Saturday, March 31, 2012

The real leader of India --> Mr. Narendra Modi

The International council of UN has announced that , Gujarat government is the second best state government in the world.

Before 10 year they had 50,000 crores loan in world bank. But today they have deposited 1 lakh crore in world bank.

In gujarat:
15 % of WHOLE INDIA EXPORT is FROM Gujarat

Our special hearty congratulations and thanks to Mr.Narendra Modi
"I see mysteries and complications wherever I 

look and I have never met a steadily logical 

person in my life!"- Mr. Narendra Modi

Friday, March 30, 2012

India to give 5000MW to Pakistan

பாகிஸ்தானுக்கு 5 ஆயிரம் மெகாவாட் மின்சாரம் வழங்க இந்தியா முன்வந்திருப்பதாகச் செய்தி வெளியாகியிருக்கிறது.
 சியோலில் நடந்த அணுசக்திப் பாதுகாப்பு உச்சி மாநாட்டின்போது பாகிஸ்தான் பிரதமர் யூசுப் ரஸô கிலானியிடம் இந்தியப் பிரதமர் மன்மோகன் சிங் இந்தியாவின் முடிவு குறித்துத் தெரிவித்தாகக் கூறப்படுகிறது. இந்தியாவின் இந்த உதவியை பாகிஸ்தான் ஏற்றுக் கொண்டிருப்பதாகத் தெரிகிறது.
 பாகிஸ்தானின் எரிசக்தித் தட்டுப்பாட்டைச் சமாளிப்பதற்கு இது உதவியாக இருக்கும் என்று கூறப்படுகிறது. இந்தியாவிலிருந்து பஞ்சாப் மாநிலம் வழியாக பாகிஸ்தானுக்கு மின்சாரம் வழங்கப்படும் என்று ஊடகங்கள் தெரிவிக்கின்றன. எனினும் இது தொடர்பாக அதிகாரப்பூர்வமாக எந்தத் தகவலும் வெளியிடப்படவில்லை.

Tamil Nadu Power Projects..

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Budgeting for a new vision (Tamil Nadu)

One of the biggest challenges in governance is to not lose sight of long-term goals and objectives in the urgent pursuit of short-term imperatives. Four days before the Tamil Nadu budget for 2012-13, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa unveiled Vision Tamil Nadu 2023, a document that lays the roadmap for improving social indices, infrastructure, and income levels of the people within the next 11 years. It envisages Tamil Nadu as India's most prosperous and progressive State with no poverty, where people would enjoy all the basic services of a modern society. Ms Jayalalithaa was not speaking of Tamil Nadu racing ahead of other States, but was inviting comparison with developed countries. The document was specific in outlining growth strategies and plans for boosting investment. Tamil Nadu would aim to increase its GSDP at 11 per cent or more per year for 11 years, which is about 20 per cent more than the projected growth rate of India's GDP over the same period. The State budget that followed was of a piece with the vision document: there was equal emphasis on economic growth and social security. While Rs 1,000 crore was allocated for the Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Fund, spending on social security remains high, as does the expenditure on the government's freebies, a dubious form of welfarism to say the least. Tamil Nadu already has in place a strong universal Public Distribution System. With a stronger social safety net, the State might well be on the way towards the stated target of poverty elimination by 2023.
While Tamil Nadu has done well in the services sector, thanks to the boom in information technology, agriculture, like in the rest of the country, lags behind. Because of investments by global automobile majors, the manufacturing sector has also contributed substantially to growth. However, with the IT and related sectors garnering all the attention of policymakers in recent years, the manufacturing sector is now in need of some handholding. As a much needed corrective, the agriculture sector has been given Rs.3,804 crore, with the focus on raising production by increasing yield and coverage, and enhancing disbursement of crop loans. There is now a greater recognition of the importance of modernisation of the sector through adoption of new techniques that would not require corporatisation or radical changes in the landholding pattern. Efforts are also on to attract more multinational firms in the manufacturing sector. But good planning and efficient budgeting are only the first steps in bringing about the necessary changes in the lives and livelihoods of the people. The toughest part, as always, is from paper and drawing board to field and finished product.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Please, someone tell Mamatadi she is Chief Minister

On March 19, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee swept imperiously into Parliament House to “persuade” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appoint Mukul Roy as railway minister, and roll back much of the increase in rail passenger fares, just hours after she had forced Dinesh Trivedi to put in his papers. That accomplished, she pressured the Congress to withdraw its candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal, enabling her to push four instead of three of her nominees into the Upper House, before flying back to Kolkata. What did the Congress receive in return? Yes, the Trinamool Congress didn't back the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s amendments to the President's Address on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), but its MPs, ministers included, only embarrassed the UPA government by walking out of both houses of Parliament.

