Economics in War Time!
Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily has told the Supreme Court that he has not done any favour to Reliance Industries Ltd !
EGoM backs diluted plans of cheaper telecom spectrum price
We all know that the so called global economic order is all about US war economy and its stakes.
The economic crisis is also all about the crisis of US war economy which inflicted dollar linked strategic periphery.
Thus, it is bound to be rather wartime economics contrary to so much so hyped trickling economy devoid of whatsoever public welfare under prismic Surveillance!
We all know that the monopolistic corporate racial hegemony ruling India has transformed the public republic into a military state just because to sustain continuous flow of kickbacks all on the name of defence an internal security.It is more important than the free foreign capital becuse is sustains all the black money accounts untraced since independence.No defence scam is unearthed till this date since 1947.
US is more interested in Indian market than the infra boom boom or FDI infra raj.
That is why the prime minister of India seized within chose to address the top commanders of Army, Air Force and Navy and pressed the urgent need for putting in place "the right structures" for higher defence management and the appropriate civil-military balance in decision-making to meet "complex security" challenges facing the nation.
However,hinting at a possible cut in the country's defence budget, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the services will have to exercise prudence in acquisitions in view of the economic slowdown, stressing on the need to "cut our coat according to our cloth".
Addressing the Combined Commanders' Conference, he said the last two years have seen slow growth and the services, while taking into account the capabilities of adversaries, will have to "plan our long-term acquisition on the assumption of limited resource availability".
"For most of the past decade, we have had the benefit of average annual growth rates of 8 per cent. But the last two years have seen slow growth and we continue to face an uncertain international economic climate marked by volatile exchange rate fluctuations and the possibility of fragmenting trade regimes," the Prime Minister said.
"I have no doubt that we will overcome our current economic slowdown, but we will have to exercise prudence in our defence acquisition plans and cut our coat according to our cloth."
Terming the economic slowdown a "looming and serious challenge", he said, "We need to match our investment in military equipment and forces to our national resources."
The exercise will have to be done "with a high degree of priority and urgency", he added.
Because of the economic slowdown, the government had last year cut Rs. 14,000 crore from the defence budget.
This year, the armed forces have been allocated Rs. 2.06 lakh crore but there are possibilities of a further cut in that budget.
The armed forces have embarked on a major modernisation drive and were looking to spend Rs. 6 lakh crore on military purchases in the next five to 10 years.
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On the other hand, Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily has told the Supreme Court that he has not done any favour to Reliance Industries Ltd and allegations levelled against him by CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta are baseless and politically motivated.
"The allegation that the present Minister was inducted to do Reliance?s bidding is absolutely baseless without any substance and as a matter of fact defamatory. This baseless allegation not only defames him but also the entire process of Cabinet formation and allocation of portfolios," he said in his affidavit.
"Apart from this it is submitted that he has not done any favour to Reliance Industries Ltd. Or that no orders have been passed junking arbitration as alleged by the petitioner." he said.
He was responding to the allegation levelled by Dasgupta and an NGO Common Cause that Moily was trying to favour RIL on the KG basin dispute.
He filed the affidavit complying with the order of apex court which had issued notice to him also in addition to Centre and other parties.
"At the outset, I vehemently deny the allegations made against me and respectfully submit that the said allegations apart from being blatantly false, baseless and reckless, are politically motivated and have been with malafide intentions," he said.
"It is submitted that petitioners have arrayed this Respondent as a party in the present proceedings only to sensationalise the issue and to draw political mileage. As such the arraying of him as a party is entirely mischievous and misconceived and an attempt to derive political mileage and sensationalise the matter," the affidavit said.
Moily submitted that he was made party in the PILs only for political reasons and pleaded the court to delete his name.
"I am filing this short affidavit limited to the aspect of controverting the allegations made against me and to request and pray to this Court to delete my name from the array of parties as I am neither necessary nor proper party in the petition," he said.
6 aircraft, 37 helicopters and more on PM's $ 5 billion shopping list in US
All India | Written by Sudhi Ranjan Sen | Updated: September 26, 2013 08:39 IST
File photo: C-130J Hercules medium lift aircraft.
New Delhi: India is set to buy American defence equipment worth five billion US dollars and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who left for the United States today, is carrying a long shopping list.
Among the hardware that India is looking to purchase are six additional C-130 J Hercules Medium Lift Aircraft, 22 Apache Attack Helicopters, 15 Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters and about 140 M-777 ultra-light towed Howitzers. Contracts for all of these are expected to be signed before the current financial year is over.
The US-made Apache Attack helicopters will replace India's ageing fleet of Russian-made M-35 helicopters and will cost India about $1.4 billion.
Although the US lost the $15 billion tender for the supply of Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft or MMRC to France in 2011, it has in the last decade sold weapons systems worth $8 billion to India and is poised to edge out Russia and Israel as New Delhi's biggest defence equipment suppliers.
The US has recently proposed co-producing aircraft like the C-130 J Hercules and the number of joint military exercises that India has carried out with the US in the last 10 years too now exceeds those with traditional defence partners like Russia, UK and France.
It was perhaps this apparent closeness that provoked Victor Komaradin, who headed a Russian delegation at Aero-India 2013, to observe that "although Russia has virtually created Indian Defence industries in the 1960's and 70's, little attention is being given to the Russian contribution in building India's defence capabilities."
The big purchase order also underscores the fact that despite claiming to be a regional power, India still imports about 70 per cent of all its weapons and equipment.
According to a March 2013 report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute - an independent research body that specialises in conflict and arms sales - New Delhi replaced Beijing as the world's top arms importer accounting for 12 per cent of global arms transfers between 2008 and 2012. China accounted for about six per cent.
