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ANINDA GHOSH

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 2/15/2016 |




THE  LAST PAGE
 “ When the king becomes stronger & controls the nation , petty thief, terrorists n traitors feel d heat n complain of intolerance in d society.” Chanakya  ( 371—283 BC).
Does this  mean,  Chanakya’s  style of best admin practice is  Autocracy??? Chanakya  was no democrat;  did Netaji  want an autocratic India???

Hello all & welcome to  2016’s 1st edition of The Last  Page.  This month, I shall deal on  the ongoing quest   for  the   final call on growth  u/ MOdi Regime first. 15+ months  are over since the Euphoria began  &  he gave  a momentous lecture as a dalit / underprivileged PM  of India . Around 18 months later where do we stand?  And, why?  Sensex is back to almost where he began , after  going up to 30K mark. Shall it touch that mark again &  shall India  ever be able to match  China?   If yes, then how?  We  shall deliberate on, whether  economy  is going on the right track.  As usual,  my essay   shall  be a  consortium of essays that depict n draw the ultimate picture very meticulously. At the end, you shall  be the final call taker whether  Govt  is in right direction. We whole heartedly welcome what has been done. Yes, Fundamental changes are  happening &  Structural changes are  all sweeping  us.  But   can the real  masses benefit this way?   Modi’s  Gujarat model itself is questionable in so far as  overall  development & HDI growth has been lackluster there.   Along with  GOI, we shall try  to  discuss on the role of RBI in infusing growth stimulus.
Second, we shall discuss  on Tolerance  , thru different angles n paradigms. Intolerance of all sorts are   overflowing  in the nation , as more n more  impediments to growth are besetting us.
Then, we  shall deliberate on Swachhata  in detail &  the pros, cons , possibility, reality  of NAMO’s  slogan from practical perspectives.
Lastly, we shall  deal  in  comparative  growth  models of our states, their   relative pros n cons and  compulsive junoon of  us to stay in   developed states despite  all odds.  How we love to adapt to uneasy lives.
And a  bit of China shall  also be in the palate, both  on pros  side & cons. It is still a dragon , but like war ravaged  zones , big cities are sending back truck full  of labor from  closed industries’   bunkers to   rural side. 


In the face of serious attack of China on global  economy, we got the following piece from Mr P Chidambaram  as  a comparison between  the Dragon & the dwarf , which subdues all unnecessary  exaggeration n glorification  of  Indian  economic decade  by  the  BJP hierarchy.
***India became independent in 1947; the Communist Party of China (CPC) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949. However, the two countries are not siblings separated by two years. India’s multi-party democracy is constantly compared with the one-party system of China. When China grew at a blistering pace, as it did for nearly three decades, India’s growth rates, pre-liberalization and post-liberalization, appeared tepid and insufficient. When China’s growth rate has slowed down, some in India—and many in the government—seem to think it is a cause for celebration!
China has been the main driver of world growth for a decade. Through the 1997 Asian currency crisis and through the 2008 international financial crisis, China continued to grow at an unprecedented rate. China became the world’s factory—from toys to shoes to steel to capital goods. China also accumulated the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves which at one point stood at an unbelievable $4 trillion. It was only a matter of time before Chinese entrepreneurs got into the leader-board in non-manufacturing. Among the world’s leading service sector companies are China Mobile, China Life Insurance and Alibaba. Among the world’s top five banks, three are Chinese banks.
China’s focus
Keen observers of China are agreed that China’s leadership remains focused on two issues. The first is to maintain the absolute control of the CPC over all organs of the state and all entities in the country and the second is to promote rapid economic growth and become the world’s largest economy. In the pursuit of the latter goal, China’s economy has gone through many ‘transitions’ and is undergoing one today. It has to transit from manufacturing to services, investment-driven to consumption-driven economy, and export-led to domestic demand-led growth. Besides other causal factors, the pain and price of the transition are reflected in the slowdown of GDP growth and the depreciation of the currency (yuan).Despite the slowdown to 6.9% in 2015, China had a record trade surplus of $595 billion. Despite capital flowing out at an average rate of $100 billion a month during the last eight months, China’s reserves are at $3.3 trillion. Despite world demand falling, China’s exports in 2015 declined by only 2.5% over 2014. And despite bad investments, rising debt and loss of confidence among savers, the yuan depreciated by only 6% in 2015.In comparison, India’s GDP growth in 2015-16 is not likely to exceed 7%, India’s exports have declined by 18.08% during April-December 2015 over the same period last year, there will be a current account deficit of about $30 billion, and the rupee has depreciated by 9% during April 2015 to January 2016. The stock market indices are back to the levels they were in May 2014. Job creation has practically collapsed.
Empty boast
There is no reason to boast that India is “doing better than China” or that “India is the fastest growing large economy”. India’s economy must transit from consumption-driven to investment-driven and from services-led to manufacturing-led. We will also experience pain. Competition among countries is different from competition among companies. It is not a zero sum game where the pain of one country will be the gain of another. If China’s demand falls, it will import less from India. If commodity prices do not recover, China will continue to dump its products in India and Indian producers will suffer. If the yuan’s volatility roils world currency markets, the rupee will also be hit. It is believed that the RBI may have spent $3.6 billion in the first two weeks of January to arrest the depreciation of the rupee. So, in the short run, China’s woes may cause us more pain, not less. Last September, it was reported that the Prime Minister had called a meeting of industry leaders to discuss whether and how India could take advantage of the situation where the Chinese economy appeared to be in trouble. Some advisers are reported to have presented the situation as an ‘opportunity’ for India. Even now, there are some commentators who believe that India can take ‘advantage’ of the situation. Such advice is not only misplaced but could lead to misjudgments and wrong prescriptions for the problems that the country is likely to face.
The transition
The Prime Minister must indeed initiate a dialogue. The conversation should be about the real issues: the exchange rate and how India should deal with the probability of some depreciation; the travails of Indian producers and how the government can help them in the near term; how to arrest and then reverse the decline in exports; and how to enthuse Indian investors to make investments in the real economy (especially in manufacturing industries) when the reality is that many current projects are either stalled or have been scrapped. Above all, the Prime Minister must begin a conversation on how to initiate and manage the transition of India’s economy that I referred to earlier. China is not India’s sibling, nor is China India’s nemesis. It is a country that has recognized the imperative and the difficulties of transiting to a market economy and is struggling to find the right mix of policies. India is in the same situation.
Website: pchidambaram.in/@Pchidambaram_
2015 has seen a decade  of decay  in birth rate  among downtrodden, whereby backward Muslim & not so backward Hindu growth rate &  demographic distribution has stabilized at  87-10 in AP to TN 88-6, MH 80:12, AS61:34, WB 71: 27, JK 28:68, UP 80: 19,  GJ 89:10, overall 80:14. However, Muslims  have better women skewing % at 951 to 1000 as against  Hindus with 936 women to 1000 men.  Does it indicate more empowerment despite purdah &  lesser dowry burden in Muslims ???
No justice was delivered  by murderers  of Union Carbide  to Bhopal victims &  India, fighting for much lesser restriction on GNG limits for unfettered growth, is  apprehending its capital surpassing  Beijing in pollution.

***Just to cut cost of administration Gandhi wanted dominion status of India which in his interpretation INDEPENDENCE."The iniquities sampled above are maintained in order to carry on a foreign administration, demonstrably the most expensive in the world. Take your own salary. It is over Rs. 21,000 per month, besides many other indirect additions. The British Prime Minister gets £5,000 per year, i.e. over Rs. 5,400 per month at the present rate of exchange. You are getting over Rs. 700 per day against India's average income of less than two annas per day. The Prime Minister gets Rs. 180 per day against Great Britain's average income of nearly Rs. 2 per day. Thus you are getting much over five thousand times India's average income. The British Prime Minister is getting only ninety times Britain's average income. On bended knee I ask you to ponder over this phenomenon. I have taken a personal illustration to drive home a painful truth. I have too great a regard for you as a man to wish to hurt your feelings. I know that you do not need the salary you get. Probably the whole of your salary goes for charity. But a system that provides for such an arrangement deserves to be summarily scrapped. What is true of the Vice regal salary is true generally of the whole administration.
A radical cutting down of the revenue, therefore, depends upon an equally radical reduction in the expenses of the administration. This means a transformation of the scheme of Government. This transformation is impossible without Independence."
"But the resolution of Independence should cause no alarm, if the word Dominion Status mentioned in your announcement had been used in its accepted sense. For, has it not been admitted by responsible British statesmen, that Dominion Status is virtual Independence? What, however, I fear is that there never has been any intention of granting such Dominion Status to India in the immediate future."

Now, question is, why cannot India take the lead?  Let us  see 

****Coming to  GDP growth @ Indian storyboard, since the  inception of RTE, the  real growth in quality of education has  really deteriorated n depleted.  And the no of seats vacant in engg  colleges  is between 12K & 28 K. Around 80% of MBA & MCA seats are vacant, too.  So, India has seen  mushrooming 11744  agro deaths in 2014 & her NCRB putting 2015 figures  at a juggled 5650 . How? Of 9 crore agro  households, we have 58% rural ones & 70%  of this no  lives on <an acre  of land, earning  4152/- pm, against an exp of 5403/- pm. Even better  marginal farmers with land holding between  2.5—5 acre ( 25% in no) also run on a monthly deficit of around Rs 800/- pm. Arjun Sengupta Committee  put average monthly income at even lower at just 2115/- pm.   It is a reckoned fact  that  till NERGA was in full force, an additional  of  40/- to 80/- per day* 100  days  used to come to each adult of such households, reducing their  needs to go out  to fertile states in search of jobs. We saw a wane on emigration from  Telengana n  Jharkhand  to  AP-MH & Bihar respectively &  in fact, Punjab lobby was up in arms as the rich agro state faced acute dearth of cheap n bonded labor.  As a staunch opponent of  Senonomics, HDI in not  a principal development indicator for Dr  Pangharya & Dr Subramanyan, the 2 right eco stalwarts & so they  have prescribed reduction of NERGA to bare minimum. The statistics  proves it  all. As depicted by  GOI’s MRD website on NERGA, approved labor budget has got reduced  to just 221 cr in 14-15 against 279 cr in 12-13. Person-days generated  has also come down from 230 cr to 166 cr in the same period. Average wageday per household is also down from 46 to 36 ( same  trend for SC/ST),  & no of households completing 100 wage days is down from 52 lac to 25  lac ( 15-16 just 11lac)  Total households participation has also come down from 5 cr to 4 cr. GPs with nil exp on this count  is also  up from 25 K to 32 K & now 39K. This year  just 12 lac jobs are  completed against 12-13’s 26 lac.  % component of labor in NERGA jobs is down to 24 from 28  & wages exp this year is just Rs 20 K cr against 12-13’s Rs 27 K Cr. % component of agro is up by 10% over 12-13’s 56%.

Indian Express 30.1.16---Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan has indicated that “existing loans will have to be written down significantly” by banks in order to tackle the rising menace of non-performing assets.Rajan, who made some plain speaking about the banking sector, also said “some banks will have to merge to optimise their use of resources” and advised the government to allow the boards more freedom to differentiate their (public sector) banks and offer more compensation for bank directors.“If loans are written down, the promoter brings in more equity, and other stakeholders like the tariff authorities or the local government chip in, the project may have a strong chance of revival, and the promoter will be incentivised to try his utmost to put it back on track. But to do all this deep surgery, the bank has to classify the asset as a non performing asset (NPA), a label banks are eager to avoid,” Rajan said. Alternatively, instead of deep surgery, the banks could apply band aids, they could “extend and pretend”, lending the promoter the money he needs to make loan payments. “The project’s debt obligations grow, the promoter loses further interest, and the project goes into further losses,” he said while delivering the CD Deshmukh lecture in New Delhi.Public sector banks are sitting on over Rs 7,00,000 crore stressed assets (including NPAs and restructured loans). The RBI has already asked banks to review certain loan accounts and their classification over the two quarters ending December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2016. The RBI has a list of accounts which banks will have to recognise as NPAs on the books even though on payments, they are not 90 days behind on the due dates.As bank health recovers, the issue of PSU banks mergers can be addressed, he said. “Almost surely, some banks will have to merge to optimise their use of resources. But talking of bank mergers, which take a lot of management attention, especially when each bank management is preoccupied with dealing with stressed assets, is probably premature,” Rajan said. He said more decisions need to be decentralised from the government to the PSB boards, once they have been fully professionalised. “If we want to address the concern that many public banks have identical strategies and are competing for the same pie, we have to allow the boards more freedom to differentiate their banks,” Rajan said. On compensation for board members, Rajan said: “We have to pay board members of PSBs a market compensation if we are to attract decent talent.”While the profitability of some banks may be impaired in the short run, the system, once cleaned, will be able to support economic growth in a sustainable and profitable way, he said.
So, banking system in India  is at one of the evil roots. Can India take a cue from  Bank of Japan’s  negative interest rate declaration?? Can’t  RBI too make CDR/ SLR as near 1??  Or, what if  the GOI  puts in the whole of Rs 17K  crore mopped up just  in last 3 months  into welfare economy?? Just  1% of  budget deficit increase on GDP  releases to economy  Rs 9 lac crore.  And , when Rs 16 lac crore of bank funds are blocked  in industries, what better  way is  there to garner some more funds??
Now, let us  hear, what Mr Rajan says  on that—
Rajan said that macroeconomic stability during the global turmoil cannot be risked and the government and RBI should continue to bring down inflation.

"As Brazil's experience suggests, the enormous costs of becoming an unstable country far outweigh any small growth benefits that can be obtained through aggressive policies. We should be very careful about jeopardising our single most important strength during this period of global turmoil - macroeconomic stability," he said here.Delivering the CD Deshmukh Memorial lecture, Rajan said there is a public discussion whether India should yet again postpone fiscal consolidation path . "Unfortunately, the growth multipliers on government spending at this juncture are likely to be much smaller, so more spending will probably hurt debt dynamics. Put differently, it is worth asking if there really are very high-return investments that we are foregoing by staying on the consolidation path?" he said. "So we actually expanded the aggregate deficit in the last calendar year. With UDAY, the scheme to revive state power distribution companies, coming into operation in the next fiscal, it is unlikely that states will be shrinking their deficits, which puts pressure on the centre to adjust more," he said.

In folded  hands, now let us ask  , sir, tell us, what ‘s  to be done?? Kly  tell us straight, no round about  talks.
Professor Nouriel Roubini who was sharing the stage with Panagariya at the ET GBS agreed that the current government is moving in the right direction. "Key thing for India is to continue what they are doing but the country needs to accelerate their pace of reform," Roubini said. 
Respected Rajan Sahab, why cannot India deficit finance  the Rs 70 K crore?  And what is  this govt’s role  on Rs 6 lac crore  held up in a handful of industries? Just  Rs 3770 crore  of black money  was  recovered  by GOI; is it even peanuts in economic reforms??
ET, 15.6.15---The RBI has since January cut the repo rate by 75 basis points and is regarded by its critics as being behind the curve, especially in relation to counterparts in Asia that have opted for aggressive cuts to boost growth. The government has been quick to get off the starting blocks with April spending at a two decade high of 8.7 per cent of the amount budgeted for the entire fiscal year. This pattern is set to continue. "Early spending can give the much needed impetus to growth," the official said.
Why cannot  RBI  go a  step bolder &  bring in d revolution???  Just  read below,  amidst all menaces n messes  of NPAs  & mismanagements, tagged  to  both PSu & pvt banks ( more on psu banks obviously) , but  undeniable remains the contribution of SBI  &  a  host of other banks in nation building,  leaving apart their  economic ruining by  political circles.
India Today 23.1.16 , Mahesh Naik—
Kalim Khan, 26, cycles to every nook and corner of the Aul block in Kendrapara district, some 100 km from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, to sell ITC's Mangaldeep agarbattis, Sunfeast Yippee noodles, Fiama/Vivel soaps and Aashirvaad flour. Till a year ago, the college dropout with a family of close to a dozen to support, was unemployed. His life changed after he enrolled for 15-day training at State Bank of India's (SBI's) Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) that it conducts under tie-ups with big companies such as ITC "Our household income has doubled. I have also taken a bank loan of Rs 50,000 to expand my business," says a beaming Khan, who earns up to Rs 8,000 a month. Khan's younger brother is now eagerly waiting for the next training programme in the district so that he, too, can join.
Khan is among the 139,805 rural youth who have got employed out of the 295,830 that SBI has trained since 2009 at its 11,160 RSETI programmes across 116 branches. It has, over the past one year, substantially scaled up the initiative by tying up with several companies such as Larsen & Toubro, Kansai-Nerolac Paints, Ambuja Cements and TVS Motors. The aim is to generate opportunities for people at the bottom of the pyramid.
Such initiatives, plus the sheer reach of its 16,000-plus branches (of which 66 per cent are in rural and semi-urban areas) and one-fifth credit exposure to agriculture and small and medium enterprise, or SME, segments, got SBI selected as the best in financial inclusion initiatives in the Business Today-KPMG Best Bank awards for 2015.
SBI's financial inclusion initiatives date back to 1951, when the first Five-Year Plan was launched. Until then, commercial banks, including SBI's earlier avatar, Imperial Bank of India, used to focus primarily on urban India. However, it was in 1973 that these initiatives started getting really big and the bank started involving all its branches in a large number of welfare activities and social causes. It was, for instance, among the first ones to support self-help groups. It has also become a serious player among banks in encouraging self-employment in rural areas through RSETI. More recently, it was at the forefront of opening no-frills accounts under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
SBI's seriousness about skilling of rural youth can be gauged from the fact that it keeps track of its students for two years to check on their development and ensure that they are employed. It is also using the RSETI platform to teach people about banking. "Financial inclusion is in the DNA of SBI employees," says a former chairman of SBI.

The BC Plan
India's largest bank has been actively covering inaccessible villages through its banking correspondents or BCs. BC is a representative authorised to offer services such as cash transactions in areas where the bank does not have a branch.
SBI, a pioneer in this, has close to 60,000 customer service points. "Apart from being cheap, the model creates employment for BCs, who receive commission from the bank for each and every service that they offer," says Rajnish Kumar, Managing Director (National Banking Group), SBI. "We had a three-year financial inclusion plan for covering villages and panchayats. It started with places with a population of 10,000 and then came down to 5,000 and then to 2,000. I can say we have 100 per cent achieved our objective of financial inclusion," he says.
Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana
SBI had 85 million financial inclusion accounts, of which 44.5 million were under the PMJDY, as on September 2015. Close to 50 per cent accounts under the PMJDY are active. The average balance is Rs 700. "Once more and more funds start getting transferred into these accounts under the Centre's direct benefit transfer scheme, they may become more active," says Kumar. The reason Kumar is sure about this is the integrated approach adopted by the government. "It's not just an account. It comes with credit linkage and insurance too," he says. SBI has already disbursed Rs 5,000 loan each to 170,000 account holders in the category. "All account holders under the PMJDY are eligible for the loan. But we lend only when we see regular transactions for six months." He adds, "We are being careful in lending as we can't just burden the people with debt. We also have to see if they can repay".
Kumar says the PMJDY accounts are not going to be a loss-making proposition for the bank. "These are sticky accounts, and once opened will stay with the bank for long. For instance, even if there is Rs 1,000 crore in these accounts, it gives the bank an income of Rs 50-60 crore," says Kumar. The math is simple. The bank pays the savings bank rate of 4 per cent and deploys the money at 9-9.5 per cent. "We are sure about recovering the money over a period of four-five years," he says.
Going Digital

SBI, like other banks, is betting big on digital channels, especially mobile, to reach out to people in rural and semi-urban areas. "We want small value transactions and small deposits and remittances to come through the digital channel," says Kumar. Last August, it launched its digital wallet, Buddy, for smartphone users. It is also planning to launch a similar version for feature phones to reach out to the masses. "By February-end or March we will roll out our mobile offering for phones with basic features that will be sufficient for making small payments such as buying tickets or paying for daily needs," says Kumar.
SBI is also not losing the opportunity to use the new differentiated banking licence route to achieve its financial inclusion goals. It has taken a 30 per cent stake in Reliance Industries-owned payments bank that will roll out soon to provide services in unbanked areas.

