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09/26/07
30-11-2007-Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-Chief Secretary’s meeting with Planning Commission Member held -A compromise formula-Without the Poona Pact, for example, the Bahujan Samaj Party would not have come to power in the last elections in Uttar Pradesh.-‘Caste discrimination cause of suicide’ -Untouchability finds new forms -UP Government to reward Rudra Pratap Singh -Former U.P. Chief Secretary arrested
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Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay

Chief Secretary’s meeting with Planning Commission Member held

New Delhi : September 25, 2007 A high-level meeting between the U.P. Chief Secretary, Mr. Prashant Kumar Mishra and Planning Commission Member, Mr. B.K. Chaturvedi was held here today. After detailed discussions on the size of the annual plan of the State for the year 2007-08, plan size of Rs. 25 thousand crore was approved. This amount is Rs. 6,000 crore more than the last year’s size, which was Rs. 19000 crore. The Chief Secretary apprised of the Planning Commission about the efforts being made by the U.P. Government to make it the frontline State of the country. He said that considering the limited resources available to the state, the Centre should increase its contribution and provide necessary assistance. The Planning Commission appreciated the efforts of the State Government regarding the development and assured that necessary facilities and resources would be provided to the State. During the meeting, Mr. Mishra said that 10 per cent growth rate was being targeted for the 11th Five Year Plan and arrangements were being made for the necessary investments to achieve it. Besides, agriculture sector had been accorded top priority, so that the income of the farmers could be doubled. Moreover, electrification of all the villages of the State was also being targeted during the plan period. The State Government was also targeting to link all the bastis having a population of more than 500 people with the metalled roads, he said. It was agreed upon at the meeting that the number of families subsisting below the poverty line should be brought down to 15 per cent and create employment opportunities for 120 lakh people. It was also agreed upon that the State Government would seek more and more cooperation of the private sector for the development of energy, irrigation and transport sectors and priority would be accorded to these sectors. Mr. Mishra said that it was the top priority of the State Government to provide basic amenities to the people and ensure all round and uniform development of poor, deprived and all other sections of the State and to achieve this target the Centre should provide more and more assistance. The Chief Secretary informed at the meeting that the Government was making all possible efforts to ensure State’s development through its own resources to achieve the 10 per cent growth rate during the 11th Five Year Plan. He said that the State Government had set up Infrastructure Development Department for the development of infrastructure facilities. Through this department, participation of private sector was being focused to accelerate the pace of development of basic facilities in all areas. He said that during this small span of time, schemes worth almost Rs. 50,000 crore had been identified with the cooperation of private sector. The development of sectors like energy, agriculture, road, infrastructure, transport and urban regeneration was the top priority and commitment of the State Government. The schemes to be conducted with the cooperation of private sector included urban regeneration master plan for Lucknow, power generation, 300-500 bed multi-speciality hospital, airports T.I.A.H., Kushinagar and a network of 2600 km. long world class express-way. Mr. Mishra informed during the meeting that the State Government had decided to give shape to an ambitious project with the cooperation of the private sector. Almost 1000 km. long Ganga express-way would be constructed at the left bank of the river. This 8-lane express-way would connect Ballia with NOIDA and it would cost Rs. 28,000 crore. It would help in removing regional imbalances on one hand, while on the other it would ensure all-round development of the backward areas. The selection procedure of the Rs. 44,000 crore schemes to be conducted with the cooperation of the private sector was under progress. It included express-way, multi-super speciality hospital, Taj International Aviation Hub and urban regeneration projects of Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra and other district headquarters. The Chief Secretary said that power was one of the top priorities of the State Government. Several ambitious steps had been taken for the energy programmes of the State, besides rural electrification. He said that the State required 8200-8500 MW of power during the peak hours, while only 6200-6500 MW of power was available through all the resources at present. Thus, there was a gap of 2000-2500 MW of power during the peak hours. He said that there was a need of 10,150 MW of power generation in the State sector during the 11th Five Year Plan. Under it, there was a need of 2000 MW of power generation under the government sector, 2920 MW in joint sector and 5230 MW in private sector. Mr. Mishra pointed out that heavy investment was required for streamlining power generation, transmission and distribution system of the State. Giving information regarding work plan to be implemented by the State Government for the purpose, he said that work had started on the 2000 MW Thermal Power Project. The power generation work of the 1320 MW project jointly set up with the