Flood assessed

Flood assessed The Central team led by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Joint Secretary Prakash who have been assessing the State’s flood situation visited flood affected areas of Bishnupur district…

The post Flood assessed appeared first on The Sangai Express.

Flood assessed The Central team led by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Joint Secretary Prakash who have been assessing the State’s flood situation visited flood affected areas of Bishnupur district…

The post Flood assessed appeared first on The Sangai Express.

Mahatma Gandhi: An Ace Communicator

O. P. Sharma Mahatma Gandhi, “The Father of the Nation” is one of the greatest freedom fighter, a revolutionary social reformer and above all an ace communicator. Not only he held lofty principles but he effectively propagated his message among the masses by using the then existing media, mostly the print as well as through […]

O. P. Sharma
Mahatma Gandhi, “The Father of the Nation” is one of the greatest freedom fighter, a revolutionary social reformer and above all an ace communicator. Not only he held lofty principles but he effectively propagated his message among the masses by using the then existing media, mostly the print as well as through public meetings. Among his other qualities of leadership he was the best communicator. His distinguish quality was that he truthfully believed in the message and skillfully conveyed his philosophy which he himself also practiced. He sent his thoughts through the life by setting a personal example. His autobiography titled “My Experiments with Truth” narrates the actual life he lived and practised his principles for setting a personal example. This was also the secret of his success as a communicator.
More than anyone else, Mahatma Gandhi recognized that skillful communication is the most effective tool to shape public opinion and mobilize it for popular support. He was successful because he had a latent skill in communication that surfaced in South Africa where he started during 1903 “The Indian Opinion”. Gandhi’s journalism belonged to an era where there were no modern mass communication gadgets. He did make use of his mighty pen to convey his heart to millions of his followers and admirers across the globe.
Successful Media Use
After return to his motherland on January 9, 1913, he spearheaded the freedom struggle. Gandhiji did make best use of the nationalist press and his own journals: Young India, Navjeevan and other periodicals to reach the masses in every nook and corner of the country. He also knew that the secret of reaching out to the hearts of people living in the rural areas was through the age-old oral traditions as also public lectures, prayers meetings and padayatras (walks). He used all the available means of communication channels of the time to give a new direction to the national struggle and assumed the inspiring leadership on the national scenario and won the freedom through the unique technique of non-violence, Satyagraha, truthfulness.
Gandhiji never for a moment minimized the important role of newspapers (then radio was under the British Government control and the television channels were non-existent). He would scan through all the newspapers and reply suitably to any misrepresentation or distortion of facts. It is to his credit that he did use the traditional and modern media of communication with telling effect.
Trend-Setting Style
Gandhiji made his personality felt through the columns of Young India and other periodicals. The impending change was visible from the very beginning. He turned those into his “views papers” ventilating his point of view .The Young India sold more copies than the combined total circulation of several other newspapers in the country. There were not only new thoughts, simple but stylish language and a fresh air of fine quality of journalistic writings. It is a unique feature that Gandhiji had not been accepting advertisements for his periodicals and what is more, he had allowed his articles to be freely reproduced in most other newspapers in India or elsewhere.
Gandhiji proved that style was the master and his writings were complete departure from the one that was in practice. His English was biblical and he was meticulous about the use of proper words at the particular moment. Above all, his sentences were simple and lucid. In fact, he wrote from his heart and directed it to the hearts of his targeted readership. Gandhiji himself declared all his journals as ‘views papers” because all of them were organs of political and social movements which discussed with intensity and concentration the public problems.
Gandhian Era
Gandhiji, in fact, brought many new elements which introduced a free life in the field of journalism. Many of his followers were moved to write and publish in the Indian languages and regional journalism began to acquire an importance and there was hardly an area in the country that did not have its newspapers.
An effective communicator, Gandhiji was fearless and eloquent with his words. He reached out to millions of people and convinced them of his cause. Gandhiji was probably the greatest journalist of all time, and the weeklies he edited were probably the great example of weeklies of that period. He published no advertisements but the same time he did not let his newspapers run at a loss. He wrote simply and clearly but forcefully, with passion and burning indignation.
Indelible Imprints
“One of the objects of a newspaper, he said, is to understand the popular feeling and give expression to it, another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments, and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects”, Mahatma Gandhi has always stressed.
The Father of the Nation was not only one of the greatest freedom fighter with his unique technique of non-violence but was the best communicator who mobilized the public opinion for attainment of freedom. Gandhiji made optimal use of other channels of communication very efficiently and effectively as he had a rare knack of “inventing apt news events” to get the best coverage by the media. Mahatma Gandhi exercised his high moral values in his political life and practice of mass communication which stands out as a light house for all times to come. (PIB Features)

Minorities Development in India

M. S. Ansari, Information Assistant, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata India is a democratic country where people of all community live in peace and harmony. All major religions of the world are found in India. As such, Hindus are the majority community and the minority community includes Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as notified […]

M. S. Ansari, Information Assistant, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata
India is a democratic country where people of all community live in peace and harmony. All major religions of the world are found in India. As such, Hindus are the majority community and the minority community includes Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as notified under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Minorities are playing a very vital role in India’s political and social upliftment, contributing significantly in the development of our country. Governments from time to time have formulated programmes and schemes for socio-economic upliftment of minorities.
For this purpose Government of India created the Ministry of Minority Affairs, which aims at empowering the minority communities and creating an enabling environment for strengthening the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious character of our nation. It also aims at improving the socio-economic conditions of the minority communities through affirmative action and inclusive development, so that every citizen has equal opportunity to participate actively in building a vibrant nation.
To facilitate an equitable share for minority communities in education, employment, economic activities and to ensure their upliftment, Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities was announced in June, 2006. It provides programme specific interventions with definite goals which are to be achieved in a time bound manner. The objectives of the programme are: (a) Enhancing opportunities for education; (b) Ensuring an equitable share for minorities in economic activities and employment through existing and new schemes, enhanced credit support for self-employment and recruitment to State and Central Government jobs; (c) Improving the conditions of living of minorities by ensuring an appropriate share for them in infrastructure development schemes; and (d) Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.
An important aim of the programme has been to ensure that the benefits of various government schemes for the underprivileged reach the disadvantaged sections of the minority communities. In order to ensure that the benefits of these schemes flow equitably to the minorities, the programme envisages location of a certain proportion of development projects in minority concentration areas. The schemes included in the New 15-Point Programme are as under;
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme by providing services through Anganwadi Centres {Ministry of Women & Child Development}.Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme (KGBV) {Ministry of Human Resources Development} Aajeevika{Ministry of Rural Development} Swarnajayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY) {Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation}Upgradation of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) {Ministry of Labour & Employment}Bank credit under priority sector lending {Department of Financial Services}Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) {Ministry of Rural Development}
Also acting on the Sachar Committee report, the Government has initiated several measures as:
Universalization of access to quality education at secondary stage called Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
One model college each would be set up in 374 educationally backward districts (EBDs) of the country.
Of 374 EBDs, 67 are among identified minority concentration districts.
Preference to be given by the University Grants Commission for provision of girls’ hostels in universities and colleges in the areas where there is concentration of minorities especially Muslims.Area Intensive & Madarsa Modernisation Programme has been revised and bifurcated into two schemes.
(a) Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarsas (SPQEM). It was attractive provision for better teachers’ salary, increased assistance for books, teaching aids and computers and introduction of vocational subjects, etc and the other scheme which provides financial assistance for Infrastructure Development of Private aided/unaided Minority Institutes (IDMI).
Academies for professional development of Urdu medium teachers have been set up at three Central Universities namely, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jamia Milia Islamia University (JMIU), New Delhi and Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU), Hyderabad.
Also, the Government has launched the Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) in 2008-09.
The programme aims at improving the socio-economic and basic amenity facilities for improving the quality of life of the people and reducing imbalances in the Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).
Identified ‘development deficits’ are addressed through a district specific plan for provision of better infrastructure for school and secondary education, sanitation, pucca housing, drinking water and electricity supply, besides beneficiary oriented schemes for creating income generating activities.
Absolutely critical infrastructure linkages like connecting roads, basic health infrastructure, ICDS centers, skill development and marketing facilities required for improving living conditions and income generating activities and catalyzing the growth process are eligible for inclusion in the plan.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs is also providing several scholarships to the minority communities to empower them educationally and socially across the country. These include: (a) The Pre-matric scholarship scheme. (b) Post-matric scholarship scheme. (c) The Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme. (d) The Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF). (e) The Free Coaching and Allied Scheme.
(f) Leadership Development of Minority Women scheme. (g) Grant In Aid Scheme to State Channelising agencies of National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation.
In this way the Government is making every effort for upliftment of minorities so that they can stand with others side by side in all spheres of life.
(PIB Features.)
.

Their Cups of Joy are Full, An inspiring story of Karaikal Cup makers

Bipin S. Nath Information Assistant, Press Information Bureau, Kochi. Though commerce graduates, B. Pushkala and Sasikala were like any other housewife in the locality doing their day to day household chores. But when they grouped themselves under a Self Help Group powered by Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), these women became role models for […]

Bipin S. Nath
Information Assistant, Press Information Bureau, Kochi.
Though commerce graduates, B. Pushkala and Sasikala were like any other housewife in the locality doing their day to day household chores. But when they grouped themselves under a Self Help Group powered by Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), these women became role models for entrepreneurs in the whole of Puducherry. Their success story tells us how PMEGP, a credit linked subsidy programme of the Central Government, benefited thousands of small entrepreneurs across the country.
Pushkala and Sasikala, along with seven other women of Karaikal Kothalampet locality, formed a Self Help Group by the name ‘Navratna Mahalir Self Help Group’ four years ago. Now this group has emerged as one of the largest suppliers of paper cups and plates in Karaikal district. They began with a capital of Rs. 9 lakhs given as loan by Indian Bank, Karaikal branch, under PMEGP scheme. With Rs. 6.5 lakhs they purchased the paper cup machine from Sivakasi and the rest of the amount they invested on raw materials.
The group received asubsidy of Rs. 2.75 lakhs in between.
Under the brand name Karaikal Paper Cup, the group is currently catering to the needs of Karaikal port besides being the wholesale cup dealers in Karaikal and suppliers of cups to the coffee shops in and around the town. Within four years they managed to repay about 6.5 lakh rupees of the loan amount. Apart from paying for rent, electricity and other expenses, these women manage to take home around Rs. 1500 per month from their profits. “Now that the business is expanding…. we are planning to procure another paper cup making machine” says M. Thiruvalar Selvi, another member of the group. With people like Pushkala and Sasikala setting inspiring examples, Indian Bank, the lead bank of the district, is receiving more and more enquiries related to PMEGP nowadays. It is the women who are the flag bearers of such government schemes, feels Shri Dharmalingam, Chief Manager of Indian Bank, Karaikal.
Yes, these women, whose cup of joy is full, have truly shown the way to many others.
About PMEGP
Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) has been introduced by merging the two schemes, Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) and Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP). The scheme, launched on 15th August, 2008, is being implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a statutory organization under the administrative control of the Ministry of MSME, as the single nodal agency at the national level. At the state level, the Scheme is being implemented through State KVIC Directorates, State Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs) and District Industries Centres (DICs) and banks. The Government subsidy under the Scheme will be routed by KVIC through the identified banks for eventual distribution to the beneficiaries / entrepreneurs in their bank accounts.
(PIB Features.)

