British spy fund “Courage Fund to Protect Journalistic Sources,”

 

 
 
Annie Machon (Reuters / Stephen Hird)

Annie Machon 
Annie Machon, a former MI5 operative who blew the whistle on the UK’s dubious spying activities, has started a new fund to support other whistleblowers such as former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
She called the “Courage Fund to Protect Journalistic Sources,” Machon said the foundation will strive to ensure that whistleblowers, such as Snowden, currently in Russia where he has acquired temporary asylum, and Chelsea Manning, sentenced to 35 years in prison after releasing the largest-ever cache of secret US documents – receive the protection they need. 
“So many journalists write so many stories, but what happens to the whistleblowers? They’re left swinging in the wind,” Machon said in a speech at the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) in Hamburg at the weekend. “If they can’t survive the process of coming forward, then we will not have these people.” 
“Crucially, we want to encourage other whistleblowers to come forward,” she said. “It is a very frightening and lonely process to go through. We need to show that they can not only survive the process, but even flourish.” 
Presently, there are very few groups, aside from Wikileaks, that provide assistance to whistleblowers after they have spilled the beans. 
Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks activist who accompanied former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden from Hong Kong to Russia and stayed with him until he was provided asylum, said lawyers at the whistleblowing site advised her against returning home to Britain. 
With all these developments in hand, “our lawyers have advised me that it is not safe to return home,”Harrison said from Berlin. 
Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer, speaks from personal experience. After leaving the British security service in 1997, together with partner David Shayle, she lived a life on the run for years to blow the whistle on alleged illegal activities inside the intelligence agencies, including secret intelligence files held on the very government ministers, illegal phone taps, and lying to the government. 
The ex-spy shared her strong sentiments about the current level of state-sponsored surveillance of peoples’ everyday correspondences. 
“It is incredibly corrosive to the human spirit to know that everything you say, everything you do, even if you just want to have a private conversation with your mother, is being listened to,” she said. “Now we all know we are being listened to and surveyed in this amazingly Panopticon-like manner.” 
RT News 

 

Journalist dressed as priest ‘tried to sneak’ into Schumacher hospital room

 
A reporter dressed as a priest attempted to gain access to the room where Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life after a skiing accident, the Formula One champion’s manager Sabine Kehm has said. “This is something I would not have thought possible,” Kehm told Die Welt newspaper. “As soon as his disguise was recognized, he was expelled from the hospital.” The number of media personnel outside the hospital has risen to over 100 since Schumacher’s arrival at Grenoble University Hospital on Sunday, the Independent reported.
 

 

Bahrain probing torture claims by men jailed for bomb attacks

 
Bahrain is investigating torture claims by three men jailed for 15 years for two homemade-bomb attacks. Five men – including two who were tried in absentia – were convicted on Sunday by a court for their role in the blasts, which destroyed several vehicles but caused no injuries, the BNA news agency said. It added the men had admitted being behind the bombings. However, the men’s lawyer, Jassim Sarhan, told Reuters they pleaded not guilty to involvement in the attacks. They also reportedly told the court their confessions during questioning were obtained under torture. One attack took place during last year’s Formula 1 car race.
 

 

More than 130,000 killed in Syria since start of conflict – monitoring group

 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that 130,433 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, among them 46,266 civilians. The number includes more than 7,000 children and more than 4,600 women, according to the Britain-based watchdog. The group said 52,290 pro-government fighters had been killed, among them more than 32,000 regular troops and 262 reinforcements from the Lebanon’s Hizbullah, AFP reported. The Observatory said 29,083 rebels were killed, including 6,913 fighters from jihadist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
 

 

Iraq army to leave Anbar province cities – PM

 
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Tuesday the army will leave cities in Anbar province, AFP reported. The move could help defuse tensions after security forces closed a major Sunni anti-government protest camp. Maliki called on the army “to devote themselves to… pursuing Al-Qaeda hideouts” in the desert of Anbar province. The army will turn over the administration of the cities to the hand of the local and federal police.
 

 

Israel to deploy extra police units ahead of New Year celebrations

 
Police will deploy extra officers and Border Police units across Israel on Tuesday night, the national police headquarters said Tuesday morning. The move comes as part of efforts to secure New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Jerusalem Post reports. Policemen will be sent to nightclub districts and they will also enforce drunk driving regulations and carry out checks.
 

 

Schumacher undergoes 2nd operation, remains critical

 
Former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has undergone a second operation to treat brain injuries sustained in a skiing accident, The Guardian reported. Doctors at the university hospital in Grenoble said they had carried out more surgery following a modest improvement in his condition and a brain scan on Monday afternoon. A fresh scan on Tuesday morning had confirmed “signs… of slight improvement,” according to Jacqueline Hubert, director of the hospital. The situation was better controlled than the previous day, but the doctors warned that the driver’s condition remained critical.
 

 

Russian Supreme Court upholds complaint by Pussy Riot’s Samutsevich

 
The Russian Supreme Court has upheld a complaint filed by lawyers for Yekaterina Samutsevich, quashing her probation. “Upheld without studying the case,” a statement published on the court’s website said. The presidium of the Moscow City Court will now study the legality of sentences for Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. They were convicted of hooliganism for staging a performance in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21, 2012. Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released earlier this month from penal colonies under an amnesty.
 

 

France’s DIY stores allowed to open on Sundays

 
The French government has ruled to let home improvement stores open on Sundays, Reuters reported. Sunday has been enshrined in law as a day of rest in France since 1906. Furniture and gardening stores were cleared for exemptions, and managers and workers from DIY stores staged protests in recent months demanding the right to open too. In a joint statement on Tuesday, France’s trade and labor ministers said the government had passed a decree exempting DIY stores from the Sunday trading ban until July 1, 2015.
 

 

French priest kidnapped in Cameroon freed

 
President Francois Hollande’s office announced Tuesday that a French priest kidnapped in Cameroon in mid-November has been set free. Georges Vandenbeusch was captured by armed men on November 13 in the far north of Cameroon, about 30 kilometers from the border with Nigeria, AP reported. The Koza region has been flagged as a risk for terrorism and kidnapping as the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram operates in the area, but the priest chose to stay on there to carry out his mission. Hollande thanked authorities in Cameroon and Nigeria for their efforts in helping to free the priest.
 

 

Bangladesh court issues arrest warrants for factory owners on homicide charges

 
A Bangladesh court on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for two owners of a garment factory and four of their employees on homicide charges for the deaths of 112 workers. They were killed in a fire that engulfed the factory last year in 2012. Judge Wasim Sheikh issued the arrest warrants for the six, including owners Delwar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, AP reported. They have all fled, however, and if they are not found by February 25 when the court considers their case, they could be tried in absentia. It is the first time Bangladeshi authorities have prosecuted factory owners in the garment industry.
 

 

‘Good progress’ made in expert nuclear talks in Geneva – Iran

 
Iran and six world powers have made good progress in expert talks in Geneva over last month’s nuclear deal, a senior Iranian official said Tuesday. Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy chief negotiator, told Iran’s state news agency that some issues remained to be agreed at a more senior level. It was unclear, however, how close the negotiators came to resolving all the practical issues involved in putting the November 24 accord into practice, Reuters said. A date to implement the deal that obliges Tehran to suspend its most sensitive atomic work was not reported either.
 

 

Schumacher’s condition improved slightly, doctors say

 
Michael Schumacher’s condition has improved slightly after an operation to relieve pressure on his brain, the BBC reported. A new scan taken overnight showed signs that the German motor-racing champion’s condition was “better than yesterday,” but he was still “not out of danger,” doctors said. Schumacher suffered head injuries on Sunday in a skiing accident in the French Alps and was put in a medically-induced coma. A new scan taken late Monday indicated a window of opportunity for a second operation, doctors said.
 

 

Marathon talks over N. Ireland communities tensions break down

 
Marathon talks between the leaders of Northern Ireland’s Catholic and Protestant communities broke down Tuesday without agreement, Reuters reported. The talks were aimed at reaching an agreement to ease tensions and end some of the highest levels of street violence and attacks by militant groups since a peace and power-sharing deal in 1998. The five largest parties failed to reach an agreement during 18 hours of talks that ended shortly before 0500 GMT, the culmination of six months of negotiations, the US diplomat chairing the talks said. No date was set for the resumption of the talks.
 

 

Chinese doctor admits selling newborns

 
A Chinese doctor has admitted in court that she stole babies from the hospital and sold them to human traffickers, AP reported. Zhang Shuxia, a locally respected obstetrician, stood trial on Monday in northern Shaanxi Province’s Fuping County. Zhang told parents their newborns had congenital problems and persuaded them to “sign and give the babies up,” the court said in its ruling. Child trafficking remains a problem in China, despite legal punishments that include the death penalty.
 

 

Congo attacks death toll rises to 100

 
Clashes of security forces with supporters of a self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ in Democratic Republic of Congo left around 100 people killed Monday, Reuters reported. The figure was announced by government spokesman Lambert Mende, who added that Pastor Paul Joseph Mukungubila was on the run from authorities. The rebels tried to seize control of the airport, a military barracks and state television in Kinshasa.
 

 

S. Sudan’s troops clash with rebels in flashpoint town of Bor

 
South Sudanese troops fought rebels supporting former Vice President Riek Machar on Tuesday in the flashpoint town of Bor, Reuters reported, citing Mayor Nhial Majak Nhial. The town is 190 kilometers to the north of the capital, Juba. East African nations earlier urged both sides in the conflict to end hostilities. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said the nations had agreed to move in and defeat Machar if he rejected a government ceasefire offer.
 

 

New eruption at volcano in western Indonesia

 
A rumbling volcano in western Indonesia that has been spewing lava and clouds of gas high into the sky let out a new, powerful eruption Tuesday, officials said. Nine eruptions Tuesday sent lava and searing gas tumbling out of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province, AP quoted Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. The eruption prompted panic among villagers, and a warning was issued for airplanes. The volcano started spitting clouds of gas and lava as high as 7,000 meters in the air late Monday. No casualties have been reported so far.
 

 

​5.1-magnitude earthquake hits eastern Japan

 
A 5.1-magnitude earthquake has struck eastern Japan, the US Geological Survey says. The quake occurred in the Ibaraki Prefecture, 146 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, the agency said. There are no reports of any damage so far. The quake was about 80 kilometers southwest of the Fukushima nuclear plant, but Tokyo Electric Power Company said it did not affect the plant.

​ACLU sues US govt for rules guiding NSA’s surveillance abroad

 
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on Monday against the US government for failing to respond to information requests related to the surveillance of Americans’ international communications. The ACLU’s lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court, says the organization’s Freedom of Information Act requests since May have been largely ignored by the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Department of State. It seeks a court order to force the US government to supply information on how the monitoring of Americans’ international calls and emails is governed. The lawsuit seeks legal standards and guidelines, the ACLU says – not operational details. “While the government has released several documents describing the rules that govern its collection and use of Americans’ international communications under statutory authorities regulating surveillance on U.S. soil, little information is publicly available regarding the rules that apply to surveillance of Americans’ international calls and emails under Executive Order 12,333,” the ACLU wrote in the suit.
 

 

​Israel to free 26 Palestinian prisoners

 
Israel is set to release 26 Palestinian prisoners on Tuesday, as part of peace negotiations with the Palestinians that kicked off in July. This will be the third batch of inmates to be released. A fourth and final release is expected to take place at a later date. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to release a total of 104 inmates at the start of the US-brokered negotiations. The inmates set to be released on Tuesday are serving up to 28 years for killing Israeli civilians and soldiers, and were jailed before the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords which launched the Middle East peace process.
Media agencies 

Habitat World at India Habitat Centre programs

31122013

 
 
     
2nd January, 7:00pm
 
Bhojpuri Film Festival.
Naya Pata (Hindi/Bhojpuri with Eng. Subtitles/2013/94mins)
Dir. Pawan K. Shrivastava Produced through crowd funding, the film represents innovative cinema in trying to capture the emotional turmoil that migrants undergo. 
Film Screenings are for Film Club Members only.
details
 
     
4th January, 7:00pm
Silsila 
Silsila- Commemorating the 75th year of Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan.Hindustani Classical Vocal by Ustad Ghulam Abbas Khan & Sitar Recital by Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan. Followed by documentary on Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan. Collab: Ustad Mushtaq Husain Khan Memorial Trust
 
     
 
 
 
   
5th January, 7:00pm
 
Sarod recital by Alam Khan, disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
6th January, 7:00pm
LGBT Dignity, The Way Forward
Panelists:
Aditya Advani, Activist; Abhina Aher, Programme Manager, India HIV/AIDS Alliance; Anjali Gopalan, Founder and Executive Director, The Naz Foundation Trust, Harish Iyer, Equal Rights Activist & Arvind Narrain, Founder, Alternative Law Forum. Moderator- Pramada Menon, Queer Feminist and Co- Founder CREA Collab: Naz Foundation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Habitat World at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
 
New Delhi – 110003 | T: +91-11-4366 3080; | E: habitatworld@oldworldhospitality.comwww.habitatworld.com
 
Follow Us:  
 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

AAP reduce electricity prices by 50 per cent

31122013

  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal  promise of power price reduction upto 50% today held a press meet after a cabinet meeting, Kejriwal said there will be a 50 per cent cut in electricity prices up to a consumption of 400 units. Rates will be reduced further when the CAG audit is complete. 

