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Book on Disaster Management released 

Hyderabad, March.3 (CEN): Tamil Nadu Governor Dr Konijeti Rosaiah today released a book on "Disaster Management in India: Evolution of Institutional Arrangements and Operational Strategies” penned by Dr Mohan Kanda, IAS (Retd) at Chennai. Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Founder Chairman, MSSRF, Chennai, Kamal Kishore, Member, National Disaster Management Authority, New Delhi, Devi Prasad Juvvadi, Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad, Dr.K. Suman Chandra, National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad, Jayasree of the Hindu Media Resource Centre, MSSRF, Chennai were present http://www.crazyenews.com/news_view/19901
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From coal mining to bagging investments

From coal mining to bagging investments | Governance | Scoop.it

Former Coal India CMD S Narsing Rao is helping Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to make Telangana attractive to business

 

Centre for Good Governance's insight:

In May last year, around the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his council of ministers were sworn in, S Narsing Rao quit as the chairman & managing director of state-owned Coal India, the world's largest coal miner. The job came with a lot of prestige. Equally, it came with daunting challenges: the blame for any power shortage in the country is always put squarely on Coal India's inefficiency. Many felt the gritty Rao - he used to walk 8 km every day as a child to reach his school - was doing a fine job. He resigned because a transformative assignment had come his way. Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, popularly addressed as KCR, the first chief minister of the new state of Telangana, wanted him to become his principal secretary. In this post, Rao is the chief minister's key advisor and troubleshooter.

What may have drawn Rao to Telangana is his roots in Medak, a town that lies adjacent to Hyderabad. The chief minister too belongs to Medak and represents the Gajewal constituency in the state legislative assembly. In fact, Rao's association with KCR, who as the head of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi led the agitation to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh, goes back to 1987 when he was a sub-collector, a year after he had joined the elite Indian Administrative Service.

While KCR took over in Telangana, N Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party became the chief minister of the residual Andhra Pradesh state. As the chief minister of unified Andhra Pradesh from 1995 to 2004, Naidu had attracted large investments to the state, especially in information technology, and was credited for making Hyderabad a close rival to Bengaluru, India's answer to Silicon Valley. Soon after taking over, Naidu once again set about wooing investors to his state, to the extent that it became worrisome for the other southern states. This is the challenge KCR has to take head-on. And the man who he has chosen to help him in the endeavour is Rao.

The operations man
Senior bureaucrats in Hyderabad say KCR not only articulates his vision with clarity but also motivates his officers to implement it. "He is able to generate deeper insights from data, which is just a compilation of numbers to many, by mixing it with his own knowledge and experience," says Telangana Home Secretary B Venkatesham. "The guiding principle or the vision for the state is to improve the living standard of people on a sustainable basis," adds Rao. The idea is to spur growth through development in agriculture, energy and industry - growth that can generate employment.

To build on this plank, Rao says the topmost item on the KCR government's agenda was to maintain law and order. People are not really concerned about which party is in power so long as the atmosphere in the state is conducive to growth, he says. Next on the agenda was to identify the areas of growth. Clearly, agriculture had to be the first on the list of priorities, but it was felt that energy and industry needed an equal push. One early target was the addition of 10,000 Mw of capacity in power generation. Telangana currently has net power supply of 5500-5600 Mw. NTPC, the country's largest power generator, will undertake projects for 4,000 Mw, while the Telangana State Power Generation Company will add another 6,000 Mw. "In the next four years, we plan to add at least 6,000 Mw of the target," says Rao. This implies a growth rate of more than 22 per cent per annum.

To attract investment, a friendly industrial policy has been put in place. Telangana became the first state in the country to make faster clearances a statutory right. While approving the industrial policy in November 2014, the state assembly adopted the Right to Single-Window Clearance on the lines of the Right to Information. The Telangana State Industrial Project Approval & Self-certification System has been set up for this purpose. Officers will face penal action if they delay the applications. The system will consist of three establishments, one each for mega projects, large industries and small & medium enterprises. The state government plans to bring comprehensive legislation enshrining the above principles.

The Industrial Policy Framework lays down a mandate for minimum inspection and maximum facilitation. "Minimum inspection would encompass a system of no random inspections without cause," says the policy document. Subject to statutory requirements, the departments will develop a system where each industrial unit is inspected only once in three to four years and the cycle of inspections is fixed in advance. "Some random inspections will be planned to keep industry on its toes, but these inspections will be with the specific written permission of the head of the department," says the policy.

Maximum facilitation would encompass an effective system beyond the conventional single window as the anchor. Self-certification will be encouraged and automatic renewals will be implemented. There will be web-based helpline as well as help desks at Hyderabad and in the districts. Information availability and industry department transactions will be transparent and web-enabled. The office of the commissioner of industries and Telangana Industrial Infrastructure Corporation will have a citizens' charter covering all their activities.

Experienced hand
As the CMD of Coal India, Rao was witness to many problems related to land acquisition. In Telangana, he points out to the availability of an estimated two million acres of land that have been identified as unfit for cultivation. Based on a detailed survey of these land parcels, an industrial land bank is planned. Such unproductive land would be transferred to the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, which will determine the suitability of each land parcel for setting up industrial parks for specified sectors.