Minorities Development in India

M. S. Ansari, Information Assistant, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata India is a democratic country where people of all community live in peace and harmony. All major religions of the world are found in India. As such, Hindus are the majority community and the minority community includes Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as notified […]

M. S. Ansari, Information Assistant, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata
India is a democratic country where people of all community live in peace and harmony. All major religions of the world are found in India. As such, Hindus are the majority community and the minority community includes Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) as notified under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Minorities are playing a very vital role in India’s political and social upliftment, contributing significantly in the development of our country. Governments from time to time have formulated programmes and schemes for socio-economic upliftment of minorities.
For this purpose Government of India created the Ministry of Minority Affairs, which aims at empowering the minority communities and creating an enabling environment for strengthening the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious character of our nation. It also aims at improving the socio-economic conditions of the minority communities through affirmative action and inclusive development, so that every citizen has equal opportunity to participate actively in building a vibrant nation.
To facilitate an equitable share for minority communities in education, employment, economic activities and to ensure their upliftment, Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities was announced in June, 2006. It provides programme specific interventions with definite goals which are to be achieved in a time bound manner. The objectives of the programme are: (a) Enhancing opportunities for education; (b) Ensuring an equitable share for minorities in economic activities and employment through existing and new schemes, enhanced credit support for self-employment and recruitment to State and Central Government jobs; (c) Improving the conditions of living of minorities by ensuring an appropriate share for them in infrastructure development schemes; and (d) Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.
An important aim of the programme has been to ensure that the benefits of various government schemes for the underprivileged reach the disadvantaged sections of the minority communities. In order to ensure that the benefits of these schemes flow equitably to the minorities, the programme envisages location of a certain proportion of development projects in minority concentration areas. The schemes included in the New 15-Point Programme are as under;
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme by providing services through Anganwadi Centres {Ministry of Women & Child Development}.Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme (KGBV) {Ministry of Human Resources Development} Aajeevika{Ministry of Rural Development} Swarnajayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY) {Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation}Upgradation of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) {Ministry of Labour & Employment}Bank credit under priority sector lending {Department of Financial Services}Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) {Ministry of Rural Development}
Also acting on the Sachar Committee report, the Government has initiated several measures as:
Universalization of access to quality education at secondary stage called Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
One model college each would be set up in 374 educationally backward districts (EBDs) of the country.
Of 374 EBDs, 67 are among identified minority concentration districts.
Preference to be given by the University Grants Commission for provision of girls’ hostels in universities and colleges in the areas where there is concentration of minorities especially Muslims.Area Intensive & Madarsa Modernisation Programme has been revised and bifurcated into two schemes.
(a) Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarsas (SPQEM). It was attractive provision for better teachers’ salary, increased assistance for books, teaching aids and computers and introduction of vocational subjects, etc and the other scheme which provides financial assistance for Infrastructure Development of Private aided/unaided Minority Institutes (IDMI).
Academies for professional development of Urdu medium teachers have been set up at three Central Universities namely, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jamia Milia Islamia University (JMIU), New Delhi and Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU), Hyderabad.
Also, the Government has launched the Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) in 2008-09.
The programme aims at improving the socio-economic and basic amenity facilities for improving the quality of life of the people and reducing imbalances in the Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).
Identified ‘development deficits’ are addressed through a district specific plan for provision of better infrastructure for school and secondary education, sanitation, pucca housing, drinking water and electricity supply, besides beneficiary oriented schemes for creating income generating activities.
Absolutely critical infrastructure linkages like connecting roads, basic health infrastructure, ICDS centers, skill development and marketing facilities required for improving living conditions and income generating activities and catalyzing the growth process are eligible for inclusion in the plan.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs is also providing several scholarships to the minority communities to empower them educationally and socially across the country. These include: (a) The Pre-matric scholarship scheme. (b) Post-matric scholarship scheme. (c) The Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme. (d) The Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF). (e) The Free Coaching and Allied Scheme.
(f) Leadership Development of Minority Women scheme. (g) Grant In Aid Scheme to State Channelising agencies of National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation.
In this way the Government is making every effort for upliftment of minorities so that they can stand with others side by side in all spheres of life.
(PIB Features.)
.

Literacy can eradicate poverty, curb population growth, achieve equality

Dr. H. R. Keshavamurthy, Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata. Literacy is a human right, a road towards empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. September […]

Dr. H. R. Keshavamurthy, Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata.
Literacy is a human right, a road towards empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.
September 8 is observed as the International Literacy Day by UNESCO since 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. This year’s International Literacy Day was dedicated to “literacies for the 21st century” to highlight the need to realize “basic literacy skills for all” as well as equip everyone with more advanced literacy skills as part of lifelong learning.
The essence and role of education articulated in our National Policy on Education (NPE), continues to be relevant even today.
It states that education is essential for all and is fundamental to our all-round development. Education develops manpower for different levels of the economy and is also the platform on which research and development flourish to take nation towards self-reliance. In sum, education is a unique investment in the present and the future.
The Literacy rate in India has improved a lot over the last one decade. Especially after the implementation of free education in the villages the literacy rate has gone up tremendously in states like Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan . In a country like India, literacy is the main foundation for social and economic growth. When the British rule ended in India in the year 1947 the literacy rate was just 12%. Over the years, India has changed socially, economically, and globally. After the 2011 census, literacy rate India 2011 was found to be 74.04%. Though this seems like a very great accomplishment, it is still a matter of concern that still so many people in India cannot even read and write. The numbers of children who do not get education especially in the rural areas are still high. Though the government has made a law that every child under the age of 14 should get free education, the problem of illiteracy is still at large.
Now, if we consider female literacy rate in India, then it is lower than the male literacy rate as many parents do not allow their female children to go to schools. They get married off at a young age instead. Though child marriage has been lowered to very low levels, it still happens. Today, the female literacy levels according to the Literacy Rate 2011 census are 65.46% where the male literacy rate is over 80%. The literacy rate in India has always been a matter of concern but many NGO initiatives and government ads, campaigns and programs are being held to spread awareness amongst people about the importance of literacy. Also the government has made strict rules for female equality rights.
The literacy rate in India has shown significant rise in the past 10 years.
Kerala is the only state in India to have 100% literacy rate. It is followed by Goa, Tripura, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, and Maharashtra, Sikkim.
The lowest literacy rate in India is seen in the state of Bihar. Realising the importance of literacy, Government of India (Department of School Education & Literacy) endeavours to: Provide free and compulsory education to all children at elementary level; Become a partner with the States and Union Territories to reinforce the national and integrative character of education; Build a society committed to Constitutional values with the help of quality school education and literacy; Universalize opportunities for quality secondary education and Establish a fully literate society.
In the year 2010, the country achieved a historic milestone when the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 became operative .The enforcement of the RTE Act represented a momentous step forward in our country’s struggle for universalising elementary education. Its objectives are intended to be accomplished through the following major programmes of the Central Government:
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid Day Meal at primary level.
Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan ,Model Schools at Secondary level.
Vocational Education, Girls’ Hostel, Inclusive Education of the Disabled.
Saakshar Bharat for Adult Education.
Mahila Samakhya for Women’s education.
Infrastructure Development of Minority Institutions; Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarsas for Minority Education.
A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to face challenges.
(PIB Features.)

Pig nesting in my village

Witoubou, Editor ,Newmai News Network My grandmother would wake up early in the morning if her pregnant pig did not return home the previous evening. She would often ask one of my uncles to also get up and get ready to trace the pig. In the 1970s, the village Langmei (Nchiang by the locals) near […]

Witoubou, Editor ,Newmai News Network
My grandmother would wake up early in the morning if her pregnant pig did not return home the previous evening. She would often ask one of my uncles to also get up and get ready to trace the pig.
In the 1970s, the village Langmei (Nchiang by the locals) near Tamei in Tamenglong district of Manipur enjoyed the thick forest areas.
By nature, free pigs never give birth in the house. They choose to build their nests in thick jungle, often few kilometres away from the village. Locating the nest of a pig is a painful and highly tactful task. People who are swift and strong are heaped upon the responsibility by the elderly women of the village, irrespective of the family relation. One of my uncles, short and swift fitted the bill and so he was a super-star for the elderly women in the village when came to tracking the pig’s nest. However, random search of the pig’s nest is a herculean job in the vast, thick jungle.
A nesting pig normally comes to the house normally in the morning for food. My super-star uncle would pull up his loin while the pig was having its food. The pig would rush back to its nest immediately once it completes its bowl of food. In the blink of an eye, my uncle would run after the pig steep down the hill-lock braving the thorns, creepers and leeches with his eyes glueing to the pig. After the die-hard race with the pig for about a kilometre or more, he would see the pig disappears in a small thick bush. It is actually not a bush but twigs and leaves gathered by the pig to give birth.
An expectant pig bites off twigs and tender leafy branches and gather them in a favourable spot where it feels safe, usually under a big tree or nearby a huge stone. After gathering enough of them, the pig would bull-doze itself into the middle of the heap of leaves and branches and then twirls its body. Minutes later, it becomes a cosy cocoon of leaves and branches where the pig gives birth.
Nesting pigs are ferocious and the Liangmai tribe elders often compare the mercurial persons with the nesting pigs.
My uncle would observe the nest from a safe distance for few minutes and returns home and deliver the first hand report to my grandmother who would be listening the narration with relieving face and joy. The job of my uncle would not complete there. He would be there again with my grandmother when the pig comes again for food, probably the following day. This time, the affairs would be bigger as more members of the family have to be involved.
The moment the pig comes home for food, my uncle and others would rush to the nest. The operation has to be fast and super-efficient. While the hungry mother pig is devouring its food the operation has to be completed—rushing to the nest with a basket and collect the piglets. After collecting the piglets, they have to choose a different route this time, for encountering with the fiery mother pig on the way back would be a big fatal.
The piglets would be kept in a make-shift cabin often made of logs. My joyous grandmother would be counting the piglets and also identifying their gender. This too, in short duration. Anyone around the piglets when the mother pig returns home looking for its babies, is in great danger for fiery mother pig would not compromise on anyone for ‘stealing’ its youngs from the natural nest.
My grandmother would serve boiled sweet potatoes or boiled tapioca along with red tea (without sugar and milk) to the family members as a token of appreciation and for their service.
Once this news got spread in the neighbourhood, villagers would come requesting my grandmother for the piglets.
A piglet, in those days worth at least three days of hard labour by a grown-up person in my grandmother’s paddy field. My grandfather had no affairs here for this was solely the ‘affairs of the home ministry’ of the family.
A male piglet’s value used to be higher than that of the female. So anyone going for a female piglet had to go and work in my grandparents’ paddy field for at least two days. The piglets should not be separated immediately from the mother pig even though they are sold. One had to wait till the time the piglets are able to feed by themselves.
When the piglets got matured enough to be separated from the mother pig, my grandmother would inform the people who had bought the animals. The following day, usually in the morning, the people would come with food in small containers and lure the piglets to their respective homes.

Protection of Street Vendors

  The Lok Sabha on Sep 7 passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012. The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Moving the Bill for consideration and Passing […]

 

The Lok Sabha on Sep 7 passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012. The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Moving the Bill for consideration and Passing in the house , Dr. Girija Vyas, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, said “Street vendors constitute an integral part of our urban economy. Street vending is not only a source of self-employment to the poor in cities and towns but also a means to provide ‘affordable’ as well as ‘convenient’ services to a majority of the urban population, especially the common man.
Street vendors are often those who are unable to get regular jobs in the remunerative formal sector on account of their low level of education and skills. They try to solve their livelihoods issues through their own meagre financial resources and sweat equity.
Given the pace of urbanization and the opportunities presented through the development of urban areas, the growth of street vendors’ population is likely to have an upward trend.   She said “ It is vital that these vendors are enabled to pursue their livelihoods in a congenial and harassment free atmosphere. Inclusive growth strategy adopted by the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans calls for a facilitating mechanism for street vending to aid economic growth and inclusion simultaneously.”
Main features of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012 are as follows:
The Provisions of the Bill are aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere where street vendors, are able to carry out their business in a fair and transparent manner, without the fear of harassment and eviction.
(i)           The Bill provides for constitution of a Town Vending Authority in each Local Authority, which is the fulcrum of the Bill, for implementing the provisions of the Bill.
(ii)         In order to ensure participatory decision making for aspects relating to street vending activities like determination of natural market, identification of vending zones, preparation of street vending plan, survey of street vendors etc. the TVC is required to have representation of officials and non-officials and street vendors, including women vendors with due representation from SC, ST, OBC, Minorities and persons with disabilities. It has been provided that 40% members of the TVC will be from amongst street vendors to be selected through election, of which one-third shall be women.
(iii)       To avoid arbitrariness of authorities, the Bill provides for a survey of all existing street vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and issue of certificate of vending to all the street vendors identified in the survey, with preference to SC, ST, OBC, women, persons with disabilities, minorities etc.
(iv)       All existing street vendors, identified in the survey, will be accommodated in the vending zones subject to a norm conforming to 2.5% of the population of the ward or zone or town or city.
(v)         Where the number of street vendors identified are more than the holding capacity of the vending zone, the Town Vending Committee (TVC) is required to carry out a draw of lots for issuing the certificate of vending for that vending zone and the remaining persons will be accommodated in any adjoining vending zone to avoid relocation.
(vi)       Those street vendors who have been issued a certificate of vending/license etc. before the commencement of this Act, they will be deemed to be a street vendor for that category and for the period for which he/she has been issued such certificate of vending/license.
(vii)     It has been provided that no street vendor will be evicted until the survey has been completed and certificate of vending issued to the street vendors.
(viii)   It has also been provided that in case a street vendor, to whom a certificate of vending is issued, dies or suffers from any permanent disability or is ill, one of his family member i.e. spouse or dependent child can vend in his place, till the validity of the certificate of vending.
(ix)       Thus the mechanism is to provide universal coverage, by protecting the street vendors from harassment and promoting their livelihoods.
(x)         Procedure for relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods has been specified and made street vendor friendly. It is proposed to provide for recommendation of the TVC, as a necessary condition for relocation being carried out by the local authority.
(xi)       Relocation of street vendors should be exercised as a last resort. Accordingly, a set of principles to be followed for ‘relocation’ is proposed to be provided for in the second Schedule of the Bill, which states that (i) relocation should be avoided as far as possible, unless there is clear and urgent need for the land in question; (ii) affected vendors or their representatives shall be involved in planning and implementation of the rehabilitation project; (iii) affected vendors shall be relocated so as to improve their livelihoods and standards of living or at least to restore them, in real terms to pre-evicted levels (iv) natural markets where street vendors have conducted business for over fifty years shall be declared as heritage markets, and the street vendors in such markets shall not be relocated.
(xii)     The Local authority is required to make out a plan once in every 5 years, on the recommendation of TVC, to promote a supportive environment and adequate space for urban street vendors to carry out their vocation. It specifically provides that declaration of no-vending zone shall be carried subject to the specified principles namely; any existing natural market, or an existing market as identified under the survey shall not be declared as a no-vending zone; declaration of no-vending zone shall be done in a manner which displaces the minimum percentage of street vendors; no zone will be declared as a no-vending zone till such time as the survey has not been carried out and the plan for street vending has not been formulated. Thus the Bill provides for enough safeguards to protect street vendors interests.
(xiii)   The thrust of the Bill is on “natural market”, which has been defined under the Bill. The entire planning exercise has to ensure that the provision of space or area for street vending is reasonable and consistent with existing natural markets. Thus, natural locations where there is a constant congregation of buyers and sellers will be protected under the Bill.

