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Page No.

Index

Budget 2015
Page No.

4
Finance Commission

MAY, 2015

Page No.

Designed by:
Chandan Kumar Raja

FCI & PDS

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Budget 2015

BUDGET 2015
Union government presented
its first full budget in the parliament
on 28th feb 2015. This years budget
was aimed at high growth, providing
investment friendly conditions and
improving the physical infrastructure.
Along with above objectives budget
has also focused on improving the
fiscal discipline and making legislative
and tax reforms. This was the first
budget presented after Centre
accepted the Finance commission
recommendation. Union government
accepted the recommendation of
Finance commission to increase the
states tax pool to 42 percent from
central taxes, earlier this used to be
32 percent. Taking all transfers
together, about 62% of the money
available (including non-plan grants
and loans, central assistance to states
and UTs and centrally sponsored
schemes) to be spent now in India
will be with the states. Increase in the
size of the states revenue reduces the
financial space of the Centre. Several
key sectors like education, health etc.
will not have a one size fits all policy
from central government rather states
will have the resources and the policy
according to their needs.
Some important facts and
policies presented in the budget:2

Headline Numbers
In the interim budget presented
last year government set the target to
contain the fiscal deficit below 4.1
percent. While the target for 201516 was set at 3.5 percent and for the
next fiscal year target was reduced
to 3 percent. In this years budget
government has achieved the target
for this year but it has increased the
fiscal deficit target to 3.9 percent
next year and 3.5 and 3 percent in
following years. In this way
government will get to the Finance
Commission recommendation of 3%
fiscal deficit a year later than planned.
This has been done to provide
adequate public spending in the
infrastructure sector and not for the
subsidization. Budget document
expects consumer inflation to remain
close to 5 percent by March, opening
room for more monetary policy
easing. The GDP growth projections
are higher at 8%-8.5% for the next
year. But these numbers are also due
to change in method of calculating
GDP along with change in base year
for calculating GDP.
Taxation
Government has tried to make
the taxation system simple and more
friendly to the investors.

The Wealth Tax has been


abolished but an additional
surcharge of 2 percent has
been imposed on those who
have the net taxable income
above one crore. Wealth Tax
used to get in total around
1000 crore, which is very less
as compare to the overall tax
collection
in
India.
Administrative cost to collect
wealth tax was equivalent to
the amount what government
used to get from total wealth
tax. The 2% surcharge being
a surcharge and not an
increase in the marginal rate
can be taken off at any time if
the overall tax collections
stabilize and look positive.
The Corporate Tax rate will be
reduced from 30% to 25%
over 4 years starting next.
Reduction in corporate tax
would be accompanied by
removing the exemptions
given to corporates. At present
most corporate entities pay tax
in the range of 20-23% after
exemptions. And lot of
litigation also happen due to
exemptions given, so this step
will reduce the litigations of
corporates as well.

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Budget 2015
Service Tax has been
increased from 12.36% to 14%
to bring the rates in line with
the proposed GST rates.. This
will help in smooth transition
from present tax system to
proposed GST in 2016.
The General Anti Avoidance
Rules or GAAR implementation
is deferred by 2 years and also
it will not be used
retrospectively.
Agriculture
The Government fully support
Agriculture Ministrys organic
farming
scheme

Paramparagat KrishiVikas Yojana.


Pradhanmantri Gram Sinchai
Yojana is aimed at irrigating the
field of every farmer and
improving water use efficiency
to provide Per Drop More
Crop
, Government
proposed allocation of Rs.
5,300 crore to support
micro-irrigation, watershed
development and the Pradhan
Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.
In order to support the
agriculture sector with the
help of effective agriculture
credit and focus on small and
marginal farmers, the Finance
Minister proposed to allocate
Rs. 25,000 crore to the
corpus of Rural Infrastructure
Development fund (RIDF) set
up
in
NABARD,
Rs.
15,000 crore for Long Term
Rural Credit Fund; Rs.
45,000 crore for Short Term
Cooperative Rural Credit
Refinance Fund; and Rs.
15,000 crore for Short Term
RRB Refinance Fund.
Infrastructure

crore respectively. The


CAPEX of the public sector
units is expected to be Rs.
3,17,889 crore, an increase of
approximately Rs. 80,844 crore
over RE 2014-15.
Government also proposed to
establish National Investment
and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
with an annual flow of Rs.
20,000 crore.
Tax free infrastructure bonds
for the projects in the rail, road
and irrigation sector.
Atal Innovation Mission(AIM)
will provide Innovation
Promotion Platform involving
academicians, and drawing
upon national and international
experiences. A sum of Rs. 150
crore is proposed to be
earmarked for the mission.
Government also proposes to
set up 5 new Ultra Mega
Power Projects each of 4000
MWs in the plug-and-play
mode.

Legislative Decisions
In order to promote investment
in the country, the Minister
proposed to set up a Public
Debt Management Agency
(PDMA) which will bring both
Indias external borrowings
and domestic debt under one
roof.
Government proposed to
merge the Forwards Markets

Commission with SEBI to


strengthen regulation of
commodity forward markets
and reduce wild speculation.
Comprehensive new law on
black money to specifically
deal with such money stashed
away abroad. The key features
of the bill will include
punishment of rigorous
imprisonment up to ten years
for concealment of income
and assets and evasion of tax
in relation to foreign assets.
Penalty for such concealment
of income and assets at the
rate of 300 per cent of tax shall
be levied. Non-filing of return
or filing of return with
inadequate disclosure of
foreign assets will be
punishable with rigorous
imprisonment up to seven
years.
As regards curbing domestic
black money, a new and more
comprehensive
Benami
Transactions (Prohibition) Bill
will be introduced in the
current Session of the
Parliament. Quoting of PAN is
being made mandatory for any
purchase or sale exceeding
the value of Rs.1 lakh. To
improve enforcement, CBDT
and CBEC will leverage
technology and have access to
information in each others
data-base.

Government
proposed
increased outlays on both the
roads and the gross budgetary
support to the railways, by Rs.
14,031 crore and Rs. 10,050

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Finance Commission

FINANCE COMMISSION
Article 280 of the constitution
of India gives President of India the
power to constitute the finance
commission every five years. If the
President thinks it is required earlier
it can give the order to constitute it
even earlier as well. The Finance
Commission is required to
recommend the distribution of the
net proceeds of taxes of the Union
between the Union and the States
(commonly referred to as vertical
devolution); and the allocation
between the States of the respective
shares of such proceeds (commonly
known as horizontal devolution).
Though recommendations of finance
commission are non-binding, the
Centre generally accepts the
recommendation of the expert body.
Fourteenth finance commission
under the chairmanship of former RBI
governor Y.V.Reddy has submitted its
report for the period of 2015-2020.
Report was submitted to central
government with a dissent note from
Abhijit sen and central government
has accepted the recommendation.
Highlights of the
Recommendation
States share from the net
4

proceeds from the central tax


collection to be 42
percentage, which is a huge
jump of 10 percent from the
32 percent recommended by
the 13th finance commission.
As compared to the total
devolutions in 2014-15 the
total devolution of the States
in 2015-16 will increase by over
45%. This change in share has
become possible because
planning commission has been
abolished and its funds have
been transferred to finance
commission and ministries.
FFC has taken the view that tax
devolution should be primary
route of transfer of resources
to States. The government has
accepted
the
recommendations keeping in
mind the spirit of National
Institution for Transforming
India (NITI). It may be noted
that in reckoning the
requirements of the States, the
FFC has ignored the Plan and
Non-Plan distinction.
Tax devolution with in the
states will be based on the
factors of Area, population,

Demography,
Income
distance and forest cover.
Individual weight among those
is- 50 per cent is given to
distance from the highest per
capita income district,
followed by population (1971
census) at 17.5 per cent,
changes of population since
1971 at 10 per cent, area at 15
per cent and forest cover at 7.5
per cent.
Finance commission has
recommended that Fiscal
Deficit of Union government
should be 3.6 per cent of GDP
in 2015-16 and 3 per cent the
year after. Three percentage
fiscal deficit should be kept for
three following years. Finance
commission
has
also
recommended that revenue
deficit to come down from 2.9
per cent in FY15 to 2.56 per
cent in FY16 and then
progressively reduce to 0.93
per cent by 2019-20.
Fourteenth
Finance
Commission(FFC)
has
recommended distribution of
grants to States for local
bodies using 2011 population
data with weight of 90% and

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Finance Commission
area with weight of 10%. The
grants to States will be divided
into two, a grant to duly
constituted Gram Panchayats
and a grant to duly constituted
Municipal bodies, on the basis
of rural and urban population.
FFC has recommended grants
in two parts; a basic grant, and
a performance grant, for duly
constituted Gram Panchayats
and municipalities. The ratio of
basic to performance grant is
90:10 with respect to
Panchayats and 80:20 with
respect to Municipalities.
The Finance Commission has
also reviewed the present
arrangements as regards
financing
of
Disaster
Management with reference to
the National Calamity
Contingency Fund and the
Calamity Relief Fund. FFC has
recommended that up to 10
percent of the funds available
under the SDRF can be used
by a State for occurrences
which State considers to be
disasters within its local

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context and which are not in


the notified list of disasters of
the Ministry of Home Affairs.
FFC have recommended
Post-Devolution Revenue
Deficit Grants of a total of Rs.
1,94,821 crores, for the five
year period. The States of
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, J&K,
Himachal Pradesh, Kerala,
Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram,
Nagaland, Tripura and West
Bengal (a total of 11 States)
have been identified for
receiving these revenue
deficit grants. Plan revenue
expenditure of States is
financed by States own
resources, borrowing and Plan
grants from the Union. The Plan
grants include normal Central
assistance,
which
is
untied,additional Central
assistance for specific-purpose
schemes and transfers,special
Plan assistance,special Central
assistance,Central
Plan
schemes and CSS.
The total grant recommended
by the Fourteenth finance

commission for panchayats


and municipalities is 2.8 lakh
crore for a five-year. Of this, Rs
2,00,292.20 crore will be given
to panchayats and Rs
87,143.80
crore
to
municipalities.
Eight centrally sponsored
schemes will be delinked from
support from the Centre.
Various centrally sponsored
schemes will now see a
change in sharing pattern, with
states sharing a higher fiscal
responsibility
for
implementing the schemes.
As Chief Economic Adviser
Arvind Subramanian said that
recommendations of Finance
commission are watershed in the
history of Indian federalism. The
suggestions will provide more fiscal
autonomy to states and ultimately
benefit the common man.
Recommendations will provide
adequate autonomy to states to make
the policy suitable to their own
needs. It will be big change from the
earlier one size fits all strategy.

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FCI & PDS

FCI & PDS


The Food Corporation of India
came into existence in 1965 under
the Food Corporations Act of 1964.
It came in a situation where food
production in India was extremely
low and India was not selfdependent for food grains. In 1964 65, Indias wheat production was
12.26 million metric tonnes (MMT)
and India had to import 6.57 MMT of
wheat that year. Imports of wheat
amounted to almost 54 percent of
domestic production and on top of
that India had a extremely low total
foreign exchange reserve of only US
$524 million and the price of wheat
in the international market was
$66.81/MT. That foreign exchange
reserve was only enough for the
import of wheat at this year. India
started importing low quality PL480
from US at low cost, mostly as an aid.
In order to make the situation better
in 1965, the Agricultural Prices
Commission was rolled out to give a
boost to positive price policy,
recommending minimum support
prices (MSPs) for basic staples,
especially wheat and paddy (rice).
The FCI was to ensure that farmers
6

get this MSP so that they are


encouraged to increase the
production of basic staples.
Situation in India regarding
food production and foreign
exchange is far better now as
compare to the time when FCI was
formed. During the Financial Year
2012-13 (FY 2013) and 2013-14 (FY
2014), India has emerged as the
largest exporter of rice in the world,
with more than 10 MMT of exports
each year. Total cereal exports
(basically rice, wheat and corn)
amounted to 22 MMT in FY 2013 and
another 21 MMT in FY 2014, thereby
amounting to 43 MMT of cereal
exports in two years, which India has
never done in its entire recorded
history. Grain Stocks with the public
agencies is far more than the
legislative requirement. Public stock
of grains and cereals is more than 80
MMT while the legal requirement is
only 32MMT. The foreign exchange
reserves in the country are safely
beyond the 300$ Bln, and foreign
reserve can easily handle any shock
in production and situation of imports.
As stated above The Food

Corporation of India came into


existence at a time when India was
going through many challenges. The
Food Corporations Act of 1964
provides some objectives which
need to be fulfilled by the Food
corporation of India. These
objectives of FCI are given below:
provide effective price
support operations to
safeguard the interests of the
farmers;
to distribute foodgrains
through-out the country for
public
distribution
system(PDS);
to maintain satisfactory level of
operational and buffer stocks
of foodgrains to ensure
National Food Security.
Performance of FCI
First and foremost objective of
FCI is to provide effective
price support to farmers to
safeguard their interests. GoI
announces MSPs for 23
commodities, out of which FCI
basically concentrates on
wheat and rice, either directly

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FCI & PDS
or through state agencies.
Almost 90 percent of
procurement of wheat and
paddy today is being done
through state agencies.
The primary channel where
FCI unloads its procured grains
of wheat and rice is Public
Distribution System (PDS).
PDS has a long history, and has
expanded over years, and is
currently also sought to be the
primary
vehicle
for
implementing National Food
Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
The total requirement for PDS
and other welfare schemes is
61.2 MMT per year. While states
do much of the procurement
of wheat and paddy, FCIs role
comes in accepting rice, and
transporting it from surplus
states to deficit ones in a timely
and smooth manner so that
ultimate beneficiaries of PDS
can avail of the benefits of
subsidized food.
NFSA promises to give
specified quantities of rice/
wheat/coarse cereals at Rs 3/
2/1/Kg to 67 percent of
population. The quantity
promised under the Act is
35kg/month for Antyodya
households, and 5kg/per
person for priority households.
As the current average size of
14 the family in India is around
5, this will work to 25kg/
household per month. The
total budgeted subsidy in FY
2015 is Rs 1.15 lakh crores, with
pending dues of more than Rs
50,000 crores.
As stated already that the
condition in India has changed
drastically since we have set
up FCI. In order to look in to
the role of FCI in changed
circumstances Government of
India has setup a High Level
Committee (HLC) in August

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2014 with Shri Shanta Kumar


as the Chairman, six members
and a special invitee to
unbundling of FCI with a view
to improve its operational
efficiency and financial
management.
Major
recommendations of the
committee are given below:
HLC recommends that FCI
hand over all procurement
operations of wheat, paddy
and rice to states that have
gained sufficient experience
in this regard and have created
for procurement. These states
are
Andhra
Pradesh,
Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya
Pradesh, Odisha and Punjab
(in alphabetical order). FCI
will accept only the surplus (of
the states under NFSA) from
these state governments (not
millers) to be moved to deficit
states. FCI should move on to
help those states where farmers
suffer from distress below MSP,
and which are dominated by
small holdings, like Eastern
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West
Bengal, Assam etc.
Negotiable warehouse receipt
system (NWRs) should be
taken up on priority and scaled
up quickly. Under this system,
farmers can deposit their
produce to the registered say

80 percent advance from


banks against their produce
valued at MSP.
GoI needs to revisit its MSP
policy. Currently, MSPs are
announced
for
23
commodities, but effectively
price support operates
primarily in wheat and rice and
that too creates highly skewed
incentive structures in favour
of wheat and rice.
HLC recommends gradual
introduction of cash transfers
in PDS, starting with large cities
with more than 1 million
population~ extending it to
grain surplus states, deficit
states to opt for cash or
physical grain distribution.
HLC recommends that FCI
should outsource its stocking
operations to various agencies
such as Central Warehousing
Corporation,
State
Warehousing Corporation,
Private
Entrepreneur
Guarantee (PEG) scheme, and
even state governments that
are building silos through
private sector on state lands.
HLC recommends total end to
end computerization of the
entire food management
system,
starting
from
procurement from farmers, to
stocking, movement.

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National Issues

NATIONAL ISSUES
PwC man
Involved in Spying: CBI

The Central Bureau of


Investigation, which has
arrested five suspects in the
corporate espionage racket,
said that the investigation had
revealed the alleged role of a
representative
of
PricewaterhouseCoopers India
in obtaining information from
the Department of Economic
Affairs.
The agency produced accused
Paresh Chimanlal Buddhadev, a
partner in Chitale & Associates,
before a Mumbai court that
granted his transit remand for
being brought to Delhi.
Another accused, Ram Niwas,
Assistant in the Finance
Ministry, was also sent to five
days CBI custody.
The agency earlier arrested
Mumbai-based
accused
Chartered
Accountant
Khemchand Gandhi, who had
allegedly been procuring the
documents, Ashok Kumar
Singh, Under Secretary in the
Department of Disinvestment;
and Lala Ram Sharma, Section
Officer in the Department of
Economic Affairs. The three are
in CBI custody.
8

SC gives one
last chance to Sahara

The Supreme Court granted the


Sahara group a last opportunity
to raise bail money to its chief
Subrata Roy and two directors
in jail since March 2014.
A Special Bench of Justices T.S.
Thakur, Anil R. Dave and A.K.
Sikri, at one point, said the court
had lost its patience with
Saharas repeated assurances
that they would sell their assets
soon to pay security for
securing bail.
The Bench stopped short of
going ahead and appointing
court receivers to take over
from Sahara and initiate sale
deals in a transparent manner.
But Saharas counsel and senior
advocate Kapil Sibal prevailed
over the court and requested to
give his client one last chance
to sell their assets and collect
Rs. 6000 crore more required for
bail security.
Earlier the court had asked 65year-old Roy to pay a total Rs
10,000 crore to get bail.
During the hearing, the Sahara
group blamed Mirach Capital for
the failure of the second
proposed deal for selling of
offshore properties.

Haryana set to
Ban Cow Slaughter

Haryana is all set to bring


legislation for banning cow
slaughter and making it a
punishable offence. The move
is not only likely to have an
adverse impact on the cuisine
and business of premier hotels
in the State but also the
livelihood of a large number of
people
dependent
on
butchery, especially in the
minority-dominated district
of Mewat.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij
said that the State Government
is framing a stringent law to
clamp a complete ban on cow
slaughter which would help in
the protection and promotion
of cows.
Following Maharashtras ban on
beef, Haryana now looks all set
to follow suit. Haryana
Agriculture and Animal
Husbandry Minister Om Prakash
Dhankar had also confirmed
that stringent punishment
would be handed out for cow
slaughter and sale and storage
of beef in the State.
You sat on Rape videos,
SC tells Home Ministry
The Supreme Court pulled up

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National Issues

the Home Ministry for sitting on


crucial video material about a
gang rape highlighted in the
Shame the Rapist campaign
launched
by
activist
Sunitha Krishnan.
The Social Justice Bench of
Justice Madan B. Lokur and
Justice U.U. Lalit found the
Ministry made no move to hand
over the video evidence to the
CBI for over 20 days.
It received the videos on
February 10 from Ms. Krishnan,
but chose to pass them on to
the CBI only on March 5.
Despite repeated queries from
the Bench to explain its
conduct, the Ministry had
nothing to offer.
So between February 10 and
March 5, you just sat on these
videos. You people did not do
anything ... only yesterday you
filed the FIRs, Justice Lokur
told Additional SolicitorGeneral Maninder Singh, who
appeared for the Ministry.
The court directed Mr. Singh to
name the officer who received
the video evidence from Ms.
Krishnan, and demanded a full
explanation on What you were
doing all that time till March 5.
The court, during the previous
hearing on February 27, took
suo motu cognisance of a letter
by
Prajwala,
a
nongovernmental organisation of
Ms. Krishnan, highlighting the
existence of the videos and the
immediate necessity to nab the
culprits. The Bench had
ordered the CBI investigation.
In the videos, five men are seen
smiling into the camera after
taking turns at sexually
assaulting their victim.
Mr. Singh said the videos
showed a total of 12 clips, of
which three were repeats. He

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said eight FIRs had been filed


and a preliminary inquiry had
started on one.
The court ordered the Ministry
to share the photos with the
Directors-General of Police in
Odisha, West Bengal and U.P.
where these men may hail from.
MHA tells States, UTs not to use
national flag made of plastic

The Union Home Ministry had


directed all State Government
and Union Territories not to use
National Flag made of plastic for
any function as these are not
biodegradable and thus their
appropriate disposal is
not possible.
The letter, which has been sent
to all State governments and
Union Territories, noted that
National Flag made of plastic
are being used in place of
paper flags on important
functions. Since plastic flags are
not biodegradable like the
paper flags, these do not get
decomposed for a long time
and are harmful to the
atmosphere. Further, ensuring
the appropriate disposal of
national flags made of plastic
with the dignity of the flag
is a problem.
Therefore, the MHA said State
governments and others should
ensure that on important
national, cultural and sports
events, only flags made by the
paper are used in public.
It cautioned that offence
pertaining
to
showing
disrespect to the National Flag

can invite up to three years jail


term, fine or both.
Process on to implement One
Rank One Pension scheme
The
modalities
for
implementing One Rank One
Pension (OROP) scheme for
armed forces are under
consideration and the financial
implication could be calculated
once the details are finalised
and approved by the
government, Lok Sabha
was informed.
Minister of State for Defence
Rao Inderjit Singh said in a
written reply that the principle
of OROP for the armed forces
has been accepted by
the government.
He was asked whether the
implementation of the scheme
has been delayed.
Responding to another part of
the question on removing
disparities in pension of various
ex-servicemen, he said possible
amendments to the pension
policies are being examined
with a view to reduce litigation.
Explaining the reasons behind
the delay, the Minister had said,
The
methodology
of
calculating the One Rank, One
Pension is an issue pending
between the Services and the
Defence Ministry.
The scheme, which seeks to
ensure that a uniform pension is
paid to defence personnel who
retire at the same rank with the
same length of service,
irrespective of their date of
retirement, has been a longstanding demand of the over
two million ex-servicemen in
the country. It is important to
note that, earlier Army Chief
Dalbir Singh Suhag said that the
scheme will be implemented
by the April and this year.
9

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National Issues
Law panel bats for stronger EC
Law Commission has pitched for
a stronger Election Commission
by giving equal constitutional
protection to all members of the
poll body and appointing the
CEC and the two ECs by a highpowered collegium.
In its report on electoral reforms
submitted to the Law Ministry,
the law panel has also
recommended creation of a
permanent, independent
Secretariat for the EC.
The law panel said Article
324(5) of the Constitution
should be amended to equate
the removal procedures of the
two Election Commissioners
with that of the Chief Election
Commissioner.
The President appoints Chief
Election Commissioner and
Election Commissioners after
the Law Ministry initiates the file
for their appointment.
The
Chief
Election
Commissioner can be removed
from office only through
impeachment by Parliament.
The government can remove
the ECs based on the
recommendation of the CEC.
The Law Commission said the
appointment of all the Election
Commissioners, including the
CEC, should be made by the
President in consultation with a
three-member collegium or
selection committee, consisting
of the Prime Minister, the Leader
of the Opposition of the Lok
Sabha (or the leader of the
largest opposition party in the
Lok Sabha) and the Chief Justice
of India.
It said elevation of an Election
Commissioner should be on the
basis of seniority, unless the
three member collegium or a
10

committee, for reasons to be


recorded in writing, finds such
Commissioner unfit.
The precedent is to appoint the
senior-most EC as the CEC.
Govt. rethinking strategy on
Land Bill
In a major shift in stance, the
government will not bring the
controversial Land Acquisition
(Amendment) Bill in the first
half of the Budget Session of
Parliament ending on March 20.
It may either allow the
ordinance to lapse or
repromulgate it after Parliament
is prorogued.
This was indicated by Union
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M.
Venkaiah Naidu to party leaders
during the meeting of the Rajya
Sabha Business Advisory
Committee.
On the face of it, the
government maintains that it
needs to confer with the
Opposition to build a
consensus,
but
with
tremendous pressure from the
RSS and its affiliates and
farmers organisations, the BJP
is reframing its strategy on
the Bill.
Significantly, Prime Ministers
Man ki Baat radio talk on March
22 is on farmers issues.
He has invited comments from
farmers, saying he would like to
hear them.
According to sources, the
government is keen that the
Coal Mines (Special Provisions)
Bill and the Mines and Minerals
(Development and Regulation)
Amendment Bill be approved
by the Upper House after they
are returned by the respective
Select Committees on March 18.
Since coal auctions are under

way, the government is keen


that legislation is in place and
the Opposition parties are on
board on this.
But because of differences on
the Land Bill, the government is
having a rethink on its strategy.
Ban on airing
Indias Daughter to Continue

Remarking that media trials tend


to influence judgements, the
Delhi High Court said that
although it had no objection to
screening
the
BBC
documentary
Indias
Daughter, the matter could
only be decided post a verdict
regarding the fate of the
convicts,
from
the
Supreme Court.
The Division Bench further said
a decision on lifting the ban
could only be taken by an
appropriate Chief Justices
Bench.
It also refused to pass any
interim orders on the appeal
asking for the ban to be lifted.
Had it been originally placed
before us, we would have asked
you to place material before us
on why the ban should be lifted.
But it has come here from the
roster bench of the Chief
Justice, so we will not pass any
interim orders. Let the roster
bench decide it, the court said.
The judges spoke at length over
the subject of media trials
influencing court decisions.
Media trials do tend to

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National Issues
influence
judges.
Subconsciously, a pressure is
created and it does have an
effect on the sentencing of the
accused. Whether he [the
accused] has shown remorse or
not would be considered at the
time of his sentencing. Why not
wait till the Supreme Court
decision?
Make paid news a poll offence:
Law panel
The Law Commission has
recommended that newspaper
advertisements on the eve of
elections be banned. In a
report released on Thursday,
the commission wanted
Independent candidates to be
barred from contesting
elections, and paid news made
an electoral offence leading to
disqualification.
Headed by Justice A.P. Shah,
the commission submitted its
255th report, on the issue of
electoral reforms, to the Union
Law Ministry.
Noting that the ban on
broadcast of election matter 48
hours prior to an election was
restricted to the electronic
media now, the commission
recommended
such
prohibition for the print media
also.
The report recommends
regulating opinion polls and
making disclosures about the
methodology mandatory.
The commission, while
stopping
short
of
recommending state funding of
elections or limits to political
parties expenditure on
elections, recommended
several changes to election
funding legislation.
Noting that the current system

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tolerates, or at least does not


prevent, lobbying and capture,
where a sort of quid pro quo
transpires between big donors
and
political
parties/
candidates, the report
recommends making it
mandatory for all parties to
declare donations of even less
than the current Rs. 20,000 limit,
if the total of such contributions
adds up to Rs. 20 crore, or makes
up 20 per cent of the partys
income, whichever is lower.
Welcoming many of the
recommendations, Jagdeep
Chhokar, co-founder of the
Association for Democratic
Reforms, whose work the report
refers extensively to, said,
however, that the organisation
would continue to press for
limits on political parties
expenditure.
Independent candidates are
often dummy candidates, the
commission said. It criticised
compulsory voting, recently
introduced during local
elections in Gujarat, and did not
support the right to recall or a
move
to
proportional
representation.
The report recommended
measures to strengthen the
Election Commission and for a
collegium or selection
committee, which includes the
Leader of Opposition, to
appoint commissioners.
Citizen ID systems tend to
exclude marginalised: WB
Despite heavy investment on
large-scale citizen identification
systems, akin to the UIDAadhaar project, these often
run the risk of increased
exclusion of the most
vulnerable and marginalised

groups, a new World Bank study


cautions.
While the study, titled
Identification systems dont
always serve the bottom 40%,
does not specifically discuss
Aadhaar, it analyses similar
systems in several Asian and
African countries and finds less
than robust evidence to justify
their multi-million dollar
budgets.
It cautions of a real risk in overselling development benefits
of identification systems,
especially those related to
service delivery, which is
primarily what the Indian
government intends to use
Aadhaar for.
Attracted by the promise of
new technology, countries and
development partners ... have
invested
heavily
in
identification systems ...
[however] rigorous evidence on
the link between registration/
documentation
and
development outcomes is
limited and mixed, the study
says.
Authors Megan Brewer,
Nicholas Menzies and Jared
Schott argue that strengthening
large-scale identification
systems could result in several
perverse consequences that
undermine development
gains.
Since registration among
marginalised groups, like rural
poor, could be significantly
lower than national averages,
using
such
data
for
development planning could
result in further exclusion of
these groups, the researchers
say.
11

