Delhi Theosophical Federation meet on Sunday 11th January 2015 at 11.00 A.M








Date: 13th December 2014


All the members of Delhi Theosophical Federation are intimated that the Annual Convention of Federation is proposed to be convened on Sunday 11th January 2015 at 11.00 A.M. at Federation Headquarters – 24, East Patel Nagar, New Delhi-110008 as per the following programme:



10:30 A.M. – Morning Tea

11.00 A.M – Prayers of all Religions & Inaugration by Dr D.K.Satsangi, President

11.30 A.M. – 12.30 P.M. – Short Talks by Brother M.P.Singhal, Dr Rajiv Gupta & R.N.Shukla



12.30 P.M. – Elections of Federation Council at the same venue as per following program:

1. Approval of Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting

2. Presentation of Secretary’s Report

3. Presentation of Audited Accounts by the Treasurer

4. Election of the following Office Bearers:

i. President

ii. Vice President

iii. Secretary

Iv. Joint Secretary

v. Treasurer

vi. Auditor

vii. Representative to Indian Section Council for the years 2013-16

5. Any other item with the permission of the Chair


Lodge Secretaries are requested to intimate the members (through verbal notification and in writing or email and maintain records of notifications) of their lodges & elect Lodge Representatives to be included in the Executive Committee of Federation.



L­­unch will be provided to all the members attending Convention.



(M.L.Khatri) / (DR D.K.Satsangi) Secretary, President, Mob:8802432622 Mob:9718599152

Shabana Azmi unveils ‘IN AND OUT OF THEATRES’ by Dr. Brijeshwar Singh



~ A non-fiction memoir of an Orthopaedic Surgeon-cum-theatre impresario ~


New Delhi, December 24, 2014: Renowned actress and social activist Shabana Azmi launched a new non-fiction book‘In And out of Theatres’ in the capital yesterday written by Dr. Brijeshwar Singh, an esteemed Orthopaedic surgeon-cum-theatre impresario at India International Centre.


A collection of short stories ‘In And out of Theatres’ are memoirs of real people; of pain and suffering; and yet of hope and belief. Dr. Brijeshwar Singh has cleverly ‘weaved in’ two parts of the world together to convey life’s philosophy through his debut book.Born in a small town of Bareilly and graduated from KGMC Lucknow, Dr. Brijeshwar is as passionate about the literary theatre and the performing arts, as he is about the orthopaedics.


While unveiling the book, Shabana Azmi said, “A compelling read and well articulated. His book allows us to get rare insights into the emotional seesaw doctors’ face when dealing with complicated medical cases. Dr Brijeshwar though is a doctor but has a spirit of an artist and his boundless commitment to both the world shines through his debut book.”


Along with Shabana Azmi, the occasion was graced by renowned names like Mr. Tarun Vijay, Member of Parliament and Mr. Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Textiles alongwith Dr. P K Dave, Former Director, AIIMS and Mr. Shishir Priyadarshi, Director-WTO, Geneva.


Commenting on his debut book Dr. Brijeshwar Singh said, “I feel humbled to have such esteemed people who have gathered here for unveiling of my first book. I would like to thank all my patients and theatre colleagues, who actually inspired me to pen down my thoughts. I have tried narrating all my stories in the simplest yet effective manner. I hope to receive positive responses from the readers.”


The stories feel connected even as they vary in time, content and the ending. The characters in each story don’t know each other; they come from different life stages and through them Dr. Brijeshwar narrated diverse experiences. But the thread running through them is common and strong – it is of hope, of belief, of strength in diversity, and above all of the power of compassion and good. In some ways it can be said that this is both Dr Brijeshwar’s tribute and gift to his patients.


Zippy- Arvinder Singh Lovely


On 21.12.2014, Total Tv News, channel`s Managing Director, Shashi Ranjan under the programme “Shapath” held interview with Arvinder Singh Lovely, the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committtee (DPCC). Lovely, a law student from Ludhiana started his political career at the age of 28. He fought MLA election from Gandhi Nagar constituency and won four times. In 2003 he was a Minister in Delhi government. Shashi Ranjan asked questions on various pressing issues concerning with the Delhi government. Lovely, a dynamic and energetic winner of 2013 election deplored the worse conditions of the people of Delhi because of Kejriwal who left the Delhi Legislative Assembly in lurch.

Lovely says that  Kejriwal is a leviathan and his name should be registered  in the Guinness World Record book. On Jan Lokpal bill Kejriwal is silent since he had left the government. The two most important areas albeit water and electricity about which BJP(30%) and AAP(50%) had assured reduction in bills were simply a political  manoeuvring to befool the people of Delhi by both the parties. Kejriwal while giving subsidy to reduce the electricity bills indirectly had benefitted the electricity suppliers. This act on the part of Kejriwal has hampered the development of Delhi for several years to come. The people of Delhi has been getting hefty electricity/ water bills since Kejriwal left the government. “Where is  Kejriwal”, asked  Lovely. So far the audit of electricity supplying companies are concerned it was the congress party who took up this. It is ridiculous to think that Kejriwal has been making false promises that if his party is voted to power shall build 20 new colleges in Delhi to decongest the universities. Kejriwal also promises that public schools will be upgraded at par with private schools. “Will Kejriwal upgrade these schools with talks or funds”, asked Lovely. Lovely alleges that Kejriwal and his party is working as `B` team of  BJP. Those who are not happy with BJP are joining AAP. This is crystal clear that Kejirwal is a BJP man working behind the curtains. Kejriwal is responsible for the worst condition of Delhi. According to Lovely, 40,000 pensioners have been hanging around for pension. BJP has promised one crore jobs in a year. Where are the job, asked Lovely. The so-called honest people have been spending crores on advertisements in Delhi, said Lovely. 49 days government of foppish Kejriwal has succeeded in prompting disrespect for constitutional bodies, lawlessness, and politics of hypocrisy, falsehood, and dissimulation into the gullible minds and heart of the people of Delhi, said Lovely. Social Media plays an act role and AAP is quite swift in using social media to reach to the people to garner support for their candidates. Lovely is  sceptical about the role of social media He further says social media can, to some extent, play a substantial role but armchair, computer savvy  leaders like Kejriwal and his cohorts cannot  mitigate the sufferings of the people of Delhi. A leader has to go to the people to solve their day to day problems. Online passport, water/electric bills services, infrastructure development during Sheila Dixit government are the great achievements of the congress party. Lovely seems to be quite satisfied with the report card is confident that the people of Delhi are releasing their mistake today.

There is steep rise in the crime against women in Delhi since NDA government took over. Lovely while commenting on black money grimaced that like me millions of Delhi people are awaiting for Rs 15,00,000/- into their bank account as promised 80 times from different political rallies by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Lovely showed unhappiness over the acts of RSS, VHP and other BJP outfits. According to him, such destructive, poisonous, fascists organisations supported and maintained by the BJP has been unleashing atrocities on the people of other castes, religions.  Every Indian irrespective of caste,creed or sex has the freedom to choose his or her religious faith.  RSS, VHP or other Hindu organisations are forcibly attempting to infringe upon this right is a crime punishable under law. These are bent upon polarising the society which would create stumbling blocks in the path of peace and harmony in the society. The irony is that Narendra Modi and his party leaders do not seem to be making any sincere efforts to contain these lethal outfits. In the past few months, people have observed that RSS and its political arms have returned to communal polarisation.

On the question of Sheila Dixit, she is the most respected, trusted, and experienced leader of the Congress Party, said Lovely. Her guidance and direction from time to time would be sought in strengthening the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee. All leaders of the congress party will jointly make efforts to win the Delhi elections under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, said Lovely. Alok Sharma, AICC, spokesperson, Congress workers and local leaders also participated in this occasion.

Rahul Kumar (, is a Ph.D candidate and contributing Editor with Sagar Media Inc.

AAP condemns the unwarranted moral policing by Shiv Sena goons. 



The Aam Aadmi Party is appalled to see the video aired by Times Now where Shiv Sena goons led by local party functionary-Naresh Pakhre thrashed couples on a skywalk in Ulhasnagar merely for holding hands and putting their arms around each other’;s shoulders.The Shiv Sainiks defended their thuggery by claiming that they were forced to act as local police didn’t take action even after filing complaints with the police.

It is ironic that Shiv Sena is part of the Government and claims that its own police don’t act on legitimate complaints. The fact is that Public Obscenity and Indecency is clearly defined in Sec 294 and 110 of Bombay Police Act and there are ample case laws which elucidate with clarity the interpretation and application of concerned sections of the law. Invariably, holding hands in public and putting hands over shoulders do not fall in the purview of both these acts, so the police have no reason to act against innocent young couples to begin with.

It may be pointed out that Vijay Chowgule, the Shiv Sena MP Candidate from Navi Mumbai and Pradeep Mhatre, the Shiv Sena Navi Mumbai Chief who are accused of rape and molestation respectively are on the run and have been absconding from the police for two weeks.

The police on its part have been giving the lame excuse that they haven’;t been able to act as no complaint has come forward in the case. This illustrates the extent of terror that these goons have induced in the local populace. Nothing stops the police from taking suo-motu cognisance of the video and initiating action against these political goons under Sections of Rioting and provisions of the Public Nuisance Act.

Goons like Shiv Sena’;s Naresh Pakhre deserve to be behind bars rather than defend his criminal thuggery on national TV. This isn’;t the first time that such incidents have been brought to light. Such incidents go unpunished only because of political patronage bestowed on them by their political masters. It is shameful that such heinous incidents committed by self-proclaimed vigilantes and protectors of Indian Culture have become common place with parties resorting to it for cheap publicity and to reap political dividends from a section of the constituency. Since when did assaulting and thrashing young men and women become part of India Culture? It is the unpunished acts of these goons which are ‘;indecent’; and ‘;obscene’; in a constitutional liberal democracy like India.