Embarrassing the UPA
It was all part of a familiar pattern. Last year, Ms Banerjee torpedoed the Teesta Waters Agreement with Bangladesh, embarrassing the Prime Minister; halted the government's efforts to introduce FDI in retail; and after backing the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha, opposed it in the Rajya Sabha. This year, she joined opposition Chief Ministers to railroad the NCTC and, for good measure, got MP Ratna De to shred the general budget proposals in the Lok Sabha. “It's called compulsive populism,” an exasperated State official told . If the Trinamool out-opposes the real opposition in Delhi, Ms Banerjee plays Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition, by turn, in Bengal. On March 3, four days after Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee led a procession through Kolkata in an open jeep, she followed suit, bringing the city to a halt, accusing the Left of maligning her government.
In the State
Ten months after she won a massive mandate, ending 34 years of Left rule in the State, she remains in election mode, as determined to prevent the Centre from taking difficult decisions, as she is to reject unpopular, if pragmatic, advice from her officials. Instead, she has focused on the optics: after being anointed Chief Minister at Raj Bhavan last year, she walked to Writers' Building through a kilometre-long surging sea of humanity. Eight months later, Ms Banerjee, en route to attend Republic Day celebrations, alighted from her car at one end of Red Road — along which the parade passes — and walked to the Maidan, where she was to receive Governor M.K. Narayanan. She ambled down, waving to the cheering crowds: when she arrived, the Governor — in a reversal of traditional protocol — was waiting for her.Today, Ms Banerjee still believes she only has to wave her wand, and Jangalmahal will be magically transformed into a rural paradise, Darjeeling into a land of smiling Gorkhas, Kolkata into London, and West Bengal into India's industrial giant. But the jackboots she wears beneath that fairy godmother costume peep out each time she cracks her whip to make civil servants and industrialists — like her Trinamool colleagues — jump through the hoops. In January, she forced a sheepish Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) to repeat her claims on developmental works in front of an audience in Maoist-affected Jhargram. A few days earlier, she reduced sharp-suited captains of industry and foreign diplomats to schoolboy status: naming them individually from her vantage point on stage at the “Bengal Leads 2012” business summit in Kolkata, she asked them “what their problem” was — why were they not investing in Bengal?That script went awry on March 14: in full TV glare, Mr. Trivedi refused to reverse the hike in passenger fares, spotlighting not just disaffection in the Trinamool, but also Ms Banerjee's unwillingness — as demonstrated in this year's State budget proposals — to frontally address Bengal's economic crisis, the key challenge to her government. Currently, as she struggles to pay government salaries, a burden enhanced by 2,75,000 new jobs, State officials despair. “In her first few months,” said one official, “she should have increased resources through higher taxes and raised electricity tariffs. She was so popular she would have got away with it. The longer she waits, the tougher it will get.” This is, especially as Delhi has ruled out an economic bailout for Bengal.
Credibility at stake
She's also unwilling to admit that anyone in her party or government can err. Last year, she raised eyebrows when she marched into a police station to bail out Trinamool hoodlums; this year, her unsympathetic response to a young woman who was raped after leaving a nightclub on Kolkata's fashionable Park Street has become a watershed for the city's middle class, even as growing incidents of rape and political violence in rural Bengal in recent days have become grist for the Left mill. As Ms Banerjee's personal credibility begins to take a beating, and there is little on the credit side as far as governance goes, her party colleagues are staining at the leash. Trinamool sources told The Hindu that Mr. Trivedi's demotion is fuelling discontent among its MPs, with Mr. Roy's elevation angering them further: they believe his unsavoury past will catch up with him and embarrass the party again. Of the party's 19 Lok Sabha MPs, Mr. Trivedi and poet Kabir Suman (who'd already gone public with his unhappiness), apart, Sudip Bandopadhyay, Kalyan Banerjee, Saugata Roy, Suvendu Adhikari, Sisir Kumar Adhikari, Sucharu Ranjan Haldar and Somen Mitra reportedly figure in the list of the disenchanted. Ms Banerjee needs to stem the rot, keeping a sharp eye on the Muslim vote, before the panchayat polls next year when she will face her first electoral test after she came to power. In last year's Assembly elections, she broke the Left's hold over the 27 per cent strong Muslim population, pushing the latter's vote percentage in the State down to 41 per cent.Not surprisingly, Rs.570 crore has been set aside for minority welfare in this year's State budget.So, has the girl who clawed her way up from the slums of Kolkata to the seat of power done anything right? “Her inability to take no for an answer can work well occasionally,” a police officer admits. “Last year, when she wanted to recruit home guards from Jangalmahal, she was told the rules forbade recruitment from a specific region. When she remained adamant, a way out was found.” That's the flip side of her total disregard for rules, procedures, or indeed the law, if it comes in her way. But can she leverage her inclination to cut through red tape to remain a force in Bengal politics? For that will determine her ability to successfully scare Delhi about her imminent departure from the UPA — and extract what she wants.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tamil Nadu Budget 2012-13 (in pics...)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Finance Minister O. Pannerselvam entering the assembly for presentation of the budget.
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam, presenting State's budget for the year 2012-2013. According to the budget estimates, revenue receipts are projected at Rs 1,00,589.92 crore and the revenue expenditure estimated as Rs 98,213.85 crore.
Duty cut on e-bikes may encourage cleaner and healthier living. In this file photo, a student who invented solar power based e-bike is seen encouraged by his mentors.
VAT cut on wheat by the Tamil Nadu government budget makes it healthier to all.
The Tamil Nadu government has proposed 14.5 per cent tax on liquor as part of efforts to generate Rs 1,500 crore revenue.
A person taking insulin injection may have to spend a little less as the Tamil Nadu government budget proposes a cut on tax for insulin.
In order to implement welfare programmes, Tamil Nadu government had taken up various steps. Making the helmets cheaper, may encourage more people to use one.
Tamil Nadu government's VAT exemption on oats makes it cheaper.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why has mining become a source of massive corruption in India?