Challenges
SBI wants to touch the lives of people in many ways, but there is a high cost attached to financial inclusion initiatives, which is one of the reasons why private sector banks are not big in the space. Its aim is not only to reach people at the bottom of the pyramid but also to offer them credit, savings, investment and insurance products. "When we talk about rural and semi-urban areas, what they currently require is a basic bank account, ability to receive money in the account, small credit and social security through government pension schemes, and personal accident and life insurance. Investments are nowhere on the horizon," says Kumar.
"Due to the rising cost of acquiring customers, some banks are taking financial inclusion initiatives under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility," says a banker, on condition of anonymity,
While SBI is using every opportunity to serve the unbanked, it is also conscious of the risks. In fact, agri and SME loans are among the biggest contributors to the deteriorating asset quality. Both contribute 9 per cent each to the bank's gross non-performing assets. "It's not just about bringing more people into the banking system and giving them loans for income generation. We also have to see that they generate sufficient income to repay the loan," says Kumar.
Now, a glimpse at  ET GLOBAL SUMMIT, NEW DELHI , JAN 2016.Same old  wine  in new  bottles & continuous  monologues OR  Any  new directions??
You may be interested to know that: ( said an enigmatic PM in ET Global Business summit)> India's highest ever production of ethanol as blended fuel, benefiting sugar cane farmers, was in 2015. > The highest number of new cooking gas connections to the rural poor was achieved in 2015. > India's highest ever output of coal; generation of electricity was achieved in 2015
> India's highest ever quantity of cargo handled by major ports was in 2015. > India's highest ever increase in railway capital expenditure was achieved in 2015. > India's highest ever rank in World Bank Doing Business indicators, was achieved in 2015.
All  of  what Modiji said on 30.1.16 were correct. Coal deficit regime is past  & all thermal plants  of India  are coal surplus today. And Coal inventory  at mine heads  of CIL is 40 million/ 4 crore MT. But  , respected Modiji, has anything of what you have said , contributed to greater  income for  the masses/ greater purchase power??
 in 2013-14, the total number of National Highway kilometres awarded was about 3500. This more than doubled in the first year of this Government to nearly 8000 kilometres, an all-time high. This year we are planning to award 10,000 kilometres. Let me give you more examples of quantum leaps. The Shipping Corporation of India which made a loss of Rs 275 crore in 2013-14 made a profit of Rs 201 crore in 2014-15. This is a turnaround of Rs 575 crore in one single year.
Modji  gave 3 sermons for growth----greater managerial efficiency. It means removing unnecessary controls and distortions. Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. new opportunities for citizens to progress and also give them a choice of opportunities.  increase the quality of life of the common citizen and even more so, the quality of life of the poor. Quality of life may have an economic aspect, but it is not economics alone. If a government is progressive, and runs an honest and efficient administration, the biggest beneficiaries are the poor. I know from my experience, that poor governance hurts the poor more than it hurts others. Therefore, improved governance is as important as economic reform.
 He  said, “We have introduced a new and comprehensive program of crop insurance. This empowers farmers to give their best, with the State providing cover against risks beyond the farmer's control. We have introduced soil health cards to empower our farmers We have also issued a record number of debit cards to them. India is now one of the few countries where the market share of an indigenous credit card brand exceeds 33%. The Smart City mission has several 'firsts'. It is the first time that certain areas in cities will be comprehensively developed in a systematic and qualitative way. These areas will act as 'light houses' which will eventually influence the rest of the city. It is the first time that there has been such extensive citizen consultation. Nearly 2.5 million people participated through contests, discussions, polls, blogs and talks on the MyGov platform. This is a major break from the top-down approach to urban planning. We have for the first time appointed several heads of public sector banks from the private sector. Transparent auctions have cleaned up the natural resources sector which was riddled with scandals. We have ended the era of high level corruption. We have to eliminate bad subsidies, whether or not they are called subsidies. But some subsidies may be necessary to protect the poor and the needy and give them a fair chance to succeed. Hence my aim is not to eliminate subsidies but to rationalize and target them.1,827 Central laws have been identified for repeal. Out of these, 125 have already been repealed. Bills for repealing another 758 have been passed by the Lok Sabha and are awaiting the approval of the Upper House.”.” W


 Modiji, we  know, 1.5 years are not at all  sufficient for delivery. But u created  that euphoria.  In 2014. Today, both  top line & bottom line  of Steel industry are  down & mirred deep into red. Malice is much deeper &  way out of  the crisis is not visible. Your people are busy beating Hindutva &  untouchability &  intolerance drums … Yaa, you have done  all of above, but for whom??  How many of us have benefited??  Sensex is falling.  Forget  Steel, even  Cement is unable  to  look up.  Days are worse than  when NAMO began  after a decade  of misgovernance & indecisiveness. Unless  govt chips in largely to  arrest  the recession, mass job loss ( open exit policy is in force)  cannot be arrested.  A CFO / CMO / CEO  of a start up  gets  retrenched , to be  hired @ 50% & bond, by another… Induced  by  steel, Stainless  steel etc sectors , GOI has imposed  anti dumping duty on Imports, to get  a further surprise of equivalent price cuts by Chineese giants the next day.  Iran is open today; Russia n Japan arte holding  excess stocks ;  minerals  are trading at rock bottom prices …but  exports  have stopped for steel products…  and in an open world , capital / engg goods industry  is strong enough to stop steel industry’s  ploy to  sell  swadeshi costlier steel, abandoning  cheaper steel from China, Korea, Japan n Russia, especially  Chineese dumps. Simply by restricting steel imports to  your very close Adani port  ( most distant from east) may not serve  enough purpose.  This year, steel, cement, power & a host of other industries incl IT n start ups  are expecting  lay offs ( a handful of Rs crore employments too) ,& very marginal  increment n promotion.  Modi sir, this was  the last thing we imagined when we voted you to power overwhelmingly . And  all of us across Bihar, Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab are not full. There is no Congress, as a messiah you rescue  us.  Open the fund flows, let  poor get richer,  let  inflation  be a bit more  but  let projects kick off…Yes, your  IASes 
***The thrill is gone: Where India stands after almost two years of Modi’s leadership
January 23, 2016, 12:22 AM IST Gautam Adhikari in Just Graffiti | Edit PageIndia | TOI
Washington: The thrill is gone, lamented the late blues guitar master B B King. Of course, when playing the blues he couldn’t really begin a song by exuding the joy of life. But those opening words of that King composition kept playing in my mind while spending the past few weeks in India. The thrill indeed is gone, even if the popular mood isn’t quite bleak yet.The excited anticipation of India about to turn a corner that was evident in the early months of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government appears to have evaporated, within India as well as outside. Disappointment has begun to eclipse optimism about the country’s medium term prospects. For a short while India’s image shone across the world. Citizens of the largest democratic nation on earth, clamoring for profound change, had peacefully replaced one government with another. A bit short of two years later, however, not much has changed. India remains where it was. The economy isn’t doing badly even if the growth rate of 7.5% is disputed by some. India and the US are two modest standouts among the world’s major economies most of which, from China to the EU, are being buffeted by winds of slowing demand amidst gathering uncertainty. Falling oil prices, the benefits of which the government hasn’t passed on to consumers, have helped control inflation and allowed a reduction in official interest rates. While a few innovations in the economic structure have been implemented, badly necessary major reforms haven’t been carried out, partly because of opposition politics but also because of poor executive handling. Without delving into details we can look upon the economy as a relatively positive spot in the picture of India as it appears to global spectators. That overall picture remains unimpressive. Too many blotches have appeared on it. These have internal as well as external dimensions. On secular tolerance, on freedom of speech, on institutional functioning and on other liberal democratic markers, India’s image has been damaged. What many feared would be a capitulation of the Modi government to tendencies and demands of the far right in fact happened in several instances that featured prominently in the international media to sour global public opinion. On top of that came a slew of news stories of the pollution menacing health and longevity in Indian cities. Of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, 13 are in India, including the worst – the capital city of Delhi. Visiting India today is not an enticing idea. It was in his aggressive worldwide pursuit of external relations that Modi surprised observers and critics in his first year as prime minister. He used personal diplomacy as a singular tactic to win over minds and develop international goodwill. He undertook many more foreign trips in that first year than had any previous prime minister. Smiles, bear hugs and vigorous handshakes formed his signature style of dealing with global leaders. But was it effective? Not really, if you are looking for any significant change in the quality of relationships with major powers. Relations with the US chug along in pretty much the same way as they did under the previous government, notwithstanding two visits by President Barack Obama to India and two by Modi to the US. Ditto for China and the EU, though India’s level of understanding with Japan has improved noticeably under Modi and Shinzo Abe. Globally, India’s face remains in the second row. In the neighborhood, bear hugs haven’t worked well with Nepal and Pakistan. Anti-India feelings are growing in Nepal; there is talk in Kathmandu of a balancing need for better Nepal-China ties. And, as the fallout of the last optically impressive unannounced visit by Modi to Lahore demonstrated, no amount of hugging and smiling can change the reality of the Pakistani military’s outlook. Every civilian move to advance towards better India-Pakistan relations is thwarted by a military-intelligence inspired terrorist attack in India that leads to a derailment of the peace train. In Pakistan, it’s the generals and spooks of Rawalpindi who are in charge of strategy and external relations, not the civilians in Islamabad. All in all, not much has changed for India after nearly two years of Modi’s leadership. Granted, it may be too early to expect any real change. But the thrill of expectation has gone.
****Bigots and charlatans are controlling culture and education, says Pranab Bardhan
January 21, 2016, 8:00 PM IST Sagarika Ghose in Bloody Mary | India | TOI
Economist Pranab Bardhan, Professor at Berkeley coined the phrase “Bhagwat vs Bhagwati” for the growth vs Hindutva challenge facing the BJP government. He has recently published a collection of his popular essays entitled, ‘Globalisation, Democracy and Corruption: an Indian perspective.’ He tells TOI’s Sagarika Ghose that today Bhagwat co-exists with Bhagwati.
One of the campaign promises of the BJP was to end the scams of the UPA. Has corruption significantly declined since the BJP government came to power?
Even ignoring the current scams in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and elsewhere, it’s a little superficial to think that corruption has decreased since this government came to power, because the structural reasons for corruption remain. A few years back we used to hear about the mining mafia, we don’t hear about it that much now. This is largely because the prices of minerals have gone down globally and political allocation of mineral and other natural resources doesn’t make much money anymore. So the decline of the resource-related scams has little to do with the Modi government. Election expenses are an important structural source of corruption. The ruling party spent a staggeringly large amount of money (collected one presumes from the corporate sector) in the last national election and there must be a payback some time. Also, a lot depends on what we call ‘corruption’. Cronyism is also a form of corruption. This government, like the previous one, gives huge tax concessions and other favors to the corporate sector, a sort of corporate dole, often to politically-connected business groups.
Also when the main monitoring agency for corruption, the CBI, is subject to political manipulation, how can corruption be checked? In China local officials are promoted on the basis of how well the local economies under them perform. There’s thus an in-built check against stealing too much because if the local economy suffers, officials don’t get promoted. In India officials are promoted according to seniority, so there’s no check on looting. Structural reform in administration is important if you want to end corruption.
Co-operative federalism is a buzz word of this government, is it working well?
Co-operative federalism is a catchy slogan but there’s not yet enough to go by. The last Finance Commission moved in the right direction providing for more of tax proceeds going to states. However, earnings from central cesses like the Swach Bharat cess and the education cess are not shared with the states. Also, schemes which were earlier sponsored by the Centre have been pushed to the states so their expenditure liabilities have gone up. In the midst of talk of devolution of power, there seems to be more centralization of authority in the PMO than ever before. Before the Bihar elections when Modi announced in a public meeting a large special package for Bihar with an auction-style drama, without consulting the state officials, that is cooperative federalism Modi-style. There was a feeling that the Planning Commission was distributing money arbitrarily but its replacement the Niti Aayog has no power to distribute such money. Such monies are now allocated by the Finance Ministry. How is this federalism? Niti Aayog is just another think tank; its financial allocation powers have been taken away, which is why many chief ministers don’t take it too seriously. Also, most decisions about the so-called smart cities are being taken centrally, states are hardly involved.
Your overall assessment of the economic policies of the Modi government?
Lots of catchy slogans, the PM is an excellent spin master but follow-ups do not match the dramatic initial gestures. Some schemes with new names are simply continuations of earlier programmes, as in streamlining of subsidies, direct benefit schemes, Aadhar and coal auctions. Swach Bharat is a continuation of Nirmal Bharat and the unexamined issue is, why many toilets built under the earlier programme were not used. There are several questions here, including the important one of Hindu cultural taboos about toilet cleaning.The biggest problem to me is that this government came to power on the promise of creating jobs, which has hardly been kept so far. You see, the so called `Gujarat model’ is a high growth model but it’s not a job-creating model. Much of growth in Gujarat was in petrochemicals, petroleum refineries and pharmaceuticals; those are highly capital-intensive or skill-intensive. They do not give jobs to the relatively uneducated unskilled vast numbers of India’s youth.There’s not been much follow through on the jobs front, despite Make in India, Skill India, etc.
So, who is winning Bhagwat or Bhagwati?
There is a kind of division of labour in the new regime between RSS and its ex-pracharak PM. Incremental economic reform (some of it a continuation of the policies of the UPA regime) will not be objected to by the populist-nationalists in the RSS, as long as the latter are given a free hand in controlling the agenda of education, culture and history.The Dinanath Batraisation of textbooks (in effect distorting history and poisoning the minds of young people) continues, which is the long-lasting damage. In India there’s always been an unhealthy amount of state control over education and culture, but the current regime has mobilised an unusually large number of bigots and charlatans for this job. In general the average competence level of ministers in this government is quite low (compared, say, even to Vajpayee’s government). Bhagwat and Bhagwati exist in tandem. If the economy doesn’t do well, and young people get frustrated, they can always ratchet up the cultural stuff–cows, love jihad, beef, and the rest of it. There was a surge in the creation of bank accounts for the poor a few years back when NREGA wages started being paid into bank accounts. The Jan Dhan yojana is more vigorous, but will not mean much as long as the accounts remain dormant. Budget cutting and inordinate delay in wage payments are slowly smothering NREGA.

And  Modiji is continuing the blame of his mis-governance  on UPA. Or, should we say, or , should we say, Pangharia  & Arvind Subramnyan  are  trying  to  hide their obscurity  behind the veil of  some  artificially created follies of  Dr Sen???  And  our FM Arun Jaitleyji  is still juggling among 3.3 & 3.9%  of GDP as Budgetary deficit target !!!!   Why???  Why cannot  India  manage with a Budget deficit  of >5%?? In 2013 US had it 6.8% & UK,8.2%. France had it 4.9%. However, yaa, US deficit is today down to 2.7%.  And  if Bank of Japan  offers  loans @ negative interests , why  not India 

***Shillong, Jan 29 (IANS) Suicides by famers in India are likely to be reduced with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pro-farmers schemes, BJP leader Vijaypal Singh Tomar said on Friday."Unlike during the Congress government, the BJP government has taken steps to address this issue (farmer suicides) by launching several schemes which will protect the interest of the famers," Tomar, the president of the BJP Kisan Morcha, told journalists here.
He said that over 2.5 lakh farmers committed suicide and 3.7 crore farmers have left farming during the last 15 years due to "the mismanagement of the Congress and its failure to adopt policies which should be in the interest of the faming community". However, Prime Minister Modi has taken several decisions including the sanctioning of Rs.50,000 crore for the five year plan for implementation of Prime Minister Krishi Sichai Yojana, out of which Rs.5,300 crore was released during the first year," he said, adding the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme has also been launched earlier this month.
Stating that excess rain and hailstorm have been included in natural calamity category, he said: "The amount of compensation has been increased for the crop damage up to the extent of 33 percent instead of 50 percent."The limit of compensation has been increased from 1 hectare to 2 hectares. The amount has been increased from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.4 lakh in case of death of farmers due to natural calamity."Tomar also noted that 14 crore farmers will be given Soil Health Card in the next three years for which the government has allocated Rs.568 crore.

It  is  not being assimilated  by public of India, what NAMO is  really up to? How many cards  is he having in his pocket?  In this age  of  packaging &  propaganda of  such package, in this decade of  publicity n  NAMO is too good at that. He  has already estd  himself as White House’s best choice n bajaoed band of Congress.  Congress’s game is  also too crippling, too shrewd---  by disallowing  bills’ passage at  Rajyasabha one after  another, Rahul Gandhi is trying to  arrest the uninterrupted  flow  of industrialists’ funds to  BJP, until  tey restart heir flows to Congress. There are signs that  the regime of corruption shall be back again.  And, NAMO’s  party has offered / rejuvenated  corruption in different states , at  several junctures.
But all  is not at all unwell at our national front. MUDRA  is doing quite well, if not extremely. Howsoever  , any leftist  policymaker  can easily draw an analogy to  contend  it as  another Senonomics tool  of welfare.
***** Aashish Chandorkar, a Management Consultant based in Pune and working in Mumbai., who holds diverse interests across politics, economics, sports and Bollywood. & tweets at @c_aashish. Writes  the following article in Swarajya---
The initial signs are promising and the design improvements made seem to be working on the ground, though whether Mudra is a game-changer or not, we’ll only know by the time the Union Budget for 2017-18 is presented
In the 2015 budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the launch of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana for refinancing and developing micro units – small individual and enterprise borrowers – who usually find it difficult to get loans from Indian banks. While the Jan Dhan Yojana was about increasing banking penetration and financial inclusion, this scheme provided the complimentary view on the ability to use credit to grow small businesses.
Mudra (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 April, 2015 – one of the earliest schemes from the 2015 budget to be made operational. The initial corpus for refinancing was set at 20,000 crore where the initial refinancing rate was around 6.7 percent. The corpus was to be used over four years.
Since then, MUDRA has been converted into a subsidiary of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The government has also approved setting up a credit guarantee funds against MUDRA loans budgeting for a credit off take of 100,000 crore under the three buckets (Shishu – loans up to 50,000, Kishor – loans between50,000 and 500,000, and Tarun – loans between 500,000 and 10,00,000). The fund operated by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. has been set up with an initial corpus of 3,000 crore.
How does Mudra work?
MUDRA refinances banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) for the loans they extend under this scheme, with more than 150 institutions included under the scheme. The government owned banks were set targets for disbursing these loans with the 2015-16 target of 122,000 crore. The banks have managed to approve lending of 72,000 crore till mid-January and while the target may not be met fully for the year, the approval figures will end up close to the target by the time the financial year ends.
The Shishu category of the loans has the highest share of approvals at about 40 percent while the Kishor and Tarun categories have an approximate share of 30 percent each currently. The financial institutions which have availed of the refinance to the maximum extent are Bank of Maharashtra, Indian Overseas Bank, and State Bank of Travancore.
The MFIs have been more active at seeking refinance with large players like SKS Microfinance, Ujjivan, and Equitas participating. Of the approved 5,000 crore refinance in the first year, the participating institutions have drawn around 2,000 crore so far. The need for refinance may not have been felt with the relatively low credit growth in the economy and with financial institutions avoiding locking their lending rates with respect to the refinance rate they can avail of from MUDRA.
How is it doing?
The scheme has been availed of by around 1.7 crore borrowers, and with an average household size of 4.8 individuals, the scheme touches 6.5 percent of the country’s population. Small ticket loans were always available via the banks – at least in theory. So what’s the difference this time? Based on conversations with a few beneficiaries of the MUDRA loans as well a few bank managers who have sanctioned these loans, a few things stand out.
The first difference is the relative ease of establishing identity and bona fides. One big challenge in Indian banking world for those without multiple identity and address proofs is to prove that they are who they claim to be. This is a complicated process just for opening bank accounts, let alone for availing banking asset products.
With the Jan Dhan Yojana in place and the instances of Aadhar seeding increasing – albeit voluntarily given that the mandatory linkage of Aadhar is limited by Supreme Court directions – this first procedural hurdle of approaching a bank and initiating a conversation has been eased. For MUDRA loans over 200,000, the number of identity and address proofs required and the Know Your Customer (KYC) process does not ease, but those availing a higher ticket size loan are also more likely to be able to comply with these norms.