(xiv)   There is a provision for establishment of an independent dispute redressal mechanism under the chairmanship of retired judicial officers to maintain impartiality towards grievance redressal of street vendors.
(xv)     The Bill provides for time period for release of seized goods, for both perishable and non-perishable goods. In case of non-perishable goods, the local authority is required to release the goods within two working days and incase of perishable goods, the goods shall be released the same day, of the claim being made.
(xvi)   The Bill also provides for promotional measures to be undertaken by the Government, towards availability of credit, insurance and other welfare schemes of social security, capacity building programmes, research, education and training programme etc. for street vendors.
(xvii) Section 29 of the Bill provides for protection of street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities and provides for an overriding clause to ensure they carry on their business without the fear of harassment by the authorities under any other law.
(xviii)     The Bill specifically provides that the Rules under the Bill have to be notified within one year of its commencement, and Scheme has to be notified within six months of its commencement to prevent delay in implementation.
The Bill is aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for street vendors to do their business in dignity and is likely to help in giving livelihood protection to about 1 crore families.
Background:
Considering the significant contribution made by street vendors to the urban society, and to enable them to earn a decent livelihood through creation of conditions for decent work, without causing obstruction to the public and to reflect the spirit of the Constitution of India on the right of citizens to equal protection before the law as well as their right to practice any profession, occupation, trade or business, the Government of India revised the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004  and brought out the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2009.
The revised Policy was circulated to all States/UTs for implementation after, the approval of the Union Cabinet on 23th February, 2009. The revised Policy underscored the need for a legislative framework to enable street vendors to pursue an honest living without harassment. Accordingly, a Model Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009 was prepared by the Government of India. The Model Bill was also approved by the Union Cabinet on 23th February 2009 and was circulated to all States for taking a cue while legislating on the subject.
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has been receiving continuous representations from individual street vendors and their organizations to bring a central legislation, which would be applicable to all the states and UTs. Therefore, for giving a national recognition to the contribution of street vendors and to ensure uniformity in the legal framework for street vending across States, a Central law on street vending is considered essential.
Regional level consultations were organized on the subject of implementation of National Policy on Street Vendors and legislative framework for street vending in Patna on 4th-5th March, 2011, Mumbai on 24thSeptember, 2011, and Delhi on 18.11.2011 which were attended by representatives from State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, NGOs, Civil Society, International Organizations, Experts, Members of Street Vendors Associations etc.
A National Consultation was also held in New Delhi on 23rd December 2011 to seek the views / comments of various stakeholders, including representatives of Street Vendors’ organizations and street vendors themselves on the salient features of the proposed legislation in order to evolve an effective and practical central law for the protection of livelihood rights and social security of street vendors. The suggestions and recommendations received covered a wide variety of measures relating to providing a conducive framework for street vending.
Accordingly, a new legislation namely ‘Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012’ was drafted under entries 20 (economic and social planning), 23 (social security and social insurance; employment and unemployment), and 24 (welfare of labour including conditions of work, provident funds, employers liability, workmen’s compensation, invalidity and old age pensions and maternity benefits) of List III of the Constitution. The Bill provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors, regulation of urban street vending in the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The draft Bill, was circulated to States/UTs on 29.02.2012 for comments. It was also discussed and deliberated during a National Consultation of Housing/Urban Development Ministers of States and UTs on the 28th of April, 2012, which was attended by 22 States, and received wide acceptance and support.

Science comes Alive: National Council of Science Museums

  Dr. K. Parameswaran, Assistant Director, PIB, Madurai. Jayasree and her friends were standing in a group around their science teacher, who was explaining to them about the Foucault’s pendulum that attracts the immediate attention of anyone who enters the Regional Science Centre that started functioning not long back in Coimbatore. Jayasree, a Plus 1 […]

 

Dr. K. Parameswaran, Assistant Director, PIB, Madurai.
Jayasree and her friends were standing in a group around their science teacher, who was explaining to them about the Foucault’s pendulum that attracts the immediate attention of anyone who enters the Regional Science Centre that started functioning not long back in Coimbatore. Jayasree, a Plus 1 student said that the visit to the centre has made science come alive to herself and her friends.
Foucault’s Pendulum, named after the French physicist Leon Foucoult, is a simple device conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the earth. While it had long been known that the earth rotated, the introduction of the Foucault pendulum in 1851 was the first simple proof of the rotation in an easy-to-see experiment.
For Ilavarasan, the Fun Science gallery and its interactive exhibits were interesting to the core. Jayashekhar, his father who was with him, said that the Centre was bringing the old adage into practice- you remember best what who learn by doing! Experience and experiment based learning are the best ways to understand science. When science is learned is this manner, one is able to under stand better the basic concepts and this understanding will engender in students a better appreciation and liking for science.
The National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) is the apex body for science centres functioning under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The NCSM is actively engaged in enhancing the understanding and appreciation of science through a network of science centres and museums. The 44th Science Centre of the NCSM was inaugurated recently at Coimbatore in Tamilnadu.
The Center envisages a two pronged method of communication – exhibits and activities. Built in an area of about 4000 square metres at a cost of Rs 8.5 crores, the centre houses three permanent galleries – “Hall of Textiles’ ‘How things work’ and ‘Fun Science’.
Hall of Textiles
The Hall of Textile has a special significance in Coimbatore, which is also known as the Manchester of India. Its rich, black soil is highly suitable for the cultivation of cotton – one of the mainstays of the textiles industry. The latest figures show that there are about 25,000 industrial units connected with textiles in Coimbatore alone!
Textile making is one of the earliest occupations known to mankind – linen in Egypt, wool in Europe, cotton in India and silk in China. The story of textiles is basically the conversion of fibre to yarn and yarn to fabric. The technique remains the same; but the technology has undergone tremendous changes through the 12,000 year history of textiles. The latest development in field is the merger of nano technology and bio medicine into the development of specialized textile products.
The Hall of Textiles houses models, inter active exhibits as well as multi media presentations that give a bird eye view of the long and protracted history of textiles.
How Things work
The ‘How Things Work’ gallery is a bridge between science and daily life. It is an attempt to explain the basic science that exists behind various articles of daily use like various machines. The thrust is on explaining the scientific theories that work behind the machines. The bar code reader, various kinds of pumps, motors etc are some of the machines that are exhibited and explained in the gallery. It is spread over an area of 400 square meters and houses about 50 exhibits.
Fun Science Gallery
The Fun Science gallery houses inter active exhibits that make science learning an interesting and activity oriented experience. Optics, wave theory, electricity, magnetism etc can be learned through simple experiments. The gallery is spread over 600 square metres and consists of about 60 exhibits.
A children’s corner for small children, an inflatable planetarium, science park etc are some of the other attractions of the Regional Science Centre.
Science Park
The Science Park sprawls over an area of about eight acres. 45 exhibits based on gravity, optics, levers etc find place in the park. There are parabolic reflectors that sent whispers to distant corners, models of pre historic animals etc that make science and its history come alive. There are also busts of eminent Indian scientists to whom visitors can pay their respectful homage.
The Role of NCSM
The NCSM directly operates 25 science museums or centers. This is the largest network of science centres in the words under a single administrative control. The annual footfall in these centers have crossed the one crore mark and is still growing exponentially. The NCSM also operates 22 mobile science exhibitions. These units travel to rural areas and explains the basics of science to students in their mother tongues.
The main objectives of the NCSM include the development of a scientific attitude and temper, the inculcation and sustenance of scientific awareness, the systematic portrayal of the growth of science in India and the world at large.

 

Building not just roads but nation

Transport system is considered as the life line of any nation. Road Infrastructure, because of its easy accessibility, flexibility in operation, door to door service and reliability occupies a dominant position in the transportation system. It is vital for unleashing economic growth and is a critical component of all inclusive growth. In the last few […]

Transport system is considered as the life line of any nation. Road Infrastructure, because of its easy accessibility, flexibility in operation, door to door service and reliability occupies a dominant position in the transportation system. It is vital for unleashing economic growth and is a critical component of all inclusive growth. In the last few decades, Road transport in India has registered tremendous growth and has become the most preferred mode of transport. The share of road transport in carrying the passengers and goods is more than 80% and 60% of the total passenger and freight movement respectively.
Road Network
India has huge network of roads totalling about 46.90 lakh km. The road density in India at present is nearly 1.43 km per sq. km of area which compares favourably with many countries. Responsibility of development of this network rests with the Central Government, State Governments and local Government. National Highways (NH), having total length of 82,803 km, constitutes less than 2% of the total road network. However, these are the main arteries carrying more than 40% of the total road traffic.
Development of NHs is the responsibility of the Central Government.Good and efficient transport infrastructure is an essential pre-requisite for the economic growth of a nation. It has been the endeavor of the Government to provide speedy, safe and efficient road transport network.
It is recognized that modernisation of infrastructure is the key to attain higher GDP. India’s Transport sector as a whole contributes about 5.5% to the GDP, with road transport contributing the lion’s share. India has emerged as one of the fastest growing economy in the world. According to experts, India could unleash its full potential, provided, it improves the infrastructure facilities, which are at present not sufficient to meet the growing demand of the economy. To address emerging demand by catching up with the economic and social growth of the country, a massive Road development programme has been taken up in the country. NHDP The National Highways Development Project (NHDP) is the flagship programme, for development of less developed areas, dedicated regional programmes like the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North-East (SARDP-NE) and the Special Programme for the Left Wing Extremism affected areas have also been taken up. Now, there are plans for building up Expressways in the Country. Three projects i.e. Eastern Peripheral Expressway in National Capital Region, Delhi – Meerut Expressway and Mumbai – Vadodra Expressway covering about 650 km are targeted during the current financial year. Planning for Bengaluru – Chennai and Delhi – Jaipur Expressways are also in advance stages. All these Expressways will be fully access controlled roads on green field alignment.
To meet with the massive requirement of funds, innovative means of financing and financing strategies which inter alia include cess on fuel, private sector participation including foreign investment, borrowing from the market as well as budgetary support have been adopted. A major step was to attract foreign as well as domestic investments through Public Private Partnership (PPP). Involving the private sector would lead to increasing efficiency with the help of using modern technology. The private sector has more flexible procurement and decision-making procedures and therefore, it can speed up implementation efforts.
Allowing private sector to raise capital/funds has paved the way for the Government to use its scarce resources efficiently and effectively. Several new materials of road construction are also emerging that would need to be encouraged depending upon their cost effectiveness.
For development of National Highways in the Country in the 12 five year plan targets to invest Rs 1,44,769 crores from budgetary support, Rs 64,834 crores from IEBR and Rs 1,87,995 crores from private sector participation.
Launched in 1998, the NHDP program represents the largest road construction project ever undertaken to boost the development of the National Highways in the country. The program is aimed at the development of about 50,000 km of National Highways. Golden Quadrilateral which provides four-lane connectivity between four metros, is complete, while the North-South-East-West (NSEW) corridor is about to be completed. Four laning and six laning is underway at many places and progressing at brisk pace, despite the hurdles in land acquisition, obtaining environment and forest clearances, high cost debt etc,. So far work on more than 21,000 km have been completed and in about 12,350 km works are in progress. Other flagship regional programmes which includes SARDP-NE and roads in LWE affected areas covers development of about 12,000 km of roads out of which work has already been completed in about 3800 kms.
Mode of Projects
The emphasis has been to take up progressively more and more infrastructure projects through private sector participation on BOT (Toll) basis so that more public funds are available for social sectors such as Health, Education, etc. However, it would not be practically possible to take up development of the majority of the highway stretches on BOT
(Toll) mode. This has reflected in the recent trends of bidding when in majority of roads projects we could not get the favourable response.
Accordingly, recently, Ministry has decided to take up road projects as turnkey Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contracts basis which would help to reduce construction time and is expected to improve quality of work as well. Also, in this system the objective to garner private sector efficiency is retained and the private entrepreneurs are free to use new technology to speed up their works
New Initiatives
E-Tolling The experience on present tolling system is associated with congestion and delays at toll plazas. To overcome this, Government has decided adoption of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system across National Highways in India, which would enable toll to be collected electronically from vehicles at toll plazas while the vehicle is in motion. Pilot projects have already been taken up in this regard which will pave way for nation-wide interoperable ETC at all the toll plazas on National Highways by 2014.
New Materials Besides financing, such a mammoth development
programme requires huge amount of natural resources. As such conservation of the material is area of concern for all. There is a need to save scarce physical resource like aggregates, sand, earth, cement, bitumen, etc. looking to huge programme of construction of highways in the country. On the other hand, the Nation is facing problem of the