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National Issues
NGO seeks CBI, ED probe into
Aditya Birla group

Common Cause, the NGO


whose PIL plea led to the
cancellation of coal block
allocations, moved the Supreme
Court accusing Aditya Birla
group of hawala transactions,
money laundering and bribery
and sought a CBI and
Enforcement Directorate
probe.
The application filed by
advocate Prashant Bhushan for
the NGO cited how coal
extracted from a captive block
allocated to the Sasan ultra
mega power project was
allowed to be diverted,
resulting in a huge post-bidding
concession worth Rs. 29,000
crore to Reliance Power Limited
(a Reliance ADAG company).
It alleged that huge amounts of
cash were routed through
hawala by the Birla Group.
The application also pointed to
alleged
recovery
of
unaccounted Rs. 25 crore
during the raids on the
company office.
SC upholds life term in
Manjunath murder case
A decade after he was gunned
down for fighting the oil
adulteration racket in Uttar
Pradesh, IIM-Lucknow alumnus
and Indian Oil Corporation
manager
Manjunath
Shanmugham won justice, with
12

the Supreme Court confirming


the life imprisonment of six
persons accused for his death.
In a judgment, a Bench of
Justices S.J. Mukhopadhaya and
N.V. Ramana quoted the
prosecution about how the
brutal death of the young
Karnataka-born manager had
shaken the nations conscience.
The judgment reproduces the
prosecutions submissions
about the lonely battle waged
by Mr. Manjunath, who was shot
dead at Gola area of Lakhimpur
Kheri district on November 19,
2005 after he threatened to
cancel a petrol pumps licence
for selling spurious fuel.
Though the trial court had
sentenced him to death, Mr.
Mittals punishment was
commuted to life imprisonment
by the Allahabad High Court.
RTI Act applies to A-Gs office
Stating that even under
common parlance the office of
the Attorney General of India
has always been understood to
mean a constitutional
authority, the Delhi High Court
refused to accept that this office
was outside the ambit of the
Right to Information Act and
further directed it to reconsider
the RTI application that it had
rejected on these grounds.
The issue came into question
when a petition challenging an
order by the Central Information
Commission was up for hearing
before the single Bench of
Justice Vibhu Bakhru.
The CIC had held that the office
of the AGI was not a public
authority under Section 2(h) of
the RTI Act.
The petition was also
challenging a letter by the AGI

refusing all information to the


petitioner under the RTI act.
An office that is established
under the Constitution would
clearly fall within the definition
of Section 2(h) of the RTI
Act, said Justice Vibhu
Bakhu while rejecting AGIs
arguments.
Land Bill
Clears Lok Sabha hurdle

The controversial Land


Acquisition (Amendment) Bill
was approved by the Lok Sabha
, but not before the Modi
government reached out to
unhappy NDA allies and
unattached parties such as the
BJD and the AIADMK to seek
their support for this
crucial legislation.
The Congress, the Trinamool
Congress, the Samajwadi Party,
the RJD and the BJD walked out
of the House while NDA ally
Shiv Sena abstained as the Bill
was passed by voice vote.
In the official amendments it
moved, the government
accommodated some concerns
of the Opposition and allies,
such as dropping social
infrastructure from the five
categories of land use
exempted
from
the
consent clause.
However, other key points of
contention the Social Impact
Assessment and the restoration
of the consent clause
remained unresolved as the Bill

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National Issues
moves to the Rajya Sabha,
where the government is
outnumbered and the
Opposition plans to force the
Bill to a Select Committee.
Barring the Swabhiman Paksha
and the Shiv Sena that held its
counsel during the meeting, all
the other allies agreed to back
the government if it addressed
their concerns.
SC unhappy with fund use for
Taj zone green project
Noting its unhappiness with the
Uttar Pradesh government, the
Supreme Court came to the
brink of ordering a CBI probe
into the alleged irregularities in
its utilisation of funds meant for
compensatory afforestation at
the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ)
in Agra.
Justice Thakur considered
directing a CBI probe into the
irregularities, but said the
court would give the
government
one
last
opportunity to fulfil its
commitment to plant saplings to
replace trees felled across the
land spread over several
hundred hectares.
It said the only explanation for
discrepancy and failure from
the officials was non-release
of funds.
Calling their attitude cavalier,
the court asked why these
officials could not have
approached the court had their
intentions been in earnest.
A Bench gave the State four
weeks to comply with its orders.
The State s Additional
Advocate-General Gaurav
Bhatia promised that the court
orders would be complied with
and a better affidavit, removing
all discrepancies on the number
of trees uprooted and the
number of trees planted.

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Mumbai to come under CCTV


surveillance, says Governor
The installation of CCTV-based
surveillance systems for Mumbai
is expected to be completed
within 90 weeks and the
project is already being
implemented
in
Pune,
Maharashtra Governor C.
Vidyasagar Rao told the joint
session of the Maharashtra
Assembly on the opening day
of the budget session.
It is proposed that GPRS-based
system will be installed in Meru
and other Private Taxis and the
front seats reserved in share
taxis in Mumbai for women, he
said to underline the measures
for improving the safety and
comfort of women commuters
in Mumbai.
Emphasising several measures
taken by the Devendra Fadnavis
government to decongest
Mumbai and improve its
infrastructure, Mr. Rao said the
government has expedited the
work of Navi Mumbai
International Airport Project, the
second international airport for
the city, and has received
consent letters from Project
Affected People (PAP) for land
acquisition.
On the plan to decongest
Mumbai by developing new
smart cities, Mr. Rao said the
government has proposed a
new city on an area of 600 sq
km around the Navi Mumbai
international airport, and the city
would be christened NAINA.
World War I
Commemorations begin
Over 74,000 Indian soldiers laid
down their lives fighting the
war.
The Centenary Commemoration

of the First World War (19141918), in memory of the 1.5


million Indian soldiers who
fought in the war, began with
President Pranab Mukherjee
laying a wreath at Amar Jawan
Jyoti in India Gate.

The commemoration, from


March 10-14, is also in memory
of the over 74,000 soldiers who
laid down their lives fighting the
war, whose names are etched
in stone on the walls of India
Gate. They fought in several
theatres across Asia, Africa and
Europe.
The centenary commemorations will continue till 2018.
March 10 coincides with the
Battle of Neuve Chapelle
marking the British offensive in
the Artois region of France, in
which the Garhwal Brigade and
the Meerut Division of the
Indian Corps participated.
Between 1914 and 1918,
around 90,000 Indian soldiers
fought on the French soil, more
than 8,500 of whom perished.
General Jean-Pierre Bosser,
Chief of Staff of the French
Army, is currently on an official
visit in India to pay tribute to the
sacrifice of Indian soldiers who
laid down their lives for Frances
freedom during World War I.
The highlight is an exhibition at
Manekshaw Centre in which
the moments and conditions of
World War I have been
recreated.
The Corner of Remembrance
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National Issues
in the exhibition will have old
letters and an old home with
belongings of soldiers while the
Sacrifice Hall includes replicas
of Indian memorials and

paintings of Victoria Cross


winners in India and abroad.
The Army has also created a
replica of a World War I bunker
showcasing
the
living
conditions of the soldiers then.

Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu top in girls education

the Union Ministry of Home


Affairs on the lynching of a
person from Assam in Dimapur
on March 5.
The report, it is understood, says
the police and prison security
staff were overwhelmed by the
huge crowd.
Police could not open fire
initially since there were a
number of women and children
among the protesters.
A 7000-strong mob had
stormed the jail on March 5 and
pulled out Syed Sarif Khan, who
was accused of raping a Naga
student. He was stripped and
dragged all the way and when
police caught up with the mob,
the accused was already dead.
Ruskin Bond lends a hand to
Swachh Bharat campaign

Delhi, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are


Indias best-ranked States in
terms of gender-related
education indicators, new data
from the Ministry of Human
Resource Development and
UNICEF, shows.
Using district-level indicators of
girls education, health and
social disadvantages, the
government aims to identify the
most backward pockets of the
country, requiring the most
attention.
While the atlas uses data earlier
collected by other government
agencies, it also creates a new
composite index using 21
indicators to do with girls
education, along four axes
access, infrastructure, teachers
and outcomes. Tamil Nadu,
Kerala, Delhi and Punjab are in
the top 25% of the indexs
range for elementary education,
and the two Southern states and
14

Delhi make the top quarter of


the index for secondary
education as well. Central and
northern States, including
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and
Bihar, are among the worst
performers.
The atlas also creates a
Vulnerability Index of factors
which impinge on girls
education, including the
likelihood of joining the
workforce
early
and
early marriage.
The two southern States, along
with Delhi and Himachal
Pradesh, are the best
performers here, with Gujarat,
Rajasthan and the central and
northern States among the
worst.

Celebrated author Ruskin Bond


has joined the Swachh Bharat
campaign, wielding a broom
specially made by the students
of the Moran Blind School
in Assam.
Actor Victor Banerjee who
runs the school at Moranhat in
upper Assams Dibrugarh
district handed over the
broom to the famous storyteller
at the latters residence
in Mussoorie.
Indias Daughter
documentary: HC refuses
urgent hearing on PIL to lift ban

Nagaland submits report on


lynching
The Nagaland government has
submitted an interim report to

The Delhi High Court refused to


give urgent hearing to a PIL

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National Issues

seeking lifting of the ban on


telecast of a controversial
documentary featuring an
interview of one of the four
convicts in the December 16
gangrape case.
A bench of justices B.D. Ahmed
and Vibhu Bakhru said there is
no so urgency in the matter and
it will be heard on March 11.
The courts response came after
two law students Arun
Menon and Kritika Padode
in their public interest
litigation (PIL) sought urgent
hearing, saying the ban on the
documentary is a clear violation
of their fundamental rights
under Article 19 of the
Indian Constitution.
The duo approached the High
Court after a trial court on March
4 had banned until further
orders the broadcast of the
interview of December 16,
2012 gangrape convict Mukesh
Singh, which was allegedly
conducted in July 2013 inside
Tihar jail in New Delhi.
Earlier, a trial court had
restrained the media from
broadcasting or publishing the
interview of Mukesh Singh after
the Delhi police moved court
for a restraining order against his
interview.
The
Information
and
Broadcasting Ministry has also
issued an advisory to all
television channels to not
broadcast the documentary on
the victim.
The government has also sought
an explanation from Tihar jail
authorities over how the convict
was interviewed while being in
judicial custody.
A similar petition was filed last
week, by a law student, who has
sought lifting of the ban on the
ground that it is nothing but a
honest look at the mind and

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mindset of one of the convicted


rapists of the young woman.
The plea also said that a
direction be issued to the
Supreme Court registry to
constitute a three judge special
bench to hear the appeals of the
four death row convicts, which
is pending since August
25, 2014.
Initially the apex court in July
had stayed the execution of the
four convicts in the gang-rape
and murder case.
The other petition, prepared by
Vibhor Anand, had also said that
it is legally wrong to oppose
the screening of the film after
giving it legal approval and after
the documentary-makers
fulfilled all legal commitments.
It claimed that the parents of the
gangrape victim have also not
objected to the telecast of the
documentary.
It also said that as per social
media the public at large
wanted to see the documentary
as within 24 hours of its being
put up on YouTube, it was
viewed by more 2.86
lakh people.
The victim, a physiotherapy
student was raped and
assaulted with an iron rod after
she was tricked into boarding
an unregistered private bus to
go home after watching a movie
with a male friend on December
16, 2012.

Worlds first
Solar-powered Aircraft

The Swiss solar-powered


aircrafts flight got delayed by a
day due to bad weather
conditions in the UAE.
Solar Impulse, claimed to be the
worlds only solar-powered
aircraft, will make a stop over in
Ahmedabad as a part of its
maiden global journey.
After making a landing here, the
solar-powered
aircrafts
founders and pilots Bertrand
Piccard and Androrschberg are
likely to stay in the city for two
days before leaving for Varanasi
in Uttar Pradesh, the
release said.
The Swiss solar-powered
aircrafts flight got delayed by a
day due to bad weather
conditions in the UAE. The
aircraft was scheduled to land
in Ahmedabad .
Piccard and Borschberg, during
their stay in the city, will reach
out to the government, NGOs,
universities and schools to
spread the message of
clean technologies.
The aircraft is also likely to hover
above river Ganga in Varanasi to
spread the message of
cleanliness and clean energy,
an official associated with
the project said.
Solar Impulse is claimed to be
the first aircraft to fly day and
night without a drop of fuel,
propelled solely by the suns
energy,
as
per
the
projects website.
The single-seater aircraft made
of carbon fibre has a 72 metre
wingspan, larger than that of
Boeing-747 and weighs just
2,300 kg, equivalent to the
weight of a car.
The 17,248 solar cells built into
the wing supply electric motors
with renewable energy. The
solar cells recharge four lithium
15

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National Issues
polymer batteries totalling 633
kg each, which allow the aircraft
to fly at night and therefore
have virtually unlimited
autonomy, it said.
This round-the-world flight will
take-off from Abu Dhabi and
make a halt at Muscat (Oman),
Ahmedabad and Varanasi in
India, Mandalay in Myanmar and
Chongqing and Nanjing
in China.
After crossing the Pacific Ocean
via Hawaii, the aircraft will fly
across the US stopping at
Phoenix, the Midwest and New
York City, said the website.
The test flight of the aircraft was
conducted in the US in 2013.

As tensions rise,
Assam on alert to Protect Nagas
The Assam government has put
its administration on high alert
following the lynching of a rape
accused, Syed Sarif Khan, from
the State by a mob after
dragging him out of the
Dimapur jail in Nagaland .
The government has asked the
Deputy Commissioners, the
Superintendents of Police and
the Divisional Commissioners to
provide security to people from
Nagaland living in the State and
to ensure the safety of travellers
between the two States.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Rockybul Hussain listed the
steps in a statement in the
Assembly after the Opposition
raised the issue.
The government informed the
Assembly that Nagaland
promised to arrest the guilty and
instituted
a
judicial
investigation,
besides
suspending three officials.
Mr. Hussain said Chief Minister
Tarun Gogoi had written to his
16

Nagaland counterpart, T.R.


Zeliang, requesting that those
behind the lynching be arrested
and the lives and property of
Assamese be secured.
The Chief Minister had written
to Union Home Minister Rajnath
Singh to take up the matter with
the Nagaland government.
He said Sarif Khan, 28, from
Bhanga village in Karimganj
district had been living in
Dimapur for over two years after
marrying a Naga woman.
Mr. Gogoi told presspersons
that it was important to fix
responsibility for security
lapses. The Union government
owed an explanation because
the Central Reserve Police
Force was deployed for jail
security.
The movement of lorries to
Nagaland remained suspended.
Members of the All-Assam
Goods Carrier Truck Drivers and
Handyman Union staged a
protest in the city.

with several other leaders after


those protests and remained
one of the few senior leaders
still behind bars.
Arrested under the Public
Safety Act (PSA) a
preventive detention law in J&K
which gives a Deputy
Commissioner the authority to
take anyone in his district into
preventive custody for up to
two years without trial if he feels
the person poses a threat to the
security of the State Mr. Alam
has been in various prisons for
more than four years now.
Police sources said since 2010,
more than six consecutive PSA
charges had been slapped
on him.
Reacting strongly to the release
of Masarat Alam, the BJP said the
decision was anti-national,
unacceptable and detrimental
to the coalition.
Nirbhaya film: Bar council
issues notice to defence lawyers

Mufti orders
Release of political prisoners
Senior separatist leader Masarat
Alam was released from prison
just days after Jammu and
Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti
Mohammad Sayeed directed
the police to release political
prisoners against whom no
criminal
charges
had
been registered.
Earlier in the day, police sources
had confirmed that he had
been moved from the Baramulla
prison to a police station
in Srinagar.
Head of the Muslim League in
the State, Mr Alam was among
the main organisers of proAzadi protests in the Valley in
2010. He was arrested along

Even as the Bar Council of India


initiated suo motu proceedings
for professional misconduct
against two defence lawyers in
the Nirbhaya gang-rape case for
their alleged derogatory remarks
against women in the BBC
documentary Indias Daughter,
senior members of the legal
community said lawyers, above
all, should be sensitive to the
equality and dignity of women.
They said the proceedings gives

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National Issues
the BCI, the highest regulatory
body for legal practice, an
opportunity to amend rules to
check lawyers from making
unsubstantiated, off-the-cuff
remarks, especially when they
represent sensitive cases
involving crimes against
women.
The two lawyers Manohar Lal
Sharma and A.P. Singh
represent the four persons on
death row for the brutal gangrape and murder of a 23-yearold medical student in Delhi in
December 2012.
New Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
route by June
The new route for Kailash
Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu
La in Sikkim will be
operationalised during this yatra
season beginning in June,
Minister of External Affairs
Sushma Swaraj informed the
Parliament.
The route through Nathu La will
augment the capacity and
reduce the hardship enabling
many pilgrims, particularly aged
ones, to undertake the yatra,
the government said.
The understanding for the new
route was reached between
India and China during the visit
of Chinese President Xi Jinping
to India last year.
The new route was necessitated
as the current route through
Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand is
cumbersome and also the
number of pilgrims increasing.
In the last three years about
1700 pilgrims had visited
Mansarovar. With the addition
of the second route, 1000
pilgrims are expected to
undertake the yatra this
year alone.

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As per the understanding, five


batches of 50 pilgrims each are
expected to travel through
Nathu La this year.
A dedicated website has been
set up and the application
procedure has been simplified.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is
scheduled to visit China in May
but External Affairs Ministry
officials have denied reports
that he would travel to Kailash
Mansarovar.
Activists continue bid to post
Indias Daughter on the Web
Free speech activists continued
efforts to make available Indias
Daughter on the Internet
,demand grew more vocal for a
revocation of the ban on the
controversial documentary on
the December 16, 2012 gang
rape in Delhi.
Though
the
hour-long
documentary, aired on BBC
Four on Wednesday evening,
could not be accessed on
YouTube for much of the day,
at least one URL (Uniform
Resource Locator) provided it
for watching in the evening.
On clicking the YouTube link to
the video, the video-sharing site
threw up a black screen for the
most part of the day with a
message, This content is not
available on this country domain
due to a court order.
Asked if the government had
issued any new communication
to pull down more URLs, a
Google India source said:
There was no update. The film
was, however, accessible on
other video-sharing websites as
people found ways of
circumventing the ban to share
the film.
As more people managed to

access the film, the clamour for


revoking the ban grew, resulting
in more endorsements for an
online petition to the Union
Home Minister to reverse the
decision and celebrate
International Womens Day
(March 8) by shining a light on
the problems our country faces,
instead of shying away
from them.
The decision to ban the film,
which the government said was
part of an international
conspiracy to defame India,
drew world media attention
with most leading media houses
reporting on it or carrying
editorials.
Ex-editor of RSS organ replaces
NBT Chairman
The Government appointed
Baldev Bhai Sharma, former
editor
of
Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sanghs weekly
magazine, Panchajanya, as the
next Chairman of the National
Book Trust (NBT) cutting short
the term of incumbent A.
Sethumadhavan better known
by his pen name Sethu by
six months.
Officially, the Ministry of Human
Resource Development (HRD)
was filling a vacancy that fell
open last week.
According
to
Mr.
Sethumadhavan, he had put in
his papers last week after he
was called to the Ministry by the
joint secretary overseeing NBT
affairs and given a clear
indication that the Government
wanted to appoint someone
else.
Conceding that it was the
Governments prerogative to
replace
him,
Mr.
Sethumadhavan said he had
17

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National Issues
hoped to complete his threeyear term as there had been no
interference from the Ministry
since the change of guard at
the Centre.
He had been appointed NBT
Chairman on September 12,
2012, for three years, and had a
little over six months to go.
Centre to amend RBI Act to set
up monetary policy panel

An agreement between the


Centre and the Reserve Bank of
India last month formalised a
policy that the central bank had
been following since January
2014, of prioritizing controlling
price rise.
The Centre would amend the
RBI Act for the setting up of the
proposed monetary policy
committee, a key element of the
new framework.
Replying to a query, Mr. Mehrishi
said the budget announcement
about proposed strategic
disinvestment in public sector
units would enable the Centre
to induct private strategic
partners.
Nanditha Krishna, M.D.
Srinivas in ICHR
The Union MHRD has
reconstituted the Indian Council
for Historical Research,
inducting 18 new members.
Included in the restructured
Council is C.I. Issac, former
Head of the Department of

18

History at CMS College,


Kottayam, Kerala and author of
The Evolution of Christian
Church in India, which
questions the origins of
Christianity in India from
St Thomas.
Jadavpur University Professor
Purabi Roy who has worked
extensively on Subash Chandra
Bose also joins the Council.
The new nominees to the
Council include Dilip K.
Chakrabarti, Professor Emeritus
of South Asian Archaeology,
Cambridge University,
Nanditha Krishna, Director of
C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar
Foundation, Chennai,
Michel Danino, Guest Professor
at the Indian Institute of
Technology, Gandhinagar, and
author
of
books
on
ancient India,
M. D. Srinivas, chairman of
Chennai-based Centre for
Policy Studies,
Cambodia-based Sachchidananda Sahai who authored
the five-volume Lao Ramayana
and helped restore Angkor
Vat, and
Rahman Ali, Head of the
Department of the School of
Studies in Ancient Indian
History,
Culture
and
Archaeology at Vikram
University, Ujjain.

PDP gets
10 Cabinet berths, BJP six
Among the 24 legislators sworn
in as Ministers in Jammu and
Kashmir, 16 will join the Mufti
Mohammad Sayeed Cabinet.
While 10 of the PDP are in the
Cabinet, the BJP has six,
including Peoples Conference
chairman and party ally
Sajjad Lone.

The Cabinet Ministers from the


PDP are Haseeb Drabu, Haq
Khan, Imran Raza Ansari, Abdul
Rehman Bhat (Veeri), Javed
Mustafa Mir, Basharat Bukhari,
Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, Ghulam
Nabi Lone, Altaf Bukhari and
Naeem Akhter.
The PDP has three Ministers of
State Abdul Majeed Padder,
Ashraf Mir and Asiya Naqash.
The six Cabinet ministers from
the BJP are Mr. Lone, Nirmal
Singh, who will be Deputy Chief
Minister, Lal Singh, Bali Bhagat,
Sukhnandan Kumar and
Chander Prakash.
The party has five Ministers of
State Shirin Dorji, Sunil Kumar
Sharma, Abdul Gani Kohli, Priya
Sethi and Independent
candidate Pawan Kumar Gupta.
Mr. Sayeed described as a
breakthrough the joining of Mr.
Lone, who formerly held a
separatist position, in the
government, but refrained from
suggesting that it would
become an example for other
separatist leaders.
Pakistani singer Adnan Sami
applies for Indian citizenship
Pakistani singer-musician
Adnan Sami has applied for
Indian citizenship for a second
time despite an earlier plea of
his having been rejected by the
Centre.

The 43-year-old singer - whose


earlier request was rejected

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National Issues
some two years back - has made
his application to the
Foreigners Division of the
Home Ministry.
Last month, Home Ministry had
asked Law Ministry as to
whether Sami can be granted
Indian citizenship. But Law
Ministry refused to entertain the
request, saying that the power
of granting Indian citizenship
lies with the Home Ministry
under the Citizenship Act.
The Law Ministry, however, said
that it can help Home Ministry
with the interpretation of any
provision of the Citizenship Act
to enable it to decide the case.
Under the Indian Citizenship
Act, a foreigner is entitled to
receive citizenship provided
that he or she has rendered
distinguished service to the
cause of science, philosophy,
art, literature, world peace or
human progress.
Nai Manzil to bridge lack of
skills in minorities
The Nai Manzil scheme
announced in the budget is
something that the Minority
Affairs Ministry has been talking
about ever since the Modi
Government assumed office last
year.
In reply to a question in the
Rajya Sabha on July 16, 2014,
the Ministry had listed Nai
Manzil as one of the steps
being taken by the
Government for the welfare of
minorities.
It was billed as a bridge course
to bridge the academic and skill
development gaps of the deeni
Madrasa passouts with their
mainstream counterparts.
Seven-and-a-half months later,
Mr. Jaitley flagged Nai Manzil
as a scheme that will be

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launched this year to enable


minority youth who do not have
a formal school-leaving
certificate to obtain one and
find better employment.
The other minority communityrelated programme that he
flagged in the Budget speech
on Saturday pertained to showcasing the civilisation and
culture of Parsis. The
Government will support an
exhibition The Everlasting
Flame, he said.
The allocation for the Ministry
is being protected with an
estimate of Rs. 3,738 crore. Last
years budget had allocated Rs.
3,734 crore to the Ministry
which was cut down to Rs.
3,165
crore
in
the
revised estimates.
A bulk of this is for the Multi
Sectoral
Development
Programme for Minorities and
the other main claimants to the
allocation are the pre-matric
and post-matric scholarships for
minorities.
Vistara to have fleet size of 20
aircraft by 2018

Vistara, a joint venture between


Tata Sons and Singapore
Airlines, said its fleet size will be
increased to 20 by 2018, from
five at present.
Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief
Executive Officer, Vistara (Tata
SIA) Airlines Ltd also said that
the aviation industry in India is
facing challenges such as high

fuel cost and a high tax regime.


The airlines launched its first
flight from Hyderabad to New
Delhi. Having started with its
operations on January 9, with 68
frequencies weekly, Vistara now
operates 164 flights in a week.
Replying to a query on
challenges that the Indian
Aviation Industry is facing, Mr.
Yeoh said government should
work on addressing the issues
such as high aviation turbine
fuel coast which is 40-60 per
cent more expensive than other
countries.
He also said that government
must remove the 5/20 rule
five years of flying experience,
and a fleet size of 20 for
allowing domestic airlines to fly
globally.
Justifying the launch of flights
from Hyderabad, he said it is
due to the low sales tax on ATF
which formed one of the key
consideration to expand the
network from the capital of
Telangana.
E-commerce transactions on
aggregator platforms turn
costly
E-commerce transactions
through websites and mobile
apps based on aggregator
model, including for cab
services and online shopping,
may turn expensive as those
providing such services under
their own brand are being
brought under the service tax
net.
The Finance Bill has proposed
changes in the Service Tax rules
with respect to certain e
commerce
transactions
involving aggregator model,
which may impact online
aggregator taxi services like
Uber and Ola Cabs.
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National Issues
There are also many online retail
websites
that
follow
aggregator model. Under this
model, an entity does not
produce or warehouses any
product itself, but collects or
aggregates information on
goods or services on one single
platform from several sources.
The
aggregator
draws
customers to its platform and
allows them an easy comparison
of prices and specifications of
product or service offered by
several sellers.
As per the Finance Bill 2015,
presented by Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley in Parliament, In
respect of any service provided
under aggregator model, the
aggregator, or any of his
representative office located in
India, is being made liable to
pay Service Tax if the service is
so provided using the brand
name of the aggregator in
any manner.
If an aggregator does not have
any presence, including that by
way of a representative, in such
a case any agent appointed by
the aggregator shall pay the tax
on behalf of the aggregator.
In this regard, appropriate
amendments have been made
to the Service Tax Rules, 1994,
it said, while adding that the
change has come into effect
immediately, that is with
effect from today.
As a result, such services will
turn expensive once the
aggregators decide to pass on
the service tax levy to the
consumers.
According to leading law firm
Khaitan & Company, In respect
of certain ecommerce service
transactions, the person liable
to pay Service tax has now been
clearly specified.
20

For services offered under


aggregator model, the
aggregator, or its representative
office in India would be now
made liable to pay Service tax
if the service is provided by
using the brand name of the
aggregator in any manner.
If an aggregator does not have
any presence, then its agent will
have to pay the tax, the law
firm clarified.
States will have
More spending Freedom: CEA
Chief Economic Adviser Arvind
Subramanian said that
calculations showed that the
total transfers from the Centre
to the States as a percentage of
the divisible pool of its net tax
revenue would remain nearly
the same even after the
acceptance of the 14th Finance
C o m m i s s i o n s
recommendations.
However, transfers from the
Central government would no
longer be scheme-and-grantbased, and it would rather be
devolution-based, leading to
more spending freedom for the
States and that would be a
watershed change in the story
of Indian federalism.
In a presentation to reporters
after Union Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley tabled the
Economic Survey 2014-15 in
Parliament, Dr. Subramanian
said that in the last three years,
the Centre transferred, on an
average, 64 per cent of the
divisible pool of its net taxes to
the States under various heads.
This included the States share
of 32 per cent of the pool on
account of the 13th Finance
Commissions award and the
Centres assistance to the States

by way of plan transfers.