For the plan to work, a good road infrastructure is a crucial factor. The state has, therefore, awarded projects worth Rs 16,000 crore in the last three months. These are expected to be completed by 2016-17. Another Rs 27,000 crore will be spent on building a watergrid with 27 sub-grids.

Hyderabad, the capital, currently shared with Andhra Pradesh, is also being developed as an information technology investment region with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore over the next 10 years. In addition, Warangal is being developed as a satellite city. "Barring Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, no one can match us (in investment climate)," says Rao.

While the state may still be some time away from industrial take-off, many believe it has all the right ingredients, including policies, in place for growth. "The promise of faster clearances alone will have a huge impact on investments. Though these are early days, things will start moving in a positive direction in another 6-12 months," says Shiv Kumar Rungta, president of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

To a large measure, the success of the new state will also depend on the quality of its administrative set-up, something that the state has been struggling with because of the delay in the distribution of officers between the two states. Last month, the chief minister wrote to the Centre requesting the transfer to Telangana of several officers allocated to Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation. Rao says if the state had had the right people for the right job from the start, by now it would have moved to the next state of development - output-oriented monitoring instead of input-oriented monitoring for projects that it is stuck with right now. Used to walking long distances, Rao knows that to reach his destination he only needs to keep moving.

 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/from-coal-mining-to-bagging-investments-115012001345_1.html

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E-postal vote for NRIs gets Supreme Court nod

E-postal vote for NRIs gets Supreme Court nod | Governance | Scoop.it

The Supreme Court of India

Centre for Good Governance's insight:

New Delhi: In an order with political overtones, the Supreme Court Monday directed the Centre to implement in eight weeks the Election Commission’s recommenation to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to cast their vote in Indian elections through e-postal ballots from their place of residence.

Under existing provisions of the Representation of the People Act, the NRI voter must be physically present in the constituency to cast his vote in the parliamentary or Assembly elections.

The decision to let over 10 million NRIs spread across various countries to cast their vote is likely to have a huge impact in polls and likely to change the demography and pattern of voting.

It will have a huge bearing in Kerala in particular, with nearly four million of its people living in Gulf countries. Acting on a PIL filed by Dr Shamsheer V.P. alleging that the Representation of Peoples Act provisions were discriminatory, the court had earlier sought the views of the Election Commission on whether NRIs could be allowed to vote.

The commission said in its report that “e-postal ballots, where a blank postal ballot is transferred electronically to NRIs and returned by post, can be employed after validation of the process and pilot implementation in one or two Assembly constituencies.

The process can be scaled up for parliamentary elections, if found feasible, practicable and meeting the objectives of free and fair polls”.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150113/nation-current-affairs/article/e-postal-vote-nris-gets-supreme-court-nod

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All Households in AP, Telangana to Have Access to Banking Services

All Households in AP, Telangana to Have Access to Banking Services | Governance | Scoop.it
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HYDERABAD: Come 2015, a slew of banking services are likely to be introduced in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh covering all households. As per the Government of India’s grand Financial Inclusion plan, states are expected to ensure that every household has at least one operational bank account by December 25.  As on November  30, bankers covered 81.65 and 88.32 per cent of the population in Telangana and AP respectively.

“More than 95 per cent of the households have been covered as on today and we hope that by December 25 all households will have access to banking,” Ajit Singh, general manager, SLBC convener bank (State Bank of Hyderabad) told Express.

While SBH is the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) convener for Telangana and Andhra Bank for AP. According to bankers, the primary motive of having a basic zero-balance savings bank account is to help customers, primarily in rural areas, to encourage savings and, importantly, streamline the mode of payments through organised channels. “All the government benefits like input subsidies to farmers or pay as per MNREG schemes will all be routed through these bank accounts henceforth,” said C Doraswamy, general manager, SLBC convener (Andhra Bank), AP.

Moreover, customers in rural areas will also be entitled to get a RuPay card, which was introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). RuPay, a combination of two terms rupee and payment, is a domestic card that competes with MasterCard and Visa.

“The beauty of the RuPay debit card is that it comes with an accidental cover up to Rs 1 lakh without any charge to customer, and life insurance cover of up to Rs 30,000,” said Doraswamy.

According to Ajit, going forward, bankers will be allowed to issue micro insurance, enable remittances like money transfer and account holders will also be entitled to an overdraft of Rs 5,000.

The RuPay cards will be accepted at all ATMs, point of sale terminals and e-commerce platforms but in order to avail the insurance cover, customers have to use the card at least once in every 45 days.  With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rationalising the number of free ATM transactions per month recently, it remains to be seen if such a limit will be extended to RuPay card holders. 