His major pre-poll promises was that he would half the cost of electricity in Delhi if AAP was elected.

 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

Apr-Nov fiscal deficit at 93.9% of actuals to BEs

31122013

 

Today at 5:57 PM

Dear All,

 

Apr-Nov fiscal deficit at 93.9% of actuals to BEs

 

The gross fiscal deficit of the Central government stands at 93.9% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2013 as compared to 80.4% of the actuals to budget estimates in the corresponding period of the previous year. The primary deficit significantly increased to 171.8% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2013 as compared to 118.7% of the actuals to budget estimates during corresponding period of the previous year.

 

    Differentials in use of fiscal deficit space by November 2013 vis-à-vis November 2012        (in %)

Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Government of India accounts, Government of India

Note: The Fiscal deficit data pertains to the end of the respective month

 The data for February 2013 and February 2012 pertains to actuals to revised estimates

* indicates data at the end of respective financial year and are % of actuals to revised estimates

 

The revenue receipts of the central government stands at 47.6% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2013 and also at the end of November 2012.

 

Fiscal position for November FY2014 vis-à-vis November  FY2013

Month

% of Actuals to Budget Estimates FY2014*

% of Actuals to Budgeted Estimates FY2013*

% of Actuals to Budgeted Estimates FY2012*

April

17.3

13.1

18.1

May

33.3

27.6

31.7

June

48.4

37.1

39.4

July

62.8

51.5

55.4

August

74.6

65.7

66.3

September

76.0

65.6

68

October

84.4

71.6

74.4

November

93.9

80.4

85.6

December

78.8

92.3

January

90.7

105.4

February**

97.4

94.6

March

94^

98.9^

Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Union Government Accounts, Government of India

Note: * Data pertains to the end of the respective month

** Data for February 2013 and February 2012 pertains to actuals to revised estimates

^ indicates data at the end of respective financial year and are % of actuals to revised estimates

 

The government’s market borrowing stands at 84% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2013 as compared with 86% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2012. The domestic financing stands at 95% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2013 as compared to 82% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2012. The external financing of the government stands at 19% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2013 as against 1% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2012. The total financing of the central government stands at 94% of the actuals to budget estimates at the end of November 2013 as against 80% of the actuals to budget estimates during the corresponding period of previous year.

 

   Sources of financing the deficit                                                                                                          (%)

 Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Union Government Accounts, Government of India

Note: Data pertains to the end of the November 2012 and November 2013

 

 

Regards,

 

Dr. S P Sharma

Chief Economist

 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

CBSE-Katha Reading Utsav concludes with great thump

31122013

CBSE-Katha Reading Utsav concludes with great thump

Understanding the creative side of students

New Delhi, 31 December, 2013: The 3 day reading festival organized by CBSE in association with Katha, in the memory of Dr. Abid Hussain, President, Katha, concluded today with much pomp and ceremony.

A one of its kind reading and writing workshop organized by the Board, the Katha Utsav saw CBSE rewarding students for the creative enigma they portrayed.

The three day festival not only saw participation from young enthusiastic kids but also saw the who’s who of the literary circle mingling with children. Innovative and diverse, the three days were filled with various sessions on the art of reading, the importance of technology, the beauty of writing and various competitions for students to have some fun.

The event also saw various publishers and editors since great story writing comes from accepting the great criticism from the masters of the trade.

Ms. Sakshi Jain, Art Director, Katha, excited to be a part of the festival said, “Books are not merely a product to be sold, they are a product of love which originate in the mind of the writer and then transferred to the mind of the reader.”

Concluding today, the day saw teachers, parents and students interact with publishers in Meet with the Publishers and Literary AgentsMs.Anita from Young Zubaansaid, “This meet helped students get an idea of how a writer pens their words into a masterpiece.”

The meet came to a close with the Katha Awards and Valedictory Ceremonywherein the winners were felicitated with awards and prizes for their active work in the field of reading and writing workshops that were held during the three day programme.  Students from different parts of country where present to receive the prestigious acclamation being given by the renowned alumni of Katha.

When asked about his thoughts on such events, Shri Vineet Joshi, Chairman, CBSE, said “It is a must that more and more such festivals are organized to rejuvenate the art of reading amongst students. Technology has started playing such a big role today those children almost seem to forget the printed word.”

During the workshop, various spots were allotted in Sanskriti School wherein the students could go and showcase their creative skills. There was a Culture Café where the students could create flavors and textures of the culture they come from. This included excellence in writing, translation and illustration. Similarly, there was also aTwitter Café and a YouTube café where the young writers could learn, share, make friends with their tweets and record the video of anything around them with the camera provided to them and share that on YouTube. The videos they upload would be reviewed. For the ones who love to read, there was a Katha Book Café where 100 plus books recommended by CBSE and NCERT were showcased.

CBSE and Katha started a joint venture earlier this year to help nurture future writers in the country. The main objective of this initiative is to identify, encourage and provide a platform to all the future poets, novelists and translators of the country. Several Katha clubs were formed in CBSE schools that held literary lessons for students. Students who showcased a flair for literary writing were selected from these clubs for this national workshop.

 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

 

31122013

COMMISSIONING OF FAST PATROL VESSEL (FPV)

ICGS ABHEEK – 31 DEC 13

 

THE INDIAN COAST GUARD SHIP ‘ABHEEK’, THE SECOND IN THE SERIES OF TWENTY FAST PATROL VESSELS (FPVs), DESIGNED AND BUILT BY             M/S COCHIN SHIPYARD LIMITED, WAS COMMISSIONED ON 31 DEC 13 AT KOCHI BY SHRI AK ANTONY, THE HON’BLE RAKSHA MANTRI IN THE PRESENCE OF         VICE ADMIRAL ANURAG G THAPLIYAL, AVSM, DIRECTOR GENERAL INDIAN COAST GUARD, INSPECTOR GENERAL SPS BASRA, YSM, PTM, TM, COMMANDER COAST GUARD REGION (WEST), PROF KV THOMAS, HON’BLE MINISTER OF STATE(IC) FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD & PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION, SHRI P RAJEEV, MP(RAJYA SABHA), DR. CHARLES DIAS, MP(LOK SABHA), STATE MINISTERS AND OTHER SENIOR DIGNITARIES OF THE CENTRAL AND STATE GOVT.

          THE 50 METER INDIGENOUS FPV DISPLACES 290 TONNES AND CAN ACHIEVE A MAXIMUM SPEED OF 33 KNOTS WITH AN ENDURANCE OF 
1500 NAUTICAL MILES AT ECONOMICAL SPEED OF 13 KNOTS, EQUIPPED WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART WEAPONRY AND ADVANCED COMMUNICATION AND NAVIGATIONAL EQUIPMENT. SHE MAKES AN IDEAL PLATFORM FOR UNDERTAKING MULTIFARIOUS CLOSE-COAST MISSIONS SUCH AS SURVEILLANCE, INTERDICTION, SEARCH AND RESCUE AND MEDICAL EVACUATION.  THE SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE SHIP INCLUDE AN INTEGRATED BRIDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (IBMS), INTEGRATED MACHINERY CONTROL SYSTEM (IMCS) AND AN INTEGRATED GUN MOUNT WITH INDIGENOUS FIRE CONTROL SYSTEM (FCS).

THE SHIP HAS BEEN NAMED ICGS “ABHEEK”, LITERALLY MEANING “FEARLESS”, AND WILL BE BASED AT CHENNAI UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF THE COMMANDER, COAST GUARD REGION (EAST).

         

 

 

IN HIS ADDRESS DURING THE COMMISSIONING CEREMONY, HON’BLE RAKSHA MANTRI TERMED THE FAST PATROL VESSELS AS THE WORK HORSES OF COAST GUARD. THE HON’BLE RAKSHA MANTRI ALSO DWELT UPON THE FAST PACED DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDIAN COAST GUARD AND ACKNOWLEDGED THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE COAST GUARD’S PLAN TO INCREASE FORCE LEVELS SUBSTANTIALLY TO FACE THE EMERGING SECURITY CHALLENGES IN THE MARITIME DOMAIN. HE EMPHASISED THE IMPORTANCE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACCORDS TO COASTAL SECURITY IN VIEW OF THE ASYMMETRIC THREATS FROM THE SEA. INDIAN COAST GUARD WILL HAVE      150 SHIPS/BOATS AND ABOUT 100 AIRCRAFT OVER THE NEXT 
FIVE YEARS. IN ADDITION TO THESE OPERATIONAL ASSETS, A COASTAL SURVEILLANCE NETWORK IS BEING ESTABLISHED WITH 46 STATIONS TO ENSURE REAL TIME COASTAL SURVEILLANCE. 

          THE SHIP IS COMMANDED BY COMMANDANT MANISH KUMAR NEGI AND HAS COMPLEMENT OF 05 OFFICERS AND 34 OTHER RANKS.

 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

 

31122013

 

Dear All,

 

State Development Monitor  

 December 2013  

 

 

States have marked significant developments in all the spheres. Various economic advancements have been observed in states such as supplementary budget has been presented in Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

 

States are in the way to boost their industrial developments as first branch of all woman bank opened in Madhya Pradesh and UP sugar crisis ended as millers agreed to pay cane price in 2 tranches. Rural economy of states has also strengthened with notable developments such as Punjab seeks NDDB help to modernise milk plants and over 54 LT paddy arrived in Haryana.

 

Paving the way for better infrastructure, Haryana notifies rules for regularisation of plots. Further, major initiatives have been taken by the states to improve education as
 National Law
 University , IIT-Delhi to set up campus at Sonipat and
 Punjab releases Rs 280.81 crore for scholarships.

 

However, the tourism sector has also observed remarkable developments like Punjab to come out with tourism policy. Further, major social developments which have taken place in the states are Chhattisgarh tribal pockets to get Rs 750 crore and J&K gives nod to fresh rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. On the health front, Bihar has launched telemedicine services for the upliftment of health services in the state.

 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

TRADERS SHOCKED OVER GOVT NOD TO TESCO IN FDI IN RETAIL

31122013


The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has expressed deep shock and utter dismay over the approval of FIPB in FDI in Retail investment between Tesco and Tata.

 ” It is an unjustified step of the Government which will harm the small retailers of the Country. The Government instead of upgrading and modernising the existing retail trade of India has chosen the route of laying red carpet for Multinational Companies in their bid to control and dominate the retail sector”-said CAIT President B. C. Bhartia and Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal in a joint press statement released here today at New Delhi. 

The CAIT is committed to oppose any such policy and will do all within its might to make it one of the main Poll issue in forthcoming Loksabha Polls in 2014. To take stock of the current development and to decide the role of traders in forthcoming elections, the CAIT has convened a meeting of its National Governing Council on 10th and 11th January at Nagpur which will be attended by prominent trade leaders of different States from all over the Country.

The CAIT recalled that principal opposition party BJP, Left Parties and several other parties have made it clear in the past to reject present policy of FDI in Retail and accordingly the CAIT will impress upon all political parties to reiterate their stand in their respective Election Manifestos.    

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
For more details, please contact CAIT Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal at +91-9891015165-9310199771

कैसे बनाया अमेरिका ने अरविंद केजरीवाल को, जानिए पूरी कहानी!

31122013

कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष सोनिया गांधी की अध्यक्षता वाली एनजीओ गिरोह ‘राष्ट्रीय सलाहकार परिषद (एनएसी)’ ने घोर सांप्रदायिक ‘सांप्रदायिक और लक्ष्य केंद्रित हिंसा निवारण अधिनियम’ का ड्राफ्ट तैयार किया है। एनएसी की एक प्रमुख सदस्य अरुणा राय के साथ मिलकर अरविंद केजरीवाल ने सरकारी नौकरी में रहते हुए एनजीओ की कार्यप्रणाली समझी और फिर ‘परिवर्तन’ नामक एनजीओ से जुड़ गए। अरविंद लंबे अरसे तक राजस्व विभाग से छुटटी लेकर भी सरकारी तनख्वाह ले रहे थे और एनजीओ से भी वेतन उठा रहे थे, जो ‘श्रीमान ईमानदार’ को कानूनन भ्रष्‍टाचारी की श्रेणी में रखता है। वर्ष 2006 में ‘परिवर्तन’ में काम करने के दौरान ही उन्हें अमेरिकी ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ व ‘रॉकफेलर ब्रदर्स फंड’ ने ‘उभरते नेतृत्व’ के लिए ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ पुरस्कार दिया, जबकि उस वक्त तक अरविंद ने ऐसा कोई काम नहीं किया था, जिसे उभरते हुए नेतृत्व का प्रतीक माना जा सके।  इसके बाद अरविंद अपने पुराने सहयोगी मनीष सिसोदिया के एनजीओ ‘कबीर’ से जुड़ गए, जिसका गठन इन दोनों ने मिलकर वर्ष 2005 में किया था।