The Centre would have had to
transfer to the States funds
amounting to 65 per cent of the
pool had the recommendations
of the 14th Finance Commission
(which is for a 42 per cent
States share against the 13th
Finance Commissions 32 per
cent) applied in the current
year, he said.
The 14th Finance Commissions
recommendations do not apply
in the current year; they will be
applicable for the five-year
period starting April 1.
With the share for the States in
the pool rising, the Centres
plan transfers to the States by
way of assistance would
diminish, the Economic Survey
indicated. Balancing the
enhanced fiscal autonomy of
the States with preserving fiscal
space of the Centre entails a
reduction in the Central
assistance to the States, it said.
The Survey said the biggest
gainers from the 14th Finance
Commissions award in absolute
terms under the general
category States are Uttar
Pradesh, West Bengal and
Madhya Pradesh. Jammu &
Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and
Assam are the most benefited
in the special category.
The 14th Finance Commissions
recommendations would add
substantial spending capacity
to the States budgets, the
Survey said.
SC moved for CBI probe into
Essar leaks
The Centre for Public Interest
Litigation, NGO which
successfully fought the 2G
Spectrum scam case, moved
the Supreme Court for a CBI

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National Issues
investigation into the nexus
between multi-billion dollar
Essar Group and top
bureaucrats, journalists and
politicians, including Transport
Minister Nitin Gadkari and a host
of UPA leaders.
The petition is based on internal
emails and documents leaked
from Essar by a whistleblower.
The petition, supported by a
host of annexures, mostly emails,
alleged that Essar not only
sponsored high-end gifts but
also luxury travel of politicians
and their family members.
A series of emails details that Mr.
Gadkari and his family used
Essar vice-chairman Ravi Ruias
280-feet super luxury personal
yacht Sunrays for cruise in
2013 when he was BJP
president.
Liberalise FDI in retail for farm
sector: Survey
The Economic Survey said that
by adopting what it called the
JAM Number Trinity Jan Dhan
Yojana accounts seeded with
Aadhaar numbers and operated
through mobile numbers
would allow the States to
deliver the subsidies to the poor
in a targeted and less distorted
manner.
Pointing to the lop-sidedness of
policies, it said Indias public
expenditure on agriculture was
a fourth of the subsidy bill on
food and fertilizer.
In its recommendations for farm
sector reforms, it said
liberalisation of foreign direct
investment (FDI) in retail could
help fill the massive investment
and infrastructure deficit which
resulted in supply-chain
inefficiencies.The Narendra
Modi governments stand has

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been to disallow FDI in multibrand retail.


The Survey also found that
Indias manufacturing was skillintensive, which was not in line
with the countrys comparative
advantage in unskilled labour
and
recommended
rebalancing of policies:
While Make in India occupies
prominence as an important
goal, the future trajectory of
Indian Development depends
on both it and Skilling India.

Minister Nitin Gadkari sought to


make out a case for the
governments land ordinance at
a press briefing, Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley made a
spirited defence of the land
reforms that have been
denounced as anti-farmer and
pro-corporate by a united
Opposition and civil society
groups.

SCO: Russia to push for Indias


full membership
Russia will push for Indias full
membership in the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation
(SCO) during the upcoming
meeting it is hosting in July, said
Sergey E. Naryshkin, Chairman
of the Russian State Duma. India
is currently an observer in the
multilateral grouping.
The SCO, founded in 2001,
comprises Russia, China and
several Central Asian republics
and is seen as a counter to the
North
Atlantic
Treaty
Organisation (NATO).
Russia is also pushing for deeper
engagement among the BRICS
(Brazil-Russia-India-ChinaSouth Africa) group as well as
the
Russia-India-China
(RIC) troika.
Mr. Naryshkin said it was logical
to turn BRICS into a full scale
strategic forum for discussing
issues of mutual interest.
Russia is scheduled to take over
chairmanship of the BRICS
grouping and the next summit
will be held in Russia in July.
Govt. digs in heels on land
ordinance
A day after Surface Transport

Mr. Jaitleys speech in the Rajya


Sabha is being read as the
governments definitive stand,
the position that Prime Minister
Narendra Modi has decided to
take on this controversial issue.
Mr. Modi is absolutely clear that
he will not allow major changes
to what he sees as one of his
key reforms.
In discussions with Cabinet
colleagues on how to tackle the
dissent, Mr. Modi indicated that
an all-party meeting would
serve little purpose since the
Opposition had shown no signs
of softening.
Worse, BJP allies Shiromani Akali
Dal, Shiv Sena and Lok Janshakti
Party also expressed their
reservations. Now it is learnt that
another NDA partner, the
Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, is
poised to do the same.
Against this backdrop of a
hardened stand, Mr. Jaitley
made a frontal attack on the
Congress, under whose watch
the Land Acquisition Act that
this government is seeking to
amend was enacted in 2013.

21

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National Issues
President clears Amitava Roys
elevation as SC judge
Flagging it as proof that there is
no friction between the
government and the highest
judiciary in appointment of
judges, the government has
acted quickly to get the
Presidents approval for the
elevation of Chief Justice of
Orissa High Court Amitava Roy
as a Supreme Court judge.

The notification on his


appointment would be issued
as soon as the papers reached
the Law Ministry from the
Presidents office.
Union Law Minister V.
Sadananda Gowda said the
judicial appointments through
the collegium system would
continue for the time being.
The apex court had two more
vacancies and there were
several vacancies to fill in the
various High Courts.
With the appointment of 62year-old Justice Roy, the
strength of judges in the
Supreme Court climbs to 29.
The sanctioned strength is 31.
Bureaucrats reshuffled
The Narendra Modi-led
Appointments Committee of
the Cabinet approved a series
of Secretary-level transfers.
Secretary, Department of Health
and Family Welfare, Bhanu
Pratap Sharma, has been given
additional
charge
of
22

Department of Health Research


for three months, whereas Siraj
Hussain has been shifted as
Secretary, Department of
Agriculture and Cooperation
from the Ministry of Food
Processing Industries.
Special Secretary, Department
of Agriculture and Cooperation,
Ranglal Jamuda, has been
appointed Secretary, Ministry
of Food Processing Industries,
in place of Mr. Hussain.
S.M. Vijayanand, Special
Secretary in the Department of
Rural Development, has been
made Secretary, Ministry of
Panchayati Raj, whereas Jugal
Kishore Mohapatra, Secretary,
Department of Fertilisers, has
been appointed Secretary,
Department
of
Rural
Development.
Irom Sharmila gets Sthree
Shakti award

Activist Irom Sharmila, who has


been on an indefinite fast since
November 4, 2000, demanding
the repeal of the Armed Forces
(Special Powers) Act, has been
conferred with the Sthree
Shakti award.
The award is in recognition of
her extraordinary courage and
determination, M.L. George,
managing trustee of Smaraks
Sthree Trust, Kochi, told
reporters.
Section 66A a necessary
deterrent, says government
The government argued before

the Supreme Court that Section


66A of the Information
Technology Act should be
interpreted on a case by case
basis.
In arguments which continued
through the day before a Bench
led by Justice J. Chelameswar,
the government was addressing
the courts view that the penal
provision was too vague.
Section 66A prescribes a threeyear jail term to a person found
guilty of causing annoyance or
inconvenience through social
media.
The court had asked the
government to explain what
constituted grossly offensive.
The government maintained
that the provision was a
necessary deterrent and could
not be cast away on the
apprehension that it would be
misused to affect the freedom
of speech and expression.
The court is hearing a bunch of
petitions challenging the
validity of certain provisions in
the 2000 Act. One of the
petitions filed is by Shreya
Singhal, a law student, which
deals with the arrest of two girls,
Shaheen Dhada and Rinu
Shrinivasan,
in
Thane,
Maharashtra, in connection with
a comment against the
shutdown in Mumbai following
Shiv Sena leader Bal
Thackerays death.
Panel against trying juveniles
as adults
A Parliamentary Standing
Committee has taken on board
civil societys apprehensions of
treating 16-to-18-year-olds as
adults in cases of heinous
crimes, and called for a review
of this provision in The Juvenile

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Justice (Care and Protection of
Children) Bill, 2014, introduced
in the Lok Sabha in August.
This amendment to the JJ Act is
among the slew of changes that
the UPA Government had
initiated in various laws of the
country following the huge
public outcry over the Delhi
gang rape.
A juvenile was among the
accused and the brutality of his
actions prepared the ground for
proposing
differential
treatment to juveniles in the 1618 age group in case of heinous
crimes.
In its report in the Lok Sabha,
the Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Human Resource
Development recommended
that all relevant clauses dealing
with Childrens Courts, and
differential treatment of
children between 16 and 18
years need to be reviewed as
subjecting them to an adult
judicial system goes against
Articles 14 and 15(3) of the
Constitution.
Under pressure, government
agrees to consult all parties
A united Opposition, backed
by sustained protests outside,
compelled
the
Modi
government to agree to consult
leaders of all parties to find a
way out of the Land Acquisition
Bill imbroglio.
However, the government,
despite pressure from both the
Opposition and RSS affiliates,
sources said, is reluctant to give
in and make all the changes
suggested, as then, the final
product will resemble the
original Land Acquisition Act.
At BJP parliamentary party
meeting, Prime Minister

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Narendra Modi urged MPs to


explain the Bills provisions to
their constituents to counter the
Oppositions criticism.
The government-Opposition
stand-off in Parliament on five
other ordinances continued,
with each side registering a
minor victory of its own.
Simultaneously, the NDAs
parliamentary managers tried to
create public opinion to use the
infrequently
deployed
provision of a joint session.
Swachh Bharat, food subsidy
need huge funds

If an allocation of Rs. 40,000


crore is made in the Union
Budget for 2015-16 for the
Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan as
required, there will be enough
money to build toilets for Indias
12.3 crore households without
them, but if this will achieve zero
open defecation is a different
story.
Not everyone with a toilet is
convinced of the need to use
one, yet the share of public
outreach in the recast schemes
Budget fell to under 10 per
cent, Payal Hathi of the Research
Institute for Compassionate
Economics, which studies
sanitation, found, and over half
of this remains unspent,
Accountability Initiative has
shown.
The food subsidy, including the
Public Distribution System, the
mid-day meal scheme and

other nutrition programmes cost


the government Rs. 1.25 lakh
crore in its last Budget, and
would need to rise to Rs 1.5 lakh
crore with an additional Rs.
12,000 crore in maternity
benefits for the government to
meet its obligations under the
National Food Security Act.
Harvard researcher offers free
online legal research tool for
students
An online legal research
initiative started by an Indian
student research fellow with
the Harvard Law School Centre
offers a level playing field for his
counterparts spread across 140
law schools and colleges in the
country.
The Standard India Legal
Citation (SILC), an online Indiacentric legal citation manual
which can be accessed free of
cost, provides legal research
material
ranging
from
parliamentary debates, circulars
of government bodies like RBI
and SEBI to academic papers
on Indian family laws to help
law students with their
academic work.
Citations help readers easily
find reference to cases
and facts.
India, Russia sort out
differences on fighter jet project
India and Russia have generally
agreed upon the amount and
division of work during the
research and development
(R&D) stage of the fifth
generation fighter aircraft
(FGFA) project.
A contract for the R&D phase is
being prepared and expected
to be signed this year, said Yuli
Slyusar, president and chairman
23

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National Issues

of Russias United Aircraft


Corporation (UAC) at Aero India
2015 in Bengaluru.
The work share of Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has
been a contentious issue as the
project will have equal
investment between India and
Russia and is likely to cost over
$30 billion for about 400
aircraft. India plans to induct
144 of them.
But HALs share in the work has
been limited to a meagre 13 per
cent so far which will not build
any critical technological gains.
Both sides have been holding
discussions to sort this out
before the final agreement.
FGFA is crucial for Indian Air
Forces evolving structure as
was recently acknowledged by
the air chief recently.
The final announcement could
come later this year with
President Pranab Mukherjee
visiting Moscow in June, and
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
expected to visit Russia twice.

Modi suit fetches Rs. 4.31-cr in


auction
Prime Minister Narendra Modis
monogrammed suit fetched Rs.
4.31 crore as bidders scrambled
to own the two-piece ensemble
in the final moments of the
three-day auction that ended at
5 p.m.
Lalji Patel, a diamond trader, and
his son, Hitesh Patel, are the new
owners of the suit that Mr. Modi
wore during a meeting with U.S.
President Barack Obama on
January 25.
With a reportedly Rs. 10-lakh
price and the name Narendra
Damodardas
Modi
embroidered down the length
of the fabric to look like golden
24

pinstripes, the navy-blue


bandhgala suit had raised a
controversy.
Bids flew thick and fast in the
last hour of the auction, which
had no base price. District
Collector, Surat, Rajendra Kumar
said bids, one of Rs. 5 crore,
received after the deadline had
been disqualified.
Mr. Lalji Patel, who owns the
Dharmananda
Diamond
Company, told presspersons
that he wanted to do something
for the country, and the auction
gave him an opportunity.
China protests
PMs Arunachal visit
China expressed its diametrical
opposition to Prime Minister
Narendra Modis visit to
Arunachal Pradesh.
Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesperson Hua Chunying
said that China had lodged
strong representation with
India, that it was not
conducive to properly resolving
and controlling disputes
between the two sides, nor in
conformity with the general
situation of growth of bilateral
relations, Xinhua quoted her as
saying.
In a statement posted in English
on the Chinese Foreign Ministry
website, Ms. Hua urged the
Indian side to take Chinas
solemn concerns seriously,
meet the Chinese side halfway
and commit itself to fairly and
properly resolving the bilateral
boundary question through
negotiation.
The Xinhua report said that Mr.
Modi visited a disputed zone
in the eastern part of ChinaIndia borders to participate in
activities marking the founding

of the so-called Arunachal


Pradesh, a State that Indian
authorities illegally and
unilaterally declared in 1987.
Centre defends pictures of
politicians in ads

Noting that there was nothing


mala fide in publishing
photographs of the Prime
Minister, political leaders and
higher authorities in
government advertisements, the
Centre said it was the
prerogative of a democratically
elected government to decide
its expenses and the Supreme
Court could not interfere.
Attorney-General
Mukul
Rohatgi told a Bench headed by
Justice Ranjan Gogoi that an
ulterior motive of trying to gain
political mileage could not be
read into every government
advertisement published with
the photographs of political
leaders. He submitted that any
restriction on government
advertisements even before
their publication would amount
to pre-censorship.
The court was debating if it
should make into law a
recommendation by a Supreme
Court-appointed high-power
committee, led by eminent
academic N.R. Madhava Menon,
that names and pictures of
political parties and their officebearers should not be
mentioned in government
advertisements.

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The committee, in a report to
the court in October 2014, said
that such advertisements were
instances
of
selfaggrandisement and misuse of
public money. It has framed a
series of guidelines to regulate
expenditure and contents of
government advertisements in
order to keep politics out of
ads.
Prashant Bhushan, counsel of
petitioner Common Cause, said
such advertisements were
harmful instances of patronage
of media houses by the
government.
Mr. Rohatgi said such guidelines
were unnecessary as a
constitutional framework was in
place to regulate expenses. All
expenses of the government are
provided
through
the
Appropriation Bills passed by
Parliament. Every penny spent
is audited. There is a
constitutional requirement for
audit. The Comptroller and
Auditor General will check.
These guidelines have limited
value, Mr. Rohatgi said.
Amartya Sen to
Leave Nalanda Post
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen
withdrew his candidature for a
second term as Chancellor of
Nalanda University in Bihar,
since the Narendra Modi
government had not given its
approval to his nomination.
More than a month had passed
since the Board made the
unanimous choice that he
should serve as Chancellor of
the university for a second term.
In a letter to members of the
Governing Board, he said there
was a unanimous resolution in
January that he should have

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another term, but the President


as Visitor was not able to give
his assent to it.
Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen
said academic governance in
the country remained deeply
vulnerable to the opinions of the
ruling government, where it
chose to make political use of
special provisions in a
universitys statute.
Defence at the
heart of Make in India
Stressing on the need for
domestic manufacture of
defence equipment to equip
the country for the future, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi called
upon
foreign
defence
manufacturers to become
strategic partners as he
inaugurated Aero India 2015
in Bengaluru.
India has an annual defence
budget of about $40 billion of
which 60 percent is spent on
capital expenditure for
purchase of equipment. But
having failed to build a
domestic
defence
manufacturing base the country
has the distinction of being the
worlds largest defence
importer.
Addressing the private sectors
concerns for a level playing field
in defence manufacturing, the
Prime Minister has assured
significant policy changes to
facilitate the same.
Legendary filmmaker
Ramanaidu is no more
Legendary film producer
Daggubati Ramanaidu, who
entered the record books for
producing maximum number of
films in the world died, leaving

a void in the Indian film industry.


Rama Naidu established the
well-known film house Suresh
Productions after his elder son
Suresh and produced about
150 films in most of the Indian
languages with Telugu topping
the list. Considered as an icon,
he introduced several new
faces and directors through his
film company.
Recipient of Dada Saheb Phalke
Award for life time achievement
in 2009 and also Padma
Bhushan in 2012 in recognition
of his contribution to Indian
cinema, Ramanaidu also holds
the record for producing films
in many languages in India
including Bhojpuri and Punjabi.
Born in an agricultural family in
Karamchedu in Guntur district
of Andhra Pradesh, Mr.
Ramanaidu also represented
the Bapatla constituency in
Parliament during 1999 - 2004
getting elected on the Telugu
Desam Party (TDP) ticket.
Some of his well-known films
include
Prem
Nagar,
Mundadugu, Soggadu, Jeevana
Tarangalu,
Devatha,
Sangharshana, Prathidwani, Aha
Na Pellanta, Prema, Indrudu
Chandrudu and the latest
being Gopala Gopala starring
Venkatesh and Pawan Kalyan.
Some of his runaway hits in Hindi
include Tohfa, Insaf Ki Awaz
and Prem Qaidi in which he
introduced Karishma Kapoor.
The entire film industry landed
at his residence to pay their last
respects.
BJP, PDP propose phased
withdrawal of AFSPA
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
and the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) will have a lot of
25

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National Issues
explaining to do to their
respective constituencies if
they tie up. The task is harder
for the BJP and difficult to pull
off, unless Prime Minister
Narendra Modi throws his
weight fully behind it.

During the talks the point came


up that while the Army has in
practice already diluted the
impunity of troops under the
AFSPA,
its
continuing
application in the entire State is
bringing a bad name to New
Delhi. Both parties are working
towards a scheme to roll back
the law in a phased manner.
While the BJP has been open to
engaging the separatists and
Pakistan and to address the
concerns regarding the AFSPA,
the most difficult of all issues is
formulating a position
acceptable to both parties on
the States special status. The
proposal on the table is for the
CMP to keep all contentious
issues in suspension for
discussion in a future
mechanism, a roundtable.
Two other questions on the BJP
agenda that are sensitive in the
Valley are delimitation of
constituencies in the State, and
the status of those who crossed
over to Jammu from what
became Pakistan in 1947. These
issues also will have to be
suspended, for the CMP to take
shape.

26

Malnourishment high among


children of migrants: study
The level of malnourishment is
high among children whose
parents migrate in search of
livelihood.
Inherent
malnourishment in mothers, lack
of food and nutrition security,
feeding and dietary practices
and illnesses are some of the
reasons identified for high levels
of malnourishment.

A study Understanding hunger


and malnutrition among high
migrant
communities
conducted in south Rajasthan
by Aajeevika Bureau and
EdelGive Foundation has
revealed that more than half the
children were underweight in
those communities where
migration was high. Stunting or
retarded growth was reported
in 53 per cent of the children
with 28 per cent of them
severely so; 33 per cent are
wasted (debilitated growth)
with over 9 per cent of them
severely so and one-fourth
severely underweight. South
Rajasthan broadly Udaipur
division is a semi-arid region
with a largely tribal population
which owns small land holdings.
Small land holdings are unable
to help them sustain a livelihood
which results in high levels of
migration.
Each panchayat, where the
study was done, had 550-600
migrants. The study was done
in four panchayats in one block

two had high levels of


migrations and the other two low
migration.
The sample of 884 households,
which had less than three
children, was picked up from
13 villages.
A total of 695 children under
the age of three were weighed
and measured as were 607
mothers. The median BMI
(body mass index) of mothers
was 18.1 with 58 per cent
having a BMI of less than 18.5.
An analysis has suggested intergenerational transfer of undernutrition. When the mother is
under-nourished, children are
1.8 times more likely to have
severe malnutrition.
Also, less availability of food
items, small land holdings
resulting in low produce and
caring practices caused
malnutrition. Roti was the only
food item eaten by children
daily and more than 60 per cent
had access to it. Only 58 per
cent were breastfed, and less
than one per cent had daliya
(porridge) which is supposed
to be highly nutritious.
The study further shows that
children of migrating families
were less likely to be enrolled
at the anganwadi centres where
the government provides
supplementary food to preschool children. Importantly,
the anganwadi centres were
less functional in areas with high
migrating population.
When a mother goes for work,
the primary caretakers are
grandparents in 57 per cent of
the cases, father in just 4 per
cent and elder brother in 5 per
cent.

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International Issues

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
Democracy jailed for 13 years:
Nasheeds party

Former Maldives President


Mohamed Nasheed was
sentenced to 13 years in prison
on a terrorism charge after what
rights groups said was a
flawed trial, sparking
international concern.
Mr. Nasheed called on his
supporters to take to the streets
to protest against the sentence
after a trial his party said was
blatantly politicised.
I appeal to all of you today to
stay courageous and strong, to
confront the dictatorial power
of this regime, his office
quoted him as saying.
Mr. Nasheed, the Indian Ocean
archipelagos
first
democratically elected leader,
had been arrested on February
22. He was convicted under the
countrys Anti-Terrorism Act for
ordering the arrest of a chief
judge, Abdullah Mohamed,
when he was President in
January 2012.
The Anti-Terrorism Act, inter
alia, classifies an act of terrorism
to include kidnapping, holding
as hostage or apprehending
someone against their will or

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attempts to kidnap, hold


hostage or apprehend someone
without their will, for the extra
judicial
enforced
disappearance of the sitting
Chief Judge of Criminal Court,
sources told PTI, quoting the
court judgement.
The 47-year-old was then taken
to Dhoonidhoo prison on an
island near the capital Male.
Mr. Nasheeds lawyers resigned
before the end of his brief trial,
saying it was biased and aimed
at destroying his political career.
The conviction came amid
growing opposition to the
government of President
Abdulla Yameen and will
effectively prevent Mr.
Nasheed from running for
President at the 2018 elections.
Mr. Nasheeds Maldivian
Democratic Party (MDP) said
the verdict dealt a blow to the
young democracy seven years
after it embraced multi-party
elections following three
decades of rule by former
strongman Maumoon Abdul
Gayoom.
Democracy jailed for 13 years
on March 13, 2015, said MDP
spokeswoman Shauna Aminath.
Nothing good will come out of
this.
Its a sad, sad, sad day for the
Maldives, she added. The MDP
said its lawyers would appeal
Nasheeds conviction in the
high court.

Modi calls for implementation


of 13th Amendment in full

India stands for a united Sri


Lanka, but wants an early and
full implementation of the 13th
Amendment that provides for
devolution in the Tamil majority
Northern
and
Eastern
provinces, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi said .
Mr. Modi, who was speaking at
the historic Presidential
Secretariat after talks with Sri
Lankan President Maithripala
Sirisena, also referred to going
beyond the 13th Amendment
that would contribute to the
process of building a future
that accommodates the
aspirations of all sections of
society, including the Sri Lankan
Tamil community.
The Prime Ministers comments
came a day ahead of his visit to
Jaffna and Talaimannar, the first
ever by an Indian Prime Minister.
In an interview to The Hindu this
week, Chief Minister of the
Northern Province C.V.
Wigneswaran had called upon
India to remember its role as
guarantor of Tamil rights,
saying the 13th Amendment
was inadequate and seeking
something beyond it.
27

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International Issues
Japan, France sign pact

France and Japan agreed on


Friday to work together on
researching military equipment,
as Tokyo looks to broaden its
defence ties and bolster its
international profile.
In the latest in a spate of
meetings, involving defence
and foreign ministers, the fellow
G7 members signalled a closer
working relationship.
French Foreign Minister Laurent
Fabius, Defence Minister JeanYves Le Drian, Japanese
Defence Minister Gen Nakatani
and Foreign Minister Fumio
Kishida pledged to fight
terrorism, to help bring stability
to Ukraine, and to seek political
solutions to Syria and Iraq.
Allow us to visit India: panel on
religious freedom
The chair of a high-profile
Congressional commission on
religious freedom has asked the
Indian
government
to
reconsider its view to withhold
permission for the commission
members to visit the country to
assess the state of religious
tolerance.
Katrina
Lantos-Swett,
Chairperson of the U.S.
Congress-established
Commission on Religious
Freedom (USCIRF), said, I
would also say that we would
really welcome the opportunity
to travel to India and weve
28

been saddened that until now


India has not been yet ready to
welcome a USCIRF delegation
to come for a visit.
Under her leadership and
Congressional mandate, the
USCIRF continues to produce
an annual report on the state of
religious freedom worldwide,
which in years past had
designated India as a Tier II
or watch-list country.
Dr. Lantos-Swetts comments
are significant in the context of
two recent occasions on which
U.S. President Barack Obama
has remarked upon the dangers
of religious intolerance for India,
a view that Prime Minister
Narendra Modi appeared to
cognise in February, when he
condemned religious-based
violent acts in the country.
On those remarks by Mr.
Obama, Dr. Lantos-Swett
appeared to differ from State
Department officials who
suggested that the President
did not specifically intend to
critique Indias religious
tolerance and that it was a
general observation.
The Commissioner said that she
did not believe that the recent
meetings between Mr. Obama
and Mr. Modi were any
indication that U.S. concerns as
a country regarding religious
freedom issues in India had
gone away, rather that the White
House aspired to being able to
speak out about concerns that
exist with respect to the robust
protection of religious freedom
in India, even as the bilateral
rapprochement deepens
simultaneously.

Iceland withdraws
its bid to join the EU
The North Atlantic island of

Iceland has withdrawn its bid


to join the European Union, with
the government saying that its
interests are best served
outside the 28-nation EU.

EU spokesperson Maja
Kocijancic said that the bloc
would fully respect such a
decision and underlined that
Iceland remained an important
partner.
Iceland started its membership
negotiations in 2010 looking to
better anchor itself to Europe
two years after its economy
imploded amid a banking
collapse.
The biggest challenges to those
talks were fishing rights and
agriculture.
The
new
government froze the EU
accession application when it
came to power in 2013.
Icelands foreign ministry had
announced that the application
was withdrawn.
Rushdie to join journalism
faculty of NY university

Controversial India-born author


Salman Rushdie will join the
journalism faculty at the New
York University later this year to
teach courses and advise
graduate students.