AAP demands immediate arrest of these goons by the police taking suo motu cognisance of Times Now’;s video. Should any individual feel that any member of the public is indulging in any obscene act, he or she must go and complain to the local police authorities but taking law into one’;s hands cannot be tolerated whatsoever the context.

It is time that the Maharashtra Government walks the talk of its Good Governance agenda by taking action against these goons of their alliance partner.

Suhag after meeting HM said, will intensify our operations


Meet was abt security in Assam, will intensify our operations there: Army Chief DS Suhag after meeting Rajnath Singh
Embedded image permalink

On Global radar 


Self-defense forces, Ukraine agree on 150 for 225 prisoner exchange

An agreement has been reached with Ukraine on the exchange of prisoners on the ‘all for all’ basis, according to Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. “We succeeded in reaching agreement on the exchange of prisoners… 150 for 225,” TASS quoted him as saying after the meeting in Minsk. It is early to talk about any other agreements, he said.

Yemen’s second-highest intelligence official kidnapped

Suspected Shiite rebels have kidnapped Yemen’s second-highest intelligence official from his house in the capital Sanaa, security officials said. The gunmen went to Major General Yehia al-Marani’s house at dawn on Thursday, and demanded that he go with them, AP reported. The gunmen were identified as Shiite rebels known as the Houthis, who took control of Sanaa in September, challenging the central government.

Rebels in Somalia say attacking main African Union base

Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab attacked the main African Union (AU) peacekeeping base in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday, Reuters reported, citing the group’s military spokesman. “Our fighters have entered AU’s Halane base by force through the gate and now fighting is going on inside the base,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab said. Sporadic gunfire could be heard from inside the compound.

India deploys helicopters to hunt down militants in Assam after attacks

India deployed military helicopters on Thursday to hunt down tribal militants in the northeastern state of Assam after rebels killed 75 people this week, Reuters said. Suspected militants of a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland attacked four villages on Tuesday in the space of an hour. More than half of the victims were women and children of tea plantation workers from outside the state. Security forces launched an offensive against the Bodo faction a month ago that inflicted heavy losses.

EasyJet to cancel about 40 flights over strike in France

British budget carrier EasyJet said on Wednesday that about 40 flights would be canceled the day after Christmas, AFP reported. Flight attendants have begun a strike in France over scheduling and pay. Workers from the SNPNC-FO and UNAC unions said their strike will start on Christmas. No flights are scheduled for that day, and the walkout will affect only those flying on Friday.

US judge refuses to give Polanski chance to close rape case

A US judge has refused to reopen the case of filmmaker Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty in 1977 to raping a 13-year-old. He left the US before sentencing. Judge James Brandlin, from the superior court of Los Angeles, turned down a request from Polanski’s lawyers, who wanted a new hearing to try and close the case on procedural grounds, AFP said. The request had no constitutional basis, and the filmmaker had even less right to the procedural hearing than 37 years ago, according to Brandlin. US authorities have pressed for Polanski’s extradition regularly to no avail.

​Death toll nears 80 after militant attacks in India’s Assam

Militants launched a fresh round of attacks on Wednesday in the Udalguri district of Assam, northeastern India, raising death toll to 76, the Times of India reported. Earlier on Tuesday, armed separatists of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland attacked Assam, killing 51 people in four attacks in the space of an hour. The Indian government imposed a curfew following the attack and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the shooting. “Killing of innocent people in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar is an act of cowardice,” Modi tweeted. The militants have been waging a guerrilla fight for a separate homeland for indigenous Bodo people, as they complain that the tea-growing state has been flooded with outsiders.

Russia’s Soyuz-2.1b rocket launch a success – Defense Ministry

Russia launched a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a communications satellite from Plesetsk space center, located in the north of the country, according to the country’s Defense Ministry. “On Thursday, December 25, 2014, at 06:01 a.m. Moscow time (03:01 GMT)…a successful launch of a medium-class space rocket ‘Soyuz-2.1b’ was carried out,” the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson for Aerospace Defense Forces, Col. Aleksei Zolotukhin, told RIA Novosti. Just a few minutes later, at 6:16 a.m. Moscow time (03:16 GMT), the satellite was successfully placed into orbit with all its functions working normally. This marks Russia’s sixth Soyuz-2.1b rocket launch in 2014.

“E-Book” on “Good Governance: Ministry of Finance” 