अरविंद को समझने से पहले ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ को समझ लीजिए! अमेरिकी नीतियों को पूरी दुनिया में लागू कराने के लिए अमेरिकी खुफिया ब्यूरो  ‘सेंट्रल इंटेलिजेंस एजेंसी (सीआईए)’ अमेरिका की मशहूर कार निर्माता कंपनी ‘फोर्ड’ द्वारा संचालित ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ एवं कई अन्य फंडिंग एजेंसी के साथ मिलकर काम करती रही है। 1953 में फिलिपिंस की पूरी राजनीति व चुनाव को सीआईए ने अपने कब्जे में ले लिया था। भारतीय अरविंद केजरीवाल की ही तरह सीआईए ने उस वक्त फिलिपिंस में ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ को खड़ा किया था और उन्हें फिलिपिंस का राष्ट्रपति बनवा दिया था। अरविंद केजरीवाल की ही तरह ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ का भी पूर्व का कोई राजनैतिक इतिहास नहीं था। ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ के जरिए फिलिपिंस की राजनीति को पूरी तरह से अपने कब्जे में करने के लिए अमेरिका ने उस जमाने में प्रचार के जरिए उनका राष्ट्रीय-अंतरराष्ट्रीय ‘छवि निर्माण’ से लेकर उन्हें ‘नॉसियोनालिस्टा पार्टी’ का  उम्मीदवार बनाने और चुनाव जिताने के लिए करीब 5 मिलियन डॉलर खर्च किया था। तत्कालीन सीआईए प्रमुख एलन डॉउल्स की निगरानी में इस पूरी योजना को उस समय के सीआईए अधिकारी ‘एडवर्ड लैंडस्ले’ ने अंजाम दिया था। इसकी पुष्टि 1972 में एडवर्ड लैंडस्ले द्वारा दिए गए एक साक्षात्कार में हुई।

ठीक अरविंद केजरीवाल की ही तरह रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय की ईमानदार छवि को गढ़ा गया और ‘डर्टी ट्रिक्स’ के जरिए विरोधी नेता और फिलिपिंस के तत्कालीन राष्ट्रपति ‘क्वायरिनो’ की छवि धूमिल की गई। यह प्रचारित किया गया कि क्वायरिनो भाषण देने से पहले अपना आत्मविश्वास बढ़ाने के लिए ड्रग का उपयोग करते हैं। रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय की ‘गढ़ी गई ईमानदार छवि’ और क्वायरिनो की ‘कुप्रचारित पतित छवि’ ने रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय को दो तिहाई बहुमत से जीत दिला दी और अमेरिका अपने मकसद में कामयाब रहा था। भारत में इस समय अरविंद केजरीवाल बनाम अन्य राजनीतिज्ञों की बीच अंतर दर्शाने के लिए छवि गढ़ने का जो प्रचारित खेल चल रहा है वह अमेरिकी खुफिया एजेंसी सीआईए द्वारा अपनाए गए तरीके और प्रचार से बहुत कुछ मेल खाता है।

उन्हीं ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ के नाम पर एशिया में अमेरिकी नीतियों के पक्ष में माहौल बनाने वालों, वॉलेंटियर तैयार करने वालों, अपने देश की नीतियों को अमेरिकी हित में प्रभावित करने वालों, भ्रष्‍टाचार के नाम पर देश की चुनी हुई सरकारों को अस्थिर करने वालों को ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ व ‘रॉकफेलर ब्रदर्स फंड’ मिलकर अप्रैल 1957 से ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ अवार्ड प्रदान कर रही है। ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ के संयोजक अरविंद केजरीवाल और उनके साथी व ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ के विधायक मनीष सिसोदिया को भी वही ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ पुरस्कार मिला है और सीआईए के लिए फंडिंग करने वाली उसी ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ के फंड से उनका एनजीओ ‘कबीर’ और ‘इंडिया अगेंस्ट करप्शन’ मूवमेंट खड़ा हुआ है।

भारत में राजनैतिक अस्थिरता के लिए एनजीओ और मीडिया में विदेशी फंडिंग! ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ के एक अधिकारी स्टीवन सॉलनिक के मुताबिक ‘‘कबीर को फोर्ड फाउंडेशन की ओर से वर्ष 2005 में 1 लाख 72 हजार डॉलर एवं वर्ष 2008 में 1 लाख 97 हजार अमेरिकी डॉलर का फंड दिया गया।’’ यही नहीं, ‘कबीर’ को ‘डच दूतावास’ से भी मोटी रकम फंड के रूप में मिली। अमेरिका के साथ मिलकर नीदरलैंड भी अपने दूतावासों के जरिए दूसरे देशों के आंतरिक मामलों में अमेरिकी-यूरोपीय हस्तक्षेप बढ़ाने के लिए वहां की गैर सरकारी संस्थाओं यानी एनजीओ को जबरदस्त फंडिंग करती है।

अंग्रेजी अखबार ‘पॉयनियर’ में प्रकाशित एक खबर के मुताबिक डच यानी नीदरलैंड दूतावास अपनी ही एक एनजीओ ‘हिवोस’ के जरिए नरेंद्र मोदी की गुजरात सरकार को अस्थिर करने में लगे विभिन्‍न भारतीय एनजीओ को अप्रैल 2008 से 2012 के बीच लगभग 13 लाख यूरो, मतलब करीब सवा नौ करोड़ रुपए की फंडिंग कर चुकी है।  इसमें एक अरविंद केजरीवाल का एनजीओ भी शामिल है। ‘हिवोस’ को फोर्ड फाउंडेशन भी फंडिंग करती है।

डच एनजीओ ‘हिवोस’  दुनिया के अलग-अलग हिस्सों में केवल उन्हीं एनजीओ को फंडिंग करती है,जो अपने देश व वहां के राज्यों में अमेरिका व यूरोप के हित में राजनैतिक अस्थिरता पैदा करने की क्षमता को साबित करते हैं।  इसके लिए मीडिया हाउस को भी जबरदस्त फंडिंग की जाती है। एशियाई देशों की मीडिया को फंडिंग करने के लिए अमेरिका व यूरोपीय देशों ने ‘पनोस’ नामक संस्था का गठन कर रखा है। दक्षिण एशिया में इस समय ‘पनोस’ के करीब आधा दर्जन कार्यालय काम कर रहे हैं। ‘पनोस’ में भी फोर्ड फाउंडेशन का पैसा आता है। माना जा रहा है कि अरविंद केजरीवाल के मीडिया उभार के पीछे इसी ‘पनोस’ के जरिए ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ की फंडिंग काम कर रही है। ‘सीएनएन-आईबीएन’ व ‘आईबीएन-7’ चैनल के प्रधान संपादक राजदीप सरदेसाई ‘पॉपुलेशन काउंसिल’ नामक संस्था के सदस्य हैं, जिसकी फंडिंग अमेरिका की वही ‘रॉकफेलर ब्रदर्स’ करती है जो ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’  पुरस्कार के लिए ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ के साथ मिलकर फंडिंग करती है।

माना जा रहा है कि ‘पनोस’ और ‘रॉकफेलर ब्रदर्स फंड’ की फंडिंग का ही यह कमाल है कि राजदीप सरदेसाई का अंग्रेजी चैनल ‘सीएनएन-आईबीएन’ व हिंदी चैनल ‘आईबीएन-7’ न केवल अरविंद केजरीवाल को ‘गढ़ने’ में सबसे आगे रहे हैं, बल्कि 21 दिसंबर 2013 को ‘इंडियन ऑफ द ईयर’ का पुरस्कार भी उसे प्रदान किया है। ‘इंडियन ऑफ द ईयर’ के पुरस्कार की प्रयोजक कंपनी ‘जीएमआर’ भ्रष्‍टाचार में में घिरी है।

‘जीएमआर’ के स्वामित्व वाली ‘डायल’ कंपनी ने देश की राजधानी दिल्ली में इंदिरा गांधी अंतरराष्ट्रीय हवाई अड्डा विकसित करने के लिए यूपीए सरकार से महज 100 रुपए प्रति एकड़ के हिसाब से जमीन हासिल किया है। भारत के नियंत्रक एवं महालेखा परीक्षक ‘सीएजी’  ने 17 अगस्त 2012 को संसद में पेश अपनी रिपोर्ट में कहा था कि जीएमआर को सस्ते दर पर दी गई जमीन के कारण सरकारी खजाने को 1 लाख 63 हजार करोड़ रुपए का चूना लगा है। इतना ही नहीं, रिश्वत देकर अवैध तरीके से ठेका हासिल करने के कारण ही मालदीव सरकार ने अपने देश में निर्मित हो रहे माले हवाई अड्डा का ठेका जीएमआर से छीन लिया था। सिंगापुर की अदालत ने जीएमआर कंपनी को भ्रष्‍टाचार में शामिल होने का दोषी करार दिया था। तात्पर्य यह है कि अमेरिकी-यूरोपीय फंड, भारतीय मीडिया और यहां यूपीए सरकार के साथ घोटाले में साझीदार कारपोरेट कंपनियों ने मिलकर अरविंद केजरीवाल को ‘गढ़ा’ है, जिसका मकसद आगे पढ़ने पर आपको पता चलेगा।

‘जनलोकपाल आंदोलन’ से ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ तक का शातिर सफर! आरोप है कि विदेशी पुरस्कार और फंडिंग हासिल करने के बाद अमेरिकी हित में अरविंद केजरीवाल व मनीष सिसोदिया ने इस देश को अस्थिर करने के लिए ‘इंडिया अगेंस्ट करप्शन’ का नारा देते हुए वर्ष 2011 में ‘जनलोकपाल आंदोलन’ की रूप रेखा खिंची।  इसके लिए सबसे पहले बाबा रामदेव का उपयोग किया गया, लेकिन रामदेव इन सभी की मंशाओं को थोड़ा-थोड़ा समझ गए थे। स्वामी रामदेव के मना करने पर उनके मंच का उपयोग करते हुए महाराष्ट्र के सीधे-साधे, लेकिन भ्रष्‍टाचार के विरुद्ध कई मुहीम में सफलता हासिल करने वाले अन्ना हजारे को अरविंद केजरीवाल ने दिल्ली से उत्तर भारत में ‘लॉंच’ कर दिया।  अन्ना हजारे को अरिवंद केजरीवाल की मंशा समझने में काफी वक्त लगा, लेकिन तब तक जनलोकपाल आंदोलन के बहाने अरविंद ‘कांग्रेस पार्टी व विदेशी फंडेड मीडिया’ के जरिए देश में प्रमुख चेहरा बन चुके थे। जनलोकपाल आंदोलन के दौरान जो मीडिया अन्ना-अन्ना की गाथा गा रही थी, ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ के गठन के बाद वही मीडिया अन्ना को असफल साबित करने और अरविंद केजरीवाल के महिमा मंडन में जुट गई।

विदेशी फंडिंग तो अंदरूनी जानकारी है, लेकिन उस दौर से लेकर आज तक अरविंद केजरीवाल को प्रमोट करने वाली हर मीडिया संस्थान और पत्रकारों के चेहरे को गौर से देखिए। इनमें से अधिकांश वो हैं, जो कांग्रेस नेतृत्व वाली यूपीए सरकार के द्वारा अंजाम दिए गए 1 लाख 76 हजार करोड़ के 2जी स्पेक्ट्रम, 1 लाख 86 हजार करोड़ के कोल ब्लॉक आवंटन, 70 हजार करोड़ के कॉमनवेल्थ गेम्स और ‘कैश फॉर वोट’ घोटाले में समान रूप से भागीदार हैं।

आगे बढ़ते हैं…! अन्ना जब अरविंद और मनीष सिसोदिया के पीछे की विदेशी फंडिंग और उनकी छुपी हुई मंशा से परिचित हुए तो वह अलग हो गए, लेकिन इसी अन्ना के कंधे पर पैर रखकर अरविंद अपनी ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ खड़ा करने में सफल  रहे।  जनलोकपाल आंदोलन के पीछे ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ के फंड  को लेकर जब सवाल उठने लगा तो अरविंद-मनीष के आग्रह व न्यूयॉर्क स्थित अपने मुख्यालय के आदेश पर फोर्ड फाउंडेशन ने अपनी वेबसाइट से ‘कबीर’ व उसकी फंडिंग का पूरा ब्यौरा ही हटा दिया।  लेकिन उससे पहले अन्ना आंदोलन के दौरान 31 अगस्त 2011 में ही फोर्ड के प्रतिनिधि स्टीवेन सॉलनिक ने ‘बिजनस स्टैंडर’ अखबार में एक साक्षात्कार दिया था, जिसमें यह कबूल किया था कि फोर्ड फाउंडेशन ने ‘कबीर’ को दो बार में 3 लाख 69 हजार डॉलर की फंडिंग की है। स्टीवेन सॉलनिक के इस साक्षात्कार के कारण यह मामला पूरी तरह से दबने से बच गया और अरविंद का चेहरा कम संख्या में ही सही, लेकिन लोगों के सामने आ गया।

सूचना के मुताबिक अमेरिका की एक अन्य संस्था ‘आवाज’ की ओर से भी अरविंद केजरीवाल को जनलोकपाल आंदोलन के लिए फंड उपलब्ध कराया गया था और इसी ‘आवाज’ ने दिल्ली विधानसभा चुनाव लड़ने के लिए भी अरविंद केजरीवाल की ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ को फंड उपलब्ध कराया। सीरिया, इजिप्ट, लीबिया आदि देश में सरकार को अस्थिर करने के लिए अमेरिका की इसी ‘आवाज’ संस्था ने वहां के एनजीओ, ट्रस्ट व बुद्धिजीवियों को जमकर फंडिंग की थी। इससे इस विवाद को बल मिलता है कि अमेरिका के हित में हर देश की पॉलिसी को प्रभावित करने के लिए अमेरिकी संस्था जिस ‘फंडिंग का खेल’ खेल खेलती आई हैं, भारत में अरविंद केजरीवाल, मनीष सिसोदिया और ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ उसी की देन हैं।