disposal & storage of industrial waste like fly-ash, copper slag, marble slurry, etc. Efforts are on in utilizing these waste materials in construction of roads through complete/partial replacement of conventional materials.
Cashless Treatment of accident Victims (A Road Safety initiative) India has the dubious distinction of having maximum number of fatalities on roads. During the year 2011, there were around 5 lakh road accidents resulting in the deaths of over 1.42 lakh people. Each day, nearly 390 people die on our roads. In India more than half of road accident victims are in the age group 20-65 years. The loss of the main bread earner and head of household due to death or disability can be catastrophic, leading to lower living standards and poverty, in addition to the human cost of bereavement. This is an unacceptable price to pay for mobility. The Ministry has already taken up multi-pronged strategy in his regard. The latest milestone in this area is a Pilot Project for “implementation of cashless medical treatment to the accident victims” for the first 48 hours.
Under this scheme accident victims will be provided free treatment during this period as a result immediate relief can be provided to the accident victim, which will go a long way in reducing fatalities on our road.
Completion of programmes already taken up is expected to go a long way in contributing towards building the Nation.
(PIB Features)
Inputs from the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

Aadhaar enabled Know Your Customer process becomes paperless

As a first of its kind service, the electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) service of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is transforming the entire KYC process by making it paperless, instantaneous, secure, economical and non-repudiable. The UIDAI expects its e-KYC service to enhance customer convenience and greatly increase business efficiency across sectors that […]

As a first of its kind service, the electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) service of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is transforming the entire KYC process by making it paperless, instantaneous, secure, economical and non-repudiable. The UIDAI expects its e-KYC service to enhance customer convenience and greatly increase business efficiency across sectors that require proof of identity and address to open customer accounts. Not only will this service streamline the process of on-boarding new customers but it will also simplify the process of linking existing customer accounts to their respective Aadhaar numbers in an easy yet secure manner.
The Ministry of Finance, Government of India, has already recognized e-KYC as a valid document for all financial services under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PML) Rules. The UIDAI is working with sector regulators for extending e-KYC to their respective sectors.
The e-KYC service will extend the power and convenience of Aadhaar KYC to paperless transactions. Using the e-KYC service, residents can authorize the UIDAI to release their KYC data to a service provider. This authorization can either be done in person (through biometric authentication), or it can be done online (through OTP authentication). Upon successful authentication and consent of the resident, the UIDAI will provide the resident’s name, address, date of birth, gender, photograph, mobile number (if available), and email address (if available) to the service provider electronically.’
Salient features of the Aadhaar e-KYC service
1. Paperless: The service is fully electronic, and document management can be eliminated;
2. Consent based: The KYC data can only be provided upon authorization by the resident through Aadhaar authentication, thus protecting resident privacy;
3. Eliminates Document Forgery: Elimination of photocopies of various documents that are currently stored in premises of various stakeholders reduces the risk of identity fraud and protects resident identity. In addition, since the e-KYC data is provided directly by UIDAI, there is no risk of forged documents;
4. Inclusive: The fully paperless, electronic, low-cost aspects of e-KYC make it more inclusive, enabling financial inclusion;
5. Secure and compliant with the IT Act: Both end-points of the data transfer are secured through the use of encryption and digital signature as per the Information Technology Act, 2000 making e-KYC document legally equivalent to paper documents. In addition, the use of encryption and digital signature ensures that no unauthorized parties in the middle can tamper or steal the data;
6. Non-repudiable: The use of resident authentication for authorization, the affixing of a digital signature by the service provider originating the e-KYC request, and the affixing of a digital signature by UIDAI when providing the e-KYC data makes the entire transaction non-repudiable by all parties involved;
7. Low cost: Elimination of paper verification, movement, and storage reduces the cost of KYC to a fraction of what it is today;
8. Instantaneous: The service is fully automated, and KYC data is furnished in real-time, without any manual intervention;
9. Machine Readable: Digitally signed electronic KYC data provided by UIDAI is machine readable, making it possible for the service provider to directly store it as the customer record in their database for purposes of service, audit, etc. without human intervention making the process low cost and error free; and
10. Regulation friendly: The service providers can provide a portal to the Ministry/Regulator for auditing all e-KYC requests.
Benefits of e-KYC
Resident Benefits
1. http://1.id/The ID document is on person and thus there is no need to carry documents/Cards.
2. No need to leave behind photo copies- possibility of ID theft eliminated.
3. Inclusion through a digital ID for all.
4. Instant gratification – no need to fetch ID documents, immediate on line authentication and service activation.

5. Go Green- no paper, no wastage.
6. Common ID for multiple purposes- government benefits, travel, telecom, LPG and Financial Services.
7. Consent Based release of ID resident in full control of sharing ID.
Benefits to Service providers
1. No paper work- need for photo copy, preservation of physical copy and conversion to digital copy averted.
2. Cost Saving from elimination of collecting and preserving paper copies.
3. Improved Regulatory compliance- back end can monitor KYC fulfilment online.
4. Security enhanced- point to point data transfer from UIDAI server to service provider server eliminates data and ID theft.
5. Better sales conversion and customer satisfaction through on the spot ID verification and instant activation of services.
6. Innovation- instant products like ready to use pre-paid cards, on the spot Insurance Policy and ready to use SIM cards.
Benefits to Regulators
1. Standard KYC – Improved compliance with reduced front end discretion.
2. Real time analytic through Portal based KYC and service monitoring.
3. Expansion of authorised service provider domain supported by discretion free, digital KYC.
Aadhaar Factsheet
• ‘Aadhaar’ is a 12 digit individual identification number which serves as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in India.
• Any person, irrespective of his/her age or gender, who is an ordinary resident citizen of India, can enroll for Aadhaar free of cost and the unique Aadhaar number remains valid for life.
• Aadhaar identifies individuals uniquely on the basis of their demographic information and biometrics. It gives individuals the means to clearly establish their identity to public and private agencies across the country.
• The word ‘Aadhaar’ means foundation, therefore it is the base on which any delivery system can be built. Aadhaar can be used in any system which needs to establish the identity of a resident. Aadhaar can be used in the delivery of the following programs:
Food and Nutrition – Public Distribution System, Food Security, Mid Day Meals, Integrated Child Development Scheme Employment – Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, Indira Awaaz Yojana, Prime Minister’s Employment Guarantee Program
Education – Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyaan, Right to Education
Inclusion and Social Security – Janani Suraksha Yojana, Development of Primitive Tribe Groups, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
Healthcare – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Janashri Bima Yojana, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana
• Other miscellaneous purposes including property transactions, voter ID, PAN card etc.
• Under the DBT scheme, the entitled monetary benefits under the identified schemes are transferred directly to the bank account of the beneficiaries, which are linked with the Aadhaar number. However at present, since many beneficiaries are still to be provided the Aadhaar card, the benefits are deposited to the bank accounts even without the Aadhaar number.
• Under DBT for LPG, all LPG consumers with Aadhaar numbers and whose bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar numbers are given an advance amount of Rs.435/- per cylinder booked, immediately on booking a cylinder. While the LPG cylinders will be supplied at the market price, the subsidy amount will be credited automatically in their accounts.
• Aadhaar is an important means of financial inclusion. With the Aadhaar card even poor people can easily establish their identity to banks for opening accounts. They can also carry it in the train journey as an identity proof.
• With Aadhaar cards seeded to their bank accounts, rural residents will be able to transact electronically with each other as well as with individuals and firms outside the village. This will reduce their dependence on cash.
• Once a general purpose Aadhaar enabled micropayment system is in place, a variety of other financial instruments such as micro credit, micro- insurance, micro-pensions and micro- mutual funds can be implemented on top of this payments system.
• The Aadhaar number has the property of being a globally unique address for every resident of India, for life. This property makes it attractive to use Aadhaar as a payment address.
• The Aadhaar e-KYC (Know your customer) service provides an instant, electronic proof of identity and proof of address along with date of birth and gender. In addition, it also provides the resident’s mobile number and email address to the service provider, which helps further streamline the process of service delivery
• Digitally signed electronic KYC data provided by UIDAI is machine readable, making it possible for the service provider to directly store it as the customer record in their database for purposes of service, audit, etc. without human intervention making the process low cost and error free
• The e-KYC service can be deployed for linking existing beneficiary records with Aadhaar numbers. Examples include linkage of existing Ration Cards, pension accounts, scholarships, etc. with Aadhaar. This has the twin benefit of achieving de-duplication and elimination of fakes and ghosts, while ensuring that the benefits reach the targeted beneficiaries. In cases where residents are applying for various Government-issued documents such as a Ration Card, Drivers’ license, Caste certificate, Passport, Birth certificate, etc., the e-KYC service can be used for efficient service delivery, based on quick and accurate identification of the person.

Realization of Meitei’s dream

Laishram Subhash ,Convenor, ST (Scheduled Tribe) Demand Committee of Manipur. “Freedom without opportunity is a devil’s gift, and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal.” – Noam Chomsky. Without assured opportunities Meitei (Mee Tai’s future will be doomed. Successful constitutional listing of MeeTais as ST (Scheduled Tribe) will guarantee its sustainable development and economic […]