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India tops weapons purchase table, outspends China by Uttara Choudhury Sep 30, 2011
New York: India was the biggest buyer of conventional arms among developing nations in 2010 and had global defence giants lining up to capture $5.8 billion in new deals, said a report for the US Congress. Worldwide arms sales in 2010 totalled $40.4 billion, a drop of 38 percent from the $65.2 billion in arms deals signed in 2009 and the lowest total since 2003, the Congressional study found. Boeing-C17-Globemaster. Image courtesy Boeing India, which is growing its military muscle, was followed on a shopping spree last year by Taiwan, which sealed $2.7 billion in deals and Saudi Arabia which negotiated $2.2 billion in sales. Pakistan also received $2.2 billion worth of arms shipments, according to the report. The 75-page report found that developing countries were the heaviest buyers in 2010 and the total value of arms transfer deals with developing nations last year was $30.7 billion, or 76.2 percent of worldwide deals. The report said defence budgets in most developed countries, especially in Europe are undergoing massive cuts. In the early going of the financial crisis, defence budgets were under little pressure and indeed were often seen as part of a wider economic stimulus effort. But with the focus shifting to austerity and rebalancing books, that dynamic has changed. As a result, developing nations continued to be the primary focus of foreign arms sales. US, Russian and European suppliers made a beeline for wealthy oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and high-octane economies like India, China, and South Korea. "Worldwide weapons sales declined generally in 2010 in response to the constraints created by the tenuous state of the global economy," wrote Richard F. Grimmett, a specialist in international security at the Congressional Research Service and author of the study. "As new arms sales have become more difficult to conclude since the global recession began, competition among sellers has become increasingly intense," said Grimmett, noting that suppliers were sweetening deals with flashy incentives, flexible financing and co-production agreements. The report also listed Saudi Arabia, India and China as by far the heaviest buyers over the 2003-2010 period covered in the report. Over this eight-year period, Saudi Arabia was the developing world's top recipient of arms shipments having received some $29 billion worth of weapons, followed by India at nearly $17 billion; China at $13.2 billion; Egypt at $12.1 billion and Israel at $10.3 billion. America and Russia have been the dominant arms sellers to developing countries over the past eight years, according to the report. Moscow actually beat out Washington in the value of arms deals it inked between 2003 and 2006, only to be overtaken by Washington over the next four years. In actual arms deliveries to developing countries, however, Washington has dominated its competitors over the past eight years, with about $60 billion worth of transfers, compared to Russia's $38 billion. Britain delivered $19 billion, France $12.3 billion, China $11.6 billion, Germany $6.2 billion and Israel $3.5 billion. The report noted that India has begun to modernise its old, Soviet-era military equipment and technology and diversify its weapons supply base. "In 2008, India purchased six C130J cargo aircraft from the United States. In 2010, the United Kingdom sold India 57 Hawk jet trainers for $1 billion. In 2010, Italy also sold India 12 AW101 helicopters," it said. "This pattern of Indian arms purchases indicates that it is likely that Russia will face strong new competition from other major weapons suppliers for the India arms market, and it can no longer be assured that India will consistently purchase its major combat systems." New Delhi is aware that many of its purchases are big-ticket items so under current Indian rules, foreign companies that win orders in excess of about $62 million, must draw at least 30 percent of that order from domestic suppliers or make a similarly sized investment within India, in what is known as an offset.
Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/india-tops-weapons-purchase-table-outspends-china-96558.html?utm_source=ref_article
How Indian armed forces buy their million-dollar weapons
New Delhi: There is no business like the business of war. A war involves the use of weapons and its business is not only very dangerous, but also very rewarding. India with its hostile neighbours, large defence force and burgeoning economy provides the perfect setting for a thriving weapons platforms market.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a global think tank that tracks the defence expenditure of all the countries, India is world's largest importer of arms and bought arms worth over $50 billion in the last 10 years.
In the last five years alone the Ministry of Defence has signed almost 500 contracts worth Rs 2 lakh crore and in the next 10 years the Indian armed forces plan to import weapon systems worth over $100 billion, making the country a must on the radar of all the major weapons platform makers even as the annual defence budget of the world in 2011-12 was over $ 1,500 billion.
India is world's largest importer of arms and bought arms worth over $50 billion in the last 10 years.
The indigenous defence industrial complex in India has consistently failed to cater to the ever-increasing demand of the defence forces leaving the field open for foreign companies to peddle their latest hardware. Surrounded by hostile neighbours and also facing internal disturbances particularly in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir, the armed forces are always on the lookout for the latest weapons systems and related paraphernalia.
With the threat perception increasing day by day and technological advances taking place at the blink of an eye, the Indian defence forces have been looking at the foreign companies for the latest weapons.
This big, bad world of arms market has spawned a host of middlemen, many of them retired defence officials representing foreign companies, who try to influence the weapons systems that the Indian soldier should be armed with. Bofors scandal which broke out in 1987 and led to the rout of the then ruling Congress party under Rajiv Gandhi in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections and the Kargil Coffin scam of 1999 are just two of the more famous defence scams.
As soon as the news of the requirement of a new weapons system comes out, these brokers get active and try to influence the purchase. Since even the smallest of the defence deals run is worth several crores of rupees so the windfall for these brokers, who get huge commission to swing the contracts, is enormous. These brokers try to meet the serving defence officers and even the political leadership involved in finalising the contract to get the deal in the favour of the companies they represent.
According to the Defence Procurement Procedure - 2011 no middleman or brokers should be employed by the foreign companies to lobby for any contract. All contracts worth more than Rs 100 crore should have integrity clause whereby if there was any manipulation or deviation from the tender clauses, heavy penalty could be imposed on the offender and even the deal scrapped. The Ministry of Defence has also mandated that all weapons platforms should be bought from the manufacturer directly and not involve any marketing agency.
Most of the defence deals in India are now conducted through the Foreign Military Sale to prevent brokers from influencing the contract. But such sales are time consuming and lead to inordinate delays, cost escalation and leave the forces operating with outdated weapons systems.
The entire process to buy any hardware for the defence forces goes through a long process involving the Services Headquarters, Defence Acquisition Council, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance and Cabinet Committee on Security.
However, none of the safeguards put up by the government have deterred brokers from trying their luck, sometimes with success, in swinging the deals in favour of the companies they represent.
The entire process of procuring arms and weapons platform for the defence forces follows a long-winded process which to the civilian may appear as unnecessary, but is extremely important as it not only involves the life of the soldiers, it also deals with national security.
For any weapons systems needed by the defence forces the first process is preparing the General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR). The GSQR details the requirements of the forces and what they are looking for in a weapons platform. But the GSQR can be written or prepared in such a way that it favours a particular company or system. The unscrupulous elements can use money as well as honey traps to lure the defence officials involved in preparing the GSQR in favour of the organisation that they represent.
After the GSQR is finalised the process moves forward with the Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP). As the name suggest RFI is used to get information about the weapons. After the RFI process is completed, the RPF is put into motion and the tendering for acquiring the system begins.
The Services Headquarters decides on the operational requirements as well as the technical parameters of the system keeping in view security considerations
The companies interested in selling their armaments submit their tenders and proposals which has both the technical as well as the financial details. Here too money and/ or honey traps can be used to prepare the tender rules to favour a certain company/ weapons system.
The technical offers are then evaluated by a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) to check their compliance with the RFP. The weapons systems of all TEC cleared companies are then put through a field trial evaluation. The gruelling field evaluation takes places in several regions of the country and under different weather conditions. The entire process can take several months.
A big loophole in the field trial report is that it can be written in such a way that it favours a particular weapons platform.
Based on the field evaluation report the vendors who clear by the hurdle now face the Contract Negotiations Committee, which decides on the lowest cost bidder (L1) and concludes the contract. The rules can be changed at this stage too and former defence officials used to manipulate the entire process.
The company that wins the contract then has to give the details of the product support for time period specified in the RFP, which includes spares and maintenance tools for field and component level repairs.
After this the final proposal is sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security for clearance. But at this stage political interference and manipulation cannot be ruled out. As a result the entire process can be stalled or the contract can even be cancelled.
If the Cabinet Committee on Security clears the proposal, the contract is signed and the weapons platform inducted into the armed forces.
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U.S. aims to expand India arms trade by "billions of dollars"
BY ANDREA SHALAL-ESA
WASHINGTON Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:48am IST
An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier patrols near the fenced border with Pakistan in Suchetgarh, southwest of Jammu January 11, 2013.