Why has mining become a source of massive corruption in India?
For one, India is rich in lucrative minerals. It is the world's largest producer and exporter of mica, the third largest producer of coal and the second largest producer of barites. India is also the world's fourth, fifth and seventh largest producer of iron ore, bauxite and manganese respectively. Some of the most mineral-rich parts of the country are situated in regions that are home to some of the poorest tribal communities. These places comprise a third of India's area and are also hotbeds of Maoist insurgency - largely a consequence of sharp inequalities in income and wealth. Over the last two decades, India has opened up mining to private companies without strong and independent regulation. A note from the federal ministry of mines talks about the mixed results of this opening up. It says "legal and regulatory loopholes and inadequate policing has allowed the illegal mining operations to flourish and grow". So much so an ombudsman report on mining in Karnataka found that the promoters of privately owned mining companies in the Ballery region (Karnataka) - where most of the mines are located - paid off politicians, and then joined politics themselves, rising to positions in the state government. These mining businessmen-turned-politicians exerted so much influence over the local officials that the Indian media began describing Bellary as a "new republic". This led to the political crisis in the state of Karnataka and still growing.
Ugly underbelly
Investigations have shown that while the government receives paltry royalties from private mining companies, a few influential oligarchs in collusion with politicians have made massive profits. The mines ministry now admits that "mining activities have resulted in little local benefit and, in fact, has been at the cost of environmental degradation".No wonder that for many in India, mining has come to epitomise the ugly underbelly of economic liberalisation - crony capitalism and rampant loot of natural resources.
Now the government plans to amend a 54-year-old law to make it mandatory for mining companies to put in place rehabilitation and resettlement programmes for the people affected by their activities and protect the environment. Otherwise, as the government itself concedes, mining will continue to contribute to social dissatisfaction and unrest. India cannot afford to stop mining if its economy has to grow. But it needs stronger regulation and a fair deal to the communities that live on lands rich in minerals. Only then India's "resource curse", as many economists describe the dichotomy of the poorest living on the richest lands, can be turned into a "resource boon".

How does Rahul Gandhi tackle the Narendra Modi threat in 2014?

The Time magazine recently, through a controversial cover story on the BJP mascot and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, made the argument that Modi may be the biggest threat Congress leader Rahul Gandhi would face in the 2014 general elections. "Modi, 61, is perhaps the only contender with the track record and name recognition to challenge Rahul Gandhi," says the story. Indian politics at the Centre today is largely between the centre-right Congress and the right-wing BJP. The possibility of regional parties making a major dent nationally, despite doing extremely well in their own regions, is remote. That perhaps explains why Time thinks it's a Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi battle in 2014.
2014, by that logic, for Congress, has assumed a mythic proportion. It is the year when the chosen one - Sonia Gandhi's son and therefore Congress' natural heir - makes his tryst with destiny by becoming the Prime Ministerial candidate (and hopefully the Prime Minister). It's a line the party has followed to the extent of beating it down as a cliché since the 2009 general elections. The question is: how does Rahul do it? How does he overcome what is perhaps his lowest phase, and stand up to a challenge like Narendra Modi?
Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi are mythologies, created by their own parties and the media machinery around them. The difference, however, is crucial. Modi's biggest claim to fame has been presiding over a state-sponsored pogrom in which almost 2000 Muslims were killed, thereby making him the best bet for the kind of polarisation of votes the BJP looks for in an election. Rahul, on the other hand, has no history of a public office and governance - or the lack of it. There is just one brief for him: carry the cross that says 'India's next PM'. Still, there may be a reason behind the Congress clamour for Rahul. Gandhis unite the otherwise divided Congress.
How does Rahul Gandhi tackle the Narendra Modi threat in 2014?
The Time article further says: "With two years left before the next national election in 2014, Congress hopes its young scion, Sonia's son Rahul, will refresh the party, but a resounding loss in a recent state election makes him look vulnerable." The magazine got that one right. The Congress victory in 2009 was attributed to the 'Rahul magic', but that magic has been on a downslide ever since. UP was only the culmination of a series of disappointments for Brand Rahul that began with Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal among other states in the last two years.
So what is the way forward for Rahul Gandhi? To begin with, he has to look credible. In electoral democracy, mythology and image must translate into votes. True, he has youth on his side. But his adversaries aren't very old either. By the Indian standards where politics is still largely dominated by the geriatrics, Narendra Modi, at 61, may also come across as young. Worse, he is the demi-god for a huge number of youngsters, as displayed by their endorsement of the man on various social networks. Rahul has to realise the tyranny of youth. Almost half of India's voters fall between 20-30 age group, a constituency that he has to be imaginative enough to tap into and be a part of.
Secondly, Rahul has to shed the aggression, desperation and negativity that marked his UP campaign. If there is any lesson for Rahul in the Akhilesh Yadav phenomenon, it is precisely that. The Indian voter today is aspirational and looks for an acknowledgement of his contribution in the India story. He has a stake in it and wants to be addressed as a stakeholder. The days of colonial largesse being distributed among the wretched by their natural rulers are over. Nothing offends the voter more than being looked down upon. Rahul's paternalistic approach to the 'Centre's money' not reaching the states, apart from being a huge cliché, was offending, to say the least.
Third, mentoring is a crucial area that Rahul Gandhi must be attentive to. He has been bracketed with the Congress maverick Digvijaya Singh for too long now. There is no denying that the relationship is based on mutual respect, but the outspoken and brash Singh, in the Indian political context, is perhaps as polarising as Modi is. It's still a mystery as to why mainstream Congress stalwarts like Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee or P Chidambaram do not come forward to defend Rahul when he takes a beating. Is there a conscious distance that prominent party leaders keep with their chosen one? Why is the job always left for Diggy Raja?
Rahul, on the contrary, should strive for inclusion and larger acceptance. He has to become more mainstream within the Congress, and not come across as some NGO-style activist heading the Grievances and Outreach Cell within the party. To do so would also entail having a vision and a plan - and spelling them out. Rahul's bracketing with a senior mentor like Digvijaya Singh (who, if reports are to be believed, is addressed as 'chacha' (uncle) by Rahul) also reflects his juvenility. And you don't want to be seen as juvenile, especially if you aspire to be India's next PM. It's about time Rahul Gandhi stands up for himself and comes out of harmful shadows.
And finally, Rahul Gandhi has to merge with the India he claims to represent and lead. He should stop parachuting from New Delhi, make a speech at some remote hamlet and come back to the cosy confines of a Lutyen's bungalow. A night out at a Dalit's house or sneaking into a burning village is alright, but they should not be reduced to gimmicks. Instead, Rahul has to stake it out. The grime and dust should show, and not be cosmetic. The voters can easily see through them.
All this having said, what eventually the Congress and Rahul Gandhi (and for that matter, even the BJP and Narendra Modi) have to realise is that elections are not won on mere personality cults. Issues and promises do. You are only as good as your party and its programmes in electoral politics. If Congress has to realise its collective dream of seeing its ‘yuvraj’ Rahul at 7, Race Course Road, it has to make sure the next two years are spent taking care of good governance, devoid of corruption, lethargy and anti-people policies. Mere clamour won’t do.

