The Delhi University Vice-Chancellor owes a public explanation on how and at which level the decision to suspend five officials of the University’s School of Open Learning was taken.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is of the view that the University’s decision seriously compromises its autonomy and it is surprising that admission documents have been treated as confidential by the authorities to act in a completely unjustified manner against these officials.
The Vice Chancellor needs to explain what was the basis of the decision to suspend these officials ? Had any inquiry been conducted ? Who ordered the inquiry and what were its terms of reference ? Can an inquiry be completed within hours of a nws item appearing in a newspaper ?
Is it a case of the University authorities trying to please the new political masters since the matter pertained to the new union human resources development minister personally ?
It is shocking that the Delhi University authorities acted with lightning speed against the officials and it is beyond any reasonable understanding that they were suspended within hours of a news item having been published in a newspaper about the admission card of the HRD minister Ms Smriti Irani. It appears that in a desperate bid to score brownie points with the new regime at the Centre, the University authorities seem to have taken an arbitrary decision, which is against the very principle of natural justice.
The Vice-Chancellor, instead of promoting and encouraging transparency, appears to be hell bent on getting into the good books of the political masters in the new regime.
A prestigious institution like the DU cannot be allowed to become a centre of political patronage and when the HRD minister herself has publicly stated that these officials should be reinstated, it becomes extremely important for the Vice Chancellor to come clean on the whole issue and let the students, academic community and the people know what actually led to the arbitrary and unjustified suspension of these officials.
AAP Media Cell
Friday’s storm exposes all claims
The loss of atleast nine innocent lives and largescale destruction caused by the sudden thunderstorm on Friday raises serious questions about the preparedness of the civic agencies in the national capital in dealing with such emergency situations created by natural disasters of any nature.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) condoles these untimely and sudden deaths and demands adequate steps to compensate their families who have lost their beloved ones for no fault of theirs. The administration must also ensure relief and rehabilitation of the affected families.
It is very surprising that the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have been found wanting in dealing with such situations, and even storms of such minor intensity can throw life out of gear in the country’s capital.
Parts of the city remained without electricity for nearly 24 hours and it is beyond any reasonable understanding that who will take responsibility for the large-scale inconvenience caused to the people.
The AAP questions the state of affairs in the capital and wants to know from those running the city’s administration that who will be held accountable for the hardships faced by the public for no fault of theirs ?
A single thunderstorm which did not last for a long time has exposed the claims of those running the administration and civic agencies that everything was on track.
All possible steps should be immediately taken to ensure that such a sorry state of affairs is not repeated again. The images of uprooted trees across the city, metro trains being disrupted, ATMs not functioning, no electricity in several parts and massive traffic jams – will keep reminding the people about the nightmare faced by them on Friday evening.
AAP Media Cell
The knockout stages have begun in the 65th National Basketball Championship for Junior Men and Women 2014 underway at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Kochi.
Morning Results from Day 6 (31/5/14)
1) Kerala (Akhil AR 25, Prem Prakash 20, Sito M 14) bt Andhra Pradesh (Harsha 17, Peter 13, Neeraj 12) 91-65 [8-15; 35-12; 26-19; 22-19]
2) Rajasthan (Mahipal Singh 30, Akhilesh 25) bt Karnataka (Sowkin Shetty 18, Bushan S 12) Anmol B 15, 92-71 [25-18; 28-19; 18-18; 21-16]
1) Karnataka (Bhandavya 17, Lopamudra 15, Bhoomika 12) bt West Bengal (Rashmi 23, Pratyusha 14) 85-59 [25-9; 17-18; 12-17; 31-15]
2) Delhi (Soumya B 29, Varuni B 14, Jothi Rai 13, Nishita 13) bt Madhya Pradesh (Sakshi Pandey 38, Shivangi 11) 78-74 [12-24; 18-21; 21-14; 27-15]