But Why was Mudra needed in the first place?
Getting credit for small businesses usually means making a mockery of the“going concern principles” – banks almost always insist on personal guarantees and minimum turnover to approve loans. One has to first show that one has enough capital or assets to not require a loan before the loan can be approved! This catch-22 can be resolved by availing loan against property or by finding guarantors to secure the loan. All in all, the probability of a small business or a first time entrepreneur qualifying for a small ticket seed capital loan has traditionally been minuscule.
With MUDRA, where banks have targets to fund new businesses and there are no collateral requirements, the only hurdle is to convince the credit officer or the bank manager that the borrower should be lent money. This is a function of business plan viability, personal credentials and of course a discretionary credit decision process, which is a part of any lending activity. All of these were traditionally necessary, but not sufficient. In MUDRA, the necessary conditions become the sufficient ones in most cases, easing the pain of the borrowers. Another traditional area of harassment for borrowers has been banks asking the borrower to purchase a life insurance policy and make the bank the beneficiary to cover the mortality risk. With the refinance and now the credit guarantee fund in place, this requirement seems to have gone away too for borrowers.
Another great operational feature which links back to the Jan Dhan Yojana is the delinking of the approval from the disbursement. Using Rupay denominated debit cards, the borrower can draw the right amount of money required for their business requirements. The withdrawal as well as the repayments can be made on a daily basis and the lenders are being instructed to calculate interest accordingly.
The operational features thus make the process simpler for the real small borrowers – those looking for 200,000 or below. As per the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) data, India has close to 6 crore small and medium size enterprises. There are several individuals who aspire to set up small businesses but can’t mostly due to credit limitations. MUDRA seems to be the most beneficial for the smallest borrowers from this huge potential universal set of borrowers. Based on various discussions with the bank managers and credit officers, about 70percent of the applications coming in for MUDRA loans are approved on an average.
What’s the catch?
Any credit scheme which encourages low margin, high volume lending will have its pitfalls. There have been reports of loans being disbursed to relatives of bank officers or unworthy recipients. These are areas where the finance ministry cannot really put any effective checks and balances – ultimately the credit decision resides with the individual banks. But this is not a MUDRA specific problem – the quality of credit decision process in India has anyway not been very rigorous in the last decade, as the extent of stressed assets in the banking system shows.
Banks have also been demanding higher percentage coverage for potential nonperforming assets (NPAs) and coverage of trading firms – small firms which have limited physical assets but high working capital requirements and hence are prone to higher number of frauds – under the credit guarantee fund. As the fund scales up over the next few months, it remains to be seen exactly how the guarantee process will function.
The first set of loans approved and disbursed will complete a year in the next few months. The biggest success of the scheme will be if these loans continue to pay their equated monthly installments (EMIs) on time beyond this initial first year period. The repayment structure is specific to each loan, and hence the data on the level of NPAs can only be collected and analyzed with some rigor towards the end of 2016. If the initial set of borrowers stays true to their loan repayment terms, it will increase the confidence level of banks to cast a wider net when approving MUDRA loans in the future.
The central government, specifically the ministries like Finance, MSME, Renewable Energy, Textiles, and Agriculture, should spend quality time and effort educating people about MUDRA. The scheme can also get a leg up if the elected representatives help popularize it in their respective Lok Sabha or assembly constituencies – especially talking about success stories – stories which let individuals become financially independent.
So is MUDRA a game changer? We will know by the time the Union Budget for 2017-18 is presented. As long as the 2015-16 loans are repaid, the lending process should further improve over time. The initial signs are promising, and the design improvements made seem to be working on the ground.
Now, let us  ask some serious questions---a)  why is SBI , the nation’s  top lender  still sticking to  Home loans  instead of SSI  loans in its priority schedule?  b) If it is because NPAs  are lowest in that sector, & even in  Car loan sector  , next question to ask is  what  RBI governor asked &  no politician dares ask. That is , why NPA % is highest  with/ on Rs  6 lac crore blocked  in  a hand
So, can we dissolve the
Shameful reality of untouchability  from Indian mindset to achieve a real  cleanliness  movement?? And can we purify the mindset of  a handful  of industrialists n their lobbies in politics & governance to free  up black n white wealth of people of d nation blocked up???  If yes, India shall march forward.
Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan lashed out at promoters of defaulting companies for continuing to live lavish lifestyles despite owing thousands of crores to banks.
"If you flaunt your birthday bashes even while owing the system a lot of money, it does seem to suggest to the public that you don't care. I think that is the wrong message to send.""If you are in trouble, you should be cutting down your expenses," said Rajan in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Vijay Mallya, promoter of Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya had recently celebrated his 60th birthday in style in Goa despite his Kingfisher Airlines owing banks over Rs 7,500 crore.

Rajan said that this was not about being against big businesses or successful businessmen and neither was it a Robin Hood issue. "This is an issue about the wrongdoers among the community who raised the cost of borrowing for everybody."A fortnight back, he had asked central bank staff not to hesitate in going after the rich and powerful. Earlier, Rajan identified  corporates who were showing signs of financial weakness but were not yet classified as defaulters. Banks were asked to classify them as defaulters and make provisions toward the same. Classifying the loans as bad debts prevents lenders from throwing good money after bad and compels them to initiate recovery proceedings by recalling the loan amount and selling assets.
It was a surprise for India  not just to advance to the 50th spot on Ease of business, but as high as 6th global spot on BPI ( baseline Profit Index) . So, if a foreign capital comes into India instead of US ranked 26th & China ranked 60th , profit potential is too high ( just after 5 countries) , whatever uneasy it may be to do business here. And why not?  Layoff  has been made easy as never before.  Laid off  employees of 1 start up are being offered  50% package & bond  by another start up. And India  scores just 38 %  in terms  of transparency & cleranliness in governance. NAMO  should clean  Indian governance first before embarking on SB journey.

Even amidst this, Amazon , Flipkart etc are making huge losses &  spending Rs Crores for talents to head shows.  On Rs 1K Cr turnover , E Comm sites are losing Rs 1.7 K cr.
Mumbai accounts for 53.51% of total deposits held by all the four metros in the country — Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, according to the Reserve Bank of India. The city had bank deposits of Rs 15,72,580 crore at the end of March 2015, way ahead of Delhi which had `871,898 crore as term deposits.Mumbai accounts for 18.90% of the total all-India bank deposits of `83,17,250 crore. In other words — out of every `100 deposit in the bank, `18.90 is held in Mumbai. The high deposit base is because Mumbai is where the headquarters of several top corporate houses including the Tatas, the Ambanis, the Birlas and the Mahindras are located.
Deposits in Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan accounts cross Rs. 30,000 crore !!
* 20.38 crore PMJDY accounts opened
* Rs. 30,638 crore Deposits
* 1.26 Lakh Bank Mitras
* 9.32 Crore Suraksha Bima Policies 
We  are hearing about  Rs 2 lac crore  being released  by  Mr Nitin Gadkari just for Maharashtra  over next 5 years. But how much has he released in last 18 months?
TOI, 12.9.15---road transport and highways ministry will add nearly 50,000 km of roads to the National Highways (NH) network in the country in the next six months. This addition within two years of the Narendra Modi government will be more than twice the length NDA-I had added in its six years and over three times of what UPA added in its 10-year rule. Sources said in the past 15 months, the new government has added about 7,000 km of roads to the NH length and at present it's little more than one lakh km. Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has announced to take it to 1.5 lakh km by this year end. Between 1998 and 2004 when the NDA was in power, about 23,814 km was added to the NH network and during the 10-year rule of the UPA government, a total of around 18,000 km were designated as NH. On how the ministry is now going about including more stretches as NH, an official said, "While process of notification to include about 15,000 km under Bharat Mala and joining backward areas in the NH network is under way, we are carrying out feasibility study for large chunk of stretches that states have forwarded for upgrading them as NHs. This would be about 20,000 km." Sources said adding length is crucial to maintain the pace of award, which has been increased to about 30 km a day. Putting its focus to accelerate highway construction as growth multiplier, the Modi government plans to continue this high target of award of works for 3-4 years. On Thursday MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the PM has set a target of constructing 30 km of roads per day, increasing it from the current 13 km per day. Road transport and highways ministry officials said that by April, the construction would be 17-18 km per day and will be more during the next fiscal year. Investor interest in the roads and highways sector has grown in recent months after the government resolved four major issues responsible for stalled projects or slow progress. Land acquisition has been expedited and in the first five months of this financial year 4,272 sq km have been acquired. "In August, we acquired 1,620 km, which is a rare case. We hope to maintain this pace and people are now taking the compensation since there is clarity on the applicability of new Land Acquisition Act," said an NHAI official. Investor interest in the roads and highways sector has grown in recent months after the government resolved four major issues responsible for stalled projects or slow progress. Land acquisition has been expedited and in the first five months of this financial year 4,272 sq km have been acquired. "In August, we acquired 1,620 km, which is a rare case. We hope to maintain this pace and people are now taking the compensation since there is clarity on the applicability of new Land Acquisition Act," said an NHAI official.
Considering that monitoring and quick resolution of issues pertaining to individual projects is another major roadblock for faster completion of projects, Gadkari has also directed all senior officials from his ministry, NHAI and NHIDCL to spend eight days a month in the field. Moreover, the government has streamlined the prior statutory approvals for construction without any hitches. "We have no dearth of funds as well. Even we may not need to raise the entire Rs 42,000 crore through bonds during this year, as we still have enough of fund. The plan to sell completed highway projects is likely to generate Rs 50,000 crore and that can be used for taking up more projects on government funding mode," said a government source.

Great , Nitin sir.  Kindly  update your status report  vis a vis  the position as on 1.3.15---
What  was  promised in last budget------------Mint 1.3.15-- Jaitley announced a significant increase of Rs.70,000 crore in investment in infrastructure in 2015-16 over the current year, with a focus on railways and roads. The money will come from an additional public investment outlay of Rs.1.25 trillion over that of 2014-15. Jaitley said an aggregate annual increase of more than 0.5% of gross domestic product can be expected in public capital expenditure.The allocation for roads and railways is Rs.40,000 crore each, an increase of Rs.14,031 crore and Rs.10,050 crore respectively over the current fiscal year. “I intend to establish a National Investment and Infrastructure Fund which will find monies to ensure an annual flow of Rs.20,000 crore to it. This will enable the trust to raise debt, and in turn, invest it as equity in infrastructure finance companies such as the IRFC (Indian Railway Finance Corp. Ltd) and NHB (National Housing Board). The infra finance companies can then leverage this extra equity manifold,” the finance minister said. The economic survey said that the stock of stalled projects at the end of December 2014 stood at Rs.8.8 trillion, or 7% of gross domestic product (GDP). A proposal to set up five new power projects of 4,000 megawatts (MW) each in a so-called plug-and-play mode through a transparent auction system was also made.“This should unlock investments to the extent of Rs.1 trillion,”said Jaitley. Jaitley said the focus will be on providing connectivity to 178,000 unconnected habitations by all-weather roads. “This will require completing 100,000km of roads, currently under construction, plus sanctioning and building another 100,000 km of roads,” the finance minister said.
And  what we have got-----------
 From  Private  capital  sources---------
Foreign direct investment (FDI) received in construction development sector from April 2000 to September 2015 stood at US$ 24.16 billion, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). –
  The Government of India has earmarked Rs 50,000 crore (US$ 7.5 billion) to develop 100 smart cities across the country. The Government released its list of 98 cities for the smart cities project in August 2015.
  BNP Paribas Lease Group, subsidiary of BNP Paribas Group, has acquired 5 per cent stake in Srei Infrastructure Finance, by selling its entire 50 per cent stake in Srei Equipment Finance Limited (SEFL) to Srei Infrastructure Finance, thus allowing them to play a larger role in the infrastructure finance business.
  Private equity giant Carlyle Group is planning to invest Rs 500 crore (US$ 75 million) in Feedback Infra, which could make the US firm a major shareholder in the Gurgaon-based infrastructure services company.
  In the month of November 2015, among various areas of infrastructure spending by the government, the roads segment led in terms of tenders issued (59 per cent of total tenders) and contracts awarded, with an increasing shift to Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) type of contracts3.
  PTC India Financial Services (PFS) and India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly provide funding for infrastructure projects in India, particularly in the energy sector.
  France has announced a commitment of € 2 billion (US$ 2.17 billion) to convert Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry into smart cities.
  The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) of Malaysia has proposed to invest US$ 30 billion in urban development and housing projects in India, such as a mini-smart city adjacent to New Delhi Railway Station, a green city project at Garhmukhteshwar in Uttar Pradesh and the Gangacleaning projects.
  The Government of India has unveiled plans to invest US$ 137 billion in its rail network over the next five years, heralding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aggressive approach to building infrastructure needed to unlock faster economic growth.
  The Government of India has announced highway projects worth US$ 93 billion, which include government flagship National Highways Building Project (NHDP) with total investment of US$ 45 billion over next three years.
  International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of The World Bank group, plans to invest at least US$ 700 million in existing transport and logistics infrastructure projects in India.
  The World Bank has approved a US$ 650 million debt funding for a part of the eastern arm of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project in India.
  Indostar Capital Finance Limited and Reliance Capital Limited have invested Rs 200 crore (US$ 30 million) in Alliance group, a real estate company. The consortium of institutions has invested in the holding company of Alliance group, Alliance Infrastructure Projects Private Limited.-
Contributions  of govt/ public  capital----
The Union Cabinet has approved several reforms such as allowing National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to extend the concession period for current incomplete projects in build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode. –
Government of India plans to launch the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIFF) with an initial corpus of at least Rs 40,000 crore (US$ 6 billion). –
The Ministry of Urban Development has approved an investment of Rs 19,170 crore (US$ 2.88 billion) for improving basic urban infrastructure in 474 cities in 18 states and Union Territories (UTs) under Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Transformation (AMRUT) for 2015-16
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has set up an online monitoring system for on-going projects under the Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS) –
The Ministry of Urban Development has decided to allow the use of construction & demolition waste up to 20 per cent in construction of load bearing items and up to 100 per cent for non-load bearing purposes. This provision is expected to significantly help in reuse of such waste, in line with ongoing efforts under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). –
The central government has approved amendments to 'The National Waterways Bill, 2015' which will provide for enacting a central legislation to declare 106 additional inland waterways, as the national waterways. –
The Government of India plans to award 100 highway projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode in 2016, with expectations that recent amendments in regulations would revive investor sentiments in PPP projects in the infrastructure sector.
 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has notified 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under automatic route in the construction development sector. The new limit came into effect in December 2014.-
The Government of India has relaxed rules for FDI in the construction sector by reducing minimum built-up area as well as capital requirement. It has also liberalised the exit norms. In fact, the Cabinet has also approved the proposal to amend the FDI policy. –
In the Budget 2015-16, the capital outlays for roads, and railways have been increased by Rs 140.3 billion (US$ 2.11 billion) and Rs 100.5 billion (US$ 1.51 billion) respectively.
( Isn’t  Rs 24 K crore  peanuts??)
Indian port sector is poised to mark great progress in the years to come. It is forecasted that by the end of 2017 port traffic will amount to 943.06 MT for India’s major ports and 815.20 MT for its minor ports.Along with that, Indian aviation market is expected to become the third largest across the globe by 2020, according to industry estimates. The sector is projected to handle 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers with projected investment to the tune of US$ 120 billion. Indian Aviation Industry, which currently accounts for 1.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), has been instrumental in the overall economic development of the country. Given the huge gap between potential and current air travel penetration in India, the prospects and possibilities of growth of Indian aviation market are enormous.(Source-- 'White Paper on Infrastructure Financing' released by Assocham and Crisil Ratings, 2 – “ICE INDUSTRY VISION 2020” report by Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, 3- As per a report by Emkay Global Financial Services - & DIPP,  an IBEF  initiative)

BS --
Arup Roychoudhury  |  New Delhi June 29, 2015The push for public investment in infrastructure to boost growth was mooted by Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian in his mid-year economic analysis in December last year, as balance sheets of private players were over-stretched. "It seems imperative to consider the case for reviving public investment as one of the key engines of growth going forward, not to replace private investment but to revive and complement it," he had said in the report. The idea was taken forward in the Economic Survey 2014-15 and Union Budget 2015-16.

Land  acquisitions  state wise show  the  following states topping  the chart—
Assam 27%, Bihar 27%, K’taka 25%, Maharashtra 26%, Rajasthan 36%, UP 45%,
And  how many  states do have  NH network  of atound 5K Km?  Just 5—UP,MP,MH, & not  even K’taka, As of April 2013, out  of a total of   67K Km NH  , which is a meager 1.42%  of the total  47  lac km road network in India .
 Wikipedia- India had completed and placed in use over 24,000 kilometres of recently built 4 or 6-lane highways connecting many of its major manufacturing centres, commercial and cultural centres. -[5][6] The rate of new highway construction across India accelerated after 1999, but has slowed in recent years. Policy delays and regulatory blocks reduced the rate of highway construction awards to just 500 kilometers of new road projects in 2013.[7] Major projects are being implemented under the National Highways Development Project, a government initiative. Private builders and highway operators are also implementing major projects - for example, the Yamuna Expressway between Delhi and Agra was completed ahead of schedule and within budget,[8] while the KMP Expressway started in 2006 is far behind schedule, over budget and incomplete.[9]According to 2009 estimates by Goldman Sachs, India will need to invest US$1.7 trillion on infrastructure projects before 2020 to meet its economic needs, a part of which would be in upgrading India's road network.

"We have already awarded road contracts worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore," he said. Rs 1 crore of investment in roads gives jobs to 800 people, he said, citing a World Bank report. "Through my ministry, I will give jobs to 50 lakh people and will add 2% to the GDP. It will give a boost to the steel and cement industry as well," said Mr Gadkari  to ET on 31.1.16. Gadkari is optimistic that, with the current approach, his ministry will be able to clear about 15 pending projects worth Rs 25,000-30,000 crore in the next 15 days, thus paving the way for all projects to move ahead after being stuck for a long time. 

UPA 2 Govt  was  nabbed  as the worst decisionless n mastless  govt  ever. Let  not  NDA govt be abandoned by people  for the same reason.  For this, 1.5 year passed is a pretty long period, & everyday is counted by an impatient dalal street.
And , Mr Gadkari is  bargaining  before PM & FM for moneys  , so very  heavily.” Upgrading infrastructure is a major challenge for policy makers of the Asia's third largest economy and India needs about $1 trillion (about Rs 67,00,000 crore) for new roads, ports and airports over the next few years, Gadkari said at the inaugural edition of Rajya Sabha Television's new flagship programme 'Spotlight'. He said the ministry expected additional Rs 15-20,000 crore in the Union Budget for 2016-17, over the current year's outlay of Rs 45,000 crore. "My priority is waterways. We have a Rs 45,000 crore budget for roads, but only have Rs 1,000 cr for waterways," he said adding his government will focus on developing the sector.  
As  long as  Gadkari  Saheb shall  not  get the money, his performance shall be downplayed. So, where & how  &  when is the  big Indian dream happening???
Sumeet Chatterjee, Reuters, 29.1.16--The conglomerate, viewed as a bellwether for Asia's third-largest economy, said on Friday its quarterly net profit rose nearly a fifth and that it was on track to realise its forecast of 10-15 percent sales growth for the fiscal year ending on March 31.Larsen, however, cut its new orders forecast to flat growth in the current fiscal year from its October prediction of a 5-7 percent rise, due to sluggish capital spending in the private sector. Larsen, which has interests in engineering, construction and logistics, has seen slower earnings growth in recent quarters, as its customers in India, its biggest market, keep a lid on fresh investment in the absence of strong demand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been looking to step up government spending on building roads, ports, bullet trains and airports to boost economic growth, which economists say, is critical for spurring private sector investments."It's important to note the private sector capex is still very shy. The investment plans are not yet reaching the boardrooms," Larsen's chief financial officer, R. Shankar Raman, told a news conference."The growth of the company in terms of fresh orders is largely going to be led by public sector spending, government spending or projects ... which are financed by multi-lateral funding agencies."Larsen said in a statement consolidated net profit in the three months ended Dec. 31, its fiscal third quarter, rose to 10.35 billion rupees ($152.7 million) from 8.67 billion rupees a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected the company to post a net profit of 10.80 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data. Larsen has been expanding in the Middle East, its biggest overseas market, to compensate for the slowdown at home, with overseas markets accounting for 27 percent of its order book in the nine months ended December, compared with 25 percent in the same period of the previous year. Despite a plunge in oil prices Mumbai-based Larsen sees continued investments on roads, airports and power transmission networks in the Middle East, Deputy Managing Director S.N. Subrahmanyan said."The basic projects are continuing to go on and we see a healthy trend in the way it is going on right now," he said.

