Today at 12:18 PM
Interactive Wednesdays at Anhad
JUNE 25 PROGRAMME
YOU ARE WELCOME
Every Wednesday at Anhad office we have two hours of vibrant discussion and hot tea
( we can continue to serve tea if you also contribute towards it)
This Wednesday on June 25 Anusha Rizvi will interact with participants on Depiction of Women in Cinema.
Anusha Rizvi is an Indian film director and Screenwriter. Her directorial debut Peepli Live won the Best First Film award at the Durban film festival and the Gollapudi Srinivas Award. Anusha Rizvi was a journalist before venturing into film direction. She graduated in history from St.Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.
C-5, BASEMENT, NIZAMUDDIN WEST, NEW DELHI-110013
Seeking to expedite information sharing from the European nation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the government will write to Switzerland seeking details of Indians having unaccounted money in Swiss banks.
The Minister’s remark comes a day after a Swiss government official told PTI that names of certain persons and entities, who have come under scanner of Swiss authorities, is being shared with India.
Jaitley said his Ministry is yet to receive official communication in this regard.
“We are today writing ourselves to the Swiss authorities with whom the Ministry has been in touch so that details with regard to whatever information the authorities have can be expedited and the cooperation between the Swiss authorities and the government of India can bring fruitful results. Our communication will be sent today itself,” Jaitley said in New Delhi on Monday.
He was referring to the issue of Indians allegedly stashing unaccounted money in Swiss banks.
“News has appeared in various sections of the media quoting Swiss authorities that they are willing to actively cooperate with the government of India in giving details about Indians who hold bank accounts in the Swiss banking system,” he said.
According to the latest data published by Switzerland’s central bank SNB, Indian money in various Swiss banks rose by 43 percent during 2013 to close to Rs 14,000 crore, including the money held directly by Indian clients and those through fiduciaries or wealth managers.
Indian National Congress
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Bail out agriculture through farmer-centric approach, plan for vibrant rural economy
ASHOK B SHARMA*
Agriculture in India is ceasing to be a profitable enterprise. The most unfortunate part is the growing distress among the farmers, the giver of country’s food security. The incidences of farmers’ suicides remain high and previous governments had done little to wipe out farmers’ woos.
That the farmers’ distress remains unaddressed is evident from the latest reliable data available on suicides by peasants that shows 13,754 reported cases of suicides in 2012 – 3,786 in Maharashtra, 2,572 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,875 in Karnataka, 1,172 in Madhya Pradesh.
The issue is of the livelihood security of farmers and making agriculture in India a profitable enterprises and to retain youth force in agriculture and rural economy. But it is unfortunate that the policies of the previous governments was designed to pull out people from agriculture and cause migration to cities and create slums in cities.
With a view to boost the livelihood prospects of farmers, the National Commission on Farmers headed by noted agriculture scientist Dr MS Swaminathan had suggested fixation of minimum support prices (MSPs) for crops at a minimum of 50% higher than the weighted average cost of production. But the implementation of this suggestion has been long awaited.
There is an urgent need to restructure the monolithic Food Corporation of India (FCI) to enable purchase of farm produces in different parts of the country. Procurement of farm produces should be done at the level of cluster of villages where farmers can get the full benefit of the MSPs. Storage facilities or grain banks should be set up in the cluster of villages. This structure will be cost effective and enable cheaper transportation of food grains from surplus to nearby deficient areas. FCI should expand its mandate to procure more crops, including some horticulture crops and pulses.
Agriculture in India still remains as a gamble with the monsoon. This year the weathermen have predicted a poor monsoon. If the forecast turns out to be true, it would cause additional hardship to farmers.
The Modi government which has declared its intention to phase out subsidies on fuel, fertilisers should know that this is not in the interests of farmers and agriculture. Adequate power and diesel subsidy should be given to draw water for irrigation. Drip irrigation materials should be sold to farmers at a subsidized cost. De-silting of canals, energizing tubewells, repairing of faulty pumps should be taken up on a war footing. Subsidized seeds should be given to farmers to grow alternate crops. Special attention should be given to the chronic dry areas of the country. Subsidized fodder should be provided for milch animals and poultry, particularly in dry areas. These are some immediate measures to mitigate the hardship of farmers.
With a view to combat droughts and floods in the long run, Modi government has plans to inter-link river basin. According to several experts, this measure may lead to severe consequences including soil salinity. Nearby small links will, however, prove to be beneficial and this had been the traditional practice so far. Large inter-state river links would not only be costly, but also have severe ecological consequences.
Instead of building costly large dams that can cause displacement of people and may have disastrous consequence in the near future leading to submergence, government should encourage small check dams and construction of canals and water harvesting.
Land degradation is taking place at a fast pace. According to a recent estimate, 32 per cent of the total land area ie 105 million hectare is degraded. A report on desertification released by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2007, about 69 per cent of the land in the country is dry.
Government’s plan for soil health cards for all farm plots for assessing land productivity is a step in the right direction. But it should be followed with fast and rigorous implementation for prescribing measures for restoring land productivity. Large tracts of degraded land should be brought back to agriculture. But it is unfortunate that prime farm lands are lost every year as a result of acquisition by corporate houses for setting up their business enterprises and for urbanisation. There is a need to check this trend. Land can be acquired for public purposes like setting up of schools, hospitals, construction of roads and railways.
According to Government “steps will be taken to convert farming into a profitable venture through scientific practices and agro-technology.” But the technology needs to be region specific taking into consideration the agro-climatic conditions. In the name of introducing scientific technology, the government should not allow introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops, particularly GM food crops that have conceived health and environmental risks.
Modi government’s plan to provide urban facilities in rural areas is a welcome step. But instead of encouraging corporate houses to set up rural business enterprises, it would be better if loans and other facilities are extended to the rural unemployed to set up business enterprises like processing units, storages, grading facilities, fertiliser and pesticides distribution units, agri implement manufacturing in rural areas. As an alternative these business units can be set up by local cooperatives.
Finally, if the government intends to wipe out farmers’ woos and revitalise rural economy, its policies and approach should be farmer-centric and not corporate-centric. Like the government has plans for urban economy, it should have vibrant plans for rural economy. We have had enough of urbanisation of the economy. What we need now is ruralisation of economy..
(*The writer is a former Agriculture Editor of The Financial Express. He also writes of strategic and policy issues. He can be reached at –email@example.com. His mobile phone no – 09810902204)
While Germany and the US are on four points, Portugal and Ghana have a point each.
It was Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who essayed the perfect centre for Varela to head home with just 30 seconds left for the final whistle.
It was one of the most exciting matches where Portugal got the lead as early as fifth minute when Nani capitalized on a defensive blooper from Geoff Cameron.
A faulty clearance landed on Nani’s feet as the Manchester United player slotted home from the close range.
The injury to Postiga and the subsequent introduction of forward Eder did hurt Portugal.
Eder failed to make any impact as he lost a lot of balls in the opposition box much to the dismay of his captain.
In the 54th minute, Valencia’s Ricardo Costa pulled off an incredible goalline save off a Michael Bradley push latching on to an assist from Fabian Johnson.
Portuguese goalkeeper Beto was nowhere near and Bradley couldn’t believe that Costa had pulled off that save.
However Jermaine Jones’ swinging long-ranger from outside the penalty box saw a helpless Beto stranded as it rammed into the net.
Jones received the ball when Nani’s ill-directed feeble clearance came to him.
Skipper Clint Dempsey made it 2-1 in the 81st minute.
Yedlin made a lovely run along the right before cutting it back for Bradley.
His shot was blocked into the feet of Zusi who crossed it for Dempsey.
Dempsey chested it from close range to give US the lead.
It was finally left to Ronaldo to turn provider in order to help Portugal live for another day.
In the first match of the day at the Rio, young substitute Divock Origi made full use of a beautiful pull-back from Chelsea star Eden Hazard in the 88th minute as Belgium beat a gritty Russian team 1-0 making it to the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time since Italia’90.
It was a goal against the run-of-play by the Belgians after Russia dominated the proceedings for the better part of the match.
Forward Alexander Korkorin missed one of the easiest chances in the championship in the 44th minute when he got a free-header with left back Dmitry Kombarov providing a measured cross from the left.
Korkorin did the hard work of evading Vincent Kompany but headed wide off the target when he had Belgian custodian Courtois at his mercy.
For Algeria, it was their best match in World Cup history as they stunned the 2002 semi-finalists South Korea opening up an unbelievable 3-0 lead in the first half itself.
It was their first World Cup victory since their famous 1982 shock win against erstwhile West Germany and was the first time an African side had managed four goals in a single World Cup match.
Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoume Djabou were the scorers in the first half.
Son Heung-Min and Koo Ja-Cheol gave Korea some hope in the second half but Yacine Brahimi’s fourth for Algeria kept them in charge.
The result spirited Algeria up to second in Group H behind Belgium, with Russia and the Koreans trailing on one point apiece.
Belgium score goal in last two minutes of the game against Russia and Beligiums enter last sixteen roun.
Both teams Russia and Belgium performance were quite impressive but skill of Belgium prevailed and werEaPost goal. Goalless stalemate continued for both the teams and the chances of converting into goals were missed,till Belgium foundits way. With goal entire stadia red dressed corrode cheered their players.
Belgium immaculate play did bring glory to their this important match as with this win they are in knockout round.
Russian team too played their best with energy splashing around the stadia.