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Seeds of political patronage

39 NGOs that were allotted Krishi Vigyan Kendras have connections with politicians



SHYAMLAL YADAV N THE early 1970s, the agriculture ministry, through the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), began setting up Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) or farm science centres to educate farmers to increase agricultural production and to improve their socio-economic condition. Over the years, a small but significant portion of them have ended up as an instrument of political favour, having been allotted to politicians across the spectrum or their friends and relatives, The Indian Express has found. Information accessed through the RTI Act shows that of the 630 KVKs in the country, 99 are run by non-governmental organisations. Of these 99, at least 39 are closely linked to politicians or their relatives if not directly controlled by them. The list also includes three KVKs run by NGOs belonging to former IAS officers known to be associated with politicians. These institutions get generous grants from the government but the selection of NGOs, at least in the last decade, were apparently done through an opaque process criticised by agriculture ministry officials themselves. TheprominentnamesincludeAgriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Bihar Governor D Y Patil, former President PratibhaPatilssonRajendraShekhawat all of them from Maharashtra, incidentally besides jailed former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash ChautalassonAbheyandUPCongress MPs Sanjay Singh and Ratna Singh. One Tamil Nadu NGO was recommended by Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, former minister of state Gingee Ramachandran and others. The Baramati NGO of which Pawar is a trustee was given a KVK in 1992. In the nearly nine years that he has been agriculture minister, his ministry has sanctioned about 300 KVKs, about two dozen of these to NGOs. A third of these two dozen were cornered by organisations belonging to politicians or recommended by them, including some from Pawars NCP. Government files show that Pawar personally intervened to recommend some of these NGOs, which got funds up to Rs 1.5 crore per year. Of the 99 KVKs run by NGOs, 25 are in Maharashtra, 18 run by politicians or their relatives. Of the 39 run by NGOs with political links, 20 are linked to Congress leaders, six to NCP leaders, and five to BJP leaders.


LATUR (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Manjara Charitable Trust POLITICAL LINK: Late former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukhs family DATE OF SANCTION: 2005 HINGOLI (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Sant Namdeo Sewabhavi Sanstha POLITICAL LINK: Shivaji G Mane, former Shiv Sena MP and now NCP leader DATE OF SANCTION: 2002 AMRAVATI (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Shram Safalya Foundation POLITICAL LINK: Vasudhatai Deshmukh, former state minister DATE OF SANCTION: 1995 SINDHUDURG (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Sindhudurg Zila Krishi Pratisthan POLITICAL LINK: Chairman Sudhir Sawant is Congress MLC and former MP DATE OF SANCTION: 1995 NANDED (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: JLNIESTR POLITICAL LINK: Former Rajya Sabha MP from Congress V M Jadhav DATE OF SANCTION: 1994 PARBHANI (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Jeevan Jyoti Charitable Trust POLITICAL LINK: Chairman Laxmitai Deshmukh, wife of former Congress MP Ashokrao Deshmukh DATE OF SANCTION: 1994 WASHIM (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Suvide Foundation POLITICAL LINK: President Anantrao Vithalrao Deshmukh, former MP DATE OF SANCTION: 1994 BULDHANA (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Satpuda Education Society POLITICAL LINK: K G Ingle, former Congress MLA and now NCP leader DATE OF SANCTION: 1994 SANGLI (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Vasant Prakash Vikas Sansthan POLITICAL LINK: Chaiperson Shailaja Patil, wife of former Congress MP Prakash Patil and daughter-in-law of former CM Vasantdada Patil DATE OF SANCTION: 1992 THANE (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Gokhale Education Society POLITICAL LINK: Vice-president of society is former MP S N Deshmukh DATE OF SANCTION: 1976 JALGAON (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Satpuda Vikas Mandal POLITICAL LINK: Shireesh Madhukar Rao Choudhary, former NCP leader and now independent MLA DATE OF SANCTION: 1984 AHMEDNAGAR (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: PIRENS POLITICAL LINK: Former union minister and Congress leader Balasaheb Vikhe Patil DATE OF SANCTION: 1992 SITAPUR (UP) NGO: Ranvir Rananjay Degree College Association, Amethi POLITICAL LINK: Dr Sanjay Singh, Congress MP from Sultanpur DATE OF SANCTION: 2011 PRATAPGARH (UP) NGO: Raja Avdhesh Singh Memorial Society POLITICAL LINK: Ratna Singh, Congress MP from Pratapgarh DATE OF SANCTION: 1999 UNNAO (UP) NGO: Kunwar Ram Bux Education Society POLITICAL LINK: Ramesh Kumar Singh, state BJP leader DATE OF SANCTION: 1999 SULTANPUR (UP) NGO: Kamla Nehru Memorial Trust POLITICAL LINK: Vinod Singh, former minister in BSP government and son of former Congress union minister K N Singh DATE OF SANCTION: 1976 ARIYALUR (TAMIL NADU) NGO: CREED POLITICAL LINK: Recommended by then MoS Gingee Ramachandran, MPs S K Kharventhan, Vasanthy Stanley, Motilal