N.T.P.C. was in the final stages. Besides, work was in progress for setting up 2×800 MW Super Power Critical Thermal Power Station jointly with the help of B.H.E.L. Mr. Mishra said that two 765 M.B.A. transmission sub centres have been proposed in the 11th Plan. Ten Proposals having the capacity of 3,300 MW thermal power stations had been received for setting up in private sector. Necessary investment would be made for preventing the power theft and checking the line losses in rural and urban areas. He further said that Government was committed for providing better services to consumers. He said that 62 collection based franchisee were working for electricity billing and revenue realisation work in rural areas and 400 franchisee had been proposed for work in 28,000 villages till March, 2008. The state government was also committed for appointment of minimum one input based franchisee in each district, he added. Keeping in view the new reforms in agriculture sector, strategy had been chalked out for training of farmers, besides soil testing, availability of seeds and fertilisers, balanced use of fertilisers. Under the strategy for ensuring the enough agriculture inputs and its timely availability cooperation of private sector would be sought, besides giving encouragement to private sector participation in agri-based industries, food processing industry, extension services and distribution system. Efforts were being made for extension of agriculture sector and increase in productivity through qualitative production, besides ensuring the cost effective, competitive and remunerative prices of agriculture products to farmers by proper arrangement of distribution and developing a major market. Likewise, special efforts would be given to industrialisation, fisheries, sericulture, animal husbandry and dairy sectors. For providing technical know how and other useful information to farmers a plan had been made with the cooperation of private sector, Chief Secretary said. The chief secretary told meeting that state government had increased the target of fruits, vegetables and potato areas from 30.52 lakh hectare to 44.12 lakh hectare, fisheries from 3.07 lakh to 5.32 lakh metric ton, fish productivity target would be increased from 2,850 kilo hectare to 3800 kilo hectare every year. Under sericulture the area would be increased from 2372 acre to 3954 acre and silk production target would be increased from 30.87 m.ton to 97.90 m.ton. Milk production would be increased from 180.9 lakh m.ton to 294.5 lakh m.ton, meat production from 2002.3 lakh kilo to 3224.7 lakh kilo and egg production target would be increased from 813.5 crore to 1309.05 crore. The chief secretary said that under 11th Plan, Ban Sagar canal, Saryu canal, Rajghat canal, Purvi Ganga canal, Tehari Dam, Jarauli Pump canal, Agra canal modernisation, C.C.S., Lehchura Dam and increase in Hardoi branch irrigation capacity projects were going on due to which 4.15 lakh hectare irrigation capacity would be created. Besides, thirteen new projects-Kanhar irrigation project, HathniKund link channel-II, Sharda Sahayak S.T.-II, Punch Nad Dam, Virat Sagar, Arjun Sahayak, Kachnuda Dam, Madhya Ganga S.T.-II, Bandayu irrigation project, Bharaut Dam, Utari Dam, modernisation of Agra irrigation S.T.-II and Shesh Sharda Sahayak canal system completion would create 10.05 lakh hectare additional irrigation capacity. Mr. Mishra said that under the 11th five-year plan 7,000 new primary schools would be opened. Likewise, during the plan period 70,000 new additional class-rooms, construction of 145 lakh schools boundary walls, appointment of 7000 Shiksha mitra, arrangement of computers and B.R.C. in 51,000 junior high schools, besides the appointment of 1.25 lakh teachers would be made for which new junior high schools would be opened this year. In the year of 2007-08, 31,535 new additional class room, construction of 10,126 lakh schools boundary walls, appointment of 813 shiksha mitras, arrangement of computers and B.R.C. in 1025 junior high schools, besides the appointment of 88,000 teachers had been proposed. Giving the information regarding the efforts in medical and public health sector, the chief secretary said that arrangement of 100-bed would be made in 7 district hospitals, besides the proposal of 770 social franchisee hospitals constructions. 1442 C.H.Cs. and P.H.Cs. buildings would be constructed. The state government had made an arrangement of Rs. 1500 crore for opening five new medical colleges and Rs. 180 crore for opening 12 para medical institutions. For urban malin bastis 153 medical posts would be created. Medical insurance arrangement had been made for the families living below the poverty line in selected districts. Appointment of 1608 medical officers had been made with a view of strengthening the human resource and development of technique. The chief secretary said that in year of 2007-2008 under the road and bridge construction the state government needs Rs. 750 crore for state highway, main district roads and other districts roads construction, Rs. 700 crore for state road project-II, Rs. 35 crore for flyovers, railway over bridge and under head bridge, Rs. 80.70 crore for construction and renovation of bridges and small bridges, Rs. 562.32 crore for renovation of rural roads and Rs. 70.06 crore for traffic security and research works. In year of 2007-08 the target has been fixed for construction of 1500 k.m. state highway and strengthening of main district roads and other districts roads, construction of 700 k.m. roads, under state road project-II, 6 flyover, railway over bridge/under head bridge construction, 70 new big and small bridges construction, 6500 k.m. new rural road construction, besides 5600 k.m. rural roads reconstruction. ********