So, in ET GBS, there are dialectic views & widest gaps  among top Industry honchos &  NDA Ministers..
Noting that the schemes launched so far for cleaning of river Ganga have failed to bring effective results, PM  called for out of box ideas to ensure greater participation of people for the success of his pet Namami Gange project, the sources said. The meeting also saw a discussion on rural jog flagship scheme MNREGA. The issue of direct release of wages to workers for its better implementation and empowerment of the states also came up for discussion.
 Situation  is going so stressful  for so many citizens that
Nearly 61 per cent working population in India aged 45 plus want to retire in the next five years, with the majority saying work-related pressure is affecting their mental and physical health. On the global front, the survey of more than 18,000 people across 17 countries worldwide found that the desire to retire is the strongest in Argentina (78 per cent), France (77 per cent), China (75 per cent) and the UK (75 per cent).
Financial pressures are so great that 18 per cent of pre-retirees worldwide predict that they will never be able to retire fully. This is almost twice the proportion that said the same in 2015, when 10 per cent of pre-retirees expected never to be able to afford.
.
1 article in TOI by Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, | 31 Jan, 2016  illustrates beautifully  what  India  u/ NDA / NAMO must  look forward to.
Favouring SEZs leads to not just a big loss of tax revenue but to cronyism (several SEZ land allocations became scams), and waste (units will shift to SEZs despite big expense and loss of productivity, just to get the tax break).Many companies that would be exporting from traditional bases anyway will shift to SEZs for the tax break. SEZ exports may look big, but may not represent additional exports or policy success. They may simply represent policy failure through export diversion and revenue  .. India has an export problem right now but not a balance of payments problem. So there's no need for panic or emergency measures. The current account deficit is well under control at barely 1% of GDP, since imports have fallen along with exports. In such dismal global conditions, tax breaks are irrelevant for export buoyancy . We must instead raise our competitiveness through better logistics, skills and procedures. Only then will exports boom sustainably . We cannot have lousy facilities and yet become world-class exporters through tax breaks. Ideally, the whole of India should have world-class facilities. Since resources are limited, a start can be made in SEZs. Between 1965 and 2005, India built eight tiny export processing zones, with very limited success. By contrast, China and some other countries succeeded by creating massive SEZs. Shenzen in China covers four small districts. Chinese SEZs have world-class power, water, ports and airports, and have become world-class manufacturing clusters. Instead of creating massive SEZs, this policy encouraged hundreds of small SEZs in every state. These amounted to tax shelters and a grab for land rather than world-class enclaves. No less than 564 proposals for SEZs were approved, but of these only 204 are actually functioning. Mukesh Ambani's giant SEZ in Navi Mumbai is largely vacant. Most operating SEZs are small IT establishments that are little more than tax havens. To be competitive, India needs both competitive facilities (in and outside SEZs) plus competitive tax rates with very few exemptions. India has a corporate tax rate of 30%, and with cess and surcharge this comes to 34.5%, one of the highest in Asia. Finance minister Jaitley rightly seeks to cut this to a competitive 25 %, while removing today's myriad exemptions so that he does not lose tax revenue. This is a laudable, far-sighted reform. It should not have holes punched in it by demands for tax .. Exports from Indian SEZs rose from $5 billion in 200506 to $81 billion in 2013-14. This looks very impressive. But a lot of it is simply trade diversion. Many top IT and jewellery companies shifted their operations to SEZs for the tax break. Since units outside the SEZs continued exporting at a good rate, it is unclear whether the SEZs achieved additional exports or just diverted exports. 
The above article  is really illuminating.  With Golden Assam / North East  policies, successive govts  created  NRGA like  robbery opportunities, & Mr Himant Biswa Sharma , whose  article  is in my  piece , is no exception from that. Hand in glove with politicians & Bureaucrats in power, NE industrialists have created  inefficient organizations, either  running  to dismal capacity utilizations or forging records. They steal minerals, show running without power / machinery & without proper audit &  they snatch from  govt  subsidies, & exemptions / refunds on Income tax, VAT &  Excise. Depending  on remoteness & hilly terrain, some exemption /  subsidy may be needed for  a level playing field, but  such enactments are  raped left n right to squeeze  govt funds to d coffers of   business-politician—admin nexus. That’s why  total of North East  is backward today.

What  has been very striking during last decade------------------

So, what do we note  from NAMO govt’s growth agenda?  An extreme subjugation of the  poor in last 2 years  over  their  already  rooftop tolerance level. Less than 44%  today hold job cards, forget participation. > 52% farmer households have debts on average > Rs 47 K, of which barely 60% is organized, 40% is sourced from unorganized qrtrs. Institutional credit to marginal farmers with 0.01 hectare or less holding was just 15% , who are  tolerating the  wraths & tax free excess luxuries n bounties of Jaaths , Punjabis , Thakurs, Bhumihars & the likes,--the coterie that have decided  for long the ruling power at Delhi. These big farm capitalists got 79% of bank / instn finance. Just 20%  farmers insured crops , as most had no capacity to insure.  This is the shining India today , while slogans are flying  high for Make in  India. 1 cr farmers have become landless laborers over last decade, while another 3 cr have joined  d bandwagon owing to dearth of alternative  earning avenues. Shame  on the shameless govt that  disguises farmer suicides with facades of impotency , love n beyond.   And, how/ what about  the industrialists forming backbones of  this govt ?  The ailing tea gardens are seeing periodic suicides of labor. Lock outs, retrenchments & lay offs  have been one sided / unilateral . In an interview at ABP I was asked  about my opinion  on open Exit Policy, as, as per mgt there, like an employee can leave with a notice period served on employer, employer must have an equal right. I strongly disagreed , since an employee is much vulnerable & an unequal  opponent—too weaker; and  this house I had to quit by force , when , I , reckoned by them as best of the lost  , was found dangerously intelligent &  migratory.  This  is the fate  of most  intelligent employees , who turn out to be odd people out & not reqd. They won’t commit suicide for their MDs . They are the worst soldiers.
In  these days of eco turmoil n doldrums, the people at all levels, working under most dangerous n strenuous conditions, GOI is bent upon giving freedom of dictatorship to 4% of industrial employers employing 40% of force in unorganized  &  16% entities employing 72%  of labor  in organized sector are covered.  Coercive VRS is being forced upon masses.

In US, poverty  doubled from 7 Mn to 14 Mn in last  1 decade, while  the same fell  from 10 Mn 1 decade back.  Blacks  constitute 5 Mn & Hispanics, 4.5, out of that 14 mn. In India, 24 Mn  people belong to middle class, with annual wealth of Rs 7.4 lac . Collectively, this class  holds $780 Bn or Rs 5.07 Mn crore. Globally  664 Mn  comprise  the middle class.    Taking a threshold  of real annual disposable income between Rs 2—10 lac, NCAER declared 50 Mn people as middle class in 2005, but World Bank then contested  to put 264 Mn people  in middle class with poverty line drawn in between $2 & $13 per day.   While 2% of very high nett worth individuals reside in India, Africa & Latin America, 90%  of population has wealth < $ 10000.   In China , middle class is at 108 mn ( 5 times India’s )  & in Brazil, it is 11Mn ( 50% of India).  India has 3% of global middle class, while China has as  high as 16%  &  Chineese  middle class is up by 38 mn in last 10 years,  with wealth up by $ 6 Tn. India upped  its mid class by 7 mn but wealth was up by just $ 1 tn.   European nations have 20—30 Mn mid class each, Australia, Canada, Korea 10-17 Mn .  Against  China’s  Middle class  holding 32of national n 3% of global wealth. Why  such a diff between 2 nations? Reason is, the planned , balanced eco growth in China that has arrested  the fall of middle class wealth only in China as an exception; everywhere else recession has eaten up wealth n income of middle class fast n first. After fall in 2008’s recession by 26%, it bounced back to $ 5300 by 2010, but since depleted to $4352; it was $ 2040 in 2010 itself.  Even in Brazil, middle class  still holds 31% of  national wealth @ $ 754 Bn, a mere 0.3% of global wealth.  And, in India , even for  a lac of INR loan unpaid, a farmer’s Mn Rs land is  croaked by bankers, while Rs 4.5 lac crore is gone  from banks in   NPAs with 36 corporates.

India , with just 2.5% of  world’s land, sustains 18% of world’s population. 30% of our population live on biomass  only; 92 Mn live without safe drinking water, though 80 mn use cell-phones. 30% of global poor live here & 24%  Indians live without electricity.. 2 mn of our people are homeless .  As long as our GHG  shall remain at 10%  of developed nations , we shall not achieve  growth n progress.  2015 has  delivered Nobel prize in economics to Deaton., who conducted a major part of  work in India with  poverty, in fact, much more  than Dr Amartya Sen. Contrary to Dr Sen’s  HDI  generalized  theories, he  , with Jean Dreze, inferred   decrease in calorie intake  not to signify a rise in poverty but a more diversified diet, ie  a  nutrition transition. As per him, not  Expenditure but consumption pattern  indicates  poverty  level;as can be construed from vast backward regions of india.. So, like Dr Sen  , he has  also toed the Keynsian line of state-led employment scemes  for  poverty alleviation.  And  he has probably  not based his experiments on the impact of 2.24 lac  refugees’ influx into Europe during 1st 1/2 year of  2015, on  the  already strained  poor economy of Eurozone..   India boasts of  just 3% of  earth’s fresh water quenching thirst of 18% of global population. 13 crore people do not get fresh water, Per capita  water  availability got reduced  from 1800 cum to 1200 M^3.  Just 64of 38 crore  urbanites  live  without own water.
What cost is  tolerance paying???  We  are heading to smart cities, Rs 50K--1 lac crore is investment commitment recd by Tamilnadu, but we  do not have  infrastructure. Let’s  hope, $ 4.5 Tn digital infra  investment committed in India  gets at least  50implemented. And also let’s hope, Amaravati shall be a smart city  free of calamities.  After TCS, IBM, HCL, Infosys, Cogzinant  offices all drowned n  Rs 20K crore lost by insurance cos, how much shall  these cos’  investment commitments result in reality after  devastation of offices , assets, systems & personpower ???
Arun Janardhanan
January 28, 2016
 “In Tamil Nadu, right for entertainment supersedes all other fundamental rights of people,” scribbled a frustrated Tamilian on Facebook.
On the day when three girls of SVS Medical College of Yoga and Naturopathy, a private college approved by the Tamil Nadu government, allegedly committed suicide by jumping into a 50-foot farm well, no one knows what reactions they expected to their tragic act but random Facebook scribblings could not have been one of them.
After widespread protests over Rohit Vemula’s suicide the previous week, they may have hoped for media criticism of the owner of the illegal medical college to whom they had paid several lakhs of rupees, state-wide protests and even the arrest of the college owner Vasuki Subramanian, her son who allegedly harassed them, her driver who, they said, used to threaten them.
In the past, students have fought a dozen cases against the intimidating management in the Madras High Court, leading to protests for over one year including two failed suicide pacts before the Villupuram Collectorate (one an attempt of self-immolation by half a dozen students, another by six students eating rat poison); they have sent dozens of petitions to the district collector, vice chancellor and the registrar of Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical College (the authority that gave a clean chit to the college), the state health secretary and even the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Yet, nothing has happened. This time too: after the suicide of the three girls, no political party in the state took up the students’ cause wholeheartedly. Opposition leaders issued their usual Facebook statements and accusations against each other with an eye on the Assembly elections. Their suicide failed to invoke any traction on social media; neither the vice-chancellor (VC) nor the state health minister were ‘trolled’ on Twitter. The media response was tepid until their college was sealed and locked. No one has been arrested: not the Registrar of MGR Medical University or the corrupt officials who conducted periodical inspections in their college and forged facts to help the college owner.There was no statement from the health secretary or the health minister. And finally, all that their families received was Rs 1 lakh compensation from Jayalalithaa who had disbursed Rs 3 lakh to the families of each of those who had committed suicide after her conviction in 2014. ‘Amma’ also refused a demand by their parents for a CBI-CID probe, alleging the suicides were murder.
The reasons for such indifference are many: the private medical education sector in Tamil Nadu runs a Rs 1,000 crore business by selling MBBS-Dental-Nursing-Ayurveda-Alternative medicine seats -- a model evolved between the government and the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, the affiliating authority to majority of these institutions. The sale of seats in these courses starts from Rs 40 lakh (MBBS) to Rs 6 crore (PG) each (note: each college recruits 150-250 students per year, the rates vary if the candidate is an NRI, cash should be in suitcases, no receipts) and Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for other medical degrees. After the government approves the establishment of a medical institution and it is affiliated to the medical university, there are three major parameters to be verified periodically - 1) infrastructure, 2) teacher-student ratio (and patients to study, an essential part of medical education, and 3) transparency.
The affiliating authority was supposed to conduct periodical checks at the institution for its facilities. Technically, documents show Dr MGR Medical University, SVS Yoga Medical College was inspected every year, at times twice or thrice a year. How then didn't they notice the deficiencies like a lack of laboratories, zero faculty and hostel facilities? The inspectors who visited the college on several occasions had also failed to notice that the college had been offering allopathic treatment without doctors and nurses. It had operation rooms, a dialysis unit and even radiology wings - all without permissions and on the pretext of running a yoga naturopathy college.
While these facts expose the nexus between private college owners and the senior most health experts and officials who work with the state government, they also highlight corrupt practices that have evolved over the years .A senior official being corrupt may not be news. However, corrupt practices of a top official who has worked with the Directorate of Medical Education (DME), a wing that controls the entire medical education sector in the state including deemed universities, still raises eyebrows with allegations that she asked for iPhones, iPads and Kancheepuram sarees.The three girls who allegedly committed suicide hailed from modest family backgrounds in rural Tamil Nadu. All three had sold their land and taken educational loans to fund their studies. They had hoped to find employment in the world of alternative medicine. Their deaths once again raise questions of a corrupt system.

President recently  commented in a memoir launch function.” Rajiv made mistake n so did I”. It was intolerant of Rajiv Gandhi to oust his mom’s right hand, her most confidante money spinner, from MOF to oblivion. And as per him , Rajiv’s  greatest blunder was  the Tolerance of  Shariat  post  Shah Banu verdict. Are secular countries intolerant to  have Uniform Civil Code? Secularism in india means Minority appeasement  & Protection at any cost. If we need to emulate development, like those nations we  must  know, how to stand up erect against  fundamentalists. Like France India must  ban Hizab. Come  whatever  Charlie Hebdo  episode, no backtracking. No  Yes to any baiters of Tasleema … India  must  secure  courage to protect  atheists like Tasleema n Kalaburgi. That is secularism.
I  had  no intention to start a column just  like that. But after  last month’s  subject  evinced enough interest , many  people  asked me,  do you really  believe, India in intolerant?   I was really fumbling n confused. Why perplexed?  Because, Dilwale  got released  in between &  Sharukh Khan was  vocal on tolerance values of India—a180 degree  move !!!  It is too costly for heroes like Khans  to maintain stardom , with falling box office of  Dilwale  @ just Rs 22 crore  on 1st day .  No surprise shall  lie  that  Amir  shall also  wave the same flag  , now that  Sallu’s  Being Human is  up on voyage after  an all crashing victory over hapless Muslims  living on Mumbai pavements .  A tolerant India’s  Proletariats  have been taught , all verdicts  shall go against.  And Jyoti Singh’s  main  rapist  teenager is being set free  by  highest court of land tomorrow  to  test the  Tolerance n  patience levels  of the  teenage girls n young ladies of India on wrong / right side of 30.  Singur  villagers  are still bearing the brunt of an utterly oppressive n  justice denying judicial system that inflicts more burns  on  have nots than goodies.  And , when Priyanka  Chopra  echoes  the voices of Kangana Ranawat &  Vidya Balan, nobody can blame her  that  the whole of film industry except for very few exceptions is masculine  aall over the globe, especially  in hero worshipping  3rd world.  Rani Mukherjee to Deepika Padukone & Kajol to Anushka have suffered  the humiliation  after facing such defeats in box offices.  And this, despite  most  of  the  heroines  putting up excellent faces  in front of some meaningless  heroic films by some matcho heroes. If girls  worship matcho heroes  like Bahubalis,  girls should adore matcho heroines , but sadly that is missing everywhere.
Finally, the  cat is out of bag.  A govt running  with Nitin Gadkari &  now, Arun Jaitlee too  , at helm,  claims honesty !!!  Will Mr Jaitley also  say, like Sushama Swaraj, he wanted  to show humanity to miscreants ?? ha,ha,ha!!! And, Rajnath Singh shall take  sermons from  both bosses made by him--Amit Shah n NAMO, lest the duo oust him too!!!! The  nation needs  to  see, how best the stalwart lawyer  of Delhi defends himself against  allegations fired by his own party MP, Mr  Keerthi Azad.
And welcome  to 2016  with Sallu mia, recently  set free off  accidental deaths of pavement dwellers.  And welcome  2016a just  ruined metro city of  Chennai witnessed  an extreme of tolerance. A  too posh defense colony  witnessed  its residents’ hapless deaths sinking in flood water that filled  up the rooms &  billionaires died like that during one dreadful night.  Twice the flood struck the metro,  so many Ford cars got damaged  under water. But port did not sink.  When water overflew from 2  lakes thru  a canal, somewhere ground floor , somewhere ground+ 1st floors submerged... And  conservative, fanatic Iyer n Iyenger families offered  shelters   to  staunch Catholics n ritualistic Muslims  and  diff castes n faiths  lived  in 1 house for days.  Some people  could not come back from offices &  could not  contact homes for 2-3 days that they spent in offices. Some people got stuck in airport for 2 daysAnd, young widows  handed over corpses of dead hubbies to boat-army. And , billionaire Chettiars got rescued  by boatmen  along with corpseburners & scavengers n sweepers. And, billionaire Muthaiah’s corpse was  taken by  corporation men  thru  tipper/ dumper to a burning ghat. For days, no sanitation, no  money taken off ATMs, no water to cook food,  Matchboxes selling for  5/-, candles selling @ 20/-, milk liters selling for 80/-, diesel for  200/-, mineral water  bottles  for 80/-. Billionaire Muttaiah who had spent Rs 90 crore on 90th birthday  died a horrible n painful death.  The garbage carrier tippers / dumpers  became  the  divine vehicles  for those 5 days.
In a country where 67%  in Mumbai to 44% in  Trivandrum  are suffering from  acute Diabetes, in a world with 2748 refugee  emigrants  missing . dying out of 4.3 lac  migrated  till mid-Sep 2015 &  all of Europe has reached  pinnacle of  tolerance.  Back home, people in Bihar learnt  to  accept  n tolerate the tallest Buddhist leader  Ashok  as  just  a Kushawah leader.. what a capricious politics!!!  A state Till date 88%  rural like Assam,  barely 2%  have toilets n rest are  tolerating defecation in the  open.!!!!  My dad in law  ,who visited me in Kadappa , Rayalseema ( South Andhra)  inferred  that there  are no engg colleges in Cooch Behar  , his native  town but  unlike in  India’s  2nd Gold  merchant town of Prodattur boasting an engg college n  YSR’s  pet town of Kadappa with 2 engg colleges, n  in the towns of Yerraguntla n Kamlapur , the hearts of cement of the region,   there  are no  lines of  defecations in open  all over streets n grounds by  industrial labor.  While    towns  on Bangla border tolerate  influx  every dawn to dusk, the  Bangal migrant labor force tolerate inhuman  living conditions in all  civil construction sites, where they constitute over 60% of the no.