The Government attaches utmost importance to the need for improving Governance and service delivery to the common man. One of the important tenets in this direction is the effective use of IT based applications under e-Governance initiatives. In line with this, the Ministry of Finance has taken-up the initiative of raising an e-Book.
This provides an easy access to various initiatives including good governance initiatives taken under the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and an IT enabled platform. MoF hopes this will be useful to the citizens and an important step in bringing the governance closer to the public.
Ministry of Finance (MoF) is happy to launch this initiative on “Sushashan Diwas” (Good Governance Day).
Ministry of Finance Team
(i) As part of the Government’s commitment to the principle of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’Expenditure Management Commission was constituted on 5.9.2014 to review the allocative and operational efficiencies of Government expenditure. The Commission will submit its interim report before the Budget of 2015-16 and its final report before the Budget of 2016-17.
(ii) In the wake of severe calamities like Cyclones, Floods and Droughts etc., an amount of Rs. 427.06 crore, Rs. 10.74 crore, Rs. 1.42 crore, Rs. 82.77 crore, Rs. 83.13 crore, Rs. 172.33 crore, Rs. 18.51 crore and Rs. 1000.00 crore has been released to the States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana and J&K respectively for taking up immediate rescue, relief and restoration works.
(iii) Department of Expenditure has enhanced the delegation of powers for appraisal and approval of Plan Schemes and Projects at all levels. All schemes and projects up to Rs.500 crore can now be approved by Central Ministries themselves, and only projects above Rs.1000 crore are now required to be sent to the Cabinet for approval.
(iv) Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) has been set up to attract Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from corporate sector and contributions from individuals and philanthropists in response to the call given by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 15th August, 2014 to achieve the objective of Clean India (Swachh Bharat) by the year 2019, the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi through Swachh Bharat Mission.
(v) Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) : The vision of DBT is to transfer cash or benefits directly to the beneficiaries’ accounts, preferably Aadhar seeded, cutting down several layers of the intermediaries in order to achieve timely and more frequent payments, target intended beneficiaries more accurately, remove fake, ghost beneficiaries and de duplicate and improve efficiency in delivery system. This is also to create transparency and accountability in government delivery systems and empower beneficiaries.
(vi) Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO) has initiated process of issuing e-PPO to the pensioners. The CPAO has introduced the facility to see the first credit of pension in the pensioners/family pensioners bank account through its website.
(vii) Financial Inclusion and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY):To increase banking penetration and promoting financial inclusion and with the main objective of covering all households with at least one bank account per household across the country , a National Mission on Financial Inclusion named as Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana(PMJDY) announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister in his Independence Day Speech on 15th August, 2014 was formally launched on 28th August, 2014 at National level by Hon’ble Prime Minister.
(viii) Licensing small banks, payments banks and other differentiated banks: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) formulated and released guidelines for licensing of payments banks and small finance banks in the private sector on November 27, 2014.
(ix) Varishta Pension Bima Yojana(VPBY): Government revived the 2003-04Varishta Pension BIma Yojana(VPBY) for one year for senior citizens over 60 years of age to enable a pension between Rs. 500 and Rs. 5000 per month against a stipulated purchase price, implying a monthly rate of return of 9%. Quarterly, biennual and annual options are also available.
(x) Cabinet Approval for Revival of 23 District Central Cooperative Banks: The Cabinet approved the Scheme for revival of 23 unlicensed District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) in four States, comprising 16 in Uttar Pradesh, 3 in Jammu & Kashmir, 3 in Maharashtra and 1 in West Bengal. Under the Scheme, the total capital infusion envisaged would be Rs. 2375.42 Crore, of which the commitment from the Central Government would be Rs. 673.29 Crore. State Governments would provide Rs. 1464.59 Crore and NABARD Rs.237.54 Crore.
(xi) Several measures taken by the Government in the past seven months which augur well for the growth of Indian economy as evidenced in the following outcomes:
·         GDP growth which was below 5 percent in the last two years has grown at 5.5 per cent in the first half of the current year.
·         Inflation as measured by Consumer Price Index is at its lowest ever level in November 2014 (4.4 per cent)since the introduction of the new series in 2011-12.
·         Wholesale Price Index inflation is 0.0 per cent for November, 2014, lowest since 2009. This has been achieved largely due to constant monitoring and measures taken such as delisting of vegetables and perishables from APMC Act, release of food grains stocks, fixing of minimum export prices for key commodities.
·         India’s external sector is now far more resilient and robust than before. Current account deficit was 1.9 per cent of GDP in the first half of 2014-15 as against 3.1 percent of GDP in the first half of 2013-14.
·         Capital flows particularly investment flows have been buoyant in the first half of 2014-15 and there has been significant addition to the foreign exchange reserves. Total Investment Flows are placed at USD 43.4 billion in April-October, 2014 as against USD 9.4 billion
in April-October, 2013. Foreign Exchange Reserves stood at US$ 314.7 billion as on December 5, 2014.
(xii) Initiatives to promote savings rate in the economy:
·         Investment limit under Public Provident Fund increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh;
·         A scheme exclusively for the girl child has been notified. The scheme will provide funds at the stage of “Education” and “Marriage” of the girl child.
(xiii) Initiatives taken by SEBI on Good Governance in past seven (7) months:
·         To strengthen regulatory framework dealing with the insider trading SEBI Board in its meeting held on 19.11 14 approved amendments to SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations 1992. The amendments provide for strengthening the legal and enforcement framework, align insider trading norms with international practices, clarity in definitions and concepts and facilitate legitimate business transactions.
·         To address these concerns and to make the delisting process less cumbersome, SEBI Board in its meeting held on 19th November 2014 has approved certain proposals to review the existing regulatory framework on delisting for making it more effective by amending the SEBI (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2009. The proposals approved, among others, includes conditions for the delisting to be successful, the process of the determination of offer price through reverse book building process, reducing timeline for completing the delisting process etc.
·         SEBI vide its circular dated 12.11.14 provided for a framework to enable a single consolidated view of all the investments of an investor in Mutual Funds (MF) and securities held in demat form with the Depositories.
·         SEBI vide circular dated13.10.2014 approved single registration for operating in all stock exchanges and / clearing corporations. This would simplify the registration requirements for stock brokers and clearing members.
·         SEBI has been taking various measures to create awareness among investors about grievance mechanisms available to them through workshops as well as through print and electronic media. Vide circular dated 28.8.14 provided that all Stock Brokers and Depository Participants shall prominently display basic information about the grievance redressal mechanism available to investors in their offices in a prescribed format.
·         SEBI vide its circular dated 8.8.2014 expanded the framework of the Offer for Sale of shares through Stock exchange mechanism which inter alia provided that a minimum of 10% of the offer size shall be reserved for retail investors.
(xiv) ECB / trade credit permission has been digitalized using the on-line application tracking system (ATS) of the RBI. The ATS, which can be accessed via a web browser over the internet, allows applicants to submit and track the status of the submitted application.
(xv) Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)/Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvITs) – Government has announced REITs and InVITs – innovative financing instruments for financing real estate and infrastructure projects. REITs have been successfully used as instruments for pooling of investments in several countries. InvITs seeks to facilitate similar structure for infrastructure projects. This will allow original equity investor to exit their investments which is expected to give a fillip to both, cash strapped real estate projects and infrastructure projects. Guidelines/ Regulations issued by SEBI.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)
(xvi) While broadening the tax base and providing an equitable tax regime has been the underlying theme of the tax policy of the government, sustained economic growth continues to be the prime objective. Even in the limited fiscal space several important and path breaking initiatives for reviving the economy, promoting investment in manufacturing sector and measures of rationalising tax provisions so as to reduce litigation were introduced through the Finance (No.2) Act , 2014.
(xvii) Tax clarity and Dispute Resolution:
·         Introduction of a “Roll Back” provision in the Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) scheme so that an APA entered into for future transactions is also applicable to international transactions undertaken in previous four years in specified circumstances.
·         Introduction of range concept for determination of arm’s length price in transfer pricing regulations.
·         To allow use of multiple year data for comparability analysis under transfer pricing regulations.
·         Resident taxpayers enabled to obtain an advance ruling in respect of their income tax liability above a defined threshold.
·         The scope of the Income-tax Settlement Commission enlarged.
·         High Level Committee has been set up to interact with trade and industry on a regular basis and ascertain areas where clarity in tax laws is required and based on their recommendation the Central Boards of Direct and Indirect Taxes would issue appropriate clarifications in a time bound manner, wherever considered necessary.
(xviii) Non-adversarial tax regime:
In furtherance of its objective to improve the efficiency and equity of the tax system and to promote voluntary compliance, the emphasis of the government has been for providing a non-adversarial tax regime. Accordingly, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued detailed instructions to its field formations to ensure that the dignity of the taxpayers is respected while dealing with them, no frivolous demands are raised and no unnecessary litigation is continued.
(xix) Measures to curb Black Money
The Government is committed to take all possible measures to check the menace of black money in the country. These measures include putting in place robust legislative and administrative frameworks, systems and processes with due focus on capacity building and integration of information and its mining through increasing use of information technology. Certain major recent initiatives include the following:
·         Constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), in May 2014, with two former judges of the Hon`ble Supreme Court as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, inter alia, to deal with issues relating to black money stashed abroad;
·         While focusing upon non-intrusive measures, due emphasis on intrusive enforcement measures in high impact cases with a view to prosecute the offenders at the earliest possible, for creating effective deterrence against tax evasion;
·         Joining the global efforts to combat tax evasion, including supporting implementation of a uniform global standard on Automatic Exchange of Information on a fully reciprocal basis, facilitating exchange of information regarding persons hiding money in offshore centres;
·         Legislative measures, wherever required, including amendment to section 285BA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 vide Finance (No.2) Act, 2014 facilitating the Automatic Exchange of Information;
Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)
(xx) Measures to boost domestic manufacturing sector: A number of changes in the customs and excise duty structure including rectification of inverted duty structure have been made to promote domestic manufacture, attract new investment, increase capacity utilization & enable domestic value addition in sectors, such as electronics & IT, steel, chemicals & petrochemicals, and renewable energy.
(xxi) Rationalization of customs duty structure:
·         on non-agglomerated coal of various types at 2.5% BCD and 2% CVD
·         reduction in customs duty from 5% to 2.5% on ships imported for breaking up
·         increase in customs duty on half-cut or broken diamonds from NIL to 2.5% and on cut & on polished diamonds and colored gemstones from 2% to 2.5%
(xxii) Relief Measures:
·         Life micro-insurance schemes for the poor exempted from service tax
·         Transport of organic manure by vessel, rail or road (by GTA) exempted from service tax
·         Loading, unloading, packing, storage or warehousing, transport by vessel, rail, road(GTA), of cotton, ginned or baled, exempted from service tax
·         Services provided by common bio-medical waste treatment facility operators for safe disposal of waste exempted from service tax
(xxiii) Clean Environment Initiative:
·         Rate of Clean Energy Cess, levied on coal, lignite and peat, increased from Rs. 50 per tonne to Rs. 100 per tonne so as to replenish the National Clean Energy Fund for clean environment and energy purposes.
·         Services provided by common bio-medical waste treatment facility operators for safe disposal of waste exempted from service tax.
(xxiv) Trade Facilitation:
·         24X7 Customs clearance facility is being established in 17 airports and 18 seaports by 31.12.2014. This would cover all exports in the 17 airports and exports involving free shipping bills and factory stuffed exports in the 18 sea ports.
·         Customs Single Window Clearance Project for faster Customs clearance has been initiated and to begin with will be implemented with Plant Quarantine and Food Safety Standards Authority of India.
·         Customs Accredited Client Programme (ACP) has been reviewed with a view to allow a graded re-entry to disqualified ACP clients. This will greatly facilitate major importers.
·         Guidelines for establishing Air Freight Stations have been approved in consultation with M/o Civil Aviation with a view to encourage international air cargo.
·         An integrated Customs EDI – SEZ Online system would be implemented w.e.f. 31.12.2014 for expediting the paper-less movement of export and import goods between SEZs and Gateway ports.
·         The dual use of infrastructure created by developers of SEZs in the non-processing areas has been allowed. Thus, such infrastructure can now cater to both SEZ and domestic entities, which will ensure optimum utilization of existing infrastructure as well as incentivize development of new infrastructure.
·         An automated risk management system (Advance Passenger Information System) has been initiated to facilitate genuine passengers at international airports by identifying suspect passengers in a scientific manner.
·         E-payment of service tax and central excise has been made mandatory for all assessees/taxpayers in order to reduce the cost of compliance for the trade and industry
(xxv) Actual disinvestment: Government has disinvested 5% equity in SAIL and realized Rs.1,720 crore. This Offer for Sale (OFS) of Shares through Stock Exchange Mechanism was one of the best ever by the Government in terms of high percent subscription and low discount offered.
(xxvi) Operationalizing the Action Plan on Disinvestment: CCEA approved the disinvestment proposals of Coal India Ltd (10% equity), ONGC (5%), NHPC (11.36%), PFC (5%) and REC (5%). Government sees disinvestment of CPSEs as a tool for realizing their productive potential, while improving corporate governance, public accountability, participation of the people and raising resources for priority Government social and economic programs.
(xxvii) Making the disinvestment program more inclusive: Earlier there was no reservation for retail investors in OFS. However, on 8 August, 2014, SEBI has mandated that minimum 10% of the offer size shall be reserved for retail investors in OFS and a discount has also been made admissible to them. Subsequent to this amendment in OFS Guidelines, Government has approved upto 20% of the offer size being reserved for retail investors. Further, retail investors may be allocated shares at a discount. This is likely to improve public participation in the disinvestment program.
(xxviii) Minimum Public Shareholding norms: In August 2014, SEBI has amended the minimum public shareholding norms for every listed CPSE. After this amendment, every listed CPSE has to increase its public shareholding to at least 25%, within a period of 3 years. This is likely to give further impetus to disinvestment of CPSEs with attendant benefits.

Civil Aviation Minister Inaugurates e-office of the Ministry 


Minister of Civil Aviation Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju today inaugurated the e-office governance in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India’s Single Window Clearance to Communication Masts through SACFA – NOCAS Integration.Speaking on the occasion, the Minister highlighted the importance of e-governance and elaborated upon the arrangements made in the Ministry of Civil Aviation under this programme. He particularly highlighted the importance of transparency and accountability through which both efficiency and effectiveness are derived. The salient features of the e-office are as under:

• Single instance has been created for MoCA, BCAS, DGCA, CRS and IGRUA with URL as follows :

• All new files will be generated electronically, for which Training and Hand Holding on e- office has been provided to all users of the Ministry of Civil Aviation including Data Entry Operators/Consultants.

• 90 Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs) have been installed and bound with e- office Application out of 137.

• All identified Employee Master Database (EMD) managers/Master Trainer identified by the Department have also been trained on e-office Admn modules.

Shri V. Somasundaran, Secretary, Civil Aviation gave a detailed account of the e-office programme which was followed by a presentation and as part of the live demonstration an active file was forwarded by the Secretary to the Minister which was cleared by the Minister online.