Quarterfinal Matches from Level 1 (Elite level)
1) Maharashtra (Siddique 22, Parab 19, Sandhu Samson 19, Vaishakh Nambiar 15) bt Madhya Pradesh (Shubham 24, Laxman Thapa 17, Lalit 13) 90-77 [24-20; 24-13; 15-20; 27-24]
1) Uttar Pradesh (Barkha 26, Preeti Kumari 17) bt Maharashtra (Sruthi Menon 38, Iswari Pingle 14) 67-65 [15-14; 17-10; 14-15; 21-26]
Level 1 to Level 2 (Matches between bottom placed Level 1 teams who have been relegated to Level 2 for next year)
1) Chhattisgarh (A Kumar 19, R Shrivastav 11) bt Odisha (KS Kumar 6, SS Bemera 6) 57-29 [26-6; 22-7; 3-6; 6-10]
1) Tamil Nadu (Srividhya 19, Sharmila 18, Shinu 17) bt Rajasthan (Nisha 22, Jagruthi 13) 84-63 [29-17; 25-15; 9-18; 21-13]
Late Evening Results from Day 5 (30/5/14)
Level 1 League Matches
1) Kerala (Amal Anto 24, Antony 21) bt Chhattisgarh (Dinesh M 16, Shiv Kumar 14) 81-54 [12-10; 22-16; 15-12; 32-16]
(The real GDP growth at factor cost stands at 4.6% in Q4 of 2013-14 as against 4.4% in Q4 of 2012-13)
GDP at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices in the year 2013-14 is estimated at Rs. 57.42 lakh crore showing a growth rate of 4.7% over the GDP for the year 2012-13 of Rs. 54.82 lakh crore. Whereas, the GDP at factor cost at current prices in the year 2013-14 is estimated at Rs. 104.73 lakh crore, showing a growth rate of 11.5% over the GDP for the year 2012-13 at Rs. 93.89 lakh crore.
Quarterly GDP at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices for Q4 of 2013-14 is estimated at Rs. 15.38 lakh crore, as against Rs. 14.71 lakh crore in Q4 of 2012-13, showing a growth rate of 4.6%. Whereas, GDP at factor cost at current prices in Q4 of 2013-14 is estimated at Rs. 28.01 lakh crore, as against Rs. 25.42 lakh crore in Q4 of 2012-13, showing a growth of 10.2%. The real GDP growth at factor cost stands at 4.6% in Q3 of 2013-14 as against 5.2% in Q2 of 2013-14 and 4.7% in Q1 of 2013-14.
Trend in growth of India’s real GDP (%)
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from CSO
The estimated growth rates in economic activities in Q4 of 2013-14 over Q4 of 2012-13 are financing, insurance, real estate and business services at 12.4%, construction at 0.7%, community, social & personal services at 3.3%, trade, hotels, transport and communication at 3.9% and electricity, gas & water supply at 7.2%. The growth rate in agriculture, forestry & fishing, is estimated at 6.3% while for mining and quarrying and manufacturing growth is estimated at (-) 0.4% and (-) 1.4%, respectively in this period.
Recent pattern in real GDP growth
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from CSO
Note: 2nd RE: Second Revised Estimate; 1st RE: First Revised Estimate; PE: Provisional Estimate
Gross National Income – The Gross National Income (GNI) at factor cost at 2004-05 prices is now estimated at Rs.56.74 lakh crore during 2013-14, as against the previous year’s First Revised Estimate of Rs. 54.17 lakh crore. In terms of growth rates, the gross national income is estimated to have risen by 4.7% during 2013-14, in comparison to the growth rate of 4.1% in 2012-13.
Per Capita Net National Income – The per capita net national income in real terms (at 2004-05 prices) during 2013-14 is estimated to have attained a level of Rs. 39,904 as compared to the First Revised Estimates for the year 2012-13 of Rs. 38,856. The growth rate in per capita income is estimated at 2.7% during 2013-14 as against 2.1% during 2012-13.
Private Final Consumption Expenditure – Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 64.85 lakh crore in 2013-14 as against Rs. 57.72 lakh crore in 2012-13. At constant (2004-05) prices, the PFCE is estimated at Rs. 37.20 lakh crore in 2013-14 as against Rs. 35.48 lakh crore in 2012-13. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of PFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2013-14 are estimated at 57.1% and 60%, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 57.1% and 60.1%, respectively in 2012-13.
Government Final Consumption Expenditure – Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 13.41 lakh crore in 2013-14 as against Rs. 11.89 lakh crore in 2012-13. At constant (2004-05) prices, the GFCE is estimated at Rs. 6.87 lakh crore in 2013-14 as against Rs. 6.62 lakh crore in 2012-13. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of GFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2013-14 are estimated at 11.8% and 11.1%, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 11.8% and 11.2%, respectively in 2012-13.