(Reuters) - The United States has already made "tremendous progress" in expanding weapons sales to India since 2008, and U.S. companies could see "billions of dollars" in additional sales in coming years, a senior U.S. State Department official said Thursday.
Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said U.S. sales of military equipment to India had grown from zero in 2008 to around $8 billion, despite a decision by India to choose a French-built plane in a closely-watched fighter plane competition.
"While that fighter competition loss was disappointing, we have made tremendous progress in the defense trade relationship," he told a news briefing. "There's going to be billions of dollars more in the next couple of years."
He said a major arms trade initiative headed by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was making good progress and should lead to "an ever greater pace of additional defense trade." He gave no details on future possible arms sales.
U.S. weapons makers including Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Boeing Co (BA.N), Raytheon Co (RTN.N) and others, are keen to sale their wares to India, the world's largest arms importer, especially since U.S. military spending is now declining after a decade of sharp growth fueled by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. India plans to spend about $100 billion over the next decade upgrading its mostly Soviet-era military hardware.
Shapiro, who is due to leave the State Department at the end of this week, said he had seen news reports about delays in India's talks with France's Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) about a $15 billion purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets.
But he said the U.S. State Department had not received word from India that it planned to reopen that competition or move ahead with a separate Indian naval fighter competition.
Lockheed and Boeing were eliminated from the Indian fighter competition in April 2011.
Shapiro said the State Department was seeing continued demand for U.S. weaponry from the Middle East and Asia, but U.S. companies faced stiff competition from European weapons makers, who are also facing declining demand in their home markets.
He declined to discuss any specific arms sales, but noted that Singapore, Indonesia, and Australia had been key partners in defense trade in recent years. South Korea is also expected to announce the winner of its 60-fighter competition soon.
Shapiro said his office had dramatically increased its advocacy for U.S. weapons makers under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her successor, John Kerry, planned to continue the "economic diplomacy" initiative.
Shapiro said State Department representatives planned to attend a major air show in Paris in June, despite mandatory budget cuts required under a process known as sequestration, but said officials would have to be conservative about the number of air shows they attended.
He said sequestration-related furloughs could also slow the Pentagon's work on export license requests, which threatened to slow or reverse progress made by the State Department in accelerating work on the licenses to 17 days on average now from 40 to 60 days several years ago.
"Those processing times are likely to increase at a time when we're trying to increase our defense trade. That's not the best signal to send," Shapiro said.
(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa;editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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The Top 10 Biggest Weapon Buyers in the World
By Sammy Said | Google+ in The Biggest, Travel
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIRP) has just released an updated data about the 'Trends in International Arms Transfers'. The comparison of the ranks for the biggest exporters and importers of conventional weapons was compared between the periods of 2003-2007 and 2008-2012.
In the data for the largest arms importers in the world, the regions of Asia and Oceana has the highest percentage of volume of weapon imports accounting to 47% followed by the Middle East with 17% while Europe accounts to 15%. The Americas' volume of weapon imports is 11% and Africa with only 9%.
Although Africa has the least percentage, there were significant increases in imports by African states. Between the periods of 2003-2007 and 2008-2012, the increase is 104%. North Africa's Algeria and Morocco were the biggest buyers in the region. In the Sub-Saharan African region, Uganda and Sudan were the second and third largest importers. In West Africa, Nigeria was the largest importer of weapons.
SIRP only presented the top five largest arms importers in the word while the rest of the rankings were not given unless the country showed a substantial rise from its place in the rankings. According to an analysis, countries with the largest weapon imports mean they could not produce their own weapons due to the restrictions enforced by military treaties. In addition, the capacity to develop their own military equipment is limited except for China who is now starting to produce its own weapons and vehicle armors.
Below is the list of the top 10 weapon importers in the world. Note that ranks 7 to 9 were based on the rankings per region since SIRP only mentioned two spots, sixth and tenth, in passing.
10. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom ranked 14th on the list of the biggest weapon buyers in the world between the periods of 2008-2012 and 2003-2007. There was an 18% increase in volume of imports between these two periods. The U.S.A. is the biggest supplier of weapons to the UK accounting to 70% while only 27% to the European Union member states. Forty-one percent (41%) of these weapons are missiles. The UK is now planning to supply surplus arms to countries in Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Venezuela is the 13th biggest weapon buyer in the world and the largest importer in South America. The country has an on-going rearmament program and purchased a substantial number of weapons from Russia (66%), Spain (12%) and China (12%). Venezuela purchased BMP-3 and BTR-80 armored vehicles, S-125 Pechora-2M SAM systems, T-72 tanks and 2S23 Nona-SVK self-propelled guns from Russia.
From the 69th spot, Morocco rose to the 12th spot with an large increase in weapon imports. From 2008-2012, Morocco purchased 24 F-16C combat aircrafts from the U.S.A., 27 MF-2000 combat aircrafts from France and three SIGMA frigates from the Netherlands and 54 Type-90-2 tanks from China.
7. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the tenth biggest weapon buyer between the periods of 2008-2012. In addition, the country is also one of the world's most densely armed nations. It was predicted that the country can become one of the top five arms importers in 2013-2017. Majority of its military weapons are imported from Europe and North America. Saudi Arabia purchased 48 Typhoon combat aircrafts from the UK and 152 F-15SA from the U.S. Its armored vehicles come from Canada, France and the U.S.A. Meanwhile, Germany's sale of armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia was controversial because the weapons could be used in internal violence.
Between the periods of 2003-2007 and 2008-2012, Algeria's increase in arms imports increased by 277% placing from 22nd to 6th. Ninety-three percent of its arms imports come from Russia delivering weapons such as 44 Su-30MKA combat aircrafts, 2 Project-636 submarines, S-300PMU-2 long-range surface-to-air missile systems and 185-T90S tanks. In addition to these Russian weapons, Algeria also purchased 2 MEKO-A200 frigates from Germany and 3 F-22A frigates from China.
Singapore became the fifth largest weapons buyer between the periods of 2008-2012 accounting for 4% of global arms imports. Singapore's population is just 5.1 million and because of the tension in the South China Sea, the country is prioritizing its weapon defense system. Forty-three percent (43%) of its weapons were bought from the United States. Singapore's Ministry of Defense received one of the biggest budgets in the government department where 6% of the country's gross domestic product is allocated on defense.
4. South Korea
South Korea accounted for 5% of global arms imports between 2008 and 2012. However, their orders don't include nuclear and chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. The country's biggest imports come from the United States (77%), Germany (15%) and France (5%).
India's neighbor, Pakistan, is the third biggest arms importer ordering a substantial number of combat aircrafts such as 50 JF-17s from China and 30 F-16s. The country remains to be the largest buyer of Chinese weapons. It has large planned orders in China for combat aircrafts, submarines and frigates. The United States' import share is 27% while Sweden accounts to 5%.