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International Issues
Mr. Rushdie will join the New
York University (NYU) journalism
faculty as a Distinguished Writer
in Residence at the Arthur L
Carter Journalism Institute of the
Faculty of Arts and Science in
September, 2015.
A Fellow of the British Royal
Society of Literature and the
American Academy of Arts and
Letters, Mr. Rushdie won the
1981 Booker Prize for Midnights
Children.
Mr. Rushdie had spent nearly a
decade in hiding after Irans
Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Khomeini had issued a fatwa
against him in 1989 following
the publication of his book The
Satanic Verses, which was
considered offensive to Islam.
Time to replace 13th
Amendment with a more
dynamic system

It is time the 13th Amendment


was replaced with a more
dynamic system of devolution
of powers, according to Sri
Lankas Northern Province Chief
Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.
Speaking ahead of Prime
Minister Narendra Modis visit to
Sri Lanka, the former Supreme
Court judge said: [The] 13th
Amendment can never be the
final solution. Be that as it may,
we welcome him [Mr. Modi]. We
know we have a friend in him.
We appreciate his concerns for
us, in wanting to come to
the North.

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Mr. Modi will be in Sri Lanka on


a two-day visit. He will travel to
the islands war-torn Northern
Province
where
Mr.
Wigneswaran won a historic
provincial
election
in
September 2013.
Ever since the Chief Minister
and the Tamil National Alliance
(TNA) the main party
representing the Northern
Tamils have been pointing to
hurdles in governance due to
the limited powers.
As a proponent and an
advocate of devolution, Mr.
Modi would appreciate the
situation in Sri Lanka, the Chief
Minister said. Especially the
inadequacies of the 13th
Amendment would no doubt
be understood by him.His visit
and understanding would be
very vital in the ultimate
finalisation of our constitutional
problems.
From the time Sri Lankas ethnic
conflict ended in May 2009,
New Delhi has been pushing
Colombo for the full
implementation of the 13th
Amendment, following up on
former President Mahinda
Rajapaksas earlier assurance.
Pointing to the Indian model of
power sharing between the
Centre and the States, Mr.
Wigneswaran said it was the
quantum of devolution
prevalent under the Indian
Constitution that made possible
Mr.
Modis
excellent
leadership and peoplecentred approach that
transformed Gujarat.
In comparison, under Sri Lankas
unitary Constitution, there was
no chance of our performing
the way Hon. Modi performed.
On the changes after former

President Mahinda Rajapaksa


was unseated, he said President
Maithripala Sirisena was
refreshingly different but
certain sections of the new
government were acting
irresponsibly following the ageold political tactics of the past
which had led to the worsening
of the ethnic issue, adding that
the regime change was not an
end in itself.
As an advocate of devolution,
Mr. Modi would appreciate the
situation in Sri Lanka, says
Northern Province CM
Wigneswaran.
Pakistan lifts death penalty
moratorium for all cases

Pakistan has lifted its


moratorium on the death
penalty in all capital cases,
officials said , after restarting
executions for terrorism
offences in the wake of a school
massacre by the Taliban.
The Interior Ministry has
directed
provincial
governments to proceed with
hangings for prisoners who had
exhausted all avenues of appeal
and clemency, a senior interior
ministry official told .
Pakistan has hanged 24 convicts
since resuming executions in
December after Taliban
militants gunned down more
than 150 people, most of them
children, at a school in the
restive northwest.
The partial lifting of the
moratorium only applied to
29

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those convicted of terrorism
offences, but officials said it has
now been extended.
Rights campaign group
Amnesty International estimates
that Pakistan has more than
8,000 prisoners on death row,
most of whom have exhausted
the appeals process.
Amnesty International estimates
that Pakistan has more than
8,000 prisoners on death row.
ICC hands over
Bashir case to U.N.
Sudan has failed to arrest its
long-time leader Omar al-Bashir
for genocide and war crimes,
the International Criminal Court
(ICC) ruled, referring the matter
back to the U.N. Security
Council.
Mr. Bashir (71) is wanted by The
Hague-based ICC, the worlds
only permanent court, for his
role in the western Sudanese
region of Darfur where
insurgents rose up in 2003 in an
ongoing conflict that has left
more than 300,000 people
dead.
He faces five counts of crimes
against humanity including
murder and torture, three of
genocide and two of war
crimes including attacking a
civilian population.
The ICC in 2009 and 2010
issued two warrants against
Bashir, but he continues to travel
across the African continent
despite a legal obligation by
ICC member states to arrest him.
More U.S. sanctions on
Venezuela
U.S. President Barack Obama
ordered a fresh wave of
sanctions against senior
Venezuelan officials involved
on opposition crackdown,
30

including the prosecution of


Caracass Mayor.
Mr. Obama ordered the
freezing of U.S. properties and
bank accounts of seven officials,
including the director general
of the intelligence service and
the director of the national
police.
Most of those targeted for U.S.
sanctions on Monday were
accused of being involved with
a 2014 crackdown on
opposition protests that left
more than 40 dead.

Sri Lanka may review Tata


housing project

Sri Lanka has said that a $400


million housing project by the
Tata group is being reviewed,
weeks after the countrys new
government said it was looking
for a fresh start into the first-ofits-kind township plan.
Tata launched the housing
project last year in central
Colombo that involved the
displacement of 65,000 people.
The scale of displacement and
the compensation offered have
been a sore point with former
President Mahinda Rajapaksas
opponents, it said. Company
spokesperson refused to
comment on the matter.
India is not a country of rapists:
German envoy to discriminating
German professor
Lets be clear: India is not a
country of rapists. This was

what German envoy in India


Michael Steiner wrote, in his
strongly worded letter, to a
German professor who denied
internship to an Indian male
student citing Indias rape
problem.
Mr. Steiner also commended
the high quality of public
debate on rape in India, while
advising the professor to learn
more about the diverse,
dynamic and fascinating
country.
In India, the Nirbhaya case has
triggered a lively, honest,
sustained and very healthy
public debate... of a quality that
wouldnt be possible in many
other countries, he wrote in his
letter.
Dr. Annette Beck-Sickinger,
professor of biochemistry at
Leipzig University, had refused
to accept an Indian student for
an internship because of Indias
rape problem.
Unfortunately, I dont accept
any Indian male students for
internships. We hear a lot about
the rape problem in India
which I cannot support. I have
many female students in my
group, so I think this attitude is
something I cannot support,
Dr. Beck-Sickinger wrote to the
student.
Mr. Steiner asked the professor
to correct her simplistic image
particularly unsuitable for a
professor and teacher.
Womens rights activist Kavita
Krishnan termed the professors
response shameless racial
profiling.
However, it was Ambassador
Steiners
unequivocal
condemnation of the actions of
the professor, that warmed the
heart of several Indians, who

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thanked and congratulated him
for the bold step.
Israel will not cede land to
Palestinians: Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin


Netanyahu says Israel will not
cede territory due to the current
climate in the Middle East,
appearing to rule out the
establishment of a Palestinian
state.
Mr. Netanyahu said any
evacuated territory would fall
into the hands of Islamic
extremism
and
terror
organizations supported by
Iran. Therefore, there will be no
concessions
and
no
withdrawals. It is simply
irrelevant.
The statement was released by
his Likud party .
Mr. Netanyahu is seeking to
appeal to hard-liners ahead of
elections.
Party spokesman Elie Bennett
says Mr. Netanyahus 2009
speech calling for a Palestinian
state alongside Israel is not
currently relevant.
The international community
has long pushed for the
creation of a Palestinian state on
lands captured by Israel in the
1967 Mideast war.
Mr. Netanyahus spokesman
declined comment.

Pollution control: China sends


mixed signals
China has sent mixed signals

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about its approach to tackle


pollution by announcing
zero-tolerance to violators of a
stringent environmental law,
but the same time seemingly
curbing public debate on the
subject by pulling out from
mainstream video sharing sites
a hard-hitting documentary on
emissions that had gone viral on
the internet.
We are going to punish, with
an iron hand, any violators who
destroy
ecology
or
environment,
with
no
exceptions, said Chinas
President, Xi Jinping, while
reviewing the work report of the
National Development and
Reform Commission (NDRC)
the official body that exercises
administrative and planning
control
over
the
Chinese economy.
Mr. Xis remarks had followed
the release of the documentary
Under The Dome , which had
drawn over a million hits on the
internet on account of its
unvarnished focus on the
enormity of the crisis.
The film, produced by Chai
Jing, a former employee of
CCTV,
the
state-run
broadcaster, began to
disappear from mainstream
domestic video-sharing sites.
It was now no longer available
on popular mainland video sites,
including Youku and iQiyi.
The move was surprising as the
film had been praised earlier
this week by Chinas newlyappointed Environmental
Protection Minister, Chen Jining.
Peoples Daily , the official
newspaper of the Chinese
government had also posted the
documentary on its website.
Chinas decision to lower its

growth rate target for 2015 to


seven per cent; the framing of
the new environment law; and
plans to enhance the role of
nuclear and renewables in its
energy mix, is expected to
sharply reduce emissions in the
worlds second largest
economy.
A major element of Chinas
clean energy strategy is the
reduction in the use of coal a
double-edged weapon that has
been both at the heart of the
countrys breakneck growth
story and the cause for heavy
smog choking many Chinese
cities.
For areas affected by severe
smog, regions where conserving
energy is difficult, and
industries with overcapacity,
we will strictly control the
number of energy-intensive
projects and implement
policies for reducing coal use,
and for replacing coal with
alternative energy sources, the
report said.
Planners say that the countrys
energy use has entered
medium-low growth, in tune
with the more sustainable model
of development that China
plans to follow.
Nur Bekri, the head of National
Energy Administration, predicts
a steep decline in the
expansion of Chinas primary
energy consumption.
While annual energy intake
increased by 7.9 per cent since
2000, it is expected to grow by
only 3.4 per cent over the next
six years.
That figure conforms with
Chinas target of capping annual
primary energy consumption at
4.8 billion tonnes of standard
coal equivalent by 2020.
31

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Mr. Bekri said that energy
growth will further dip to 2.3 per
cent during 2015-2030.
China hopes to reduce the use
of coal which fuels 66 per
cent of the current energy
consumption by expanding
the share of non-fossil energy to
15 per cent by 2020, and 20 per
cent by 2030.

On his first day in Sri Lanka, the


Prime Minister will address a
special sitting of the Sri Lankan
Parliament in Colombo and pay
homage at the memorial to
Indian Peace Keeping Force
personnel, the Foreign Ministry
statement said.
Motion in Commons on
Gandhijis statue

Modi to unveil plaque of Jaffna


cultural centre
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
will unveil the plaque of a
cultural centre to be built with
Indian assistance in Jaffna on
March 14.
Mr. Modi, in the first state visit to
Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime
Minister in nearly three decades,
will travel to the war-torn
Northern Province of the island
nation.
The cultural centre will serve as
a space connecting people
through the arts and culture,
official sources said.
The event will be held at the
adjoining Jaffna Public Library,
a historic structure torched by
a mob during riots in 1981.
The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry
said in a statement that Mr. Modi
would hand over houses
constructed as part of the
50,000 built under an Indian
housing scheme to beneficiaries
in Jaffna and flag off train
services from Talaimannar to
Colombo restored with Indian
assistance.
The Prime Minister will visit the
ancient town of Anuradhapura
and the Sri Maha Bodhi tree,
which Buddhists consider
sacred with the legend that it
grew out of a branch
transported from Bodh Gaya in
India centuries ago.
32

An early-day motion (EDM) to


mark the unveiling of a statue of
Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament
Square here was tabled in the
House of Commons by Britains
longest-serving Indian-origin
MP Keith Vaz.
The EDMs allow MPs in Britain
to draw attention to an event or
cause and register their support
by signing individual motions.
There is generally no debate
held on such a motion.
Mr. Vaz welcomed Finance
Minister Arun Jaitleys visit to
the U.K. to be present at the
high-profile ceremony to be
attended by British Prime
Minister David Cameron.
Mr. Jaitley is expected to arrive
in London late on March 12.
Outrage as
IS destroys ancient site
Activists, officials and historians
have condemned Islamic State
(IS) for the destruction of the
ancient Assyrian archaeological
site of Nimrud in Iraq, saying the
groups actions were part of a
systematic
campaign

reminiscent of the Mongol


invasion of Arabia that aims to
erase millennia of culture
and civilisation.
Iraqs tourism and antiquities
ministry said that IS had
bulldozed the ancient city of
Nimrud, south of Mosul, which
was conquered by the militants
in a lightning advance
last summer.
The destruction of the site,
which became the capital of the
neo Assyrian empire, was
confirmed by a local tribal
source speaking to Reuters.
Maldives internal
issues might have led to
cancellation of Modi trip
The omission of the Maldives
from Prime Minister Narendra
Modis Indian Ocean foray next
week is significant because the
Foreign Minister of the island
nation, Dunya Maumoon,
announced the trip two
weeks ago.
Mr. Maumoon met External
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
in New Delhi, and reportedly
discussed the upcoming visit.
Sources said the government
did not want to be seen
involved in domestic issues of
the Maldives, though the
Ministry gave no explanation for
the cancellation of the
Male trip.
Sources said the government
was taken by surprise over the
treatment of former President
Mohammad Nasheed, who was
arrested and charged with
treason and roughed up by the
police on the way to court.
The External Affairs Ministry
issued a strong statement
expressing concern over his
arrest and manhandling.

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Despite the concern, the Prime
Ministers visit was expected to
continue, and local newspapers
in Male have been reporting on
various investment initiatives
and agreements planned by
President
Yameens
government during the visit.
The Maldives government has
not reacted to the cancellation
of Mr. Modis visit. However the
opposition groups led by Mr.
Nasheeds MDP said that Mr.
Modis decision was caused by
the strain in Indias relations with
the Maldives, because of what
it called the authoritarian
actions and confrontational
nature of President Yameen.
Colombo will work in
cooperation with U.N.
Sri Lanka will take pointers from
the U.N. report on Sri Lankas
rights record for its domestic
mechanism, the countrys
Foreign Minister Mangala
Samaraweera has said.
Addressing the high level
segment of the 28th Session of
the U.N. Human Rights Council
in Geneva, the Minister briefed
the Council on developments in
Sri Lanka following the
presidential election on
January 8.
Pointing to the Maithripala
Sirisena governments efforts to
ensure media freedom, Mr.
Samaraweera said it unblocked
websites that were earlier
blocked, lifted restrictions
placed on foreign media
personnel visiting the country,
enabled journalists to travel
freely to all parts of the country
and invited all media personnel
living in exile to return.
The Human Rights Council, in
March 2014, adopted a U.S.-

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sponsored resolution calling for


an international probe into
allegations of war crimes in Sri
Lanka.
As many as 23 countries backed
the resolution then, while 12
voted against it and 12 other
countries, including India,
abstained.
The Mahinda Rajapaksa
administration then had refused
any cooperation to the process
and rejected the resolution.
A year later, the Council, in a
clear departure from its earlier
stance on Sri Lanka, deferred
the key report on the countrys
conflict that was due for
submission in the ongoing March
sessions, to September 2015.
The decision was to allow
space for the new government
to demonstrate its willingness to
cooperate on human rights
issues, it said.

Google Maps goes trekking in


Amazon

For its next technological trick,


Google will show you what its
like to zip through trees in the
Amazon jungle.
The images released are the
latest addition to the diverse
collection
of
photos
supplementing Googles widely
used digital maps.
The maps Street View option
mostly provides panoramic
views
of
cities
and
n e i g h b o u r h o o d s
photographed by car-mounted

cameras, but Google has found


creative ways to depict exotic
locations where there are no
roads.
In its latest foray into the
wilderness, Google teamed up
with the environmental
protection group Amazonas
Sustainable Foundation, or FAS,
to explore a remote part of an
Amazon rainforest.
Google Inc. lent FAS its Trekker
device, a camera mounted on
an apparatus originally
designed to be carried like a
backpack by hikers walking on
trails.
FAS, though, sent the Trekker
down a zip line. Google is
renowned for going out on a
technological limb, but even
this project made the company
nervous at first, said Karin TuxenBettman, who oversees
Googles
Street
View
partnerships.
The set-up required FAS
workers to tread through the
rainforest to find a place where
they could string the zip line so
the Trekker would not bump
into tree trunks and branches as
it zoomed through the thick
canopy.
With the help of some monkeys
who joined their scouting
expedition, FAS workers found
just enough room to erect a zip
line for the Trekkers trip.
Since Google developed the
Trekker camera in 2012, the
device has been dispatched on
other unusual journeys. The
Trekker went scuba-diving in
the Galapagos Islands to take
underwater photographs of the
preserve, and travelled on a
dog sled in the Canadian Artic
to photograph the tundra.
Privacy issues should not be an
33

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International Issues
issue in any of the photographs
taken by the zip-lining Trekker.
Birds and insects are the only
visible forms of life in the
pictures it took.
Writers body donated for
research
Thousands of people from all
strata of life on Sunday paid
their last respects to
assassinated writer-blogger
Avijit Roy.
The coffin of Avijit was placed
on a platform erected at the
base of Dhaka Universitys
Aparajeyo Bangla, the symbolic
architecture built in memory of
the Bangladesh Freedom
Fighters of 1971.
Keeping in with his wish, Avijits
body was handed over to Dhaka
Medical College Hospital for
medical research. Avijit and his
wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya were
hacked on Feb 26 by
suspected extremists. His badly
injured wife is being treated at
a hospital in Dhaka.
Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia
to trial new flight tracking
system
Indonesia and Malaysia will lead
a trial to enhance the tracking
of aircraft over remote oceans,
allowing planes to be more
easily, Australias transport
minister said.
The announcement comes one
week ahead of the anniversary
of the disappearance of flight
MH370, which vanished last
year on a flight from Kuala
Lumpur to Beijing with 239
people on board. No trace of
the plane has been found.
The trial is expected to use
satellite-based positioning
technology already on board 90
34

per cent of long-haul aircraft


that transmits the planes current
position and its next two
planned positions, said
Airservices Australia chairman
Angus Houston, who helped
lead the search for MH370.
The trial would boost the
frequency in which planes
would automatically report their
position, allowing air traffic
controllers to better track them,
Houston said.
There is no requirement for realtime tracking of commercial
aircraft and ever since flight 370
disappeared, air safety
regulators and airlines have
been trying to agree on how
extensively planes should be
tracked.
The Boeing 777 veered sharply
off-course and vanished from
radar shortly into its flight on
March 8.
An international team of experts
who analysed a series of hourly
transmissions between the
plane and a satellite later
determined that the plane
travelled for another seven
hours
before
crashing
somewhere within a remote
60,000 square kilometer or
23,000 square mile patch of the
Indian Ocean.

The Tablet set to celebrate 175th


year of continuous publication
The Tablet , the Catholic weekly
regarded as one of Britains
oldest journals, is about to
celebrate 175 years of
uninterrupted publication.
Founded in May 1840 by a
Quaker convert to Catholicism,
Frederick Lucas, it is published
in London but has garnered an
international audience.
Its anniversary will be marked

with a series of events


throughout the year, including
a mass at Westminster Cathedral
on 16 May. In June, novelists
Antonia Fraser, David Lodge
and Andrew OHagan, plus
historian Roy Foster, will debate
faith and fiction at the Tablet
Literary Festival in Birmingham.
In October, an interfaith seminar
at the London School of
Economics will consider
whether Catholics, Jews and
Muslims remain outsiders in
British society. It will be
moderated by Professor Conor
Gearty.
Also that month, the pianist
Stephen Hough will perform a
specially commissioned Tablet
Sonata at the Barbican Centre.
Throughout 2015, The Tablet
will also be awarding bursaries
to postgraduate students in
religious studies departments.
Catherine Pepinster, The Tablet
s editor, points out that few
publications have lasted 175
years, adding: That a Catholic
publication should have done
so, given the tempestuous
history of Roman Catholicism in
this country, is testimony not
only to The Tablet s journalism
but to the capacity for a minority
group to thrive in Britain.
China formally backs trilateral
partnership with India, Sri
Lanka

China formally backed a


trilateral partnership with India

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International Issues

and Sri Lanka to establish a


Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and
promote the rise of Eurasia.
It is an announced by the
Chinese Forign Minister Wang Yi
During a joint press Conference.
He reinforced the three-way
engagement by pointing out
that China would like to
expedite such cooperation
and see practical measures
between China and India,
where each country would pool
its bilateral strengths, leading to
Sri Lankas social and economic
development.
Mr. Wangs comments, signalling
a more inclusive strategic
appreciation of the region, run
counter to Indian concerns,
expressed during former
President Mahinda Rajapaksas
tenure, that a firm military
relationship between China and
Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean
was taking root, following the
docking of a Chinese submarine
in Colombo.
Mr. Wang said China would
certainly like to hold talks with
India on a triangular relationship
with Sri Lanka in the future, in
tune
with
Sino-Indian
partnership on key global and
regional issues.
The
Chinese
Minister
commented that Beijing would
like to see progress in India-Sri
Lanka relations, which would
become a factor of stability in
South Asia.
With the conceptual lines of a
triangular relationship surfacing,
Mr. Samaraweera also said Sri
Lanka saw China as a great
friend and India as a
neighbour and relative.
He stressed that Sri Lankas
centrist and pragmatic foreign
policy, liberated from any

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specific ideology, was


grounded in the principle of
non-alignment, and was
ultimately geared to benefit the
Sri Lankan people.
Writer hacked to
Death in Dhaka
Suspected radical Islamists
have hacked to death a popular
writer and blogger, Avijit Roy,
and seriously injured his wife
Rafida Ahmed Banna in Dhaka
. The couple came under attack
as they were returning home
from Bangla Academy Book Fair
near the Dhaka University
campus.
Avijit, son of Prof Ajay Roy who
taught physics at Dhaka
University, used to work in the
U.S. as a software engineer. He
had received several threats
from Islamist fundamentalists,
said family members and fellow
bloggers.
The attackers dragged the
couple onto the footpath and
hacked them with sharp knifes.
Avijit suffered a deep gash on
his head in the indiscriminate
attack and Banna, also a writer
and blogger, lost a finger and
suffered cut wounds.
Islamist radicals have been
threatening Avijit, who was
founder of popular blog MuktoMona, for his sustained
campaign against Islamist
radicals. He is also well known
for his books Biswaser Virus
(Virus of Faith) and Sunyo
theke Mahabiswa (From
Vacuum to the Universe).
Last year, Rakamari.com, an
online bookstore, was forced to
remove Avijits books from its list
following threats by Shafiur
Rahman
Farabi,
a
fundamentalist blogger.

Mr. Farabi was arrested for


posting provocative comments
on his Facebook page
supporting the killing of blogger
Ahmed Rajib Haidar in Mirpur
on February 16, 2013. He was
later released on bail.
The couple came to Dhaka
recently to attend the Bangla
Academy Book Fair, where two
of his recent titles had been
launched. His writing and
blogging had evoked the ire of
fanatics and he regularly
received threats. He was to fly
back to the U.S. on March 4.
The attack on Avijit resembles
the one on noted writer Prof
Humayun Azad and bloggers
Rajib Haidar and Asif
Mohiuddin. Prof. Azad was also
returning home from the same
book fair when he was hacked
with machetes by radical
militants a few years ago. He
later died in Germany while
undergoing treatment.
The radicals had attacked
several other secular bloggers
after the Shahbagh agitation,
demanding capital punishment
for war criminals, polarised
opinions in Bangladesh. Police
said they recovered two bloody
machetes and a bag from the
spot, and were working to
identify the killers.
Iraq statue-smashing video
sparks outrage

A video of jihadists in Iraq


gleefully smashing ancient
35

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International Issues
statues to pieces with
sledgehammers sparked global
outrage and fears that more of
the worlds oldest heritage will
be destroyed.
The destruction of priceless
Assyrian and other artefacts
from the main museum and an
archeological site in the
northern city of Mosul drew
comparisons with the 2001
dynamiting of the Bamiyan
buddhas in Afghanistan.
Archaeologists and heritage
experts called for urgent action
to protect the remains of some
of oldest civilisations in the
world and the U.N. cultural
agency
demanded
an
emergency meeting of the
Security Council.
Chinas draft anti-terrorism law
high on privacy and human
rights
China is drafting an ambitious
counterterrorism law, which
seeks to address concerns over
privacy and human rights,
without losing the sting to target
international terror groups.
The draft law has taken into
account the Charlie Hebdo
terror incident in France, the
Copenhagen strike, as well as
the essence of the Global War
on Terror (GWOT) led by the
United States.
Besides, the legislation has been
sensitised by last years deadly
terror attack, at Kunming station,
in the countrys Yunnan
province, which left 29 people
dead, and scores injured
The
draft
advocates
establishing mechanisms that
would ensure that access to
private phone and Internet
records goes through a strict
approval procedure.
36

The information that is gathered


should also be used solely for
the purpose of counterterrorism
and not otherwise. A similar
approval must also be obtained
to inquire into, seal up, seize or
freeze assets.
The new law is being drafted at
a time when Chinese President
Xi Jinping has been calling for
firmly implanting the rule of law
as the anchor for Chinas national
rejuvenation.
Chinese state-media has been
reporting that the President has
been advocating, Four
Comprehensives

a
moderately prosperous society,
reform, rule of law, and Party
discipline as the blueprint for
Chinas future.
It challenges the western
narrative on counterterrorism
and human rights by pointing to
a more rational Chinese
alternative.
Besides, it hopes to shore up
CPCs legitimacy, especially
among
Chinas
cyber
connected youth. President Xi
is well aware of the dangers of a
widening legitimacy gap in his
country.
Britain misses targets on
immigration control
The British government has
missed its targets on immigration
control, which was a key pledge
by Prime Minister David
Cameron. He had promised in
2011 to cap immigration at
100,000 by the end of the
current Parliament.
The figure for net migration
(inflows minus outflows) stood
at 298,000 for the year 2014 till
September, according to
figures released by the Office
of National Statistics.

According to opinion polls,


immigration has emerged as a
key issue for voters ahead of
the National Health Service, the
economy, unemployment and
crime in the run-up to a
closely-fought general elections
this May.
However, while immigration
into the United Kingdom has
substantially risen, there is no
evidence to suggest that this has
had a negative impact on jobs,
wages, housing and other
public services for the U.K.born.
This are the findings of a study
done on the latest U.K.
immigration statistics by the
Centre
for
Economic
Performance (CEP)of the
London School of Economics,
and the first in a series of
background briefings by the
CEP on important policy issues
in the run up to the general
elections.
The report Immigration and the
U.K. Labour Market by author
Professor Jonathan Wadsworth
finds that rising immigration in
the last 20 years means that
there are now around 7.8 million
individuals and 6.5 million
adults of working age living in
the U.K. who were born abroad.
Indeed, the doubling of the
share of immigrants among
working age adults in the U.K.
between 1995 and 2014 from
8% to 17% is not particularly
different from many other rich
countries in terms of its share of
immigrants, he argues.
European Union (EU) countries
account for one-third of the total
immigrant stock, and new
inflows of EU immigrants are
almost as large as inflows from
outside the EU. While EU arrivals

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International Issues
are for work-related reasons
most non-EU arrivals are for
study-related reasons.
While 30 years ago 30 per cent
of all immigrants came from just
two countries, Ireland and
India, today these two countries
account for just 13 per cent of
all immigrants.
Death toll from Afghan
avalanches crosses 200

More than 200 people have


been killed in a series of
avalanches triggered by heavy
snowfall around Afghanistan,
warning the death toll could rise
still further.
The bulk of the deaths came in
Panjshir province, north of
Kabul, where at least 168
people were killed.
The avalanches came after days
of heavy snow, which destroyed
more than 100 homes in the
province and blocked main
roads, making it difficult for
rescue workers to reach the
stricken villages.
U.K. mulls proposal to raise
new Sikh regiment

The British Army is examining


proposals to re-establish a Sikh

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Regiment, along the lines of the


erstwhile British Indian Army.
Chief of the general staff,
General Sir Nicholas Carter, is
looking into the feasibility of a
Sikh unit, including the
possibility of a reserve
company, and it may well have
merit, U.K. armed forces
minister Mark Francois told the
House of Commons recently.
A new unit would inherit many
of the proud traditions of Sikh
regiments from the armys past,
he said.
Latest figures show the British
armed forces have around 160
Sikhs in their ranks, including
130 in the army.
Thousands of Sikhs had served
in the British Indian Army during
the two World Wars. They were
known for their bravery and
gallantry and won as many as 10
Victoria Crosses, the highest
British battlefield honour.
In 2007, the U.K.s Ministry of
Defence had scrapped a similar
plan after the Commission for
Racial Equality warned it could
be seen as divisive and
perceived as segregation.
The Network of Sikh
Organisations said it was in
favour of a Sikh unit.