So, Tolerance is too subjective. Early Romans persecuted Christians for being Atheists. Protagoras was banished from Athens  for agnosticism, so were Bruno, Galileo n Copernicus. Bradlaugh, the father of modern rationalism, too  had to undergo a lot of torments & rationalist GORA ( Goparaju Ramchandra Rao) was  accepted finally as God’s own noble man . But  even today, in most  employments & educational institutions, you need to specify your call ste n faith & all swearings  are in the names of almighty.
 If  Yelmaz Gune  had not to go thru extreme  tolerance  in Turkey for being Kurd & for voicing against a repressive regime.  He was imprisoned again n again on sedition & created best films from within walls.  Recent  Russia vs  NATO member Turkey’s  plane bombing  only  indicates resurgence of a left  force  in the world horizon after  all those Glastnost & Peristroika decades .  Russians tolerated oppressions  under repressive Soviet regimes as also  the CPSU banning & Lenin statue uprooting regimes.  When Left autocracy  wiped off  religions, there was abysmal tolerance. When left autocracy  snatched away  babies from moms’  laps  just because  those moms bore over 1 baby each,  they wept n wept . When Chineese economy  thrived  on bunker economy, the  underpaid workers all  tolerated.  And,  in both leftist n rightist  regimes  , people  lost moneys n started begging on streets. There  are so many  girls n ladies  from China, Vietnam, Mangolia  are  doing sandwich massage to bar dancer  to Hollywood / Bollywood extra  dance jobs with lots of corporal exposures.  With decays  of Europe, Chineese aggression’s resulting  industrial closures in Europe , the no of  sex boxes  have increased  in Europe n more n more sin cities have emerged on horizon.  So many single moms &  divorced /  cast away  teen girls  are trying desperate but unsuccessful  lucks beyond coldest nights till dawns . So, Tolerance  has gone  up after  departure of  communism , since   liberated state  failed  social security duties the way   predecessor state could take care. Today so many people are coming to India on health tours just because  in US  people are suffering / tolerating aggressive n regressive health competition there that squeeze  ailing humanity  in an economy , where state is more competent  in cavity searches  than controlling oppressive medicine sector of US that  fixes prices  of LSDs all at levels  10 times  the costs.
In BDSM  it’s pain that pleases women.  Jihadi  girls  love becoming sex slaves  in ISIS. But  there is no such love existent among Gaza girls in teens n twenties for  oppressive  Israeli  army, nor Gaza boys love such oppressions in the hands of  Israeli  army women. Were Gaddafi’s  ladies all  willing to be his sex slaves? Were  Bersculoni’s  ladies / girls  all fascinated just to be his  sex slaves, or  they were just tolerating …!!!  In fact, Tigers taught girls to die in suicide bombing,  as Maoists  teach them  how to  lead  loveless lives  . Even in Kashmere  today, there  are  jihadi  girls, like their  Tiger / Maoist sisters  loving sex  slave lives under  their leaders  ,  for the sake  of   certain causes.

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Mynamar  is  on d epoch of a new innings  by Aung San Suu Kyi  and  after Podemos in Spain  n Syrzia in Greece, Poland’s  Razem party, barely 5 months old, is neo liberally brainwashing the rightist  mindset with  ultra  left unity of   apolitical radicals. In this party / conceptual party, there is no women reservation in the social  democrat format n this movement  & in this new order  shown by a chief-less party. So, this is 180 degree opposite to the way presidential electoral polity  is gripping / grappling in  India , whether in form of Mamta, or as NAMO or as Rahul/ Sonia  or Nitish / Biju Pattanaik/ Mulayam-Akhilesh.  In a centric structure , whether with Hassina / Khaleda / Mamta/ Mayabati / Jayamma  at center,  women are  subverted , dalits reel under more humiliation.  Time  has come to rewrite Ramayana from Sita’s  perspective. Time has come to question  the centric structure that   upholds a vice-full Rama  as  the God of all things & the centric structure that  forces  Sitas to suicides.

Why Assam needs ambitious people
Writer Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma ( Ex Health & Education Minister of Assam )
My work 'Xomagata Xomoy' was released on the 20th of December in the year of 2014 which is basically a compilation of articles written on different occasions. The launch of my book was attended by a galaxy of renowned personalities which included Sri Homen Borgohain, Sri Ajit Bhuyan, Dr Ramesh Pathak, Professor Niru Hazarika and many others. Obviously in the meeting all of them spoke few words complimenting me for the book. In fact I really felt humbled when Sri Homen Borgohain stated that I am a 'thinking politician' .Those were words of blessings which provide one with encouragement to move forward even while facing daunting challenges of life. However, I am not writing this article to talk about me or my book but to discuss the existing mindset about those people having ambition in our society. This I believe require a close analysis. In the function one of my teachers, Dr. Ramesh Pathak had insisted that although having many positive attributes, I am also highly ambitious for which I had to pay the price as far as my political career is concerned. I can understand that as a teacher, he is concerned about my resignation from the ministry and also about my relatively less presence in power politics. However, I resigned from the ministry on my own will. That was a decision I took as per my own consciousness and is not to be linked with any ambition. A few days before my resignation, Sri Tarun Gogoi offered me the post of Deputy Chief Minister which I politely declined. An ambitious politician would not have refused such a tempting offer and I also do not know if any other politician in Assam has ever declined such an opportunity which also includes the portfolios of finance and planning along with my existing health department. I, of course, in the book launch did not reply to the question whether I am ambitious or not. There will be times and occasions where I will be sharing my own feelings and events that led to my resignation from the government .However, I kept wondering about what is wrong if someone is ambitious in his or her life and feels that he has the quality, motivation and determination to convert or at least to try to convert his ambition into reality. To be honest, I always like and respect people who have ambitions in their life and the determination to convert it into a reality. In my view one of the important reasons why Assamese people are less seen in the national arena is due to the fact that in our society ambitious person are looked into negatively. In our conservative mind set, we feel that it is wrong to have ambitions in our life.
Even In politics, we are trained in feudalistic way , we are told not to have ambition or at least camouflage the ambition of becoming Chief Minister because this might be taken as a challenge to the authority of the existing Chief Minister or for that matter his son or daughter as it may disturb the hereditary succession plan. But we do not recognize the fact that if a politician or a minister or a MLA develops an ambition to be the Chief Minister then there will be a healthy competition among all of them as every ambitious minister or MLA will try to display their potential or at the least will try to deliver and as a result the state will gain tremendously. We must not undermine the fact that the state needs the best available talent as the Chief Minister and therefore, the people of the state must have many choices to select one. If we deny the aspiration or ambition, the state will be deprived from healthy competition and a good government and in real terms the cabinet or the assembly basically becomes the voice of one person. In my view the word 'ambition' is a positive and ambitious people should be considered as the ones having a positive mindset. Let us now ignore politics and discuss the need of people in our society who have ambition and determination and motivation to convert those ambitions into a reality.The dictionary meaning of ambition is the strong desire to do or achieve something. The word ambition means the same as aspiration, intention, goal, aim, objective, object, purpose, intent, plan, scheme, mission, calling, vocation, desire, wish, design, target, dream, and hope. It is very important to notice that every word being synonyms with ambition is positive and reflects a person with a strong personality.
For me, an ambitious person reflects a confident and determined personality with clear aims and objective. If a student from a village says that his aim in life is to be an astronaut, do we need to condemn him? If a boy from a small town says that his aim in life is to be one of the members of the Indian Cricket Team, should his fellow players and coach need to condemn him or encourage him to accept the challenge? In my view ambition leads to the developing of challenge and determination in one’s personality and encourages a person to challenge the status quo. When a son of a farmer harnesses an ambition to be an agricultural scientist, then he takes up the challenge of going up to that level which may be a very difficult journey. He may not reach the sun but he will touch the moon. I have noticed that in Assam we do not train our children to have ambitions in life. From their childhood we encourage our children to dream for a small government job, may be a teacher or at best a doctor or an engineer. As parents or as a society we remain satisfied if our children reach that level. If we have children within born talent of a musician, an artist or an actor then we encourage them to be one that at best can go to the level of our Bihu stage, local television or our regional film but not beyond that. Due to this mind set Assam is losing out from the top slots within our country(not to talk about the international stage). We will hardly find any Assamese today in the top layers of the army, Supreme Court or in any of the scientific research organizations like DRDO, ISRO etc. Very rarely we find Assamese faculty members in IITs, IIMs, TIFRs, IISs or for that matter in the Delhi University or the JNU. Till now we could not produce a single cricket player to represent in Indian cricket or football team. We have seen how the young talent from a small state like Manipur is creating a niche from them. What about Assam and Assamese people?
Our presence in the health sector, be it in AIIMS or any other premiere hospital is also negligible. We have so many good doctors but they do not want to study super specialty or achieving something higher in life. They are satisfied with whatever they have achieved in their life. As a result, we see huge number of patients from Assam in these hospitals but not doctors. Even in the top administrative services our presence is negligible. But at the same time it is also true that from villages of Bihar (where feudalistic mind set is still prevailing) hundreds of young stars join all India services be it at IAS, IFS or IPS. But our presence in these areas is very meager. Situation today is such that a small state like Mizoram has better presence in national bureaucracy than Assam. The latest personnel ministry figures for 4,443 IAS officers show that while 671 (15 per cent) of them are domiciled in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar contributes 419 (9.4 per cent) officers to the service. In terms of academic and physical infrastructure, we may be behind many states in India but from my own personal experience, we are much better than Bihar but still our achievement in academics is much lower than Bihar.
As I said earlier, rural Bihar in many ways still suffer from feudalism, sharp caste division, poor roads and academic infrastructure but still contributes almost 10 percent of the total IAS officers. But Assam with its 3 crore plus people has not even directly contributed 20 IAS officers out of almost 4443 of total officers in the country. But I do not agree that the intellectual capacity of our people is of a lesser standard compared to the other people of our country .In my view this is the direct result of the fact that we have not been able to in-calculate such ambition which creates determination and motivation among our young generation so that they can also think of becoming someone special in life. Here is an interesting example- Bamanwas is a tiny village in Rajasthan, is home to the backward Meena community. But one will be astonished to know that today this village has more IAS and IPS officers than the whole of Assam. Under constant encouragement from elders, the young generation of this village develops the ambition of becoming something in life and every year students from this village are joining all India services in large numbers. My question is that if a remote village can achieve this then why not Assam with its 3 crore plus population. Today, to remain relevant in national scene, Assam needs rich human resources which can take the leadership role in the given fields. But with other states achieving and gifting talented man power to our national pool, Assam is seen as a minor state in our national landscape. We can only achieve this by creating a new generation who has the ambition to lead in their respective fields, not only at national level but also at international level. We need woman like Marry Kom who could dare to have dream in her childhood staying in a small and remote village in Manipur and through determination and motivation to realize the dream in extreme adverse situation. Rup knower Jyoti Prasad Agrawala realized long time back the relative less presence of Assam in national and international scenario and wrote it in one of his most famous poems.
I firmly believe that the lack of ambition and status quo mentality that has existed in our state is responsible for the current state of affairs. Creating an ambitious young generation for whom only the sky can be the limit is the need of the hour. During my short tenure as an education minister I have had the privilege of addressing students from over 50 colleges of our state and in my every speech I have encouraged the students that one must have big ambitions for himself, for his state and country. The combination and fulfillment of all these individual commitments and ambitions in turn create a strong state whose presence can be then felt across the board. As indicated above, the word ambition is not at all a negative connotation, it is one of the most positive words in the dictionary. This word has indelible link with words like plan, mission, aims, objective, desire and above all with the word hope. Once one develops an ambition for oneself, the immediate by product is that he/she will also develop determination, desire and motivation to follow that dream. Of course, an ambition without determination and motivation is of no use and is nothing but fantasy. The people who have ambitions in life must equally develop courage to chase those and must not rest till one achieves his/her goal. Sometimes, we may feel difficult to reach the goal but that difficulty will be over come through proper plan and determination. I believe that if one nurtures a realistic ambition coupled with determination and courage, the goal will be realized sooner or later. However ambition must be clearly distinguished from greed. Basically greed means intense and selfish desire for something especially for wealth, power or food. When a young student develops an ambition to become a super specialty doctor, it is understood that he wants to be at the top of his profession to serve more effectively for his patient. It's his ambition. But if he wants to reach that stage only to earn more, it would be greed. Again if someone feels that he should be the richest person in his town and for that he is ready to adopt all unethical means then it's nothing but greed. Ambition is linked to all positive attributes but greed is linked to all negative attributes. So when we talk to our young generation, we must clearly tell them not to have greed but to have ambition. As Mahatma Gandhi has said there has to be compatibility between the means and end. We can’t achieve a goal, does not matter, howsoever great it could be, by faulty means. Having distinguished ambition from greed, I have no doubt in my mind that today our state desperately needs a generation with full of dream and ambition to take our state at top in national landscape. I want to see that Assamese young stars have presence in administration, health care, scientific research, media, sports etc and lead our country from front. We need to take up this challenge. We can anyways live a life without a challenge or a mission, but I believe we are not in this world to live such a life. We need to live our life with a mission, with an ambition which is in complete harmony between individual achievement and collective welfare. If someone feels that having ambition in life is bad then here is a quotation from Mark Twain which answers all such views-
“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.”The  states of the East  are poor  today n North East  , poorer, because they lack the initiative  to grow, the inertia to achieve, the ambition to grow  big.  In fact,  Assameese  have been  averse to physical  labor  , having  inherited with  the  Ahom  lineage  feelings ingrained n inculcated. It is  since  2005 that  they have started  moving out n look beyond  their Mahanagari  of Guwahati  ,to Kolkata / Delhi/ Mumbai/ Bangalore…Ambition is  crucial   &  a gut  feeling that  to earn money  is not bad, to grow is not bad, to bathe in different cultures is  required.

 No  state  of India   has achieved  over 75%  in Ease of Doing Business &  just 7 states achieved  between 50 &  75 %.  Surprisingly, newer states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh  have overtaken  Maharashtra, Tamilnadu & Maharashtra.   However,  Gujarat, MP  & Rajasthan  are  still in the lead. And   interestingly, all the leading  states are governed by BJP.  If  it is not a  manipulation, it indicates  BJP’s  philosophy to  accord prime  importance  to  economic growth  , while  other  parties  are still sticking to basic Senonomics formulae   of  HDI. One  example  shall  suffice, ; while  2 hours a day in Bangalore &  more in other cities n towns of Karnataka have become a rule, &  power plants are  closed partially in want of funds to buy coal, severe draught has left hydel power sources dry  &  19%  of power  is stolen in this developed state.  Owing to drought,  marriages are down  in north Karnataka-South Maharashtra belt,   due to uncertainties attached  to sugarcane &  people  are worried about daughters’ future  post marriage.   In  the state  that boasts  country’s financial capital,  it is unfortunate  to see growth of unmarried   youth  graduates  &  it should be arrested  , as  agricultural &  unemployed youth  can lead  to another  Nalbari.  But Coal  purchase  money  is not a constraint  with pvt  power generators like JSW Energy. But  govt  is not buying in want of funds. I repeat, serious rethink  to locate  industries in  Karnataka / Tamilnadu / Telengana / Seemandhra  should be made , unless  other  incentives are too lucrative. Mr  Amit Shah  commits  11 crore  BJP members,  around 9%  of our population ,  to Nation building rather than  power capture machinery. Is BJP  growing as  a parallel extension of RSS, or is the no inflated  including RSS  machinery?? 
Just have a look at   the following 1 recent news  article n  1  recent interview  by Dr  Pranab Bardhan. Yes, gradually, Dr Pangharia n Dr  Subramanian are going  down in acceptability  like the balloon of  their  economy  &  the  downturn of the  crude n  world economy, and also enjoy the intolerant reaction  of Ratan Tata  on our PM, with him he shares  friend philosopher guide relation till  recent past---

More  on Intolerance
****Noting that people are yet to have access to basic health care facilities and there was social stigma on disability, Tata said, less attention has been given to disability- oriented vehicles.
In the midst of the growing debate on 'intolerance', industrialist Ratan Tata on Monday said freedom to decide what one has to do is the one thing that can make the nation shine and governments should have no role in telling people what to do."If India is to shine now and in future, people must have the freedom to decide. While governments can be in the business of monitoring, they should have no role in telling people what to do," the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons said while interacting with students of SRM University at nearby Kattankulathur."If India should shine let people have the freedom to decide," a release quoted him as saying. Urging students to be honest in whatever profession they choose in future, he said that as they go through life, they would find many things in their profession down the line which they could not find in college."Be honest in what you think and do and this goes for any profession," he said.Noting that people are yet to have access to basic health care facilities and there was social stigma on disability, Tata said, less attention has been given to disability- oriented vehicles."We don't even have a ramp in many pavements to address the needs of people on wheel-chairs," he said. On students taking up education overseas, he said it would not be the case if educational institutions offered proper "facilities" and "faculties". To a query on support given by him to various start-ups, he said, "I like investing in young companies, but money-alone and greed is not what I am for," he said.
Just  take example  of Swachchhata.  SB Cess  has been imposed / compelled  on all services &  monthly Rs 300 crore+ is being collected. Where is all the money going?  At least NERGA  funds are yet to start flows. But  when shall India  have all  those toilets in all its villages??  Public mindset  yes, 80 lac toilets  have been built. If total requirement is Rs 1.8 lac crore, @ 300 crore pm, it shall need  50  years to reach the goal with public funds. Else, NDA  has  to shed Panghariaism & Subramanyanism  and  repose faith in Senonomics , allocating much more fund  for public health n enhancing instead of squeezing NERGA spending. Kly go thru the 4 news articles on this subject

Mysore has topped the Swachh Bharat rankings among 476 cities in the country with three more places from Karnataka figuring in the top 10. Among urban local bodies in the national Capital, Delhi Cantonment ranked 15th in the list and New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) 16th, while Municipal Corporation of Delhi was at 398th position. West Bengal has done well in the rankings with 25 cities/towns finding a place in the top 100.

These rankings are based on the extent of open defecation and solid waste management practices, according to a Government release. Mysore leads with minimal open defecation and extensive adoption of solid waste management practices The city of Mysore leads the cities with minimal open defecation and extensive adoption of solid waste management practices. Thirty-nine cities from the southern states were among the top 100, followed by 27 from East, 15 from West, 12 from North and seven from the North-Eastern states. Fifteen of the 27 capital cities surveyed figured among the top 100 performers while five were ranked beyond 300. 

Bengaluru leads the list of capitals at 7th rank while Patna came at the bottom at 429th. Among the bottom 100 cities, 74 are from the North, 21 from the East, three from the West and two from the South. The top 10 ranked cities are Mysore, Thiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Navi Mumbai, Kochi (Kerala), Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru from Karnataka, Thiruvananthapuram, Halisahar (West Bengal), and Gangtok (Sikkim). 

Damoh (Madhya Pradesh) came at the bottom at 476th, preceded by Bhind (MP), Palwal and Bhiwani — both in Haryana, Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan), Bulandshahr (UP), Neemuch (MP), Rewari (Haryana), Hindaun (Rajasthan) and Sambalpur in Odisha at 467th rank. All the 476 Class-1 cities in 31 states and Union Territories, each with a population of above one lakh were surveyed for assessing total sanitation practices covering a set of parameters including the extent of open defecation, solid waste management, septage management, waste water treatment, drinking water quality, surface water quality of water bodies and mortality due to water born diseases. 
The survey, conducted during 2014-15, was commissioned by the Ministry of Urban Development as required under the National Sanitation Policy of 2008. Since the Swachh Bharat Mission is being implemented in urban areas with focus on construction of individual household, community and public toilets to eradicate open defecation and ensure door-todoor collection and disposal of municipal solid waste, all the 476 Class-1 cities have been ranked based on the data pertaining to these elements. 
This helps in assessing the present situation in these cities so that they can undertake necessary interventions to meet Swachh Bharat Mission targets in urban areas. Overall sanitation rankings of these cities based on a total of 100 marks assigned to different parameters covering all aspects would be announced later. 