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New AP Chief Secretary is IYR Krishna Rao

New AP Chief Secretary  is IYR Krishna Rao | Governance | Scoop.it
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01.06.2014

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KCR's housing scheme for poor to take off immediately

KCR's housing scheme for poor to take off immediately | Governance | Scoop.it
Centre for Good Governance's insight:

5KCR asked the Medak districts collector Smita Sabharwal to open counters for receiving" applications from the poor from f r Thursday itself. In the first phase, e 5,000 houses would be s constructed in Gajwel and the TRS chief said he himself would l lay the foundation stone for them

Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Wednesday announced that farm loans adding up to Rs 12,000 crore would be waived in the next 10-12 days by the state government. This would benefit 23 lakh farmers and is in line with the pre-poll promise made by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Rao also said the state would soon have 24 districts.

The chief minister, who arrived to a tumultuous reception in his assembly constituency Gajwel in Medak district, addressed his first public meeting as CM at the ‘Telangana Rashtra Avirbhava Sambaralu’. After visiting a temple at Wargal on the way from Hyderabad, he was taken in a procession from Pragnapur to Gajwel by people who turned up in large numbers. Home minister Nayini Narasimha Reddy, irrigation minister T Harish Rao, and TRS MLAs of the district accompanied the chief minister.

“The TRS will realise all the dreams of the people of Te

langana. To achieve this, political corruption will be rooted out,” he claimed.The chief minister said Rs one lakh crore would be spent in the next five years for the welfare of dalits, BCs, STs, Muslim and Christian minorities. Of it, Rs 50,000 crore would be spent for the poorest among them. “I have kept the welfare portfolios with myself because I will ensure that the money is used for the purpose” he said.

At the public meeting, the chief minister said a ‘horticulture hub’ would be created within a radius of 50 km of Hyderabad. This would include places like Gajwel, where vegetables are cultivated, Choutuppal in Nalgonda and places in Ranga Reddy and Mahbubnagar districts. The horticulture hub would help farmers produce seeds and sell them. Rao also said green house farming would be given a fillip and asked farmers to go for land pooling so that this could be taken up. Chandrashekar Rao said agriculture would be accorded top priority.

Hyderabad: Without taking Chandrababu Naidu's name, he made a snide remark against the former CM, “A big man once said agriculture was a waste.“

Rao also said the housing scheme that he had promised for the poor would take off immediately. He said two-bedroom houses with a hall, kitchen and a toilet would be constructed for the poor. Each house would be constructed at a cost of Rs three lakh on 125 sq yards of land. He asked the Medak district collec tor Smita Sabharwal to open counters for receiving applications from the poor from Thursday itself. In the first phase, 5,000 houses would be constructed in Gajwel and he himself would lay the foundation stone for them.

“Though I am speaking from Gajwel, I am addressing all the issues pertaining to the entire state,“ the chief minister said. He said Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (Nims)like hospitals would be constructed in all the districts. While all the primary health centres would be upgraded to 30-bedded hospitals with each having four doctors, area hospitals would be converted into 100-bedded health facilities.
Old-age pension would be hiked to Rs 1,000 and physically handicapped people would be given a sum of Rs 1,500 every month.

The chief minister showered sops on the people of Gajwel. He said in the next three years, 2-3 lakh acres of agriculture land would be irrigated in his constituency and steps would be taken to bring Godavari water for the purpose.

A detailed plan would be prepared for sup plying drinking water for Gajwel. An outer ring road planned for Gajwel would also be on the agenda, he said. The ring-road would be of four-to-six lanes and have butterfly lighting system. Rao, who expressed his gratitude to the people of Gajwel for electing him though he had addressed only two meetings there, said he would forever be indebted to them.

“Take this assurance from me. If you step on a thorn, I will remove it with my teeth,“ he said which earned him an applause from the pub lic. KCR said a PA would be available at his house only for the peo ple of Gajwel and re spond to their grievances. “I will be available for you day and night. Since Gajwel is close to Hyderabad, I chose to contest from here so that I could visit this place more frequently ,“ he said. “I will develop Gajwel into a model con stituency . In four years time, what appears like a forest will be like a city when I land in a heli copter here,“ he said.

The chief minister urged all sarpanches, MPTC, ZPTC members and public representa tives put their political differences aside and work for the development of the state. For that purpose, he invited representatives of all po litical parties in Medak district for a meeting in Gajwel.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=KCRs-housing-scheme-for-poor-to-take-off-05062014003032 ;

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Government portals up and running

The  Hindu News 03.06.2014

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The government web portals of newly-formed Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are up and running, albeit with diminished capabilities and features for visitors. The homepage of the much-visited portalwww.aponline.gov.in now has two links that takes users to the respective portals of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The website for Telangana’s government orders ( http://goir.telangana.gov.in ) is active and has begun uploading the first few government orders that were released by General Administration Department (GAD) immediately after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao took office.

The homepage of the eseva portal ( www.esevaonline.com ) now has two separate links with maps of Telangana and AP. Similarly, the homepage of the APCPDCL website ( www.apcentral-power.com ) provides a link to Southern Power Distribution Company of TG ( www.tgsouthern-power.com ).

The website for Telangana on APOnline ( http://aponline.gov.in/tgportal/index.aspx ;) retains the same features that existed in the earlier website, including sections like citizen login, RTI Act, Government Orders, etc. However, these features are yet to be activated and upgraded with fresh information.