Gross Fixed Capital Formation – Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 32.11 lakh crore in 2013-14 as against Rs. 30.72 lakh crore in 2012-13. At constant (2004-05) prices, the GFCF is estimated at Rs. 20 lakh crore in 2013-14 as against Rs. 20.02 lakh crore in 2012-13. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of GFCF at current and constant (2004-05) prices during 2013-14 are estimated at 28.3% and 32.3%, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 30.4% and 33.9%, respectively in 2012-13. The rates of Change in Stocks and Valuables at current prices during 2013-14 are estimated at 1.6% percent and 1.5%, respectively.
The PFCE and GFCF at constant (2004-05) market prices in Q4 of 2013-14 are estimated at Rs. 9.78 lakh crore and Rs.5.36 lakh crore, respectively. The rates of PFCE and GFCF as percentage of GDP at market prices in Q4 of 2013-14 were 57% and 31.2%, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 55.9% and 33.4%, respectively in Q4 of 2012-13.
Dr. S P Sharma
Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank
By Prof R. Vaidyanathan First Post—FirstBiz—31-05-2014
More than six years ago, in February 2008, the German authorities had collected information about illegal money stashed away by citizens of various countries in a Liechtenstein bank. The German Finance Minister offered to share the names of these account-holders with any government interested in them. The UPA-1 government, unfortunately, did not act for many months and, after much prodding by the Opposition, asked for the list in late 2008.
A German intelligence agency appears to have paid an unnamed informer more than $6 million for this confidential and secret data about clients of the LGT group, a bank owned by the Liechtenstein Prince’s family. The revelations have already led to the resignation of the head of Deutsche Post, which is currently the world’s largest logistics company. Liechtenstein leaders were furious and have focused all their ire on the theft of the data rather than on the facts of the case.
The German list contained the names of 1,400 clients of the Liechtenstein bank, of whom 600 were Germans. A spokesman for the German finance ministry, Thorstein Albig, had said in March 2008 that information on the other accounts would be shared without charging any fees. Finland, Sweden, and Norway quickly obtained the data, but our government began pussyfooting around this issue. If it had genuinely wanted to act against black money, it should have immediately despatched senior officials/ministers to get the names. Pushed and prodded by the Opposition and the media, when the government finally moved, it got nearly 100 Indian names – but those names have been kept a secret.
This writer, who has been studying tax havens for more than a decade, wrote in April 2009 (in the journal Eternal India, published by India First Foundation) about the need to get back the illegal deposits kept by Indians in various tax havens, including Liechtenstein. A public interest litigation was then filed by Ram Jethmalani and others in the Supreme Court, to which the government responded that it was taking steps to recover such amounts. It had also mentioned that the German government had given a list of people who had kept money in the LGT Bank of Liechtenstein (May 2009). The government’s response also said that steps were being taken in the case of Hasan Ali Khan, a Pune horse-breeder, who was alleged to have indulged in several illegal transactions through the UBS Bank of Switzerland.
In the meanwhile, the then Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, LK Advani, had constituted a committee consisting of S Gurumurthy, well-known Chartered Accountant, Ajit Doval, the current National Security Advisor, lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, and this writer. The report of the committee was also used by Ram Jethmalani in his PIL filed with the Supreme Court.
The government maintained that it cannot reveal the names received from Germany since it had obtained the same under the double taxation avoidance treaty. The point is: why did the government ask for information under the double-tax treaty with Germany when the issue – stolen data from the Liechtenstein bank by Germany – was unconnected to the treaty? Where is the issue of confidentiality vis-a-vis criminals? Actually, it is wealth kept illegally in the bank in Liechtenstein, and the money does not even concern Germany.
The double-tax treaty generally prevents the use of information supplied under the treaty for any purpose other than the levy and recovery of tax. It is doubtful whether the income tax department can share the details it has secured under the treaty with the Enforcement Directorate or the National Investigation Agency which tracks terror cases, or the NSA. That is why the Supreme Court had refused to regard it purely an issue of tax evasion.
The finance ministry says it has the names but will not reveal them. But is this right? The accounts are those of international crooks who have deprived our land of huge financial resources through capital flight. It is an unpatriotic act which can be equated to financial terrorism. Domestic black money (that is untaxed income) is merely a no-confidence motion against the government’s tax policies, but black money in tax havens abroad amounts to no-confidence against the country – which is akin to treason.