Iranian wins award for giving


voice to the voiceless
An Iranian journalist has
received a human rights award
in Geneva for creating a
Facebook page inviting women
in Iran to post pictures of
themselves without their
headscarves in defiance of rules
requiring them to wear a hijab .
Masih Alinejad (38) launched
Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian
Women last year, attracting
more than half a million likes on

Facebook in a matter of weeks.


Thousands of women took off
their veils in public and sent in
their photos to be published.
The Geneva Summit for Human
Rights and Democracy, a group
of 20 non-governmental
organisations, gave Ms. Alinejad
its womens rights award for
giving a voice to the voiceless
and stirring the conscience of
humanity to support the
struggle of Iranian women for
basic human rights, freedom
and equality.
Ms. Alinejads campaign,
reported in the Guardian last
May, irritated Iranian authorities,
and state-affiliated media
launched a smear campaign
accusing her of using
recreational drugs or being
perverse.
Ms. Alinejad said she was
delighted to win the award and
hoped it would raise awareness
about
Iranian
women
demanding basic rights.
Ms. Alinejad, who lives in exile,
told the Guardian last year that
she was not opposed to the
hijab and that her mother was
veiled, but she had created the
page because she wanted
people to have the freedom to
choose.
A year after it was created, the
Facebook page has more than
760,000 followers and still
receives photos from Iran.
Many Iranian men have also
supported the campaign. One
man took a picture of himself
along with his mother while she
was without veil last week,
saying they were both against
compulsory hijab .

Draft Accord
Reached, says Greece
Euro zone Finance Ministers
37

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International Issues
drafted an outline agreement
that could form the basis for
extending Greeces financial
rescue package, officials on
both sides said.
However, they stressed there
was no formal deal on a
common text in the full 19nation Eurogroup of Ministers.
European Union paymaster
Germany, Greeces biggest
creditor, had demanded
significant improvements in
reform commitments by the
new Leftist government in
Athens before it would accept
a six-month extension of euro
zone funding.
With the 240 billion euro EUIMF bailout programme due to
expire in about a week, Prime
Minister Alexis Tsipras voiced
confidence of an agreement
despite the objections to the
request made in a letter to
Dijsselbloem.

India and Israel established


bilateral relations in 1992 and
with several common concerns,
strategic cooperation quickly
progressed. Since Mr. Modis
government came to power,
India has been more assertive
in acknowledging the depth of
the relationship. Both sides have
seen a flurry of interactions even
at the highest level.
India is one of Israels biggest
Second film festival in Saudi Arabia

defence customers and both


sides have embarked on joint
development of weapon
systems. A long-range surfaceto-air
missile
under
development was tested for the
first time in November. In
October, India selected
Rafaels Spike anti-tank guided
missile over the U.S. Javelin
missile in a deal worth $525
million.

India-Israel ties out in the open,


says Yaalon

In a statement of strategic
significance, Israel Defence
Minister Moshe Yaalon
acknowledged that India and
Israel ties were out in the open
after keeping a low profile for
years.
Talking on the significance of his
visit, Mr. Yaalon said that India
was important to his countrys
defence industry and pledged
complete support to partner
with India on Make in India.
38

Saudi Arabia is rolling out the


red carpet for its second film
festival in seven years but the
deeply conservative country
has one major problem
cinemas are banned.
The kingdom practises an
austere version of Islam that
does not permit conventional
entertainment venues such as
cinemas so screenings will take
place in an arts centre in the
Gulf coast city of Dammam.
Organisers said they hope the
five-day festival will open eyes
in Saudi Arabia to the
possibilities of film despite
objections
from
some
conservatives that cinema will
Westernise the kingdom or
corrupt its morals.

Most of the film-makers being


showcased are under the age
of 25, said Mr. Mulla, who sees
his role as helping them to
develop.
Without cinemas, sadly there is
no way to show such films
publicly in Saudi Arabia, Mr.
Mulla said, though many end up
on video websites such as
YouTube. Others are sometimes
featured at small, special
screenings.
As well as no movie theatres,
Saudi Arabia has no film industry
to speak of, said Mr. Eyaf, whose
award-winning
2006
documentary Cinema 500 km
highlighted the kingdoms
theatre ban.
This years event comes seven

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International Issues
years after the first Saudi Film
Festival, which Mr. Mulla also
directed.
Mr. Mulla expects an overflow
audience at the societys 600capacity screening hall on
Fridays opening night.
U.S.-based news portal
Mashable to foray into Indian
market

U.S.-headquartered news
portal Mashable announced its
foray into the Indian market in
partnership
with
Zee
Entertainment Enterprises Ltds
JV firm India.com.
Mashable, which termed India
as one of its top five global
markets, said its Indian arm
would have an editorial team
based in the country for
localised content.
Commenting on its India foray,
Mashable Founder and CEO
Pete Cashmore said: As
Mashable continues to grow in
parallel with the expansion of
digital, entering India was an
obvious next step.
Mashable India will have an
editorial team based in India for
localised content. It will offer
the best global coverage from
mashable.com and augment it
with extensive editorial
coverage from India.
The addition of Mashable India
will continue Mashables global
expansion, which began last
year with the opening of a U.K.
office, while also adding

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reporters in Australia and


building a strong network of
global journalists.
Approximately, half of
Mashables 42 million monthly
unique visitors come from
outside the U.S., the company
said.
Chinas Silk Road fund
becomes operational

China has taken a firm step to


implement its vision of the Silk
Road Economic Belt an
initiative to integrate the
economies of Asia and Europe
along the Eurasian corridor
by putting into operation its $40
billion infrastructure fund for
this purpose.
Xinhua quoted President Xi as
saying during the November
meeting with officials from
Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos,
Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan
and Tajikistan that the purpose
of the fund is to break the
connectivity bottleneck in
Asia.
The $40 billion fund was in
addition to the decision to
establish a $50 billion Asian
Infrastructure Investment Bank,
which is also meant to help
finance construction in the
region.
On Monday, the semi-official
China Business News quoted
Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the
Peoples Bank of China (PBOC),
as saying the $40 billion fund
has already started operations,

with registration on December


29 and the first board meeting
on January 6.
China has poured part of its
foreign exchange reserves in
the fund, which include
investors such as the China
Investment Corp, the countrys
sovereign fund, and China
Exim-Bank.
Analysts point out that as its
economy slows down from its
earlier blistering pace, China has
developed large overcapacity
in construction material,
including cement and steel.
Chinas One Road, One Belt
strategy, aimed at establishing
new growth engines along the
Eurasian corridor, could well
absorb some of this surplus.
China opens largest embassy
in Pak

China has opened a new


embassy in Pakistan, its largest
overseas diplomatic mission,
which Foreign Minister Wang Yi
described as a symbol of
friendship between the all
weather allies.
As Chinas largest overseas
embassy, it is a symbol of
friendship between China and
Pakistan, state-run China Daily
quoted Mr. Wang as saying. It
however did not provide the
details of the new embassy. An
opening ceremony was held on
February 13, during Mr. Wang s
visit to Islamabad.
39

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India & The World

INDIA & THE WORLD


India & Sri Lanka
Signs four Agreement

India signs four agreement with


Sri Lankan government during
recent PM Modi visit to Island
nation. This was the first bilateral
tour by any Indian premier in 28
years.
During this visit the both country
has singned four agreements on
visa,
customs,
youth
development and building
Rabindranath Tagore memorial
in Sri Lanka.
PM here announced that, India
is ready to help develop
Trincomalee as petrolium hub
for this the Indian government
would provide a fresh Line of
Credit of up to US $318 million
for the railways sector in Lanka.
Prime Minister also announced
that the apex bank of both the
country i.e. reserve Bank of
India and Central Bank of Sri
Lanka have agreed to enter into
a Currency Swap Agreement of
US $ 1.5 billion to help keep the
Sri Lankan rupee stable
PM Modi here urged Sri Lankan
Government to fully implement
the 13 th Amendment as early.
India to Develop Infrastrucre in
Mauritius and Seychelles
With the motive to building
40

strategic assets in Indian Ocean


countries, Mauritius and Seychelles,
as New Delhi signed agreements with
them to develop infrastructure in
two islands one each in both nations.

In Mauritius, India signed an


MoU for the improvement in sea and

air transportation facilities at Agalega


island. This pact provides for setting
up and upgradation of infrastructure
for improving sea and air connectivity
at the Outer Island of Mauritius which
will go a long way in ameliorating the
condition of the inhabitants of this
remote Island.
In Seychelles, India inked a pact
to develop the infrastructure of
Assumption island, one of the 115
islands that constitute the country.
Spread over 11 sq km, it is strategically
located in the Indian Ocean, north of
Madagascar.

India signs security Coperation pact with Mauritius

India and Mauritius announced


a new security cooperation
agreement, as part of Prime Minister
Narendra Modis Indian Ocean
outreach.
This agreement would give
India a strategic advantage in the
Indian Ocean region, working closely
with the Mauritius Defence Forces
guarding the outer islands. In
addition, India has extended a $500-

million Line of Credit for development


or security projects that Mauritius will
decide on.
The highlight of Indias push for
maritime heft during the visit will be
the commissioning of a 1,300-tonne,
Indian-built coastal patrol vessel,
MCGS Barracuda . The ship will
showcase Indias commitment on
maritime security, particularly along
the African coast that faces the threat
of piracy.

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India & The World
India and Spain
Signs a defence Deal

India and Spain have signed an


agreement on Mutual Protection of
Classified Information to provide the
framework for enhanced bilateral
cooperation in areas of defence
research, development and
technology cooperation. The
agreement was signed by the
defence minister ManoharParrikar
and his visiting Spanish counterpart
Pedro MorenesEulate after the first
full-fledged
delegation-level
meeting between the two sides held
in New Delhi. During the talks, the
Spanish side evinced keen interest
in participation in the Make-in-India
initiative in defence sector. Both
sides agreed to continue to work for
enhancing bilateral defence
cooperation. They also exchanged
views on a wide range of issues
concerning bilateral defence
cooperation and issues of regional
and global security. Eulate is on a
two-day official visit to India. He had
earlier visited India in October 2012
as a member of the Spanish
delegation led by the King of Spain.

and India have signed a


memorandum of understanding
(MoU) on cooperation in the textile
sector.The document aims at
strengthening bilateral cooperation
in three directions: Textiles and
Clothing, Silk and Sericulture and
Fashion.
The MoU aims to achieve
this via:
Cooperation in development of
trade,
economic
and
investment relations
Techno-commercial
collaboration, joint trade
missions
Stimulation of investment
cooperation, such as joint
ventures,
industrial
cooperation, marketing, leasing
and management
Mutual assistance in R&D,
technical collaboration in
product development and
manufacturing, testing and
certification
Mutual assistance in skill
development, training and
retraining of personnel, carrying

out of joint scientific, industrial


and other meetings and
exchanges
Cooperation in export
promotion
Facilitating of participation of
business delegations, exhibitors
and buyers of each other in the
trade exhibitions, buyers sellers
meets, business forums
Mutual assistance in organizing
visits of technical experts,
specialists and scientists
The MoU was signed by
ShriSantosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister
of State for Textiles (independent
charge) and his counterpart Mr.
Kubanychbek Turdubaev.
The two countries have agreed
to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG)
to explore details of cooperation
within the scope of the MoU and the
steps required to facilitate bilateral
trade and investment. The JWG will
be co- chaired by an official of
appropriate level from the Ministry of
Energy and Industry of the Kyrgyz
Republic and the Ministry of Textiles
of the Republic of India.

India and Nepal joint militaryexercise Surya Kiran VIII concludes

India & Kyrgyzstan signs MoU


on Cooperation in textile sector

The governments of Kyrgyzstan

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Eighth India-Nepal Combined


Exercise (Surya Kiran VIII) which
commenced on 23 Feb 2015,
concluded on 07 Mar 2015 at

Salijhandi, Nepal. The exercise was


conducted under the aegis of
Nepalese Army. The exercise aimed
to create a greater understanding
41

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India & The World
between Indian & Nepalese Army
and develop interoperability in
Jungle Warfare and Counter Terrorism
operations in mountainous terrain. It
also focussed on the basics of Disaster
Management with special reference
to Pandemic/ Epidemic control and
aviation aspects. Over the years, the
two countries have decided to
progressively increase the scope and
content of the combined exercise.
The training culminated in a 48 hours
consolidation and validation exercise
in which troops of both countries
carried out a search and destroy
mission in the general area of
Saljhandi. The final exercise was
reviewed
by
Maj
Gen
PadamvillasKarki of Nepalese Army
and Major General VinodPrakash
Singh Bhakuni of Indian Army.
Kathmandu-Varanasi Bus
Service Flagged off

A direct bus service between


Nepals capital Kathmandu and
Indias Varanasi city has recently
flagged off .The service has been
started under the Motor Vehicle
Agreement between Nepal and
India signed during the visit of Indian
Prime Minister NarendraModi to
Nepal for the 19th SAARC Summit last
November.
Nepals Minister of Physical
Infrastructure and Transport
BimalendraNidhi and Indian
Ambassador Ranjit Rae flagged off the
bus service from near the Dashrath
Stadium here. The Nepal-registered
bus will travel on the KathmanduBhairahawa-Sunauli-AzamgarhVaranasi route, covering the 600 km
journey in about 12 hours.
42

India & US held dialogue on United Nation

India and the US held their first


ever bilateral dialogue on the United
Nations and multilateral issues on
February 19, 2015 in Washington.
The dialogue was held in the
spirit of the Delhi Declaration of
Friendship to strengthen and
expand the relationship between the
two countries. The countries have
vowed to hold regular consultations
in multilateral forums.
At the discussions focused was
given on the international peace and
security, peacekeeping operations,
counter-piracy and the Post 2015,
Development Agenda, the UN
Human Rights Council and many
other matters of mutual interest.
The US spokesperson was

Sheba Crocker who holds the post of


Assistant Secretary of State for
International Organization Affairs,
whereas Indian delegation was led
by Vikas Swarup, Minister of External
Affairs Joint Secretary.
In January 2015, during the US
President Barack Obamas visit to
India, both nations had agreed to
elevate their long-standing strategic
partnership.
This meeting was held in the
bacdrop of an statement issued by
the India-US in January 2015 during
the US President visit to India in
which both nations had agreed to
elevate their long-standing strategic
partnership through coperation
across all areas of human endeavour.

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Economy

ECONOMY
Good response for residential
properties at SBIs e-auction

based on the feedback and the


data collated, the bank would
decide on going for next round
of e-auction.
He said the banking major had
taken a first step in this arena
and could be the trend setter
for others.
Facebook buys The Find

State Bank of India (SBI),


successfully completed the eauction of around Rs.1,200crore worth of stressed assets
with a good number of bids for
residential properties, said a
senior official.
The bank had put on auction a
mix
of
offices/shops/
apartments/factory buildings
and others numbering 300
properties.
Mr. Malhotra said the number of
hits was large on the two
websites where the properties
were auctioned and the speed
got slowed down.
We had extended the auction
time to compensate for the slow
speed, he said.
According to him, the bank had
saved sizable outgo in terms of
advertisement spend for
auctioning the stressed assets.
As
per
the
norms,
advertisements should be given
in two newspapers for every
property auction but this time,
the bank had consolidated all
the properties to be auctioned
and hence saved good sum, he
said.
Agreeing that not all the 300
properties got sold, he said

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need when shopping to quickly


decide what to buy and where
to buy it will shutter the
Silicon Valley base it has
operated from since launching
in 2006 and move team
members to Facebooks
campus in Menlo Park,
California.
Britain applies to join Chineseled Asian bank

Facebook has waded further


into e-commerce with the
acquisition of shopping search
engine TheFind.com. Terms of
the deal were not disclosed.
Members of TheFind team are
joining Facebook, where they
plan to put their technology to
work making ads at the leading
social network more relevant,
according to the post.
The acquisition will result in
TheFind.com shutting down in
the next few weeks.
Facebook has been playing
catch-up regarding searching
for information at the social
network and becoming a
middle-man of sorts for online
commerce. Together, we
believe we can make the
Facebook ads experience even
more relevant and better for
consumers, the social network
said in statement.
TheFind Everything you

Britain has applied to join a


proposed Chinese-led Asian
regional bank that Washington
worries
will
undercut
institutions such as the
World Bank.
The British Treasury said it will
join talks this month on the Asian
Infrastructure Investment
Banks
structure
and
governance arrangements.
China proposed the bank in
2013 and has pledged to put
up most of its initial $50 billion
in capital. Twenty-one other
governments including the
Philippines, Thailand, New
Zealand and Vietnam have said
they want to join.
The United States has
expressed concern the bank
will allow looser lending
standards for the environment,
labour rights and financial
transparency, undercutting the
43

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Economy
World Bank and International
Monetary Fund.
The British Treasury said it
would try to ensure the Asian
bank embodies the best
standards.
Work on GST rollout on track,
says Shaktikanta Das

The Narendra Modi government


is working on full throttle to
implement the Goods and
Services Tax (GST), a key
indirect tax reform, from April
1, 2016, said Union Revenue
Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
He also pointed out that several
committees
and
subcommittees, comprising Centre
and State finance and taxation
officers were working on
aspects such as business
processes and reporting
systems. A special purpose
vehicle was working on the IT
backbone for the rollout, he
added.
Doubts have been raised about
the implementation timeline. I
want to confirm that work
related to implementation is
very much on, Mr. Das said at
an interactive session,
organised by the Confederation
of Indian Industry (CII).
Mr. Das said all States and
political formations were on
board. He was hopeful that the
bill on GST would go through in
the current session of
Parliament.
Mr. Das also said that there
44

would not be much revenue


loss due to transition to GST.
Mr. Das said the government
had agreed to compensate
States for GST loss for the first
five years on a differing basis.
He also pointed out that the
manufacturing States would
lose more than the consumption
States. That was why a one per
cent origin-based tax had been
included with a sunset clause
of two years, he pointed out.
He also said that GST would be
tax buoyant while terming the
42 per cent devolution of
Centres net taxes to the States
as a big bang reform.
Mr. Das also said the plan to
reduce corporate tax rates was
done to make India competitive
with other ASEAN countries as
an investment destination.
LIC to invest Rs.1.50 lakh crore
in Railways

The Life Insurance Corporation


of India (LIC) will provide
Rs.1.50 lakh crore in the next
five years to the Railways for
funding projects.
The move is in line with Railway
Minister Suresh Prabhus plan to
look for funds outside of
budgetary support and tap lowcost long-term funds. The
Railways will need Rs.8.50 lakh
crore in the next five years for
various projects.
There would be a five-year
moratorium on interest and loan
repayment, and the rest of the

terms would be negotiated


while signing the finance
assistance agreement, a press
statement said.
As per the memorandum of
understanding signed between
the two parties, the LIC will
make available the funds to the
Railways and its entities from
2015-16.
According to the latest Railway
budget, its total Plan budget is
Rs.1 lakh crore for 2015-16.
RBI issues new norms for sale
of bad loans
In a boost to banks, which are
facing rising asset quality issues,
the Reserve Bank of India,
allowed such lenders to reverse
the excess provision on sale of
bad loans to their profit and loss
account, provided the
transaction took place before
February 26, 2014.
The central bank had on the
February 3 monetary policy day
had said that it would issue the
final guidelines on this front after
banks requested it to include
the provision to those sales took
place before February 26, 2014,
as well.

The move is aimed at


incentivising banks to recover
appropriate value in respect of
NPAs (non-performing assets).
Almost all banks, including
private sector players, have
been reporting higher NPAs and
lower profits as they have to
make more provisions for bad

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Economy

loans, which crossed 5.5 per


cent as at the end of December.
Together with restructured
loans, the total pain on the
system is close to 12 per cent.
The new guidelines extending
the sale period prior to
February, 2014, will help banks
report better numbers and,
thus, take a little pain off their
back. From April 1, banks will
have to make full provision 5
per cent of the bad asset if
they have restructured the loan,
and the entire amount if the
asset in corporate debt
restructuring (CDR) turns bad.
The apex bank said the new
guidelines will be applicable if
only the excess is for a value
higher than the bank s net book
value (NBV).
Further, the notification said,
The quantum of excess
provision reversed to profit and
loss account will be limited to
the extent to which cash
received exceeds the NBV of
the NPAs sold.
It also made it mandatory for
banks to report the quantum of
such excess provision reversed
to the profit and loss account in
the financial statements of the
bank under notes to accounts.
Bad loans in public sector
banks more than tripled to
about Rs.2.17 lakh crore in three
years to March, 2014.
The move is aimed at
incentivizing banks to recover
appropriate value in respect of
NPAs.

IMF raises India growth


forecast to 7.2 % this fiscal
The International Monetary
Fund (IMF) has forecast India
will grow 7.5 per cent in 201516, up from 7.2 per cent in the

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current year, a projection less


optimistic than that of the Modi
government.
In the Union budget 2015, the
government estimated growth
of up to 8.5 per cent in 201516.
The Indian economy is the
bright spot in the global
landscape, becoming one of
the fastest-growing big
emerging market economies in
the world, the IMF said in an
official statement.
The report stressed the urgency
of certain key reforms, including
the bottlenecks in the energy,
mining and power sectors;
infrastructure gaps, land
acquisition processes and
environmental clearances.
In its annual assessment of the
Indian economy in the
mandatory Article IV annual
report, the IMF said that Indias
vulnerabilities have receded
more than those of most
emerging markets and
sentiment has been revived.
The Indian economy is reviving,
helped by positive policy
actions that have improved
confidence and lower global oil
pricesTo continue on this
trend, India needs to revitalise
the investment cycle and
accelerate structural reforms,
according to the statement.
New investment project
announcements have started to
pick up, particularly in the
power and transport sectors,
said IMF Mission Chief for India
Paul Cashin. He also noted that
bolstering financial sector
health and further financial
inclusion would support
growth going forward.
Mr. Cashin said that while India
is well placed to cope with

external shocks, there are


possible risks on the horizon,
both external and domestic.
These include spillovers from
weak global growth and
potential global financial
market volatility that could be
disruptive, including from any
unexpected developments as
the United States begins to raise
its interest rates.
On the domestic front, the
weaknesses in corporate
balance sheets, especially in
light of the increase in corporate
leverage of the past few years,
and worsening bank asset
quality bear watching, as they
could weigh on growth.
The IMF report also said that
Indias economic profile
recently got a lift as the country
improved the way it measures
economic output.
The revised national accounts
series incorporates numerous
conceptual
and
methodological improvements
that make them more consistent
with international best
practices, it said adding that
the report itself was prepared
before the revisions were
released by the Central
Statistics Office.
Mr. Cashin also gave thumbs up
to the Modi governments
recent move to introduce a
flexible inflation-targeting
framework. It will help deliver
low and stable inflation, and
diminish the prospect of
renewed bouts of high
inflation, he said.
Among the reforms the report
recommended are steps in the
agriculture sector for efficient
procurement, distribution, and
storage of food in the public
system. Greater flexibility in
45

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Economy
labour
markets
and
improvements in education for
meeting the rising shortages of
skilled labour were among the
key reforms suggested.
RIL heads the list of top 10 asset
firms

At the end of 2014, India has


68 billionaires and occupies the
seventh slot in that club
globally.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs
has come out with the names of
top ten corporates having assets
ranging from Rs.89,000 crore to
Rs.3.68 lakh crore, based on the
balance sheets filed for March
2014.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley,
released the list containing eight
public sector firms and two
private sector firms (Reliance
Industries and Housing
Development Finance Corp).
RIL occupies the first slot
among the corporates, in terms
of assets, with over Rs.3.68 lakh
crore for the year ended March
2014.
The second slot is taken by
Indian Oil Corp with assets of
Rs.2.52 lakh crore.
The latest list contains asset
details of 4.16 lakh firms valued
at Rs.117.08 lakh crore.
The share of top 10 firms, at
Rs.17.89 lakh crore, accounts
for 15.3 per cent of the overall
value.
HDFC was in the third slot,
followed by Power Finance
46

Corp, NTPC, Rural Electrification


Corp, Power Grid Corp, LIC
Housing Finance, Steel
Authority of India and Bharat
Sanchar Nigam Ltd. PFCs assets
stand at Rs.1.94 lakh crore,
NTPC at Rs.1.80 lakh crore, REC
at Rs.1.53 lakh crore, Power Grid
at Rs.1.40 lakh crore LIC Housing
Finance at Rs.95,777 crore, SAIL
at Rs.91,962 crore and BSNL at
Rs.89,333 crore.
The list contains eight public
sector firms and two private
sector firms.
Black money taxable at highest
rates

Under the new law on black


money, the offence will be
made non-compoundable and
offenders will not be permitted
to approach the Settlement
Commission. Undisclosed
incomes or returns from foreign
assets will be taxable at the
maximum marginal rate and
exemptions or deductions
which may otherwise be
applicable in such cases, shall
not be allowed.
The offence of concealment of
income or evasion of tax in
relation to a foreign asset will be
made a predicate offence
under the Prevention of Moneylaundering Act, 2002. This
provision would enable the
enforcement agencies to attach
and confiscate unaccounted
assets held abroad and launch
prosecution against persons

indulging in laundering of black


money, Revenue Secretary
Shaktikanta Das told.
Union Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley had said in his budget
speech that he would introduce
the law in Parliament during the
current session. Under it, he
had said, it would be mandatory
to disclose all overseas bank
accounts and assets to the tax
authorities and concealment of
income or assets held overseas
could attract a jail term of up to
10 years.
The government has also said
that ahead of the laws
enforcement, it would provide
a one-time compliance window
of a few months.
Das said the penalty during the
compliance window could be
lower than 300 per cent the
rate Mr. Jaitley had said in his
budget speech would apply to
the concealment of income and
assets overseas under the new
law.
Govt working to wrest Khadi
trademark from German firm
Government is working in
tandem with the Khadi and
Village Industries Commission
(KVIC) to expedite the process
of de-registering Khadi
trademark in the European
Union by a German company,
Parliament was informed .
KVIC has also initiated the
process to register Khadi
trademark in India and
internationally.
The German company, named
Khadi Natureprodukte GbR, has
registered Khadi as a
trademark with the European
agency, OHIM (Office for
Harmonisation in the Internal
Market).

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Economy
Spain-based OHIM is the nodal
agency for Trademarks and
Design Registration in the
European Union.
Indian Embassies abroad have
been in touch with the
authorities of European Union
for cancellation of the
registration of Khadi as a
trademark, Micro Small and
Medium Enterprises Minister of
State Giriraj Singh informed the
Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The government, KVIC and the
Indian Embassies are working in
tandem to expedite the
process of de-registering the
trademark of Khadi, he added.
Singh said the process to
register for international
trademarks for Khadi is being
done in two stages first at
national level and second at
international level.
He added that KVIC has filed
an application to register Khadi
as a word mark under IPR
Authority in Mumbai.
This mark has been filed for 27
classes under IPR Act covering
various products relevant to
KVIC comprising of Khadi
fabrics and village industries,
Singh said.
Online registration for Khadi as
a Word mark has already been
done and application for
International IPR under Madrid
Protocol has been filed for the
US, European Union and Russia
and China, he added.
KVIC is a statutory body
engaged in promoting and
developing khadi and village
industries.
Shiv Nadar Foundation sells
shares in HCL Technologies
The Shiv Nadar Foundation, a
philanthropic arm of Shiv Nadar,

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Founder and Chairman of HCL,


sold its entire stake in HCL
Technologies for Rs.1,109 crore
in the open market.