In addition to APonline, an entirely new website of Telangana ( www.telangana.gov.in ) has also been launched, although with limited capabilities. Several sections in this portal including government departments and services are yet to be fully completed, upgraded and activated. Some of the sections in the website like ‘key contacts’ takes the user to the already existing links on APOnline that has old information.

It is yet unclear whether www.telangana.gov.in and the Telangana portal on APOnline will function simultaneously because a lot of services, sections and links in both these websites are same.

The two new States have their respective flagship websites and those for govt. utilities, albeit with limited capabilities

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/government-portals-up-and-running/article6076933.ece

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Eenadu news Article

Eenadu news Article | Governance | Scoop.it
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26.05.2014

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Transforming governance through use of ICT

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38 More Institutions Under Schedule 10

38 More Institutions Under Schedule 10 | Governance | Scoop.it
HYDERABAD: The recommendations of all the state-level committees constituted for the bifurcation will be sent to the Centre this week for ratification. The prop...
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Pill to switch off hunger on the horizon

May 2, 2014, 05.10 AM IST

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LONDON: The world's first pill to make you stop eating is set to become a reality.

In a study led by Imperial College London and the Medical Research Council (MRC), an international team of researchers identified an anti-appetite molecule called acetate that is naturally released when we digest fibre in the gut. Once released, the acetate is transported to the brain where it produces a signal to tell us to stop eating.

The research confirms the natural benefits of increasing the amount of fibre in our diets to control overeating and could also help develop methods to reduce appetite.

The study found that acetate reduces appetite when directly applied into the bloodstream, the colon or the brain.

Dietary fibre is found in most plants and vegetables but tends to be at low levels in processed food. When fibre is digested by bacteria in our colon, it ferments and releases large amounts of acetate as a waste product. The study tracked the pathway of acetate from the colon to the brain and identified some of the mechanisms that enable it to influence appetite. This is the first demonstration that acetate released from dietary fibre can affect the appetite response in the brain.

Using positron emission tomography (PET) scans, the researchers tracked the acetate through the body from the colon to the liver and the heart and showed it eventually ended up in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which controls hunger.

"The average diet in Europe today contains about 15 g of fibre per day," said lead author of the study Professor Gary Frost from Imperial College London. "In stone-age times we ate about 100g per day but now we favour low-fibre ready-made meals over vegetables, pulses and other sources of fibre. Unfortunately our digestive system has not yet evolved to deal with this modern diet and this mismatch contributes to the current obesity epidemic. Our research has shown that the release of acetate is central to how fibre suppresses our appetite and this could help scientists to tackle overeating."

The study analyzed the effects of a form of dietary fibre called inulin that comes from chicory and sugar beets and is also added to cereal bars. Using a mouse model, researchers demonstrated that mice fed on a high fat diet with added inulin ate less and gained less weight than mice fed on a high fat diet with no inulin. Further analysis showed the mice fed on a diet containing inulin had a high level of acetate in their guts.

"The major challenge is to develop an approach that will deliver the amount of acetate needed to suppress appetite but in a form that is acceptable and safe for humans," Professor Frost said. "Acetate is only active for a short amount of time in the body so if we focused on a purely acetate-based product we would need to find a way to drip-feed it and mimic its slow release in the gut."

Professor David Lomas from MRC said: "It's becoming increasingly clear that the interaction between the gut and the brain plays a key role in controlling how much food we eat. Being able to influence this relationship, for example using acetate to suppress appetite, may in future lead to new, non-surgical treatments for obesity."

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Claiming a copyright on Karl Marx? How uncomradely

Claiming a copyright on Karl Marx? How uncomradely | Governance | Scoop.it

The warning didn’t come from a multinational media conglomerate but from a small, leftist publisher, Lawrence & Wishart, which asserted copyright ownership over Marx and Engel's writings.

Centre for Good Governance's insight:

he Marxist Internet Archive, a website devoted to radical writers and thinkers, recently received an email: it must take down hundreds of works by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels or face legal consequences. The warning didn't come from a multinational media conglomerate but from a small, leftist publisher, Lawrence & Wishart, which asserted copyright ownership over the 50-volume, Englishlanguage edition of Marx's and Engels' writings. To some, it was "uncomradely" that fellow radicals would deploy the capitalist tool of intellectual property law to keep Marx's and Engels' writings off the internet. And it wasn't lost on the archive's supporters that the deadline for complying with the order came on the eve of May 1, International Workers' Day.

Not for Workers of the World?

"Marx and Engels belong to the working class of the world spiritually, they are that important," said David Walters, one of the organisers of the archive. "I would think Marx would want the most prolific and free distribution of his ideas possible — he wasn't in it for the money."

Still, Walters said the archive respected the publisher's copyright, which covers the translated works, not the German originals from the 19th century. The archive has removed the disputed writings with a note blaming the publisher and a bold headline: "File No Longer Available!" The fight over online control of Marx's works comes at a historical moment when his ideas have found a new relevance, whether because the financial crisis of 2008 shook people's confidence in global capitalism or, with the passage of time, the Marx name has become less shackled to the legacy of the Soviet Union. The unlikely best-seller by the French economist Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century, harks back to Marx's work.