From 2003-2007, China was the biggest weapon buyer in the world until its import fell by 47% and placed second only to India in 2008-2012.The communist country procured several new locally produced weapon systems such as the first Chinese aircraft carrier and the Chinese mass-produced combat aircrafts J10 and J11. The production of its own weapon systems only shows that China is decreasing its dependence on arms imports. Yet in 2012, China imported 55 Mi-17 transport helicopters from Russia.
India tops the list for the biggest weapon buyer in the world. Between 2008- 2012, the country's arm imports were 109% higher than China. There was 59% increase in arm imports from 2008-2012 than in 2003-2007. India has improved its long-range military capabilities with the import of over 100 Russian Su-30MKI combat aircraft, 3 A-50EhI airborne early warning craft, Russian Akula nuclear-powered submarine and the first of 8 American P-8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
At market price, Indian economy to grow 3.4% this fiscal
Meanwhile,Indian economy is expected to improve marginally in the current financial year with its GDP at market price projected to expand by 3.4% from 3.3% in the previous fiscal, think tank OECD said on Tuesday.
The country's economic activity is expected to recover gradually as "rupee depreciation supports exports, infrastructure projects cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Investment come on stream and political uncertainty declines after the general election due in the spring 2014", OECD said.
Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a grouping of mostly developed nations, has pegged India's GDP growth at market price to be 5.1% in 2014-15 period and further rise to 5.7% in 2015-16 fiscal.
India calculates GDP at constant price which grew at 5% in 2012-13 fiscal, the lowest in a decade. In the current financial year ending March 2014, finance minister P Chidambaram expects economy to grow by 5-5.5%.
According to OECD, rupee depreciation is putting pressures on inflation, public finances, corporates and banks with high external debt exposure.
"Supply constraints will continue to restrain growth, adding to inflationary pressures and the current account deficit," it added.
Meanwhile, OECD welcomed India's new monetary policy framework that puts more weight on inflation as a policy anchor.
However, it said that containing inflation pressures also requires reducing the fiscal deficit and dealing with supply constraints that limit growth.
"The new land acquisition law may promote investment, but the new food act will be fiscally costly.
"Priority should now be given to cutting energy subsidies, better targeting household transfers, implementing pending tax reforms, improving infrastructure and reforming the labour market," it said.
OECD projects world economy to grow 2.7% this year before accelerating to 3.6% in 2014.
"The pace of the global recovery is weaker than forecast last May, largely as a result of the worsened outlook for some emerging economies," it said.
According to the grouping, the global economy is expected to continue expanding at a moderate pace over the coming two years but cautioned that policymakers need to ensure growth is not derailed due to instability in financial markets and underlying fragility in some major economies.
"The recovery is real, but at a slow speed, and there may be turbulence on the horizon," OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria said.
Govt pulling all stops to woo foreign investors
Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times New Delhi, November 17, 2013
First Published: 23:12 IST(17/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:57 IST(18/11/2013)
The government is clearly making all out efforts to woo back global investors into the country's energy sector and drive India's growth story.
Government officials said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has taken the lead. Detailed parleys are being held at the highest level to woo foreign investors through road shows and detailed presentations are being given on India's growth story and on some of the big ticket investment projects in the energy sector.
Personal invitations are being extended to top ministers across the world to visit India along with their business community. Bilateral communications are also being made with cash-rich Gulf nations to attract investments from their sovereign wealth funds into India's infrastructure projects.
At a recent inter-ministerial meeting at the PMO, it was decided that a portfolio of investment proposals should be sent to Gulf countries including Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Officials said a bouquet of concrete investment proposals, including PSU disinvestment, infrastructure funds and big ticket energy and infrastructure projects are being offered.
Minister for petroleum and natural gas M Veerappa Moily has also been holding talks with top ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf nations, apart from energy-rich Latin American nations such as Venezuela, and various African nations.
Moily told HT that while he agrees that policy uncertainty can deter investors, much can still be done to rope in investors.
"The oil and gas sector in India welcomes the world with open arms. Equally, we stand ready to do our share for the promotion of the global oil economy... this calls for mutual interdependence through mutual investments in each other's countries by oil producer and consumer nations of the world," said a note prepared by the petroleum ministry for Moily's meet with the top hierarchy of some Gulf nations.
The power ministry recently held road shows in Singapore. It also held talks with ambassadors and senior diplomats from 12 countries — Germany, France, the UK, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Australia, Israel, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden — in the Capital to invite participation in two big ticket power projects worth Rs. 50,000 crore in Tamil Nadu and Odisha.
Moreover, investors who have announced they are pulling out from India are being wooed to reconsider. For instance, BHP Billiton, which walked out of nine oil and gas blocks in the country, got a letter from the petroleum ministry requesting top officials to come to India so that pending issues could be sorted out.
Gold demand falls, prices may cross Rs. 33,000Gold prices are likely to cross Rs. 33,000 per 10 grams in the run-up to Diwali, though demand is expected to remain muted because of high prices and limited supply.
Will RBI hike rates tomorrow?Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan is expected to hike the repo rate, the rate of interest at which it lends to banks, by 0.25 percentage points again in the quarterly credit policy on Tuesday, which may send up your EMIs (equated monthly installments).
World Bank, IMF GDP outlook too low: RangarajanIndia's growth rate is expected to be between 5 and 5.5%, C Rangarajan, chairman of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), said on Thursday.
Co-op banks often used for money-laundering, says ChidambaramAdmitting that urban cooperative banks (UCBs) are being regularly misused for money laundering, Union finance minister P Chidambaram has advocated strong restrictions including cancelling of bank license of errant banks. Such violations by UCBs are serious considering their immense penetration across the country.
Bringing gold under savings head to ease deficit burdenA little tweak in the accounting method for India's gold and gold jewellery that is currently "unproductive" for the economy could project India's fiscal health in much better light.
This Diwali, bet on the economyWhere should you invest your money this Diwali? Experts say equities remain the best bet despite the recent volatility.
Current Account Deficit to fall below 3.8% this fiscal: Montek
CAD is likely to be lower than the projection of the GDP and India will be in a better position to neutralise the impact of the tapering of monetary stimulus by the US Fed, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said.
India-China body sets up eight committees to promote tradeThe India China Trade Centre (ICTC) has decided to set up eight committees to help promote bilateral trade in areas including auto components, automobiles, film and media.
Google share crosses $1,000, powered by Q3 profitThe shares of Internet giant Google crossed the $1,000 mark for the first time ever on Friday in opening trade on Nasdaq, a day after it reported a 36% spurt in net profit in the July-September quarter.
BP's Dudley meets FM, Moily over gas worriesBob Dudley, the chief executive of global oil major BP, on Friday met senior economic ministers of the UPA government including finance minister P Chidambaram and petroleum and natural gas minister Veerappa Moily.
Rupee looks up but not out of the woods yetThe rupee's brief flirtation with sub-61 to a dollar level yesterday rekindled the debate about whether the worst was over for the Indian currency.
Chidambaram seeks higher dividend from PSUs this yearSeeking to keep India's fiscal deficit within the budgetary target of 4.8%, finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday told the heads of cash rich public sector companies that the government will not accept less dividend than what was paid by them in the last financial year.
