमने?
एक दिन बस मेरी बारी, अगली तुम्हारी!

राख किनारे कितनी नदियां बही?
नदी में राख बही, आदमी बहे,
नदी ज़िंदा रही.

सदी ज़िंदा, साल ज़िंदा,
आँखें ज़िंदा, याद भी.

कल सपने में रात को ख्वाब दिखाया था
आज शाम तक सोती रही रात
सूरज उगने का इंतज़ार करता रहा.
उफ़! की ये ख्वाब मेरे,
एक तो लम्बे चौड़े
ऊपर से नींद में दौड़ने की आदत!

मत पढ़ो,
समझोगी नहीं.
दिमाग से ही काम लो
दिल को बासी रोटी के साथ
गाय को खिला देना,
जिसे तुम माँ कहती थीं!

Unposted Letter

लिखना जब ज़िन्दगी का आखिरी न मनाया त्यौहार लगे
और तुम्हारी सांसे फिर मुझे गर्माहट दें
चुपके से लबों में समा जीवित हो जाओ,
तो आखिरी लफ्ज़ भी आखिर तुम्हें ही दूँ.
तुमसे दूर जाना बोर्डिंग जाने सा है,
भय, भय और भय बस.
तुम तक पहुंचना मनु का पहला कदम धरती पे.
अफ़सोस में तुमसे दूर नहीं जा सकता, न तुम तक ही.
शादी के बाद लड़कियां घर से पराई नहीं होती बस,
तारों से भी होती हैं.
वे तार जो सितारे लाने के वादे करते हैं
फिर खुद अँधेरे में डूब जाते हैं.
पराई औरतें पराये मर्दों से बात नहीं करती
सभ्यता के आदम में किसी गधे ने लिखा था ये,
लेकिन पराई औरतें पराये आदमी के साथ जी लेती हैं,
प्यार और ऊष्मा के परे.
आज की कविता तुम्हारे नाम लिखता,
स्याही कम है, कागज़ स्याह हैं
और रात आधी है, जो काट रहा है
तुम्हारा ये तार सितारों की ओट में.
कविता टेबल पे पड़े
बिस्किट कुतर रही है.

New PPP contracts to have renegotiation clause / Vrishti Beniwal

The Union finance ministry is not for putting a renegotiation clause in previously awarded public-private partnership (PPP) contracts, saying that would be against law. It is, however, looking to put such a clause in new contracts, to revive investment in infrastructure projects.

Officials said certain renegotiation triggers might be necessary for long-term projects, as in the case of some complicated construction contracts. If the scope of a project is changed midway, that could trigger renegotiation. The ministry might soon come up with a guidance note or a discussion paper on this.

“You can’t change the conditions after awarding the contract. It can lead to disputes and others can challenge it. (But) In a 60-year contract, you don’t know what will happen. However, if a renegotiation happens, it should not alter financial returns,” said a  ministry official.

Earlier, the infrastructure sectors, particularly roads and power, had pushed for changes in the terms of signed contracts to get more favourable terms, in the case of those which had become financially unsustainable due to extra-aggressive bidding to secure them. GMR, GVK, Adani, Reliance Power and are some companies which have tried to modify their contracts or exit these.

“Most projects in the roads sector are not doing well. If they extend the maturity or reduce the premium, that would be a violation of original bid conditions. So, rather than renegotiating, they must concentrate on addressing the fundamental aspects,” said Rajaraman Venkataraman, director, infrastructure, India Ratings.

The industry has been pushing for introduction of a mechanism to avoid unrealistic over-bidding by companies. And, to enable contract renegotiation, to ease the pressure on the balance sheets of banks, staring at huge non-performing assets due to developers’ inability to pay.

Government officials, on the other hand, said there already was a ‘force majeure’ clause (meaning, for unforeseen events that include major macro economic changes and excuse a party from an obligation).

“We are looking at best practices in the world for contract renegotiation. The longer the term of contract, the better it is for both the sides,” added the official.

Globally, about a third of projects undertaken on a basis have to be renegotiated. This is higher in  sectors such as transport, water and sanitation. Usually, the renegotiations have been favorable to the companies, resulting in increased rates or lower investment obligations.

“As the country with one of the world’s largest share of private sector investments, India is being keenly monitored and would do well to use this opportunity to devise best practices for renegotiation of PPP contracts and set global standards,” rating agency CRISIL had said in a report earlier this year.

Under the 12th five-year Plan, ending in 2016-17, an investment of Rs  55,75,072 crore or 8.18 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product has been pegged as needed for infrastructure. Of this, about half is expected from the private sector.