The proceeds are expected to


be used for various objectives
and initiatives of the foundation.
Established in 1994, the Shiv
Nadar Foundation supports
education and art. It runs
institutions such as Shiv Nadar
University, Shiv Nadar School
and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art,
among others.
Mr. Nadar has so far committed
around Rs.6,000 crore from his
wealth to philanthropy. The
foundation has already spent
around Rs.3,000 crore on
philanthropic initiatives until
March 31, 2014.
Under the initiative, Mr. Nadar
wants to build prestigious
educational institutions and
improve the lot of the
underprivileged by tackling
critical parameters. He is also
looking for a one-size-fits-all
model to solve Indias basic
problems of water, education,
employability, health and
infrastructure.
According to bulk deal data on
Bombay Stock Exchange, 56
lakh shares (0.8 per cent stake)
were sold at Rs.1,980.18 a share,
at a discount to the firms closing
price of Rs. 2,064.75 on
Thursday last.
This transaction has been
concluded at one go at a
discount to the last closing price

of HCL Technologies share to


avoid any overhang in the
market for shareholders of HCL
Technologies, Shiv Nadar
Foundation said in a statement.
The Foundation said the sale
was done to fulfil the
governance, tax and legal
regulations that required it to
the sell the shares before March
31, 2015. It had previously sold
HCL Technologies shares in
February 2012.
After the transaction was
announced, HCL Technologies
shares declined to days low of
Rs. 1,975. However, it
recovered and closed flat at Rs.
2067.35 on the BSE.
Industrialist Deepak Khaitan
passes away
City based industrialist Deepak
Khaitan (60), passed away after
a prolonged spell of illness. He
was 60 and is survived by his
wife, son and daughter.
He was the eldest son of B.M.
Khaitan and had in his fold major
companies like Eveready
Industries, Mcnally Bharat and
Kilburn Engineering. He is
perhaps best known for the
acquisition of the Eveready
brand from the Union Carbide.
The turnover of the group is
around Rs. 6,000 crores.
News Corp acquires VCCircle
Network
The Rupert Murdoch-led firm
has signed a definitive
agreement to acquire media
firm VCCircle Network for an
undisclosed sum.
Rupert Murdoch-led News
Corp has signed a definitive
agreement to acquire media
firm VCCircle Network for an
undisclosed sum.
47

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Economy
This is the third investment by
News Corp in India.
Previously, it had invested in
financial advisory start-up firm
BigDecisions.com and realty
portal PropTiger.com.
In a statement, News Corp said
it has signed a definitive
agreement to acquire VCCircle
Network, which includes
VCCircle.com, Techcircle.in,
VCCEdge, VCCircle Training, in
addition to a premium-content
driven conference business.
Terms of the acquisition, which
is expected to close by March,
were not disclosed.
Commenting
on
the
announcement, News Corp
Chief Executive Robert
Thomson said: India is an
increasingly meaningful part of
our portfolio, which is itself
increasingly digital and global.
VCCircle Network is owned by
Mosaic Media Ventures and has
about 100 employees across
India, with its headquarters
in Noida.
VCCircle Network Founder and
CEO P V Sahad and the
management group will
become part of News Corp s
India team.
Sahad will report to News Corp
Senior Vice President (Strategy)
Raju Narisetti, the statement
said.
In November 2014, News Corp
had acquired 25 per cent stake
in Indian realty portal
PropTiger.com for USD 30
million (Rs 185 crore) as part of
its strategy to expand presence
in digital media.
It had picked up stake in
Singapore-based
Elara
Technologies Pte Ltd, the
parent firm of PropTiger.com.
In the following month, News
48

Corp announced acquisition of


BigDecisions.com for an
undisclosed sum. The portal
was set up by Manish Shah and
Gaurav Roy in early 2013.
Walmart India appoints Ashwin
Mittal as CFO

Walmart India announced


Ashwin Mittal as the new Chief
Financial Officer and Javier Rojo
as Head of Real Estate and
Business Development. Mr.
Mittal will replace Jill Anderson,
the present CFO, the company
statement said.
Apple to join
Dow blue-chip index
U.S. tech giant Apple will join
the blue-chip Dow Jones
Industrial Index later this month,
replacing telecom company
AT&T, S&P Dow Jones Indices
announced.
The inclusion of the iPhone and
iPad maker in the elite list of 30
top companies comes long after
Apple had become the biggest
U.S. company by market
capitalisation, now with a value
of more than $730 billion.
The change will take effect
March 19, S&P Dow Jones said.
No tax on premature
withdrawal of private PF below
Rs. 30,000
Members of private provident
fund trusts need not have to pay
tax on premature withdrawals
if the amount is either less than

Rs. 30,000 or their tax liability is


nil even after including the
withdrawn sum to their income.
A proposal to this effect is
contained the Budget 2015-16.
As per existing provisions in
respect of such premature
withdrawal, the trustees of the
recognised provident funds
(trusts) shall deduct tax as
computed at the time of
payment.
Under the existing EPF & MP
Act (Employees Provident
Funds and Miscellaneous
Provisions Act), withdrawal shall
be taxable if the employee
makes withdrawal before
continuous service of five years
(other than the cases of
termination due to ill health,
closure of business, etc) and
does not opt for transfer of
balance to new employer.
It is proposed to insert a new
provision in the Act for
deduction of tax at the rate of
10 per cent on premature
withdrawal from Employees
Provident Fund Scheme
(EPFS).
NPCI links 15 cr bank accounts
with Aadhaar
National Payments Corporation
of India (NPCI), the umbrella
organisation for all retail
payments system in India, said
that it reached a major milestone
of successfully linking 15 crore
bank accounts with Aadhaar
number.
Beneficiaries of all types of
government subsidies /benefit
transfers are expected to be
brought under the linkage
programme very soon.
The current focus is on linking
the bank accounts of 17 crore
DBTL (direct benefit transfer for
LPG) beneficiaries with

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Economy
Aadhaar numbers, latest by
June 30, 2015, NPCI stated in
a release.

Financial sector set on a path


towards innovation

TRAI asks Vodafone to stop


using 111 service

The Telecom Regulatory


Authority of India (TRAI)
directed Vodafone to stop
using 111 for offering
customer care services, as it
violates the national numbering
plan, and submit a compliance
report by March 10.
In a direction to Vodafone, TRAI
said that the Department of
Telecom had issued the
national numbering plan 2003,
wherein the number 111 to 115
have not been allocated for any
type of services and have been
kept as spare
However, the authority said it
observed
from
the
advertisement on the website
of Vodafone that customers
were being urged to call 111
to get Internet settings on their
handset for pre-paid data
offers, post-paid 3G data packs,
self help for data services,
Blackberry Internet offers and
to find out the balance.
Now therefore, in exercise of
the powers conferred upon it...
the authority hereby directs
Vodafone India to discontinue
use of level 111 and submit
compliance report latest by
March 10, TRAI said.

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The budget outlines several


much-needed measures for
development of the financial
sector.
The three notable aspects are
the focus on innovation, steps
towards
structural
strengthening, and move to
develop various segments of the
financial sector.
Other key highlights include
steps to channelise savings from
physical assets to financial ones,
enhance financial inclusion, and
remove constraints for foreign
investors.
Some more, though, was
expected for debt markets and
public sector banks.
Budget laid a clear emphasis on
enhancing innovation in the
financial sector. Proposal to setup Micro Units Development
and
Refinance
Agency
(MUDRA Bank) will enable
microfinance institutions to lend
to individual-run microenterprises.
Clarity and rationalisation of
taxation rules for Real Estate
Investment Trusts (REITs) and
Infrastructure Investment Trusts
(InvITs) will pave the way for
these new vehicles to be
introduced during the year. This
will benefit real estate players
having
lease-generating
commercial assets and
infrastructure developers with
operating projects.

The plan to set-up the National


Investment and Infrastructure
Fund (NIIF) for taking equity in
infrastructure projects will
catalyse the infrastructure
investments.
With the approval for Gujarat
International Finance Tec-City
(GIFT), India will take baby
steps towards developing as a
global financial centre.
Finally, the planned Trade
Receivables Discounting
System (TReDS) will help SMEs
to reduce their working capital
cycle. Once implemented,
these innovations have a
potential to significantly
develop the Indian financial
sector to support multiple
stakeholders and industries.
On the structural side, to
strengthen the sector, the
Finance
Minister
has
announced reforms in the
bankruptcy law, which will
effectively address the nonperforming assets challenge for
banks in the long term. Allowing
large non-banking finance
companies (NBFCs) to use the
SARFAESI Act will significantly
augment their recovery efforts.
The proposed merger of
Securities and Exchange board
of India (SEBI) and Forward
Markets Commission (FMC) will
ensure better regulatory
supervision of financial markets
that are becoming increasingly
complex.
The establishment of a Bank
Boards Bureau to select heads
of government-owned PSU
banks and drive their capital
management strategies will also
strengthen the sector.
Finally, path towards a bank
holding company over the
medium term will enhance
49

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Economy

governance practices and allow


better visibility of capital for
public sector banks.
Another notable push has been
given to the alternate asset
management,
insurance,
pension, and asset management
sectors.
Alternate Investment Funds
have been made pass-through
from an income tax perspective
and foreign investment has also
been allowed.
This has the potential to
significantly increase the flow of
funds to real estate, start-ups
and early stage companies and
infrastructure projects through
professionally
managed
specialised structure.
Given the large investment
needs, the bond markets and
banking sector are expected to
play a critical role in providing
the necessary debt funding. In
this context, greater attention
on steps to develop the bond
markets
would
have
complemented
the
investments push of the
budget.
Similarly, a higher capital
allocation for public sector
banks would have prepared
them well for growth, as well as
to meet their current
challenges.

Full electrification by 2022

Giving a major boost to the


governments plans to make
India energy surplus by 2019
50

and to provide electricity to


each household by 2022, the
government proposed five new
Ultra Mega Power Projects
(UMPPs), each of 4,000 MW
which will come up in the plugand-play mode enabling
investors to start these plants
without much delay.
Out of the 4 UMPPs announced
earlier, two (Mundra and Sasan)
are operational now.
Presenting the Union budget,
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
said all clearances and linkages
would be in place for these five
new UMPPs before the
projects are awarded through a
transparent auction system.
He also said the second unit of
Kudankulam Nuclear Power
Station
would
be
commissioned in 2015-2016.
Apart from this the budget has
also made several provisions for
the growth of Renewable
Energy sector in the country.
By 2022, the government
announced plans to have
1,75,000 MW of renewable
energy generation (100000 MW
solar, 60,000 wind and 15,000
MW other technology). Solar
energy will get the biggest in
capacity from 3,500 MW now to
1,00,000 in 7 years.
According to experts the
governments intention to drive
new investment in power
generation is a welcome and
necessary move, but to
continue to attract investors, the
government must revive the
distribution sector.
The government has decided
to increase clean energy cess
on coal from Rs 100/tonnes to
Rs 200/tonnes which will help
mobilise funds for clean energy
initiates.

Changes in corporate tax


regime to reduce disputes:
Jaitley
The proposal to correct the
corporate tax regime by
lowering the tax rate and
removing the exemptions will
lead to higher level of
investment, higher growth and
more jobs, Union Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley said in his
budget speech in Parliament.
The proposed changes, he said,
would come into effect from the
next financial year.
At 30 per cent, the basic rate of
corporate tax in India is higher,
he argued, than the rates
prevalent in the other major
Asian economies, making the
domestic
industry
uncompetitive. Still, the
effective collection is just about
23 per cent, the Finance
Minister said.
Further, the regime of
exemptions has led to pressure
groups, litigation and loss of
revenue and it also gives room
for avoidable discretion, he
said.
In the Budget, the Finance
Ministry has estimates that the
revenue collected under
corporate tax will go up
marginally during 2015-16 to Rs.
4,70,628 crore against Rs.
4,26,079 crore during the
current year.
Nirbhaya fund
Gets Rs. 1,000 crore
The 2015-16 budget pledged
a top-up of Rs.1,000 crore to
the already existing Nirbhaya
Fund for ensuring safety of
women, while slashing the
allocation to the women and
child ministry by over half.

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Economy
The Women and Child
Development Ministry received
Rs. 21,193 crore in last years
budget, an improvement over
the RS. 18,584 crore in 2013-14
.
This year however, in his second
outing, Mr. Jaitley slashed it to
Rs.10,351 crore, while
earmarking Rs.79,258 crore for
ongoing schemes related to
welfare of women.
The Nirbhaya fund, set up by
the UPA government in the
aftermath of the December 16
Delhi gangrape, has made more
news for being alarmingly
underutilised than for making
any significant improvement to
womens safety.
Besides monetary allocations,
Mr. Jaitley spelled out a
moderate push for small savings
for educating the girl child
under the Sukanya Samriddhi
initiative.
The government had adopted
gender budgeting (or genderresponsive budgeting) in 2005
to help advance gender
equality
through
comprehensive and integrated
planning by several government
departments.
4-D solution for banking
industry
The Economic Survey 2014-15
has
proposed
a
4-D
prescription to the Indian
banking sector, which is
hobbled by policy constraints,
which create double financial
repression, and, by structural
factors, impede competition.
The four Ds include:
De-regulation (addressing the
statutory liquidity ratio (SLR)
and priority sector lending
(PSL)),

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Differentiation (within the


public sector banks in relation
to recapitalisation, shrinking
balance
sheets,
and
ownership),
Diversification (of source of
funding within and outside
banking), and Disinterring (by
improving exit mechanisms).
Highlights of Union Budget 2015
FMs Budget speech dwelt on
agriculture, public investments
in infrastructure, manufacturing
and social sector spending.
States to be equal partners in
economic growth; move to
making India cashless society;
social sector programmes to
continue.
Some of the challenges
mentioned by the Finance
Minister are: poor agricultural
income,
decline
in
manufacturing ; and the need
for fiscal discipline.
Here are sector-wise highlights:
TAXATION
1 Abolition of Wealth Tax.
2 Additional 2% surcharge for the
super rich with income of over
Rs. 1 crore.
3. Rate of corporate tax to be
reduced to 25% over next four
years.
4. Total exemption of up to Rs.
4,44,200 can be achieved.
5. 100%
exemption
for
contribution to Swachch
Bharat, apart from CSR.
6. Service tax increased to14 per
cent.
AGRICULTURE
1. Rs. 25,000 crore for Rural
Infrastructure Development
Bank.
2. Rs. 5,300 crore to support Micro
Irrigation Programme.
3. Farmers credit - target of 8.5
lakh crore.

INFRASTRUCTURE
1. Rs. 70,000 crores to
Infrastructure sector.
2. Tax-free bonds for projects in
rail road and irrigation
3. PPP model for infrastructure
development to be revitalised
and govt. to bear majority of the
risk.
4. Rs. 150 crore allocated for
Research & Development
5. NITI to be established and
involvement of entrepreneurs,
researchers to foster scientific
innovations.
6. Govt. proposes to set up 5 ultra
mega power projects, each of
4000MW.
EDUCATION
1. AIIMS in Jammu and Kashmir,
Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal
Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.
2. IIT in Karnataka; Indian Institute
of Mines in Dhanbad to be
upgraded to IIT.
3. PG institute of Horticulture in
Armtisar.
4. Kerala to have University of
Disability Studies
5. Centre of film production,
animation and gaming to come
up in Arunachal Pradesh.
6. IIM for Jammu and Kashmir and
Andhra Pradesh.
DEFENCE
1. Rs. 2,46,726 crore for Defence.
2. Focus on Make in India for quick
manufacturing of Defence
equipment.
WELFARE SCHEMES
1. 50,000 toilets constructed
under Swachh Bharath
Abhiyan.
2. Two other programmes to be
introduced- GST & JAM Trinity.
GST will be implemented by
April 2016.
3. MUDRA bank will refinance
micro finance orgs. to
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Economy
encourage first generation SC/
ST entrepreneurs.
4. Housing for all by 2020.
5. Upgradation 80,000 secondary
schools.
6. DBT will be further be
expanded from 1 crore to 10.3
crore.
7. For the Atal Pension Yojna, govt.
will contribute 50% of the
premium limited to Rs. 1000 a
year.
8. New scheme for physical aids
and assisted living devices for
people aged over 80 .
9. Govt to use Rs. 9000 crore
unclaimed funds in PPF/EPF for
Senior Citizens Fund.
10. Rs. 5,000 crore additional
allocation for MGNREGA.
11. Govt. to create universal social
security system for all Indians.
RENEWABLE ENERGY
1. Rs. 75 crore for electric cars
production.
2. Renewable energy target for
2022: 100K MW in solar; 60K
MW in wind; 10K MW in biomass
and 5K MW in small hydro
TOURISM
1. Develpoment schemes for
churches and convents in old
Goa; Hampi, Elephanta caves,
Forests of Rajasthan, Leh palace,
Varanasi , Jallianwala Bagh, Qutb
Shahi tombs at Hyderabad to be
under the new toursim scheme.
2. Visa on Arrival for 150 countries.
Budget 2015 : Glossary of terms
used in Budget
Here is a ready reckoner for
some of these terms.
Disinvestment Receipts
The term refers to the money
raised by the Government through
disinvestment, or the sale of its equity
stake in companies it owns.

52

Fiscal Responsibility and


Budget Management Act
The Act is an attempt to make
the Government adhere to a phased
plan to reduce fiscal deficit, which
denotes an excess of expenditure
over revenue.
Dividend Distribution Tax
This is a tax levied on
companies that pay out dividends to
its shareholders, i.e. share a portion
of earnings with them.
Venture Capital Funds
These are funds that invest in
startups, a financially riskier
proposition than investing in
established companies.
Securities Transaction Tax
It is a tax on all transactions done
over the stock exchanges involving
securities such as shares, derivatives,
and equity-linked mutual funds.
Wholesale Price Index (WPI)
It is a measure of inflation, or
price change, arrived at after regularly
measuring the prices of a slew of
wholesale goods.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
It is a measure of inflation, or
price change, arrived at after regularly
measuring the prices of a slew of
household goods and services.
Capital Gains Tax
It is a tax on the gains that ensue
when an asset is sold for a price higher
than what it was bought for.
Value-Added Tax (VAT)
It is a tax on the value added to
a product at each stage of
distribution, so that inputs that go into
making the product arent taxed more
than once.
Ad Valorem Tax
This is charged as a percentage
of the value of a good or service, not
at a specific rate per unit.

Advance Pricing Agreement


(APA)
It is an agreement between a
taxpaying entity and the taxman that
indicates how the former will price
transactions with its associates.
Fiscal Policy
It is what a Government does to
influence the course of an economy
through decisions on taxes and
spending.
Monetary Policy
It is what a central bank does to
influence the course of an economy
through decisions on money supply
and interest rate.
Direct Tax
A tax such as the income-tax,
which has to be borne by the person
it or entity it is imposed on.
Indirect Tax
A tax on goods and services,
typically, levied on an entity but paid
by another.
Direct Taxes Code (DTC)
Indias likely replacement to the
long-standing Income Tax Act, the
Direct Taxes Code is meant to make
direct tax laws simpler and more
efficient.
Goods and Services Tax
(GST)
Proposed to be rolled out in
India from April 1, 2016, the GST
seeks to make the indirect tax
structure simpler and efficient by
replacing a slew of levies such as
octroi, central sales tax, State sales
tax, entry tax and so on.
External Commercial
Borrowing (ECB)
ECBs refer to commercial loans
with a minimum three-year maturity
that can be raised from lenders from
overseas where interest rates are
lower than in India.

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Economy
Fiscal Consolidation
The term refers to the things a
Government does to maintain good
fiscal health cut debt and wasteful
expenditure and improve revenue
opportunities.
Current Account Deficit
It is a trade measure that shows
the value of a countrys imports of
goods and services to be higher than
the value of its exports.
White Paper outlines challenges
of Railways
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu
tabled a white paper before
presenting the budget .
The paper delineates the
challenges before the Railways
how it is perched on a
precipice but is capable of
flying off and attaining great
heights.
A plan for the railways of
tomorrow has been outlined.
The organisation has suffered
from considerable underinvestment during the last
several years, said Railway
Minister Mr. Prabhu in the paper.
As a consequence, capacity
augmentation has suffered and
so has the quality of service.
Resources
have
been
insufficient for improving
customer satisfaction and
introducing technological
improvements. Investments in
safety have also been
insufficient.
The status paper is the first in a
series of three documents.
The budget, being the second,
lays down a five-year action plan
of the Ministry in bringing about
a turnaround.
Finally, during the course of the
current year, Indian Railways
will bring out a Vision 2030
document which will contain a

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blueprint of the long-term


development.
Prabhu proposed a paradigm
change with faster trains,
swanky stations and skilled staff
and flagged areas in need of
urgent attention such as
cleanliness, punctuality of
services, safety, terminal quality,
capacity of trains, food quality,
passenger security and ease of
booking tickets.
The five-year plan is to
undertake measures to ensure
delivering safe and punctual
services, increasing average
speed by 50 per cent and
increasing loading to 1.5 billion
tonnes.
Highlights of Railway Budget
2015

The key themes of the Budget


were in line with Prime Minister
Narendra Modis initiatives - Swachch
Bharat Mission, Make in India and
Digital India.
The most-expected part about
this years Railway Budget there is no increase in
passsenger rail fares.
Rs.8.5 lakh crore will be invested
in Railways in next 5 years.
Operation 5 mins, wherein
passengers
travellling
unreserved can purchase a
ticket in 5 minutes.
Bio toilets and airplane-type
vaccum toilets in trains.
Surveillance cameras in select
coaches
and
ladies
compartments for womens

safety without compromising on


privacy.
Rail tickets can now be booked
120 days in advance.
Speed on nine railway corridors
to go up to 200 km per hour.
Wi-Fi in more stations, mobile
phone charging facilities in all
train compartments.
Facility of online booking of
wheelchair for senior citizens.
Satellite railway terminals in
major cities.
Centrally managed Rail Display
Network is expected to be
introduced in over 2K stations
over the next 2 years.
All india 24/7 helpline - 138
from March 2015 ; Toll free
No.182 for security.
917 road under-bridges and
over-bridges to be constructed
to replace 3,438 railway
crossings; at a cost of Rs. 6,581
crore.
Four Railway Research Centres
to start in four universities.
Details about new trains and
increased frequency will be
announced later in this session
of Parliament after review.
What is the investment plan?
The Railway Budget envisages
an investment of Rs. 8.5 lakh
crore in next five years.
How is it going to be
mobilized?
The Minister suggested that the
money could be raised from
multiple sources - from
multilateral development banks
to pension funds.
What is the action plan in the
sphere fund raising?
Go in for partnership with key
stakeholders - States, PSUs,
partner with multilateral and bilateral organizations other
governments to gain access to
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Economy
long-term financing. Also, get
technology from overseas. The
private sector could be roped
in to improve last-mile
connectivity, expand fleet of
rolling stock and modernize
station infrastructure.
What is the thrust?
The thrust will be on revamping
management practices, systems,
processes, and re-tooling of
human resources.
What is the proposal on
capacity augmentation?
De-congesting networks with
basket of traffic-generating
projects will be the priority
Priority to last-mile connectivity
projects
Fast-track sanctioned works on
7,000 kms of double/third/
fourth lines
Commissioning 1200 km in
2015-16 at an investment of Rs.
8,686 crore, 84% higher Y-O-Y.
Commissioning 800 km of gauge
conversion targeted in current
fiscal.
77 projects covering 9,400 km
of
doubling/tripling/
quadrupling works along with
electrification, covering almost
all States, at a cost of Rs. 96,182
crore, which is over 2700%
higher in terms of amount
sanctioned.
Traffic facility work is a top
priority with an outlay of Rs.
2374 crore .
Award of 750 km of civil
contracts and 1300 km of
system contracts in 2015-16 on
Dedicated
Freight Corridor (DFC); 55 km
section of Eastern DFC to be
completed in the current year.
Preliminary engineering-cumtraffic survey (PETS) for four
other DFCs in progress.
54

Acceleration of pace of Railway


electrification: 6,608 route
kilometers sanctioned for 201516, an increase of 1330% over
the previous year.

the New Development Bank


(NDB) and the BRICS
Contingent
Reserve
Arrangement (CRA).

SEBI slaps
Rs.86 cr penalty on DLF
The Securities and Exchange
Board of India (SEBI),
penalised the real estate major,
DLF, and other connected
entities by levying a penalty of
Rs.86 crore for violating capital
market regulations by engaging
in fraudulent and unfair trade
practices.
SEBI penalised DLF Rs.26 crore
and other top officials
including, K.P. Singh, Rajiv Singh
and Pia Singh, another Rs.26
crore. Further, SEBI fined
another related 35 entities,
including individuals, Rs.34
crore.
The case is pertaining to the
irregularities and non-disclosure
violations related to its 2007
initial public offering (IPO).
DLF said it did not violate any
law and it will challenge the
SEBI order. DLF further said that
the company and its board
were guided by and acted on
the advise of eminent legal
advisors, merchant bankers and
audit firms while formulating its
IPO documents. We are
presently reviewing the said
orders and after taking
appropriate legal advice, we
will challenge the said Orders
in appeal, DLF said in a
statement.
Cabinet approves agreement on
BRICS development bank
The Union Cabinet, chaired by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
gave approval for establishing

Heads of the five nation BRICS


group Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa
decided at their sixth summit in
Fortaleza in July last year to
create a development bank as
well as a reserve fund to finance
infrastructure projects and
other sustainable development
projects.
The $100 billion BRICS CRA
would help countries deal with
short-term liquidity pressures,
provide mutual support and
further strengthen financial
stability.
The agreement will enter into
force and the Bank begin
operations only after all
member-countries deposit their
instruments of ratification with
Brazil.
The release added that signing
of the agreement for the
establishment of the New
Development Bank was
expected to allow India to raise
and obtain more resources for
the
much-needed
infrastructure development, the
lack of which was coming in the
way of inclusiveness and
growth.
Besides, the governance
structure and decision-making
in the Bank would be equitable
unlike the existing multilateral
development banks, it added.

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Economy
India will hold the Presidency
of the New Development Bank
for the first six years. The Bank
will be based in Shanghai,
Chinas financial hub.

Rajan warns
against Appellate Raj

CommonFloor
launches new solution
Online real estate platform
CommonFloor launched its
virtual reality application
CommonFloor Retina.
The application, available for
customers using Android
platforms, will allows buyers to
view and assess builder
properties.
According to a press release,
the solution offers real
property experience for the
seekers allowing them to view
or review and assess multiple
properties from anywhere at any
point of time.
At present, the feature is only
available on Android phones
like Nexus 4, MotoG 2nd Gen,
Samsung Galaxy 4, MotoX, One
Plus and Xiaomi Mi3.
Industrialist Bhadrashyam
Kothari passes away
Mr. Bhadrashyam Kothari,
prominent industrialist and
Chairman and Managing
Director, Kothari Sugars and
Chemicals, died at Houston, in
the U.S., after a brief illness. His
passing was peaceful,
surrounded by his family
members. He was 53.
As an industrialist, he brought
to bear a visionary leadership to
his group and displayed a
pioneering spirit in venturing
into new areas opened up by
the economic reforms. He was
also deeply involved in
philanthropy and the promotion
of education.