As part of the e-governance implementation, in the offices under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, AAI’s initiative of e-clerance (communication mast) was also launched. Shri S. Raheja, Chairman, AAI gave details of the project and immediately after the presentation, height clearance of one of the active case was granted online. The salient points are as follows:

• Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocation (SACFA) is responsible for Frequency allocation and mast (fixed wireless) clearance to telecom Operators, based on AAI’s No Objection Certificate (NOC).

• The applicants were required to file an additional online application at NOC Application System (NOCAS), AAI for NOC for height clearance.

• Integration of SACFA and NOCAS servers will benefit the Telecom Operators in many ways:

• No duplicate application; Data will be fetched from SACFA server to populate the NOCAS application.

• No document (hard copy) is required by the AAI either from the applicant or SACFA. The system has become paperless.

• NOC letter is sent to SACFA electronically. The individual SACFA application is automatically updated with height clearance data.

• Effective Single Window clearance to Telecom Operators.

Piyush Goyal Formally Launches Portal for E-Auction of Coal Mines 


Shri Piyush Goyal , Minister of State ( IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy has formally launched the portal for e-auction of 24 coal mines here today . ( .With this , the registration process has been started and interested bidders with end use plants could visit MSTC website for the purpose. The registration process will be as per KYC norms and will be available on MSTC website.While speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said that entire auction process will be transparent, efficient and conducted online only. However, 2 documents the Bank Guarantee comprising the bid security and an Undertaking stating that all information submitted is true and correct shall be received in hard copy. The auction process will comprise (i) Techno–commercial bid for qualification and (ii) Financial bid (e-auction) for selection of successful bidder. Only 50% of the qualified bidders from technical stage (subject to a minimum of 5 bidders) will be allowed to participate in the e-auction process.

Mines set aside for iron & steel, cement and CPPs will be auctioned through ‘Ascending Forward Auction’, where qualified bidders will quote incremental bids above the pre-determined floor price. Mines to be allocated for power sector will be auctioned through ‘Descending Reverse Auction’ to minimise impact on power tariffs of end use plants. Last date for receiving technical bids will be January 31, 2015 and list of qualified bidders will be placed on MSTC website on February 12, 2015.

E-auction of coal mines for qualified bidders will be held from February14, 2015 to February 22, 2015.The entire mine allocation process for Schedule II coal mines will be completed by March 23, 2015 with the signing of Coal Mine Development & Production Agreement and the Vesting Order.

The second phase of auction for 32 Schedule III coal mines will commence soon.

E Governance : Information Technology for Good Governance


Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), today organized a mega event and an exhibition in New Delhi to celebrate the Good Governance Day.The event was inaugurated by the Minister of Communications & Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, and was attended by officials of central government and its agencies, industry partners, interested netizens, and media personnel.

In his keynote address at the event, the Minister said, that on the pillars of participation, accountability, transparency, responsiveness and efficiency, Good Governance can be effectively achieved through the vision of Digital India. The Minister emphasized that simple and inclusive technology has transformative power and is the source of good Governance.

“In the last six months, Government of India has taken a number of landmark initiatives. The Digital India programme, unveiled by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, is committed to take the cause of Good Governance forward in letter and spirit”, the Minister added.

The Minister in his concluding remarks directed all the officials of the Ministry of Communications and IT that they must ensure that the vision of Digital India becomes a reality! (Digital India Karna Hai).

Shri RS Sharma, Secretary, DeitY said, “The department has taken a number of initiatives like MyGov(Citizen participation platform) , Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System, Jeevan Pramaan, e-Greetings, e-Sampark, National Digital Literacy Mission, e-Governance Competency Framework etc. to promote Good Governance in the country,” as well as to give impetus to the Digital India programme.

“Government officials at all levels should contribute to this cause by ensuring effective planning and implementation of various e-Governance programmes. To make it happen, all government officials need to develop a positive mindset for e-Governance and other Information and communication technology (ICT) programmes. They also need to update their ICT skills on a regular basis”, he emphasized.

The Minister launched a number of Good Governance projects initiated by Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Department of Telecommunication, Department of Posts and their organizations.

Some of the key projects launched at the event were Time Stamping of Digital Signature, Integrated Indian Languages Virtual Keyboard for Android, PARAM Shavak (Super computer in box solution), .bharat domain in Gujarati and Bangla, e-launch of Support International Patent Protection in Electronics & IT scheme (SIP-EIT), Disbursements under Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme(M-SIPS), Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) disbursement, Gyansetu – an internet based real time ICT system to provide e-Services to the rural population of India, MTNL Apps for Android smart phones and e-Governance Competency Framework (e-GCF).

Additionally e-Books were launched by the three departments namely Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Department of Telecommunications and Department of Posts. Department of Posts also launched a pocket book.

Deity also organized an exhibition for which invitation to general public was done through an online registration process which was set up on National e-Governance Plan website. The event saw a huge participation from about 50 Government and private organisations like National Informatics Centre (NIC), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) , Ministry of Panchayati Raj, IBM, CISCO, Oracle, Infosys etc. The exhibition offered a glimpse of various projects in the areas of software and hardware development, Networking, Services, Mobile, Geographic information system (GIS), Security and health, which were contributing to the cause of ICT enabled Good Governance.

Today, while celebrating Good Governance Day, the Minister of Communications & IT Shri Ravi Shanker Prasad renewed the commitment of the Department of Telecommunications to deliver good governance through the vision of Digital India. He launched new products and technologies by different agencies of Department of Telecommunications such as Gyansetu – an internet based real time Information and Communications Technology (ICT) system designed by C-DoT primarily to provide e-services to the under-privileged rural population of India, C-DOT‘s Next Generation Solution “MAX-NG”- a cost effective and smooth migration path to Internet Protocol Multimedia Systems (IMS), and new plans of MTNL for its customers. MAX NG will enable smooth transition from Plain Old Telephone System to Voice over Internet protocol, enabling consumers to enjoy voice, data and video services on existing landlines at affordable cost.

The focus of the Department of Telecommunications is to create the communication infrastructure for enabling e-services like e-banking, e-commerce, e-education, e-governance, e-entertainment, e-health etc. across the country which is expected to give a new fillip to the inclusive growth of Indian economy. Presently, the telecom sector’s growth is on the upswing. This growth has to be carried forward with renewed vigour in a sustainable way.

Government is committed to improve tele-density, voice and broadband penetration and ensure quality of services to both rural and urban areas to achieve the vision of Digital India. To bridge the rural coverage gap both for voice and broadband penetration, Government has planned to make significant investment for establishing the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) and Government User Network (GUN) to overlay NOFN. The project will connect 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats with 100 mbps speed, provide broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats, primary schools and health centres and provide community Wi-Fi services at Gram Panchayat level. NOFN will support e-governance services, telemedicine, tele-education, financial services, e-commerce and e-entertainment. Tenders for trenching and pipe laying have been finalized in more than 25% Blocks and Gram Panchayats. About 4,300 Gram Panchayats have been connected and the pace of implementation has been accelerated in recent months.

Government has planned to cover about 55,669 villages as yet uncovered by mobile connectivity all over India in a phased manner by March 2019. The major focus of the new Government is to reach remote areas such as North-Eastern States, Himalayan States, Border States and Islands and more importantly the Left Wing Extremism affected Areas in the country. A comprehensive plan to provide mobile connectivity in the North Eastern Region has been approved by the Government on 10th September, 2014 at a cost of Rs.5336.18 crore. Government has also decided to install and operate 2199 mobile towers to connect key locations in the States affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) with voice connectivity, at a project cost of Rs.3567.58 crore by September 2015. Provision of secure, reliable, robust, and affordable telecom facilities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and Lakshadweep is of utmost importance for the people living in these islands and from a strategic point of view to the whole country. Telecom Commission has given ‘in principle’ approval on 07.11.2014 for Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands with the total estimated investment of Rs. 221.05 crore.

Government is committed to expeditiously facilitate provision of Wi-Fi hotspots in all the cities with a population of more than 1 million, important tourist and pilgrimage places in the country.

While Government is making efforts to bridge the urban rural divide for broadband penetration, it is conscious of the low penetration and poor quality of services of broadband in the urban areas as well and is also taking a comprehensive review of regulatory aspects to take care of these concerns.

Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) play an important role in the growth of telecom sector since their outreach is to the remotest areas across the length and breadth of the country. Conscious of the strategic national importance of BSNL, Government is committed to the revival of BSNL and is drawing a plan for its revival that would aim to restore its position as a national telecommunications solutions provider in the years ahead. Similarly, the financial position of MTNL has suffered in recent years impinging on its capacity to invest and consequent impact on quality of service delivered. Government is committed to improving the financial position of MTNL and is taking several steps for its revival.

Government has decided to extend mobile number portability across States. Service providers has been given time till Apr-May 2015 to implement Full Mobile Number Portability, which will benefit the consumers of telecom services by allowing them freedom to change their operator without changing their mobile numbers throughout the length and breadth of the country.

To create a level playing field for the domestic manufacturers, who suffer severe disability due to poor infrastructure and inverted duty structure and to give fillip to domestic telecom electronic manufacturing, the Government has imposed a basic Customs Duty of 10% on these products which are not covered under Information Technology Agreement-1 (ITA-1) of World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the Union Budget 2014-15.

Government is considering several policy initiatives in the telecommunications sector with the aim of creating a stable, growth-oriented policy structure. The Government is confident that these initiatives will lead to transformation of India as a modern technology driven nation through Good Governance initiatives.