However, the mid-year economic analysis, penned by economic advisers in the finance ministry, said the PPP model had been less than successful. It pointed to over-exuberant investment, especially in the infrastructure sector in the form of PPPs, as the most important domestic challenge in the way of reviving of investments.

  • The finance ministry does not want a renegotiation clause in previously awarded PPP contracts, saying that would be against the law
  • However, it wants such a clause in new contracts to revive investment in infrastructure projects
  • Infrastructure sectors, particularly roads and power, had earlier pushed for changes in the terms of signed contracts to get more favourable terms
  • GMR, GVK, Adani, Reliance Power and Tata Power are some companies which tried to modify their contracts or exit these
  • The industry has been pushing for introduction of a mechanism to avoid unrealistic over-bidding by companies
  • It also wants to enable contract renegotiation, to ease the pressure on the balance sheets of banks, staring at huge non-performing assets due to developers’ inability to pay
  • Government officials, however, said there already was a clause for unforeseen events, including major macroeconomic changes.


Action plan soon to prevent deaths from diarrhoea, pneumonia / AARTI DHAR

The Centre will soon launch an action plan against diarrhoea and pneumonia in four States, including Rajasthan. The aim is to end preventable child deaths from these two by 2025. As high as 36 per cent of all child deaths, below the age of 5, in India are caused by these two conditions.
India accounts for the highest number of diarrhoea and pneumonia deaths among children in the world with over 2 lakh children dying of diarrhoea and over 3.8 lakh children of pneumonia annually, accounting for the mortality of 4 in every 10 children under-five.
The highest burden is being borne by the poorest sections of society.
The four States where the India Action Plan for Diarrhoea and Pneumonia will be rolled out — Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan — account for half of under-five mortality in the country which stands at 62 deaths per 1,000 live births nationally. The under-five mortality rate of Rajasthan is 59 per 1,000 live births.
Launch next month
The action plan, likely to be launched next month, is a follow-up of the Global Action Plan for Diarrhoea and Pneumonia that was launched by WHO and UNICEF in April 2013 which aims to reduce pneumonia mortality to less than 3 per 1,000 live births, diarrhoea deaths to less than 1 per 1,000 live births, reduce incidence of severe pneumonia and diarrhoea by 75 per cent compared to 2010 levels and reduce by 40 per cent the global number who are stunted as compared to 2010 levels by 2025.
While India has taken several measures to reduce maternal and child mortality over the years, including launching of the National Rural Health Mission; Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child Health plus Adolescent programme and the India Newborn Action Plan to end preventable newborn deaths, the success in reducing under-five mortality has not been uniform.
Seven States have achieved the MDG-4 target of U5MR of 38 per 1,000 live births and nine States are showing a decline of more than the national average.
While Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have achieved the MDG target, the rate of decline is 7.3 per cent in Rajasthan, 5.6 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, 7 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and 6 per cent in Bihar.
Twenty per cent districts in Rajasthan have shown an increase in U5MR between 2010-11 and 2012-13 in the annual health surveys.
The WHO and UNICEF have been entrusted to collaborate with the respective governments in implementing the action plan which is not a new project or a programme but a framework for strengthening coordination of existing interventions where the coverage remains low like in exclusive breastfeeding (39 per cent), vitamin A supplement (75 per cent), DTP3 immunisation (83 per cent), measles immunization (84 per cent), HiB 3 immunisation (43 per cent) and other interventions like access to antibiotics and ORS solutions, sanitation, better living condition, hand wash and clean drinking water.
Since diarrhoea and pneumonia are caused by multiple pathogens, no single intervention, including vaccine, will help in protecting children.


‘Coral bleaching in Pacific may become worst die-off in 20 years’ / KARL MATHIESEN