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In a veiled attack on suggestions


made by the governmentappointed Financial Sector
Legislative Reforms Commission
(FSLRC) panel for overhaul of
financial sector laws, Reserve
Bank of India Governor
Raghuram Rajan, said the
country should not end up in
Appellate Raj after escaping
the License Permit Raj.
The comments assume
significance in the wake of the
high-profile FSLRC having
suggested creating a single
appellate authority for all
financial sector watchdogs,
including the RBI.
The proposal, which was aimed
at providing checks and
balances for decisions made by
the regulators, has been
hanging fire for a long time due
to opposition from various
quarters, including the RBI.
New accounting
standard rules notified
Moving closer to the
implementation of new
accounting norms, the
government has notified the
rules for the Indian Accounting
Standards (Ind AS), which will
be mandatory for companies
from April 1, 2016.
Ind AS norms, which are
converged with global
standards IFRS, can be

followed by corporates on a
voluntary basis from April 1, this
year.
For companies having net worth
of Rs.500 crore or more, the new
norms would be mandatory
from April 1, 2016. In a
notification, the Corporate
Affairs Ministry said the
Companies (Ind AS) Rules
2015 would come into force
with effect from April 1. Last
month, the ministry had
announced the Ind AS
roadmap.
Videocon launches Wi-Fi
enabled ACs

Consumer electronics major


Videocon Industries, unveiled
a range of Wi-Fi enabled ACs to
expand its presence in the
highly competitive domestic airconditioner (AC) market.
The new Wi-Fi AC can be
controlled from anywhere in the
world through an app on a
smartphone.
It uses the Wi-Fi network at the
consumers home to connect
with a smartphone and receives
signals on any 2G, 3G and 4G
devices.
The company, launched four
new split ACs from 1-1.5 tonnes
belonging to the Wi-Fi series.
These are priced between
Rs.35,990 and Rs.41,990.
The focus markets for the range
are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra,
Gujarat, Kerala and Delhi. The
range is to be launched nationwide in the next few days.
55

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Economy
Godrej Properties joins hands
with Snapdeal
Realty firm Godrej Properties
said it has tied up with Snapdeal
to offer online booking of its real
estate projects.
Godrej Properties already offers
online booking through its
website and has added this
additional sales channel to
further enhance customer
access, the company said.
The tie-up with Snapdeal will
offer customers increased
flexibility and unique offers at
the time of booking, it added.
Snapdeal buys fashion
portal Exclusively.com
Expanding its presence in the
high-end fashion segment,
online marketplace Snapdeal
has acquired luxury fashion
portal Exclusively.com for an
undisclosed amount.
With this acquisition, the citybased firm that gets a little over
$1 billion in gross merchandise
value (GMV) from its fashion
business expects this figure to
touch $2 billion by the end of
the current calendar year.
Hyundai launches new Verna

compete with Honda City and


Maruti Ciaz, will be available in
both petrol and diesel options
and have ten variants.
For the April 2014-January 2015
period this fiscal, Honda City
sold 61,102 units, while Maruti
Ciaz, which was launched in
October last year, sold 23,490
units till January.
Aero India 2015 to focus on
Make in India
Aero India 2015 will be
inaugurated by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi at Bengaluru on
February 18, with the theme
squarely focused on Make in
India in aerospace, defence,
civil aviation and airport
infrastructure in line with the
governments mantra.
We want to set Make in India
as the major theme of the
exhibition and see it progress
in the defence sector also,
Defence Production Secretary
G. Mohan Kumar said.
A global CEOs conference will
be chaired by Defence Minister
Manohar Parrikar. Around 300
CEOs from Indian and foreign
companies are expected to
attend the conference.

SEBI plans profiling of major


investors to boost surveillance

Hyundai Motor India, launched


the updated version of its midsize sedan Verna, priced
between Rs.7.74 lakh and
Rs.12.19 lakh (ex-showroom
Delhi).
The new Verna that will
56

To strengthen its surveillance


activities, capital markets
watchdog Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
is planning to conduct

profiling of major investors in


different segments of the
market to understand their
trading patterns and the impact
on the market.
This follows SEBI having put in
place mechanisms for risk
profiling of the brokers and
listed companies so as to
understand the associated risk.
This has become more
important in cases of
algorithmic or high-frequency
trades, as the impact of the
trading activities of major
investors or traders could be
quite big and really fast,
requiring a very robust
surveillance system, he added.
To help it better regulate the
marketplace and strengthen its
surveillance system, SEBI has
adopted a supervision model
based on risk levels for various
market entities including
brokers and mutual funds.
Under the new model, various
market entities are being
divided into four groups very
low risk, low risk, medium risk
and high risk and the
quantum of surveillance and
number of inspections increase
as per the risk level.
This new supervision regime has
been put in place as per
recommendations of an
independent global consultant
and
the
subsequent
suggestions made by an internal
task force at SEBI, while taking
into account practices followed
by many overseas regulators.
The move would help the
existing surveillance system
take care of most of the smaller
offences, so that the
investigation resources are
utilised more effectively to
tackle serious violations in the
market place.

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Science & Technology

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


INS Alleppey decommissioned

INS Alleppey , one of the six


Ponchicherry class coastal
minesweepers purchased from
the erstwhile USSR in the
1970s, decommissioned at
sunset after nearly 35 years of
service under the Western
Naval Command.
After INS Alleppey s
decommissioning, the Indian
Navy will be left with six other
operational minesweeper
vessels.
The ship was decommissioned
by Rear Admiral MS Pawar, Flag
Officer
Commanding
Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval
Area at Mumbai Naval
Dockyard.
ISROs launcher assembly unit
gets Rs. 120 crore

ISROs proposal for having a


second facility to assemble
launchers at Sriharikota has got
a Rs. 120-crore Budget boost.

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The amount is the first big


allocation for additional
infrastructure since it was
approved in late 2013.
Estimated at Rs. 360 crore, the
second Vehicle Assembly
Building
(SVAB)
was
conceived to increase the
number of satellite launches
from the Satish Dhawan Space
Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota.
M.Y.S. Prasad, Director of
SDSC, said the project was
going through a multiple
tendering process to choose
agencies that would build it
over the next two years.
The SDSC has got a separate
allocation of Rs. 559 crores.

NASA launches 4 spacecraft to


solve magnetic mystery
NASA has launched four
identical spacecraft on a
billion-dollar mission to study
the explosive give-and-take of
the Earth and suns magnetic
fields.
The unmanned Atlas rocket,
and NASAs Magnetospheric
Multiscale spacecraft, soared
into a clear late-night sky, right
on time. Within two hours, all
four observatories were flying
free.
The quartet of observatories is
being placed into an oblong
orbit stretching tens of
thousands of miles into the
magnetosphere, nearly halfway
to the moon at one point.
They will fly in pyramid
formation, between 6 miles (10
kilometres) and 250 miles (402
kilometres) apart, to provide 3-

D views of magnetic
reconnection on the smallest of
scales.
Magnetic reconnection is what
happens when magnetic fields
like those around Earth and the
sun come together, break apart,
then come together again,
releasing vast energy.
This repeated process drives
the aurora, as well as solar
storms that can disrupt
communications and power on
Earth.
Data from this two-year mission
should help scientists better
understand so-called space
weather.
Each observatory resembles a
giant octagonal wheel,
stretching more than 11 feet
(3.35 meters) across and 4 feet
(1.22 meters) high, and
weighing 3,000 pounds
(1,360.79
kilogrammes)
apiece.
Numbered and stacked like
tires on top of the rocket for
launch, No 4 popped free first
more than an hour after liftoff,
followed every five minutes by
another.
Theyre all healthy and turned
on. Essentially, were all green
and headed into our mission,
said NASA project manager
Craig Tooley.
Once the long, sensor-laden
booms are extended in a few
days, each spacecraft could
span a baseball field.
Principal investigator Jim Burch
from the Southwest Research
Institute in San Antonio said
measurements will be made
57

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Science & Technology
down to the electron scale,
significantly smaller than
previous heliophysics missions.
In all, there are 100 science
sensors. Primary sciencegathering will begin this
summer, following a five-month
checkout.
The findings from the USD 1.1
billion mission will be useful in
understanding magnetic
reconnection throughout the
universe.
Closer to home, space weather
scientists along with everyone
on Earth hopefully will benefit.
Malaria: people with blood
group A more vulnerable to
severe disease

A protein produced by some


strains of the malaria parasite
can cause red blood cells,
especially in blood group A
individuals, to form clumps,
thereby increasing the severity
of disease, according to
research just published.
When certain strains of
Plasmodium falciparum , the
single-celled parasite that is
responsible for the most
dangerous forms of malaria, get
into red blood cells, those cells
start sticking to other red blood
cells as well as to walls of blood
vessels.
The resulting obstruction to
blood flow can damage tissues
and lead to severe malaria that
is life-threatening.
Previous research had
58

implicated the P. falciparum


erythrocyte membrane protein
1 (PfEMP1) in red blood cells
forming clumps. (Such clumps
are called rosettes).
Once the parasite infects red
blood cells, this protein that it
produces appears on the outer
surface of those cells. The
protein then latches on to
receptor molecules found on
other red blood cells, creating
rosettes.
However, when PfEMP1 was
removed from red blood cell
surfaces using enzymes,
rosette-formation was reduced
only in those of blood group O
but not blood group A.
This indicated that PfEMP1 may
not be the only molecule
involved in rosette formation,
noted a Scandinavian team of
scientists in a Nature Medicine
paper.
With a series of experiments,
the team showed that another
protein could have a hand too,
principally affecting individuals
of blood group A.
The RIFINs too are secreted by
the parasite and then get to the
surface of red blood cells.
There are 150 rif genes that
carry the genetic information
for RIFINs.
One P. falciparum parasite
examined by the team carried
85 such genes, but with just
one of those genes being
responsible for much of the
RIFINs it produced.
The RIFINs were thought to act
as decoys, making it difficult for
the human immune system to
detect and destroy parasiteinfected red blood cells,
commented G. Padmanabhan
of the Indian Institute of
Science in Bangalore, who has
studied the malaria parasite

over many decades but was not


involved in the research that
led to the Nature Medicine
paper.
Those cells, with the RIFIN
protein on their surface,
bound large numbers of
group A RBCs [red blood
cells], the scientists noted in
their paper.
The rosette formation with
group O RBCs was less
pronounced. Moreover, when
molecular tags that marked
RBCs as belonging to group A
were removed, their binding to
cells bearing RIFIN were similar
to those of group O.
Only RIFINs of sub-group A,
which accounts for about 70
per cent of these proteins, led
to rosettes being formed.
The protection offered by
blood group O could explain
why the blood type is so
common in the areas where
malaria is common, said Mats
Wahlgren, the studys principal
investigator, in a press release.

Oldest primitive animal fossil


found in China
Scientists have discovered the
earliest and most credible
primitive animal fossil in 600million-year-old rocks in
southwest China, media
reports say.

The research led by Chinese


scientists described a wellpreserved, rice grain-sized
primitive sponge fossil in the

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Guizhou Province, a Xinhua


report said.
Its the worlds earliest and
most credible fossil record of
primitive animal bodies, said
the lead author of the research,
Maoyan Zhu, of the Nanjing
Institute of Geology and
Palaeontology.
The discovery will help remove
doubts whether animals have
emerged on earth 600 million
years ago, Mr. Maoyan said.
The fossilised animal, slightly
more than 1.2-mm wide and
1.1-mm tall, displays many
characteristics of modern adult
sponges, an analysis based on
advanced imaging techniques
found.
The specimen is composed of
hundreds of thousands of cells,
and has a structure consisting
of three adjacent hollow tubes
sharing a common base, the
researchers said.

Natco to launch Hepatitis C drug


in India soon

Natco Pharma plans to launch


the generic version of Sovaldi,
the blockbuster drug used to
treat chronic Hepatitis C in
India soon.
Sovaldi is made by U.S. pharma
major Gilead Sciences, and
Natco recently entered into a
non-exclusive
licensing
agreement with Gilead to make
and sell generic versions of
Sovaldi in 91 developing
countries.

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The company, launched the


generic version of Sovaldi in
Nepal under the brand
Hepcinat. The product is
priced at Rs.19,900 per bottle
of 28 tablets in Nepal, and
covers the treatment duration
of three months for a patient.
Gileads compound sofosbuvir
is a breakthrough treatment for
Hepatitis C, a disease affecting
the liver. If untreated, it can
cause liver cirrhosis or liver
cancer and has a high mortality
rate.
Sovaldi with a 90 per cent cure
rate for Hepatitis C, was
introduced in the U.S. in
November 2013 priced at
$84,000 per patient.
In India Hepcinat will be priced
as in Nepal, which is a fraction
of the price Gilead prices it in
developed markets. As per the
agreement with Gilead, Natco
will pay Gilead royalty at 7 per
cent of billing price.
In an unrelated development,
the U.S. Supreme Court
declined a review of a federal
circuit court which had ruled
in favour of Natco Pharma in a
patent infringement litigation
over Tamiflu, a drug used to
treat swine flu. Natco has
partnered with Alvogen in the
U.S. to market the product.
A statement from Natco said it
was pleased with the U.S.
Supreme Courts decision to
deny certiorari for the generic
version of Tamiflu oral capsules
(oseltamivir phosphate).
Natco had received a tentative
approval on March 14, 2014, for
Oseltamivir
Phosphate
Capsules USP, 30 mg, 45 mg
and 75 mg on the Abbreviated
New Drug Application
containing a paragraph IV

certification filed with the


U.S. FDA.
India can shape the future of
Internet, says ICANN chief
With next billion people on the
Internet likely to come from
India, Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN) CEO Fadi Chehad
said the country had the power
to shape the future of Internet.
ICANN,
a
non-profit
organisation, is the global body
that oversees operation and
administration of the Internet
domain name system.
He added since his last visit to
the country in October 2013,
Indias place at the global level
has taken a new energy that is
remarkable.
Mr. Chehad said India plays an
important role in making sure
things are run in the right
direction in digital economy.
Its shaping how digital
economy would look like, not
tomorrow, but 10 years form
now because the next billion
people who will share the
Internet will come from here...
you will shape the future of
internet, he said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the
same event, Communications
and IT Minister Ravi Shankar
Prasad said the future
architecture of the Web should
not be a prerogative of a few
and should be open to all.
He added that Internet must be
equitable, effective, open-forall and no one should be able
to claim early arrival benefit.
Google may jump into virtual
reality race
A team of engineers at Google
is reportedly working to build
a version of the Android
59

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Science & Technology
operating system to power
virtual-reality applications.

The move comes on the heels


of Facebooks $2 billion
purchase of Oculus VR. The
Wall Street Journal quoted two
people familiar with the
project as saying that Google
has tens of engineers and
other staff working on the
project.
Google plans to freely
distribute the new operating
system, they said, mimicking a
strategy that has made Android
the most popular OS for
smartphones.
The project is speculative,
because no virtual-reality
devices are yet shipping in
large numbers.
MH370 report: Air Traffic
Control supervisor was sleeping
on duty
The Air Traffic Control (ATC)
supervisor was asleep on duty
during the crucial hours
following the disappearance of
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
last year, an interim report into
the tragedy has said.
Released a year after the Boeing
777-200 went missing,
transcripts of conversation
between Kuala Lumpur Air
Traffic Controller and a Malaysia
Airlines (MAS) official have
showed that between 1.20 a.m.
local
time

when
communications from the flight
had ceased and 5.20 a.m.,
the supervisor was asleep.
60

A controller started the fourminute-long conversation with


the MAS official at 5.20 a.m.
when he repeatedly pressed
the former for details,
especially whether there was
any positive handover
between Kuala Lumpur Air
Traffic Control Centre and Ho
Chi Minh City air traffic control.
The MAS officials persistent
request for information led the
controller to say that he would
wake his supervisor up.
The controller replied he only
took over tower operations
after 3 a.m., and was not sure
about the details, Star Online
reported.
The report said air traffic
controllers in Vietnams Ho Chi
Minh City air traffic control took
20 minutes to ask why the plane
had not yet entered its airspace
when international protocols
demand this should take place
within two minutes.
The report has also found that
the battery powering the
underwater locator beacon on
the aircraft had expired in
2012.
The nearly 600-page interim
report submitted yesterday on
the anniversary of the flights
disappearance, however, does
not cast any suspicion on the
crew.
Termed an oversight by
investigators, the battery expiry
could be key in legal action
against Malaysia Airlines and in
determining compensation,
the paper said.
Flight MH370 disappeared on
March 8 last year while en route
from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing
with 239 passengers and crew
on board. There were five
Indians on the flight.

The plane is believed to have


ended its journey in the
southern Indian Ocean.
A year-long, Australia-led
search effort in the southern
Indian Ocean where the
aircraft is believed to have
crashed has so far yielded no
sign of the plane.
Malaysias Department of Civil
Aviation (DCA) on January 29
had declared the planes
disappearance an accident.
247 drug store in three
months
Foundation stone was laid for
the much-awaited 24x7
generic and other medicines
store on the Government
Wenlock hospital premises.
The new medical store, called
Janasanjeevini Medical Centre,
operated
by
Union
governments HLL Life Care
Limited, will come up in the 700
square-foot space next to the
dilapidated jail ward of the
hospital.
The Health and Family Welfare
Minister U.T. Khader Minister
said the State government had
fulfilled most of the promises
made when the government
was formed.
He said the government giving
final shape to providing free
treatment to the extent of Rs.
25,000 for road accident
victims in the first 48 hours of
admission to hospital.
The bike ambulance facility
would also be launched soon.
MP and senior Congress leader
Oscar Fernandes earlier
handed to the Wenlock
Hospital Superintendent
Rajeshwari Devi, the keys of a
hearse van donated by
SASVAT Foundation. U.T.

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Fareed Foundation will
maintain
and
operate
the vehicle.
Census records increase in
wildlife at Point Calimere

The dry deciduous evergreen


forest, spread over an area of
35 sq. km. at Kodiyakkarai near
Vedaranyam, has recorded an
increase in wildlife census
when compared to last year,
thanks to the intensification of
anti-poaching activities, proper
water management, and
conducive habitat for animals
and
birds
by
the
Forest Department.
The department staff along
with college students of AVC
Engineering College at
Mayiladuthurai
and
Government Arts and Science
College at Poompuhar
conducted one-day wildlife
census at Point Calimere
Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary at
Kodiyakkarai on February 28.
Over 50 students and 20 forest
officials undertook this census.
They were divided into 18
groups and conducted the
exercise in 18 transit lines.
The Forest Ranger of
Vedaranyam, V. Gobinath, told
The Hindu that the department
has identified 948 bucks, 117
spotted deer, 172 horses, 77

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monkeys, 82 wild boars, 12


black napped hares, 20 jackals,
and 1,525 fruit-bearing bats.
The department has recorded
an overall 10 per cent increase
in the wildlife when compared
to last year.
The Government has allocated
Rs. 2.70 lakh for the
construction of water troughs
at Kathan Odai, Aruvankanni, Scurve, and a few other places
to quench the thirst of animals
and birds under Tamil Nadu
Biodiversity Greening Project.
Now, the sanctuary has 17
water troughs to provide water
to animals and birds in the
ensuing summer.
Lessons learnt as hunt for
MH370 marks one year

Australia, continue to scour a


huge underwater area at least
1,600 kilometres from the
nearest piece of land in a
stretch of the Indian Ocean
previously only mapped by
satellite.
The MH370 search jointly
funded by Australia and
Malaysia with a budget of
US$93 million is focused on
a 60,000 square kilometre
priority area and is scheduled
to end in May.
The search area is so remote
that the four vessels involved
Fugro Supporter, Fugro
Equator, Fugro Discovery and
GO Phoenix need up to six
days to reach it from the
Australian port of Fremantle,
where they routinely refuel and
restock.
While at sea, they frequently
encounter conditions similar to
the Roaring Forties north of
Antarctica, winds that whip up
mountainous seas.
Microsoft unveils Lumia 640,
640 XL

The hunt for Flight MH370 has


failed to turn up any debris, but
its unprecedented scale in one
of the worlds remotest
locations has provided
valuable lessons for future
search and rescue missions.
The Malaysia Airlines plane
disappeared en route from
Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on
March 8, 2014, with mourning
families and friends of the 239
people on board still waiting to
hear what happened 12
months later.
There has been no trace of the
Boeing airliner despite an
extensive air and sea search.
Four ships, coordinated by

Microsoft unveiled two new


smartphones Lumia 640 and
Lumia 640 XL as it aims to
strengthen its position in the
affordable smart phone
segment, especially in
developing countries such as
India.
While Lumia 640 XL will begin
rolling out globally in March,
Lumia 640 will be available
starting April. Both devices will
be available in single-SIM and
dual-SIM (3G & 4G) variants.
Pricing will vary by market and
operator. Lumia 640 is
estimated to be around 139
euro (about Rs.9,700) for the
3G model and 159 euro (about
61

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Rs.11,000) for the LTE model,


before taxes and subsidies.
Lumia 640 XL will be around
189 euro (about Rs.13,000) for
3G and 219 euro (about
Rs.15,200) for LTE, before taxes
and subsidies, Microsoft
Devices Group Executive Vice
President Stephen Elop said.
Both smartphones are
upgradeable to Windows 10,
which will be available later this
year.
The devices come with a oneyear personal subscription to
Office365, enabling the full
Office experience on the Lumia
as well as one tablet and one
PC/Mac.
The Lumia 640 comes with 5inch HD display, 1.2GHz quad
core Qualcomm Snapdragon
processor, Windows Phone 8.1
with Lumia Denim operating
system, 8 MP rear and 1 MP
front facing cameras, 8GB
internal memory (30 GB free
OneDrive and micro SD
support up to 128 GB) and
2,500 mAh battery.
The Lumia 640 XL has a 5.7inch display, 13 MP rear and 5
MP front cameras and 3,000
mAh battery.

Air Force to get 38 more Pilatus


basic trainers

The Defence Acquisition


Council (DAC) chaired by
Defence Minister Manohar
Parrikar cleared a follow-on
order for 38 Pilatus basic trainer
62

aircraft for the Air Force in


addition to appointing Goa
Shipyard Ltd. as the lead
agency to build 12 Mine
Counter-Measure Vessels
(MCMV) for the Navy.
The Air Force has projected a
requirement of 181 basic trainer
aircraft. As many as 75 Pilatus
aircraft were procured from
Switzerland in 2012 and 38
cleared on Saturday. The
remaining 68 will be supplied
by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
(HAL) by the indigenous
development of HTT-40
aircraft.
Officials added that the
progress of the project would
be monitored by a committee
that would periodically report
to the DAC.
The earlier global tender for
eight MCMVs was scrapped
after allegations of corruption.
The process would start from
scratch now.
There would be a Buy and
Make category under the
procurement procedure and
the GSL would build the ships
under transfer of technology
with a foreign vendor in a deal
worth about Rs. 32,000 crore.
The GSL had already invested
Rs. 500 crore to develop the
required facilities, the
officials informed.
One C-130 would be acquired
for Rs. 533 crore from the U.S.
to replace the one that crashed
in 2014. The crash killed five
personnel, including four
officers.

Govt. staff barred from using


private e-mail for official
purposes
Government employees have
been barred from using private

e-mail services for official


communications.
Users shall refrain from using
private e-mail servers from
government network. E-mail
service authorised by the
government and implemented
by the IA (Implementing
Agency under this policy is
NIC) shall only be used for all
official correspondence, said
the policy on use of IT
resources notified .
The new policy also bars
officials from using forward
option in e-mails to nongovernment e-mail services.
The e-mail services provided
by other service providers shall
not be used for any official
communication,
the
notification said.
This policy is applicable to all
employees
of
Central
Government and employees of
those State or Union Territories
governments that use the e-mail
services of provided by Central
Government.
This policy idea was mooted by
the Department of Electronics
and IT after whistle blower
Edward Snowden claimed that
U.S. intelligence agencies
secretly monitors Internet data
to spy on various countries,
including India with help of
some of software and Internet
companies.
As per new policy, government
officials will be allocated two
e-mail ids one based on
designation and other on name.

Russia plans its own space


station
The Russian Federal Space
Agency (Roscosmos) has
revealed plans to build an
orbiting outpost and land

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cosmonauts on the moon once
the International Space Station
(ISS) is mothballed next
decade.

In an official statement ,
Roscosmos pledged its support
for the ISS until 2024 but
outlined plans to disconnect its
modules soon after, and use
them to build a Russian space
station in its place.
The creation of a national space
station would ensure that Russia
has a base to fly cosmonauts to
until it has developed its more
ambitious plans to send crews
on orbiting missions around the
moon and land them on its
surface by 2030.
Since Nasa, the U.S. space
agency, retired its fleet of
space shuttles, Russia has been
the only nation able to ferry
humans to and from the ISS
aboard its Soyuz rockets.
The Russians commitment to
the ISS was welcomed by
some experts, including Chris
Hadfield, the Canadian
astronaut who covered the
David Bowie classic, Space
Oddity, from the ISS.
Despite the enthusiasm over
Moscows decision to extend
its support, the plans outlined
by Roscosmos for a national
space station and human
missions to the moon suggest
that Russia is poised to break
away from its international
partners in space exploration.

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Too many waiting for blood


stem cell transplants: Study
Over a million people have
received blood and marrow
stem cell transplants for lifethreatening diseases in the past
57 years, but too many are still
waiting, a study said.
Haematopoietic stem cell
transplantation (HSCT) often
offers the only possibility of a
cure for blood diseases and
rare cancers like myeloma or
leukaemia.
The procedure involves taking
healthy stem cells from the
blood or marrow of the patient
or from a healthy donor, with
which to boost the system of
someone whose bloodmanufacturing bone marrow or
immune system is damaged or
defective.
By 1985, 28 years after the first
experimental
marrow
transplant, about 10,000 such
procedures
had
been
performed, rising to 500,000 by
1995, said a study in The Lancet
Haematology journal.
By December 2012, that
number had risen to almost a
million at 1,516 transplant
centres in 75 countries.
Indias own GPS soon
Scientists are eagerly awaiting
the March 9 launch of IRNSS1D, the fourth Indian regional
navigation satellite.
The Rs. 1,400-crore-plus IRNSS
(Indian Regional Navigation
Satellite System) has been
called Indias own GPS. It can
do all that we do with GPS, a
U.S. military system, but
apparently much better and at
a local level.
This satellite will complete
more than half of the ambitious

Indian GPS ring over the


subcontinent and allow ISROs
sat-nav team to prove its
usefulness in location-based
applications.
Four satellites out of the
constellation of seven are said
to be the minimum the
scientists need to check out
signals and accuracy.
S.K. Shivakumar, Director of
ISRO Satellite Centre in
Bengaluru, told The Hindu that
IRNSS-1D would finetune the
details being provided by its
earlier three siblings. The next
three navigation satellites, he
said, would take this to the
targeted precision levels and
make it easy to pinpoint
required positions for many
users.
IRNSS-1D is slated to be put on
the PSLV launcher on February
28 at the Satish Dhawan Space
Centre in Sriharikota. The first
one, IRNSS-1A, was launched
in July 2013.
Spacewalk on ISS completed
NASA
astronauts
at
International Space Station
(ISS) have successfully
completed the first of three
spacewalks to create parking
spots for Boeing and SpaceX
to deliver astronauts to the
orbital laboratory.
The 6-hour, 41-minutespacewalk by Expedition 42
astronauts Barry Wilmore and
Terry Virts was meant to
prepare the ISS for a pair of
international docking adapters
that will allow future
commercial crew vehicles to
dock.
The cable routing work is part
of a reconfiguration of station
systems and modules to
accommodate the delivery of
63

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new docking adapters that
in the void of space during two
commercial crew vehicles will
spacewalks.
use later this decade to deliver
Astronauts have now spent a
astronauts to the orbital
total of 1,159 hours and 8
laboratory.
minutes conducting space
The spacewalk was the first for
station
assembly
and
Mr. Virts. Mr. Wilmore now has
maintenance during 185
spent 13 hours and 15 minutes
spacewalks, NASA said.
Babies made from skin may be boon for same sex couples

to check that the artificially


created versions of the cells
had identical characteristics,
The Times reported.
A gene called SOX17,
previously considered to be
unimportant in mice, has turned
out to be critical in the process
of reprogramming human
cells, researchers said.
A new weapon in the fight
against malaria

In a breakthrough, researchers
led by an Indian-origin
scientist, have shown that stem
cells from the skin of two adults
of the same sex can be used to
make human egg and sperm
cells.
Scientists at Cambridge
University collaborated with
Israels Weizmann Institute of
Science and used stem cell
lines from embryos as well as
from the skin of five different
adults.
Researchers have previously
created live baby mice using
engineered eggs and sperm,
but until now have struggled to
create a human version of these
primordial germ or stem cells.
Ten different donor sources
have been used so far and new
germ-cell lines have been
created from all of them,
researchers said.
64

The team has compared the


engineered germ cells with
natural human stem cells taken
from aborted human foetuses

A new family of bacteria that


are common in malaria
mosquitoes has been found.
Scientists are trying to
genetically modify them to
produce substances that stop
malaria parasite development.