A report in The Economic Times dated 4 June 2009 said that of the 50 Indians who have stashed funds in LGT Bank, 25 belong to Mumbai. The tax authorities have reopened assessments of these 25 tax evaders under section 148 of the Income Tax Act. This implies that the government is treating it as tax evasion and not capital flight and a crime against the country. But on 19 January 2011 – after two years of waiting – the Supreme Court made a historic observation about this shameful phenomenon of Indian funds being kept illegally abroad and the obstructionist attitude of the central government in unravelling the truth.
A report in The Hindu quoted the court as saying that black money stashed abroad by Indians was “pure and simple theft of national money.” The court “questioned the Centre’s approach to tackling this menace and retrieving the huge amounts kept in foreign banks. When Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam furnished in a sealed cover a list of 26 names who had accounts with (the) Liechtenstein Bank, a bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS Nijjar was not convinced of the steps taken by the government for getting back black money. Justice Reddy, after perusing the list, told the SG: ‘This is all the information you have or you have something more? We are talking about huge money. It is a plunder of the nation. It is pure and simple theft of national money. We are talking about mind-boggling crime. We are not on (the) niceties of various treaties.”
The court then insisted on the formation of a special investigation team (SIT) with ex-Supreme Court judge Jeevan Reddy as Chairman, assisted by Justice MB Shah, and asked the government to share details about the Liechtenstein list. The UPA government dilly-dallied and used every ruse in the legal book to buy time. But the Supreme Court was very upset and told the government that it can be hauled up for contempt of court. The court, in its order of 1 May 2014, had given the government three weeks’ time to issue a notification for setting up an SIT to be presided over by Justice MB Shah (since Justice Jeevan Reddy had declined to head it for personal reasons), with retired Justice Arijit Pasayat as vice-chairman, to guide and direct the investigation.
The three weeks ended on 22 May and extended to 27 May due to a change in the government. Hence, the first decision of the new government was about the SIT. It was a decision pushed down the throat of the government of India by the court due to the sustained efforts of Ram Jethmalani, represented by Anil Dhavan, and armed with reports of this writer. The SIT will consist of the Chief of the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, a Deputy Governor of the RBI, the IB Director, the Narcotics Bureau chief, and the head of the Enforcement Directorate. The group will also have access to the accounts of HSBC Bank, Geneva, details of which were given by the French government.
The SIT is essentially a group of bureaucrats with varying degrees of expertise about tax havens. This is mainly for illicit money kept abroad and not for domestic black money. Most of the double tax treaties which the UPA-2 entered into are prospective in nature and the task of looking into past illegal funds is complicated.
The group should distinguish between pure tax evasion (let us call it vegetarian black money) and funds connected to terror/arms smuggling/narcotics (say, non-veg black money). The former is easy to focus on and can be dealt with through penalties. A recent Supreme Court judgment, which says that “that Indian resident beneficiaries shall not be taxed on the income of an offshore discretionary trust as long as the trustees do not distribute income to the beneficiaries,” may help many in the first category.
The best way to proceed is to have a joint sitting of Parliament and pass a resolution stating that “any funds abroad held by Indian nationals belong to the Republic of India” unless they have been kept abroad under legal rules and regulations. Armed with such a resolution and recent agreements entered into by Switzerland and Singapore with OECD countries, the SIT can go for gold! Actually, the SIT should be willing to use the concept of sama/dhana/bheda/dhanda in achieving its task – many secretive jurisdictions, including Switzerland, can and should be arm-twisted to part with information. After all they have huge investments in India
It is also necessary to consider the gold/diamonds/precious items kept by Indians in the lockers of banks in tax havens abroad. The road ahead for the recovery of illegal money stashed abroad is full of pot holes and craters, but we Indians have a way of navigating such impediments. What is needed is the political will for the same.
(The author is finance professor, IIM Bangalore. These views are personal)
PROFESSOR OF FINANCE
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT
Posted: 31 May 2014 02:33 AM PDT
Recently a UK based energy journal “LNG Magazine” published an article “A passage to India” on the Indian LNG demand and GAIL’s efforts towards meeting the same with inputs from Mr. Prabhat Singh; director, marketing , GAIL (India) Limited.