China's third-quarter GDP grows 7.8%: governmentChina's gross domestic product expanded 7.8% year-on-year in July-September, the Chinese government said on Friday, snapping two quarters of slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.
PM for upgrading capabilities of armed forces
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday pressed the urgent need for putting in place "the right structures" for higher defence management and the appropriate civil-military balance in decision-making to meet "complex security" challenges facing the nation.
Addressing top commanders of Army, Air Force and Navy here, he cited the situation in the immediate neighbourhood and uncertainty due to the shift of eco-military balance to this region as the challenges posed to the country.
In his address, he underlined the need for upgrading the capabilities of the armed forces for which he favoured involvement of the private sector.
The Prime Minister also appeared to be on an exercise to control damage caused by the tussle between the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh and the government last year as he asserted "clearly and unequivocally" that the political leadership of India has the highest faith in its military and its institutional rectitude within the democratic framework.
"In the weeks and months ahead, our security challenges will remain complex but our resolve too must remain steadfast. I am confident that our armed forces will discharge their collective responsibility towards flag and country with the zeal and passion that has become their byword," he said.
The Prime Minister said there is "urgent and tangible progress in establishing the right structures for higher defence management and the appropriate civil-military balance in decision making that our complex security demands.
"I encourage you to give this the highest professional consideration, harmonise existing differences among the individual services and evolve a blue-print for the future. I can assure you of the most careful consideration of your recommendations by the political leadership," he said.
Referring to the global environment, Singh said shifting of economic pendulum inexorably from west to east was being exemplified by the increasing contestation in the seas to our east and the related "pivot" or "rebalancing" by the US in the area.
"This, to my mind, is a development fraught with uncertainty. We don't yet know whether these economic and strategic transitions will be peaceful, but that is the challenge this audience must grapple with institutionally," the Prime Minister said.
Singh said globalisation has "nurtured intense competition and rivalries in the security domain and managing this contradictory tenor, which has been highlighted by the global surveillance operation mounted by the US National Security Agency, is also a policy imperative for us."
He said "our objective must be to acquire tangible national capacity, or what the lexicon now refers to as comprehensive national power. This is the amalgam of economic, technological and industrial prowess, buttressed by the appropriate military sinews."
On the situation in the neighbourhood, Singh said, "There is no doubt that we will continue to confront formidable challenges."
"Further afield, the continuing turmoil in West Asia could not only imperil our energy security and the livelihood and safety of seven million Indians, but also become a crucible for radicalism, terrorism, arms proliferation and sectarian conflict that could touch our shores too," he said.
He said the Asia Pacific region is critical for the country "because it is becoming the arena for shaping the behavior of major powers."
Urging the top defence brass to monitor these specific developments, the Prime Minister said, "Our strategic horizons should also include the need to protect our global seaborne trade in goods, energy and minerals, the well-being of Indian expatriate communities worldwide and the growing global footprint of Indian capital."
"As our capabilities grow, we will increasingly be called upon to help in natural disasters or zones of conflict and instability," he said.
Prime Minister addresses Combined Commanders' Conference: Full speech
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed top commanders of Army, Air Force and Navy on Friday and cited the situation in the immediate neighbourhood and uncertainty due to the shift of eco-military balance to this region as the challenges posed to the country.
He also pressed the urgent need for putting in place "the right structures" for higher defence management and the appropriate civil-military balance in decision-making to meet "complex security" challenges facing the nation.
Excerpts from his speech at the Combined Commanders' Conference:
It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to speak once again to this gathering of the senior-most leadership of our Armed Forces. Our men and women in uniform function in an exceedingly complex and difficult security environment, but they have always faced the challenge with exemplary professionalism, valour and commitment. As their leaders, you have played a critical role in building the confidence and pride that our forces inspire in our nation. I therefore thank each and every one of you for your services.
Let me at the outset pay solemn tribute to those who have in the past year laid down their lives in the service of our country. We remember with particular pain and sadness our sailors who perished in the submarine accident in Mumbai and our soldiers who died defending our borders and combating terrorism. We also recall our pilots and airmen, who sacrificed themselves to rescue precious lives in Uttarakhand. We owe a profound debt of gratitude to them. Equally, we remember many others whose stories did not become public but who were claimed by the daily risks of soldiering in inhospitable and hostile environments. They too served our country and served it well.
Friends, I do not intend my address today to be a rendition of our achievements in the arena of defence in this past year. You are already aware of those and know the subject much better. Instead, I wish to focus on the environment around us and what I think we need to do to ensure that our armed forces are fully enabled to handle it. Let me outline a few general points that come to mind before dealing with the unique security challenges that confront us in our neighbourhood.
Firstly, if you survey the global strategic environment over the past decade, it would not escape your notice that, just as the economic pendulum is shifting inexorably from west to east, so is the strategic focus, as exemplified by the increasing contestation in the seas to our east and the related "pivot" or "rebalancing" by the US in this area. This, to my mind, is a development fraught with uncertainty. We don't yet know whether these economic and strategic transitions will be peaceful, but that is the challenge this audience must grapple with institutionally.
Secondly, and evidently, globalization is a phenomenon that we have to deal with in every domain. But this in itself is not a new or a post- Cold War phenomenon. We only need recall Pliny and the Roman Empire and the bemoaning of the fact that the coffers of imperial Rome were being emptied to import silk and spice from the east. What is new today is the pace and texture of globalization driven by technology, including the ubiquitous Internet.
While globalization has induced growing and complex inter-dependencies among states and multinationals on the economic and trade front, it has also nurtured intense competition and rivalries in the security domain. Managing this contradictory tenor, which has been highlighted by the global surveillance operation mounted by the US National Security Agency, is also a policy imperative for us. Naturally, our objective must be to acquire tangible national capacity, or what the lexicon now refers to as comprehensive national power. This is the amalgam of economic, technological and industrial prowess, buttressed by the appropriate military sinews.
Thirdly, the first six decades after independence have seen the country facing many challenges to its territorial integrity and sovereignty. And the nation and its military have risen to the occasion every time. Fittingly, the people acknowledge the Indian military for its patriotism and professionalism. But what is the way ahead for the Indian military? We are committed to the path of peace but the military must be able to protect Indian interests if they are threatened or challenged. Thus, creating a military that is driven by abiding interests, as opposed to the transient threat, is the driving principle.
Coming to the situation in our neighbourhood, there is no doubt that we will continue to confront formidable challenges. Further afield, the continuing turmoil in West Asia could not only imperil our energy security and the livelihood and safety of seven million Indians, but also become a crucible for radicalism, terrorism, arms proliferation and sectarian conflict that could touch our shores too. The Asia Pacific region, with which our relations are intensifying in every domain, is equally critical, not least because it is becoming the arena for shaping the behavior of major powers.
Our higher defence organization should pay close attention to these specific developments. In addition, our strategic horizons should also include the need to protect our global seaborne trade in goods, energy and minerals, the well-being of Indian expatriate communities worldwide and the growing global footprint of Indian capital. As our capabilities grow, we will increasingly be called upon to help in natural disasters or zones of conflict and instability.