Despite this boomlet in interest, Lawrence & Wishart, located in East London, hardly expects to have an online hit on its hands, said Sally Davison, the publisher's managing editor. The goal is to create a digital edition to sell to libraries in place of a print edition, which costs roughly $1,500 for the 50 volumes.

"Creating a digital strategy is key to our survival," she said. "We are currently negotiating with somebody, that's why we've asked the archive to take it off; it's hard to sell it to librarians if a version already exists online."

Lawrence & Wishart has been losing the argument online, however. The publisher received about 500 abusive emails, along the lines of "How can you say you are radicals?" There are more than 4,500 signatures on an online petition to oppose the notion of a copyright claim on Marx's and Engels' writings; the petition cites the incongruity, noting that the two philosophers "wrote against the monopoly of capitalism and its origin, private property, all their lives." And the libertarian Cato Institute enjoyed teasing its ideological adversaries with an I-told-you-so blog post titled, "Because Property Rights Are Important."

Davison said she was flabbergasted to see Lawrence & Wishart cast as the oppressor. The publisher has two full-time employees and barely makes ends meet, publishing a handful of journals, like Anarchy Studies, and about a dozen left-wing books a year. "We make no profit and are not particularly well paid," she said.

The publisher also tried to turn the tables on its critics, asking if it was indeed radical to believe that there is no ownership of content produced through hard work, like the mammoth translation and annotation of Marx's and Engels' work, a project initially directed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s that took some 30 years of collaboration among scholars across the world.

The Manifesto is Free

The Manifesto is Free The publisher noted that many works by Marx and Engels, including The Communist Manifesto, were freely available in translation on the nonprofit archive and other sites. Davison said, "This is a 50-volume, academic edition; it isn't necessary to revolutionary activity," and noted that much of the material included things like "Marx writing to Engels asking if you want to come by my house to go to this meeting."

Even without the removed Marx and Engels material — consisting mainly of early philosophical and economic writings, as well as notes and letters in which their ideas were first hashed out — the Marxist Internet Archive still will host roughly 200,000 documents in more than 40 languages.

Peter Linebaugh, a professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio, who has studied the history of communism, said, "This is the triumph of capitalism," he said, "having the small fish biting at each other.

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PM launches ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign

PM launches ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign | Governance | Scoop.it

Female Foeticide Is A Sign Of Mental Illness: Modi

Centre for Good Governance's insight:

Exhorting people not to regress to an 18th century mindset, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made an emotional pitch to end discrimination against the girl child. Modi launched the twin programmes of ‘Beti bachao, beti padhao’ and ‘Sukanya Samriddhi account’ in a bid to encourage birth and education of girls and tackle the abysmally low child sex ratio of 918 girls for 1,000 boys. Describing the desire to indulge in female foeticide as a “mental illness’’, Modi said if this discrimination does not end it could cause a ‘terrible crisis’ soon because of a lack of women in the country. Incidentally, the PM launched the two schemes from Panipat in Haryana that has among the lowest child sex ratio in the country (837 girls to 1,000 boys).

The launch took place amid much fanfare with senior Cabinet ministers Maneka Gandhi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, J P Nadda, Smriti Irani, Haryana chief minister M L Khattar and actor Madhuri Dixit present.

The PM, who slammed the audience for “double stan dards'' in kill ing daughters but desiring educated daughters-in-law, also chose to attack doctors who assist in sex selective abortions. He said, “We cannot call ourselves citizens of the 21st century by practising such a crime, and we by our mindsets belong to 18th century when daughters are killed soon after they are born.“

Pleading to end this ill practice, he said the Prime Minister of the country had come to them like a beggar and was begging for the lives of daughters.

Referring to Haryana, he said it was very painful for him to see that in a state which pro duced a woman like Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman to have travelled to space, “other Kalpana Chawlas are killed in the wombs of their mothers”. He also launched Sukanya Samridhi Yojna (girl child prosperity scheme), under which girl children below 10 years will have bank accounts with more interest and income tax benefits.

The campaign will be initially implemented in the 100 districts, including 12 in Haryana, and across the country where the sex ratio is rather poor. By persisting with such a discrimination against the girl child, the nation would not only be harming itself but also generations to come, the Prime Minister said, adding it will take a lot of commitment and many years before the imbalance in sex ratio ended.

`No daughters in 70 Haryana villages for years'

Panipat: Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi on Thursday said not a single girl had been born in 70 Haryana villages during the past several years. She was addressing a function to mark the launch of the Centre's `Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' campaign in Panipat. Many of these villages belong to Mahendergarh district, where the child sex ratio is 762 :1,000. Maneka said a few of the villages have a sex ratio of just 500. The minister said many districts of Haryana have a sex ratio in the 775-837 range, which means “out of each 1,000 girls, 150-225 are being killed (in the womb)“. The overall child sex ratio in the state is 871. In the 2011 census, Haryana was at the bottom among all states in child sex ratio with 834 girls for 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group, while the overall sex ratio was 879 against the national figure of 943.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=PM-launches-Beti-Bachao-Beti-Padhao-campaign-23012015009033

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Making a huge difference in policing

Making a huge difference in policing | Governance | Scoop.it
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Programme is the brainchild of Cyberabad police chief. In order to rectify such flaws, Mr. Anand introduced ‘Four C’ in his Commissionerate on an experimental basis in May, 2013.