Scientists warn extreme sea temperatures could cause a “historic” coral reef die-off around the world over the coming months, following a massive coral bleaching already under way in the North Pacific. Experts said the coral die-off could be the worst in nearly two decades.
Reports of severe bleaching have been accumulating in the inbox of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch programme since July.
A huge swathe of the Pacific has already been affected, including the Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Hawaii, Kiribati and Florida. Some areas have recorded serious bleaching for the first time.
“On a global scale it’s a major bleaching event. What it may be is the beginning of a historic event,” said Coral Reef Watch coordinator Dr. Mark Eakin.
Thermal stress
In the Marshall Islands, bleaching of unprecedented severity is suspected to have hit most of the country’s 34 atolls and islands. The Guardian witnessed devastated expanses of coral that look like forests covered with snow. Warm water will soon begin hitting reefs in the southern Pacific and the Indian Ocean as the seasons and currents shift. Dr. Eakin said coral watch modelling predicts bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as early as January. Bleaching is caused by persistent increases in sea surface temperature. Just 1°C of warming lasting a week or more can be enough to cause long-term breakdown of reef ecosystems.
The worst coral bleaching event on record is a mass die-off during 1998. A massive El Niño event combined with climate change to raise global sea and air temperatures to never-before-recorded levels and killed around 15 per cent of the world’s corals.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a coral reef expert from the University of Queensland, said the current bleaching event was on track to be as bad or worse than 1998.
“Many coral reef scientists are expecting something similar to 1997-98 to unfold in the next six to 12 months.” Dr. Eakin said. Even under a weak El Niño, bleaching could continue until 2016 — lasting twice as long as the 1998 event. High sea surface temperatures due to climate change are making El Niño a less decisive factor in coral bleaching.
Initial analysis of the Guardian ’s photos from the Marshallese atoll of Arno showed its reefs could be added to the fast-growing list of seriously affected places. In less extreme temperatures, bleached coral may not die completely. But Karl Fellenius, a coral reef manager from the University of Hawaii said that in the Marshall Islands “it’s looking like the thermal stress was so profound that the corals died within days of getting bleached.” This does not augur well for the future of the world’s reefs under climate change. “The real problem is that recovery from a major bleaching event can take decades and these events keep coming back every 10 years or less. [Reefs] just don’t have time to recover,” said Dr. Eakin. The combined effect of rising temperatures and sea levels could mean the end for coral reefs in the next 50 years, said Prof. Hoegh-Guldberg.


Agricultural Households in Debt

A little over half of India's were in debt, with 40 per cent of the dues from non-institutional lenders, during agricultural year 2012-13 (July to June), according to a official survey.

This 'Situation assessment survey of agricultural households' showed 51.9 per cent of all agricultural households were indebted, with the average amount of unpaid dues being Rs 47,000.

Conducted by the Office, this should not be confused with a Census, as these figures would provide only broadly representative data. For instance, the survey was conducted in 4,529 of India's 638,000 villages. It covered 35,000 agricultural households.

Among the major states, Andhra Pradesh had the highest share of indebted agricultural households in the country (92.9 per cent), followed by Telangana (89.1 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (82.5) per cent.

About 60 per cent of the loans dues were taken from the institutional sources. About 42.9 per cent were from banks, 4.8 per cent from cooperatives and 2.1 per cent from the government, among other institutional sources. About 40 per cent of loans were received from non-institutional lenders - 25.8 per cent were from money lenders.

Meanwhile, another survey on 'Debt and investment in India' showed non-institutional agencies played a major role in advancing of credit to households, particularly in rural India. This covered the period of January-December 2013 and sought responses from 4,529 villages in rural areas and 3,507 urban blocks. Non-institutional agencies had given credit to 19 per cent of rural households, while institutional agencies had done so to 17 per cent.

In urban India, institutional agencies had advanced credit to 15 per cent of households, against 10 per cent by non-institutional ones.

The institutional agencies played a significant role in providing credit to households with a moderate rate of interest (six to 15 per cent) for both rural and urban areas. Among total cash dues funded by institutional agencies, 89 per cent in the rural and 92 per cent in the urban areas were provided at less than 15 per cent interest.

On the other hand, non-institutional agencies provided a significant amount of its total loans to households at an interest rate of 20 per cent or above. The share of such loans to the total by non-institutional agencies was 69 per cent in rural areas and 58 per cent in urban ones.

  • 2.6 per cent of agricultural households own less than 0.01 hectares (ha) of land
  • Among the agri households having less than 0.01 ha land, about 56 per cent gets wage/salary employment as the principal source of income and another 23 per cent depends on livestock as their principal source of income
  • A third of agri households own up to 0.4 ha
  • A majority of agricultural households which possess more than 0.4 ha has cultivation as the principal source of income
  • About 63.5 per cent of agri households has cultivation as the principal source of income. About 22 per cent has wage/salaried employment as the principal source
  • About 44 per cent of agri households has a job card of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
  • About 12 per cent of agri households do not possess a ration card
  • A Below Poverty Line card is possessed by about 36 per cent of agri households and another five per cent has Antyodaya cards
  • About 13 per cent of agri households having less than 0.01 ha do not have a ration card

Thursday, December 18, 2014

लड़की को लकड़ियाँ इकठ्ठा करते देखा है

मुझे याद नहीं मैंने पानी को रोते कब देखा था
धुंए को सिगार सुलगाते कब,
लेकिन याद है लड़की को लकड़ियाँ इकठ्ठा करते देखना.