How to deal with these multiple questions is the task before you. Allow me to share with you some of my thoughts on what we need to do internally and make a few brief points.
I urge the Defence Ministry and the armed forces, as also the DRDO, to build on this experience and urgently review the different Task Force reports that our government has initiated with a view to achieving a higher index of indigenous capability in military inventory production. For too long, we have debated the merits of private versus public sector. It would be more useful to think in terms of aggregate national capacity that harnesses the full power of our public sector, private enterprises, research laboratories and universities to create an innovative and efficient indigenous base for production, research and development. We must also take advantage of a favourable international environment to build a domestic defence industrial base.
We require urgent and tangible progress in establishing the right structures for higher defence management and the appropriate civil-military balance in decision making that our complex security environment demands. Again, I encourage you to give this the highest professional consideration, harmonize existing differences among the individual services and evolve a blue-print for the future. I can assure you of the most careful consideration of your recommendations by the political leadership.
The two issues that I have just raised are also relevant to a looming and a serious challenge before us. We need to match our investment in military equipment and forces to our national resources. During most of the past decade, we have had the benefit of average annual growth rates of 8%. But the last two years have seen slow growth and we continue to face an uncertain international economic climate marked by volatile exchange rate fluctuations and the possibility of fragmenting trade regimes. I have no doubt that we will overcome our current economic slowdown, but we will have to exercise prudence in our defence acquisition plans and cut our coat according to our cloth. While we must take into account the capabilities of our adversaries, we have to plan our long term acquisition on the assumption of limited resource availability. This is an exercise that has to be done with a high degree of priority and urgency.
People are at the heart of our armed forces and it is the distinctive value system of the military that provides cohesion to its human resource. The globalization I referred to earlier and the rising levels of individual aspirations have had a significant impact on our people. The military is no exception. As the senior leadership, you are responsible for the lives and welfare of your men and women in uniform. As commanders, you also have to introspect over fidelity to inviolable principles and set an example. Where the institution has frayed, remedial policy initiatives are imperative and I urge you to heed the old adage that the management of human resources is of the highest importance to any military. The Indian military has an illustrious pedigree and there can be nobody who knows better than you how best to burnish it.
There have been concerns that have been raised in recent times about the nature of civil-military relations in our country. Let me assert, clearly and unequivocally, that the political leadership of India has the highest faith in its military and its institutional rectitude within the democratic framework. The apolitical nature of our military and its proven professionalism are the envy of the world and have also nurtured the Indian democratic experience. Our democracy and institutions have proven their ability to deal with any issues or doubts that may arise.
Friends, I know you will agree with me that the real strength of our country will come from an overriding sense of national purpose. We need to return our economy to the high growth path. We need to develop our industrial and manufacturing base. We need to unleash the power of innovation in India, so that we can find new solutions to our pressing challenges. We also need to make our economic development socially and economically more inclusive, regionally balanced and environmentally sustainable. Above all, we need to strengthen the values that define us - democracy, rule of law, individual liberties, social and religious harmony and commitment to global peace.
I know that our armed forces live by this creed and serve as an example to the rest of the world. They embody formidable strength, but wield it with maturity and responsibility. They are prepared for the toughest missions, but are committed to the cause of peace. They brave storms, extreme cold and searing heat to guard our nation, so that India can pursue its dreams. In the weeks and months ahead, our security challenges will remain complex but our resolve too must remain steadfast. I am confident that our armed forces will discharge their collective responsibility towards flag and country with the zeal and passion that has become their byword. I wish you all success in all your endeavours.
Thank you. Jai Hind.
No room for hatred, as winter session is UPA's last chance
November 21, 2013
he continued human suffering and cynical engineering of social ruptures in Muzaffarnagar is another reminder of the imperative for a law to prevent further communal violence. This statute was promised by the UPA government when it assumed power in 2004. But so far it has been unable to muster
the political courage to steer it through Parliament.
This winter session will be its last chance to redeem its pledge to its people for defending India's secular democratic fabric.
This same winter, 20,000 people will be forced to subsist in makeshift camps in Muzaffarnagar: refugees from hate, exiled from their homelands for the crime of their religious identity. Electoral politics divide people and social fractures harden through hate, fear, violent intimidation and organised boycott.
Muslim residents emptied out of more than a hundred villages in the aftermath of September's violent attacks spurred by angry claims — later proved false — that a Muslim boy was stalking a Jat girl. But when people tried to return to their villages, they faced blockades to employment in the Jat landlords' fields, and some were attacked and killed.
Apart from farm labour, the main livelihood of impoverished Muslims of the region is 'pheri' — selling clothes from house to house — but as they try to recommence this, again they hit both boycott and threats. Their despair is compounded because hardly any arrests have been made despite more than 400 police complaints of murder, armed robbery and arson. Women speak in hushed voices about gang rapes. The few times the police enter a village for arrests, women block their paths and the police return empty-handed.
In many riots I have seen in the past, the surge of hate violence was almost always followed shortly after by elders and women of both communities reaching out to each other, by which some social healing and reconciliation would set in. Gujarat, Assam and now Muzaffarnagar represent a new dangerous phase in communal relations in India, in which hatred is actively fostered not just in the heat of the actual violence but equally in its aftermath.
Survivors are actively blocked from rebuilding their livelihoods through systematically organised social and economic boycott, and are discouraged from returning to their homes.
Through such social hate strategies, in Gujarat today many villages have been 'cleansed' of their erstwhile Muslim populations. Muslim ghettoes like Juhapara have grown from one and a half to four lakh, swollen with refugees from violence. People in Gujarat speak of 'borders' between Hindu and Muslim settlements, each almost fully segregated from the other. This threatens to be the new reality in Lower Assam, and now Muzaffarnagar.
There were no riots in the Muzaffarnagar countryside during Partition or the Babri demolition, but today it is being divided on communal lines, perhaps permanently. If communal organisations succeed in preventing mixed settlements of Hindus and Muslims, new generations will grow up knowing little about each other, with no bonds of understanding and friendship. This will be the beginning of the end of the idea of pluralist and tolerant India.
To effectively prevent identity-based targeted hate violence in India, the central pillar of the communal violence Bill must be passed to make state administrations legally accountable to prevent communal violence, and to control it effectively and in the shortest possible time.
Current laws fully empower governments to prevent and control hate violence: prosecuting those indulging in hate propaganda, the use of force and calling in the army. If state administrations wish to control even the largest outbreak of communal violence, they can do so in a matter of hours, not even days.
The problem is their deliberate failures to use the law to prevent such violence, and the permanent scars that such bloodshed leaves on communities that otherwise live together peacefully. The law must, therefore, create a new crime — 'dereliction of duty by public officials', which makes it a crime if they act — or deliberately do not act — in ways which allows or fosters communal violence.