Creation of Cells or Special Wings in Police Department to address people’s problems is not new but here is a ‘Four C’ programme which is making a huge difference.

A brainchild of Cyberabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand, the ‘Cyberabad Central Complaint Cell’ - now gradually becoming popular as ‘Four C’ - is turning out to be promising innovation in providing top police brass access to the citizens, besides also acting as deterrent against police officials not responding to citizens’ complaints

It is normal practice in police units -districts or Commissionerates- that individuals represent to the heads like SPs or Commissioners over not securing justice at the police stations concerned. The top officials then endorse the petitions and send them to the Sub-Inspector or Inspector concerned for action.

“Later, we tend to forget and fail to find out what follow-up action was taken. If the complainant comes for second or third time also, we would not be able to recall what the complaint was,” points out a police officer. Since the higher-ups don’t pursue about the action initiated, the field level officers too ignore such complaints.

In order to rectify such flaws, Mr. Anand introduced ‘Four C’ in his Commissionerate on an experimental basis in May, 2013.

A separate reception desk headed by an SI was created at the front office of the Commissionerate. Complainants wanting to meet the Commissioner will first explain their problems to the SI who would note down details in a specially designed petition form. Gist of the complaint is entered and uploaded to a computer.

Before meeting the Commissioner, the petitioner is asked to meet the police inspector, ACP and DCP concerned in that order. “Responses of the Inspector, ACP, DCP are filled in the columns and then the Commissioner would give audience to the complainant,” explained G. Sreekanth, SI, ‘Four C’ reception desk.

After listening to the person, the CP would endorse the form and send it to the Inspector concerned in sealed cover for action. The Inspector would give ‘hand-written’ explanation citing the action he had taken and the findings arrived at in the form. The same is explained to the petition over phone by Mr. Sreekanth. If the gist of the complaint and the Inspector’s explanation don’t match, further clarifications are sought from the officer.

“This process is continued within legal technicalities of the complaint and the SI would take feedback of the complaint, write it on the form and send back to me to understand if the problem was really solved,” explained Mr. Anand.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/making-a-huge-difference-in-policing/article6783059.ece

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This tiny Gujarat village has over Rs 1000 cr in NRI deposits

This tiny Gujarat village has over Rs 1000 cr in NRI deposits | Governance | Scoop.it
Centre for Good Governance's insight:

Rich flow of funds has made Dharmaj one of the richest and most literate villages not only in the state but across the country

Kerala's nearly Rs 90,000 crore (Rs 900 billion) of NRI (Non-resident Indians) deposits, which is highest in the country, pales into oblivion when compared to the over Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) that the members of this sleepy Dharmaj village near Vadodara cumulatively have in their banks.

The tiny Dharmaj village in Anand district, about 70 km from Vadodara, has a population of only 11,333 but has as many as 13 banks.

For the past several decades, NRIs in this village have been depositing money in banks and post offices and the kitty today has grown to over Rs 1,000 crore, making it one of the richest villages in the country and with the highest NRI deposits.

Deputy general manager of Vadodara division of Central Bank of India, R N Hirve told PTI that NRIs of this village prefer to park their money in banks which are mostly state-run banks and therefore the deposit in the banks have now cumulatively run into more than Rs 1,000 crore.

Rich flow of funds has made Dharmaj one of the richest and most literate villages not only in the state but across the country.

The over 3,000 Patidar families live life king size and zip past in swanky cars and almost every family in the village has a member sending in the money for several decades.

As many as 1,700 families hailing from this village have settled in Britain, around 300 families in the US, 160 in New Zealand, 200 in Canada, and 60 in Australia, among others, taking the total number of families staying abroad to around 3,120.

http://www.rediff.com/business/report/this-gujarat-village-has-over-rs-1000-cr-in-nri-deposits/20141217.htm

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World Bank aid sought for ‘poorest of the poor’

World Bank aid sought for ‘poorest of the poor’ | Governance | Scoop.it
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The Government of Telangana is planning to improve the living standards of the Poorest of the Poor (PoP) under the Telangana Rural Inclusive Growth Programme (TRIGP) by securing a loan of Rs. 1,000 crore from the World Bank.

This was stated by Minister for Information Technology and Rural Development K.T. Rama Rao here on Friday after a review meeting on the functioning of the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP). He directed Principal Secretary of Rural Development J. Raymond Peter to convene a meeting with World Bank officials soon to pursue the loan by giving the State government’s consent.

The amount will be spent on improving the living standards of Self Help Group women’s households over the next five years as part of the millennium development goals, the Minister said. Chief Executive Officer of SERP, A. Murali, informed the Minster that there were 47,62,532 women in the 4,13,770 Self Help Groups.

The Minister asked the SERP officials to explore revenue generating opportunities.