Alternatives to Dravidian parties are far behind....

As the ruling AIADMK retained the Sankarankoil (reserved) Assembly constituency with a massive victory margin of 68,557 votes, there is a clear pattern in the by-election outcome: political parties, seeking to project themselves as an alternative to the two Dravidian majors, AIADMK and the DMK, are far behind in their pursuit. The outcome of the local body polls in October 2011 pointed to the trend. Sankarankoil has now confirmed it. The DMK came second in Sankarankoil, proving that its organisational strength and vote share is still too much for the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), led by actor Vijayakant, to match. The DMDK had forged an alliance with the AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly elections and managed to emerge as the principal opposition party in legislature. The DMK was relegated to third position.
A few months ago, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa challenged Mr. Vijayakant and the DMDK on the floor of the Assembly to contest on its own in the Sankarankoil by-poll and prove its strength, if he was under the impression that his party was instrumental in bringing the AIADMK to power. The actor-turned-politician was reluctant. He tried to duck her challenge, saying his party would contest only if the election was held under President's rule. Later, however, he picked up the gauntlet and fielded his candidate. The party has lost its deposit but the votes polled by it can make a perceptible difference to an alliance in general elections.
One party whose performance has come as a big disappointment is the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) led by Vaiko. Two factors – Sankarankovil being his home constituency and the decent performance by his party in the local body polls – gave the impression that the MDMK was likely to spring a surprise with an unprecedented electoral performance.The party secured the third place. But it is not clear whether it can do a similar performance and move ahead of the DMDK in other constituencies.
By-elections, barring a few exceptions, have always gone in favour of the ruling party in the State. It appears that nothing can turn the voters against the ruling party in the early phase of a new regime. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was proved right as she had declared earlier that her party would romp home in Sankarankovil, despite the increase in the price of milk and bus fares. Voters in all constituencies seem to think that voting against a ruling party candidate might prove disadvantageous to themselves, as it might affect development activities in the constituency.
The outcome of by-elections, however, need not reflect the political trend in the State. This is best exemplified by the by-election to the Pennagaram Assembly constituency in Dharmapuri district in March 2010. The ruling DMK retained the constituency by a margin of over 36,000 votes. The PMK secured the second position and all parties, including the AIADMK and the DMDK, could not retain their deposit. But in the 2011 Assembly elections, the AIADMK-led front emerged triumphantly in Pennagaram as it did in most of the constituencies. This demolishes the theory that by-elections are relevant because they help in gauging the mood of the people.
Yet, political parties in the State attach much importance to by-election, largely because the ruling party of the day deems winning it a matter of prestige. Allegations of misuse of official machinery have been raised at every by-election in the last decade. During the previous DMK regime, Union Minister M.K. Alagiri ushered in a trend in which increasing the victory margin substantially became the ruling party's objective.
As the DMK's organising secretary in-charge of the south zone, he wanted to build his image as an invincible manager of elections, and his tactics in winning the Thirumangalam by-election continues to symbolise the political management of by-polls in the State.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jayalalithaa's U-turn: approves Kudankulam nuclear plant