पहले उसने लकड़ियाँ बीनी
अरमानों की चिता पे फेरे ले मुंह फेरा
और अंत तक सतीत्व बचाती रही,
सती होने.

मैंने लड़की को चिता की लकड़ियाँ इकठ्ठा करते देखा है.

Why have people accepted Batman over other superheroes?

1.)Batman is natural :- You see Batman is the one who does not have any special power and does not even need any. That is, he is not bit by a spider (Spiderman), neither is he a mutant (X-Men) and nor he is from other planet (Superman) . He is just a Homo Sapien as you and me. On the other hand not even a gifted one, as everyone dear to him was taken away at very early stages of his life. His parents were shot dead in front of his eyes . 

2.)Batman is about PAIN :- Bruce Wayne had a deep cut in his heart about his parents . He was left with nothing, but a hollow Wayne Manor and his dearly Butler Mr. Alfred .

3.)Batman is about DEDICATION :- Bruce Wayne did not become Batman because he was destined to be so, but he bent himself in a way so that he could become a hero . He had only one thing in mind and that is "Vengeance". He had to avenge the death of his parents, and that kept him motivated and each time he tried to push himself over the edge .

4.)Batman is about LEARNING :- The Batman, may be the strongest, but each time and after every fight, he learns, he teaches himself something new. Who could forget the famous  "WELL SCENE" in which Bruce Wayne defeats his biggest enemy "THE FEAR FOR DEATH" .

5.)Batman is about ETHICS :-The Batman never gives up what he actually stands for and that is JUSTICE . There were a few of them who could really shake The Batman .Especially The Joker needs a mention over here, The Joker killed Rachel, infected Harvey Dent and finally destroyed Peace in Gotham yet The Batman having a chance to kill him, did not do so, for the reason he stands since by the law it is illegal to kill someone, even that someone be as monstrous as The Joker .

6.)Batman is about connecting the masses:-And now you tell me how many of you get inspired after watching him . I am sure most of you . This was all what Batman stands for, he is a symbol to bring within the heroism from you, me and all of us . Each time I do anything I try to connect myself with him as -
A hero can be anyone, even someone who turns off lights and fans while leaving a room .
A hero can be anyone, even someone who pays his taxes on time so that equity exists in the society.

7.)And finally, Batman is not at all about comparisons :- Batman is a symbol, he always needed more and more number of people to get inspired from him and not fighting among themselves for knowing who is the better one . So stop comparing and bring out the Dark Knight within you .

Read more answers Here.

Swachh Bharat and Sanitation / Agnikalam

Nirmal remained unattained. Now we want to graduate to swachh, also a laudable objective if its broad contours are to be imagined. To begin let me ask rather obviously, was there any centrally sponsored nirmal scheme that went to local - as opposed to state - governments, which central ministries were responsible, has there been any of programmes undertaken under nirmal, and have states been pursued regarding their promise to set up state finance commissions to ensure constitutionally guaranteed financing of municipal and panchayat programmes? Or is to turn out to be another unfulfilled wish?

It is one thing to expect the middle class not to litter Indian streets. But the depth of the problem lies elsewhere. Unless all Indians are assured a basic right in relieving themselves decently and in privacy, that is, have access to at least septic tank or slab/open pit, leave alone modern latrines, how could they be expected to throw their garbage in bins, presuming, of course, that adequate number of bins are provided?
Coming to brass tacks, let us examine relevant figures. Based on Census 2011, table 1 reveals that about one-fifth of urban and more than two-thirds of rural households do not have in-house facilities; most of them use open fields. Table 2 lists the top 10 states' shares of night soil removal by humans, one of the most degrading human occupations. Unsurprisingly, by far the highest occurrence is in Uttar Pradesh, though surprisingly dismal performance persist also in rural West Bengal and urban Tamil Nadu. Rural conditions of Jammu and Kashmir are also poor, noteworthy in light of pre-election promises being made to Kashmiris on development.

Using should not be terribly erroneous in light of little improvement over time. A 2014 World Health Organization-Unicef cross-country comparison in table 3 lists the top 10 countries that have achieved the highest reduction in open defecation since 1990 as a percentage of population. In the sub-continent, it shows a rapid decline in open defecation in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. Reflecting the numbers on the use of open fields in table 1, it is not surprising that India does not feature in table 3 at all, while Sri Lanka does not feature for the opposite reason that there is likely to be little open defecation there. Also to be observed are that Ethiopia's reduction is most striking, while Bangladesh, Peru and Vietnam have rapidly reduced their incidence to single digits.