প্লাস্টিকের যে কোনো সামগ্রী এখানে নিষিদ্ধ। রাস্তাঘাট ঝকঝকে তকতকে, ময়লা-আবর্জনার দেখা পাওয়া মুশকিল। চারপাশে ফুলের বাগান। গ্রামটিকে বলা হয় এশিয়ার সবচেয়ে পরিচ্ছন্ন গ্রাম। ভারতের একেবারে উত্তর-পূর্বাঞ্চলের ছোট্ট এই গ্রামটির নাম মাওলিনং।
ভারতের মেঘালয় রাজ্যের প্রত্যন্ত গ্রামটিতে ২০০৩ সালের আগে পর্যটকদের পদচ্ছাপ পড়তো না। মেঘালয়ে ছিল না কোনো সড়ক। যেতে হতো শুধুমাত্র পায়ে হেঁটে। মাওলিনং-এ খাসি উপজাতিদের বসবাস। বিরল মাতৃতান্ত্রিক সমাজের জন্য খ্যাত এ গ্রাম। এই খাসি সমাজে ধন-সম্পদের মালিক হন মেয়েরা। মায়ের সম্পদের একমাত্র উত্তরাধিকারী হন সবচেয়ে ছোট মেয়েটি। মায়ের নামের পদবি গ্রহণ করে সন্তানরা।তবে সাম্প্রতিক বছরগুলোতে ভিন্ন কারণে এ গ্রামটি বিখ্যাত হয়ে উঠেছে। সেটি হলো, গ্রামের ব্যতিক্রমধর্মী পরিচ্ছন্নতা। ভারতের বড় বড় শহরের ধুলাবালি আর কোলাহল থেকে অনেক আলাদা এ গ্রাম। গ্রামের কোনায় কোনায় দেখা মিলবে বাঁশের তৈরি ডাস্টবিন। স্বেচ্ছাসেবীরা নিয়মিত বিরতির পরপর সড়ক ঝাড়ু দেয়।প্লাস্টিকের ব্যাগ ফেলে দিতে দর্শণার্থীদের প্রতি কড়া নির্দেশমূলক সংকেত চোখে পড়বে প্রায়ই। আবর্জনা ছড়িয়ে ছিটিয়ে রাখা একেবারেই নিষিদ্ধ। নিজের ছোট কিন্তু উজ্জ্বল পারিবারিক বাড়িটির সামনে বসে আছে বনিয়ার মাওরোহ। মাওরোহর ভাষ্য, আমরা প্রতিদিন পরিষ্কার করি। কারণ, আমাদের দাদা-দাদি ও পূর্ব-পুরুষরা আমদের শিখিয়েছে কীভাবে গ্রাম ও আশপাশের এলাকা পরিষ্কার রাখতে হয়। কারণ, পরিচ্ছন্ন থাকা স্বাস্থ্যের জন্য ভালো।১২ বছর আগে এ গ্রামে প্রথম সড়ক নির্মিত হয়। তারপর ডিসকোভার ইন্ডিয়া নামে একটি ট্রাভেল ম্যাগাজিনের এক সাংবাদিক ঘুরে যান গ্রামটি। তারপরই তার লেখা একটি নিবন্ধে গ্রামটিকে এশিয়ার সবচেয়ে পরিচ্ছন্ন গ্রাম হিসেবে আখ্যা দেয়া হয়। এরপরই যেন দর্শণার্থীদের ভিড় বাড়তে থাকে গ্রামটিকে ঘিরে। ভরা মৌসুমে প্রতিদিন ২৫০ পর্যটক এ গ্রামে বেড়াতে যান। গ্রামের জনসংখ্যা বেড়ে গেছে প্রায় ৫০ শতাংশ। ক্রমেই, খ্যাতির বিড়ম্বনার মুখোমুখি হয় মাওলিনং। গ্রামের একটি অতিথিশালার মালিক ৫১ বছর বয়সী রিশোত খোংথোহরেম।

তিনি বলেন, এখানে এখন শব্দ দূষণ চলে। আমি গ্রাম পরিষদের সঙ্গে কথা বলেছি। পরিষদ কর্তৃপক্ষ গ্রাম থেকে আরও দূরে নতুন একটি গাড়ি পার্ক করার স্থান নির্মাণে সরকারের কাছে চিঠি লিখেছে। মেঘালয় ট্যুরিজম ডেভেলপমেন্ট ফোরামের সাবেক কর্মকর্তা দীপক লালু এ গ্রামের পর্যটন সম্ভাবনা নিয়ে একেবারে প্রথম দিকে গ্রাম পরিষদকে পরামর্শ দিয়েছেন। তিনিও এখন অতিরিক্ত পর্যটকের চাপ নিয়ে চিন্তিত।তিনি বলেন, এখন কোথাও কোনো ব্যক্তিগত গোপনীয়তা নেই। এক নারী হয়তো গোসল করছে। তার ছবি তুলে ফেলা হচ্ছে। যে সামাজিক বন্ধন গ্রামটিকে এক করে রেখেছে, তা নষ্ট হচ্ছে। পরিষ্কার পরিচ্ছন্নতার বিষয়ে মাওলিনং গ্রামে এতটা উদ্বেগ সৃষ্টি হয় ১৩০ বছর আগের একটি কলেরা মহামারি থেকে। তখন গ্রামে ছিল না কোনো স্বাস্থ্য সুবিধা। এ কারণেই পরিষ্কার-পরিচ্ছন্নতাকেই কলেরা প্রতিরোধের সবচেয়ে কার্যকরী উপায় হিসেবে বিবেচনা করা হতে থাকে।

খোংথোহরেম বলেন, খ্রিষ্টান মিশনারিজ আমাদের পূর্বসূরিদের বলেছিল, তোমরা কলেরা থেকে সুরক্ষিত থাকতে পারবে, যদি ভালোভাবে পরিচ্ছন্নতা বজায় রাখতে পারো। ঘরে-বাইরে, জমিতে, গ্রামে, নিজের দেহে কিংবা খাবার গ্রহণের বেলায় সবসময়ই পরিচ্ছন্নতা মেনে চলতে হবে। এরপর থেকে মাওলিনং গ্রামে এ খুঁতখুঁতে অভ্যেস প্রতিষ্ঠা পায়। ফলে গ্রামটির ভিন্ন অর্জনও বেড়েছে।

প্রকাশ্যে মলমূত্র ত্যাগ যেখানে প্রত্যন্ত ভারতে স্বাভাবিক বিষয়, সেখানে এ গ্রামের ৯৫টি বাড়ির সব কটিতে টয়লেট রয়েছে। এ গ্রামের প্রশংসা করেছেন খোদ ভারতের প্রধানমন্ত্রী নরেন্দ্র মোদি। মহাসড়কে ও স্মৃতিস্তম্ভের আশেপাশে ময়লা-আবর্জনা ফেলার জন্য কুখ্যাতি আছে প্রত্যন্ত অঞ্চলের দরিদ্র মানুষদের। এ দুর্নাম দূর করতে মোদি শুরু করেন ক্লিন ইন্ডিয়া প্রচারাভিযান। আর এর অংশ হিসেবে এক রেডিও ভাষণে মোদি এ গ্রামের প্রশংসা করেন।
মোদি বলেছিলেন, আমি জেনে চমৎকৃত হয়েছি, উত্তর-পূর্ব ভারতের মেঘালয়ে এমন একটি প্রত্যন্ত গ্রাম আছে, যেটি বছরের পর বছর ধরে পরিচ্ছন্নতা বজায় রেখে আসছে। এমন অর্জন নিয়ে মাওলিনং গ্রাম নিশ্চয়ই গর্বিত। অনেকে তবে মনে করেন, বাসিন্দাদের মঙ্গলের জন্য এ গ্রামে পর্যটকদের সংখ্যা সীমিত করতে হবে। পর্যটক বিশেষজ্ঞ লালু বলেন, তাদের অবশ্যই পর্যটক সংখ্যা নিয়ন্ত্রণে রাখতে জানতে হবে। একটা পর্যায়ের পর নাবলতে পারতে হবে। -মানবজমিন
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday lauded Indore as it got country's second (Open Defecation Free) ODF district tag. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was also present on the occasion. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister shared that the district administration has already provided confirmation certificates to 310 panchayats of the district which claims of latrines in each house of 610 villages in the district. He lauded the efforts made by the Indore government and said that soon Indore will be reaching to a next level.
Building toilets in rural India was one of the major promises Prime Minister Narendra Modi made during his speech from the Red Fort ramparts in his first Independence Day address last year. The government has since moved with alacrity, claiming to have constructed around 80 lakh countryside toilets across India under Modi’s ambitious Swachh Bharat mission. But a random assessment of the campaign by Mail Today shows that the ambitious move is plagued by crippling problems that threaten to offset the hopes among large swathes of population that seek hygienic living.

A random assessment by Mail Today shows that the ambitious campaign to build toilets in rural India is plagued by crippling problems
To gauge the programme’s success rate, Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation — the nodal agency for rural mission for the cleanliness campaign — engaged the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) for an impact assessment study. 
Sources in the ministry said that one of the most common complaints coming from states like Uttar Pradesh (UP) was the lack of acceptability and proper usage of the toilets built in remote rural areas. 
 “Though several toilets have been built in this area, villagers still prefer going out into fields to attend nature’s call. At a few  places, villagers have dumped the toilets under piles of husk. In some villages where they have constructed toilets, there is no proper waste management…so they are frustrated with the idea,” said an official in UP government, based in Badaun district, on the condition of anonymity. 
A villager in Bareilly district of UP admitted that he felt “suffocated inside an enclosed toilet” and couldn’t bring himself to excrete until he went to an open field. 
“At least 55 per cent of the Indian population doesn’t have access to toilets. If we go to villages randomly, we will find one or the other problem. The idea of the survey is to get the actual picture of the program. This is a third-party survey targeted at genuine results. 
"The survey will be completed in a month. We have tried to cover almost all aspects of the idea of sanitation. Surveyors are looking at everything: solid and liquid waste management, awareness regarding toilet usage, water storage, hand washing practices and acceptability of the total idea of sanitation,” said Saraswati Prasad, joint secretary, ministry of drinking water and sanitation, Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) division. 
Focusing on the end result qualities, certain features were introduced to expedite rural sanitation. 
One of the changes introduced was increasing the incentive amount for an individual’s toilet from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000.This hike was made keeping in mind that hygiene is an important factor and promotion of washing hands at critical times, such as after defecation, was essential to prevent faeco-oral transmission. Therefore, it was advised that facilities for water storage, hand washing and cleaning of toilets may be created or strengthened alongside the construction of a toilet. “We have constructed around 80 lakh toilets under the combined Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, MNREGA and SBM-G programmes. One of the challenges we have been facing is requests from some states for  enhancement of unit cost of Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs) and community toilets for various reasons, such as adopting different technological options for different geographical locations,” Prasad added. “The SBM-G guidelines stipulate only an inceptive amount to be provided to an eligible person. It doesn’t aim to provide the full cost of a toilet, which may be higher or lower than the incentive amount. "The reason is that sanitation is primarily a behavioral issue, to be undertaken by people themselves for their own good. The role of government is only to facilitate this positive change by providing incentives and assisting people. The SBM-G has a clear focus on behavioral change,” Prasad added. Officials said the realization by a person or community of the need to stop open defecation, and therefore take steps to construct and use toilets, is more important than a supply-driven approach. The Centre has also said that state governments have the flexibility to provide higher incentive for household toilets constructed by sources other than SBM-G. The construction of toilets is a major focal area for the Swachh Bharat programme, which aims to make India “open defecation-free” by 2019. It aims at constructing 12 crore toilets in rural India by October 2019 at a projected cost of Rs 1.96 lakh crore.

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Around 5,000 toilets have been constructed in Ludhiana
PUNJAB: Non-starter in Punjab
By Manjeet Sehgal
The Swachh Bharat Mission has failed to take off in most villages of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The scheme has also failed to attract people as they feel that a sum of Rs 12,000 provided under the scheme is insufficient.“Constructing a basic toilet requires additional Rs 30,000 to buy bricks, cement, door and other things. The scheme will meet the same fate as the Indira Awas Yojna under which the houses were constructed only on papers,” Maya Ram a resident of Salogra village in Himachal Pradesh said. Interestingly, the Punjab government claims to have constructed around 33 lakh toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for 7.92 lakh families at a cost of Rs 937 crore. However, a reality check done by Mail Today revealed that most of the toilets were constructed on papers as no money has been provided to the households. Confirming the status ,Punjab Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa said that the figures shown were not true and that the toilets were only constructed only on papers.

KOLKATA: Flushing out open defecation
By Soudhriti Bhabani
West Bengal’s Nadia district has been declared a complete Open Defecation Free Belt. Other than Nadia, other districts have also adopted West Bengal government’s Sabar Janno Souchaggar (toilet for all) initiative in October 2013. The Trinamool Congress had adopted the model of converting various districts into open defecation free zones across the state — a year before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s  much touted ‘Swachh Bharat’ or ‘Clean India’ campaign was launched. Altogether 7-8 districts including Nadia, Hooghly, South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Murshidabad and Birbhum took up the initiative.
Sources said a number of NGOs, other social organizations, lawmakers and school children have also been involved in this ‘people’s movement’. The fund for constructing the toilets , which is said to be around Rs 10,000, came from various central government schemes and the civil construction developed by women workers thorough various self-help groups. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also said that Bengal’s “Toilet for All” project was selected by Loughborough University, UK as “An Inspiring District Level Model for eliminating open defecation in India”.

LUCKNOW: Construction in full swing  
By Rajat Rai
Construction of toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiya is in full swing in Lucknow’s Benti village, which was adopted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in June last year. Currently, around 90 toilets are under construction across the seven villages of the Benti Gram Sabha. According to the village head Shanti Tiwari around 20 toilets is expected to be functional in next 7 to 10 days.“A sum of Rs 1.92 lakh were issued in June and we hope that 18 to 20 toilets will be functional in the next 10 days. The population of the gram sabha is nearly 7,000 and at present 90 toilets are under construction out of 1,100 toilets which had been sanctioned”, Tiwari informed. 

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Construction of toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiya is in full swing in Lucknow’s Benti village, which was adopted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in June last year 
Some existing toilets were also renovated under the scheme. 
“About a dozen toilets that were built in the houses of some villagers have been renovated. They were selected via lottery, which also includes some in the Maleen Basti (houses of the scheduled caste in the outskirts)”, Tiwari added. The villagers, however, allege that contractors demand a bribe of Rs 2,000 for constructing or renovating a toilet.“Most toilets are being constructed on the land of the Gram Sabha. As far as the renovation of existing toilets are concerned, it is being done only in the houses of those close to the pradhan. If anyone else want this favour, the contractor asks for a bribe of Rs 2000”, Dinesh Shukla a villager alleged. “My family still goes to the fields and despite meeting the pradhan several times, she did not give heed to our requests”, a 90-year-old Mangal said. Rubbishing the claims made by villagers, Tiwari said, “We are maintaining complete transparency and I can show you my records. Rajnath Singh visited the village in December last and had expressed satisfaction”.

BENGALURU: Karnataka honours promise 
By Aravind Gowda
Ironically, Congress-ruled Karnataka has performed better than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states in implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission by constructing a record number of toilets in 2014-15. 
The state continues to maintain the pace of implementation of the program both in urban and rural areas.
In Bengaluru, toilets have been constructed in shanty towns and lower middle class areas, where people are satisfied using it under the Community & Public Toilets category. In a few localities where construction of permanent toilets is not practical, the local municipality has installed etoilets, which are eco-friendly and user-friendly. The municipalities are paying towards the maintenance and operation of these toilets. 
So far, 3,57,000 toilets have been built across the state. This year, the Karnataka government has an ambitious target of 1 million toilets, both under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and the state government’s own schemes.                                                        

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Civic agencies had failed to construct any public toilet in South Delhi since the Swachh Bharat Mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
South Delhi to get Capital’s first bio toilet soon 
By Sneha Agrawal
The Swachh Mission in the Capital has found new torchbearers. With the noble initiative of residents, south Delhi will soon have its first public bio-toilet installed at Greater Kailash-II. The bio-digester toilet will be installed at Block W park that receives the highest footfall in the area. The move comes after the civic agencies failed to construct any public toilet since the Swachh Bharat Mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The residents’ welfare association of Greater Kailash-II in collaboration with Suvidha Bio Foundation had decided to start the pilot project on green toilets in April.The toilet will be ready for public use by month-end. 

The cost of installing a bio toilet has been estimated at Rs 1.07 lakh. Abhay Khanna of Suvidha Bio Foundation said, “We will build an executive toilet block. The aerobic technology will help to convert the fecal matter into water and gas. The water will be used as manure for horticulture purpose. The lifeline of these toilets is beyond 25 years with negligible maintenance. ” 
“It is a nice initiative by residents. The corporation and the residents should join hands and take more of such projects to maintain cleanliness and sanitation,” said Sunita Gulia, councillor, Greater Kailash-II. 
The bio toilets are stand alone toilets that do not require any sewer connection and are odour-free. Residents of Greater Kailash-II are hopeful to receive a positive response from users. 
“The park in Block W is visited by 400-500 residents from GK-II and the nearby areas. This was the best spot to pioneer the project. If the people like the facility, we would cover other parts of the area,” said Ashok Bagga, former RWA president, Greater Kailash-II, who initiated the project.

The law was extended in 2003 to cover people working in septic tanks and sewer lines. But surprisingly not even a single employer has been booked to date for engaging a septic tank worker even as new public toilets being built under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan have spawned more septic tanks and sewers. Paradoxically, increasing the need for more manual scavengers and septic tank cleaners. 
The life stories of these workers betray an entrenched caste-based discrimination that shamefully persists in the Capital even now, preventing them from applying for any other job. 

 “At first, I couldn’t get myself to do it (cleaning a septic tank). But then I realised that no one will give me any other job because I belong to the Valmiki caste. So I had no other option,” says Ranjit, who has been doing the job for three years now. “My father, who used to clean septic tanks for the past 30 years, is ill and bed-ridden now,” he says. According to him, it can take several hours to clean a septic tank, especially if it has not been cleaned for long. The working hours are mostly during the night and depend on the demand. “It takes three people up to six hours to clean a septic tank,” Ranjit adds. The remuneration of Rs 1,200 is then divided among the three workers, with each earning a meagre Rs 400 for cleaning an entire tank. 

Stinking poverty 
“I smell of poop for days after work, making it impossible to eat,” says Ranjit, who is also worried about diseases such as TB and jaundice, which his job makes him prone to. “The odour is extremely bad. My father used to drink alcohol before entering a tank. That was the only way for him to be able to stand the stink. Some people say alcohol buffers you against the noxious methane emanating from the tank,” he explains. Before entering a tank, Ranjit uses a bamboo stick to measure its depth and also to find out if there are any poisonous insects or reptiles in there. Ranjit says he works mostly for private homes. Working on sewer lines owned by the government, he claims, doesn’t pay much or offer him a regular job. The PRO of Delhi Jal Board, however, denied the claim, saying that manual cleaning of sewer lines has been banned and hence the agency doesn’t hire workers to clean sewer
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Ranjit (pictured with his wife, right) says he works mostly for private homes. Working on sewer lines owned by the government, he claims, doesn’t pay much or offer him a regular job
Bezwada Wilson, founder of Safai Karmachari Andolan, a national movement committed to the eradication of manual scavenging and rehabilitation of scavengers, blames lack of initiative on the part of authorities in emptying the tanks mechanically. “There has been no mechanisation of sewer lines or septic tanks since 1947,” says Wilson. “You cannot build two lakh toilets and have no ready mechanism to empty the pits. "Also, after the Government wielded the broom for a day, the scavenging community feels its profession is not that bad,” he adds. “Unfortunately, even among Government officials there is no awareness about the safety and employment of manual scavengers. Then how do we expect private parties to know about it?” Wilson asks. “It is a tedious process — the implementation of the Act,” he adds. An unofficial estimate by Hazards Centre, a Delhi-based NGO, puts the number of manual scavengers in Delhi at around 60,000. “The real figure, I suspect, is much higher,” says Dunu Roy, director of Hazards Centre. 

Roy blames innate structural problems that continue to act as a challenge in solving the issue. He says; “Most of these sewer lines and septic tanks were designed in the early 1960s, taking into account the population size of those days. You cannot pass a judgement banning manual scavengers when there are innate structural problems. "Septic tank cleaners will be employed as long as there is human excreta,” says Roy. A 2003 Supreme Court order recommends the practice of entering sewer lines without safety gear a crime even in emergency situations. The death of a worker resulting from such situations requires the employer to pay compensation to the tune of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased, the order stipulates. 

High casualty 
All those families who have lost a member while doing sewerage work since 1993 are also eligible for the same amount.  The verdict was aimed at dissuading future generations from taking up manual scavenging as a job. 
“These are just written words,” says Wilson, the Safai Karmachari Andolan founder, about the Supreme Court verdict. “Most of the deaths are not even accounted for. Then there is the larger question of whether a worker actually died while on the job. "In the end, the compensations are never delivered,” Wilson rues. “The official death figure in Delhi due to manual scavenging is just 18. The unofficial numbers are way too high and growing by the day,” he says with a note of caution.  'Husband paid Rs 1 lakh to get permanent MCD job'


By Adila Matra  
Meena's day begins at 4am. After dropping her kids at school and sending her husband, Mukesh, off to work (he cleans public toilets), Meena drives her wheel barrow from house to house picking up waste and segregating plastic from organic. She says it is difficult to get a job with Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), so she does her work on an individual basis, earning Rs 40-50 per house. “At first, I used to carry the waste in a basket on my head and got skin inflammation. That’s when I started saving up for a wheel barrow,” she says. 

