Friday, January 9, 2015


 How is the new ordinance on land acquisition legislation – the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARR) is different from its earlier version? Critically examine. 

Land is a finite resource and first thing for starting any project. Complication in acquiring land caused enormous delays hence Govt came up with renewed bill LARR 2013 which was introduced last year as it’s earlier version has failed to achieve any concrete success because of:
1. Longer delay in acquisitions because of Social Assessment Committee formalities.
2. As per the CII, because of the news of doubling and quadrupling of price in urban and rural areas respectively. Already the price has gone up for land. Hence in future, any land acquisition will become unviable for public project and uncompetitive for private projects.
3. The clause of obtaining consent of 80 percent of affected families for private sector and 70 percent of affected families for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects would make the process of obtaining consent a very long drawn out process.
4. The Bill talks of an urgency clause which means that government can acquire a land it wants by ignoring all the pre-set conditions.
5. The Resettlement & Rehabilitation clause gives no guarantee to jobs.
6. The Bill compensates different categories of affected families at par, not aligned to their losses. So there could be cases where compensation calculated is lower than the market rate.
7. State is the ultimate decision maker when it comes to acquiring farm land.
8. The Bill does not guarantee return of unused land if land owner repays compensation to the state. It only suggests that it should be returned which creates confusion.
But the newer bill which comes with Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency clause has following
1. Removal of Social Impact Assessment from the LARR under certain special condition
2. Enlarged the scope of cases when central govt can take land without 80% consent clause as compared to LARR by including 13 more categories like Metro project, Railway, Energy, National Highway etc.
3. New Ordinance is pro-Land-Acquirer, by reducing the time for acquisition by several years, and thereby reducing the opportunity cost, is a huge benefit. When this is topped up with the reduction or removal of the cash cost of social impact assessments and referenda, it becomes a windfall for the acquirers too.
Newer Ordinance is in the right spirit toward faster land acquisitions but fails to address the problem of fast rising land prices. Soon we will hit the saturation price which will make acquisition near impossible.

Educated generations in jihad

 “In both Afghanistan and Pakistan, a new generation of jihadis is emerging which is more radical, better educated, and deeply committed to jihad .” Critically analyse the factors that are luring them towards jihad and terrorist activities.

Jihad or “holy war” has transformed from religious battles in medieval history to a justification for terror mongers to perpetrate violence . This has been largely created by misinterpretation of holy texts by unscrupulous factions of the society. In recent years we have seen a rise in educated youngsters falling into the trap of religious fundamentalism. The following reasons have caused such a trend in Afghanistan and Pakistan
1 Brainwashing of gullible adolescents and teenagers in schools, places of religious studies and in some cases at homes of radicalised elders.
2 Due to high unemployment rates, desperate youngsters are made to believe that death while contributing to jihad is a glorified death and are guaranteed rest in heaven.
3 Smart youngsters who are loyal to the jihadi cause are provided with funds to receive foreign education which will help their social standing. This in turn helps authenticate the ideologies they preach to the common man.
4 Media and technology, especially the internet has provided terror outfits a platform to access and influence thoughts and minds of the middle and upper classes through radical material.
5 Educated youngsters with vested interests take a liking to jihad as a means for attaining power and political influence.
6 Mentally disturbed qualified people use religion as an excuse to plunder masses and create a situation of violence and havoc.
To curb this tendency the affected states have to study situations at the grass root level and government needs to gain liking of the common people before hunting down terror outfits.