'Command responsibility' makes not just the officer on the spot but the level from which commands emerged to not control hate violence criminally liable. If such a law was in place we would not have witnessed the criminal abdication of duty by officers to prevent communal carnages such as in 1984 in Delhi, 1992-93 in Bombay, 2002 in Gujarat and 2013 in Muzaffarnagar.
Other critical pillars of the proposed law are protecting victims' rights to justice, and mandatory standards of relief and rehabilitation in the aftermath of communal violence. The importance of these is highlighted when we observe even an administration such as that currently in power in Uttar Pradesh which claims to be secular, failing to establish and run relief camps, provide effective support to rebuild destroyed livelihoods and homes, or to facilitate legal justice to the survivors.
The version of the Bill prepared by the National Advisory Council, with which I was closely associated, contains all these essential features. It has been attacked on two main grounds. The first is that it is the claim that it offers protection only to minorities, and second, that it compromises with the federal structure by creating a national authority with powers over states.
I contest both these claims, but these are not essential to the architecture of the law and can be given up to build consensus. The law can be made to apply to all, both minority and majority, and instead of a national authority, powers of oversight and advice to states can be given to the National Human Rights Commission, which already defends human rights without invading state autonomy.
There is just a small window before the general elections, in which everyone from the right to the Left of the political spectrum needs to come together, to rapidly build consensus on a law that makes state administrations legally accountable to prevent and control communal violence, and ensure survivors' rights to reparation and justice.
India cannot afford the recurrence of the hate, suffering and social fractures of Muzaffarnagar yet again.
Harsh Mander is Director, Centre for Equity Studies
The views expressed by the author are personal
Dalits Media Watch
News Updates 22.11.13
Sexual harassment: Demand to oust TTS principal- The New Indian Express
Scholarships delayed: SC/ST students' education gloomy- Deccan Herald
Tardy implementation of SC/ST Sub-Plans Act decried- The Hindu
'Hand over condition-free title deals to Adivasis'- The Hindu
Dalit right to exploit resources can't be defended: Sociologist - The Economic Times
The New Indian Express
Sexual harassment: Demand to oust TTS principal
Members of the Dalit Liberation Movement of Tamil Nadu held a demonstration in Chennai on Thursday, demanding the ouster of the principal of the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary (TTS) in Madurai. The principal has been accused of sexual harassment and favouritism and the issue has been running for two years.
The demonstrators also protested against the role of Devasahayam, the bishop of CSI's powerful Madras Diocese, who is also the chairman of the TTS.
S Karuppiah, general secretary, Dalit Liberation Movement, said his organisation had been struggling against the bishop to have the principal removed.
Scholarships delayed: SC/ST students' education gloomy
Uncertainty looms over the further education of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students of Mandya district, as they are yet to receive scholarships.
The SC/ST students, who pursued higher education depending on government scholarships, are in a dilemma as they have not got their scholarship for even last year.
They are running from pillar to post to find out the status of their scholarship for the year 2012-13. A majority of them, who are from economically weaker families, have no other option, but to discontinue studies.
The State government is yet to release Rs 2.78 crore worth scholarships to be disbursed among students of the district studying PUC, ITI, Degree, BEd, MA, MSc, Engineering and Medical courses. Medical and Engineering students in hostels are paid Rs 1,200, while it is Rs 500 for those studying as day-scholars.
Similarly, BEd, MA and MSc students are paid Rs 820 and Rs 530 respectively. Degree students get Rs 520 and Rs 300; ITIs are paid Rs 380 and Rs 230, every month.
The State government recently released Rs 1.48 crore for the district, including Rs 1,12,79,000 for Mandya taluk, Rs 9.76 lakh for K R Pet taluk and Rs 25.65 lakh for Nagamangala taluk. Funds worth Rs 1.30 crore, earmarked for Malavalli, Maddur, Srirangapatna and Pandavapura taluks, are yet to be released.
A Social Welfare department official said, Rs 1.48 crore has been forwarded to the respective taluks and the money will be credited to the accounts of the students within a week. "The remaining funds too will be credited as soon as the government releases the funds," he added.
The delay in issuance of scholarship has demoralised the students, who complain that they face a bleak future. Ashok, a BA student, said, he joined the college only with a hope of getting scholarship as his family is poor. "I would be forced to discontinue college if the scholarship is delayed further," he added.
Tardy implementation of SC/ST Sub-Plans Act decried
The fruits of SC/ST sub-plans Act have not reached the intended sections of people due to tardy implementation of the act, CDS State Director M.Anjaneyulu said.
Though Rs 8,835 crore was alloted for uplift of SCs, sanction orders were given only for works worth Rs 4,745 crore and the amount actually spent was only Rs 2,519 crore in the last seven months, he maintained at a press conference here.
He said similarly, while the allocation was made for Rs 3,818 crore for STs, sanctions were given for works worth Rs 1,848 crore during the period. However, the actual amount spent was only Rs 1,024 crore.
'Hand over condition-free title deals to Adivasis'
The Assembly sub-committee for the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has sought steps to handover condition-free title deeds to the Adivasis as their demand is justifiable.
At its sitting in the Devikulam panchayat hall auditorium on Thursday, the committee recommended a joint verification by the Forest and Revenue officials of the complaints received in connection with the condition-free title deeds.
The committee comprising chairman V.P. Sajjeevan and other members received numerous complaints. The committee said it favoured issuance of condition-free title deeds to the tribal people who could not receive them in Devikulam taluk.
The committee also ordered a study of the reasons for the lack of road and drinking water facilities in ST and SC colonies. The committee also ordered an inquiry into a complaint that a road through the forest was removed by using earth movers. The committee said roads fund of the colonies had to be utilised after a joint verification by the revenue and forest departments. The committee chairman said the undeserving should not be allowed to receive the benefits given to people of scheduled categories. Steps had to be taken to verify such applications, he said.
The committee also gave directions to complete the handing over of title deeds to those who have been resettled from Mathikettan shola to Pallivasal.
The committee also reviewed the functioning of pre-metric hostels.
The committee said it would visit the pre-metric hostels in Munnar and Marayur and the SC/ST colonies there. MLAs A.P. Abdullakurtty, I.C. Balakrishnan, Puruisjhan Kadalundi and K.V. Vijayadas also participated.
The Economic Times
Dalit right to exploit resources can't be defended: Sociologist
CHENNAI: Environmentalists are now facing a challenge from a very unusual quarter —a section of dalits , who are demanding a right to exploit natural resources to strengthen their position as capitalists, says noted sociologist Gopal NarayanGuru.
"The recent demand made by members of the self-proclaimed Dalit Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) to exploit natural resources to strengthen their position as capitalists cannot be defended either on the ground of blanket claim to fight social exclusion or on the grounds of ethical relativism, which would justify dalit right to exploitation just like others,"Gurusaidduring theMalcolm Adiseshiah Memorial Lecture attheAsian Collegeof Journalism .Guru receivedthe Malcolm Adiseshiah Award this year .
Such a demand would add to the skepticism of environmentalists critical of dalits for undermining the need for conservation of environment, he said . At the same time, theorists propagating inter-generational justice might find DICCI 's demand "deeply problematic" as protection of natural resourcesisimportant for future generations,he said .