सुप्रीम कोर्ट के वकील एम.एल.शर्मा ने अरविंद केजरीवाल व मनीष सिसोदिया के एनजीओ व उनकी ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ में चुनावी चंदे के रूप में आए विदेशी फंडिंग की पूरी जांच के लिए दिल्ली हाईकोर्ट में एक याचिका दाखिल कर रखी है। अदालत ने इसकी जांच का निर्देश दे रखा है, लेकिन केंद्रीय गृहमंत्रालय इसकी जांच कराने के प्रति उदासीनता बरत रही है, जो केंद्र सरकार को संदेह के दायरे में खड़ा करता है। वकील एम.एल.शर्मा कहते हैं कि ‘फॉरेन कंट्रीब्यूशन रेगुलेशन एक्ट-2010’ के मुताबिक विदेशी धन पाने के लिए भारत सरकार की अनुमति लेना आवश्यक है। यही नहीं, उस राशि को खर्च करने के लिए निर्धारित मानकों का पालन करना भी जरूरी है। कोई भी विदेशी देश चुनावी चंदे या फंड के जरिए भारत की संप्रभुता व राजनैतिक गतिविधियों को प्रभावित नहीं कर सके, इसलिए यह कानूनी प्रावधान किया गया था, लेकिन अरविंद केजरीवाल व उनकी टीम ने इसका पूरी तरह से उल्लंघन किया है। बाबा रामदेव के खिलाफ एक ही दिन में 80 से अधिक मुकदमे दर्ज करने वाली कांग्रेस सरकार की उदासीनता दर्शाती है कि अरविंद केजरीवाल को वह अपने राजनैतिक फायदे के लिए प्रोत्साहित कर रही है।

अमेरिकी ‘कल्चरल कोल्ड वार’ के हथियार हैं अरविंद केजरीवाल! फंडिंग के जरिए पूरी दुनिया में राजनैतिक अस्थिरता पैदा करने की अमेरिका व उसकी खुफिया एजेंसी ‘सीआईए’ की नीति को ‘कल्चरल कोल्ड वार’ का नाम दिया गया है। इसमें किसी देश की राजनीति, संस्कृति  व उसके लोकतंत्र को अपने वित्त व पुरस्कार पोषित समूह, एनजीओ, ट्रस्ट, सरकार में बैठे जनप्रतिनिधि, मीडिया और वामपंथी बुद्धिजीवियों के जरिए पूरी तरह से प्रभावित करने का प्रयास किया जाता है। अरविंद केजरीवाल ने ‘सेक्यूलरिज्म’ के नाम पर इसकी पहली झलक अन्ना के मंच से ‘भारत माता’ की तस्वीर को हटाकर दे दिया था। चूंकि इस देश में भारत माता के अपमान को ‘सेक्यूलरिज्म का फैशनेबल बुर्का’ समझा जाता है, इसलिए वामपंथी बुद्धिजीवी व मीडिया बिरादरी इसे अरविंद केजरीवाल की धर्मनिरपेक्षता साबित करने में सफल रही। एक बार जो धर्मनिरपेक्षता का गंदा खेल शुरू हुआ तो फिर चल निकला और ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ के नेता प्रशांत भूषण ने तत्काल कश्मीर में जनमत संग्रह कराने का सुझाव दे दिया। प्रशांत भूषण यहीं नहीं रुके, उन्होंने संसद हमले के मुख्य दोषी अफजल गुरु की फांसी का विरोध करते हुए यह तक कह दिया कि इससे भारत का असली चेहरा उजागर हो गया है। जैसे वह खुद भारत नहीं, बल्कि किसी दूसरे देश के नागरिक हों?

प्रशांत भूषण लगातार भारत विरोधी बयान देते चले गए और मीडिया व वामपंथी बुद्धिजीवी उनकी आम आदमी पार्टी को ‘क्रांतिकारी सेक्यूलर दल’ के रूप में प्रचारित करने लगी।  प्रशांत भूषण को हौसला मिला और उन्होंने केंद्र सरकार से कश्मीर में लागू एएफएसपीए कानून को हटाने की मांग करते हुए कह दिया कि सेना ने कश्मीरियों को इस कानून के जरिए दबा रखा है। इसके उलट हमारी सेना यह कह चुकी है कि यदि इस कानून को हटाया जाता है तो अलगाववादी कश्मीर में हावी हो जाएंगे।

अमेरिका का हित इसमें है कि कश्मीर अस्थिर रहे या पूरी तरह से पाकिस्तान के पाले में चला जाए ताकि अमेरिका यहां अपना सैन्य व निगरानी केंद्र स्थापित कर सके।  यहां से दक्षिण-पश्चिम व दक्षिण-पूर्वी एशिया व चीन पर नजर रखने में उसे आसानी होगी।  आम आदमी पार्टी के नेता  प्रशांत भूषण अपनी झूठी मानवाधिकारवादी छवि व वकालत के जरिए इसकी कोशिश पहले से ही करते रहे हैं और अब जब उनकी ‘अपनी राजनैतिक पार्टी’ हो गई है तो वह इसे राजनैतिक रूप से अंजाम देने में जुटे हैं। यह एक तरह से ‘लिटमस टेस्ट’ था, जिसके जरिए आम आदमी पार्टी ‘ईमानदारी’ और ‘छद्म धर्मनिरपेक्षता’ का ‘कॉकटेल’ तैयार कर रही थी।

8 दिसंबर 2013 को दिल्ली की 70 सदस्यीय विधानसभा चुनाव में 28 सीटें जीतने के बाद अपनी सरकार बनाने के लिए अरविंद केजरीवाल व उनकी पार्टी द्वारा आम जनता को अधिकार देने के नाम पर जनमत संग्रह का जो नाटक खेला गया, वह काफी हद तक इस ‘कॉकटेल’ का ही परीक्षण  है। सवाल उठने लगा है कि यदि देश में आम आदमी पार्टी की सरकार बन जाए और वह कश्मीर में जनमत संग्रह कराते हुए उसे पाकिस्तान के पक्ष में बता दे तो फिर क्या होगा?

आखिर जनमत संग्रह के नाम पर उनके ‘एसएमएस कैंपेन’ की पारदर्शिता ही कितनी है? अन्ना हजारे भी एसएमएस  कार्ड के नाम पर अरविंद केजरीवाल व उनकी पार्टी द्वारा की गई धोखाधड़ी का मामला उठा चुके हैं। दिल्ली के पटियाला हाउस अदालत में अन्ना व अरविंद को पक्षकार बनाते हुए एसएमएस  कार्ड के नाम पर 100 करोड़ के घोटाले का एक मुकदमा दर्ज है। इस पर अन्ना ने कहा, ‘‘मैं इससे दुखी हूं, क्योंकि मेरे नाम पर अरविंद के द्वारा किए गए इस कार्य का कुछ भी पता नहीं है और मुझे अदालत में घसीट दिया गया है, जो मेरे लिए बेहद शर्म की बात है।’’

प्रशांत भूषण, अरविंद केजरीवाल, मनीष सिसोदिया और उनके ‘पंजीकृत आम आदमी’  ने जब देखा कि ‘भारत माता’ के अपमान व कश्मीर को भारत से अलग करने जैसे वक्तव्य पर ‘मीडिया-बुद्धिजीवी समर्थन का खेल’ शुरू हो चुका है तो उन्होंने अपनी ईमानदारी की चासनी में कांग्रेस के छद्म सेक्यूलरवाद को मिला लिया। उनके बयान देखिए, प्रशांत भूषण ने कहा, ‘इस देश में हिंदू आतंकवाद चरम पर है’, तो प्रशांत के सुर में सुर मिलाते हुए अरविंद ने कहा कि ‘बाटला हाउस एनकाउंटर फर्जी था और उसमें मारे गए मुस्लिम युवा निर्दोष थे।’ इससे दो कदम आगे बढ़ते हुए अरविंद केजरीवाल उत्तरप्रदेश के बरेली में दंगा भड़काने के आरोप में गिरफ्तार हो चुके तौकीर रजा और जामा मस्जिद के मौलाना इमाम बुखारी से मिलकर समर्थन देने की मांग की।

याद रखिए, यही इमाम बुखरी हैं, जो खुले आम दिल्ली पुलिस को चुनौती देते हुए कह चुके हैं कि ‘हां, मैं पाकिस्तानी खुफिया एजेंसी आईएसआई का एजेंट हूं, यदि हिम्मत है तो मुझे गिरफ्तार करके दिखाओ।’ उन पर कई आपराधिक मामले दर्ज हैं, अदालत ने उन्हें भगोड़ा घोषित कर रखा है लेकिन दिल्ली पुलिस की इतनी हिम्मत नहीं है कि वह जामा मस्जिद जाकर उन्हें गिरफ्तार कर सके।  वहीं तौकीर रजा का पुराना सांप्रदायिक इतिहास है। वह समय-समय पर कांग्रेस और मुलायम सिंह यादव की समाजवादी पार्टी के पक्ष में मुसलमानों के लिए फतवा जारी करते रहे हैं। इतना ही नहीं, वह मशहूर बंग्लादेशी लेखिका तस्लीमा नसरीन की हत्या करने वालों को ईनाम देने जैसा घोर अमानवीय फतवा भी जारी कर चुके हैं।

नरेंद्र मोदी के बढ़ते प्रभाव को रोकने के लिए फेंका गया ‘आखिरी पत्ता’ हैं अरविंद! दरअसल विदेश में अमेरिका, सउदी अरब व पाकिस्तान और भारत में कांग्रेस व क्षेत्रीय पाटियों की पूरी कोशिश नरेंद्र मोदी के बढ़ते प्रभाव को रोकने की है। मोदी न अमेरिका के हित में हैं, न सउदी अरब व पाकिस्तान के हित में और न ही कांग्रेस पार्टी व धर्मनिरेपक्षता का ढोंग करने वाली क्षेत्रीय पार्टियों के हित में।  मोदी के आते ही अमेरिका की एशिया केंद्रित पूरी विदेश, आर्थिक व रक्षा नीति तो प्रभावित होगी ही, देश के अंदर लूट मचाने में दशकों से जुटी हुई पार्टियों व नेताओं के लिए भी जेल यात्रा का माहौल बन जाएगा। इसलिए उसी भ्रष्‍टाचार को रोकने के नाम पर जनता का भावनात्मक दोहन करते हुए ईमानदारी की स्वनिर्मित धरातल पर ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ का निर्माण कराया गया है।

दिल्ली में भ्रष्‍टाचार और कुशासन में फंसी कांग्रेस की मुख्यमंत्री शीला दीक्षित की 15 वर्षीय सत्ता के विरोध में उत्पन्न लहर को भाजपा के पास सीधे जाने से रोककर और फिर उसी कांग्रेस पार्टी के सहयोग से ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ की सरकार बनाने का ड्रामा रचकर अरविंद केजरीवाल ने भाजपा को रोकने की अपनी क्षमता को दर्शा दिया है। अरविंद केजरीवाल द्वारा सरकार बनाने की हामी भरते ही केंद्रीय मंत्री कपिल सिब्बल ने कहा, ‘‘भाजपा के पास 32 सीटें थी, लेकिन वो बहुमत के लिए 4 सीटों का जुगाड़ नहीं कर पाई। हमारे पास केवल 8 सीटें थीं, लेकिन हमने 28 सीटों का जुगाड़ कर लिया और सरकार भी बना ली।’’

कपिल सिब्बल का यह बयान भाजपा को रोकने के लिए अरविंद केजरीवाल और उनकी ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ को खड़ा करने में कांग्रेस की छुपी हुई भूमिका को उजागर कर देता है। वैसे भी अरविंद केजरीवाल और शीला दीक्षित के बेटे संदीप दीक्षित एनजीओ के लिए साथ काम कर चुके हैं। तभी तो दिसंबर-2011 में अन्ना आंदोलन को समाप्त कराने की जिम्मेवारी यूपीए सरकार ने संदीप दीक्षित को सौंपी थी। ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ ने अरविंद व मनीष सिसोदिया के एनजीओ को 3 लाख 69 हजार डॉलर तो संदीप दीक्षित के एनजीओ को 6 लाख 50 हजार डॉलर का फंड उपलब्ध कराया है। शुरू-शुरू में अरविंद केजरीवाल को कुछ मीडिया हाउस ने शीला-संदीप का ‘ब्रेन चाइल्ड’ बताया भी था, लेकिन यूपीए सरकार का इशारा पाते ही इस पूरे मामले पर खामोशी अख्तियार कर ली गई।

‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ व  उसके नेता अरविंद केजरीवाल की पूरी मंशा को इस पार्टी के संस्थापक सदस्य व प्रशांत भूषण के पिता शांति भूषण ने ‘मेल टुडे’ अखबार में लिखे अपने एक लेख में जाहिर भी कर दिया था, लेकिन बाद में प्रशांत-अरविंद के दबाव के कारण उन्होंने अपने ही लेख से पल्ला झाड़ लिया और ‘मेल टुडे’ अखबार के खिलाफ मुकदमा कर दिया। ‘मेल टुडे’ से जुड़े सूत्र बताते हैं कि यूपीए सरकार के एक मंत्री के फोन पर ‘टुडे ग्रुप’ ने भी इसे झूठ कहने में समय नहीं लगाया, लेकिन तब तक इस लेख के जरिए नरेंद्र मोदी को रोकने लिए ‘कांग्रेस-केजरी’ गठबंधन की समूची साजिश का पर्दाफाश हो गया। यह अलग बात है कि कम प्रसार संख्या और अंग्रेजी में होने के कारण ‘मेल टुडे’ के लेख से बड़ी संख्या में देश की जनता अवगत नहीं हो सकी, इसलिए उस लेख के प्रमुख हिस्से को मैं यहां जस का तस रख रहा हूं, जिसमें नरेंद्र मोदी को रोकने के लिए गठित ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ की असलियत का पूरा ब्यौरा है।