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa began crackdown on anti-nuclear activists at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. Nine Kudankulam protestors have been detained. The Tamil Nadu government has also got the nuclear power plant site cleared. Seeking to end the impasse over the Kudankulam nuclear plant issue, the Jayalalilthaa government in Tamil Nadu on Monday gave the go ahead to the controversial project and announced a Rs 500 crore special development package for the area where it is located. "In accordance with (March 19, 2012) cabinet decision, immediate steps will be taken (to facilitate commissioning) of the plant," Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said in a statement, breaking her silence over the issue. She also sought the cooperation of political parties and all concerned to immediately resume work at the plant in Tirunelveli district, stalled following protests since September 2011, spearheaded by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE). Meanwhile, the convenor of the protest SP Udayakumar has begun a fast unto death. Udayakumar had earlier sent a legal notice to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his reported statement that the protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant were funded by the US. The cabinet decided to allocate Rs 500 crore for locals to set up among others, a cold storage to store fish catch, construct houses, laying of roads and repairing mechanised fishing boats of local fishermen, she said. The decision comes a day after completion of polling at Sankarankoil, which falls in the same district. Jayalalithaa was earlier opposed to the nuclear power plant. Villagers in Kudankulam, Idinthakarai and nearby areas fear for their lives and safety in case of a nuclear accident. Their agitation, led by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), had put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit originally slated for December, 2011.

UN war crimes resolution: India to vote against Sri Lanka

In a victory for the DMK and the AIADMK, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the government intended to vote in favour of the US-led resolution against Sri lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but the final draft of the resolution was awaited. "We are still waiting for the final draft of the resolution, but we intend to vote in favour of the resolution," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in the Lok Sabha. Speaking on the issue of alleged war crimes and Tamils in Sri Lanka, Manmohan Singh said, "India has stressed on reconciliation and healing the wounds of the Lanka Tamils. We have asked Lanka govt to stress on meaningful devolution of power." The Prime Minister also claimed that normalcy was returning to the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka. DMK chief Karunanidhi welcomed the Prime Minister's statement and said, "I welcome the Prime Minister's statement. We will wait to see the final decision." He also announced that the DMK will fast on March 22 for Sri Lankan Tamils. The DMK and the AIADMK had been stepping up pressure on the Centre to vote in favour of the resolution and take a strong stand against Sri Lanka. The resolution demands those found guilty of war crimes against Lankan Tamils be declared as war criminal.While the DMK indicated a review of ties with the UPA, AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to the Prime Minister to take up the issue of war crimes with the United Nations. DMK chief Karunanidhi had said, "DMK will deem it as betrayal of Tamils if Centre does not support US resolution on Lanka. I can't decide on withdrawing support to Centre on this. We would discuss and decide in our executive meet." Earlier, DMK MP Kanimozhi also hoped that the Centre will "not push" the party to take a decision on its continuance in the government over India's stand on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lankan Government in the UN Human Rights Council.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Indian call centres selling Briton's details...

Indian call centres are selling confidential personal data, including credit card details and medical records, of over 500,000 Britons, a media report said. Citing an undercover investigation by The Sunday Times, the Daily Mail said the data is being sold by "corrupt Indian call centre workers" to criminals and marketing firms. The report said that two Indians, claiming to be information technology workers at call centres, met undercover reporters and boasted of having 45 different sets of personal information on nearly 500,000 Britons. 
The data included names, addresses, and phone numbers of credit card holders, start and expiry dates as well as the three-digit security verification codes, the report said. Much of the information is related to customers at major financial companies, including HSBC and NatWest. An Indian named Naresh Singh, who met the undercover reporters in a hotel room in Gurgaon near Delhi, was allegedly carrying a laptop full of data, it said. "These are ones that have been sold to somebody already. This is Barclays, this is Halifax, this is Lloyds TSB. We've been dealing so long we can tell the bank by just the card number," Singh was quoted as saying. He said much of the data would be less than 72 hours old. Other information being sold was about mortgages, loans, insurance and mobile phone contracts. According to the report, call centres are a $5 billion industry in India, with an estimated 330,000 people employed by them. Many British companies outsource services to India. Conservative MP and member of the House of Commons' public accounts select committee, Richard Bacon said this was not only a matter for the organisations involved but also the authorities.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Narendra Modi - on TIME magazine

Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi figured on the  cover of the March 26 issue of Time Magazine which praises him in an article for development of the state he has been ruling for over a decade but wonders if he can become the Prime Minister. 
The cover of the Time magazine's March 26 issue features Modi, with the caption: "Modi means business but can he lead India". In an article titled "Boy from the backyard",  the US magazines describes Modi as a "controversial, ambitious and shrewd politician". It also mentions his series of day-long Sadbhavana fasts to reach out to the people of the state. "It's Modi in makeover mode: an act of self-purification, humility and bridge building in a state that is still traumatised by the Hindu-led anti-Muslim massacres of 10 years ago and the flawed investigations in their wake...," the article says. The Time magazine article says Modi is a firm, "no-nonsense leader" who can steer India out of a "mire of chronic corruption and inefficiency". 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Union Finance Budget 2012-13 (in pics)

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrives at Parliament House to present the Union Budget 2012-13 in New Delhi on March 16, 2012.