Sense of ownership

Promising that the government was committed to constructing buildings for all 17,956 village organisations (VOs) of SHGs, Mr. Rama Rao asked officials to explore the possibility of contribution from the groups so that they could have a sense of ownership. He directed the officials not to insist on the SHGs to pay interest on the linkage loans taken by them till the Chief Minister takes a decision on the interest-free loan scheme. The matter of improving the linkage from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh would also be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister for his clearance.

He asked the officials to visit Delhi at the earliest to pursue Rs.450 crore assistance from the Centre under the National Rural Livelihoods Programme (NRLP). A team of RD and SERP officials will visit Kerala and Karnataka soon to study the RD programmes being implemented there, he stated.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/world-bank-aid-sought-for-poorest-of-the-poor/article6179312.ece

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The road to governance 2.0

When it all comes together Expect this government to do it LYUDMYLA KHARLAMOVA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

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The Government needs to throw policy paralysis out of the window. Here’s how

For over a decade, Indian governance was at the mercy of compulsions and pressures emanating from coalition politics. If the fragile global economy and deteriorating domestic macro indicators were not bad enough, the governance machinery progressively came to a halt.

Amidst this backdrop, the 2014 election result clearly reflects the sentiments and aspirations of the Indian electorate -- pushing for economic growth and shunning poor governance.

The resounding mandate and majority won by the BJP-led NDA government has raised the expectations of all economic stakeholders — the people, corporates and investors alike. It’s a mandate to transform the economy and reform the Government’s approach to problem solving.

Managing these expectations will, however, be as onerous a task as delivering on them.

Streamlined approach

A nation is in some sense akin to a very large corporation, and therefore, best management practices can be suitably adopted in running a government as well. I list key governance practices, which I believe will be adopted by the Government to translate the Prime Minister’s vision into strategy.

Diversity of views but unity of command: The previous government relied significantly on Group of Ministers and high-powered committees, which protracted decision making. However, given the clear majority and single leadership centre (CEO style), it is expected that decision making will be efficient at the top level. This is even as inputs will be taken from not just the ministers and bureaucrats but also from trade chambers, think tanks and the common people, as indicated on the updated PMO website. This will restore the sanctity of the Prime Minister/cabinet as a single accountable unit.

PMO = Project Management Office: While there are hundreds of requirements across various sectors, ensure that short, medium, long-term priorities are clearly identified and agreed upon.

PMO must act as a troubleshooter, to help coordinate and remove roadblocks.

Further, it should ensure fast tracking of approvals along with a periodic review mechanism. For instance, the Cabinet Committee on Investments has salvaged 150 projects worth ₹6 lakh crore in the last year and a half, but only some of these projects have contributed to economic activity so far. The PMO needs to clearly define its key responsibility areas (KRAs) to ensure target oriented decision making.

Silo-less organisation driven by meritocracy: With a lean Cabinet owing to an efficient clusterisation of related ministries such as coal and power, finance and corporate affairs , and the role envisaged by an active PMO, it can be expected that decisions will not get stuck due to conflicting views of various ministries.

Further, meritocracy should be encouraged, wherein ministries which perform should get higher allocations. Nepotism of any form and shape should be avoided.

Financial and investor strategy: There is significant capital waiting for investment in India’s growth story. Investor groups across geographies are keen to invest in varied sunrise sectors.

For example, Japanese investors are keen on Infrastructure, US and EU-based investors are interested in consumer-driven sectors like FMCG/retail as also in areas like defence, and PE/VC funds keen on innovation-driven start ups.

Investors in West Asia, South East Asia would be keen on investing in aviation, banking and the financial sector.

The finance minister, along with key ministers and supported by the external affairs ministry, should conduct periodic road shows to attract and retain global investors.

The whole is less than the sum of its parts: In the past two years, despite overall GDP growth rate remaining sub 5-per cent, regional growth pockets remained intact with many states such as Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh growing at 9-10 per cent.

It is critical to therefore tap into the potential of each state and identify best practices. Additionally, the policy of the Centre should be flexible enough to be adopted at the state level. GST is one such area where implementation will be fast and effective if state-level inputs are suitably accommodated.

E-governance: Overall improvement in business regulation must reduce the cost of doing business and minimise the scope for corruption.

No more doles

Use of E-governance, single window, online auctions and digitisation of records, including land-holding, will reduce not just the processing time and costs, but will also weed out corruption at various levels.

Similarly, it is important that industry is freed of excessive obligations and regulations – all of these have high costs of compliance. Indeed, the dictum of ‘less government, more governance’ needs to be enforced.

Everyone cannot be pleased: The Government will have to be both, bold and rational -- bold to make politically confident moves; and rational to defend unpopular yet warranted economic decisions.

In less than two months’ time, the Union Budget will showcase the direction of the new Government’s policy. It must pledge to implement election commitments and also set in motion policies that will enable reduction in price pressures, creation of jobs, higher outlay for education and health, along with creation of assets. At the same time, the Government must display fiscal prudence with a focus on ‘quality’ of expenditure over ‘quantity’.

The nation is not looking for the doles and rights-based systems anymore; rather, economic empowerment is the new political order.