Department of Posts Launches Some More IT Based Services on Good Governance Day
On the occasion of Good Governance day today, the Department of Posts- “India Post” showcased some of the web based services which would be beneficial to the citizens of India.It participated in the exhibition organized by the Ministry of Communications & Information technology. The “India Post” pavilion showcased following initiatives:

(i) The usage of hand held device which would be used by village Postmaster. All types of transactions related to the services of Post will be offered through the wireless hand held device in rural post offices under the ongoing IT project.

(ii) My Stamp counter was set up where any individual who desires, can get customized stamp made which could also be used as postage.

(iii) The monitoring of mail transmission under MNOP (Mail Network Optimisation Project) and of Project Arrow Offices through web based tools was displayed.

(iv) The functioning of e-Post Office- a virtual Post Office where an individual can do postal transaction was also on display.

(v) A pilot connecting weavers of Varanasi with e-commerce was started today at Varanasi and its portal was displayed in the exhibition in Delhi. Under the Pilot, Department of Posts and M/s Snapdeal, under the existing agreement of cooperation, will do hand holding of domestic manufacturers by helping them through post office in putting their products on the e-commerce platform. An ecommerce desk is set up in Varanasi Head Post Office where registration of weavers etc and uploading of their products would be facilitated. Management of orders received, payment processing, returns management would be done by Snapdeal. Packaging, if required, booking of articles and final delivery to online buyer would be undertaken by Department of Posts.

To mark the occasion the Minster of Communications &Information Technology Shri Ravi Shanker Prasad launched an e-Book and a pocket book on products and services of Department of Posts. He also announced the enhancement of maximum sum assured limit in Postal Life Insurance from 20 to 50 lakh rupees. Details are:


As part of the agenda to promote good governance through e-initiatives in the Department of Posts, an e-Book is being launched. This e-Book can be accessed directly on the India Post official website or by scanning a Quick Response (QR) Code Printed on a card. Details of the new initiatives of the Department of Posts, along with existing services are available on the e-Book.

e-Pocket Book 

In order to provide an easy to carry reference book containing the details of all products and services of the Department of Posts in hard form, a Pocket Book is also being launched. This would be available in all post offices and shall promote Good Governance by making details of services and their rates available to the common man, in a simple, reader friendly and pocket sized format.

Postal Life Insurance:

The present maximum sum assured limit in Postal Life Insurance is Rs. 20 lakh per individual. In order to give benefit of greater insurance to the customers, upper insurance limit has been enhanced from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh.

MTNL Launches New Schemes on Good Governance Day
On the occasion of ‘Good Governance” Day, Minister of Communications & Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched three new schemes and services for the customers of MTNL. These schemes and services of MTNL are expected to deliver better services to its customers and will synergize with the initiatives being taken to achieve “Good Governance”. The salient features of these schemes / services are:1. Make Jodi: 

In this plan, MTNL Prepaid Mobile Subscriber can make Jodi (Pair) with another MTNL mobile or land line number. The calls to the paired number will be charged @ 20 paise per minute whereas the calls to other local network and STD calls will be charged @ 40 paise per minute and 50 paise per minute respectively. This tariff plan is very competitive. Apart from this package, during the first month of activation, 100 minutes local calls on MTNL network and 200 MB data download will be free. However, the paired number should be from MTNL and the same city.

2. Waiver of one month Rent:

MTNL in its endeavor to provide affordable and customer friendly services, has launched a scheme in which the subscriber who books Broadband connection or Combo Plan (Landline +Broadband) between Good Governance Day ( 25.12.2014) and 66th Republic Day (26.01.2015) will get waiver for fixed charges i.e. one month Rental only upto Rs.999/-. The moto of this scheme is also to expand broadband internet services to the customers of both Delhi and Mumbai and to contribute in Digital India and Good Governance initiatives of Govt.

3. MTNL App:

By going with Government’s initiative to bring “Good Governance”, MTNL launched an application. By installing this application in his/her Android Mobile Phone, one can use certain MTNL services without visiting any of its offices. Through this application, subscriber can book new connection, make complaint for faulty telecom services, can view telephone bills and make payment and get e-receipt for payments made. Subscriber can also get registered for getting telephone bills on e-mail. “MTNL Self Care

Good Governance Day observed by I&B Ministry 


Ministry to digitize archival material on eminent personalities – Shri Bimal JulkaMultimedia Exhibition on Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee concludes
Secretary, I&B, Shri Bimal Julka has said that the rich repository of archival footage on eminent personalities available with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was in the process of being digitized and would be available to the public through Doordarshan, All India Radio and Social Media platforms of the New Media Wing. Shri Julka stated this while speaking on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the Multimedia Exhibition on former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee organized to mark Good Governance Day at the IGNCA complex here today.Shri Julka further added that the Multimedia Exhibition on former Prime Minister Shri Vajpayee was an example of the innovative approaches being adopted towards information dissemination by different Media Units of the Ministry. The Exhibition reiterated the integrated communication approach being practiced for effective outreach and impact. At the closing ceremony, prizes were awarded to children who participated in painting competition organized at the venue during the Exhibition. Shri N.M Ghatade, a close associate of the former Prime Minister Shri Vajpayee distributed prizes to the children along with Secretary, I&B. The theme of the painting competition was ‘Swachhta’ and National unity.The Exhibition also witnessed screening of three films based on the life of Shri Vajpayee provided by the Film Division of the Ministry. Photo Division provided the photos being mounted at the Exhibition. The Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting gave cultural performances during the Exhibition. Publication Division organized a Book Exhibition at the venue. Doordarshan provided short-films to highlight the achievements of the former Prime Minister Shri Vajpayee.

Through a display of around 250 photographs, the 6 day Exhibition served as a window to the eventful life and journey of Shri Vajpayee, throwing light upon different facets of his vibrant personality. The rare collection of pictures along with Scrollers, Translites, LED walls, Large Fascia and Title Boards provided a glimpse into the diverse phases of his life as a statesman, poet and visionary leader. People from all walks of life including several eminent personalities visited the Exhibition.

Make in India campaign to be a game changer for MSME Sector 


Procurement policy to become mandatory from April 2015

Khadi & Village Industry re-energised

Year End Review 2014 MSME

>The MSME sector in India is diverse in terms of its size, levels of technology employed and range of products and services produced. Starting from grass root village Industries, the products from the sector spans to auto components, micro-processors, electronic components and electro-medical devices. MSMEs have shown constant growth rate of over 10% in recent years much ahead of the large-scale corporate sector. This sector contributes 8 per cent of the country’s GDP, 45 per cent of the manufactured output and 40 per cent of its exports. The MSMEs provide employment to over 80 million persons through over 36 million enterprises producing over six thousand products.

India is one amongst very few countries which has a legal framework for the MSME Sector in the form of MSMED Act 2006 which has established provisions under which issues like public procurement and delayed payments are addressed.

`Make in India` campaign to get Indian companies as well as global firms to invest and partner in the manufacturing sector is a well drawn out concept and is the most relevant for India’s MSMEs. ‘Make in India’ campaign can attract the foreign MNCs to bring in their investment, set up venture/angel funds to take advantage of the inherent depth of the MSME Sector in terms of range of products and services, marketing networks and the ability to grow fast. Another advantage in Indian MSME Sector the foreign partners would experience is that production process in this sector is already underway. The various networks required for undertaking the production process are already established.  The foreign MNC is just required to bring in investment and technical know-how to achieve excellence in these areas.

In order to enhance the capabilities of MSMEs, Ministry of MSME has been implementing a number of programs and schemes in the areas of finance, infrastructure, technology, marketing and skill development to address the problems confronting the sector.

The major achievements under various programmes and schemes during 2014-15 are as follows:

Procurement Policy

The Government of India notified Public Procurement Policy for MSEs, vide Order dated 23.3.2012 (effective from 1st April, 2012), for goods produced and services rendered by Micro & Small Enterprises (MSEs). The policy mandates that all the Central Ministries / Departments / CPSUs shall procure minimum of 20% of their annual value of goods / services required by them from Micro and Small Enterprises.  Further, policy has earmarked a sub-target of 4% procurement out of this 20% from MSEs owned by SC / ST Entrepreneurs. The policy would become mandatory with effect from 1.4.2015.

The policy has been circulated to all the Central Ministries / Departments / CPSUs for successful and effective implementation and the policy along with other related documents is available on the office website. All the Chief Ministers of State Governments have also been requested by the then Minister for MSME, to formulate similar policy for Micro and Small Enterprises in their States as per the provisions in MSMED Act, 2006.   Queries / doubts raised by the Ministries / Departments / CPSUs for implementation of the policy are clarified from time to time. According to available data, 37 CPSUs have made procurement, more than 20% from MSEs in 2013-14.  For effective implementation of the Policy, Secretary MSME took one-to-one meetings with 10 CPSUs and Railway Board.

For developing MSEs Vendors, all the Ministries / Departments / CPSUs have been requested to organize Vendor Development Programmes (VDP) and buyer-seller meets between MSE- suppliers and government- procuring agencies. In 2013-14, 56 CPSUs organised 1007 VDPs for MSEs. The Office of Development Commissioner (MSME) through its field offices i.e. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – Development Institutes has planned for the year 2014-15 to organize over 55 National Vendor Development Programmes and 351 State Vendor Development Programmes throughout the country in order to develop MSE vendors with a budget allocation of Rs 5.00 crore for 2014-15.

 MSE- Cluster Development Programme

The Ministry of MSME has adopted the cluster approach for holistic development of micro and small enterprises in a cost effective manner.  Soft Interventions(such as diagnostic study, capacity building, marketing development, export promotion, skill development, technology upgradation, organizing workshops , seminars, training, study visits, exposure visits, etc.) , Hard intervention (setting up of common Facility Centres) and infrastructure upgradation (create/ upgrade infrastructural facilities in the existing industrial/ clusters of MSEs).