शांति भूषण ने इंडिया टुडे समूह के अंग्रेजी अखबार ‘मेल टुडे’ में लिखा था, ‘‘अरविंद केजरीवाल ने बड़ी ही चतुराई से भ्रष्‍टाचार के मुद्दे पर भाजपा को भी निशाने पर ले लिया और उसे कांग्रेस के समान बता डाला।  वहीं खुद वह सेक्यूलरिज्म के नाम पर मुस्लिम नेताओं से मिले ताकि उन मुसलमानों को अपने पक्ष में कर सकें जो बीजेपी का विरोध तो करते हैं, लेकिन कांग्रेस से उकता गए हैं।  केजरीवाल और आम आदमी पार्टी उस अन्ना हजारे के आंदोलन की देन हैं जो कांग्रेस के करप्शन और मनमोहन सरकार की कारगुजारियों के खिलाफ शुरू हुआ था। लेकिन बाद में अरविंद केजरीवाल की मदद से इस पूरे आंदोलन ने अपना रुख मोड़कर बीजेपी की तरफ कर दिया, जिससे जनता कंफ्यूज हो गई और आंदोलन की धार कुंद पड़ गई।’’

‘‘आंदोलन के फ्लॉप होने के बाद भी केजरीवाल ने हार नहीं मानी। जिस राजनीति का वह कड़ा विरोध करते रहे थे, उन्होंने उसी राजनीति में आने का फैसला लिया। अन्ना इससे सहमत नहीं हुए । अन्ना की असहमति केजरीवाल की महत्वाकांक्षाओं की राह में रोड़ा बन गई थी। इसलिए केजरीवाल ने अन्ना को दरकिनार करते हुए ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ के नाम से पार्टी बना ली और इसे दोनों बड़ी राष्ट्रीय पार्टियों के खिलाफ खड़ा कर दिया।  केजरीवाल ने जानबूझ कर शरारतपूर्ण ढंग से नितिन गडकरी के भ्रष्‍टाचार की बात उठाई और उन्हें कांग्रेस के भ्रष्‍ट नेताओं की कतार में खड़ा कर दिया ताकि खुद को ईमानदार व सेक्यूलर दिखा सकें।  एक खास वर्ग को तुष्ट करने के लिए बीजेपी का नाम खराब किया गया। वर्ना बीजेपी तो सत्ता के आसपास भी नहीं थी, ऐसे में उसके भ्रष्‍टाचार का सवाल कहां पैदा होता है?’’

‘‘बीजेपी ‘आम आदमी पार्टी’ को नजरअंदाज करती रही और इसका केजरीवाल ने खूब फायदा उठाया। भले ही बाहर से वह कांग्रेस के खिलाफ थे, लेकिन अंदर से चुपचाप भाजपा के खिलाफ जुटे हुए थे। केजरीवाल ने लोगों की भावनाओं का इस्तेमाल करते हुए इसका पूरा फायदा दिल्ली की चुनाव में उठाया और भ्रष्‍टाचार का आरोप बड़ी ही चालाकी से कांग्रेस के साथ-साथ भाजपा पर भी मढ़ दिया।  ऐसा उन्होंने अल्पसंख्यक वोट बटोरने के लिए किया।’’

‘‘दिल्ली की कामयाबी के बाद अब अरविंद केजरीवाल राष्ट्रीय राजनीति में आने जा रहे हैं। वह सिर्फ भ्रष्‍टाचार की बात कर रहे हैं, लेकिन गवर्नेंस का मतलब सिर्फ भ्रष्‍टाचार का खात्मा करना ही नहीं होता। कांग्रेस की कारगुजारियों की वजह से भ्रष्‍टाचार के अलावा भी कई सारी समस्याएं उठ खड़ी हुई हैं। खराब अर्थव्यवस्था, बढ़ती कीमतें, पड़ोसी देशों से रिश्ते और अंदरूनी लॉ एंड ऑर्डर समेत कई चुनौतियां हैं। इन सभी चुनौतियों को बिना वक्त गंवाए निबटाना होगा।’’

‘‘मनमोहन सरकार की नाकामी देश के लिए मुश्किल बन गई है। नरेंद्र मोदी इसलिए लोगों की आवाज बन रहे हैं, क्योंकि उन्होंने इन समस्याओं से जूझने और देश का सम्मान वापस लाने का विश्वास लोगों में जगाया है। मगर केजरीवाल गवर्नेंस के व्यापक अर्थ से अनभिज्ञ हैं। केजरीवाल की प्राथमिकता देश की राजनीति को अस्थिर करना और नरेंद्र मोदी को सत्ता में आने से रोकना है। ऐसा इसलिए, क्योंकि अगर मोदी एक बार सत्ता में आ गए तो केजरीवाल की दुकान हमेशा के लिए बंद हो जाएगी।’’

लेखक : संदीप देव

Homage to Farooq Sheikh

30122013

Film industry mourns Farooq Sheikh
Remembering Farooq Sheikh as a “true gentleman”, “cinema lover” and “foodie”, film stars including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepti Nava mourned the sudden demise of the veteran actor in Dubai due to heart attack.
Actress Deepti Naval, a close friend and someone who worked with Sheikh in films like ‘Chashme Baddoor’, ‘Kissi Se Na Kehna’, ‘Katha’ and most recently ‘Listen Amaya’, said she is yet to come to terms with the sad news.

 

“I am shocked… deeply shattered. I can’t talk right now. I am in Himachal Pradesh and I am leaving for Mumbai immediately,” an emotional Naval told PTI. “For me he was one of the finest actors in Hindi film industry.

It is heartbreaking.” Sarika, who starred with him in his last film ‘Club 60′, said he was in good health during their last meeting. “It is shocking because he looked well when we last met about 10 days back. He seemed fine.

We joked and chatted. He was a brilliant actor that goes without saying but he was a great man, a true gentleman. He loved good food and we all were planning to meet up and eat out,” Sarika told PTI. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered Sheikh as a “true gentleman”, who had a “quiet honesty” about himself.

“God!! Farooq Sheikh passes away!!? A true gentleman, a wonderful colleague! A quiet honesty about him. Very very sad !,” tweeted Bachchan. Shah Rukh, who worked with Sheikh in ‘Maya Memsaab’, regretted not spending enough time with the actor. “Faroukh Sahib… Allah bless your soul. You are dearly loved and missed.

My biggest regret that I never got to spend time with you, Farouqh sahib, as I had requested. Should have done it earlier. I feel so sorry,” SRK wrote on Twitter. Actress Shabana Azmi, a close friend a co-star, said she got to know about the news when Sheikh’s wife called her around 3.30am in the morning.

“Farooq has been a very close friend of mine. We have been around together since college days. Forty-years ago he and I started a theatre group. It was a very long association so it is difficult to speak about his death,” Azmi said.

Javed Akhtar remembered Sheikh as someone who was full of energy and life. Actor Om Puri said, “His sudden demise is very sad and tragic. My condolence to his family. He was a wonderful actor.” Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur wished he had talked films instead of politics in his last meeting with the actor.

“RIP Farooq Shaikh. The last time we met, we talked politics. I wish we has talked film and acting. It’s what we love most. I would have learned,” Kapur tweeted. Asha Bhosle wrote: “Very sad day. We have lost a very good human being. My deepest condolences aren’t enough.”

Karan Johar, who last worked with Sheikh in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ as a producer, remembered the veteran actor for his nuanced performances. “RIP Farooq Sheikh… your subtle,nuanced and genius body of work will live on forever.”

Actor Boman Irani wrote: “Farooq Sheikh passes away! Shocked, numbed and saddened. Was supposed to be shooting with him today. A gentleman actor is no more! Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt wrote, “Alvida Farooq bhai the warmth of your smile lingers in our memory!”

“Year 2013 took away many talented people, and this time the veteran actor Farooq Sheikh. RIP Mr Sheikh,” Bengali movie star Prosenjit wrote. Filmmaker Sanjay Tripathy, who directed Sheikh in his last release ‘Club 60′, remembered the good moments with the actor while shooting for the movie.

“He was a wonderful actor and a very good human being. We bonded over food. He had a sweet tooth and we would have sweet competition between him, me and Sarika (co-actress in the film),” Tripathy said.

“He had a good sense of humour. Whenever he was on the sets there was lively atmosphere,” he added

 

The last rites of noted Bollywood actor Farooq Sheikh  performed today. Sheikh’s close friend and Bollywood actor Satish Shah said that Sheikh’s body is brought from Dubai to Mumbai and the burial will take place in the evening. The 65-year-old actor suffered a heart attack in Dubai on late Friday night.

Sheikh began his career in Bollywood with M S Satyu’s ‘Garam Hava’ and went on to act in memorable films like ‘Umrao Jaan’, ‘Chashme Buddoor’ and ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’. Sheikh made significant contribution to Indian theatre and was also a successful television actor and anchor. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

AAP’s fulfill promise of 700 litres of free water

30122013

Delhi Jal Board meet with Arvind Kejriwal at his residence ends. AAP’s promise of  700 litres of water will be given free to each household in Delhi, while anything above 700 litres will be charged.

Free water upto 700 Ltrs  was one of the promises made in AAP’s manifesto,next on their agenda is reducing electricity charges.

CEO of the Delhi Jal board says that 20 kilo litre of water (700 litres) per month to customers will be provided to domestic customers who have functional water meters. This will be provided from January 1, 2014 to March 30. To encourage water conservation, consumers who use more than 20 kilo litres per month will be charged for the entire consumption.

 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : PoliticsUncategorized

Financial Stability Report December 2013: RBI

30122013

 

 

Financial Stability Report December 2013: RBI

 

The Reserve Bank of India today released the Financial Stability Report (FSR) December 2013, the eighth in the series against the backdrop of a mild positive market reaction to the announcement of tapering in the US Federal Reserves’ bond purchase programme from January 2014. The commencement of the taper should signal a calibrated return to normal liquidity and credit conditions in the global markets and also better pricing of risk. This will mean a repricing of certain assets with consequent volatility. Efforts during the past few months have been directed to make the Indian economy more resilient to the ultimate withdrawal of liquidity from the system and less reliant on unstable external capital for growth. The FSR aims to create awareness about the vulnerabilities in the financial system, to inform about the resilience to stress of the financial institutions and to generally serve as a health check on the financial system.

 

Highlights of Financial Stability Report by RBI December 2013

 

Global Economy and Markets–The tapering in the US Federal Reserves’ bond purchase programme is set to begin from January 2014. The initial reaction of financial markets to the announcement has been positive, having been anticipated and therefore factored-in. Fed’s forward guidance on the policy rates has also had a reassuring impact. However, financial market volatility will be conditioned by the pace of tapering going forward. Against this background, the interplay of growth inflation dynamics between advanced economies (AEs) and emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) (convergence in growth and divergence in inflation) may increase vulnerabilities for EMDEs. To reduce spillovers from AE monetary policy normalisation, EMDEs will have to strengthen national balance-sheets. High global liquidity amid persistently low interest rates in AEs has been pushing up asset prices.

 

Domestic Economy and Markets– The delay in tapering allowed India to bring about adjustment in the current account deficit (CAD) and build buffers by replenishing its foreign exchange reserves. However, macro-economic adjustment is far from complete, with persistence of high inflation amidst growth slowdown. Fall in domestic savings and relatively high fiscal deficit are other major concerns for India . Reviving Fiscal Responsibility legislation and a gradual reduction in government borrowings can complement financial market development and improve confidence in the economy.

 

Against the backdrop of a large CAD and dependence on volatile capital flows to fund it, the Indian rupee had depreciated following the Fed’s May 2013 indication of possible tapering in its bond purchase programme. There have been significant improvements on the external front since then, some measures initiated by the Government of India (GoI) and the Reserve Bank.  The current account deficit (CAD) during Q2 2013-14 fell sharply to 1.2% of GDP from 4.9% during Q1 2013-14 due to decline in the trade deficit. From July 2013 onwards exports have grown faster than imports. The CAD is expected to be less than 3% of GDP during the current financial year. The increased resilience of the Indian financial markets is evidenced by the positive reaction to the announcement of the commencement of tapering from January 2014 by the Fed.

 

Corporate performance continues to be weighed down by boom period expansions and excess capacities, amid shifting asset composition towards financial investments. House prices and outstanding loans for retail housing by housing finance companies have grown relatively fast during the last few years. Inadequate social security coverage in India against a backdrop of changing demographics will pose challenges for expanding the pension system given the fiscal constraints. The NPS (National Pension System) was created to serve the Government employees and private sector workers.