Laishram Subhash ,Convenor, ST (Scheduled Tribe) Demand Committee of Manipur.
“Freedom without opportunity is a devil’s gift, and the refusal to provide such opportunities is criminal.” – Noam Chomsky.
Without assured opportunities Meitei (Mee Tai’s future will be doomed. Successful constitutional listing of MeeTais as ST (Scheduled Tribe) will guarantee its sustainable development and economic growth through the umpteen opportunities that wait to deliver soon after its conversion as tribe and following the inclusion in the Scheduled list, and all the more , conservation and preservation of their land that they love so much and hold as close to the heart as unequally precious and consider so important in view of national and international geo political environment and geostrategic situation. Mee Tais should not remain happy sleeping with false pride. Real dignity of Meetais can be attained through economic and cultural growth and by not allowing, through appropriate constitutional provision, their ancestral land to be snatched away by using capital by those who are/were not the original settlers of Manipur. Ceaseless effort should be made to achieve our claim to recognize us (the Mee Tais) as tribe by Government of India. The claim to become tribe and demand to recognize us as tribe under the constitution is a very pragmatic and the only possible approach that could lead the Meetais to a bright future in this age of globalization.
Manipur is already rich in resources – natural and human talents. Meetai’s attainment of tribal status and becoming tribal, will surely catapult its talents in the forefront of national and international arenas of various fields by allowing full expression the hidden talents which have been jept unrecognized due to lack of opportunity or deliberate suppression that the youth of Manipur experience hands on these days. As the lotus that blooms fully blown charms all with magic spell, so will be Meetai’s talents that, being allowed to express to full extent, will dazzle all across the globe with their daring acts and irresistible success in all fields. Dignity inheres in the excellence that one could develop. The lotus does not mind that mud from which it emerged – it remains unattached to it, blooming beautiful, emitting fragrance impartially to all. For its purity and beauty, the lotus is loved and held in high esteem by all and so is offered to God. Under the constitutional safeguard, the hidden talents in Meetais will sprout and grow fully blossomed actualizing their hope and aspiration. Dignity will automatically follow.
Meitais have all attributes of tribe :
1. Geography and settlement : Meetais are originally and dominantly Mongoloids settled in hills and hill slopes, hilly terrains – racially different from the mainstream Indians who are Aryans.
2. Meetais are ancestral brethren of other tribes of Manipur. Example : Itao-sanaba
3. Meetais’ socioeconomic and cultural development is almost the same as that of other tribes in Manipur
4. Primitive type of means of economic production : Use of spade for digging fields for plantation, using animals for plowing, modern irrigation system non-existent, completely dependent on natural rainfall – monsoon only. No dam/canal for irrigation, mechanized tractors for tilling and harvesting no used. Skilled laborers non-existent. Rearing of cattle, pigs, chickens in traditional way for family’s economy.
5. Food habits : Eating boiled food,snail s, eels,toads ,dogs ,tortoise, fermented fish and soyabeans, bamboo shoots, locust, small fishes, Noashek , and collection of wild plants and leaves from hills for food, eating of raw vegetables e.g., Shingju- plantain tree, heibi mana , khoi machak , not knowing use of spices. Eating only one item of curry in main meals. Depending on two meals – morning and evening only and not yet accustomed to breakfast habits.
6. Clothes and dress : Clothes from cotton and silkworm – made through handloom or hand sewn. Dress type and pattern similar with that of other tribes of Manipur but different from that of mainstream Indians. Dress is simple only to slightly cover gender indicating parts of the body.
7. Housing : Houses are mostly thatched which have only a common hall where kitchen is, sleeping beds for family members and visitors are all accommodated in the same single hall without any standard partitions. House are situated in hills and slopes of hills and some on the plain. Pucca House are very scanty in number. Ventilation : Modern day ventilation non existent.
8. Source of water and its collection : River, lake, pond, rainwater , to walk through long distance more than 2 kilometers to fetch water with pitcher. Disinfection of water not known and not done.
9. Personal Hygiene and sanitation and toilet : One bath for many days, tooth brushing with tree branch stalks, with ashes etc. Open field defecation with no latrine system ( kutcha/pucca). Taking bath without soap/sodas. Using of mud for cleaning after defecation.
10. Transport and carriage system : Use of bullock carts, buffalo drawn sledges for long distance transport – that may be even in social festival.
11. Dependant on local traditional quacks for treatment of minor or major illnesses.
12. Belief : Traditional animistic belief and faith , festivities.
13. Influence of traditional fortune tellers : Maibis. In event of personal and common tragedies, misfortune people go for help to those maibis who are common laymen but believed to be divinely possessed and to have divine power to cure and remedy the ills.
14. Language : Tibeto-Burman language with unique accent, modulation of sound and intonation in speaking which is different from other Indian languages spoken in mainland India which mostly have roots to Sanskrit, Urdu and Hindi, Parsi etc.
15. Folk songs and music : mostly monosyllables only.
16. Dance : gross body movement, less gyration and not so frequent.
17. Marriage : simple with no dowry system which is widely prevalent in mainstream India, short and easy process in separation.
18. Death ceremony : ngatangba – From the death of a person, the family members and close relatives observe abstention from taking fish. On the 13th or 14th day after the day of death, the break of the abstention starts with a fish by the family members and relatives in an evening.
19. Habit of saving and conservation/ reservation of wealth/food for future use : no planning , planned stock for future use or in time of misfortunes. Less storage.
20. Crude tools for making house and furnitures, even for husking paddy, mortar and pestles are used.
21. Seasoning of fish and meat : dry fish and dry meat etc.
22. Common possession of land : grazing ground, common hillock for growing trees for fire wood or timber.
23. Use of firewood for cooking.
24. Use of pine tree chips for giving light in night for household works and readings etc.
25. Unavailability of electricity.
26. No habit for breakfast : only two main meals – morning 8:30 am and evening 8 pm.
27. Hunting and fishing.
28. Cheiraoba Kumtaba : Crude observation and use of natural phenomena such as the direction of the first thunder after Cheiraoba as signal based on which prediction is made if fair/bad weather/climate will ensue through the whole year that is yet to come by.
29. Sacrificing animals in village festivities – sarenchanba in Lai Haraoba.
30. Manufacture and drinking of country liquor/crude liquor.
31. Barter system of exchange of goods : not using money.
32. Primitive judicial system : village head/local hear, meira paibis will preside to award the verdict.
33. Primitive village security : meira paibis as night watch dog to prevent disturbance of peace in the village checking all possible threats from within and without.
34. Women folks in market : Majority of Meet Tai women are professionally engaged in trade and commerce activities. Manipur market places which are run by Manipuri women folks only. Involvement of women in trade and commerce to the degree and level of owning, manning and running amrkerts named after and dedicated to women of Manipur which is very unique in India and rare occurrence – scarcely seen in mainland India.
35. Economy is primitive agriculture based.
36. No industrialization.
Positive future impact :
1. Sustained development and growth for Manipur.
2. Paradigm shift in ethnic relations among various tribes in Manipur paving way for harmonious development with mutual trust, equality, friendship and increased co-operation among them, and instilling the sense of oneness without hatred and ensuring peace and tranquility in Manipur. “Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay” says Sallust.
3. Conservation and preservation of ancestral land by not allowing others to encroach upon.
4. Nakumei or Nakumee ( acronym for Naga, Kuki , Meetei , Mayang , Muslim, etc. ). An inclusive socio-economic cultural forum to be constituted to advance the common interest of all who inhabit Manipur.
It should be a front for socio-economic and cultural intercourse to dissolve all differences and finally achieve homogeneity in Manipur and to advance a common culture. In future to come, let an inclusive and all encompassing name “NAKUMEELAND” or “NAKUMEELAM” replace our motherland’s present name, “MANIPUR”. This will rekindle governance and development in Manipur.
5. A new chapter in modern history of Manipur : Realizing the greatest renewal of Manipur society is the greatest dream of the people of Manipur and this will be a new chapter, written in red letter, in modern history of Manipur. Now, the moment has come to write the new modern history of Manipur we dream of. The opportunity of writing such a modern history of a new bright Manipur has already knocked at the door and let us not deaf, blind and insensitive to the call.
6. Paradigm shift in governance in Manipur : When we could attain homogeneity in socio-cultural , ethnic and political relations and fulfilling condition in Manipur, and when people of Manipur have unity of purpose in managing social affairs in the state and common program for socio-economic and political advancement, we can contemplate running of the state with the Chief Minister who would be selected alternatively from the ( major ) ethnic communities for each term of five years endorsable for second term.
Thus, the old system of ruling with Chief Minister from dominant or non-dominant community for undefined period will vanish. A new vibrant Manipur will to emerge and all will have smile on their faces – the smile which is rarely seen presently among the people of the state.
7. Manipur’s place in national and international domains in the globalization process : With the constitutional safeguard under the Article 342, the people of Manipur will have enhanced international interactions leading to enlightened and advanced economic, scientific and technological progress carving Manipur’s fair share in the pie in the national and international affairs/matters, and Manipur’s increasing integration with national and world economies will be ensured and the people will be able to have ever deepening participation in the globalization process.
O! Mother Manipur
So good to all, you are
So unique on earth you are
Gem in the jewel
Heaven on earth
Fame on us all
Wealth on us all
Are because of you
Are by the grace of you
So important geopolitically, you are
So significant geo-strategically, you are
Who knows your worth?
Who knows your value?
Who appreciates your virtues?
Your all children are yet to be awakened
To know the truth
To see the realities
Bestow your blessings on your daughters and sons
Grant wisdom on your children
Awaken them from slumber
They are still in deep sleep
Still unable to prove worthy for you.
We are still weak,
We are part of the weaker section,
Please protect us from formal social injustices,
Please protect us from all forms of exploitations.
“My ideal would be the society based on liberty, equality and fraternity. An ideal society should be mobile and full of channels of conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts.”
– Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

Electoral Laws of India

S. K. Mendiratta, Legal Consultant, Election Commission of India India is a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic republic. Democracy is one of the inalienable basic features of the Constitution of India and forms part of its basic structure (Kesavanand Bharati v State of Kerala and Others AIR 1973 SC 1461). The concept of democracy, as visualized […]

S. K. Mendiratta, Legal Consultant, Election Commission of India
India is a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic republic. Democracy is one of the inalienable basic features of the Constitution of India and forms part of its basic structure (Kesavanand Bharati v State of Kerala and Others AIR 1973 SC 1461). The concept of democracy, as visualized by the Constitution, pre-supposes the representation of the people in Parliament and State Legislatures by the method of election (N P Punnuswami v Returning Officer Namakkal AIR 1952 SC 64). For democracy to survive rule of law must prevail and it is necessary that the best available men should be chosen as people’s representatives for proper governance of the country (Gadakh Yashwantrao Kankararao v Balasaheb Vikhepatil AIR 1994 SC 678). And for the best available men to be chosen as people’s representatives, elections must be free and fair and conducted in an atmosphere where the electors are able to exercise their franchise according to their own free will. Thus, free and fair elections form the bedrock of democracy.
India has adopted the British Westminster system of parliamentary form of government. We have an elected President, elected Vice-President, elected Parliament and elected State Legislature for every State. Now, we also have elected municipalities, panchayats and other local bodies. For ensuring free and fair elections to these offices and bodies, there are three pre-requisites: (1) an authority to conduct these elections, which should be insulated from political and executive interference, (2) set of laws which should govern the conduct of elections and in accordance whereof the authority charged with the responsibility of conducting these elections should hold them, and (3) a mechanism whereby all doubts and disputes arising in connection with these elections should be resolved.
The Constitution of India has paid due attention to all these imperatives and duly provided for all the three matters.
The Constitution has created an independent Election Commission of India in which vests the superintendence, direction and control of preparation of electoral rolls for, and conduct of elections to, the offices of President and Vice-President of India and Parliament and State Legislatures (Article 324). A similar independent constitutional authority has been created for conduct of elections to municipalities, panchayats and other local bodies (Articles 243 K and 243 ZA).
The authority to enact laws for elections to the offices of President and Vice-President and to Parliament and State Legislatures has been reposed by the Constitution in Indian Parliament (Articles 71 and 327). Laws relating to conduct of elections to municipalities, panchayats and other local bodies are framed by the respective State Legislatures (Articles 243 K and 243 ZA). All doubts and disputes relating to the elections to the office of President and Vice-President are dealt with by the Supreme Court (Article 71), whereas the initial jurisdiction to deal with all doubts and disputes relating to the elections to Parliament and State Legislatures vests in the High Court of the State concerned, with a right of appeal to the Supreme Court (Article 329). The disputed matters relating to elections to municipalities, etc. are decided by the lower courts in accordance with the laws made by the respective State Governments.
The law relating to the elections to the offices of President and Vice-President of India has been enacted by Parliament in the form of Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act 1952. This Act has been supplemented by the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules 1974 and further supplemented by the Election Commission’s directions and instructions on all aspects.
Conduct of elections to Parliament and State Legislatures are governed by the provisions of two Acts, namely, Representation of the People Act 1950 and Representation of the People Act 1951.
Representation of the People Act 1950 deals mainly with the matters relating to the preparation and revision of electoral rolls. The provisions of this Act have been supplemented by detailed rules, Registration of Electors Rules 1960, made by the Central Government, in consultation with the Election Commission, under Section 28 of that Act and these rules deal with all the aspects of preparation of electoral rolls, their periodic revision and updating, inclusion of eligible names, exclusion of ineligible names, correction of particulars, etc. These rules also provide for the issue of electoral identity cards to registered electors bearing their photographs at the State cost. These rules also empower the Election Commission to prepare the photo electoral rolls containing photographs of electors, in addition to their other particulars.
All matters relating to the actual conduct of elections are governed by the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1951 which have been supplemented by the Conduct of Elections Rules 1961 framed by the Central Government, in consultation with the Election Commission, under Section 169 of that Act. This Act and the rules make detailed provisions for all stages of the conduct of elections like the issue of writ notification calling the election, filing of nominations, scrutiny of nominations, withdrawal of candidatures, taking of poll, counting of votes and constitution of the Houses on the basis of the results so declared.
The superintendence, directions and control of elections vested by the Constitution in the Election Commission empowers the Commission even to make special orders and directions to deal with the situations for which the laws enacted by the Parliament make no provision or insufficient provision. The classic example of filling such vacuous area is the promulgation of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968 which governs the matters relating to recognition of political parties at the National and State level, reservation of election symbols for them, resolution of disputes between splinter groups of such recognised parties, and allotment of symbols to all candidates at elections, etc.
Another such vacuous area where the Election Commission exercises its inherent powers under Article 324 of the Constitution is the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct for guidance of political parties and candidates. The Model Code is a unique document evolved by the political parties themselves to govern their conduct during elections so as to ensure that a level playing field for all political parties is maintained during elections and, in particular, to curb the misuse of official power and official machinery by the ruling party(ies) to further the electoral prospects of their candidates.
All post election matters to resolve doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with the elections are also dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1951. Under this Act, all such doubts and disputes can be raised before the High Court of the State concerned, but only after the election is over and not when the election process is still on.
The above mentioned Representation of the People Acts 1950 and 1951 and the Registration of Electors Rules 1960 and Conduct of Elections Rules 1961 form complete code on all matters relating to elections to both Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures. Any person aggrieved by any of the decisions of the Election Commission or the authorities functioning under it has to find a remedy in accordance with the provisions of these Acts and Rules.
These Acts and Rules enable the Election Commission to issue directions and instructions to deal with various aspects of the preparation/revision of electoral rolls and the conduct of elections and lead all such matters of detail to be dealt with by the Commission. Pursuant thereto, the Commission has issued a plethora of directions and instructions which have been consolidated by the Commission in various compendia and the handbooks for the Electoral Registration Officers, Returning Officers, Presiding Officers, candidates, polling agents and counting agents.
(PIB Features.)