Such a line of argument has the potential to divide the Dalit community into capitalists and common dalits, said Guru,whoteaches attheJ awaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.Dalitsdonning a capitalist roleisinherently contradictory as the exploited will turn theexploiter,hesaid.
"According to such dalits, exploitation of natural resources is a necessary condition to become a capitalist," said Guru. Such a viewpoint thatthey have an equal rightto become capitalists like others, whoexercisedtheopportunity, ironically blursthedistinction between Dalits and capitalists, he said. "In the age of globalisation, dalits do suffer from a self-defeating dystopia reflected in wanting to become capitalists even by exploitation of natural resources."
The award and the lecture areinstitutedin memory offormer Unesco official and ex-VC of University of Madras Malcolm Adiseshiah.
News Monitor by Girish Pant
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Peoples Media Advocacy & Resource Centre- PMARC has been initiated with the support from group of senior journalists, social activists, academics and intellectuals from Dalit and civil society to advocate and facilitate Dalits issues in the mainstream media. To create proper & adequate space with the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media national/ International on Dalit issues is primary objective of the PMARC.
For Immediate Release 5:30 p.m. | 22nd November, 2013
Modi's political silence in Badwani, M. P.
Exposes fake claims of 'free power' and 'full rehabilitation'
Mr. Narendra Modi, for the first time, in his political career, held a public meeting at Badwani, in the electoral campaign for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. Badwani, being the centre of the Narmada Bachao Andolan since the last 28 years and Mr. Modi having taken up the issue of Sardar Sarovar Dam, as a campaign from Gujarat to Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the entire country waited to watch what Mr. Modi would say or would not ! Thousands of adivasis, farmers, labourers, fish workers and others from the valley were also watching and waiting to know what statement he would make by raising a forum in the valley itself. They were also ready to stand up and react to anything that Modi was expected to state on Sardar Sarovar Dam, at the cost of their rights and life. Mr. Modi however did not give them this opportunity as he showed no courage to repeat the lies at the valley he uttered at Bhopal or at the Sardar Patel statue inauguration at Kevadia. Thus, all his lies of free power and full rehabilitation were proved to be as fake, since he did not display the guts to repeat his lies ! He was speechless on the issue on the issue of Narmada, he only vaguely referred to 'development' with no ideological content as usual and trying to blame 'unknown forces' for stalling the same. While the people certainly missed an opportunity to question him, as he flew away within half an hour, the situation brings forth that the real people's power matters much more than the Modi-political power. The non-violent, non-electoral politics of social movements too can make a difference, we assert.
It was during his public meetings first in Pune and then at Bhopal that he had very confidently claimed that these two states would receive 400 MW and 800 MW of 'free power' from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. NBA had promptly challenged this falsehood and the claim that the UPA Government was not permitting the dam height to be raised, stalling the progress of the state of Madhya Pradesh and that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra is proving to be week by not giving consent to further construction, till rehabilitation. Modi also did not answer any questions that the NBA raised on the eve of his meeting. His false promise of lighting up the whole of Madhya Pradesh if the dam could be raised from 110 to 100 mts, voiced in 2005 from a similar public meeting at Anjad, a township adjacent to the submergence area obviously stood exposed.
Without any facts and figures, he was making such baseless claims only to promote his party with an eye on the vote bank, not only in Madhya Pradesh for the upcoming elections, but also the 2014 elections and his prime ministerial candidature. Even the congress as an opposition party in the state, with only Mr. Harish Rawat as an exception, could not exhibit its strength and courage to challenge Mr. Modi on the issue of Narmada, with huge scale of displacement of thousands of families due to not just Sardar Sarovar, but tens of other dams in the alley, affecting lakhs of adivasi, farmers and others, inspite of there being a solid vote bank, the task fell upon the NBA.
NBA, following its unique way of intervening into electoral politics adopted since 1990, in the Sardar Sarovar affected region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, organized mass Lok Manch inviting the candidates at two places at Badwani and Dharampuri, covering 5 electoral constituencies. Most of the candidates belonging to the Congress, BJP (Kukshi) CPI, NCP, Independents had turned up in Badwani, while both the mainstream parties, BJP and Congress avoided the programme in Dharampuri. The voter-citizens and the long term agitators are obviously upset with those who did not turn up and are also knowledgeable of the push and pull applied to the Sardar Sarovar Dam without any sensitivity and concern for the displaced, for the nature. It was therefore, obviously known to the parties that their votes are going to affected and decided by their opposition or negligence to the people's struggle on their rights. Will Modi ever be ready for an open debate on what is true development? NBA appeals to all political parties to come forward and hold an ideological debate with the people's movements, rather than showing lollipops of smart phones to washing machines and laptops.
Saavabehan Devram Kanera Kailash Awasya Medha Patkar
DoT doubles penalty for radiation rule violation to Rs.10 lakh
The Department of Telecom has doubled penalty provision to Rs. 10 lakh on companies whose mobile towers will be found violating radiation emission levels.
At the same time the department slashed upper penalty limit in the case of paper work related issues, mainly late submissions of certificates on complying with norms for setting up mobile towers, by 90%.
"In case of
non-compliance of actual EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation norms, a penalty of Rs. 10 lakh per base transceiver stations (BTS) per incidence shall be imposed," a DoT circular issued on November 20 said.
Earlier the maximum penalty for any violation related to radiation rules was Rs.
Under the new penalty slabs, a maximum of Rs. 50,000 fine will be imposed for delays in submission of the 'self-certified' documents on norms, especially those pertaining to radiation emission.
Even in paper related issues, DoT had earlier imposed a maximum penalty of Rs. 5 lakh even for minor issues.
As per industry estimates, DoT has levied penalty of Rs. 1,900 crore as on middle of 2013, for violation of rules related to mobile towers and of the total only 1.2%related to violation of radiation level. About 64 % of this was document related to issues.
According to the new penalty slabs, telecom companies will have to submit compliance certificate within 15 days of switching on a mobile tower.
In case a company fails to abide by the deadline, it will have to pay Rs. 5,000, Rs. 20,000 for 15-30 days and Rs.50,000 for delay up to 60 days. The tower will have to be shut down in case the company fails to submit the certificate after the two-month period.
Similar, a penalty slab had been proposed for late submission of self-certificates in case of upgradation of mobile towers.
Under the new rules proposed, telecom operators may be asked to submit self-certificate for all installed mobile towers by March 2015.
The DoT has given time till December 31, 2013 for re-submission of self certificate as per new norms by those companies who have already submitted their documents.
In case of failure to adhere to deadline, a penalty of Rs. 5,000 may be imposed on telecom companies if the delay is up to 30 days, Rs. 20,000 for delay between 30 to 60 days and Rs. 50,000 for delay up to 90 days. The companies will have to shut down their mobile tower if they fail to submit self-certificate of compliance within 90 days.
Telecom minister Kapil Sibal in a meeting a few months ago had asked DoT to relax penalties for paper submission related issues but increase penalty if companies violate radiation levels.
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