 

Financial Institutions: Soundness and Resilience

 

Scheduled Commercial Banks–The risks to the banking sector have further increased during the past half-year. All major risk dimensions captured in the Banking Stability Indicator show increase in vulnerabilities in the banking sector. Banking Stability Measures, based on co-movements in banks’ equity prices, also indicate that the distress dependencies within the banking system have risen during this period.

 

Contagion Risks in the Banking Sector–Network tools have been used to assess impact of contagion due to risk of credit concentration. Failure of a major corporate or a major corporate group could trigger a contagion in the banking system due to exposures of a large number of banks to such corporates. The analysis shows that interconnectedness in the banking sector could cause losses due to contagion, over and above the direct losses on account of the failure of large corporate groups.

 

Trends in Credit and Deposit Growth–In the recent quarters, credit growth has exceeded the growth in deposits. As a result, there has been a significant rise in the incremental C-D ratio.

 

Asset Quality Concerns–Asset quality continues to be a major concern for Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs). The key aspects of deterioration in asset quality are:

  • A rising trend in Risk Weighted Assets (RWA) to total assets along with declining trend in Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates that the rise in proportion of risky assets in the total assets of SCBs is becoming more broad-based.
  • The Gross Non-performing Assets (GNPAs) ratio of SCBs as well as their restructured standard advances ratio have increased. Therefore, the total stressed advances ratio rose significantly to 10.2% of total advances as at end September 2013 from 9.2% of March 2013.
  • The largest contribution to stressed advances comes from the PSU banks.
  • The ‘medium and large’ sized industries contributed more towards stressed advances than ‘micro & small’ sized industries.
  • Industries recorded the highest share in restructured standard advances and with relatively high GNPAs contributed the highest share of stressed advances in the banks’ loans portfolio followed by Services. Retail segment fared much better in terms of GNPA and restructured standard advances ratios.
  • Five sectors, namely, Infrastructure, Iron & Steel, Textiles, Aviation and Mining together contribute 24% of total advances of SCBs, and account

            for around 53% of their total stressed advances.

 

Stress Tests–Macro stress tests on credit risk suggest that if the adverse macroeconomic conditions persist, the credit quality of commercial banks could deteriorate further. However, under improved conditions, the present trend in credit quality may reverse during the second half of 2014-15 with the GNPA ratio expected to rise initially to around 4.6% by September 2014 from 4.2% as at end September 2013, which may subsequently improve to 4.4% by March 2015.

 

Systemic Risk Survey–According to the results of Reserve Bank’s latest Systemic Risk Survey, conducted during October 2013, global risks and domestic macro-economic risks were perceived to be the two most important factors affecting the stability of Indian financial system. On the domestic macro-economic front, deterioration in economic outlook is considered to be the most critical. Risk from domestic inflation, corporate leverage and household savings have also increased marginally. On the other hand, risks arising from CAD, fiscal, sovereign downgrade and infrastructure were perceived to have receded.

 

Regulation of Financial Markets, Institutions and Infrastructure

 

Too-Big-To-Fail and Shadow Banking–India stands committed to the implementation of the global regulatory reforms agenda and has made considerable progress on this front. Although firms and markets are beginning to adjust to the regulatory approach towards ending too-big-to-fail (TBTF), recent research indicates continued expectation of sovereign support to such institutions. In India , the process of identification of financial conglomerates and their joint supervision/ regulation have received a lot of attention. Some global reform measures, e.g. those related to shadow banking may need to be adopted selectively, based on their relevance to the domestic financial system.

 

Money Market Mutual Funds–Due to the interconnectedness with banks, liquidity pressure is felt by the money market mutual funds (MMMFs) whenever redemption requirements of banks are large and simultaneous. Regulatory measures taken to reduce the degree of interconnectedness seem to have been successful in reducing the liquidity risk in the system.

 

Financial Benchmarks –Although there have been no major instances of manipulation of market rates in India’s domestic markets, the Reserve Bank has constituted a committee to conduct a review of the systems and procedures in place with regard to major financial benchmarks.

 

Some Issues in Indian Financial Markets–Action to create central repositories for the banking sector, corporate bond market and insurance sector has been initiated. This move is expected to break the information asymmetry in those markets. India ’s domestic markets for derivatives have not taken off due to the absence of some of the basic building blocks and efforts are on to address these issues. It has also been observed that the equity prices of the companies in which the promoters had pledged significant portions of their shares, are relatively more volatile than the broader market during times of correction.

 

Payment and Settlement Systems–The payment and settlement system infrastructure in the country continued to perform without any major disruptions.

 

Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) and its Sub Committee–The Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) and its Sub Committee deliberated on various aspects that impinge on financial stability -macroeconomic scenario, both global and domestic and the developments in financial markets.

 

Warm regards,

 

Dr. S P Sharma

Chief Economist

 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

‘Civil society recommends rejection of Parliamentary Committee report on amendment of RTI Act

30122013

 

Image

 

New Delhi, Dec. 30, 2013: The amendment made in the RTI Act by the Parliament that proposed to keep political parties outside its ambit has been approved by the Parliamentary Committee, entrusted with the task of reviewing it despite much opposition from civil society organizations and citizens.

 

In a landmark decision on June 3, 2013, the Central Information Commission (CIC) pronounced that the political parties (INC, BJP, CPM, CPI, NCP and BSP) are public authorities under section 2(h) of the RTI Act. The Government brought an amendment to the RTI Act excluding political parties from its ambit.

However, due to mounting public pressure, the Parliament chose to refer the Bill to the Parliamentary Committee, which invited suggestions on the proposed amendment to the RTI Act. ADR was one of the organizations which made its submission apart from NCPRI, MKSS, Subhash Chandra Agarwal and Shailesh Gandhi among others. All of them strongly objected to the amendment.

 

Rejecting Parliamentary Committee’s nod to the amendment, Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, one of founder members and trustees of ADR, said, “The committee has not given any logical reasoning for its recommendation in its report. Excluding political parties from RTI Act is unconstitutional. It is  odd to argue that transparency is good for all state organs but not  for political parties, which in reality control all the vital organs of the state.”

 

Expressing a similar view, Shailesh Gandhi, ex-CIC, stated, “The standing committee doesn’t appear to have taken into account objections to the RTI amendments submitted by the civil society organizations. No arguments have been given in the report which indicate that the committee has noted our objections. It is obvious that no reasons were taken to counter our views before suggesting construing citizen’s fundamental rights.”

 

Mr Subhash Agarwal stated, ”Report of Parliamentary standing committee recommending that CIC-verdict holding political parties being covered by RTI Act is not justified because according to the committee it was not intent of legislature to cover political parties under the transparency Act. There are many bodies claiming not covered under RTI Act but are declared public-authorities by Information Commissions and even endorsed by High Courts as public-authorities. None of such bodies were ‘intended’ specifically by the legislature to be covered under RTI Act. Surprisingly, the committee has overruled Attorney General’s advice that any legislative step against CIC-verdict may be struck down by courts. It is not appropriate that it may become compulsory to involve precious time of Supreme Court in every matter to get things done in public interest.”

 

Anjali Bhardwaj from NCPRI also questioned the Parliamentary Committee’s approval to the Bill, saying, “NCPRI has consistently held that the proposed amendment to RTI Act is unconstitutional. Political Parties ought to be covered as public authorities under the RTI Act. There is no rationale for people who made the law to keep themselves out of its ambit. We feel there are adequate exemptions under section 8 of the Act. The law doesn’t need any amendment.”     

 

Justifying its decision to amend the Bill the Government said – The political parties are neither established nor constituted by or under the Constitution or by any other law made by Parliament.

 

An authority or body does not require to be established or constituted by or under the constitution or any other law made by the Parliament, to be called a public authority. According to Section 2(h) of RTI Act, an organisation that is ‘substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government’ can also fall under the category of public authority.

 

The Government also claimed – “There are already provisions in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as well as in the Income-tax Act, 1961 which deal with the transparency in the financial aspects of political parties and their candidates.”

 

However, an analysis by Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) of Income Tax returns for six National Political Parties and the statements filed by them with the Election Commission show that over 75% of the funds cannot be traced and are from ‘unknown’ sources.

 

Another point made by the government was – Declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI Act would hamper its smooth internal working. Further, the political rivals may misuse the provisions of RTI Act.

The above-mentioned claim of the Government does not hold much ground as the RTI Act has enough built in protection in the form of the section 8- “Exemption from disclosure of information.”

 

The Parliamentary Committee observed that none of the six political parties, who happened to be respondent to CIC Order of 3rd June, 2013, has challenged the order in the higher judiciary which is a case of misrepresentation of a clear provision of law.”

However, the correct and the established practice for a party aggrieved by a decision made by the CIC, is to go to the High Court to challenge the CIC’s decision. If this is a case of ‘misrepresentation of a clear provision of law’ there is no necessity of an amendment of the law.

 

 

 

Contacts:

 
 

 

 

Journalist Helpline:

+91-8010394248

 

 

 

 

 

adr@adrindia.org

 

 Prof Jagdeep Chhokar

 

IIM Ahmedabad (Retd.)

 

Founder Member, 

National Election Watch & 

Association for Democratic Reforms

 

+91 9999620944

jchhokar@gmail.com

 

Prof Trilochan Sastry

 

IIM Bangalore

 

Founder Member,

National Election Watch & 

Association for Democratic Reforms

 

+91 9448353285

trilochans@iimb.ernet.in

 

 Mr. Anil Verma

 

National Election Watch &

Association for Democratic Reforms

 

 

 

+91 8826479910

anilverma@adrindia.org 

 

Mr. Anurag Mittal

 

National Coordinator

 

National Election Watch &

Association for Democratic Reforms

 

+91 9811108914

anurag@adrindia.org

 

– 

Association for Democratic Reforms
“Kiwanis Centre”, 4th Floor,
B-35, Qutub Institutional Area
(Near Rockland Hospital)
New Delhi-110 016
 
M: +91 8010394248 
T: +91 11 41654200/01/02/03
F: 011 4609 4248
 
 

Edit : Edit
Comments : Leave a Comment » 

Categories : Uncategorized

Indefinite Fast by Anna’s followers from Dec 10th to 18 Dec 2013 at Jantar Mantar New Delhi

30122013

Image

Image

Image

 

Fast by Anna’s followers from Dec 10th to 18 Dec 2013 at Jantar Mantar New Delhi 

At stone throw distance from Jantar Mantar, the  AAP celebrated congregated at jantar mantar but no officials from AAP  paid courtesy visit at  the fasting dignitaries in support of Anna’s..All calls for AAp to support and respect Anna is hollow.

 

Sanjeet Singh Bhalothia · 133 followers

8 minutes ago · 

  • ये है केजरीवाल की असलियत…

     

    अंग्रेजी अखबार ‘पॉयनियर’ में प्रकाशित एक खबर के मुताबिक डच यानी नीदरलैंड दूतावास अपनी ही एक एनजीओ ‘हिवोस’ के जरिए नरेंद्र मोदी की गुजरात सरकार को अस्थिर करने में लगे विभिन्नओ भारतीय एनजीओ को अप्रैल 2008 से 2012 के बीच लगभग 13 लाख यूरो, मतलब करीब सवा नौ करोड़ रुपए की फंडिंग कर चुकी है। इसमें एक अरविंद केजरीवाल का एनजीओ भी शामिल है। ‘हिवोस’ को फोर्ड फाउंडेशन भी फंडिंग करती है।डच एनजीओ ‘हिवोस’ दुनिया के अलग-अलग हिस्सों में केवल उन्हीं एनजीओ को फंडिंग करती है,जो अपने देश व वहां के राज्यों में अमेरिका व यूरोप के हित में राजनैतिक अस्थिरता पैदा करने की क्षमता को साबित करते हैं। इसके लिए मीडिया हाउस को भी जबरदस्त फंडिंग की जाती है। एशियाई देशों की मीडिया को फंडिंग करने के लिए अमेरिका व यूरोपीय देशों ने ‘पनोस’ नामक संस्था का गठन कर रखा है। दक्षिण एशिया में इस समय ‘पनोस’ के करीब आधा दर्जन कार्यालय काम कर रहे हैं। ‘पनोस’ में भी फोर्ड फाउंडेशन का पैसा आता है। माना जा रहा है कि अरविंद केजरीवाल के मीडिया उभार के पीछे इसी ‘पनोस’ के जरिए ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ की फंडिंग काम कर रही है। ‘सीएनएन-आईबीएन’ व ‘आईबीएन-7’ चैनल के प्रधान संपादक राजदीप सरदेसाई ‘पॉपुलेशन काउंसिल’ नामक संस्था के सदस्य हैं, जिसकी फंडिंग अमेरिका की वही ‘रॉकफेलर ब्रदर्स’ करती है जो ‘रेमॉन मेग्सेसाय’ पुरस्कार के लिए ‘फोर्ड फाउंडेशन’ के साथ मिलकर फंडिंग करती है। सच क्या है ये तो आप ही जानो भगवान जी बस मेरे देश को बचा लेना …!! जय श्री राम !

Hundreds detained in Bangladesh

 
Hundreds detained ahead of oppo march in Bangladesh
Bangladeshi authorities detained over 700 opposition activists trying to gather in the capital in defiance of a ban on a protest march called on Sunday by the BNP to derail the 5th January polls.

The country was on Saturday under virtual siege as transport services shut down overnight following a government advisory and people braced for fresh political violence.

Army and paramilitary personnel patrolled city streets amidst the tense face-off between the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance and the Awami League.