A large number of tax payers turn up for filing the IT returns in New Delhi. The IT exemption limit for salaried people has risen to Rs. 2 lakhs. From Rs. 2 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs it is 10 per cent. From Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs it is 20 per cent and above Rs. 10 lakhs it is 30 per cent.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act is being implemented with effect from April 1, 2010 through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). For 2012-13, the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in his Union Budget 2012-13, provided Rs. 25,555 crore for RTE-SSA. This is an increase of 21.7 per cent over 2011-12.
National Urban Health Mission is being launched to emcompass the primary healthcare needs of people in the urban areas. The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) aimed at setting up of AIIMS-like institutions and upgradation of existing Government medical colleges is being expanded to cover upgradation of 7 more Government medical colleges. It will enhance the avaailability of affordable tertiary health care.
According to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, agriculture will continue to be a priority for the Government. The total plan outlay for the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is being increased by 18 per cent from Rs. 17,123 crores in 2011-12 to Rs. 20,2 08 crores in 2012-13. The outlay for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is being increased from Rs. 7,680 crores in 2011-12 to Rs. 9,217 crores in 2012-13.
In his Union Budget 2012-13 speech the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said his attention has been drawn to the plight of a few sectors that are highly labour-intensive and produce items of mass consumption. As a measure of support, he proposed to enhance basic customs duty on bicycles from 10 per cent to 30 per cent and on bicycle parts from 10 per cent to 20 per cent.
In the Budget 2012-13, a provision of Rs. 1,93,407 crores has been made for Defence Services which include Rs. 79,579 crores for capital expenditure. As always, this allocation is based on present needs and any further requirement would be met. Government is making efforts to increase the availability of residential quarters to forces. In 2012-13, it is envisaged to construct nearly 4,000 residential quarters for Central Armed Police Forces for which Rs. 1,185 crore is allocated.
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in his Budget speech, along with water quality, poor sanitation is one of the factors contributing to malnourishment. He also proposed to increase the budgetary allocation for rural drinking water and sanitation from Rs. 11,000 crore in 2011-12 to Rs. 14,000 crorre in 2012-13. This is an increase of 27 per cent.
According to Union Budget 2012-13, for the Indian economy this was a challenging year. A number of global and domestic factors militated against the growth that had revived in the last two years. But India has thrived under challenges and India will do so now. The sovereign debt crisis in the Euro Zone intensified, political turmoil in Middle East injected widespread uncertainty, crude oil prices rose, an earthquake struck Japan and the overall gloom refused to lift.
Union Finance Minister in his Union Budget 2012-13 has increased the basic customs duty on standard gold bars; gold coins of purity exceeding 99.5 per cent and platinum from 2 per cent to 4 per cent and non-standard golds from 5 per cent to 10 per cent, In sync, basic duty on gold ore, concentrate and dore bars for refining is being enhanced from 1 per cent to 2 per cent. On the excise side, duty on refined gold is being increaswed in the same proportion from 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent.
In the Union Budget 2012-13, the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said completely built units of large cars/MUVs/SUVs having engine capacity above a prescribed threshold and whose value exceeds $ 40,000 per vehicle are permitted for import without type approval. Basic customs duty on such vehicles is being enhanced from 60 per cent to 75 per cent ad valorem.
The Union Budget 2012-13 stated that full exemption from excise duty is currently available to hand-made matches while others attract the standard rate. It is proposed to reduce excise duty on matches manufactured by semi-mechanised units from 10 per cent to 6 per cent.

TN follows Jaya lead on US resolution on Lanka

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has done what no political leader has done: To unite the people of Tamil Nadu on an issue and giving a legitimate voice to their collective aspirations, which has sent shivers down the spine of the Centre. Even as the Centre is dilly-dallying on the question of extending support to the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, the people are exuberant that the Chief Minister has told the Centre what it should do in an international forum. That has led to activists from Tamil rights groups, who persistently protest against the Sri Lankan government’s alleged war crimes, see in Jayalalithaa the right leader, around whom Tamil people can rally around. As they say, “If Jayalalithaa had been in power in 2009 when the war in Sri Lanka was at its peak, things might have been different. She would have exerted pressure on the Centre to intervene.” They point to the courage with which she slammed the Union Railway budget, saying that it “lacks direction and has not attempted to provide any solution to the problems daunting the leviathan of Indian Railways.” Her statement, “It is disappointing to note that there has been no announcement of a dedicated freight corridor in the Southern Sector, originating from Chennai” not only spoke of her genuine concern for the development of the state but also her understanding of economics. Nobody else has pointed out that lapse in the budget. Citing many such examples, people say that more than the courage, it is the commitment of the Chief Minister that has made her urge the Centre to support the US resolution, first. Other parties, particularly the DMK, had no choice but to tow her line. 