 

A compromise formula

Hindustan Times - India - by Ramachandra Guha - September 23, 2007


Seventy-five years ago this week, the poet Rabindranath Tagore travelled across India to visit a friend in prison. This was Mahatma Gandhi who, on September 20, 1932, had begun a fast-unto-death in protest against the decision by the colonial government to award separate electorates to the Depressed Classes (as the Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs)were then known).


Already, Muslim representatives to the provincial assemblies were chosen by Muslims alone; now, the British proposed to grant the same concession to the Untouchables as well.


Some commentators saw Gandhi’s opposition to separate electorates as principled. From his early years in South Africa, Gandhi had held untouchability to be a sin against humanity, and against Hinduism. When launching the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, he had insisted that the abolition of untouchability was a precondition for the attainment of swaraj. Those who so grossly oppressed a section of their own society, he said, had no business claiming that they should themselves be ‘liberated’ from foreign rule.


Other Indians were less inclined to give Gandhi the benefit of the doubt. His prime aim, they argued, was to keep Untouchables within the Hindu fold, for which he was willing to grant them some privileges, but not really rights. These critics pointed to his hesitancy in encouraging inter-dining and inter-marriage among different castes.


In 1932, the leading Indian critic of Gandhi’s views was the great lawyer-economist B.R. Ambedkar. Himself born into an Untouchable caste, Ambedkar was convinced that to look to upper-caste reformers for succour was to court disaster. The Depressed Classes had to fend for themselves; however, if they found themselves in need of a patron, they could more easily trust the British Raj than Gandhi’s Congress party. At least the former were not bound by caste prejudice.


In September-October 1932, Gandhi and Ambedkar were both in London, attending the Second Round Table Conference. Here, Ambedkar argued that it was imperative that “the Depressed Classes are going to be recognised as a community entitled to political recognition in the future constitution of India”. In the new legislatures, which were to be based on election rather than nomination, the Depressed Classes should be allotted seats in proportion to their share in the population. As with the Muslims, said Ambedkar, these representatives must be chosen by the Depressed Classes alone.


Ambedkar’s arguments were contested by Gandhi in the Round Table Conference, as well as in other speeches he made in the United Kingdom. Addressing the Indian Students’ Majlis in London in the first week of November 1931, Gandhi insisted that “separate electorates to the ‘Untouchables’ will ensure them bondage in perpetuity. The Musalmans will never cease to be Musalmans by having separate electorates. Do you want the ‘Untouchables’ to remain untouchables for ever? Well, the separate electorates will perpetuate the stigma… Look at the history of Europe. Have you got separate electorates for the working class or women? With adult franchise, you give the ‘Untouchables’ complete security. Even the orthodox Hindus would have to approach them for votes”.The Conference ended, inconclusively. Meanwhile, back in India, the hardliner Lord Willingdon had been appointed the new Viceroy. On Willingdon’s orders, Gandhi was arrested upon his return, and sent off to Poona’s Yeravada Jail.


On August 17, 1932, the Indian papers announced that the British government had endorsed separate electorates for Untouchables. From his prison cell, Gandhi announced that he would go on a fast against the decision. He thereby hoped not only to stop separate electorates, but also to awaken Hindus to their own ill-treatment of Untouchables. As he put it in a statement to the press, “The problem before responsible Hindus is to consider whether in the event of social, civic or political persecution of the ‘depressed’ classes, they are prepared to face satyagraha in the shape of perpetual fast, not of one reformer like me, but [of] an increasing army of reformers… who will count their lives of no cost to achieve the liberation of these classes and thereby rid Hinduism of an age-long superstition.”


This statement was issued on September 16; four days later, Gandhi commenced his fast. Just before he had his last meal, he received a message of support from Rabindranath Tagore. The poet felt “certain that the supreme appeal of such self-offering to the conscience of our countrymen will not be in vain. Our sorrowing hearts will follow your sublime penance with reverence and love”.