Police raided homes of opposition supporters and trains and took into custody more than 700 activists, police officials told the media on Saturday.

Reports said activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami began moving towards Dhaka Friday evening, well ahead of the march in order to avoid interception by police.

They planned to reach Dhaka under cover of wedding parties as many marriages are set to take place in the capital on the weekend.

BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir accused the Awami League-led interim government of creating a blockade to prevent the opposition activists gathering in Dhaka.

“It seems like section 144 has been imposed countrywide, an undeclared shutdown by the government itself,” he said.

Law enforcement officials were intimidating people in hotels and restaurants and tracking down protesters from outside Dhaka, Alamgir claimed.

At least 97 passengers were taken off a Dhaka-bound train in Tangail after policemen searched it for Islamists accused of attacking police in recent months. All Dhaka-bound trains from northern districts were halted at Tangail.

“Fear of sabotage after the recent distasteful experience forced us to take some precautions causing schedule disruptions…Train services between Dhaka and Chittagong, however, are running,” a railway spokesman said.

Bus and and ferry operators said that they have stopped services to and from Dhaka due to “security concerns” after a government advisory.

Hundreds of Bangladeshis returning from India were stranded at the western land port of Benapole, with no buses to carry them home.

Pro-Awami League transport associations called a two-day strike to protest vandalism during protests by the opposition in the past few weeks.

BNP chief Khaleda Zia exhorted her supporters to rally in the capital Dhaka on Sunday and to defy the ban on her “march for democracy”.

“I urge all able bodied countrymen cutting across their affiliation, religion and class to join the rally on December 29,” she said earlier, warning of “tougher actions” if the government obstructs the marchers.

There was doubt whether Zia would be able to take part in Sunday’s protest, with supporters alleging that authorities were keeping her under de-facto house arrest.

The BNP is boycotting the polls and political violence during nationwide strikes and blockades enforced by the opposition have left nearly 130 people dead and crippled the economy since November.

The BNP has refused to field candidates, saying polls under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be rigged – an accusation the premier strongly rejects.

Opposition activists have been staging protests since late October to force Hasina to step down so that a non-party caretaker government can be installed to oversee the election.

Hasina has refused to accept the opposition’s demands and ruled out any possibility of rescheduling the polls, saying the BNP has “missed the election train”.

However, she said she would consider dissolving the parliament formed after the polls and holding another election if the BNP shuns violence and severs ties with the Jamaat.

Army troops have been deployed across Bangladesh to “aid civil administration” in maintaining peace and order ahead of the controversial elections.

The BNP says 30 central leaders of the party and its associated bodies were arrested in the past one month alone while the police manhunt forced most others to go into hiding.

Earlier this week, Dhaka Metropolitan Police declared a bounty of 1 lakh Takas on arsonists and vandals trying to set fire or vandalise vehicles.

The statutory National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday said the incidents of violence across the county should not be considered political, but as “terrorist acts against the state and its people”.

In the latest incidence of violence, suspected opposition activists hurled several patrol bombs at the home of Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad in western Chuadanga in a predawn attack on Saturday.

Police said no one was hurt in the attack as the house was vacant. Meanwhile, Awami League leaders warned of retaliatory measures if opposition activists defy the ban and join tomorrow’s protest march.

“We will not attack first…we will stay organised and when they (opposition activists) attack, we will resist them through a counter attack,” senior Awami League leader and Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said at a party meeting.

Law enforcement officials will show restrain during political rallies but the Awami League will resist the opposition “with sticks and continue to do so until the elections on January 5″, said Junior Law Minister Quamrul Islam.

Hasina on Saturday launched the Awami League’s manifesto for the polls, vowing to punish “anarchists” behind recent violence.

Serious questions have been raised about the credibility of the polls as the BNP and one of Hasina’s former allies, Jatiya Party, are boycotting the polls.

The fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party, a key ally of the BNP, has been disqualified from contesting polls by the Bangladesh High Court, which said it opposes secularism.

In the absence of any credible opposition, 154 Awami League candidates are set to be elected uncontested to the 300-member parliament.

Top civil society figures today asked the government to postpone the 5th January elections saying that it would violate people’s constitutional rights of voting.

“This election will not bring any good result to the country, rather will deepen the crisis,” leading economist Rehman Sobhan said.

Eminent lawyer Rafique-ul Huq said, “The ongoing situation will continue if the two leaders (Hasina and Khaleda) do not come to a compromise.”

The civil society groups insisted that there is still time for deferring the polls since Constitution permits national elections up to 90 days after the dissolution of parliament.

That period expires only on 24th January.

 
DEC29

EU opening embassy in Tehran

 Iran is ready to consider opening the European Union (EU) embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran if the EU submits a formal request, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said here on Saturday.

“Given the importance and capacities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region, some members of the EU have expressed willingness to open a (diplomatic) mission in Tehran,” the spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told Tasnim News Agency.

“In case Tehran receives a formal request (from the EU) in this regard, it is prepared to study the issue within the framework of the current relations,” she was quoted as saying.

Western media reported that the EU member states have shown willingness to open an embassy in Iran.

 
DEC29

Arvind Kejriwal allocates portfolios; keeps important home power, finance

 
Arvind Kejriwal allocates portfolios; keeps power, finance
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday allocated portfolios to his six Cabinet colleagues while keeping the fertile key departments of Home, Finance, Power and Vigilance with himself thus shows his supremacy on his team members and accountability of various nodal department to devolve around one person and is likely to face criticism in this front.

The Chief Minister will also keep Planning, Services and all other departments not allocated to the Ministers, an official statement said.

Manish Sisodia, considered close to Kejriwal, has been given the charges of Revenue, PWD, Urban Development, Education, Higher Education, Local Bodies and Land and Building departments.

Kejriwal, in his first press conference after being sworn-in as the Chief Minister, had announced the portfolios for his colleagues. Somnath Bharti, a postgraduate from IIT, will take the charge of Administrative Reforms, Law, Tourism and Culture.

Administrative Reforms is high on Kejriwal’s agenda with efforts to decentralise power and establish the Mohalla Sabha. The department is also likely to take steps to bring an end to the VIP culture and also provide time-bound and efficient services to the people.

The youngest Minister in Kejriwal’s cabinet, Rakhi Birla, will handle Social Welfare and Women and Child Development departments and Languages. She has also been given the additional charge to formulate steps required for enhancing security of women.

Girish Soni has been given charge of Labour, Development Skill Development and SC/ST departments. Satyendra Jain has been allocated Health, Industries and Gurudwara Elections.

Saurabh Bharadwaj, a B Tech in computer science who was working with an MNC, has been given the charge of Departments of Food and Supply, Transport, Environment, Election and General Administration Department.

 
DEC29

Kerry to visit Mideast

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East next week to discuss Israeli- Palestinian peace talks, the U.S. State Department said Saturday.

The top American envoy will travel on Wednesday, the New Year’s Day, to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

“In these meetings, he will discuss the ongoing final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, among other issues,” Psaki said in a statement.

The forthcoming trip will mark Kerry’s tenth trip to the region since taking the top diplomatic job.

Peace talks between Israel and Palestine were restarted under the brokerage of Washington in late July with a view to finalizing an agreement by the end of April next year, but blames traded by the two sides have brought the talks to a halt.

Israeli media reported on Wednesday that Netanyahu was expected to announce construction plan of thousands of new housing units in the settlement, close to the upcoming planned release of 26 Palestinian prisoners.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday that Israel would destroy the peace talks if it announces any new plans for settlement construction in the West Bank and Ea

 
DEC29

India, US sign deal for six transport aircraft

 
India, US sign deal for six transport aircraft
India has signed a Rs 4,000-crore deal with the US for procuring six more C-130J Super Hercules Special Operations aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

“The proposal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 20. The two sides signed the deal yesterday under which the US Air Force will supply the aircraft to the IAF through the Foreign Military Sales route, sources said in Delhi. 

The IAF already has a fleet of six similar planes which are deployed at the Hindon air base near here and the force uses it for carrying out special operations including landing on inhospitable air strips in the Ladakh area. The IAF had acquired the first lot of six aircraft at a cost of around Rs 5,500 crore.

The new lot of six planes will be located at Panagarh in West Bengal, which would be headquarters of the proposed Mountain Strike Corps of the army along the China border.

The aircraft is capable of airdropping commandos and material in darkness due to its night-vision imaging. It can prove very handy in wartime due to its ability for special air operations and transport of material and supplies.

It can be used in mountainous terrain in hostile circumstances. The four-engine plane with Rolls Royce engines has the technology and configuration to perform low-level precision flying. 

 
DEC29

Modi, Kejriwal nothing in front of Rahul: Lalu

 
 
Modi, Kejriwal nothing in front of Rahul: Lalu
On a visit to relief camps of riot victims in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday, RJD chief Lalu Prasad blamed both the BJP and the SP for the communal violence here even as he heaped praise on Rahul Gandhi, saying Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal were nothing in front of the Congress Vice President.

“Kejriwal and Modi are nothing in front of Rahul. Rahul Gandhi is Rahul Gandhi. You guys have put them (Kejriwal, Modi) on the moon. It is you, who give them publicity. What have they done so far,” the RJD chief said, adding his party will tie up with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.

Lalu, whose visit to the area comes a week after the Congress Vice President’s unannounced visit to the camps in Shamli last Sunday, echoed Rahul’s views that those living in camps should go back to their villages.

“We have come here to wipe away the tears of the victims. They should go back to their homes. Government should facilitate that,” Lalu told reporters. Slamming Aam Admi Party, he said the party is doing a “drama” by renouncing facilities such as vehicles with read-beacon cars, security etc.

AAP is talking about corruption, they themselves are corrupt, he alleged.

Training his guns on Modi and his close aide Amit Shah, whom the RJD chief described as the Gujarat Chief Ministers “General Manager for communalising society”, Lalu said, “He (Shah) is spoiling the whole atmosphere. He is … currently their warhorse here”.

“RSS, Modi and Amit Shah, who is working here (in Uttar Pradesh) are well-known for this and see the riots happened. People used to live here together but the riots happened…

“Communal violence erupted in UP after Amit Shah was sent to handle the party’s poll campaign here. He is spoiling the atmosphere of the state,” he alleged.

He said, “The BJP is the country’s enemy, we are BJP’s enemy.”

“The powers, which were once propagating the rumour that Lord Ganesha is consuming milk, are trying to communalise the whole society and promote both external and internal divisions. Youths are the main victims of this,” he said.

Lalu is considered a popular leader among the minority community and his party RJD had been in power in Bihar for 15 years largely on the basis of MY (Muslim-Yadav) combination.

The RJD chief said, “Divisive forces and those who want to occupy the seat of Hastinapur (Delhi) have targeted Hindi states.

“I had said at a rally in Patna that people have to decide whether the country will remain united or break in the 2014 contest,” he said.

Interacting with riot victims, Lalu, who is out on bail in a fodder scam case, told them that he couldn’t come early as he was in jail.

“No attention was paid in the beginning to those living in the relief camps. If they were taken care of initially, the situation today would have been better,” he said, adding he will be visiting the Loi camp and then will be able to tell why people are being displaced from there.

“I saw a lot of TV coverage their on the riot victims living in relief camps,” he said.

Referring to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s controversial comments that those living in camps were not riot victims but political activist, Yadav said, “It was too much and very bad…I have also heard people saying that those living in the camps are not victims”.

Prasad reminded the SP chief that “minorities had voted with an open heart” for his secular government so much so that even the SP chief had not idea that his party will form a government with such a big a majority.

“Even we had no idea that they (SP) will get such a big majority,” he said.

“I am not criticising anybody. But the kind of attention that should have been given in the beginning was perhaps not given to the issue (condition of riot victims) by the administration,” the RJD chief said on Sunday.

Asked about the statement of a senior UP official that people were not dying due to cold in relief camps, Lalu said, “All of them have gone mad. Someone else will have to pay for the kind of statements these officials have made”.

 
AAP-Cong deal to stop BJP: Gadkari; rubbish, says Kejriwal
 
AAP-Cong deal to stop BJP: Gadkari; rubbish, says KejriwalUpdated on : 29-12-2013 02:08 PM
BJP leader Nitin Gadkari charged a deal was brokered between Aam Aadmi Party and Congress by a reputed industrialist in a hotel to “stop BJP at any cost” from coming to power in Delhi, an allegation dismissed as rubbish by CM Arvind Kejriwal.

Addressing a party workers’ meeting in New Delhi on Saturday, Gadkari said he was told by a reputed industrialist of the country how a deal was brokered at a hotel in Delhi.

“One of the big industrialists of our country helped make a deal between Arvind Kejriwal and some senior Congress leaders at a big hotel in Delhi. I was personally told about what talks had transpired in that hotel and what all was eaten by the same person”

“The person who was working as the mediator told me that the policy being made is that BJP has to be stopped at any cost,” Gadkari claimed.

Attacking Congress, Gadkari said the former is not dreaming of making a government at the Centre anymore and said “since they (Congress) know they are finished, they will have to stop BJP at any cost”.

“Congress is now dreaming that since we are finished, we will not allow the BJP to form government and also not let Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister. Understanding this, they (Congress) are making their policies accordingly,” Gadkari said.

On the other hand, Kejriwal rubbished the allegations of Gadkari that a deal was brokered between AAP and Congress by an industrialist to form the government and asked him to provide evidence.