LTU – Single Window Facilitation For Large Taxpayers

Ravinder Singh, Director (M&C), PIB, New Delhi. The Union Finance Minister in his Budget Speech 2005-06 announced the proposal to set-up Large Taxpayer Units (LTUs) in the country, which would act as a single window facilitation centre for all large entities paying excise duty, corporate tax/income tax and service tax. The first LTU was set-up […]

Ravinder Singh, Director (M&C), PIB, New Delhi.
The Union Finance Minister in his Budget Speech 2005-06 announced the proposal to set-up Large Taxpayer Units (LTUs) in the country, which would act as a single window facilitation centre for all large entities paying excise duty, corporate tax/income tax and service tax.
The first LTU was set-up at Bangalore which commenced operation from 3rd October, 2006 followed by three more LTUs operating at Chennai from 1st December, 2007 in Mumbai from 27th March, 2008 and in Delhi from 2nd June, 2008.
What is an LTU?
LTU is a self-contained tax administration office under the Department of Revenue which acts as a single window clearance point for all matters relating to central excise, income tax/corporate tax and service tax. Entities would be able to file their excise return, direct taxes returns and service tax return at such LTUs and for all practical purposes will be assessed to all these taxes at these LTUs. Such units are equipped with modern facilities and trained manpower to assist the tax payers in all matters relating to direct and indirect tax/duty payments, filing of documents and returns, claim of rebates/refunds, settlement of disputes etc. The scheme aims at reducing tax compliance cost and delays, and bringing about uniformity in the matters of tax/duty determination. An eligible taxpayer can opt to avail of the facility of LTU scheme.
Establishment and Administration of LTUs
A Large Transfer Unit is headed by a Chief Commissioner. There are Commissioners posted in LTU, who hold executive and appellate charges. The powers and duties are similar to that of other field commissioner. The Chief Commissioners, LTU assigns a Client Executive for each taxpayer from among the Additional/Joint/Deputy/Assistant Commissioner posted in LTU, and the said Client Executive is to be the single point interface with the large taxpayer for all purposes.
The officers posted in LTU have All India jurisdiction in respect of all registered premises of a large taxpayer registered in that particular LTU. The erstwhile Central Excise or Service Tax Commissionerate officers have concurrent jurisdiction. However, the interaction with these units is limited to specific function requiring physical presence of the officers for purposes such as warehousing, sealing or any other work as assigned by the LTU.
The LTU performs all the statutory functions presently mandated under the Income Tax Act, 1961, Wealth Tax Act and Rules made there under (in respect of direct tax matters), under the Central Excise Act, 1944 and Rules made there under (in respect of central excise matters), Customs Act/Rules (in respect of functions handles by excise authorities), and under the Finance Act, 1994 and Service Tax Rules (in respect of service tax matters). The Chief Commissioner and Commissioners of an LTU are expected to play a pro-active role in the administration of the LTU.
Eligibility for Registration under LTU
The large taxpayers who pay direct and indirect taxes above the threshold limit as specified in Notification dated 30.09.2006 are eligible to seek registration under LTU as per the following norms:
Any person, engaged in the manufacture or production of goods, or a provider of taxable service, who has paid during the financial year 2004-05 or during the financial year preceding the year of filing of application for registration under LTU,
duties of excise of more than rupees five crores in cash or through account current; or
service tax of more than rupees five crores in cash or through account current; or
advance tax of more than rupees ten crores under the Income Tax Act, 1961,
and is presently assessed to income tax or corporate tax under the Income Tax Act, 1961, under certain jurisdictions of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
Procedure to Seek Registration under LTU
A large taxpayer opting for registration under LTU needs to file a consent form to the head of LTU, and thereafter, procedure for acceptance of his form and transfer of jurisdiction follows. This includes, Submission of consent form for registration under LTU, Verification and acceptance of application, Transfer of jurisdiction to LTU and assignment of a chief executive as a single point interface.
A large taxpayer may, with intimation of at least thirty days in advance, opt out to be a large taxpayer from the first day of the following financial year.
Various Provisions as Applicable to Large Taxpayer
When a large taxpayer gets registered under LTU, the provisions of service tax, excise and CENVAT credit would apply to it mutatis mutandis as they apply to other assessees subject to the following:
1. Provisions applicable in relation to self-adjustment of excess duty paid under Rule 12BB of the Central Excise Rules, 2002, whereby a large taxpayer manufacturing excisable goods is permitted to adject excess duty paid by him in the subsequent period.
2. Provisions applicable in relation to transfer of credit under Rule 12A(4) of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004, to any of its other manufacturing or service providing units.
3. Provisions in relation to filing of service tax return : A large taxpayer shall submit the individual returns for each of the registered premises (as he was filing prior to registration under LTU). A large taxpayer who has obtained a centralized registration of service tax shall submit a consolidated return for all such premises. However, all the unit returns would be filed with LTU office.
4. Provisions applicable in relation to transfer of intermediate goods/inputs/capital goods
under Rule 12BB of the Central Excuse Rules, 2002 and Rule 12A of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004. However these relaxation are applicable with certain conditions.
5. Export procedures in relation to sealing of export consignment (for excise duty assesses): Facility of self-sealing of export consignment is available to all the large taxpayers. The processing of accepting the proof of export shall be carried out only in the office of the LTU. However, in no case, export consignment should be held up for want of any procedural formalities. In case of sealing by the jurisdictional officers, the jurisdictional officers, whether of Customs or Central Excise, will continue to render the services of sealing as earlier.
Audit norms: A large taxpayer who is liable to be audited every year would not be ordinarily audited annually. As far as possible, the audit of the head office and all the units will be conducted simultaneously. In relation to production of financial records: A large taxpayer, on demand, may be required to make available the financial, stores and CENVAT credit records in electronic media, such as, compact disc or tape for the purpose of carrying out any scrutiny and verification, as may be necessary.
Receptibility of the Scheme:
LTU scheme started with 28 All India eligible Large Taxpayer. Presently 174 units are registered in the four LTUs. These include Multi-locational clients, Central Excise Registrants and Service Tax Registrants. LTU Bangalore only had an annual revenue collection of Rs. 12029 crore during 2012-13. The collection was Rs. 2369 crore in 2006-07, the first year of its operation.
Advantage of Registration under LTU
An assessee having registered under LTU enjoys several advantages. These include
(i) Filing of documents at a single place since a large taxpayer (single PAN-based entity) can file all his direct taxes, excise and service tax returns as also all other documents, correspondence, intimations such as export/import related central excise documents, bonds, proof of exports, etc. pertaining to all these establishment can be filed with LTUs.
(ii) Single point interaction at senior level as upon joining the LTU, an officer of the level of Assistant/Deputy/Joint/Additional Commissioner would be appointed as client executive for assistance in any/all tax matter. This ensures that the taxpayer need not interact with different section/officers of the LTU.
(iii) Once a taxpayer opts for the LTU scheme, the erstwhile jurisdictional field officer (including preventive units of the erstwhile Excise Commissionerates) would not suo motu visit its units or interact with them for any issue arising. However certain procedures under the Central Excise Rules, requiring physical control, and verification of premises or documents, would be carried out by the local Commissioniorates under the express directions of the LTU.
(iv) The taxpayer would have the option to transfer any excess CENVAT credit (of central excise duty or service tax) accumulated in one manufacturing unit or service providing unit to any other eligible unit of his choice through a simple mechanism.
(v) Movement of capital goods without duty reversal. An LTU taxpayer would have the facility of removing capital goods and inputs from one unit to any other unit of its choice, without payment of duty/reversal of credit through a simple method. Similarly the finished product of one unit can be transferred to another unit, without payment of duty, provided the second unit uses the products as inputs and pays excise duty on the finished goods manufactured using such inputs.
(vi) The taxpayers is not be subjected to mandatory audit. The selection of a taxpayer for audit would be based on – risk assessment. The Department ensures that audit schedulers are drawn in consultation with the taxpayers so as to cause minimum inconvenience.
(vii) It would be ensured that there is uniformity in the practice as regards classification, valuation, credit availment and similar other issues, for various units of a taxpayer. Trade notices will be issued centrally by the LTU.
(viii) The rebate/refund claims would be disposed off in a time bound manner within 30 days, if the claims filed are in order.
(ix) Use of Automation: Returns can be filed electronically and payment of taxes also can be made electronically. Greater use of e-mail for communication is encouraged.
(x) Interactive approach is adopted for dispute settlement. Before a show cause notice is issued, the matter under dispute is discussed for a resolution, if possible.
Joint Committee on LTU
A Joint Committee on LTU was set-up in August, 2012 to examine the administrative issues faced by the LTUs with a view and making them more efficient and effective. The major recommendation of the committee included: training officers at the cutting edge level (Superintendents/Inspectors) in Financial Accounting from reputed institutes like ICAI, IIMS/MDI etc; creation of a Research & Business Intelligence Unit in each LTU to coordinate with intelligence agencies and gather intelligence; constitution of 12 Audit Groups in each LTU administering 50 large taxpayers (with registrations up to 600 under Central Excise and Servicer Tax) for effective audit scrutiny; for auditing multi- locational units, LTU Audit Groups may be formed in major cities to undertake audit of the LTU entities, directly under the supervision of Commissioner (LTU); and additional LTUs may be set-up, one each at Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad as adequate number of large taxpayers is available in these jurisdictions.
(PIB Features.)

Vaccination must For Asians visiting endemic areas

  Dr. H. R. Keshavamurthy,Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata Yellow fever, also known as Yellow Jack is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease caused by a RNA virus, the first human virus discovered. The yellow fever virus is transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti, and other species) and is found in tropical […]

 

Dr. H. R. Keshavamurthy,Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata
Yellow fever, also known as Yellow Jack is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease caused by a RNA virus, the first human virus discovered. The yellow fever virus is transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti, and other species) and is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. Even though the main vector Aedes aegypti also occurs in Asia, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East, yellow fever does not occur in these areas; the reason for this is unknown.
Yellow fever presents in most cases with fever, chills, anorexia, nausea, muscle pain (with prominent backache) and headache, which generally subsides after several days. In some patients, a toxic phase follows, in which liver damage with jaundice (inspiring the name of the disease), can occur. Bleeding in the mouth, the eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract will cause blood vomiting, hence the Spanish name for yellow fever, vomito negro (black vomit).The toxic phase is fatal in approximately 20% of cases. Because of the increased bleeding tendency yellow fever belongs to the group of hemorrhagic fevers. Surviving the infection provides lifelong immunity and normally there is no permanent organ damage. The World Health Organization estimates that yellow fever causes 200,000 illnesses and 30,000 deaths every year in unvaccinated populations with nearly 90% of the infections in Africa.
Yellow fever is a clinical diagnosis, which often relies on the whereabouts of the diseased person during the incubation time. Mild courses of the disease can only be confirmed virologically. Since mild courses of yellow fever can also contribute significantly to regional outbreaks, every suspected case of yellow fever (involving symptoms of fever, pain, nausea and vomiting six to ten days after leaving the affected area) has to be treated seriously.
A safe and effective vaccine against yellow fever has existed since the middle of the 20th century, and some countries require vaccinations for travelers. Since no treatment is known, vaccination programs are of great importance in affected areas, along with measures to prevent bites and reduce the population of the transmitting mosquito. Since the 1980s, the number of cases of yellow fever has been increasing, making it a re-emerging disease. This is likely due to warfare and social disruption in several African nations.
Prevention
Personal prevention of yellow fever includes vaccination as well as avoidance of mosquito bites in areas where yellow fever is endemic. Institutional measures for prevention of yellow fever include vaccination programmes and measures of controlling mosquitoes. Programmes for distribution of mosquito nets for use in homes are providing reductions in cases of both malaria and yellow fever.
Vaccination
For journeys into affected areas, vaccination is highly recommended, since mostly non-native people suffer severe cases of yellow fever. The protective effect is established 10 days after vaccination in 95 percent of the vaccinated people and lasts for at least 10 years (81% of patients retained immunity even 30 years later). The WHO recommends routine vaccinations for people living in endemic areas between the 9th and 12th month after birth. In 2013, the World Health Organization concluded, “a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease.
Compulsory Vaccination
Some countries in Asia are theoretically in danger of yellow fever epidemics (mosquitoes with the capability to transmit yellow fever and susceptible monkeys are present), although the disease does not yet occur there. To prevent introduction of the virus, some countries demand previous vaccination of foreign visitors if they have passed through yellow fever areas. Vaccination has to be proven in a vaccination certificate which is valid 10 days after the vaccination and lasts for 10 years. A list of the countries that require yellow fever vaccination is published by the WHO. If the vaccination cannot be conducted for some reasons, dispensation may be possible. In this case, an exemption certificate issued by a WHO approved vaccination center is required.
Besides vaccination, control of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is of major importance, especially because the same mosquito can also transmit dengue fever and chikungunya disease. Aedes aegypti breeds preferentially in water, for example in installations by inhabitants of areas with precarious drinking water supply, or in domestic waste; especially tires, cans and plastic bottles. Especially in proximity to urban centres of developing countries, these conditions are very common and make a perfect habitat for Aedes aegypti.
Treatment
For yellow fever there is no causative cure. Hospitalization is advisable and intensive care may be necessary because of rapid deterioration in some cases. A symptomatic treatment includes rehydration and pain relief with drugs like paracetamol. Aspirin should not be given because of its anticoagulant effect, which can be devastating in the case of inner bleeding that can occur with yellow fever.
In high-risk areas where vaccination coverage is low, prompt recognition and control of outbreaks through immunization is critical to prevent epidemics. The disease may be difficult to distinguish from other illnesses, especially in the early stages. To confirm any suspicions from the case history, information on the patient’s journeys abroad and serology will confirm the diagnosis.
(PIB Features.)
.