A total of 848 interventions in various clusters spread over 28 States and one UTs in country  have so far been taken under the programme for Diagnostic study, soft and hard  interventions. The efforts under the scheme are focused on covering of more and more clusters from all States / UTs. So far sanctions of Rs. 41.50 crore have been issued till 30th November, 2014 during the current financial year under MSE-CDP. To ensure transparency and speedy implementation of MSE-CDP, online application system has already been started from 1st April 2012.

National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme

The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) for the MSMEs, aims at enhancing the competitiveness of enterprise in this sector. There are various components of the NMCP, which have been approved and are available for MSMEs. These are:-

·           Lean Manufacturing Competitiveness Scheme (LMCS) for MSMEs

·           Design Clinics Scheme for design expertise to MSMEs manufacturing sector

·           Marketing Assistance and Technology Upgradation Scheme for MSMEs

·           Enabling manufacturing sector to be competitive through Quality Management Standards (QMS) and Quality Technology Tools (QTS).

·           Technology of Quality Upgradation Support for MSMEs

·           Promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in MSME sector.

·           Building Awareness on Intellectual Rights for MSMEs

·           Scheme for Providing Support for “Entrepreneurial and Managerial Developments of SMEs through Incubators”.

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)

A national level credit linked subsidy scheme, namely, ‘Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)’was introduced in August 2008 by merging erstwhile PMRY and REGP schemes of this Ministry during the four terminal years of XI plan (2008-09 to 2011-12) for generating an estimated 37.38 lakh additional employment opportunities. An outlay of Rs. 8060 crore including Rs. 7800 crore as margin money subsidy for PMEGP in the XII Plan has been approved by the Planning Commission. Since inception in 2008-09 to 2013-14, 2.48 lakh units have been assisted with margin money subsidy of Rs. 4745.15 crore to create employment for an estimated 22.29 lakh persons in the country. Under this programme, financial assistance is provided for setting up of micro enterprises each costing upto Rs.10 lakh in service sector and Rs.25 lakh in manufacturing sector. The assistance is provided in the form of subsidy upto 25 per cent (35 per cent for Special category including weaker sections) of the project cost in rural areas while it is 15 per cent (25 per cent for Special category including weaker sections) for urban areas. For 2014-15 an outlay of Rs 1418.28 crore has been earmarked for the scheme. The Guidelines of the schemes are available on the website of the Ministry of MSME.


Skill Development

Skill Development has been taken up as a high priority area by the Ministry through various measures like enhancing the training capabilities of the Tool Rooms, MSME Development Institutes and other organizations under Ministry of MSME. The range of training programme is enormous, covering grass root level programmes related to traditional rural industries/activities to high-end, high tech programmes on CNC machines and other high end technologies. The agencies under the Ministry of MSME conducted programmes for skill development for nearly 5.51 lakh trainees during the year 2013-14 and the target set for 2014-15 is 5.20  lakh persons.   The Ministry of MSME provides all such trainings for SCs/STs free of cost. Special programmes are organized through MSME-DIs for weaker sections of the society viz., SC/STs, women and physically handicapped free of cost besides providing a monthly stipend of Rs. 125/- per week per candidate during the entire period of training.

Credit Guarantee Scheme 

The Government is implementing the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises with the objective of facilitating flow of credit to the MSEs, particularly to micro enterprises by providing guarantee cover for loans upto Rs.100 lakh without collateral / third party guarantees. For making the scheme more attractive to both lenders as well as borrowers, several modifications have been undertaken which, inter alia, include: (a) enhancement in the loan limit to Rs.100 lakh; (b) enhancement of guarantee cover from 75% to 85% for loans upto Rs. 5 lakh; (c) enhancement of guarantee cover from 75% to 80% for MSEs owned/operated by women and for loans in North Eastern Region (NER); (d) reduction in one-time guarantee fee from 1.5% to 1% and annual service charges from 0.75% to 0.5% for loans upto Rs. 5 lakh and (e) reduction in one-time guarantee fee for NER 1.5% to 0.75% etc.

As on 30th November, 2014, cumulatively, 16,89,439 proposals have been approved for guarantee cover for a total sanctioned loan amount of Rs. 84026.76  crore.

Credit Linked Capital Subsidy (CLCS) Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises

The scheme was launched in October-2000 and revised from 29.9.2005. The revised scheme aims at facilitating technology up-gradation of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) by providing 15% capital subsidy (limited to maximum Rs. 15 lakhs) for purchase of Plant & Machinery. Maximum limit of eligible loan for calculation of subsidy under the scheme is  Rs. 100/- lakhs. Presently, 48 well established and improved technologies/sub sectors have been approved under the Scheme.

The CLCS Scheme is implemented through 10 nodal banks/agencies including SIDBI, NABARD.

Marketing Assistance Scheme

The main objectives of Marketing Assistance Scheme are to enhance the marketing competitiveness of the micro, small and medium enterprises to provide them a platform for interaction with the individual / institutional buyers, to update them with prevalent market scenario and to provide them a forum for redressing their problems. The National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (NSIC), a public sector undertaking under the administrative control of this Ministry, acts as a facilitator to promote marketing efforts and enhance the competency of the MSMEs for capturing the new market opportunities by way of organizing / participating in various domestic & international exhibitions/trade fairs, buyers-seller meets, intensive campaigns/seminars and other marketing promotion activities.

An amount of  Rs.14.00  crore has been allocated in the Budget Estimates for 2014-15 for this activity which is   targeted to support participation in international and domestic exhibitions/trade fairs and buyer-seller meets and marketing campaigns.

Performance and Credit Rating Scheme  

The National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (NSIC), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of MSME has been implementing “Performance & Credit Rating Scheme” for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) on behalf of the Government. The scheme is being operated through seven accredited rating agencies i.e. CRISIL, SMERA, ONICRA, CARE, FITCH, ICRA and M/s Brickworks. The scheme is aimed to create awareness amongst micro, small & medium enterprises about the strengths and weakness of their existing operations and to provide them an opportunity to enhance their organizational strengths and credit worthiness. The rating under the scheme serves as a trusted third party opinion on the capabilities and creditworthiness of the micro, small & medium enterprises. An independent rating by an accredited rating agency has a good acceptance from the Banks/Financial Institutions, Customers/Buyers and Vendors. Under this Scheme, rating fee to be paid by the micro, small & medium enterprises is subsidized for the first year only and that is subject to maximum of 75% of the fee or Rs. 40000/-, whichever is less.

BE for the scheme for 2014-15 is Rs. 70.00 crore and it is targeted to support rating of 16000 MSEs during the year.

International Cooperation Scheme 

International Cooperation(IC) Scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of MSME since 1996. Technology infusion and /or upgradation of Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), their modernization and promotion of their exports are the important objectives of the scheme.

The Scheme encompasses the following activities:

(i)  Deputation of MSME business delegations to other countries for exploring new areas of technology infusion/upgradation, facilitating joint ventures, improving market of MSMEs products, foreign collaborations, etc.

(ii) Participation by Indian MSMEs in international exhibitions, trade fairs and buyer-seller meets in foreign countries as well as in India, in which there is international participation.

(iii)  Holding international conferences and seminars on topics and themes of interest to the MSMEs.

BE for 2014-15 is Rs. 5.00 crore and it is expected that 650 entrepreneurs would be facilitated to participate in 50 international events.

Assistance to Training Institutions

Under the scheme assistance is provided to existing and new training Institutions for establishment of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) and strengthening of their training infrastructure on a matching basis. Ministry  provides assistance  on a matching basis, not exceeding 50 percent of the project cost or  Rs. 150 lakh whichever is less (90 percent or Rs. 270 lakh of the project cost whichever is less, for State level EDIs in Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands) excluding cost of land and working capital. The balance 50 percent of the matching contribution (10 percent for State level EDIs in Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands) should come from the concerned Institute, State/UT Government, public funded institution(s), NGOs/Trusts/ Banks/Companies/ Societies/ Voluntary organizations etc.

The assistance would be for creation of infrastructure. The land will have to be provided by the State Government or any other institution or by the applicant. Financial assistance would be for construction of building, purchase of training aids/equipments, office equipments, computers and for providing other support services e.g. libraries/data bases etc. The costs of land, construction of staff quarters etc. would not qualify for calculation of matching grant from the Central Government. All the proposals under this scheme are required to be recommended by and routed through the concerned State/UT Government.

A new component of training has been added under this scheme, i.e.  assistance  would be provided under the scheme to following Training Institutions, for conducting Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDPs) and Entrepreneurship cum Skill Development Programmes (ESDPs) and Training of Trainers (ToTs) programmes in the areas of Entrepreneurship and/or Skill Development:

·           National level EDIs (including branches),

·           Training Institutions established by Partner Institutions (PIs) of national level EDIs,

·           Training/Incubation centers of NSIC,

·           Training cum Incubation Centers (TICs) set up by Franchisees of NSIC

·           Other Training institutions with proven professional competency, capacity and experience, approved under the scheme.

Entrepreneurship Skill Development (ESDP) training would normally be of 100 to 300 hours (1 to 3 months). Entrepreneurship Development (EDP) training would be of 72 hours (2 weeks) and Trainer’s Training for 300 hours.

BE for 2014-15 is Rs. 132 crore and it is targeted to provide financial assistance to  existing/new EDIs and to train 1,37,885 persons.

Udyami Helpline

A ‘Udyami Helpline’ (a Call Centre for MSMEs) with toll-free number 1800-180-6763 is in operation to provide information, support, guidance and assistance to first generation entrepreneurs as well as other existing entrepreneurs to guide them regarding various promotional schemes of the Government, procedural formalities required for setting up and running of the enterprise and help them in accessing Bank credit etc. The Udyami Helpline has become a useful tool for entrepreneurs and general public to gather information about various schemes of the Ministry.