The writer is the President of Assocham, and MD and CEO of YES Bank

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/the-road-to-governance-20/article6082675.ece

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Telangana CM

Telangana CM | Governance | Scoop.it
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Eenadu News 

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Rajiv Sharma CS of Telangana

Rajiv Sharma CS of Telangana | Governance | Scoop.it

Rajiv Sharma

Centre for Good Governance's insight:

The State government on Sunday issued orders appointing Rajiv Sharma as the officiating Chief Secretary of Government of Telangana till further orders.

The government also issued orders appointing Mr. Anurag Sharma as the DGP of Telangana, Mr. B. Sivadhar Reddy as IG Intelligence of Telangana and J.V. Ramudu as the DGP of Andhra Pradesh.

The outgoing DGP of Andhra Pradesh, B. Prasada Rao, has been appointed as the Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and M. Mahendar Reddy has been appointed to officiate as the Commissioner of Hyderabad city.

Mr. T.P. Das, another senior IPS officer will be officiating as DG of Vigilance and Enforcement in the new State of Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. R.P Thakur will be the Additional DG of Vigilance and Enforcement.

Dr. Sharma, 1982 batch IAS officer on repatriation from the Central deputation will officiate as Chief Secretary, till further orders. Orders to this effect were issued by Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty on Sunday.

Dr. Sharma is an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs during 2006-2011 before going on the Central deputation.

Mr. Anurag Sharma, an officer of 1982 batch hails from Rajasthan and Mr J.V. Ramudu of 1981 batch hails from Anantapur district.

Other postings in Telangana include Anurag Sharma as DGP, B. Sivadhar Reddy as IG Intelligence, and M. Mahendar Reddy as Hyderabad Police Commissioner

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/rajiv-sharma-cs-of-telangana/article6073641.ece

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Solar: the cool way to cut power costs

Solar: the cool way to cut power costs | Governance | Scoop.it
What you should do to convert your rooftop into a buzzing power plant
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Centre's somersault in SC on black money - The Times of India

Centre's somersault in SC on black money - The Times of India | Governance | Scoop.it

ack moneyThe UPA government's May 16 petition seeking review of last two orders of the apex court on black money had accused the judiciary of encroaching into the domain of executive by setting up the SIT.

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A platform that helps bring autorickshaws at your doorstep

A platform that helps bring autorickshaws at your doorstep | Governance | Scoop.it
Start-up mGaadi helps autorickshaw drivers gain customers and makes commuting easier in Bangalore
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Elders of 57 Villages Take Class III Exams

Elders of 57 Villages Take Class III Exams | Governance | Scoop.it
KARIMNAGAR:   Several elderly men and women took third standard examination in 57 villages in the district on Sunday. As part of Open Basic Education (OBE) sche...
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New technique developed which can trace DNA back 1000 years

The new technique has been 98% successful in locating worldwide populations to their right geographic regions down to their village and/ or island of origin.

Centre for Good Governance's insight:

LONDON: A new ground breaking technique has been developed which can locate the village your ancestors lived 1,000 years ago and hence trace back DNA formation.

Previously scientists had been able to link DNA formation to within a 700 km area which in a continent like Europe is very unreliable.

The Geographic Population Structure (GPS) tool created by Eran Elhaik from the University of Sheffield and Tatiana Tatarinova from the University of Southern California works similarly to a satellite navigation system.

The new technique has been 98% successful in locating worldwide populations to their right geographic regions down to their village and/ or island of origin.

The breakthrough has massive implications for life-saving personalized medicine, advancing forensic science and for the study of populations whose ancestral origins are under debate such as African Americans, Roma gypsies and European Jews.

Genetic admixture occurs when individuals from two or more previously separated populations interbreed. This results in the creation of a new gene pool representing a mixture of the founder gene pools.

Elhaik said, "What we have discovered here is a way to find not where you were born but where your DNA was formed up to 1,000 years ago by modelling these admixture processes. What is remarkable is that we can do this so accurately that we can locate the village where your ancestors lived hundreds and hundreds of years ago — until now this has never been possible."

Such processes were extremely common in history during migrations and invasions. When the Vikings invaded Britain and Europe in the 11th century and settled with locals some of them formed a new Viking-Anglo-Saxon gene pool but some married other Vikings and maintained their original gene pool allowing GPS to trace their Scandinavian origins.

Discovery of a certain genotype might indicate the potential for a genetic disease and suggest that diagnostic testing be done. Also as scientists learn more about personalized medicine there is evidence that specific genotypes respond differently to medications — making this information potentially useful when selecting the most effective therapy and appropriate dosage.

To demonstrate how accurate GPS predictions are, Elhaik analyzed data from 10 villages in Sardinia and over 20 islands in Oceania. The team was able to place a quarter of the residents in Sardinia directly to their home village and most of the remaining residents within 50km of their village.

The results for Oceania were no less impressive with almost 90% success of tracing islanders exactly to their island.

Tatarinova has now developed a website making GPS accessible to the public. "To help people find their roots, I developed a website that allows anyone who has had their DNA genotyped to upload their results and use GPS to find their ancestral home," Tatarinova said. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/New-technique-developed-which-can-trace-DNA-back-1000-years/articleshow/34507834.cms ;



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