Vora and R D Athithan DATE OF SANCTION: 2009 KARUR (TAMIL NADU) NGO: Saraswati Krishi Vigyan Kendra POLITICAL LINK: Chairperson R Latha is wife of late K N Ramajayam, brother of former DMK minister K N Nehru DATE OF SANCTION: 2005 ERODE (TAMIL NADU) NGO: Myrada (Bangalore) POLITICAL LINK: Retired IAS officers known to be close to politicians; Arvind G Risbud is executive director, three other retired officers on board DATE OF SANCTION: 1991 BELGAUM (KARNATAKA) NGO: KLE University POLITICAL LINK: Chancellor Prabhakar B Kore is a BJP Rajya Sabha member DATE OF SANCTION: 2011 BELGAUM (KARNATAKA) NGO: BIRD POLITICAL LINK: Chairman R M Patil, former Karnataka minister DATE OF SANCTION: 1994 GADAG (KARNATAKA) NGO: Agriculture Science Foundation POLITICAL LINK: Former Congress MLA D R Patil is governing council member DATE OF SANCTION: 1985 BURHANPUR (MP) NGO: Lokmata Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Social National Mission POLITICAL LINK: Hamid Qazi, former NCP MLA DATE OF SANCTION: 2007 RAISEN (MP) NGO: Deendayal Krishi Vikas Kendra POLITICAL LINK: Chairman Ajit Khandelwal said to be close to BJP DATE OF SANCTION: 2004 RATLAM (MP) NGO: Shiksha Samiti Kalukheda POLITICAL LINK: Chairman Mahendra Singh Kalukheda, Congress MLA DATE OF SANCTION: 1994 BISHNUPUR (MANIPUR) NGO: Joint Farming-cum-Pisciculture Co-operative Society POLITICAL LINK: Th. Chaoba Singh, former chief minister and current Manipur BJP president DATE OF SANCTION: 2003 SENAPATI (MANIPUR) NGO: FEEDS POLITICAL LINK: Haokholet Kipgen, former MLA from National Peoples Party DATE OF SANCTION: 2002 JAIPUR (RAJASTHAN) NGO: Pragati Trust POLITICAL LINK: Former chief secretary of Rajasthan Mitha Lal Mehta DATE OF SANCTION: 1992 HANUMANGARH (RAJASTHAN) NGO: Gramothan Vidyapith POLITICAL LINK: Om Prakash Chautalas son Abhey Singh Chautala is president of the NGO DATE OF SANCTION: 1989 REWARI (HARYANA); NGO Bhagawat Bhakti Ashram POLITICAL LINK: Rao Sheoraj Singh, brother of late Rao Veerendra Singh, former CM DATE OF SANCTION: 1983 AMBALA (HARYANA) NGO: SCHE POLITICAL LINK: Akhil Baxi, who was close to Congress DATE OF SANCTION: 1995 SITAMARHI (BIHAR) NGO: Samta Sewa Kendra POLITICAL LINK: Nawal Kishore Rai, former Janata Dal (United) MP DATE OF SANCTION: 2006 VISAKHAPATNAM (ANDHRA PRADESH) NGO: Bhagavatula Charitable Trust POLITICAL LINK: President of trust is PVRK Prasad, retired IAS officer who served as media adviser to late prime minister P V Narasimha Rao DATE OF SANCTION: 1995