WIFS Programme Making Young Strong

  Sarita Brara India is one among the countries with very high prevalence of anaemia. Fifty six per cent adolescent girls and 30 adolescent boys in India in the age group 10-19 years are anaemic according to the third National Family Health Survey. In our country almost 50 per cent of nutritional deficency related anaemia […]

 

Sarita Brara
India is one among the countries with very high prevalence of anaemia. Fifty six per cent adolescent girls and 30 adolescent boys in India in the age group 10-19 years are anaemic according to the third National Family Health Survey.
In our country almost 50 per cent of nutritional deficency related anaemia is iron deficiency anaemia. It is mainly the result of under nutrition and poor dietary intake of iron, not just among pregnant women, infants and young children but also adolescents. It is estimated that five crore adolescents in the age group of 15to 19 are anaemic.
Iron deficiency anaemia during adolescence can impair physical growth, cognitive development, reduce physical fitness and energy levels and can affect concentration and work performance. Iron deficiency in girls has more serious health consequences. It can have impact on their entire life cycle. Anaemic girls have lower pre pregnancy stores of iron. Anaemic adolescent girls have a higher risk of preterm delivery and having babies with low weight. Anaemia in adolescent girls also increases the risk of maternal death. One third of all the material deaths take place in young women in the age group of 15 to 24 years.
Therefore regular consumption of iron folic acid supplements along with diet rich in micronutrients is essential for prevention of iron deficiency anaemia in adolescent girls and boys.
It is in this context that a nation-wide Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) programme was launched in January this year to address this critical health issue.
The Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) programme is currently reaching out to 13 crore school-going girls and boys (class VI – XII) and out-of-school adolescent girls in government/ aided and municipal schools and Anganwadi Centres across all states in India.
There have been a few reports of minor side affects like nausea and vomiting in the recent past although guidelines have been issued on the consumption of these iron folic acid tablets to prevent side affect like nausea.
At a recent press conference Public health experts from Public Health and Nutrition Centre, AIIMS and UNICEF while sharing shared insights on the IFA tablets and WIFS programme threw light the side effects.
“When iron tablet is taken for the first time, the body may find it little difficult to digest and symptoms such as stomachache and nausea may occur. However, if taken after food, the absorption will be little low but stomach ache and nausea will not occur. These side effects will eventually disappear once the tablet is regularly taken for a few weeks as the body adjusts to the iron tablets. Hard stools after consuming iron-folic acid tablet are harmless. The body takes the iron it needs and the extra iron is removed through faeces. To reduce side affects IFA tablets should be taken on full stomach. Taking any vitamin or nutrient is never restricted during an illness. In fact, it helps speedy recovery from illness by improving immunity of the body. Iron folic acid tablet can be taken during illness and even during menstruation.”
Under WIFS programme functionaries across the states have been provided training as well as resource material to help build up skills so that this very important health programme is effectively implemented and monitored. The resources material talks about why it is important to prevent iron deficiency and anaemia, building skills for screening of moderate to severe, supply of logistic management four Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets. The states have also been advised to set up external quality monitoring cell for period inspection and also to ensure standards prescribed for quality are maintained for WIFS programme. Also in addition, there is a provision under the scheme for random batches of IFAs to be taken from the supplies of the state for periodic testing on quarterly or six monthly basis by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare in identified labs for monitoring the quality.
There are instruction at the schools and anganwadi levels also for monthly reporting and monitoring of the distribution of IFA and its proper storage as well as ensuring biannual de-worming of target groups.
Guildelines have also been issued on the intake of IFAs
These include:
Iron-folic acid tablets should be consumed after the main meal of the day to prevent side effects such as nausea.
Adolescent boys and girls who complain of side effects should be advised to take the IFA supplements after dinner and before retiring to sleep.
Increased intake of foods rich in Vitamin C such as lemon, amla etc can help absorb iron from the vegetarian Indian diet.
Use of iron vessels for cooking should be encouraged.
Drinking tea or coffee within an hour of consuming main meals should be discouraged.
Adolescent boys and girls should be motivated to follow correct hygiene practices and the habit of using footwear to prevent worm infestation.
Although guidelines have been issued, there a need to address to program implementation issues including training of teachers and functionaries involved in this critical health mission. There is a need for renewed emphasis on training with special reference to supervised ingestion which ensures correct method of IFA tablet intake. There is also a need for better monitoring of the programme.
The Current data shows that slow release ferrous sulphate preparations remain the established and standard treatment of iron deficiency. Weekly supplementation with iron and folic acid in menstruating women has been successfully implemented using different mechanisms in several countries (including Cambodia, Egypt, Laos, Philippines and Vietnam).
As rightly pointed out by Additional Secretary and Mission Director, NRHM, Mrs. Anuradha Gupta, the weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) is an evidence based programme for addressing Iron Deficiency Anaemia which is both safe and effective. She said that miniscule number of cases where some adolescents have had some minor side-effects should not act as a deterrent to this very important public health initiative.

There is however a need to spread awareness and not misinformation about WIFS by ensuring effective implementation and proper monitoring of this ambitious programme critical for the health growth and development of adolescent boys and girls.PIB Features

 

Book Railway Tickets on mobile without internet

  H. C. Kunwar Deputy Director (Media & Communication), PIB, New Delhi. The user-friendly SMS based ticketing system which has already been effective since 28th June 2013, is being introduced by the Indian Railways in order to further improve the customer convenience and empower the common man who does not have access to internet and […]

 

H. C. Kunwar
Deputy Director (Media & Communication), PIB, New Delhi.
The user-friendly SMS based ticketing system which has already been effective since 28th June 2013, is being introduced by the Indian Railways in order to further improve the customer convenience and empower the common man who does not have access to internet and cannot afford to buy smart phones.
Since the mobile penetration in India has increased rapidly, this new system will be helpful in enabling booking of tickets by masses themselves. Ticket booking through non-internet based mobile, introduced as a pilot project by Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Railways, will also help Railways in overcoming the menace of touting whereby unsuspecting people are fleeced by such elements.
This will particularly be useful for labourers and workers staying away from their home and who have to book tickets for travel to their native place.
Inconvenience in booking reserved railway tickets has been a cause of concern for all.
In order to facilitate easy access, Indian Railways have been making efforts by expanding the passenger reservation system counters network.
The online booking through IRCTC has now grown up to about 45% of total reserved tickets. This has eased the rush at counters to a great extent. While internet access in India is only about 10%, mobiles are now in easy reach and more than 80% people in our country use mobile phones.
The key features of ticket booking on mobile are as follow:-
Railway e-ticket now on mobile
• IRCTC introduces for the first time a non-internet based ticketing system that will empower masses even in remote areas to use the omnipresent mobile device to make reservations.
• Millions of rail travellers can now use their mobile phones to book tickets in a simple, convenient and secured manner.
• It uses simple SMS or menu-based USSD technology which works on all mobile phones and involves no internet and costs very little.
• The services can be availed by IRCTC registered users only.
Advantages of booking IRCTC tickets via mobile
• No need to stand in long queues or log onto the internet.
• Simple, reliable and secured.
• Accessible to any mobile user.
• Very little charges for accessing the service.
• Works on all handsets.
• Simple user guided menu – book tickets, search for stations, trains, availability.
Book your ticket through USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) based booking for Airtel subscribers*
Registration
• Register for Airtel money by dialing *400#.
• Load cash on this or recharge from any Airtel money outlet.
Booking Flow
• Dial *400# and select book tickets option.
• Select Reservation.
• Enter your IRCTC User ID.
• Enter the details of ticket (station, train no. date of journey, class etc.).
• Enter mPIN for authorizing payment.
• Booking confirmation SMS is sent by IRCTC and same can be used during journey along with valid ID proof.
• Fare & IRCTC service charges are debited from your Airtel money account.
• Charges: No PG Charges.
• Agent / IRCTC Service Charges: As applicable Helpline No.: 121 Helpline Email : 121@airtelmoney.in
Book your ticket through SMS
1. SMS based booking through 139*
Registration
• Register your mobile number with IRCTC as well as with your bank.
• Bank provides MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) & OTP (one time password) for authorization of payment. (More than 25 banks are providing this facility. For details, visit website: http://www.npci.org.in/bankmember.aspx.)

Book Railway Tickets
Booking Flow
• Send SMS, in the following syntax, to 139 BOOK <TrainNo><FromStn.Code><ToStn.Code> <TravelDate (DDMM)><Class><Passenger-Name><Age><M/F>
• You will receive Transaction ID alongwith other details.
• Make payment through sending an SMS, in the following syntax, to 139 PAY <Transaction ID as received><IMPS><Your MMID as received from the bank><OTP, your one time password received for this transaction><IRCTCUserID> and your ticket is booked.
• Service is available to all mobile subscribers.
• SMSes @ Rs 3/- per SMS (2 SMSes are required for each booking).
• PG charges Rs 5/- for ticket amount <Rs 5000/ and Rs 10/- for ticket amount > Rs 5000/- (as applicable by bank).
• Agent / IRCTC Service Charges: As applicable
Helpline No.: 139
Helpline Email : smsticket139@bharatbpo.in
2. SMS based booking through 5676714*
Registration
• Register your mobile number with IRCTC as well as with m-wallet (http://www.zipcash.in/user/nlogin.aspx)
• Send SMS, to 5676717, in the following syntax START <irctc user Id> for user authentication (first time only)
Booking Flow
• Send an SMS to 5676714 to book a ticket in the following syntax: BOOK<From stn.code>,<to stn.code>, <DDMMYY>, <Trainno>,<Class>, <passenger name>,<age>,<M/F>
• You will receive the Transaction number.
• Send the 2nd SMS, for payment, in the following syntax.
1. “PAY <transaction no>, MPAY, <m-PIN>” for authorizing payment through MPAY
or
2. “PAY <mobileno>,<mmid>,<amount>, <transaction Id>,<OTP>” for authorizing payment through IMPS.
• After payment is made booking confirmation is sent to your mobile.
• Charges: No PG Charges. Agent / IRCTC Service Charges: As applicable. SMSes @ Rs 3/- per SMS (2 SMSes are required for each booking).
Helpline No. : 8882001001
Helpline Email : support@saarthii.com
3. SMS based booking through BSNL*
User should have the following:
1. BSNL SIM card installed.
2. Java enabled mobile phone.
3. Andhra Bank Prepaid card.
This is a menu driven application where user has to enter the details asked for in simple step-by-step process to get the ticket.
Registration
• Install the application.
• Select the Register option to get the mPIN.
Booking
• Click the icon BSNL Prepaid Card
• Select Ticketing > Train (IRCTC)
• Fill up the journey details such as From stn, To Stn, Train No, DOJ, Class, Quota, passenger details.
• Enter the mPIN to get the ticket information.
• Charges: No PG Charges. Agent / IRCTC Service Charges: As applicable. SMSes without charges.
Helpline No. : +91-8801298038
Helpline Email : bsnl.support@pyrogroup.com
*This service will not be available between 0800-1200 hrs. However, the ticket can still be booked using mobile through IRCTC main site www.irctc.co.in
(PIB Feature).