Railway Budget 2012-13 (in Pics)

Railway Budget 2012-13 proposes to increase passenger fares across all classes, add 100 new trains and hire more than one lakh employees.
Union Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi at Rail Bhavan before leaving for Parliament to present the Budget.
The Railway Minister announced marginal hike in passenger fares ranging from 2 paise per kilometre to 30 paise per kilometre in various categories of trains.
The Minister promised to set up Indian Railways Stations Development Corporations to re-develop stations and maintain them like airports.
Minimum fare and platform tickets will cost Rs. 5 as per the new Railway Budget.
All unmanned level crossings will be abolished in the next five years due to safety concerns.
Two double-decker trains and a Shatabdi train are among the 72 new express trains announced in the Rail Budget 2012-13.
New passenger services include escalators at major stations, alternative train accommodation for wait-listed passengers, laundry services and AC lounges.
Specially designed coaches for differently-abled persons will be provided in each Mail/Express trains, according to the Minister.
Porters listen to the Railway budget 2012-13 speech in Moradabad. Indian Railways will target 1,025 MT freight loading this year. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Centre impervious to T.N. sentiments

Strategic considerations have always prevailed over Tamil Nadu's opinion on Sri Lanka, and the latest stand of the Centre on the UN Human Rights Council resolution reflects the trend, say analysts. In guarded remarks in Parliament, senior Ministers have said India is traditionally against country-specific resolutions, indicating that it is unlikely to back a U.S.-sponsored resolution demanding accountability in the island nation. The Shastri-Sirimavo Bandaranaike pact of 1964 on repatriation of people of Indian origin, the 1974 maritime boundary agreement ceding Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in the interest of “good neighbourly relations,” and the indifference to the protests in the State demanding an end to war in 2009 and various resolutions of the State Assembly show that the Union government has remained impervious to Tamil Nadu's sentiments. South Asia expert V. Suryanarayan argues that while dealing with Tamil Nadu's role in the making of the India-Sri Lanka foreign policy during the year of one-party domination in New Delhi, the Centre had ignored the sentiments and wishes of Tamil Nadu.
He recalled that in 1964, when Lal Bahadur Shastri and Sirimavo Bandaranaike signed the pact, it was bitterly opposed by the late Kamaraj and V.K. Krishna Menon, in addition to DMK leaders. In 1974, the maritime boundary agreement that resulted in Katchatheevu falling on the Sri Lankan side was opposed by the DMK in Parliament as they were against the surrender of territory. Besides, the agreement took away the traditional fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen. Although seldom spelt out officially, India's traditional support to Sri Lanka in international forums on issues concerning human rights is seen in the light of perceived fears that the island may gravitate towards China in the emerging geo-strategic scenario.
D.S. Rajan, Director, Chennai Centre for China Studies, says India's concerns over the growing strategic influence of China in Indian Ocean is one of the factors behind the country's continuing support for Sri Lanka. “While the government of India has not so far voiced it clearly, there is a perception that China's presence in Sri Lanka, its projects such as the building of the Hambantota port, has some military potential, although Colombo has denied it,” Mr. Rajan said. Prof. Suryanarayan contends that India cannot afford to take a “cynical view,” citing the China factor, as India's foreign policy had always been guided by the principles of idealism. “We had condemned the Pol Pot regime,” he says, explaining that in the affairs of South Asian countries, there was nothing strictly “domestic.” “They are closely knit and what happens in one country will have a profound impact on another country,” he adds. He notes that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not implemented the 13 amendment and has also taken New Delhi for a ride by undoing many of the provisions and deliberately creating demographic changes by settling Sinhalese in Tamil areas.
Commenting on India's stand in Geneva, Prof. Ramu Manivannan, Head, Department of Politics and Public Administration in the University of Madras, has said in a recent paper that India might once again ignore this growing constituency of parties, leaders and people in Tamil Nadu, who remain disenchanted with India's foreign policy towards Sri Lanka. “Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has only been articulating this concern through resolutions passed in the state legislature, making a political appeal to the Indian government with regard to the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Sri Lankan government and its authorities. There is a certain sanctity to popular legislature and peoples' voice in a democracy that the government cannot ignore for long before it is too late,” says Prof. Manivannan. Tamil nationalists such as P. Nedumaran and K. Veeramani have also demanded that the Centre take a clear stand against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council. New Delhi's argument that it cannot support a country-specific resolution does not hold water, says Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam general secretary Viduthalai Rajendran. “India cannot put forth this policy premise, when the security of the people of a sovereign nation is under threat. The United Nations and the international community have the responsibility to protect (R2P, as the doctrine is referred to in global parlance) when a country fails to protect its own citizens. This was the basis for the intervention in Sudan,” he says.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Costly Blunders by Congress in UP

How the Congress made every effort to defeat itself in Uttar Pradesh?

Nov 14, 2011: Rahul Gandhi kicked off the Congress campaign with a faux pass.At a rally in Phulpur, he asked the youth how long they would go on begging for jobs in Punjab and Maharashtra. This bommeranged.

Nov 2011: Rahul Gandhi mocked the BJP's "India Shining" slogan. Not only was this an old slogan dating back to 2004 Lok Sabha elections, but the BJP was not even a key player in Uttar Pradesh. This totally confused the voters.

Dec 18, 2011: Form development, Rahul suddenly began to talk caste. At a rally for MBCs, he told the crowd that tech icon Sam Pitroda was a Vishwakarma (carpenter). This exposed Congress as being a casteist party.