ICAR officials said the government does not publish advertisements inviting proposals to establish KVKs and only a handful of organisations apply. Rajiv Mehrishi, then additional secretary in the ministry, observed during a selection in 2010: There is no public dissemination of this information. There is no public advertisement, for example, inviting offers from universities/colleges/NGOs who might want to sponsor the KVKs. As a result, there is an inherent bias in favour of the existing state agriculture universities, with the exception of few well connected and really clued up NGOs. Afterseeingtheguidelines,Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas observed on the same file as Mehrishi: I dont find the guidelines are very comprehensive at all. Lot of ambiguities remain. dian Express to Pawar, an ICAR official said the functioning of KVKs, including sanction and allotment of funds, is transparent and as per well laid procedures. There exist guidelines to manage/approve KVKs entitled A Guide for the KVK Managers dealing inter alia. By way of evolutionary process, certain process changes have been made intheguidelinesovertheyearsincertain areas. For updating further the guidelines for KVKs a high-powered committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Dr R S Paroda, former secretary (DARE) and Director General, ICAR, the official said. For establishment of KVKs, the concerned zonal project directorates have nowadays been issuing notifications on websites. Application received from various organisations, including NGOs, are considered by site selection committee and based on the recommendations .. appropriate decisions are taken by the competent authority.
ICAR, he wrote on it, as discussed with Honble AM (agriculture minister), case may be kept pending for a while. Subsequently, Pawar wrote put up early on a letter written by Kore. A new site selection panel was formed after the issue was discussed with Honble AM and PS to Honble AM and Pawar sanctioned the KVK to KLE. SITAMARHI (BIHAR): On February 1, 2006, Pawar sanctioned a KVK to Samta Sewa Kendra of former JD(U) MP Nawal Kishore Rai. Rai had been making representations to agriculture ministers since 1996, seeking a KVK for the district. Later, he sought it for his NGO; Pawar approved it. ARIYALUR(TAMIL NADU): On January 3, 2008, Pawar sanctioned a KVK to the NGO CREED after its case was recommended by then minister of state Gingee Ramachandran, MPs Vasanthy Stanley and Motilal Vora and then MPs R D Athithan and S K Kharventahan.

THE FIRST KRISHI VIGYAN KENDRA was established in Pondicherry in 1974 and there are 630 around the country now, with 99 being run by NGOs. They get government funds up to Rs 1.5 crore a year depending on the size of the district they are located in. The KVKs aim to educate farmers to increase agricultural production and to improve their socio-economic condition. Below is the list of 39 KVKs run by NGOs controlled by politicians, their relatives or others close to them:
BARAMATI (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Agriculture Development Trust POLITICAL LINK: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is a trustee DATE OF SANCTION: 1992 KOLHAPUR (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: D Y Patil Education Society; POLITICAL LINK: Congress leader D Y Patil, currently governor of Bihar DATE OF SANCTION: 1994 AMRAVATI (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Shram Sadhana POLITICAL LINK: Rajendra Shekhawat, Congress MLA and son of former President Pratibha Patil DATE OF SANCTION: 1995 AURANGABAD (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Mahatma Gandhi Mission POLITICAL LINK: Kamal Kishore Kadam, Maharashtra higher education minister when Sharad Pawar was chief minister DATE OF SANCTION: 2011 AHMEDNAGAR (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Marutrao Ghule Patil Shikshan Sansthan POLITICAL LINK: Chandrashekhar Marutrao Ghule, NCP MLA DATE OF SANCTION: 2011 AKOLA (MAHARASHTRA) NGO: Rural Development and Research Foundation POLITICAL LINK: Sanjay Dhotre, BJP Lok Sabha MP from Akola



Responding to queries sent by The Inwith Pawar approving the proposal on August 29, 2011. SITAPUR (UP): On February 23, 2011, Pawar approved a KVK for Ranvir Rananjay Degree College Association, Amethi, run by Sanjay Singh, Congress MP from Sultanpur. The proposal had been made only on February 8, and came with a handwritten note from a bureaucrat and marked urgent. The site selection panel picked this over three other proposals. AKOLA (MAHARASHTRA): On May 13, 2010, Pawar approved a KVK to be run by the Rural Development and Research Foundation, whose president is BJP MP Sanjay Dhotre. The name was picked by the site selection panel from a list of nine. BELGAUM (KARNATAKA): KLE University, whose chancellor Prabhakar B Kore is a BJP Rajya Sabha member, got a KVK. It had been recommended in response to a proposal from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. When the file was sent to the DG,