Tagore was speaking here for many of his countrymen, but not all. Ambedkar, for instance, did not follow Gandhi’s fast with ‘reverence and love’ but, rather, with dismay and disenchantment. He felt coerced by Gandhi’s actions, a feeling that intensified when friends and critics alike urged him to drop his demand for separate electorates and thus save the Mahatma’s life. The threat was real; as the historian B.R. Nanda reports, a board of doctors who examined Gandhi said that they were “definitively of the opinion that his condition portended entry into the danger zone”.


Relenting, Ambedkar went to Yeravada to meet Gandhi. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, other leaders were working towards a compromise. This asked Ambedkar to drop his demand for separate electorates; in return, the Depressed Classes would get more seats. (One of the mediators was the great spin bowler from a Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) background, Palwankar Baloo.) After some hard negotiation, the two sides agreed upon the terms of a pact, in which the Depressed Classes would get 148 seats in the provincial legislatures, as against the 71 allotted to them by the British. But they would vote together with caste Hindus.


This ‘Poona Pact’ was approved by Gandhi, and also by the British. Tagore now came to Poona from Bengal to offer his friend a glass of orange juice, and to sing him some verses from Gitanjali. Thus ended what Gandhi’s secretary and biographer Pyarelal called (in a book of that title) ‘The Epic Fast’. Although the fast lasted only a few days, it was truly epic in its consequences. The format it proposed, of an expanded reservation for Depressed Classes within a joint electorate, was later adopted by the Constitution of India, and still forms part of our electoral process today.
Without the Poona Pact, for example, the Bahujan Samaj Party would not have come to power in the last elections in Uttar Pradesh.


The Poona Pact was a genuine compromise, an agreement in which neither party got what they initially wanted. T
he Congress, and Gandhi, wanted universal adult franchise for all Indians, but with no reservation of seats for any particular group. Some Dalit leaders, notably Ambedkar, wanted separate electorates altogether, in which the Depressed Classes would vote apart from caste Hindus.


Ironically, the via media finally arrived at was similar to one proposed by Ambedkar in a submission to the Simon Commission in 1928. There, he had opposed the granting of special privileges to Muslims; as he put it, “the separate or special interests of any minority are better promoted by the system of general electorates and reserved seats than by separate electorates”.


History has vindicated the Ambedkar of 1928, rather than the Ambedkar of 1931-32. Separate electorates would have further stigmatised and ghettoised the Dalits. On the other hand, not to have any reservation at all would merely have consolidated upper-caste dominance. What we finally got, general electorates with reserved seats, has allowed the Dalits to have a profound influence in all constituencies, while ensuring that their own representation in legislatures and in Parliament does not fall below their proportion in the population.

 


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

 

‘Caste discrimination cause of suicide’

Special Correspondent

‘Anti-Dalit attitude’ led to IISc student’s extreme step, say parents and SSD




SSD inquiry found that some professors were harassing Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) students

IISc denies discrimination and says independent report is due




Bangalore: The suicide of Ajay Srichandra, a Ph.D. student of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on July 28, was a result of caste-related harassment, the Original Inhabitant of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC)  boy’s parents and members of Samata Sainik Dal (SSD) have alleged.

 

Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, M. Venkataswamy, President of SSD, said that they would hold a protest in front of IISc on September 28 against the “anti-Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs)  attitude” of some professors in the institution. Mr. Venkataswamy said that Ajay, a student of integrated Ph.D., had not committed suicide in his hostel room due to depression as made out by the police. Members of SSD had conducted an independent inquiry and found that some professors of IISc were harassing and discriminating against Dalit students, he added. B. Chennakrishnappa, Bangalore District President of SSD, said that other students were in the know about it but were not willing to openly admit it.

 

Ajay’s father Ravindra Kumar, who was also at the press conference, alleged that his son’s suicide note had been tampered with. “I was first told that my son had written a suicide note running to two or three pages. But some pages had been removed by the time I reached here from Hyderabad,” he alleged. SSD has demanded that criminal cases be booked against professors and an independent inquiry conducted into the case by University Grants Commission.

 

An official at IISc told The Hindu that “there appears to be no harassment of any kind”. The institute has formed a committee to look into the matter, the official said. “A committee was formed immediately after the death of the student. The independent report should be coming through in a few days.”

 

Untouchability finds new forms

 

Bageshree S.

 

Bangalore: The appalling practice of untouchability seems to only assume new and less obvious forms after it is exposed and causes public outrage. The situation in Kadkol village of Basavanabagewadi taluk in Bijapur district, where 80 Original Inhabitant of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) families were imposed social and economic boycott by Invaders and Their Slaves on July 25, 2006 for daring to draw water from a tank till then reserved for Invaders and Their Slaves , is a case in point.