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For Rs 4,000, Meena bought a wheel barrow and now hopes to work for the MCD. “Government jobs have its perks like pension. But it is very difficult to get one,” she says. Meena’s husband who used to clean toilets, first as a daily wage worker and then on contract basis, is now a permanent worker of the MCD. Meena remembers how he had to wait for 15 years to get this done. “It is a convoluted process. We had to pay Rs 1 lakh to a middleman just to get his file checked. And we are working harder to pay back that money which we borrowed on a very high interest rate,” Meena says. Deepak Hastir, Additional Commissioner of MCD, while accepting some irregularities, explains the other side of the story. “For instance, if there are 100 people working under a contractor, he will also have 10 others as substitutes in case anyone falls sick or is on leave. In such a situation it is difficult to offer permanent jobs to everyone even if a worker has completed the required eligibility period (about five to eight years) to make him permanent,” he says. “Also, we do not know how many are employed by NGOs or contractors,” he states, adding: “MCD has stores from where every municipal ragpicker is given a broom, wheel barrow, gloves and boots.” “Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, we are pushing forward a proposal that will stop employing children below 14 years of age in collecting trash. Under this proposal, every ragpicker, even the one employed by the NGOs, should be provided a protective gear,” says Hastir. 

The law was extended in 2003 to cover people working in septic tanks and sewer lines. But surprisingly not even a single employer has been booked to date for engaging a septic tank worker even as new public toilets being built under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan have spawned more septic tanks and sewers. Paradoxically, increasing the need for more manual scavengers and septic tank cleaners. The life stories of these workers betray an entrenched caste-based discrimination that shamefully persists in the Capital even now, preventing them from applying for any other job. 
**** “At first, I couldn’t get myself to do it (cleaning a septic tank). But then I realised that no one will give me any other job because I belong to the Valmiki caste. So I had no other option,” says Ranjit, who has been doing the job for three years now. “My father, who used to clean septic tanks for the past 30 years, is ill and bed-ridden now,” he says. According to him, it can take several hours to clean a septic tank, especially if it has not been cleaned for long. The working hours are mostly during the night and depend on the demand. “It takes three people up to six hours to clean a septic tank,” Ranjit adds. The remuneration of Rs 1,200 is then divided among the three workers, with each earning a meagre Rs 400 for cleaning an entire tank. 

Stinking poverty 
“I smell of poop for days after work, making it impossible to eat,” says Ranjit, who is also worried about diseases such as TB and jaundice, which his job makes him prone to. “The odour is extremely bad. My father used to drink alcohol before entering a tank. That was the only way for him to be able to stand the stink. Some people say alcohol buffers you against the noxious methane emanating from the tank,” he explains. Before entering a tank, Ranjit uses a bamboo stick to measure its depth and also to find out if there are any poisonous insects or reptiles in there. Ranjit says he works mostly for private homes. Working on sewer lines owned by the government, he claims, doesn’t pay much or offer him a regular job. The PRO of Delhi Jal Board, however, denied the claim, saying that manual cleaning of sewer lines has been banned and hence the agency doesn’t hire workers to clean sewer lines. 
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দুর্নীতিদমনে রাজনীতিবিদদের প্রতিশ্রুতিই সার, মত আন্তর্জাতিক সংস্থার
By: ABP Ananda Web Desk | Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 January 2016 9:29 PM

বার্লিন: প্রতিশ্রুতি পূরণে ব্যর্থ ভারতীয় রাজনীতিবিদেরা। যার জেরে এদেশে এখনও প্রভূত পরিমাণে রয়েছে দুর্নীতির জাল। এমনটাই জানিয়েছে আন্তর্জাতিক দুর্নীতি নজরদারি সংস্থা ট্রান্সপারেন্সি ইন্টারন্যাশনাল (টিআই)যদিও, আশার বাণীও শুনিয়েছে তারা। জানিয়েছে, আগের তুলনায় দুর্নীতি কমেছে ভারতে।
সম্প্রতি প্রকাশিত হয়েছে বার্লিন-স্থিত এই সংস্থার ২০১৫ সালের বার্ষিক রিপোর্ট। সেখানে স্বচ্ছতার নিরিখে ভারতের স্কোর একশোর মধ্যে ৩৮প্রসঙ্গক্রমে, একশো হল সবচেয়ে স্বচ্ছ বা কম দুর্নীতিযুক্ত দেশ। অন্যদিকে, শূন্য হল সবচেয়ে দুর্নীতিগ্রস্ত দেশ।  মূলত, সরকারি জায়গায় দুর্নীতির খতিয়ানের ওপর ভিত্তি করেই তৈরি করা হয় এই তালিকা।
কেন ভারতের এই হাল? টিআই জানিয়েছে, ভারত-শ্রীলঙ্কার মত দেশে পরিবর্তনের জন্য মানুষের তীব্র আশা রয়েছে। দুর্নীতিদমন করার প্রতিশ্রুতি দিয়েই রাজনৈতিক দলগুলি এই দুই দেশে ক্ষমতায় এসেছে। কিন্তু সর্বত্রই দেখা গিয়েছে, রাজনৈতিক নেতারা নিজেদের প্রতিশ্রুতি পালন করছেন না। তারা সেখানে ব্যর্থ। যা সেই দেশের দুর্নীতি রোধের পথে বাধা হয়ে দাড়াচ্ছে।
এবারের রিপোর্টে মোট ১৬৮টি দেশের ওপর সমীক্ষা চলেছে। সেখানে ভারতের স্থান ৭৬ তম। ২০১৪ সালে ভারত ৮৫ তম জায়গায় ছিল। সেইদিক থেকে ভারতের উন্নতি হয়েছে বা বলা যেতে পারে, গত এক বছরে ভারতের দুর্নীতির পরিমাণ কিছুটা কমেছে। ভারতের সঙ্গে একাসনে রয়েছে তাইল্যান্ড, ব্রাজিল, তিউনিসিয়া, জাম্বিয়া এবং বুরকিনা ফাসো।
তালিকায় সবচেয়ে ওপরে রয়েছে ডেনমার্ক। তার প্রাপ্ত স্কোর হল ৯১এই নিয়ে তারা টানা দুবছর শীর্ষস্থান দখল করেছে। তালিকায় সবচেয়ে নীচে উত্তর কোরিয়া ও সোমালিয়া। দুজনের স্কোরই ৮ পয়েন্ট। উল্লেখযোগ্য হল ভারতের চেয়ে তালিকায় অনেক এগিয়ে রয়েছে প্রতিবেশি ভূটান। ৬৫ পয়েন্ট নিয়ে তারা তালিকায় ২৭ তম স্থান দখল করেছে। তবে, ৩৭ পয়েন্ট নিয়ে ভারতের নীচে রয়েছে চিন (৮৩), ৩০ পয়েন্ট নিয়ে ১১৭ তম স্থানে রয়েছে পাকিস্তান। এবং ২৫ পয়েন্ট নিয়ে ১৩৯তম স্থানে রয়েছে বাংলাদেশ।


A latest  update on the Intolerance debate. Beyond the  suicide of the  Hyderabad  Dalit/ OBC student, for which even JNU is  boiling. And  also in addition to  the  growing protests  by women to enter Shani Temple @ Ahmednagar.
A women's organisation was on Thursday ordered by authorities not to go ahead with its demonstration at the famous Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district on January 26 to demand that women be given equal rights for prayers at its sacred platform.
The Ranragini Bhumata Brigade on its part headed for a showdown with the authorities by deciding to book a helicopter from which its chief Trupti Desai was planning to alight by a rope and take darshan just to break an ancient "custom" that bars women from climbing up to the holy 'chauthara' (sacred platform).
Joint Charity Commissioner of Pune region Shivkumar Dige in his order preventing members of Ranragini Bhumata Brigade from going ahead with its protests said there was apprehension of damage to property if the outfit goes ahead with its demonstration at the 'chauthara'. The temple trustees should hold a meeting with Brigade members and hear what the latter have to say, the order said.
Fearing restrictions on the protests, Desai said she was booking a helicopter and seeking permission for the flight from the district collector and planned to alight (in the temple premises) by a rope from the helicopter.
"Women want equality, which was given in the Constitution of India on January 26. Hence we want to protest on this day," Desai said, as the agitation over certain restrictions on women at popular shrines such as Haji Ali in Mumbai and Sabrimala temple in Kerala reached Shani Shingnapur, about 300 km from Mumbai.
The temple trust and most villagers have strongly opposed the plan, fearing the move might "anger" the Shani Dev. To foil the attempt, villagers have announced that they would form a human chain around the temple to "protect" the God from "being impure".
"One woman mistakenly went to the chauthara (platform) and took darshan. After this, the management washed the area as it had become 'impure' and insulted motherhood. In December, four of us (women) tried to storm through the barricades, but were pushed back," Desai said.
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In November, a woman offered prayers at the popular shrine in 'breach' of the age-old practice of prohibiting entry of women, prompting the temple committee to suspend seven security men and the villagers to perform purification rituals.

Former member of National Commission for Women (NCW) Shamina Shafiq on Tuesday voiced her concerns regarding the age-old practice of discriminating women and barring them from entering the Shani Shignapur temple. She said it was a blot on the democracy. She added that patriarchy was another main reason because of which such practices still existed. Echoing similar sentiments, Delhi Commission for Women's former chief Barkha Shukla said there was absolutely no reason for barring women from the temple. Such practices are man-made and it should be changed over the period of time.
Muslim women on Thursday staged a protest demanding entry into a restricted area of the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai, a stir that came amid a campaign by a group seeking right for female devotees to offer prayers at inner sanctum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra.
Several activists belonging to Muslim women groups held placards demanding entry for females into the sanctum sanctorum of the historic dargah, which receives hundreds of devotees everyday. A participant said it was “male patriarchy”, and not religion, which was imposing restrictions on women.
“This is against tenets of Islam. The Constitution has given you equal rights, Islam supports the Constitution,” she added. A Muslim women’s rights group is locked in a legal battle with trustees of the Haji Ali dargah, which has barred women’s entry into
The Bombay High Court is hearing a petition challenging the Haji Ali Trust’s decision to ban the entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah (grave of a male Muslim saint). On January 18, the HC said it would wait for Supreme Courts ruling on entry of women in Sabarimala temple of Kerala before deciding on the plea related to the dargah.
A bench of Justices V M Kanade and Reveti Mohite-Dere had said both matters involved entry of women in the religious shrines, and hence they would like to see what view the apex court would take on the issue before deciding on the PIL pending before them. The next HC hearing will take place on February 3.
The protest in Mumbai broke out two days after members of a group, Bhumata Brigade, were prevented by police from entering into Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district to break a 400-year-old tradition banning women from entering its sacred sanctum.
After the high-voltage march to the temple by the Bhumata Brigade volunteers, which was foiled mid-way, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called for a dialogue between temple authorities and activists to find a way out of the row.
The popular shrine is dedicated to Lord Shani, who personifies the planet Saturn in Hindu belief. Women devotees are not permitted on the ‘chauthara’ (sacred platform) of the temple as per the centuries-led tradition followed at the shrine.

A participant said it was “male patriarchy”, and not religion, which was imposing restrictions on women. (Source: PTI photo)
Muslim women on Thursday staged a protest demanding entry into a restricted area of the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai, a stir that came amid a campaign by a group seeking right for female devotees to offer prayers at inner sanctum of Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra.
Several activists belonging to Muslim women groups held placards demanding entry for females into the sanctum sanctorum of the historic dargah, which receives hundreds of devotees everyday. A participant said it was “male patriarchy”, and not religion, which was imposing restrictions on women.
“This is against tenets of Islam. The Constitution has given you equal rights, Islam supports the Constitution,” she added. A Muslim women’s rights group is locked in a legal battle with trustees of the Haji Ali dargah, which has barred women’s entry into mosque’s mausoleum.
The Bombay High Court is hearing a petition challenging the Haji Ali Trust’s decision to ban the entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah (grave of a male Muslim saint). On January 18, the HC said it would wait for Supreme Courts ruling on entry of women in Sabarimala temple of Kerala before deciding on the plea related to the dargah.
A bench of Justices V M Kanade and Reveti Mohite-Dere had said both matters involved entry of women in the religious shrines, and hence they would like to see what view the apex court would take on the issue before deciding on the PIL pending before them. The next HC hearing will take place on February 3.
The protest in Mumbai broke out two days after members of a group, Bhumata Brigade, were prevented by police from entering into Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district to break a 400-year-old tradition banning women from entering its sacred sanctum.
After the high-voltage march to the temple by the Bhumata Brigade volunteers, which was foiled mid-way, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called for a dialogue between temple authorities and activists to find a way out of the row.
The popular shrine is dedicated to Lord Shani, who personifies the planet Saturn in Hindu belief. Women devotees are not permitted on the ‘chauthara’ (sacred platform) of the temple as per the centuries-led tradition followed at the shrine.

2  great news for  Jan 2016 are—a)  a  Kohli supporter  in Pak is  getting 10 years in Jail for wagging an Indian flag,  & b) VHP  has  officially  demanded  Death sentence for  all  Muslim infiltrators  from Bangladesh.  Who shall persuade Madam Uma Bharati to reduce Ganga pollution first before  sending SRK &  Amir  to Pakistan???  Long live, Intolerance."A letter signed by 170 economists including former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, University of Texas Professor James K. Galbraith, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC., Brad Miller, former U.S. Congressman from North Carolina, and William K. Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City endorsed the Sanders plan to reform Wall Street.
The economists wrote:
In our view, Sanders’ plan for comprehensive financial reform is critical for avoiding another ‘too-big-to-fail’ financial crisis. The Senator is correct that the biggest banks must be broken up and that a new 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking, must be enacted. Wall Street’s largest banks are now far bigger than they were before the crisis, and they still have every incentive to take excessive risks. No major Wall Street executive has been indicted for the fraudulent behavior that led up to the 2008 crash, and fines imposed on the banks have been only a fraction of the banks’ potential gains. In addition, the banks and their lobbyists have succeeded in watering down the Dodd-Frank reform legislation, and the financial institutions that pose the greatest risk to our economy have still not devised sufficient “living wills” for winding down their operations in the event of another crisis.
Secretary Hillary Clinton’s more modest proposals do not go far enough. They call for a bit more oversight and a few new charges on shadow banking activity, but they leave intact the titanic financial conglomerates that practice most shadow banking. As a result, her plan does not adequately reduce the serious risks our financial system poses to the American economy and to individual Americans. Given the size and political power of Wall Street, her proposals would only invite more dilution and finagle.
The only way to contain Wall Street’s excesses is with reforms sufficiently bold and public they can’t be watered down. That’s why we support Senator Sanders’s plans for busting up the biggest banks and resurrecting a modernized version of Glass-Steagall. Both campaigns are rolling out endorsements on a daily basis, but the anger over Wall Street crashing the US economy and walking away with a slap on the wrist is one of the main drivers behind the popularity of Sen. Sanders.Bernie Sanders has been on a crusade for years to reform Wall Street, and the success of his campaign is the worst nightmare of the country’s greedy big banks. The reality is that little has changed since the Great Recession. The big banks got bailed out and learned the wrong lesson from the recession. Wall Street feels bulletproof. If the American people want to protect themselves from another economic collapse, it will take real reforms like those that are being proposed by Sen. Sanders.
170 economists agree that Bernie Sanders is the candidate who will hold Wall Street accountable."
#WEAREBERNIE
#BERNIESANDERS2016
#THEPEOPLEFORBERNIESANDERS

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****TOI, CHENNAI: Investment of over Rs one lakh crore was committed for Tamil Nadu at a maiden Global Investors Meet that began here today, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said as she made a strong pitch for pushing the infrastructure sector."The Global Investors Meet (GIM) had targeted investment commitments of Rs 1 lakh crore, which has already been exceeded. I am very confident that further commitments would be made over these two days," she said while lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for creating "a more investor-friendly climate"http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/images/pixel.gifInaugurating the two-day meet which is being attended by 5,000 delegates, including 1,000 from abroad, Jayalalithaa showcased the state as a top investment destination and assured businesses that their foray into Tamil Nadu was "sound investment" Batting for more investment in her state, Jayalalithaa referred to her various pro-industry initiatives and said that "a total investment in infrastructure of $250 billion is planned"."These are not idle promises or mere ideas. Implementation of 84 of the 217 projects and programmes identified under the 'Vision Tamil Nadu-2023' has already commenced," she said.
Talking about her various pro-industry initiatives, including the new industrial policy unveiled in 1992 during her first tenure as chief minister, Jayalalithaa said global automakers like Ford (US) and Hyundai (Korea) had set up manufacturing units here during that period .On the power scenario, Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu has overcome the acute power crisis that was facing the state when she had assumed office in 2011 due largely to a series of projects and arrangements. She said that her government's Solar Power Policy-2012 had resulted in Tamil Nadu now having the largest domestic roof- top solar energy generation capacity in the country."A strong pipeline of conventional and renewable power projects has been built up and long-term power supply agreements have been entered into to ensure that the state is not power scarce at all in the foreseeable future," she said, adding that Tamil Nadu was, in fact, on the 'verge' of becoming "power surplus". She said that the state was leading in the areas of textiles, leather, IT, healthcare, automobiles and auto components, among others."The share of our services sector in the economy is one of the highest in India. Tamil Nadu attracts the third-highest Foreign Direct Investment in the country," she said.
IT major HCL Ltd and ITC pledged investments of $1 billion and Rs 2,500 crore respectively, at the GIM.
"We will be allocating a billion dollar in investments in the next five years in addition to the investments we have already made here in Tamil Nadu," said HCL Chairman Shiv Nadar.ITC Chairman YC Deveshwar said his company was keen on making investments of about Rs 2,500 crore in the state as part of tapping the food processing and hotel businesses. Ambassadors, high commissioners and delegations from countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, France, Italy, the UK, Singapore and Russia, too, are taking part in the two- day event.

*****Business  Standard-24.9.15---------With deals worth Rs 240,000 crore signed during the two-day Global Investor Meet early this month, Tamil Nadu's image as an investment destination, which had taken a beating over the past few years, seems to have got a new lease of life.Among the companies that have decided to invest in the state are HCL Technologies (Rs 6,000 crore), Mahindra & Mahindra (Rs 4,000 crore), and Delta India Electronics (Rs 4,000 crore). In all, 98 memoranda of understanding were signed during the meet.For Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, these agreements hold particular appeal as they have come amid growing concerns about the state's declining investment environment. Despite the odds, "the investments were twice the target for the Global Investor Meet," says Tamil Nadu Additional Secretary CV Shankar.Encouraged by this, the state has set its sights higher now: it wants to become not just the top investment destination in the country but also gain a place among the top three in Asia. To that end, it has announced it will hold a global investor meet every two years.She has promised single-window clearance within 30 days of the date of application for all projects signed during the investment meet. In addition, Tamil Nadu is working in partnership with the Japan International Co-operation Agency to look into ways to improve the investment climate in the state. Plans are also afoot to make available the entire gamut of statutory and pre-project clearances online for the ease of investors.To ensure the benefits of growth are spread across the state, close to  half the investments committed will go to southern districts - Madurai, Tirunvelveli, Tuticorn, Thanjavur and Kanyakumari. The state government has announced a new package of incentives to encourage investors to set up plants in that region. A land bank with 42,000 acres has been set aside for the purpose.

Fending off competition. However, Tamil Nadu's problems run deep. For the state with the second largest gross domestic product in the country, the events of the past few years have been anything but welcoming for investors, leading many to be sceptical about the state's future.Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia's tax dispute with the Central government that kept its Chennai factory out of the sale of its mobile unit to Microsoft last year, and Taiwanese phone component maker Foxconn's decision to pull out of the state further dented its imageIt is also not hard to see investors getting overwhelmed by the complexity of doing business in the state. Japanese automobile maker Nissan has been rethinking about its expansion plans as fiscal incentives worth Rs 2,700 crore promised to the company have been delayed. While sources in the government say it is looking at clearing Nissan's dues soon, the company is awaiting clarity before going ahead with its investment plans.

There are others concerns too. The state has been caught in a tug of war for investments with neighboring  Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, which are aggressively wooing companies with better infrastructure facilities and faster clearances.  Over the past year, a number of big-ticket projects bound for Tamil Nadu have gone to Andhra Pradesh's swanky new business district called Sri City, about 50 Kms from Chennai. Andhra Pradesh now boasts of several big names like Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp and Japanese automobile manufacturer Isuzu Motors as its investors. This week, Chinese solar cells manufacturer Longi announced it was investing Rs 8,000 crore in the state. A host of IT companies have opted for Sri City too, driven by the ease of doing business there and the promise of high-speed internet connectivity.In his quest to attract $2 billion in IT investments over the next five years and create 5 million technical jobs, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has rolled out an ambitious plan to provide every village in the state with broadband connectivity of 1,000 mbps, and have one e-literate person in every household. It is thus quickly closing the skills gap with Tamil Nadu, which because of its large pool of engineers has the second largest concentration of IT companies after Karnataka in south India.
The cost of setting up business is also cheaper in Andhra Pradesh, as the state government is doling out tax incentives and land at throwaway prices to woo investors. Hero MotoCorp, for example, has been provided 100 per cent exemption on value-added tax, or VAT, on bikes produced in the state, say industry sources.Sri City is also leveraging its proximity to Chennai, a huge market, and connectivity to ports both in the north and south to boost its prospects.Tamil Nadu has a lot to do to catch up on the power front with Andhra Pradesh which offers electricity at a highly subsidised rate of 75 paisa a unit. Experts say Tamil Nadu, even though it is surplus in power now, cannot afford to slash prices because of the poor state of its discoms. Given Andhra Pradesh's competitive advantage, it has already attracted investments worth Rs 20,000 crore in less than two years. Many say Andhra Pradesh is doing to Tamil Nadu what the latter did to Karnataka in the 1980s. By aggressively marketing its new business district of Hosur just across the border from Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu managed to stop investments meant for Karnataka just short of its borders.TVS Motor, Ashok Leyland and several other companies pumped in hundreds of crores into Hosur during the decade, turning the area into a manufacturing hub .However, Tamil Nadu's decline does not boil down to aggressive marketing by Andhra Pradesh alone. It ranked 12th in World Bank's recent report titled Assessment of State Implement of Business Reforms, with Gujarat at the number one spot and Andhra Pradesh at number two.With its glory days behind it, investors are moving cautiously. "If we get the right incentives as mentioned in the industrial policy, we will continue to invest," says ITC Chairman YC Deveshwar, who has committed Rs 2,500 crore for setting up a food processing unit in the state.

*** Business Insider 25.11.15 In the past week, IBM, Cognizant, Infosys and other technology companies with significant presence in Chennai have been forced to relocate key personnel and functions to neighboring Bengaluru and other cities to avoid disruption to business — all part of routine contingency plans. Several others have employees staying in the office for uninterrupted service to their clients and the companies have ensured proper facilities for their stay. More unusually, especially in an otherwise parched Chennai, companies had to set up makeshift camps in their offices with mattresses and temporary shower stalls and deploy boats for rescue and in-campus transportation. 


About 15 per cent of India's 3 million-strong technology workforce is in Chennai, handling projects for clients such as Walmart, Citigroup, AstraZeneca and JPMorgan Chase. Chennai is also one of the country's largest automotive hubs, with Hyundai, Ford and Renault-Nissan based in and around the city. Chennai is being pounded by rains for the past few weeks, which has severely damaged the city's infrastructure, including roads and electricity lines. The Tamil Nadu government has estimated losses at nearly Rs 8,481 crore. Several have died. 

Technology companies invoke business continuity plans during natural calamities and disasters, which involves moving critical employees and business functions to safer locations so they can continue to support clients. India's top IT firms — Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and HCL Technologies — said they swiftly engaged their contingency measures as the weather in Chennai deteriorated.

New York-headquartered IBM, which has at least 100,000 employees in India, one-fifth of them in Chennai according to analysts, moved key personnel from the city to Bengaluru, company employees aware of the developments said, requesting anonymity. "Our clients remain a priority," an IBM spokeswoman said, "and we are continuing to provide 24x7 services to ensure business continuity and, where necessary, recovery solutions for impacted businesses." 


US-based Cognizant, which has a significant number of its 219,000 employees in Chennai, said it moved several employees to other centres within the city as well as to other cities and asked some to work from home to provide support to clients.
Also, "many of our employees working on critical projects volunteered to stay in offices to ensure uninterrupted 24x7 operations for our clients", a Cognizant spokesman said. The company stocked its offices with food and mattresses and built a small shower area for employees staying over. It accommodated employees' families as well after staff insisted they were worried about their folks at home. On Monday night (November 23), after traffic came to a standstill following another downpour, Cognizant arranged to accommodate a few employees at nearby hotels and lodgings inside campuses. "Employee safety and security is our top priority," the Cognizant spokesman said. 


SIMILAR PROCEDURES IN INFOSYS Infosys followed similar business continuity procedures, moving several of its 25,000 employees to offices in Bengaluru and Hyderabad and asking others to work from home, according to the company's employees. "Infosys has taken several measures to ensure safety of employees and continuity of business at its centres in Chennai," a company spokesperson told ET. 


The offices of India's fourth largest software exporter, HCL Tech, on the IT corridor of Chennai along Old Mahabalipuram Road, were flooded last week, forcing the company to temporarily shut operations and seek the help of boatmen to rescue staff, according to company employees. HCL Tech flew some key employees to its offices in Noida and asked several others to log in from home. HCL and its subsidiaries employ 24,000 employees in Chennai. TCS, the country's largest software exporter that has more than 65,000 employees in Chennai, managed operations and client interactions without having to move people but gave employees the option to work from home or from offices near them, a company spokeswoman said.India's third-largest IT firm, 
Wipro, gave its 18,000 employees in Chennai the option of working from home for most of last week. "We had moved out our employees to safer locations only after assessing the on-ground situation," a company spokeswoman said. "Electrical systems were strategically monitored to avoid any untoward incidents. Adequate fuel and food items were stocked... (And) Boats and large vehicles were arranged to allow in-campus commute."


At last , a  glimpse  of some  rosy  light n delight  from the east--  from Didi,so more skeptical we are—is  the picture drawn by Dr Amit Mitra more volatile than one by NAMO???
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF BUSINESS ANNOUNCEMENTS, BUSINESS DOCUMENT EXCHANGES, EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST & INVESTMENT PROPOSALS AT THE BENGAL GLOBAL BUSINESS SUMMIT, 2015 HELD ON JANUARY 8 - 9, 2015 AT KOLKATA.
AMOUNT (Rs. In Cr.)
 1 HEAVY ENGINEERING : SAIL'S EXPANSION PLANS 40,000 2 MANUFACTURING : PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENTS 10,626 3 TOWNSHIP : PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENTS IN ECONOMIC GROWTH CENTRES ( 22 TOWNSHIPS BY 20 BUSINESS HOUSES ) 67,703 PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENTS IN SMART CITY (ESSEL GROUP) 5,000 4 PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENTS IN URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE & UTILITIES: ESSEL GROUP 10,000 5 BHOR SAGAR DEEP SEA PORT & HALDIA EXPANSION 16,400 6 HIGHWAYS 25,200 7 POWER : NTPC 20,000 SOLID WASTE TO POWER (GERMAN CONSORTIUM) 2,900 8 ENERGY : COAL, COAL BED METHANE (CBM) & FLOATING REGASSIFICATION : DEVELOPMENT OF DEOCHAPACHAMI COAL MINES (6 STATES & SJVN) 12,000 PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENTS BY GREAT EASTERN ENERGY TO DEVELOP MORE WELLS 1,500 H-ENERGY: FLOATING STORAGE & REGASSIFICATION UNIT (FSRU) - OFFSHORE DIGHA 5,100 9 HEALTH CARE 2,710 10 FOOD PROCESSING, ARD & FISHERIES SECTOR 1,605 11 HIGHER EDUCATION / SCHOOL EDUCATION & SKILLS 1,438 12 MSME SECTOR 17,657 13 TOURISM & HOSPITALITY 1,950 14 FINANCIAL SERVICES 1,088 15 IT 223 TOTAL 2,43,100
A total of Rs 2,43,100 crore of business announcements, business document exchanges, expressions of interest and investment proposals were received at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2015, as follows: Sl. Particulars Amt. (Rs. Cr.) 1 Private Sector Investment in Township by Essel Group 15,000 2 Private Sector Investment in 22 other Townships and Smart Cities by Forum Group , Hiland , Ambuja Neotia Group, Salarpuria, Mayfair Group, Mani Group, PS Group, Swarna Ganga Realty, Sherwood Realty, Amtek Dealer P Ltd, Merlin Projects, Dhoot Group, Greentec City, Infinity Group, Unimark, Panchvati, Ideal, South City, Siddha, Primark. 67,703 3 NTPC investments (Katwa, Adra and Rammam Power Plants) 20,000 4 Private Sector Investments in Nine sectors (reported by sector committees) (see Annexure 1 for names of companies and other details) 40,197 5 SAIL's expansion plans 40,000 6 Private Sector Investment in Solid Waste Management in Howrah (in collaboration with a consortium of German companies) 2,900 7 Private Sector Investment by Super Smelter 2,200 8 Private Sector Investments by Great Eastern Energy to develop more wells 1,500 9 Sagar Port entitled Bhorsagar and Highways (announced by Union Minister on 7th January, 2015) 41,600 10 Development of Deochapachami Coal mines (JV signed between 6 states and SJVN) 12,000 Total 2,43,100
Annexure 1 Sector Project Proposed Invst (Rs in crore) Manufacturing BAPL - MOU Scomi Group, Including Township Authority, manufacturing of public transport & new airline connection - Pinnacle Air, Go Air 1000.00 MCC PTA Coal based hot oil heater project & Grid pwer Project 329.40 H-Energy: Floating Storage Regassification Unit (FSRU) - Offshore Digha 5100.00 Amul Dairy: Fully automated dairy unit 190.00 Gems & Jewllery Park at Ankurhati (Domjur) Allotment of 12 units for 53500 sq.ft. 39.90 Paridhan - Garment Park at Belighata 17.23 Globus Spirit Ltd. 100.00 ETC Agro Processing (india) Pvt. Ltd. 250.00 Shriram Infrastructure 6500.00 Sector Total 13526.53 Health Care Apollo Hospitals 400.00 AMRI Hospitals 800.00 Ambuja Neotia Group – Hospital 300.00 M P Birla Group Hospital 610.00 Techno India- Hospitals - PPP Sector 300.00 Camellia - Hospitals - PPP Sector 300.00 SingHealth, arm of Temasek Holding, Singapore Sector Total 2710.00 Food Processing, ARD and Fisheries Sector Ananda Group of Companies, Purba Medinipur 230.00 Chareon Pokphand India Pvt Ltd, Kharagpur (WBIDC) 500.00 Amrit Feeds, Panagarh 88.00 Anmol Feeds, Panchla 25.00 M K Feeds, Digha 20.00 Mohan Acqua, Digha 15.00 Kajal Aqua Tech, Digha 10.00 Madhav Agro Tech,Digha 20.00 DAT Laboratories, Falta 10.00 Varma Ocean, Canning, Kalyani 51.00 Raj Hatcheries, Tajpur/ Digha 3.00 D M Sea Food Exporter, Hooghly 25.00 Thacker Dairy, Kalyani 90.00 Venkateswara hatcheries 263.00 Thacker Group, Kalyani 60.00 JVL Agro Industries ltd. 195.00 Sector Total 1605.00 Higher Education/ School Education JIS University, Kolkata 300.00 Neotia University, South 24 Parganas 300.00 University of Engg & Management, Newtown Rajarhat 150.00 Amity University, Newtown 478.00 South Point New Campus, Near Peerless Hospital EM Bypass 185.00 M P Birla Group-Hybrid Projection System 25.00 Sector Total 1438.00 Skills NSDC & Technical Education Department & Javed Habib Foundation - Skill Dev. Programme 0.00 Sector Total 0.00 MSME Sector A T CAPITAL, (Singapore) 2500.00 PFP Industries(Chemical- Ashok De Sarkar,USA) 30.00 Kang Na Hsiung Enterprise KNH, Taiwan 180.00 Altius Resources (Joydeep Mukherjee) Singapore 200.00 EIGMEF Apparel Park, Salt Lake 500.00 WB Hosiery Park, Howrah 1200.00 SFA PL Logistic Park 130.00 Regent Garment & Apparel Park, Barasat 1000.00 Jalan Industrial Park - Expansion 2500.00 Patton Industrial Park 946.00 Regional Synergy-Proposals received - 5127.00 ILPA Leather Goods Park 1200.00 Shivamani Exports, Calcutta leather Complex, Bantala 33.00 FASII(Federation of Association of Small Industries of India) 71.00 FACSI(Federation of Association of Cottage & Industries) 40.00 Private Industrial Parks by various companies 2000.00 Sector Total 17657.00 Tourism & Hospitality Major proposalsreceived for setting up Hotels and Resorts 1. The Park, Kolkata (Rs500 Cr), 2. Airport Hotel, Kolkata (Rs 300 Cr), 3. Crowne Plaza (Rs450 Cr) 4. Ambuja (5 resort hotel at Newtown, Makaibari Tea Estate, Kurseong, Sonargaon, Sundarbans, Digha, Ghoom, Darjeeling, Lataguri, Gorumara Forest) (Rs 500 Cr) are investing in the State 1750.00 PPP projects under Tourism Department, Government of West Bengal under implementation 200.00 Sector Total 1950.00 Finanical Services State Bank of India 427.00 Bandhan Bank Ltd. 232.12 Andhra Bank 113.00 Syndicate Bak 113.00 Canara Bank 203.04 Sector Total 1088.16 IT Trinity Infra Park 220.00 Startups Warehouse of NASCOM with assistance of West Bengal Government 1.95 Centre for Wxcellence of Microsoft with assistance of West Bengal Government 0.61 Sector Total 222.56 GRAND TOTAL (All Sectors) 40197.25
If  above figures are to be somewhat believed, West Bengal  should not lag behind so many other states. The govt wants  to be transparent, but are the figures correct? If yes, when shall the  smart cities come? From the  following article , you can see , not a city of WB has qualified  as a smart city.  But then, is  it really  done  ethically or is it rigged as claimed by  Mr Nitish Kumar???  Plain speaking,  New Kolkata  & Salt lake City look  far  better than Bhubaneswar. But , that way, Chandigarh has fallen behind  despite being the 1st planned city of India.
Every Bengalee  asks Mamata Banerjee, Didi, when shall  these investments happen &  what  do these  mean for us???  She  can speak a lot  about Presidency  & others. But fact remains, Presidency is sinking / has sunk.  Fact is,  not a single  pvt sector engg college is well ranked/ good engineer spinner.  Hosiery  industry has left Bengal during Left Front regime but has not retreated back during TMC’s 5 years. She is  a drum beater drammabaaz like  the ones at Delhi. 3 lac Bengalees live in Bangalore & 5 lac, in Mumbai. Why  are  they all out of Bengal in Gen1?  Because  they  do not get  jobs in Kolkata, & in Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai & Delhi,  they suffer  n suffer n suffer  a  lot  from  Load sheddings / power cuts, water cuts, hour long jams, & floods .  Kolkata  is  bereft of all  these  but  where are  jobs  in Kolkata??
The whole  purpose of bringing the topic of state wise comparison of Investment commitments in GBSes is  to stress  upon the point that  the way  NDA govt has made  Competition  as the only mode for states to get investment, may not be appropriate. Jharkhand’s  ascent just post- BJP Govt induction in a short period  raises  eyebrows.  The  geographical location of North East states  shall not attract  investments  therein.  And NDA govt talks of redn in all subsidies , &  we all believe that subsidies are roots  of corruption in governance.  {  A tax officer taking  Rs 10K  bribe in Bihar  starts demanding Rs 1 lac on trf to NE} .  So, no  investments have flown to NE .  We need to ask Panghariaji & Arvindji, what ‘s  their plan, how shall NE grow??  Else,  the flow of 3rd & 4th grade  employees  from NE  to other parts of India shall not stop, nor shall stop class 1 or 2 officers’ / brilliant students’ flows to  mainland.  How many engg colleges  are you going to establish there?  And what shall the pas out engineers do ?  How many medical colleges ? How to educate  92%  class X educated Mizos , unless  proper colleges are  not estd??? 
So, competitions  should stop ideally that  may lead to an unhealthy atmosphere n hatred; or at some point, should  the GOI chip in  to  foster  a  balanced growth region wise. After all, Govt has to be in business over n above in governance.  If  pvt investors  are allergic  to any state, just  for political vendetta,  GOI  must not keep quiet. PSU  investments need to be routed therein.    In 50s & 60s , most of such PSU investments went to WB.  Now, SAIL is charting a large plan , but  that shall mean redeployment of  surplus manpower. Fresh pvt investment of JSW @ Salboni got stopped in want of Iron ore.  GOI  needs to  make a rule in that case, promulgating  free  flow of minerals  to any  state irrespective  of the mines’  physical location. Eg,  if  mines are auctioned  in Ballari  district of Karnataka , why should not  a plant  set up at , say, Ananthpur district  of AP , not too far, get ore?

28 January 2016
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday announced the list of first 20 smart cities. "Today marks a historic landmark in annals of urban development as we get to know the first batch of 'Smart Cities," said Naidu.
The cities are:
1. Bhubaneshwar
2. Pune
3. Jaipur
4. Surat
5. Kochi
6. NDMC (New Delhi)
7. Ahmedabad
8. Jabalpur
9. Vizag
10. Solapur
11. Devangere
12. Indore
13. Coimbatore
14. Kakinada
15. Belgaum
16. Udaipur
17. Guwahati
18. Chennai
19. Ludhiana
20. Bhopal
Some of the parameters on the basis of which the decision was taken are feasibility, result orientation, citizen participation, smartness of proposals etc.

These 20 smart cities will get the funds first to kickstart their development process. With a per city allocation of Rs 100 crore for each of the five years of the mission period, the central assistance to the mission is around Rs 50,000 crore.
These cities will be developed to have basic infrastructure such as assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation. A total number of 100 smart cities have been distributed among the states and the Union territories (UT).
Some of the features of smart cities according to the government website (smartcities.gov.in) are:
1. Promoting mixed land use in area based developments–planning for ‘unplanned areas’ containing a range of compatible activities and land uses close to one another in order to make land use more efficient. The States will enable some flexibility in land use and building bye-laws to adapt to change;
2. Housing and inclusiveness - expand housing opportunities for all;
3. Creating walkable localities –reduce congestion, air pollution and resource depletion, boost local economy, promote interactions and ensure security. The road network is created or refurbished not only for vehicles and public transport, but also for pedestrians and cyclists, and necessary administrative services are offered within walking or cycling distance;
4. Preserving and developing open spaces - parks, playgrounds, and recreational spaces in order to enhance the quality of life of citizens, reduce the urban heat effects in Areas and generally promote eco-balance;
5. Promoting a variety of transport options - Transit Oriented Development (TOD), public transport and last mile para-transport connectivity;
6. Making governance citizen-friendly and cost effective - increasingly rely on online services to bring about accountability and transparency, especially using mobiles to reduce cost of services and providing services without having to go to municipal offices. Forming e-groups to listen to people and obtain feedback and use online monitoring of programs and activities with the aid of cyber tour of worksites;
7. Giving an identity to the city - based on its main economic activity, such as local cuisine, health, education, arts and craft, culture, sports goods, furniture, hosiery, textile, dairy, etc;
8. Applying Smart Solutions to infrastructure and services in area-based development in order to make them better. For example, making Areas less vulnerable to disasters, using fewer resources, and providing cheaper services.


To  conclude, an interesting article  on Chineese recession
January 27, 2016
The annual bonus is a good time for workers who can finally splash a bit of cash guilt free after a year of hard work.But one set of employees at a company that created a dating app couldn’t fit their bonus in their wallets because it was a life-sized inflatable sex doll.
Young single men at Lianlian, based in Guangzhou, China, were given the sex dolls as an apt reward for helping others boost their sex lives.

View photos
Humiliation: Workers were forced to show how sex dolls worked (CEN)

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Cash replacement: Staff are usually given money as an annual bonus (CEN)
Just in case they weren’t clued up in the ways of women, the men, all said to be in their 20s, were taught how to use the dolls and were even invited on stage to demonstrate their uses in front of hundreds of colleagues - just to add to their embarrassment.
Other year-end bonuses included slightly less controversial dehumidifiers, T-shirts, flip-flops, and bottles of Chinese hot sauce.
Bosses of other firms in China also reportedly shunned handing out cash bonuses this year, instead choosing to reward staff with train tickets, pork, and coupons.ew photos
Where can I spend it? Workers were also given hot sauce to take home (CEN)

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Flip flops: The non-traditional bonuses included footwear (CEN)
However, the new policy has not gone down too well with workers, who looked forward to spending their money on exactly what they wanted.
Chinese New Year galas are a long-standing tradition in Chinese business practices, usually taking the form of a large feast.
Now with added sex doll demonstrations.
Good  Bye to all with  some pictorial representations  of concurrent times.

ANINDA GHOSH


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