“This (claim) is all rubbish. It is sad to note that a senior leader like Gadkari is talking nonsense. If he is making claims, then he should also give evidence,” Kejriwal said on Saturday.

Kejriwal said there is no truth in the allegations and reiterated that there is no deal between AAP and Congress or BJP.

“There is no deal with Congress or BJP. We are here to work for the people. If we pass the floor test in Delhi assembly, we will run the government otherwise we will once gain go to people,” Kejriwal said.

AAP govt transfers power, finance secy, CEO of Delhi Jal Board

They should be given time to show their efficiency, I wont comment on him replacing officers: Kiran Walia (Congress) 

 
Embedded image permalink
  
Aam Aadmi Party government effected a major bureaucratic reshuffle on its first day in charge in Delhi and transferred the Finance Secretary, Power Secretary and CEO of Delhi Jal Board.

Delhi Jal Board CEO Debashree Mukherjee has now been posted as the Chief Managing Director of Delhi Transport Corporation. Senior IAS officer Vijay Kumar has been made the new CEO of Delhi Jal Board.

Power Secretary RK Verma, who is also the CMD of Delhi Transco Ltd and Chairman of Pragati Power Corporation Ltd, has been shifted as the Principal Secretary of Higher Education. He will also hold charge as the Principal Secretary, Training and Technical Education.

Transport Secretary Puneet Goel has been transferred as the Power Secretary. The Principal Secretary-cum-Commissioner in the Development Department, Arvind Ray, will hold additional charge in the transport department.

The shifting of Mukherjee and Verma assumes significance in the light of the statement by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier in the day that his government would take a decision on water supply by Monday and on electricity by Tuesday or Wednesday.

AAP had promised 700 litres of free water daily to each household along with a reduction by 50 per cent in power tariffs in the city. Meanwhile, Delhi Finance Secretary MM Kutty, who was also Principal Secretary to former CM Sheila Dikshit, has been transferred as Principal Secretary in the Social Welfare and Women and Child Development department.

Home secretary Archana Arora has been given additional charge of Finance Department. Higher Education Secretary Rajendra Kumar has been made Secretary to the chief minister.

Officials said Mukherjee has been repatriated and posted as the DTC CMD. They said that the terms and condition of her deputation, along with Vijay Kumar’s, will be settled in due course.

After a Cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister had promised that there will be no witch-hunt against officials who work honestly and in the people’s interest.

 
DEC29

The happenings

Assad tells Pope he is ‘ready for peace talks’

 

Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a private message to Pope Francis, said the Syrian government is ready to participate in the Geneva-2 peace conference next month. However, Assad added that outside countries‘must stop supporting terrorist groups in the country’s civil war,’ reports Syria’s state-run news agency. “The crisis will be solved through national dialogue among the Syrians and under a Syrian leadership, without foreign intervention so as to enable the Syrians to determine their future and leadership through ballots,” the message stated. The Syrian president also expressed his appreciation for how Pope Francis has recently called upon ceasing violence and suffering in Syria, state-run SANA reported.

​Israel hit by two rockets from Lebanon, retaliates

Two rockets were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel, causing no injuries or damage on the ground. Israeli military said they responded with artillery fire to the source of the rocket attack. Meanwhile Lebanese media said Israeli tanks shelled the border area, from which the rockets had been fired. The Israeli-Lebanese border has been mostly quiet since the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese militant movement, Hezbollah. But lately tension sparked after a Lebanese army sniper killed an Israeli soldier across the border.

​China transfers $5bn to Venezuela, says president

China has transferred $5 billion in credits to Venezuela under a deal reached in September, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said. The money will be used for an ambitious housing project, Gran Mision Vivienda, he said. It will also be used for transportation, satellite technology and the military, he added. Chinese money is funding 201 different projects in Venezuela. The Latin American country has received some $36 billion from Beijing since 2007, when a joint investment fund was established.

 

​Turkey PM Erdogan won’t step down after corruption scandal

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will not step down after the corruption scandal that have forced the resignations of three ministers. The ministers’ sons were among those detained as part of a huge corruption probe. On Thursday thousands of demonstrators took to Turkey’s streets demanding the resignation of Erdogan. However, the Turkish PM called the corruption allegations a “smear campaign” and urged his voters to support his political party in local elections next month.

New report reveals no Al-Qaeda involvement in Benghazi attack

There is no evidence suggesting that Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization took part in the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, The New York Times has revealed. The new report argues that it was actually the US-made movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ that fueled the attack, adding that the assault on the consulate did not appear to be “meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.”The report is based on interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack.

 

Thousands still without power in US, more snow feared

Around 30,000 people are still without power across the US, following an ice storm in the Midwest and Northeast. However, some progress has been made toward restoring power. For example, 210,000 homes and businesses in Michigan were initially without electricity, but that number has since been lowered to 17,600, NBC News reported. Recovery efforts may soon experience delays though, as more snow is forecasted for Sunday.

 

Norwegian platform evacuated following oil, gas leak

Production was shut down at the Statfjord A platform in the North Sea following an oil and gas spill on Saturday. Half of the 168 members of staff on board were evacuated by helicopter, Reuters cited the platform’s operator, Statoil, as saying. Statfjord A is located on the UK-Norway border. “The leak was reported at about 4.40 p.m. It had occurred some 10 minutes before,” Statoil spokesman Kjetil Visnes said. No injuries were reported and the incident was said to be over by 6:20 p.m. local time. Visnes refused to clarify how much oil and gas the platform was producing when the accident occurred. According to Reuters, the oil field produced about 129,000 barrels per day in December and was projected to produce the same amount in January.

 

EU voices concern over Turkish corruption scandal, urges transparency

The EU has voiced concern over the corruption scandal in Turkey which resulted in the replacement of nearly half the cabinet by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. European officials have urged Turkish authorities to resolve the conflict “in a transparent and impartial manner.” EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule welcomed an Ankara court ruling that rejected a government decree which would have required police and prosecutors to inform their superiors about investigations. If implemented, the government decree would have “undermined the independence of the judiciary and its capacity to act,” Fule said. 

 

Tens of thousands rally against Niger govt

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of Niger to protest what they said was the failure of President Mahamadou Issoufou to improve living standards in one of the world’s poorest countries, Reuters reported. Police said some 20,000 people took part in the rally, with organizers putting the figure at 30,000. The demonstration is the first public show of strength by the Alliance for the Republic, Democracy and Reconciliation in Niger (ARDR), a coalition of 15 opposition parties formed in October. Last month, a Niger court lifted a government ban on opposition marches.

 

5.8 magnitude earthquake strikes off Turkish coast

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit 80 kilometers off Turkey’s south coast at 5:21 p.m. local time on Saturday, according to the US Geological Survey. The earthquake’s magnitude was measured at varying levels, with Turkey’s seismology center saying that a 6.1 quake had hit the Mediterranean coastal province of Antalya. The epicenter had a depth of 51.1 kilometers. The quake could also be felt in Cyprus, witnesses told AP. There have been no reports of casualties or damages thus far.

 

Over 130 flood warnings remain in place across UK

More than 130 flood warnings remain in place across the UK after severe showers hit western and southern England, the country’s Environment Agency said. In 34 areas, residents were urged to take immediate action. Showers have been forecast to mainly affect western and southern England, Wales and parts of Scotland before a light storm, expected the next day. The Meteogroup has said it will not be nearly as bad as the two major storms that lashed Britain over Christmas, leaving hundreds of homes flooded.

 

Thousands protest in Seoul against plans to privatize state-run Korea Railroad

Thousands of Korean rail workers have protested in downtown Seoul against the government’s plans to set up a separate entity, which would run a new bullet train line. Workers believe it is the first step towards privatization and massive layoffs. More than 50,000 unionized workers of the state-run Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL) have been off the job since Dec. 9. While organizers estimated 100,000 people attended Saturday’s protest, police put the number at 20,000. The protests were the largest of their kind seen in Seoul in recent years.

Syria President Assad sends a message to Pope Francis

Syrian President Bashar Assad has sent Pope Francis a private message, according to the Vatican. The message, which “illustrated the position of the Syrian government,” was delivered by a delegation, headed by Joseph Sweid, a Syrian minister of state. In the Vatican, the delegation held talks with the pope’s secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin and his foreign minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

International Drama Festival-16thBharat Rang Mahotsav 2014

28122013

Image

 

Capital wakes up to another Celebration of Drama with International Drama Festival-16thBharat Rang Mahotsav 2014

-ࠠࠠʼ/span>16th Bharat Rang Mahotsav to highlight various faces of Indian Theatre

-ࠠࠠʼ/span>16th Bharat Rang Mahotsav travels to Imphal and Guwahati

New Delhi, December 27, 2013: The cold winds are whistling between the window panes, and the sun is not tiring from its mischievous game of hide and seeks, the city is under a mystic spell of the famous Delhi winters and the fog has completely turned the citizens into a bit more Eskimo looking attires. It is that time of the year when DelhiⳠweathers have seemingly frozen the human souls and their lively spirits. The city is under a wintry spell and after welcoming the New Year with zest and zeal itⳠtime Delhi looks up to celebrate the warmth of life and human emotions. ItⳠtime again to warm up Delhiites souls with the drama of human emotions. ItⳠtime for Bharat Rang Mahotsav.

The National School of Drama rings in 2014 with its annual drama extravaganza in the form of International Festival of Drama – the 16th Bharat Rang Mahotsav. Commencing from the 4th of January and culminating on 19th January, 2014, this yearⳠInternational Drama Festival highlights the various faces of Indian theatre and brings to the capital 71 performances by renowned theater groups from different parts of India and the world on same platform so that theater aficionados as well as common men can watch and be entertained and enriched by their performances.

This year, theatre groups from 17 states, representing all the four regions of the nation East, West, North South will stage their performances on this international platform. Even countries like Srilanka, Japan, Israel, China, Poland and Germany which are steeped in theatre culture, brings in seven performances in this yearⳠinternational festival. The festival will feature a complete kaleidoscope of various theatre styles starting from Classical, including Modern, Western and finishing in Folk Theatre; thus showing all the different faces of Indian Theatre to the audience. If this was not all, Bharat Rang Mahotsav this time highlights traditional folk theatre from about every part of the country bringing 11 performances from folk & traditional theatre, making it the ultimate platform of interaction and education of theatre.

Prof. Waman Kendre, NSD Director, says, エarat Rang Mahotsav is not only about urban theatre but it also focuses on the rural and traditional theatre. Hence, NSD being the apex theatre institution of the country is reaching out to every nook and corner of the country where drama and theatre exists and survives. With such exchange of knowledge and culture NSD aims to be the ultimate platform of theatre and cultural exchanges in theatre not only in India but with other countries as well where theatre is alive.伯span>

As a parallel festival, Bharat Rang Mahotsav this year goes out to the exotic North East with 6 plays this year.NSD this year touches the hearts of Imphal and Guwahati with 3 international plays (from Israel, Japan and Sri Lanka) and 3 Indian plays which includes a Tamasha. This parallel festival will be on from 9th January, 2014 to the 16th January, 2014.

Shri Ratan Thiyam, Chairperson, National School Of Drama Society says, ㉮tegrating theatre from all parts of the nation and also taking it to varied audience has been an integral part of the vision of NSD for Bharat Rang Mahotsav. North East has a culturally rich and potentially strong theatre movement. Missing Bharat Rang MahotsavⳠpresence in the region will be a loss to the art and culture lovers of North East. Hence, the parallel festival is targeted in the North East this year.伯span>

Apart from the theatre shows, Bharat Rang Mahotsav this year will also be bringing the national theatre luminaries and their international counterparts together on one platform. With this aim NSD has planned two seminars this year where ideas will be exchanged freely and thoughts on topics like ᇬobal Exchanges, Local Encounters⠡nd on ᕳe & Abuse of Tradition in TodayⳠTheatre⠷ill be discussed at length. Meet the directors an open forum for the audience to interact with the directorⳠand Dr Kamlesh Datt Tripathi interacts with K.N. Panicker will also be some of the major interactive session in BRM 2014.

As part of Interactions on New Writings in Theatre, this year BRM 2014, will see the launch of a book by Mahesh Dattani ፥ & My Plays⠰ublished by Penguin India along with book reading session by various eminent authors like Surendra Verma, Pratap Sehgal, Mannu Bhandari and Asghar Wajahat are part of the festival. NSD this year has also planned a poster and photographic exhibition on in house Shakespeare production throughout the festival period.  Film screening of films based on theatre experiences and theatre process by Sanjay Maharshi will also be one of the major attractions during the festival. Short films on mobile theatre of Assam, Nautanki, Grotowski workshop and The Making of King Lear adapted in Hindustani are catered for the audience.

Bharat Rang Mahotsav

The Bharat Rang Mahotsav was started a decade ago by the NSD in order to contribute to the growth and development of theatre across the country with the aim of providing a platform for theatre performances and interaction. From being a national festival that presented the work of some of the most creative theatre workers in India, it has grown into an international event, hosting theatre companies from around the world, and is today acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia dedicated solely to theatre. In addition to the national and international performances that are staged during the Festival, the fare also includes exhibitions, installations, interactive sessions with directors and performers for the general public and professionals, a vibrant theatre caf鬊open forums and meetings and a shorter festival in another city to which some of the productions travel.