 

According to Chalavadi Ramanna of Karnataka Mula Asprushyara Manava Hakkugala Rakshana Vedike, the tank which is at the centre of the controversy, is now not barred to Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs). However, in a strange reversal, it is shunned by Invaders and Their Slaves  who allegedly spare no opportunity to pollute it. They routinely leave their cattle to splash around in the tank, which is a source of drinking water, he alleges.

 

What is even more shocking is that one year and two months after the incident was reported, the authorities are yet to book anyone for practising untouchability and imposing boycott. “The police say it has to be handled by the Civil Rights Enforcement Cell. The cell says that it does not have adequate staff to conduct an inquiry and the police should do it,” says Mr. Ramanna. “As a result, those responsible for the act, including a member of the taluk panchayat and president of Gram Panchayat, are walking free,” he said.

 

In the meanwhile, the practice of untouchability, banned by the Constitution, continues in various forms. A local Invader’s Slaves  will not give a Original Inhabitant of The Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) a haircut. “This is not typical of Kadkol. This is the most normal thing in many villages in north Karnataka,” says Mr. Ramanna.

 

The demands put forward by Karnataka Mula Asprushyara Manava Hakkugala Rakshana Vedike for rehabilitation of the 80-odd families which faced boycott are yet to be fulfilled, barring the demand for housing. Seventy-three people have been identified for giving housing sites. Local political and Invaders and Their Slaves interests, Mr. Ramanna alleges, diverted the loans sanctioned meant for victims to those who did not face social boycott. The other demands, including sanction of lands and creating job opportunities, are not even under consideration at the moment.

 

The vedike submitted a memorandum with nine demands to the Deputy Commissioner on October 10, 2006.

 

“The Government has an obligation to rehabilitate people who face social boycott under sections of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, which was enacted in 1955. The sad part is even the victims of atrocities are often not aware of this,” says Mr. Ramanna.

UP Government to reward Rudra Pratap Singh

Special Correspondent

 

To get the first Kanshi Ram International Sports Award

 

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Tuesday announced a cash award of Rs.10 lakh for Rudra Pratap Singh, member of the Indian cricket team that won the inaugural T20 World Cup in Johannesburg in South Africa on Monday.

 

Singh, who hails from Rae Bareli, will be the first recipient of the Manyavar Kanshi Ram International Sports Award. The award was instituted on Tuesday.

 

Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Shailesh Krishna told newspersons that the award would be given to Singh by the Chief Minister on an appropriate date. He said the Rae Bareli lad made a significant contribution towards India’s victory over Pakistan in the final.

Mr. Krishna said the International Sports Award would be given to Uttar Pradesh sportsmen in different categories, adding that the recipient has to be a resident of the State. Gold medal winners in individual events in the Olympics would be given a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh, silver medal winners, Rs 20 lakh and Rs. 15 lakh to bronze medal winners. The prize money for Commonwealth, Afro-Asian and Asian Games in individual events will be Rs. 15 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs. 8 lakh respectively.

The prize money for gold medal winners in Olympic team events will be Rs 15 lakh, Rs 12 lakh for silver medal winners and Rs. 10 lakh for bronze medal winners.

 

The cash award for team events in Commonwealth, Afro-Asian and Asian games would be Rs. 10, Rs. 8 and Rs. 6 lakh respectively, Mr. Krishna added.

 

Former U.P. Chief Secretary arrested

Special Correspondent

 

NEW DELHI: Two years after registering a disproportionate assets case against him, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday arrested the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Akhand Pratap Singh, on the charge that he had amassed wealth through corrupt means.

Mr. Singh, a 1967 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, retired as the Chief Secretary in December 2003. He was arrested from his Vasant Kunj farm house in south Delhi.

 

Case registered in 2005

 

The CBI registered a case against him on March 22, 2005 and carried out searches at three places in Delhi, seven places in Lucknow, two places in Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) and four places in Nainital (Uttarakhand).

 

According to the FIR lodged by the CBI, the accused held various sensitive positions in the Uttar Pradesh government and also at the Centre.

 

He is accused of acquiring huge property in his name and in the name of his family members and others, besides possessing a ‘benami’ fleet of vehicles.

 

The CBI alleged that he was leading a life of extravagance and spent enormous amount on the education and marriage of his two daughters.

He had also stashed his ill-gotten earnings in overseas banks and made several private trips abroad, it was claimed.

 

Over 100 bank accounts, having huge deposits, were also unearthed besides large investments in shares, debentures and luxurious vehicles, the central investigating agency said.

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