Thrust on Khadi & Village Industry

It is a matter of great pride that the sale of Khadi and Village Industry products has recorded a quantum jump in sales after the appeal of the Hon’ble Prime Minister in his Radio address to the nation ‘Mann ki Baat’ on October 03, 2014 “to buy at least one ‘Khadi’ product for use in their day-to-day life.  If you buy Khadi, you light the lamp of prosperity in the house of a poor person”.  This has re-energised the Khadi sector which has resulted in increase of sales at Khadi Gramudyog Bhawan, New Delhi by 125% compared to previous year sales.  This was acknowledged by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 02 November 2014 in the same programme.  The appeal by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has evoked emotional response amongst the people more so the youth of the country which has resulted in a new lease of life to Khadi sector.  Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has also risen to the occasion by renovating the Khadi Gramudyog Bhawan, New Delhi and ensuring that a wide variety of Khadi and Village Industry products are showcased to cover all age groups, all sections of textile market, such as Designer wear, home furnishing, upholstery, woolens including Pashmina, bridal wear, wide range of sarees from across the country, office wear, casual wear, children wear, ready to use and readymade dresses.  In addition a wide range of Village Industry products such as Handmade Paper & products, Honey, Natural soaps, Incence sticks, Herbal Beauty & Health care products, Jewellery and gift items and decorative, household artefacts, household grocery items which are ready to eat and organic farm products.

In order to give a Youth Centric focus, KVIC has extended a special discount for students on the occasion of International Youth Day and Gandhi Jayanthi.  KVIC is also taking Khadi to schools, colleges, universities, IITs, ITIs and other educational/ technical institutions by organizing college fest, fashion shows, awareness programmes and competitions to attract the youth.

In addition, KVIC has been for a long time supplier of Khadi products for key sectors like Railways and Defence and with the opening of Defence sector for domestic manufacturers and suppliers, KVIC is in the process of gearing up to explore this sector aggressively.

Sharing Infrastructure, Capital & Knowledge Keys To Success


December24, 2014 (C) Ravinder Singh

Gross inefficiency of Indian economy is reflected by India’s share in
global wealth at just 1.4% 2014 which was 1% in 2000 but in per capita
terms Wealth Growth compared to the world average is 0.1% growth in 14

Last 16 years of NDA and UPA stable governments that lasted full term
had been extremely poor. Median income of Indians has fallen behind by
around 30% in 2000-2014 period.

Global Wealth Data Book 2014
Wealth 2000    Wealth 2014    Median 2000    Median 2014    Growth    Percent
China    $ 4,664b/ 4%    $21,404b/8.1%    $2703    $7033    $4330    160%
India    $1,163b/ 1%    $3,604b/ 1.4%    $588    $1006    $418    71%
World    $117t    $263.2t    $1740    $3641    $1901    109%

Three Key Features missing in Indian Growth Agenda are

1.    Sharing of Infrastructure,
2.    Sharing of Capital,
3.    Sharing of Knowledge & IPR

This has left India as most ‘Uncompetitive Nation in the World’ baring
some Tailoring & BPO kind of Labor jobs India is uncompetitive in

1. Sharing of Infrastructure: India is not sharing High Cost Critical
Infrastructure –
India has Grossly Under Utilized Optic Fiber Network that can provide
Broadband Multimedia Services at practically no cost is not shared but
India has opted for DTH, 2G, 3G, 4G for Data & Multimedia. Telecom
Tower & Spectrum are not shared leading high cost and poor quality of
service. Power infrastructure is not shared – leading Monopoly & High
Cost & Poor Quality of Service. Why can’t NTPC sell power directly to
consumers? Coal Mines are shared – instead of 4-10 Mining Companies
engaged India has hundreds Uneconomical & Inefficient.

2. Sharing of Capital: Entire Value Chain of Industry is FUNDED BY
BANKS – JUST in time Supply reduces Capital Investment By 50% in Japan
that made it Globally Competitive. Raw Materials, Ancillaries,
Assembly Lines, Retail of Cars involve Bank Funding and Working
Capital – that possibly DOUBLES COST.

3. Sharing of Knowledge & IPR: EU Study reveals 91% of EU Exports are
IPR intensive – to India’s ZERO. IPR based products and jobs command
Many Times more price and 67% higher salary than conventional.

These three shall make INDIA GLOBALLY MOST Competitive.

Marry Christmas & Happy New Year

Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, New Delhi-110016, India. Ph; 091- 9718280435, 9650421857

Analysis of Donations Received by National Parties – FY 2013-14


–          Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the only National Party which is yet to submit its donations report to the ECI
–          90% of donations to National Parties from corporates/ business houses
–          The total donations of INC, NCP and CPI during FY 2013-14 increased by Rs 62.69 crores, an increase of 517%, from the previous financial year, 2012-13
–          Donations to CPM reduced from Rs 3.81 crores during FY 2012-13 to Rs 2.097 crores during FY 2013-14 (45% decrease)
–          A total of Rs 3.81 crores (84%) was donated by known party members of INC and Rs 1.82 crores (89%) was donated by known party members of CPM
On the declaration of donations by the National Parties, Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, Founder-Trustee of ADR, has stated, “Ninety per cent of the donations being from corporates shows the increasing hold of the corporate sector on political parties which is somewhat disconcerting. The ruling party not submitting its donation report is not a good sign as it possibly indicates a lack of respect for integrity of institutions which is not healthy for a democracy.”
Political parties are required to submit their contributions report before the due date for furnishing a return of their income for FY 2013-14 which was 31st October, 2014ECI received the donations report of BSP on 13th Sept,’14, of NCP on 17th Sept,’14, of CPI on 23rdSept,’14 and of CPM and INC on 30th Sept,’14. BSP declared that the party did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 during FY 2013-14, as it has declared in the past.

Executive Summary

I.            Number of donors contributing above Rs 20,000 to National Parties from all over India (FY 2013-14)
a.       The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 received by National Political Parties during FY 2013-14 is calculated from the donations report submitted to the Election Commission annually.
b.      The total amount of donations above Rs 20,000 declared by the National Parties was Rs. 76.93 crores, from 881 donations.
c.       On an average, INC received Rs 11.70 lakhs per unique donor*, NCP: Rs 1 crore, CPI: Rs 3.23 lakhs and CPM: Rs 4.03 lakhs per unique donor.
Total number of donations
Total number of unique donors (a)
Total amount contributed (b)
Average amount of donation per unique donor (b/a)
Rs 59,58,37,728
 (~Rs 59.58 crores)
Rs 11,70,605
(~ Rs 11.70 lakhs)
Rs 14,02,00,000
 (~Rs 14.02 crores)
Rs 1,00,14,286
(~ Rs 1 crore)
Rs 1,22,81,544
 (~Rs 1.22 crores)
Rs 3,23,199
(~ Rs 3.23 lakhs)
Rs 2,09,74,666
 (~Rs 2.09 crores)
Rs 4,03,359
(~ Rs 4.03 lakhs)
Rs 76.93 crores
Rs 12.54 lakhs
                                           *Unique donor: A donor who might or might not have made multiple donations during FY 2013-14
 II.            Comparison of donations received by National Parties during FY 2012-13 and FY 2013-14
a.       Donations to INC increased from Rs 11.72 crores during FY 2012-13 to Rs 59.58 crores during FY 2013-14 (408% increase).
b.      In FY 2012-13, donations declared by BJP was more than the aggregate declared by the INC, NCP, CPI and CPM during FY 2013-14. BJP had declared a total of Rs 83.19 crores received above Rs 20,000 during FY 2012-13.
                                        Inline image 1
III.            Top 3 donors to National Parties
                                                     Inline image 2
a.       Bharti Group’s Satya Electoral Trust donated the maximum amount of Rs 36.5 crores to INC followed by A.V.Patil Foundation which donated Rs 5 crores and Bharat Forge Ltd. which donated Rs 2.50 crores. It is to be noted that none of the above 3 donors donated to INC during FY 2012-13.
b.      The top 3 donors to NCP were Satya Electoral Trust (Rs 4 crores), followed by Shirke Infrastructure (Rs 2 crores) andSerum Institute of India Ltd. (Rs 1.50 crores). It is to be noted that none of the above 3 donors donated to NCP during FY 2012-13.
c.    Donations to CPI were by means of collection, levy and membership fees. Maximum amount was from Gurudas Dasgupta (Rs 25 lakhs) followed by Andhra Pradesh State Council, CPI (Rs 14.96 lakhs) and Kerala State Council, CPI (Rs 11.53 lakhs).
IV.            Donors from Corporates/ business sectors Vs. Individual donors
a.       35 donations from corporate/business sectors amounting to Rs 55.02 crores were made to INC while 708 individualdonors donated Rs 4.56 crores.
b.      13 donations from corporate/ business sectors aggregating to Rs 14 crores were made to NCP while 2 individual donors donated Rs 2 lakhs.
c.    While 4 donations to CPI were made from Unions and a Memorial Trust which aggregated to Rs 2.75 lakhsCPM received a total of Rs 5 lakhs from 4 corporate/ business houses during FY 2013-14.
                                                                                             Inline image 3
V.            Donations by party members for FY 2013-14
a.       A total of Rs 3.81 crores (84%) was donated by known party members of INC. Top donation was made by Shri Hassen Lyngdoh (Rs 66.37 lakhs) followed by Shri Mukul Sangma (Rs 10 lakhs) and Shri W.H.Pala (Rs 7.02 lakhs).
b.      A total of Rs 1.82 crores (89%) was donated by known party members of CPM. Top 3 donations of Rs 9.60 lakhs each was made by Shri Jarna Das followed by Shri K N Balagopal and Shri P Rajeev.
c.       There were no donations above Rs 20,000 from known party members of NCP whereas CPI members declareddonations collected via contributions and levy.
VI.            State-wise donations to National Parties
a.   A total of Rs 45.49 crores was donated to the National Parties from Delhi by both corporates and individuals together followed by Rs 18.12 crores from Maharashtra and Rs 3.01 crores from Gujarat.
b.      Of the donations received, INC received maximum donations from Delhi (Rs 39.05 crores), as did CPI (Rs 54.6 lakhs) andCPM (Rs 1.88 crores) while NCP received maximum donations from Maharashtra (Rs 8.02 crores).
                                                         Inline image 4
VII.            Incomplete disclosure of information in the donations report
a.       INC has not followed the format prescribed by the ECI in declaring its donations details. The column for declaring PAN details of donors is not provided in the contributions reports. Without the PAN details, it would be difficult to link the donors against their donations and hence trace the money trail.
b.      A total of Rs 2.88 lakhs was declared by INC as an outstanding amount thereby not declaring the mode of payment of these funds.
c.       A total of Rs 17.40 lakhs was declared by the National Parties without disclosing mode of payment of these donations.
d.      A total of Rs 6.66 crores was declared by INC, CPI and CPM as amounts received by cheque/DD without disclosing corresponding cheque/DD numbers, name of the bank/ branch on which the cheque was drawn, etc. which would aid in tracking the donations. These incomplete details account for 9% of the total donations received in cheque/DD/ fund transfer.