Feb 06, 2012: At a press conference in Varanasi, Rahul stated that his party would not support either SP / BSP. Congress leaders such as Digvijaya Singh and Sriprakash Jaiswal raised the spectre of Governor's Rule. This only added votes to the SP kitty.

Feb 06, 2012: Robert Vadra announced his desire to contest elections. That, along with the sight of his two children on the campaign trail, perpetuated the myth of a dynastic right to rule. Congress won only two of the 10 seats from Amethi-Rae Bareli.

Deb 16, 2012: At a rally in Lucknow, Rahul Gandhi tore up apiece of paper. What he wanted to convey was anger at tall poll promises. What he did convey was disrespect for his rivals.

This is the weakest that Congress has been since Narashima Rao lost the elections in 1996. Uttar Pradesh where the Congress vote dropped by 7%, is not the only tale in town. Equally lacerating is Punjab, where Congress began to celebrate long before the votes were cast. The Akali-BJP alliance actually increased its vote: among Hindu Dalits, Hindu OBCs, Sikh OBCs and Sikh Dalits. Dr. Manomhan Singh, the first Sikh PM, has lost Punjab twice to the Akalis. (the first time could have been carelessness; the second time is punishment) Mrs. Gandhi has lost all Assembly seats in Rae Bareli, despite the continual presence of Priyanka Gandhi, internally touted as a bigger campaign star than brother Rahul Gandhi. Earlier this year Home Minister P. Chidambaram was in Tamil Nadu, and cannot be sure of re-election in his own seat. S.M. Krishna, the external affairs minister, is at a dead-end in Karnataka. A.K. Antony, the defence minister, is at a tipping edge in Kerala. 
Rahul Gandhi has blamed the party infrastructure for the UP defeat, but has he looked at the structure at the top? Not a single congress heavyweight is heavy enough to lift his own state, or even a party thereof. Congress might claim it has jailed a corrupt minister (A. Raja) but it is quite forgot to arrest its chief minister in Goa, who has been sentenced by voters to long exile. 

The defeat congress (Rahul's magic) would be big happy for the following politicians:-
  • Mamata Banerjee
  • Jayalalithaa
  • Nitish Kumar
  • Jagmohan Reddy
  • Chandrababu Naidu
  • Naveen patnaik
  • Prakash Karat
  • Nitin Gadkari
  • Mulayam Signh Yadav
  • Mayawati
  • Prakash Singh Badal
  • Om Prakash Chautala
  • M. karunanidhi

The number of politicians opposing the policies of the Congress led UPA-II is increasing daily. The big question is how the Congress is going to face them in Parliament, and also in the upcoming Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections?

India's Presidential Election 2012

What is the Status of the Presidential Election?

The Presidential elections will be held soon as the present term for President Ms. Pratibha Patil ends on July 25. None of the major national alliances has nay clear edge, and the non-aligned regional parties are set to play a crucial role in deciding who will be the country’s next constitutional head.

*      The President is elected indirectly, voting by MLAs and MPs.
*      India has 4120 MLAs 776 MPs (both RS and LS), 4896 electors to elect President
*      Each MLA and MP is assigned a certain value of their votes
*      Each MP’s vote has a value of 708. An MLA’s vote value varies from state to stae depending on the population.
*      Total value of votes of 4120 MLAs of all States is 5, 49, 474
*      Total value of voted of all 776 MPs together is 5, 49, 408
*      Total values of votes of all 776 MPs together is 5, 49, 408
*      Total value of votes of 4986 votes is 10, 98, 882

How the vote is calculated:-

The President of India is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of:-
D       the elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament and
D       the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States


Value of Votes
Value of Votes
Vote Value
(column 3+5)
Muslim League
Kerala Cong
Total values of votes: 459483; this is 30% of total votes
Value of Votes
Value of Votes
Vote Value
(column 3+5)
Shiv Sena
Total values of vote: 304785; this is 28% of total votes
Value of Votes
Value of Votes
Vote Value
(column 3+5)
JD (S)
Total Value of Votes: 263824; this is 24% of total votes

Who are in the race for the next President of India? (as of on Feb 10, 2012)

The frontrunners from the political firmament are predictable. Vice-president Hamid Ansari, PM Manmohan Singh, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar top the political list. These names have done the rounds in the last few months and it’s not difficult to see why; the next incumbent of Rashtrapati Bhavan will be swearing in the prime minister after the general election in 2014, or even earlier, and may be called upon to take tough political decisions. “It’s too early to discuss any candidate; let’s wait and see the political alignments after the assembly results,” says a Congress general secretary.
Some also says that “We shouldn’t be hung up on these religious, caste and Dalit criteria. We need a president with administrative experience, commitment to nation-building and ability for crisis management because political challenges are inevitable in the next couple of years,” he says. There could be a case for a technocrat-administrator like telecom whiz Sam Pitroda, ‘Metro man’ E. Sreedharan, legal expert Fali S. Nariman.
Others who drew in support were anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, backed by a lot of aam janata, but not by pundits; and former president Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who many remember as “a non-political hero with charisma”. But politicians, understandably, seem disinclined to experiment with a non-political person yet again.