The article talked about the energy demand and supply shortage in India and around the globe. Involvement of natgas in India’s energy mix is 11% whereas it accounts to 24% in the global scenario. As of now, domestic production contributes 73% of the total supply of the gas. The gap between supply and demand is growing with the intense development and rising conscience to go green in the nation. GAIL has stepped up to the challenge and has assumed a key role in development of natgas market in India in meeting rising demand. It has also been vigilant about securing deals with the foreign nations as well. The long term deals with Qatar, Yemen, Nigeria, Algeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Norway, Oman, UAE etc. shows the efforts of the company in doing so.
The article basically consisted of three important constraints:
Indian natural gas market has become a global attraction because of its demographical location as well as rising domestic demand. GAIL has secured part of natgas supplies from countries like Russia and Turkey and is constantly examining potential LNG hubs.
Business & Sustainability
GAIL has been consistently trying to reduce the carbon footprint in the production process and with usage of renewable energy in the production process it depicts the strong willingness of the motive. Alongside the busy operations GAIL with its CSR projects has also been ensuring the sustainable development of underprivileged the needy communities.
GAIL has constantly trying to fill the gap between supply and demand in the country. Company is pursuing regional cooperation with fellow Asian nations. GAIL has also been looking to diversify its operations and in the process has also commissioned wind energy projects in Gujarat. Future plans are to concentrate on the renewabels starting with solar & wind energy.
With strong words from the marketing manager we are assured that the future demands will be met and India may soon achieve energy security.
Posted: 30 May 2014 04:43 AM PDT
While the nation seeks a better a better future, its the youth who hold the foundations of the brighter tomorrow being anticipated. Here is a true story of a champion who did not give up when knocked down by life but instead bounced back with a bang
Apar Tiwari – (GAIL Utkarsh Super 30 – 2009 – 2010) – IIT Varanasi – (Mechanical Engineering)
‘A lesson learnt, a career achieved’
As I look back to my school days, I remember that I wasn’t much into studies. I preferred watching TV and being involved in sports activities. I belong to a middle class family. My parents always tried to make me understand the importance of a good career but I couldn’t drive myself to study in those initial days. However, taking the Cyber Olympiad in 6th standard made me realize where I stood when it came to knowledge – nowhere. As such, I couldn’t even secure a satisfactory position in the Olympiad even at the district level. I used to think I was far better than others, but the results said otherwise. I felt as if I was standing at the bottom and others were moving to the top, though my parents and my sisters encouraged me a lot. It was because of their efforts that I was finally able to recognize my potential. When I was in 9th standard, my father expired and the entire burden fell on my mother. I started paying attention to my studies but one thing that persisted in my mind was on improving my knowledge without worrying about my class rank. I got an opportunity to be a part of my school NCC team, where I gave my 100 percent as I felt it is most important to be sincere and dedicated to whatever one takes up. I qualified for mains level in NTSE and scored 92% in 10th standard. It was around that time that I decided to be an engineer and set my sight on IIT. However, it was during my preparations that I realized that the method of study was wrong. Coaching basically meant making students cram the entire study material, ignoring individual capability. This was very upsetting. Then I came to know about the Super 30 coaching sponsored by GAIL India limited in co-operation with CSRL. Here the teaching pattern was totally different. I wouldn’t even call it coaching. In fact, it was more like a home for me where I was provided proper guidance by well experienced and talented teachers. The approach was basic and simple but the result was undoubtedly awesome. The IIT aspirants just need to be conceptual and this is a prominent feature of the Super 30 art of teaching. Today, I am most content. My father is not here to see me, but he would have been proud to see me an IITian.My mother, sisters, maternal uncles and two of my true friends never let me feel his absence. I express my deep gratitude to Abhayanand Sir, Krishnamurti Sir, Chandra Sir and Phurkan Sir and the whole GAIL and CSRL team for their tremendous efforts and the patience they showed for me, enabling me reach this successful station in life.
Apar continuously maintained a CGPA of 8+ and has secured 133 score in GATE examination. Now he has also secured 1st position in SAIL Management Trainee exam. GAIL is proud of him and wishes him all the best for the future.
We hope that with project Utkarsh we keep on helping talents like Apar in the future too.
WaterTech e-News Daily
Quake of M6.2 – OFF THE COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO