Sonia Gandhi : BJP government has nothing new to offer the country

13082014

Addressing the CPP General Body Meeting today,Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi said that BJP government has nothing new to offer the country and has implemented the policies that were introduced by the UPA government. “They are welcome to steal our ideas…imitation is the best form of flattery,” said Smt Sonia Gandhi.

Addressing the CPP General Body Meeting today,Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi said that BJP government has nothing new to offer the country and has implemented the policies that were introduced by the UPA government. "They are welcome to steal our ideas...imitation is the best form of flattery," said Smt Sonia Gandhi.





8,000 crore for building roads in J-K

13082014

PM announces Rs 8,000 crore for building roads in J-K

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a package of Rs 8,000 crore for building of roads in Jammu and Kashmir and waiver of Rs 60 crore in interest owed by the state government to the Food Corporation of India.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had flagged the issue during his recent meetings with the central leadership and the Prime Minister, who was in Leh on a day-long visit, announced he will push for the proposal in the union cabinet for granting Rs 8,000 crore to the state.

Modi said at a public rally that “I assure you that I will soon push in the Union Cabinet Rs 8,000 crore project needed for four important roads in the state.”

Omar had last month met Road and Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and pressed for early completion of Batote-Kishtwar road, Kargil-Zanskar, Domail-Katra road besides fast tracking the four-laning of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

All these roads of vital importance were in bad shape at some places due to lack of proper maintenance. Omar had also sought construction of four tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir to link important roads, which included a tunnel at Peer Ki Gali on Mughal Road, a tunnel to connect Singhpora in Kishtwar to Vailoo in Anantnag and two tunnels between Lolab-Bandipora and Sudh Mahadev-Marmat.

The Prime Minister also announced waiving of Rs 60 crore owed by the state government to the Food Corporation of India.

The Union Cabinet had recently written off the Rs 60 crore of interest amount to be paid by the state Government to the FCI for purchase of foodgrains on credit in 1999-2002.

The FCI had supplied foodgrains on credit between 1999 and 2002 to Jammu and Kashmir.

The state government has already paid the cost of foodgrains and had requested the Centre to write off the interest payment.





Lok Sabha passes Judicial Appointment Bill

13082014

 

Lok Sabha passes Judicial Appointment Bill

A landmark bill to overturn the collegium system was today a step short of becoming the law with the Lok Sabha approving it amid government’s assertion that the measure was aimed at ensuring that only meritorious people are selected as judges to the higher courts.
The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014 was passed by voice vote along with one official amendment.

Along with it, the 99th Constitution Amendment Bill, which will give Constitutional status to the proposed Commission, was passed by 367 in favour and nil against.

Replying to the debate on the bills, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the proposed law does not impact upon the independence of the judiciary.

He said the new law will provide for wider consultations for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts.

“We are for maintaining the sanctity of the judiciary… We have said this House respects independence of judiciary. That should be assuring,” he said, allaying apprehensions that new law would curb the independence of judiciary.

Seeking support of all parties, he said, “Let the message go that this House is one for maintaining dignity of the judiciary.”

Suggesting that the existing collegium system of judges appointing judges had flaws, the Minister said many good judges could not make to the Supreme Court.

Under the new law where a Commission will decide appointment of judges to Supreme Court and High Courts, seniority along with “ability” and “merit” will be considered for elevation, Prasad said.





Pingali Venkiah an unsung hero

13082014

 

The nation is getting ready to celebrate Independence Day.Elaborate arrangements are being made for the Prime Minister to hoist the National Flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi.The tricolour which reflects the sovereignty of the country and keeps crores of its people together had not been unveiled overnight. Very few people of the present generation know that there were several unsung heroes behind the national flag besides Pingali Venkaiah, a freedom fighter who designed the national flag. Our correspondent reports that the fluttering tri-colour, a synonym for free and independent India, evokes the true patriotic spirit in every Indian. It stands as a symbol of our unity and integrity. Every one knows that the tri-colour brought about 100 crore people together and became the strength behind oneness among Indians ever since the country attained independence. Indian history reveals that several people made attempts to design a flag during the struggle for independence. But the idea of having a common flag for the nation was mooted by Pingali Venkayya, a multi-talented personality born in a small village called Bhatlapenumarru in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh in 1878. A true follower of Mahatma Gandhi, he suggested having a common flag whenever he met Gandhiji. Having studied flags of about 30 countries, he wrote a book “Indian National Flag” in 1916. As the Young India paper refers, on constant persuasion Mahatma Gandhi asked him to design a flag for the nation. Pingali presented him a flag with two colors and a Charkha during the 1921 Congress meeting held in Bezawada and after modifications it was adopted at the 1931 Congress meetings. It was modified several times to take the final shape of the present day tricolour with a dharma Chakra in the middle of the white band with saffron taking the top position and green at the bottom.Without getting even a pension for freedom fighters, Pingali Venkaiah died in poverty in 1969. Along with him, his research over a variety of topics including gemology, mining, agriculture and Japanese language had been found unavailable. One of his family members, Susheela says the grandfather of her husband whom Pingali Venkaiah brought up was a selfless patriot.

Jagadamba who is a founder of Pingali Venkaiah’s Charitable Trust says the trust is now collecting the works of the patriot.

There were several unsung heroes behind the designing of the national flag. One such person is Tayubji and his wife Surayya Tayyabji who stitched the National flag the previous night before it was hoisted for the first time on the Red Fort in 1947. A professor in History Capt. L Pandurangareddy says the duo played a crucial role in designing the National flag.

The Andhra Pradesh Government had recommended Pingali’s name for Bharat Ratna in 2012 and the Postal Department had released a commemoration stamp in his honour in 2009. His native villagers are now working on setting up a memorial in his name.





Sonia: communal violence surge

13082014

 

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has alleged that since the BJP came to power at the Centre, there has been an alarming increase in the number of cases of communal violence. Addressing MPs at the Parliamentary Party meeting in New Delhi today, she said Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Mahrashtra and a number of other States have witnessed hundreds of incidents of communal violence and of late, there have been dangerous signals of intolerance. She asked the party MPs to fight the BJP’s politics of division and hatred and resist its authoritarian and sectarian tendencies. Mrs Gandhi accused BJP-led NDA government of imitating and extending UPA’s programmes and initiatives it had vehemently attacked previously. Stating that prices of items of daily use are rising hurting the common man, she said the government is trying to disguise its failures to improve the economy by blaming the UPA government. She said the government has nothing new to offer to the people. The Congress President said the new government’s motto appears to be minimum governance to protect the aam aadmi and maximum government to amass powers in the hands of the BJP.

Sonia Gandhi said the process of restoring the confidence of public has begun and her party will fight with full might to revive itself. She asked Congress MPs to work to strengthen grassroots connections with voters. Mrs Gandhi said the party’s spirit is not down though its numbers have reduced in the Lok Sabha. Prominent among those who attended the meeting included former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Karan Singh. NCP leader D P Tripathi said communal clashes and violence across the country have increased after the formation of new government. He said that there has been spurt in violent incidents in those states where election is round the corner.

Meanwhile Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla accused the Congress of inaction in stopping communal violence during its regime. She alleged that there have been thousands of riots under Congress rule and asked it to give an account of that before demanding discussion on others.

Meanwhile, in Parliament the government today said it is ready for discussion onthe increasing incidents of communal violence in the country. As soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress raised the issue saying that the House take up the discussion on priority basis. He said the discussion on the subject is being delayed though it was listed in the business for the last few days. Responding to this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the discussion on the matter under Rule 193 will be taken up after disposal of important legislations. The minister this is an important issue concerning all. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan assured the House that the subject will be taken up today.

Meanhile, members belonging to RJD and Samajwadi Party trooped into the well of the House demanding abolition of the Civil Services Aptitude Test





Mayawati rules out alliance with Samajwadi Party

13082014

 

BSP chief Mayawati has ruled out any possibility of a tie-up with the Samajwadi Party, SP, saying it is hand-in-glove with the BJP and that is why communal incidents are taking place and crimes against women are on the rise in Uttar Pradesh. She said her party will go it alone in elections and emerge victorious as people are fed up with lawlessness prevailing in the State under SP rule.

Mayawati was reacting to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement that he is ready to join hands with BSP if RJD President Lalu Prasad mediates between them. A few days ago Lalu Prasad, at a rally in Bihar, had remarked that SP and BSP should come together in Uttar Pradesh on the lines of RJD, JD(U) and Congress combine to stop BJP’s rise in Bihar.

Meanwhile, JDU chief Sharad Yadav said he initiated a move to restrain the BJP in Bihar and the party will see whether this kind of partnership can be broadened elsewhere.

BJP poked fun at JD (U), RJD and Congress for their alliance saying that it is immaterial as they will suffer defeat as in the Lok Sabha polls. Talking to reporters outside Parliament House, party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said JDU and RJD had been arch rivals of Congress and have now joined hands out of desperation.





‘CRPF Half Marathon-Run for Unity’

13082014

 

 A fitting memento for our unsung heroes!

New Delhi, August 12, 2014: – The Central Reserve Police Force, commonly referred to as the CRPF, the world’s largest Armed Police Force holds a Press Conference on the 12th of August 2014 at the CRPF headquarters. The session is being held to announce a noble initiative undertaken by the force; ‘CRPF Marathon-Run for Unity’ on the 12th October 2014 and to revisit the saga of valiant soldiers whose contributions towards the country and the society are often forgotten.   

This is the first ever such initiative undertaken by the CRPF to venerate the unsung heroes and martyrs of the force and to unite countrymen on the common cause of unity. CRPF is organizing various commemorative events throughout the year and the ‘CRPF marathon-Run for Unity’ is an integral part of such events. The Marathon is being held in the capital city of New Delhi and is being organized with support of Athletic federation of India (AFI), IOS sports and other organisations. This is a significant event that marks the Diamond jubilee year of the force and is intended to foster the true spirit of the Force and bring it closer to the citizens of the country. Similar event are being organised on various scales across the country, wherever CRPF is deployed, in particular all the state capitals on the same day i.e. 12 October 2014.

Mr. Dilip Trivedi, DG, CRPF commented, “As the name suggests, the‘CRPF Marathon-Run for Unity’ is pivoted to further the cause of “Unity & solidarity” and promote nationalism. The underlying objective of the marathon is to enliven solidarity and unity between the Jawans across various ranks of the force and our civilians. With this one-of-a-kind initiative we intend to bring home the sacrifices made by our jawans while relentlessly serving and protecting our nation.”

“We are also looking at augmenting the resource base for the families of the martyrs through this endeavour.”, he added.

Paying homage to the observance, there are our esteemed Guests of Honour present including cricketer Virender Sehwag & Olympic Bronze Medalist boxing sensation, Mary Kom.





The unanimous election of Shri Thambi Durai as Deputy Speaker

13082014

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today complimented and thanked all sections of the Lok Sabha, for the consensus which led to the unanimous election of Shri Thambi Durai as Deputy Speaker. The Prime Minister also congratulated Shri Thambi Durai on his election as Deputy Speaker.

Appreciating the incumbent Deputy Speaker, Shri Thambi Durai, the Prime Minister described him as a highly experienced and active Parliamentarian. He said Shri Thambi Durai had been Deputy Speaker earlier as well. The Prime Minister also described Shri Thambi Durai as an academician, activist and agriculturist.

The Prime Minister assured Shri Thambi Durai full support for the functioning of the House, on behalf of the treasury benches. He also expressed confidence that Shri Thambi Durai`s election as Deputy Speaker would further the spirit of dialogue that had prevailed in the ongoing session of Parliament.





President presents outstanding Parliamentarian awards

13082014

President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards to Shri Arun Jaitley, Dr. Karan Singh and Shri Sharad Yadav for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively at a function organized by the Indian Parliamentary Group.

Speaking on the occasion, the President recalled the distinguished Parliamentarians who have been recipients of the prestigious award in the past such as late Shri Indrajit Gupta, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, late Shri Chandrashekhar, Shri Somnath Chatterjee, Shri LK Advani and Dr. Manmohan Singh. He said the Award recognizes illustrious Parliamentarians who have contributed significantly to the strengthening of our democratic traditions and enriching our Parliamentary system. It honours our finest Parliamentarians who have upheld the dignity of the House and have set exemplary precedents in Parliamentary conduct.

The President said Shri Arun Jaitley, Dr. Karan Singh and Shri Sharad Yadav are worthy successors of the illustrious lineage of parliamentarians who have received the Award in the past. They have been steadfast in their commitment to our country and its people. All of them have made substantial contributions to our parliamentary life.

Pointing out that India has a long history of parliamentary practice beginning from the Indian Councils Act of 1861, the President said parliamentary democracy is a great heritage which must be preserved, protected and nurtured.

The President complimented the Prime Minister for having commenced his innings in Parliament as leader of the majority party by bowing down in front of its steps and paying homage to this great institution. He called upon all parliamentarians to do everything possible to uphold the prestige, honour and dignity of the Parliament which was a symbol of our freedom struggle. He asked them to always remember that they and only they can undertake this important responsibility.





Less Government More Governance

13082014

A citizen friendly and accountable administration is the focus of the Government. A series of steps to achieve this goal have been initiated. These include simplification of procedures, identification and deletion of archaic laws/rules, identification and shortening of various forms, leveraging technology to bring in transparency in public interface and a robust public grievance redress system. Promotion of Self-Certification in place of affidavits and attestation by Gazetted Officers is one important step in this regard. This greatly reduces the time and effort on the part of both the citizen as well as the Government officials.

Leveraging the power of information technology brings with it the advantage of transparency and speed. One of the focus areas of Government is to reduce the decision making layers to the minimum while allowing for faster means of information sharing/dissemination.

The Government has launched a website mygov@nic.in for this purpose. This is a citizen centric platform to empower people to connect with the Government and contribute towards good governance. Suggestions are also received on the PMO website. It also seeks expert advice from the people, thoughts and ideas on various topics that concern India. Citizens can join the discussion to share, debate and add value.

Dr. Jitendra Singh Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions gave this information in Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Shri B. Vinod Kumar and Shri Anantkumar Hegde.





Does Ecoliteracy Prevent Environmental Action? 

13082014

 
  
 

Worldwatch Institute

To Me
 
Aug 12 at 7:42 PM

WW Color Logo_Green Blue

 |    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 

Contact: Gaelle Gourmelon, ggourmelon@worldwatch.org , (+1) 202-745-8092, ext. 510

For more information: State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability

 

        

Does Ecoliteracy Prevent Environmental Action?

        

Why environmental education isn’t enough 

to create change and improve governance

Washington, D.C.—The existing ecological literacy, or “ecoliteracy,” model of simply addressing the knowledge deficit, rather than addressing the real issue of the behavior deficit, has tended to yield highly knowledgeable individuals who, despite their understanding, often fail to take action.

 

“Knowing that change is needed is clearly not enough to motivate it in most human behavior,” writes Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability contributing author Monty Hempel. “Individuals must have a sense of urgency and personal control over prospective outcomes and goal achievement before they will commit to meaningful action or new behaviors.”

 

Scientists today are able to collect information about the health of our planet to an unprecedented extent. Information about global, long-term issues is surfacing out of our data-noisy world. To improve people’s ability to understand the complex natural systems that are being affected, there has been a growing focus on improving ecoliteracy. However, as climate change continues to accelerate and biodiversity crises worsen, ecoliteracy alone has proven to be insufficient in the push for bold environmental change.

 

In his chapter, “Ecoliteracy: Knowledge is Not Enough,” Hempel, Professor of Environmental Sciences at Redlands University, states that environmental education should restore nature-based attachment to place and go beyond teaching science—   it should include ethical, cultural, and political dimensions.

 

“The fundamental sense of connection that people had with the natural world has disappeared in most places,” says Hempel. “Restoring ecoliteracy to this connective role and fortifying it with the power of science and widespread recognition of global interdependence is perhaps the greatest challenge of this century.”

 

Poor ecoliteracy remains a sign of crisis in education. But it is also evidence of a deepening crisis in governance. The most vexing problems in contemporary governance, especially at the scale of global environmental issues, stem from the pressures to bypass, distort or dispense with democratic deliberation. In order to deal decisively and quickly with urgent challenges, such as climate change, there are muted but growing political pressures to replace a barely functioning democracy with something closer to technocratic oligarchy.

 

Governance is about empowering collaboration that produces an expanded sense of what is possible, along with practical strategies to achieve it. In order to yield real results in environmental decision-making and to safeguard the democratic process, ecoliteracy will need to redefine itself more broadly to include action-driven thinking.

 

Worldwatch’s State of the World 2014 investigates the broad concept of “governance” for sustainability, including action by national governments, international organizations, and local communities. The book highlights the need for economic and political institutions to serve people and preserve and protect our common resources.

 

State of the World 2014‘s findings are being disseminated to a wide range of stakeholders, including government ministries, community networks, business leaders, and the nongovernmental environmental and development communities. For more information on the project, visit our publications.  

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