SOME INSTANCES OF SHARAD PAWAR DECIDING OR INFLUENCING ALLOTMENT OF KVKs SINCE 2004: AURANGABAD (MAHARASHTRA): A site selection panel had recommended sanctioning the KVK to Marathwada Agriculture University. Pawar rejected the suggestion and wrote on the file, We should give this KVK to Mahatma Gandhi Mission. I am confident their performance will be better. The mission got the KVK in July 2009. It belongs to Kamal Kishore Kadam, a former Maharashtra minister and NCP leader. AHMEDNAGAR (MAHARASHTRA): The site selection panel had recommended the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth. Pawar advised that other options need to be explored. The KVK was later given to Marutrao Ghule Patil Shikshan Sansthan, run by NCP MLA Chandrashekhar Marutrao Ghule,

Mother Tamil
133 ft+, LIKELY MADURAI STATUES are not new to Tamil Nadu politics. Long before J Jayalalithaas proposal, late chief minister M G Ramachandran had unveiled a statue of Tamil Thai, or Mother Tamil, in Madurai in 1981. And in 2000, then chief minister M Karunanidhi inaugurated a massive statue of saint-poet Thiruvalluvar off the coast of Kanyakumari. Standing 133 feet tall, its weight around 7,000 tonnes, it cost Rs 6 crore and took nine years to complete. But the one that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa proposed in the assembly on Tuesday will dwarf all of them in terms of cost: Rs 100 crore. It is reportedly coming up at Vandiyur lake (artists impression pictured), spread across nearly 600 acres in Madurai. Officials have made it known that the Statue of Mother Tamil, sculpted out of stone, will be taller than the Thiruvalluvar statue. Jayas own example by way of comparison was the Statue of Liberty, which stands 151 ft inclusive of the pedestal. The torso of the proposed statue is a familiar design found in south Indian temple architecture.


Sardar Patel
597 ft, NARMADA THIS ONE is tipped to be the tallest of them all, twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty and also dwarfing the Spring Temple Buddha (420 ft). The statue (artists impression left) has been proposed at Sadhu Bet, an island some 3 km from Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat. Chief Minister Narendra Modi had announced the construction of the statue in October 2010, calling it the tallest memorial of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the world and that it would help spread the message of harmony to the world. The government created a special purpose vehicle, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust, for execution of the project, and in August 2012 it entered into an agreement with a consortium of global and domestic consultants for engineering, design and contract management. The preliminary design is currently being made. The estimated cost is Rs 2,500 crore, though that may be revised after studies.

UP TO 24ft, LUCKNOW & NOIDA MAYAWATI installed 18 statues of herself, 13 in Lucknow and five in Noida, during her regime as UP chief minister. Those in Lucknow include five on the same campus, that of Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal. Two white marble 18-foot ones, each built at Rs 2 crore, are inside Stupa Bhawan, a 24-foot bronze statue (Rs 1.55 crore) is at Pratibimb Sthal, an 18-foot bronze (Rs 47.25 lakh) is in Samajik Parivartan Gallery barely 100 m away , while yet another bronze is in the main memorial building. Other statues in Lucknow include one at Gomti embankment (marble, 7 feet, Rs 9 lakh), one at Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Prateek Stahl (bronze, 12 feet, Rs 20.25 lakh), and one at Kanshiram Smarak Sthal (18 feet, Rs 47.25 lakh). In Noida, two statues are inside Gautam Buddha University and one inside Bhimrao Ambedkar Park in Badalpur, where Mayawati hails from. Two are inside Noida Park, one under the main dome and the other at Column Plaza.

321 ft, MUMBAI THE PLAN to build a mid-sea memorial to the warrior king (artists impression left) has been afloat since in 2004. It is a Congress-NCP initiative to upstage the Shiv Sena in wooing the Maratha community, but even Raj Thackeray of the MNS has questioned the projects financial feasibility. A design submitted in 2009 by Mumbais Team One firm and Bangkoks Bensley Design Studio places the 321-foot memorial (including the pedestal) 1.5 km off Marine Drive, and spread on 8 to 10 acres of reclaimed land in the sea. Shivajis statue astride a horse would come up on a 2060 ft 820 ft platform. Around it would be a museum depicting Shivajis life, a performing arts theatre, a cultural event area, a 300-foot viewing tower, a revolving restaurant and open spaces in the middle of the sea. People would be able to access the monument through a water transport system, including various vessels and hovercraft, from areas such as the Gateway of India, Marine Drive, JNPT and Navi Mumbai.