In table 4, the same source reveals that India's inclusion significantly worsens southern Asia's performance between 1990-2012 or 2000-12. Clearly, India has been, and continues to be, an outlier by far. As one indicator, 12 per cent of rural plus urban southern Asia other than India uses open defecation. But since in India it is 48 per cent, southern Asia's number jumps to 38 per cent once India is included in it! Indeed, globally, India represents almost 60 per cent of open defecation.

Thus, the statistics for India on sanitation, in the above discussion on latrines in particular, are no less than shocking. Should any policymaker expect from those who suffer such ignominy through life? The answer is decidedly in the negative, and even less so from those who hand carry excreta through urban and village streets, not unusually the subject of mockery for being of a low caste. These very fundamental challenges have to be addressed through rational allocation of financial resources to the appropriate level of government, ex ante and ex post impact assessment (IA) and tight monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of an intelligently designed Swachh Bharat programme.

Implementation of the programme has to be followed by wide induction in awareness of the dignity of labour and social equity more broadly. When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi iterated, "Karo pahale, kaho pichhe", he actually cleaned out night soil of the Bihar Harijan, or so my generation was taught in junior school. In that light, by the time the joy of middle to high school came to be experienced, tasks following Gandhi's example were meted out to us to be applied in urban slums. Rhetorically, how many children are going through a culture of this kind of activity today?

In sum, Swachh Bharat is a correct policy revival but will fail unless buttressed by a robust, palpable implementation structure. The prime minister has to show his mettle by revealing his plan to make India clean and smart. Luckily, there exists a handful of municipalities from where one could derive inspiration. One such is the 2013-14 Budget of Berhampur Municipal Corporation in Ganjam district of Odisha that details its Budget allocation in garbage collection, solid waste management, drainage, public toilet, water supply, housing, roads and bridges, street lighting, parks, livelihood, infrastructure and project assistance. It elaborates that it wants mandatory public disclosure of documents and allocation, to ensure citizen participation - common in developed societies - increase allocation for the urban poor, and for basic services including water, garbage, drainage and public toilets, and implement a development outcome budget to ensure effective government management and accountability. It is rejuvenating for it sets an example for other local governments to follow. Central government bureaucrats should pick up such examples consistently and give concrete shape to the prime minister's vision though the leadership in this endeavour has to continue to be his.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ओ रे बाबा हम चाँदी नहीं माँगते / पीयूष मिश्रा

ओ रे बाबा हम चाँदी नहीं माँगते
ओ रे बाबा हम सोना नहीं माँगते
हम हीरे का खज़ाना नहीं माँगते
गर हम कुछ माँगते माँगते हैं तो अपना हक
माँगते माँगते माँगते

हम यूँ ही कट जाना नहीं माँगते
हम यूँ ही जल जाना नहीं माँगते
हम यूँ ही मर जाना नहीं माँगते
गर हम कुछ माँगते माँगते हैं तो अपना हक
माँगते माँगते माँगते

पोप सुन लो ज़रा, तुम भी ये दासताँ
हमने सीखी है ये, गैलिलियो की ज़ुबाँ
धर्म तुम्हारा था, हज़्ज़ारों साल से
आज हमारा है, ऐसा उसने कहा
हम स्वर्ग-नरक का फ़साना नहीं माँगते
उलझा हुआ ताना-बाना नहीं माँगते
गर हम कुछ माँगते माँगते हैं तो अपना हक
माँगते माँगते माँगते

हम जीने का बहाना नहीं माँगते
हम गुज़रा ज़माना नहीं माँगते
हम बासी ये तराना नहीं माँगते
गर हम कुछ...

ओ ज़मींदार भई, तूने जो ज़ुल्म किए
इक-इक करके सभी हमने मालूम किए
झूठा लगान था, झूठा फ़रमान था
झूठी हर बात थी, झूठा हर दाम था
हम झूठा लगान चुकाना नहीं माँगते
खेतों में बारूद उगाना नहीं माँगते
गर हम कुछ माँगते माँगते हैं तो अपना हक
माँगते माँगते माँगते

भूखे बच्चों को रुलाना नहीं माँगते
हम फेंका हुआ खाना नहीं माँगते
अब हम थक जाना नहीं माँगते
गर हम कुछ...