Recommendations of ADR

a.       The Supreme Court gave a judgment on September 13, 2013 declaring that no part of a candidate’s affidavit should be left blank. Similarly, no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be blank.
b.      There is ambiguity in cash donations declared by INC which amounted to Rs 1.578 crores in FY 2013-14. While CPI has declared that the party’s donations by individuals were by means of collections/ levy/ memberships, INC has not made any such remarks though it is part of the prescribed format of the Election Commission of India. Thus, there is a need for clarity in large amounts of cash donations by individuals.
c.       Full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan. In none of these countries is it possible for 75% of the source of funds to be unknown, but at present it is so in India.
d.   The National and regional political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will go a long way to strengthen political parties, elections and democracy. For more information, please refer to
For details of ‘Multiple donations made by top donors’, cash donations to National Parties and list of top donors to the parties, please refer to the document attached with the release.
Media and Journalist Helpline
+91 80103 94248
Maj Gen Anil Verma (Retd.)
National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms
+91 8826479910
Prof Jagdeep Chhokar
IIM Ahmedabad (Retd)
Founder Member National Election Watch, Association for Democratic

World snippets


Abe re-elected Japan PM, set to name new defense minister

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected by parliament on Wednesday, and a new cabinet is set to be announced. Defense Minister Akinori Eto, who has faced questions over his use of political funds, will be replaced by lawmaker Gen Nakatani, Reuters reported, citing its sources. Nakatani, a former defense minister, is in favor of Japan having the ability to hit enemy bases pre-emptively in the face of imminent attack. The rest of Abe’s cabinet could remain unchanged.

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Texas

Former US President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas on Tuesday night. “The former president, age 90, will be held for observation, again as a precaution,” the statement read. He spent nearly two months at the same hospital in January 2013 for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues. He can no longer use his legs and was seen seated in a wheelchair at an event in November at Texas A&M University with his son, former President George W. Bush.

Italy sends military jets to Baltic States in NATO air force rotation

Italy is set to send four Eurofighter Typhoons and a military transport aircraft KC 767 to the Lithuanian military base of Zokniai, reports TASS citing Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense. This comes as NATO rotates forces; the move is to relieve the Portuguese military with their four F-16 fighters and Canadian forces that have four F/A -18 Hornets. Later, four Polish MiGs-29 will join the Italian planes. NATO countries provide air security for the Baltic States as they don’t have enough planes to do it themselves. The contingent changes every four months. It will be the first mission in the Baltics for the Italian Air Force. The official ceremony will be held on December 31.

France’s Hollande says one person ‘clinically dead’ after Monday car rampage

A person has died from injuries sustained in a rampaging car incident the previous evening, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday, but his aides later clarified the victim was “clinically dead,” AFP reported. The outrage in the western city of Nantes was one of three apparently unrelated yet brutal attacks that have hit different parts of France since Saturday. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday that hundreds of additional military personnel would be ordered onto the streets to reinforce a routine deployment of security forces.

Islamic State targets in Syria, Iraq hit by 10 more strikes

The US-led coalition launched 10 more strikes against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday, the US military said. The seven strikes, four in Syria and three in Iraq, destroyed fighting positions, Reuters said. They also struck a unit of Islamic State fighters as well as some of the militants’ oil collection equipment, according to the Combined Joint Task Force.

Al-Jazeera network shuts down its Egypt channel

The Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera news network has shut down its Egyptian channel, resolving a major source of tension between the two states, AP said. Mubasher Misr will be incorporated into a new region-wide station. Monday’s decision came two days after a Qatari envoy met Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the first such meeting since he was elected in June. El-Sissi’s office said Egypt hoped the meeting was the beginning of a “new era” that puts the past disagreements behind them.

US-led strikes kill more than 1,000 jihadists in Syria

US-led airstrikes in Syria have killed more than 1,000 jihadists in the past three months, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Nearly all of them were from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), AFP reported, citing the monitoring group. At least 1,171 have been killed in the Arab and international airstrikes since September 23, including 1,119 jihadists from the IS and Al-Nusra Front, the Observatory said. Among those killed were reportedly 1,046 members of the IS.

Cameroon military seizes 84 children, kills dozens at Boko Haram training camp

Cameroon’s army said it had dismantled a training camp for the Boko Haram Islamist group, arresting or killing dozens of militants. The military also seized 84 children who were being trained there. Local people in northwest Cameroon alerted the military on Saturday to the camp in Guirvidig locality, near the border with northeastern Nigeria. The Rapid Intervention Battalion launched an attack and arrested 45 of the trainers and killed many more, according to a spokesman for Cameroon’s Defense Ministry.

290 heritage sites in Syria damaged by war – UN

Satellite imagery indicates that 290 cultural heritage sites in Syria have been damaged by the civil war, the UN’s training and research arm (UNITAR) said on Tuesday. UNITAR found that 24 sites were completely destroyed, 189 severely or moderately damaged and a further 77 possibly damaged, Reuters reported. National and international efforts for the protection of these areas “need to be scaled up in order to save as much as possible of this important heritage” for humankind, the organization said.

Algeria Army confirms it killed jihadist chief behind beheading

The Algerian military confirmed on Tuesday that it has killed the head of the jihadist Jund al-Khilafa group that decapitated Frenchman Herve Gourdel in September, AFP said. The body of Abdelmalek Gouri, who claimed responsibility for the beheading of Gourdel, was identified at the end of an operation in the town of Isser, the army said, adding that three terrorists were eliminated.

Second try to elect Greek president fails

Greek MPs failed on Tuesday to elect a president in a second vote in parliament, bringing an early general election a step closer, AFP said. The government candidate, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, fell 32 votes short of the required 200 votes. A third and final vote will be held on December 29.

Ukraine’s parliament votes for abandoning non-bloc status

Ukraine’s parliament voted for abandoning the country’s non-bloc status on Tuesday. The legislation was approved by 303 MPs, TASS said. President Petro Poroshenko submitted a bill to the Verkhovnaya Rada last week, saying that the refusal to join NATO in 2010 was the “biggest mistake of the former Ukrainian leadership.”

5 bomb blasts in Yemeni capital’s old quarter, 1 killed

Five bombs reportedly exploded on Tuesday in an old quarter in Sanaa, where many supporters of the Shiite Muslim Houthi movement live. A member of the group was killed and another person wounded, Reuters said, citing a senior security official in Yemen. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings. The Houthis have been fighting the Sunni Islamist Al-Qaeda and allied tribesmen since its gunmen captured Sanaa in September.

Australia PM warns another attack ‘likely’

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday said another attack was likely, as mourners paid tribute to the victims of the fatal Sydney cafe siege, AFP said. “A briefing from the security agencies today indicated that there has been a heightened level of terrorist chatter,” Abbott said after a meeting of his National Security Committee. “It’s important that people remain alert and aware as well as reassured that our police and security agencies are doing everything they humanly can to keep us safe,”

Incident of acid attack exposes deteriorating law and order situation in Delhi


The Aam Aadmi Party expresses its deep concern over shocking incident of acid attack on a 26-year-old lady doctor in Delhi on Tuesday morning. The incident took place in full public view and was caught on CCTV camera installed at the location. The victim is struggling for her life in All India Institute of Medical Sciences with severe burns on her face.
The fact that the two assailants carried out the attack in full public view shows that there was no fear of police in their minds. This clearly exposes the poor state of affairs on law on order front in national capital. Despite all the lip service by the ruling BJP, the incident shows that it has failed to improve law and order situation in Delhi.
The Aam Aadmi Party wants to remind that in view of rising incidents of acid attack, the Supreme Court had banned open sale of acids. Delhi Police has completely failed to implement the Supreme Court. After Nibhaya incident, amendments had been made in the criminal law and punishment for acid attacks was enhanced to life imprisonment. That too seems to have failed to act as a deterrent due to lax policing in national capital.
Most shocking is the fact that the incident has taken place after the incident of rape of a corporate executive by a cab driver. It clearly shows that the government and the police have not learnt any lesson from the incident of rape.
It’s shocking that the BJP, the party in power, could not spare a minute to express its concern and pain over the incident. It shows BJP’s insensitivity towards the issue of women security.
The Aam Aadmi Party demands that the assailants should immediately be arrested and brought to the book. The party also demands that the government and the police should come out with a concrete plan to ensure safety for women in the city.

AAP Media Cell.


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