Awareness Help Beed Improve Child Sex Ratio

  Manish Desai Bhavana Gokhale PIB Mumbai Two years ago, Beed in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region made news nationwide on account of heinous crime of female foeticide, leading to a serious crackdown on several medical practitioners. According to 2011 census, Beed recorded a Child Sex Ratio of 796 girls per 1000 boys, much worse than the […]

 

Manish Desai
Bhavana Gokhale
PIB Mumbai
Two years ago, Beed in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region made news nationwide on account of heinous crime of female foeticide, leading to a serious crackdown on several medical practitioners. According to 2011 census, Beed recorded a Child Sex Ratio of 796 girls per 1000 boys, much worse than the Child Sex Ratio of 894 for Maharashtra and the all India figure of 914.
Child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of females per 1000 males in the 0 – 6 age group. This ratio, on its own may not be able to present a correct picture of sex ratio as there are instances of under reporting of girls. Therefore, the Sex Ratio at Birth, defined as the number of girls born for every 1000 boys, is considered a more accurate and a refined indicator.
While unplanned pregnancy is generally the reason behind abortions, female foeticide is a far more heinous crime than the age old practice of killing the unwanted child after it was born. Selective elimination of the girl child in the womb itself is done after the determination of child’s gender through the medical means. This is usually done under family pressure from the husband or in-laws or even women’s parents. Sadly a majority of female foeticide cases involve an enthusiastic participation of women – both old and young.
Like many societies around the world, India too is patriarchal in nature. Right from the ancient scriptures, one finds instances were men are glowingly praised as the key to continue family lineage. This results in a fanatic obsession for a male progeny.
A Wake Up Call
Alarm bells began to ring when the rampant practice of pre natal sex selection came to light with the connivance of several reputed medical practitioners in Beed. The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention of Sex Determination) Act, enacted by Parliament of India in 1994, bans use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevents the misuse of prenatal diagnostic technique for sex selective abortion. However, due to laxity in enforcement, the there was no let up in discrimination against the girl child.
The state government woke up to the challenge and announced a slew of measures to stop female foeticide and catch its perpetrators. Teams were formed to crack down on illegal ultrasound centres indulging in sex determination tests. Food & Drug Administration kept a watch on the sale of drugs and medicines required for medical termination of pregnancy. Action was taken against 12 chemists in Beed district who failed to provide satisfactory replies to the show cause notices served upon them.
Awareness is the Key
To supplement the enforcement programme, a massive awareness drive was initiated to drive home the importance of girl child. Besides the public service advertisements broadcast over television and radio, Amir Khan’s TV show ‘Satyamev Jayate’ also helped raise the level of awareness about female foeticide.
Voluntary Organizations (NGOs) came forward to supplement government’s efforts in this girl child mission. In Beed, organizations like ‘Tee Foundation’ and ‘Marathwada Lok Vikas Manch’ came forward to adopt talukas, in a bid to improve child sex ratio. These Voluntary Organizations adopted Shirur-Kasar taluka for a comprehensive survey and provision of necessary support services. “It was a grim scenario when we began our survey in 2011; Beed had a low sex ratio of 733 and it was even worse in Shirur- Kasar taluka, where child sex ratio was only 669” says Dr. Bharati Lavekar of the Tee foundation .
The Voluntary Organizations conducted house to house surveys and listed out the reasons for adverse sex ratio. “After studying the mind-set and the behavioural pattern of villagers, we became convinced that the situation can not be improved merely by enacting laws or conducting television sting operations. We needed to get to the root of the problem and change people’s mindset” adds Dr.Lavekar.
While the government supervised strict enforcement of the PCPNDT Act, holistic health services were made available to pregnant women through regular health check up, vitamin administration and nutrition supplement under the National Rural Health Mission, NRHM. Special training programmes were held for ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) volunteers and Anganwadi Sevikas for skill upgradation. Voluntary Organizations played a key role in inter-personal communication, by reaching out to women during their free time.
To motivate people to raise girl child a fixed deposit scheme under the Balika Suraksha Yojana was introduced. Under this scheme Rs 5000 would be deposited in the name of every girl child born after August 15, 2011 to be held as Fixed Deposit with State Bank of Hyderabad for a term of 18 years. The lump sum money would be payable to the girl on becoming a major, subject to attaining certain minimum educational qualifications.
Surprise Results
Sincere efforts of government, voluntary organizations and citizen activists began to show results. A report prepared by the State Health System Resource Centre based on District Health Information System – an online portal for calculating sex ration at birth, had a surprise for everyone associated with the project. Beed district recorded an impressive 159 points jump in sex ratio during 2012 as compared to 2011. According to the NRHM Mission Director for Maharashtra, Vikas Kharge, “awareness drives, stringent enforcement of law, initiation of technology like mother and child tracking system, routine inspection and crackdown on ultra-sound / sonography centres have all resulted in improving the state’s sex ratio at birth. Along with Beed, Parabhani and Aurangabad have also shown improvement.”
At 906 girls per 1000 boys, Beeds sex ratio at birth is now on par, or rather a shade better than the state average. However, activists say there is still a long way to go to catch up with the ideal sex ratio of 951.
(PIB Features.)

Demolishing or burning houses of criminals, is punishable under law

Ayo Kasar, MPS (Rtd.) Among the crimes, the worst and most hateful crime is “Rape”. This is a serious type of this offence and general public generally take a very sympathetic view towards the victim, and looks at this offence with a sort of repulsion. The infurious mob used to go on a rampage rush […]

Ayo Kasar, MPS (Rtd.)
Among the crimes, the worst and most hateful crime is “Rape”. This is a serious type of this offence and general public generally take a very sympathetic view towards the victim, and looks at this offence with a sort of repulsion. The infurious mob used to go on a rampage rush to the house of the criminal becoming an emotive mob suddenly trespassing into the house and without any words to the family members who were in a dark, about the incident starts demolishing or burning the house. The mob thinks the action they are taking is in favour of the victim’s family and that law protects them under the provision of “General Exception” of Chapter IV, Indian Penal Code, but, rather, it is definitely liable for punishment under the provision of Chapter VIII, “The offence against the public tranquility” of Indian Penal Code, whether individually or jointly for forming unlawful assembly with a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence or offences punishable even for lifer, as the long arm of law will catch to every offender and book them to law without any group or partial consideration. Law does not exempt to any law breakers, whether he belongs to poor or high family but takes its own course. The mob should also understand that the crime that had been committed either Rape or Murder was not committed by the properties or by the houses, but was committed by the criminal himself/themselve, and therefore the liability for punishment.
The general public may also realise that there are various provisions of Acts and laws other than that of the Indian Penal Code that can be charged or fixed on any criminals, like Security Acts, Collective Fines(Act) etc. There had been a very shocking incident last year in Delhi, where a lady Physio Therapist was Gang Raped in a Bus by four youths, and thereafter ghastly beaten up, dumped somewhere and later succumped to her injuries in Singapur Hospital. The criminals were instantly caught red-handed with the help of the general public and now in Tihar Jail. The addresses and their houses were welly located by every body, but no any mischievous act done on the properties or houses. The Govt. of India is seriously thinking about the rise of Rape in India and therefore ammended the punishment of rape for lifer. Let us also try to restrain from continuing such unlawful activities and instead extend aids to the law enforcing agencies in apprehending the culprits for punishment in time.

Empowering Mentally Ill to Live with Dignity

Dr. H. R. Keshavamurthy Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata. Mental health represents a critical indicator of human development, serves as a key determinant of well-being, quality of life and is the basis for social stability. Social and economic impact of poor mental health is pervasive and far reaching, leading to poverty, high unemployment rates, […]

Dr. H. R. Keshavamurthy
Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, Kolkata.
Mental health represents a critical indicator of human development, serves as a key determinant of well-being, quality of life and is the basis for social stability. Social and economic impact of poor mental health is pervasive and far reaching, leading to poverty, high unemployment rates, poor educational and health outcomes, among others. There is a need for a wider recognition of mental and emotional well-being as a core indicator of human development, and it is necessary to integrate a mental health and psychosocial perspective into all development and humanitarian policies, programmes.
Persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities represent a significant proportion of the world’s population. One in four people globally experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. Almost one million people die due to suicide every year and depression is ranked third in the global burden of disease, and is projected to rank first in 2030. In India prevalence of mental disorders is 6-7% for common mental disorders and 1-2% for severe mental disorders. Treatment gap for severe mental disorders is approximately 50% and in case of Common mental Disorders it is over 90%.With such a magnitude of mental disorders it becomes necessary to promote mental health services for the well being of general population, in addition to provide treatment for mental illnesses.
Persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities often face stigma and discrimination due to widely held misconceptions about the causes and nature of mental health conditions. Persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities also experience high levels of physical abuse. They encounter restrictions in their exercise of socio-politico-economic rights in the majority of countries, largely due to the false assumption that they are not able to carry out their responsibilities, manage their own affairs and make decisions about their lives.
Though mental health conditions are one of the leading causes of disability, persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities often lack resources to maintain basic living standards. Furthermore, they are one of the most neglected and discriminated groups in development policies and programmes. Integration of mental health into development efforts is a cost effective pro-poor strategy. There are cost effective treatments available for most mental illnesses, and effective treatment is associated with reductions in overall health-care costs. Child development, education, health, social welfare policies and programmes must integrate mental and psychosocial aspects.
In India, National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) was started in 1982 with the objectives to ensure availability and accessibility of minimum mental health care for all, to encourage mental health knowledge and skills and to promote community participation in mental health service development and to stimulate self-help in the community. Gradually, the approach of mental health care services has shifted from hospital based care (institutional) to community based mental health care, as majority of mental disorders do not require hospitalization and can be managed at community level.
During IX five year plan, District Mental Health Programme was initiated (1996) and at present DMHP is covering 123 districts in 30 States and UTs. In addition to early identification and treatment of mentally ill, District Mental Health Programme has now incorporated promotive and preventive activities for positive mental health which includes; School Mental Health services; College Counselling services; work place stress management and suicide prevention services. Efforts are being made to improve human resource availability in mental health sector so that mentally ill gets required attention and persons having a predilection for mentally illness can get good advice, counselling at the initial stages itself. Components of NHMP are being brought under the overall umbrella of National Rural Health Mission so that the States are able to plan requirements concerning Mental Health services as part of the respective project plans. Rs.623.45 crore has been approved as XI plan outlay (upto 2012) for the National Mental Health Programme.
However, recognizing the difficulties/stigma faced by mentally ill persons the Government is in the process of providing a humane, patient centric legal framework for mentally ill patients. The proposed Mental Health Care bill can be a ‘Game changer’ in the life of millions of mentally ill persons who were often victims of inhuman and degrading treatment, abuse and ridicule, both at the community level and at health care delivery establishments.
The proposed Mental Health Care bill is significant in terms of Rights’ Approach that is being adopted to give pre-eminence to the preferences and opinion of the mentally ill person to a major extent. Provisions like ‘Advance Directive’ empowers every person to make directive on how he wishes to be cared and treated for mental illness or not. Other salient provisions are;
A mentally ill person admitted to a mental health establishment shall have a right to receive or refuse visitors, phone calls, mail,etc
A mentally ill person has a right to have treatment in his locality /
residence and can prefer only minimum treatment/care at mental health establishments. This is to ensure that the patient is allowed to live in, be part of and not be segregated from society to the extent possible
· Every patient has a right to protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and the mental health establishment shall be safe, clean with facilities for education, recreation, religious practices.
· No patient shall be forced to undertake work and subject to compulsory shaving of head and wearing of uniforms.
· Mental illness may be made eligible for medical insurance coverage.
· Government is duty-bound to plan, implement mental health programmes and create awareness about mental health and illness to reduce the associated with mental illness
· Every person will have access to mental health care and treatment at affordable cost, of good quality and of requisite quantity, accusable to the report, their families and care givers
· Government should interpret mental health services into general health care services at all levels in all health programmes.
· Government shall arrange good quality care and treatment in hospitals funded by government and in case of non availability in nearby place; refund the costs of treatment to the patient.
To conclude, a mentally well person means a healthy society and developed nation. It is not enough if we have best health care services, protective legislation unless the stigma, discrimination and widely held misconceptions attached to mental illness are weeded out and community becomes more empathetic towards such persons.
(PIB Features.)