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2014 -1

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Science & Technology

SPORTS
Kidambi Kidabi clinches swis
grand prix gold 2015

Indian Shuttler Kidambi


brought fruitful movement for India
as he clinched the badminton
prestigious $ 120000 Swiss Grand
Prix Gold championship title after
defeating a strong Denmarks Viktor
Alexson in mens singles final.
In the final world No. 4 Srikanth
showed nerves of steel to prevail over
his opponent, ranked sixth in the
world, 21-15 12-21 21-14 in the
thrilling summit clash of the event as
the contest lasted 47 minutes.
Services wins
69th Santosh trophy
Services has clinched 69th
Santosh Trophy Nationals after
deafiting hosts Punjab 5-4 via tiebreaker in a nail-biting clash at Guru
Nanak Stadium. Services dominated
possession in the first half and also
created number of scoring
opportunities but failed to convert.
Services sealed the title for the
fourth time besides finishing runners
up on five occasions.
Karnataka wins
Ranji Trophy 2015
Defending
champions
Karnataka has won their eighth Ranji
Trophy title as they defeated their

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southern opponents Tamil Nadu by


an innings and 217 runs on the last
day of the Ranji Trophy cricket
tournament final at the Wankhede
stadium.

Scotland in the world cup.


Sangakkara now has a total of
14,189 career ODI runs and five
World Cup centuries, only one
behind record holder Sachin
Tendulkar.
Sangakara century against
Scotland followed an unbeaten 105
against Bangladesh, 117 not out
against England and 104 against
Australia. Previously, six other players
had scored three ODI hundreds in a
row.

The man of the match was


Karnatakas Karun Nair who had
scored 338 runs. The captain of
Karnataka team was R Vinay Kumar
and of Tamil Nadu team was Abhinav
Mukund.
Earlier Karnataka has won 7th
Ranji Tile, which are- 1973-74 - Vs
Rajasthan, 1977-78 - Vs Uttar Pradesh,
1982-83 - Vs Bombay, 1995-96 - Vs
Tamil Nadu, 1997-98 - Vs Uttar
Pradesh, 1998-99 - Vs Madhya
Pradesh, 2013-14 - Vs Maharashtra .

AB Deviler hits
Fastest 150 in ODI

Snagakara hits record four


consecutive ODI centuary

South African batsman AB de


Villiers hit the fastest 150 in one-day
internationals during a match
between South Africa & West Indies.
De Villiers took 64 deliveries to reach
150, beating the previous best, set
by Australias Shane Watson, by 19
balls.
He finished 162 not out from 66
balls as South Africa made 408-5, the
second-highest total in World Cups.
Only last month, De Villiers hit the
fastest-ever ODI hundred against the
same team in Johannesburg, from 31
balls. In that same innings, South
Africas captain also set the record
for the fastest fifty in ODIs, from 16
balls.
Ranchi Ray wins
Hero Hockey India League 2015

Sri Lanka cricket team


wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara has
become the first player to hit four
successive one-day international
centuries after notching up a ton in
his sides 148-run win against

Indian Cricket team captain


Mahaendra Singh Dhoni owned
Ranchi Rays have been crowned
Hero Hockey India League champions
for 2015 following a dramatic penalty
shoot-out triumph over Jaypee
Punjab Warriors in a high quality
tournament final at New Delhis Major
65

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Sports
Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors lead the final
on two occasions, with Lovells 2014
World Cup winning team-mates
Kieran Govers and Chris Ciriello
finding the net while Stanli Minz and
Barry Middleton twice pulled the
Rays level as the match finished with
the scores locked at 2-2.

Lovell, who had made


numerous breathtaking saves in

normal time, produced a


goalkeeping master-class in the shootout, keeping out efforts from Simon
Orchard, SV Sunil and Robert
Hammond to give Ranchi a 3-2 win.
Lovells
performance
deservedly earned him the Hero Man
of the Match Award, while team-mate
and Rays captain Ashley Jackson was
named Hero Most Valuable Player of
the Tournament thanks to a series of
wonderful displays during this
seasons HHIL.
Delhi Waveriders claimed a
third place finish in this years Hero
Hockey India League, with Rupinder
Pal Singh and Yuvraj Walmiki both on
target in their teams 2-1 triumph over
Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

Chris Hayle hits first World Cup Double Centuary

in the elite group, joining Sunil


Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Bishan Bedi.
Australian legend Betty Wilson
was also inducted into the ICC Hall
of Fame, along with Kumble.
Kumble has played 132 Tests for
India, capturing 619 wickets and
became the second man in history to
take 10 wickets in an innings when
he dismantled Pakistan in 1999 to
finish with figures of 10-74.
Alongside Kumble, Wilson
becomes the second Australian
woman in the Hall of Fame behind
champion batter Belinda Clark.
Wilson, considered one of the
greatest female cricketers of all-time,
played 11 Tests between 1947 and
1958, scoring 862 runs at an average
of 57.4 and claimed 68 wickets at 11.8
runs apiece. In 1957 against England,
Wilson became the first cricketer,
male or female, to take score a
century and take 10 wickets in a Test.
Kumble and Wilson become the 77th
and 78th inductees into the Hall of
Fame.
Geeta, Kavita win Crowns
National Games gold medallists
O. Geeta Devi and Kavita Devi
recorded contrasting wins to
take the honours in their
respective categories in the
National
weightlifting
championship.

West Indies opener Chris Gayle


hit the first double century in World
Cup history in their Pool B victory over
Zimbabwe at Canberra.He reached
200 off 138 balls, hitting Tendai
Chatara for a boundary in the 46th
over.
His mark eclipsed the unbeaten
188 by South Africas Gary Kirsten
against the United Arab Emirates in
1996. Gayle hit a total of 16 sixes in
147 balls before he was out for 215
off the last delivery of his sides
innings.
66

It was also only the fifth double


century in all one-day internationals
and the first by a non-Indian, with
Rohit Sharma (two), Sachin Tendulkar
and Virender Sehwag the only other
batsmen to achieve the feat.

India storms into the final,


meets Poland

Anil Kumble
Inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
Internation Cricket Council has
inducted former Indian captain Anil
Kumble into their hall of fame at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground. Kumble
is just the fourth Indian to be included

India, expectedly, booked a


spot in the final of the Hero
womens Hockey World
League Round 2 with a 5-0 win

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Sports
over Thailand at the Major
Dhyan Chand National
Stadium.
Jackie Chan song for
Olympics App

Jackie Chan has recorded a


theme song for the application
of 2022 Winter Olympic Games
titled Wake up Winter.
Songwriter Wang Jiuping
explained that the song was a
call to people around the
world.

Selection criterion for


Multi-discipline events
In a move that may affect
careers of several athletes, the
Union Sports Ministry has
formulated a selection criterion
which states that for
participation in a multidiscipline event an individual
sportsperson must perform at
par with the top-six finishers in
the previous edition of the
competition.
According to a statement
issued, The performance of
sportspersons in the individual
events during the last 12
months
prior
to
commencement of the event
should not be less than the
performance achieved by the
sixth position holder of the
previous edition of the
respective tournament in
measurable sports.
This will be applicable for
events such as the Olympic

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Games, Winter Olympics, Asian


Games,
Commonwealth
Games, Asian Indoor Games,
Asian Beach Games, Youth
Olympics, Asian Youth Games,
Commonwealth Youth Games,
Paralympics and Para-Asian
Games.
For team events, only those
teams which have achieved
ranking up to eighth among
participating countries of the
tournaments concerned in the
last one year should be
considered for participation in
the respective tournaments.
In a communication sent to the
Indian Olympic Association
(IOA), Paralympic Committee
of India (PCI) and the National
Sports Federations (which are
actually responsible for the
selection of athletes and teams
for international events), the
Ministry said that the same
criteria would be applicable in
non-measurable sports as well.
The Ministry has also made it
clear that no additional
sportsperson and support staff
would be cleared even at no
cost to government.
However, Cycling Federation
of India (CFI) Secretary Onkar
Singh pointed out the flaw in
the new guideline.
The Government should not
limit the participation in multisport events to the elite
athletes. What about the
younger athletes who are
talented but do not have
exposure? For example, one
has to go through the
qualification process to
participate in the Olympics. But
who will help an athlete to
reach the qualification?
Meanwhile, the Ministry has
requested the IOA to formulate

guidelines for inclusion of


athlete support personnel in
the contingent for multidisciplinary events.
IOA and Sports Authority of
India (SAI) should ensure that
only those support personnel
are considered for Indian
contingents who have worked
with the sportspersons in
camps or have the necessary
credentials and experience
and are eligible as per the rules
and guidelines of the
International
Olympic
Committee/Olympic Council of
Asia/Organising Committees of
the
Games/respective
International Federations.
India draws with China
India kept its chances alive by
holding China 2-2 in the IndoChina Chess Summit 2015 for
the Komatireddy Prateek
Reddy Trophy.
GM Sethuraman came up with
another impressive display to
outwit GM Ding Liren in 23
moves in Grunfeld Defence.
Sethuraman, with a score of five
out of seven, was the top-scorer
for his team.
India later suffered a blow
when captain K. Sasikiran
frittered away an advantageous
position to go down to Wei Yi
in Grunfeld Defence. GMs B
Adhiban and M.R. Lalith Babu
drew against Wang Chen and
Zhou Jianchao respectively.
Quasar bags Indian Turf
Invitation Cup
Quasar (Yash Narredu up)
upset stablemate Be Safe in the
Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr.
I), the stellar attraction of the
races.
The winner is owned by Mr.
67

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Sports
Jaydev
M.Modi
rep.
J.M.Livestock Pvt Ltd, M/s.
Tanmay A.Agashe & Madhav
G.Patankar. Malesh Narredu
trains the winner.

Yet again the race course here


witnessed unruly scenes when
the punters in the first
enclosure protested soon after
the hot favourite Be Safe lost a
certain race.
The punters did not allow the
horses for the last race to leave
the paddock for more than 45
minutes. Only after the police
intervened the crowd
dispersed and the last race was
held after an hours delay.

Dalmiya set to
return as BCCI chief

Former president Sharad


Pawar failed to get a proposer
from East zone, prompting the
Maratha strongman to pull out
of the race.
Jagmohan Dalmiya is set to
return as president of the Board
of Control for Cricket in India
(BCCI).
The 74-year-old West Bengal
strongman was the only
nominee for the top job as the
deadline ended. The BCCIs
68

Annual General Meeting will


be held.
A former BCCI and ICC
president, Mr. Dalmiya had
temporarily run the BCCIs dayto-day affairs in 2013 when N.
Srinivasan stepped aside
following the IPL spot-fixing
and betting scandal. He had
been requested by Mr.
Srinivasan to do so.
Given his proximity to Mr.
Srinivasan over the last three
years, Mr. Dalmiya is seen as his
candidate.
Interestingly, Sharad Pawars
faction, who is in the city with
his supporters, also projected
Mr. Dalmiya as its choice. This
also reflected the groups
failure to secure two East Zone
votes for a name to be
proposed and seconded for
its own man.
This is the East Zones turn to
nominate, and Mr. Dalmiya
controls two of the six votes in
the region: the Cricket
Association of Bengal and the
National Cricket Club.
There will, however, be a
contest between the two
factions for the other posts;
these do not need to be
proposed and seconded by
associations from the East Zone.
Mr. Srinivasans group has
nominated Sanjay Patel as its
choice for secretary, Anirudh
Chaudhry, treasurer, and
Amitabh Chaudhary, joint
secretary.
Mr. Pawar s faction has fielded
Anurag Thakur (secretary),
Rajiv Shukla (treasurer) and
Chetan Desai (joint secretary).
For the posts of vice-president,
one from each zone, Mr.
Srinivasans group has named
G. Gangaraju (South), T.C.

Mathew (West), C.K. Khanna


(Central), Gautam Roy (East)
and M.L. Nehru (North).
Mr. Pawars faction has Ravi
Savant (West), Jyotiraditya
Scindia (Central) and M.P.
Pandove (North) as its
candidates.
Although Mr. Srinivasans group
has the edge, things could
become tight. There are 31
votes, including the casting
vote of the chairman. However,
there could, effectively, be
only 30 votes since the
Rajasthan Cricket Association
has been suspended.
Since Shivlal Yadav served as
the Supreme Court-appointed
interim Board president, Mr.
Srinivasans group could move
a proposal for the former Indian
off-spinner to chair the
meeting. This could be
opposed by Mr. Pawars faction.
The chairman must pick
representatives for the Delhi
and
Districts
Cricket
Association and the Baroda
Cricket Association, which
have warring factions.

Hassan somersaults
into Wall Street Journal
Afghanistans cricket sensation
Hamid Hassan found his way
into the pages of the popular
US daily The Wall Street Journal
after his somersault antics to
celebrate Kumar Sangakkaras
wicket in the match against Sri
Lanka.
Wearing a bandana and with
war paint on both cheeks,
Hassan, in his Rambo-like
appearance, is not only a hit
with fans and photographers
but also with his World Cup
opponents, who are wary of his
wicket-taking abilities.

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Sports
FIS wins Legends Cup
FIS Champions pipped twotime winner Genpact via
penalty shoot-out to lift the title
in the Legends Cup six-a-side
football tournament .
After the two teams were tied
1-1 in the regulation time, FIS
beat Genpact 4-3 in the shootout.

India to host world bridge


For the first time, India will play
host to the biggest event of
bridge event the 42nd
world team championships
(WBTC) at ITC Grand Chola
here from September 26 to
October 10.
HCL is the title sponsor for the
tournament. Sixty-six teams,
660 players from 40 countries
will vie for the prestigious
Bermuda Bowl Trophy.
Giannarigo Rona, President,
World Bridge Federation, who
is in the city to oversee the
preparations for the WBTC
2015, said he was very
impressed with the top class
infrastructure available in
Chennai to host such a big
event.
Sports awards scheme
revamped
In order to do away with
controversies surrounding the
selection process for the annual
National sports awards in
future, the Union Sports Ministry
has revamped the scheme.
According to the new
provisions, the selection
committee for the Arjuna
Award will be headed by a
retired Supreme Court or High
Court judge, and not more than
one sportsperson/coach from a

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particular discipline shall be a


member of the panel to avoid
any bias towards any particular
discipline.
A sportsperson of eminence/
sports administrator/sports
expert belonging to para sports
will now be a member of the
Arjuna Award selection panel.
Besides, the new provisions
want the nomination agencies
to send nominations of
deserving sportspersons and
coaches, irrespective of
whether they have applied to
these agencies for this
purpose.
The ministry, which has
accepted most of the
suggestions given by last years
Arjuna Award selection
committee headed by Kapil
Dev, has said that more marks
will be given for medals won in
individual events.
From now, the proceedings of
the selection committees will
be video-graphed, a detailed
internal Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) will be
followed to deal with
nominations received from
National Sports Federations
and views of experts of various
disciplines will be obtained for
shortlisted nominations in team
games.

Kerala wins overall title

Kerala won the overall


championship in the 67th
National track cycling

championship
which
concluded at the LNCPE
Velodrome here .
Kerala came first with 143
points, while Maharashtra
finished second with 78.
Amrit Singh of RSPB was
chosen the best cyclist among
men, while Deborah of
Andaman and Nicobar was
best cyclist among women.
ATP & WTA Rio Open: Gilles
Simon takes title
Fabio Fognini stuns Rafael
Nadal in semifinals. Gilles Simon
won the Marseille Open title for
the second time on Sunday
defeating fellow Frenchman
Gael Monfils in three sets in the
final.
Sea Hawks set
world open-sea swim record
A six-man relay team, led by
Wing Commander Paramvir
Singh, swam from Goa to
Mumbai in 156 hours, breaking
an Israeli teams record.
The Sea Hawks, the Indian
open water swim team, set off
from Dona Paula in Goa and
were scheduled to reach the
Gateway of India, covering 490
km along the Konkan coastline
in 156 hours.
But strong winds and high tide
warnings made the team wind
up their attempt at a distance
of 433.11 km. The Israeli team
had done 380 km in 123.2 hrs.
The Swimming Federation of
India had deputed an
independent observer to ratify
the record.
The Sea Hawks team included
the Indian Air Force personnel
Sergeant Gullupilli Narhari,
Sergeant Ankan Kumar Patel
and Leading Aircraftman Vicky
69

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Sports
Tokas, and Assistant Subinspector Ganesh Palande of
the Mumbai Police.
The attempt was in support of
the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
national mission, and the money
raised from the swim would be
donated to Project Nanhi Kali
started by Anand Mahindra,
which supports the cause of
education
of
the
underprivileged girl child in
India.
Mandatory to share WC live
feed: Prasar Bharti

Rs. 3,850 crore with the BCCI


to beam the World Cup
matches in the subcontinent,
had come after a seven-year
court battle with the Prasar
Bharti.
The court extended the
period of the interim stay till
February 19. In the meantime,
it asked the AG to respond by
an affidavit to a proposal put
forward by Star India to create
a separate channel so that the
visuals of Indias World Cup
matches could be aired
directly to subscribers without
passing through private cable
operators.
Daredevils pick up
Yuvraj for Rs.16 crore

Reminding that cricket is


almost a religion in the Indian
sub-continent, Prasar Bharti
urged the Supreme Court to
order absolute stay on a Delhi
High Court order barring the
public broadcaster from
sharing its Doordarshan feed of
the ongoing ICC World Cup
2015 matches with private
cable operators.
In a volatile hearing before a
Bench, led by Justice Ranjan
Gogoi, Attorney-General Mukul
Rohatgi said it was mandatory
under the law for Prasar Bharti
to give free live signals to cable
operators when events of
national interest took place.
Any tinkering with this statutory
obligation, is contrary to law, he
said.
The Delhi High Courts verdict
favouring Star India Ltd., which
said it had a six-year
broadcasting contract worth
70

Yuvraj Singh continues to be


the leading draw at IPL
auctions. After commanding a
hefty Rs.14 crore from Royal
Challengers Bangalore last year,
the all-rounder again emerged
numero uno at the player
auction held at the ITC
Gardenia Hotel.

Delhi Daredevils, with deep


pockets thanks to an initial
purse of Rs. 39,75,00,000,
aggressively pursued the
southpaw and edged his
former team to secure him at a
whopping Rs.16 crore, which
turned out to be the days
highest bid.
RCB, which released Yuvraj in
a bid to expand its purse,
strangely bid for him up to

Rs.15.50 crore before backing


off. Once Daredevils drew him
into its fold, Yuvraj tweeted:
Namaste
Delhi!
@DelhiDaredevils enjoyed
playing for Rcb but now look
forward to play under a very
special man called gaza!
@Gary_Kirsten.
While Yuvraj was happy to linkup with his former India coach,
Daredevils continued to be a
big-spender, snapping up Sri
Lankan captain Angelo
Mathews at Rs.7.50 crore.
Lahiri is Golfer of the Year
Anirban Lahiri walked away
with the Golfer of the Year
award in the second edition of
the India Golf Awards held.

Lahiri, the winner of the


Malaysian Open, was an
obvious choice of the jury that
picked Delhis Vani Kapoor as
the Professional (Female)
Golfer of the Year.
his years jury included fivetime British Open champion
Peter Thomson, Ashok Malik,
Gaurav Ghei and Champika
Sayal. S. Chikkarangappa was
named the Rising Golfer of the
Year while Vaishavi Sinha won
the award in the female
category of the same award.
Vijay Divecha, Lahiris coach for
13 years, was chosen as the
Best Teaching Pro.
The occasion also saw two-time
Indian Open champion Ali
Sher, along with Ashok Malik,
being honoured with the
Veteran Award.

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General Studies (Paper - 1) & CSAT (Paper - 2) Comprehensive Manual:


IAS Preliminary Examination 2015, (Set of 2 Books)
BOOK DETAILS
Medium: English
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Indian Economy
Geography
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Environment
General Knowledge
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Awards & Prizes

AWARDS & PRIZES


Veerappa Moily selected for
Saraswati Samman 2014

was chief minister of Karnataka from


1992 to 1994.
The selection for the award was
made by a 13-member panel of
scholars and writers headed by
former Chief Justice of India R C
Lahoti.
Namibian President bags Mo
Ibrahim Prize 2014

Former Union law Minsiter and


INC senior leader Veerappa Mioly has
selected for the prestigious Saraswati
Samman for 2014 for his famous
Kannada
poem
Ramayana
Mahanveshanam.
Saraswati Saman is given by the
K K Birla Foundation since 1991 for
an outstanding literary work in any
Indian language mentioned in the
Schedule VIII of the Constitution. The
award carries a cash purse of Rs 10
lakh, a citation and a plaque.
Ramayana Mahanveshanam,
which divided into five volume was
first published in the year 2007 in
Kannada. This poem has been later
translated into English, Hindi, Telugu
and Tamil.
This poem basically speaks
about the true principle of the ideal
State from a secular and modern point
of view.
Moily is an established writer in
Kannada who has authored four
novels, three collections of poetry, a
number of plays and numerous
essays. His novels Kotta and
Tembare have been translated to
Hindi, English and many other
languages. Moily handled many
ministries in the previous UPA regime
including Petroleum and Natural Gas,
Corporate Affairs, Power and Law. He

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Outgoing Namibian President


Hifikepunye Pohamba has won the
worlds prestigious award MoIbrahim proze for African leadership
for year 2014.

Hifikepunye Pohamba has


served as Namibian President two
terms. For first time he was elected in
2004 and again in 2009. Now, he is
due to be succeeded by elected
President Hage Geingob.
This prize is given each year to
an elected leader who has governed
well, raised living standards and then
left office. It is named after Mo
Ibrahim, a British-Sudanese mobile
communications entrepreneur and
philanthropist who had made billions
of fortune from investing in Africa.
Mo Ibrahim had launched this
prize in 2007 to encourage African
leaders to leave power peacefully. It
is the worlds most valuable individual
award and carries monetary award of
5 million dollar and also $ 200,000 a
year for life.
The inaugural prize was
awarded to Joaquim Chissano, former
president of Mozambique.

I & B Presents 4th National Photography Awards

Information and Broadcasting


Ministry Secretary Shri Bimal Julka
has conferred the 4th National

Photography Awards to eminent


photographers at a function
organized by the Photo Division,
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Awards & Prizes
under the aegis of the Ministry of
Information & Broadcasting. Below
are the list of awardee.
Shri Surendra R. Patel was given
the Life-Time Achievement Award,
Shri Swarup Dutta was awarded the
Best Professional Photographer
Award and Shri R. Sasikumar was
awarded
Best
Amateur
Photographer. Awards were also
conferred to 10 winners under the
Special Mention category for both,
the Professional and Amateur
segments. The theme for the
Professional Category was Hamara
Bharat Swachh Bharat and for the
Amateur Category is Mother and
Child.
Shri Surendra R. Patel, the
winner of the Life Time Achievement
Award is an eminent professional in
the field of photography. He has
participated in several national and
international exhibitions and salons
from 1951 and has 200 awards to his
credit. He has been honoured with
several awards and felicitations. He
is credited for having presented more
than 100 slideshows on Kailash
Mansarovar Yatra, 1958 and pictorial
photography in different parts of the
country.
Namibian President bags Mo
Ibrahim Prize 2014

Outgoing Namibian President


Hifikepunye Pohamba has won the
worlds prestigious award MoIbrahim proze for African leadership
for year 2014.
Hifikepunye Pohamba has
served as Namibian President two
terms. For first time he was elected in
72

2004 and again in 2009. Now, he is


due to be succeeded by elected
President Hage Geingob.
This prize is given each year to
an elected leader who has governed
well, raised living standards and then
left office. It is named after Mo
Ibrahim, a British-Sudanese mobile
communications entrepreneur and
philanthropist who had made billions

of fortune from investing in Africa. Mo


Ibrahim had launched this prize in
2007 to encourage African leaders
to leave power peacefully. It is the
worlds most valuable individual
award and carries monetary award of
5 million dollar and also $ 200,000 a
year for life. The inaugural prize was
awarded to Joaquim Chissano, former
president of Mozambique.

Stree Shakti & Nari Shakti Puraskar

President Pranab Mukherjee on


the eve of International Women Day
i.e,. 8th March has awarded Stree
Shakti Puraskar and Nari Shakti
Puraskar for the year 2015, to Six
illustrious women.
The awardees were nominated
by the state governments, MPs, VIPs
as well as on suo-moto basis which
were ten selected by a national level
Screening Committee. Six noted
women have been presented with
the award on March 8, 2015. Each
award carries 3 lakh rupees and
citation.
The Stree Shakti Puraskar has
been conferred to the following
noted Indian women:
1. Anyay Rahit Zindagian NGO of
Goa has been conferred with
Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Award
2. Rani Lakshmibai Award has
been presented to Seema

Prakash of Madhya Pradesh


3. Astha Sansthan , NGO of
Rajasthan has been awarded
Rani Rudramma Devi
4. Chandraprabha Bokey from
Maharashtra has been
conferred Mata Jijabai Award
5. Dr. P Bhanumati of Kerala has
been presented with Kannagi
Award
6. Sister while Mariola from
Rajasthan has been awarded
Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang
The Nari Shakti Puraskar has
been conferred for the first time this
year. Each award carries a 1 lakh
rupees and a citation. The eight
women have been presented with
this award by the Ministry of Women
and Child Development, in
recognition to their contribution in
specific areas.

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Awards & Prizes
Clemson University honours
Ratan Tata with a Doctrate

Indian Businessman Ratan Tata


has been honoured with Doctorate
of Automotive Engineering by the
Clemson University. He was
presented with the honorary
doctorate for his contribution to the
global automotive industry at the
South Carolina Automotive Summit
this week. Ratan Tata holds bachelors
degree in architecture from Cornell
University. In 1962 he had joined the
Tata Group. In 1981, he was named
chairman of Tata Industries and led
the group in various fields including
transportation,
consulting,
communications,
chemicals,
hospitality and steel.
Ratan Tata serves as director on
the boards of Alcoa Inc., Mondelez
International. He is also on the
international advisory boards of, JP
Morgan Chase, Rolls-Royce,
Mitsubishi Corp., Temasek Holdings
and the Monetary Authority of
Singapore.
87th Academic Award

The 87th Academy Awards


ceremony, presented by the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences (AMPAS) was held at the
Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los
Angeles. The Academy Awards

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which is popularly known as Oscars


were presented in twenty four
categories.Below are the list of these
awardee.
Best Picture- Birdman
Best Actor- Eddie Redmayne
Best Actress- Julianne Moore
Best Supporting Actor- J. K.
Simmons
Best Supporting ActressPatricia Arquette
Best Director- Alejandro G.
Irritu for Birdman
Best Original ScreenplayBirdman or (The Unexpected
Virtue of Ignorance).
Best Foreign Language FilmIda (Poland).
Rajendra Singh bags Stockholm
Water Prize
Prestigious Stockholm Water
Prize 2015 has been conferred to
Renowed enviornmental activist
Rajandra Singh has been for his
innovative water restoration efforts
and courage to empower
communities in Indian villages.
Swedens King Carl XVI Gustaf,
Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize,
will present the prize during the
World Water Week on August 26. The
award carries $150,000 and a
specially designed sculpture.
Stockholm Water Prize was
constituted in the year 1991 to
recognizes persons for their
outstanding achievements in
conservation and protection of the
worlds water resources and
presented annually.
Rajendra Singh is fourth Indian
to win the prestigious global award,
others are- Madhav Chitale in 1993,
Sunita Narain in 2005 and Dr.
Bindeshwar Pathak in the year 2009.
National Safety Award (Mines)
for year 2011 & 12
The President of India, Shri
Pranab Mukherjee has presented the

National Safety Awards (Mines) for


the Years 2011 and 2012 at a function
organized by Ministry of Labour &
Employment.

For the purpose of the contest


the National Safety Awards (Mines)
has been divided into 7 different
groups depending upon the type of
mineral and nature of workings.These
are - Coal mines - Belowground with
difficult mining conditions; Coal
mines - Belowground (others); Coal
mines Opencast; Metal Mines Mechanised Opencast; Metal Mines
Manual Opencast; Metal Mines
Belowground and Oil Mines.
The indicators of safety
performance for determining
eligibility of these awards are Longest accident free period
(LAFP) in terms of man shifts
worked during
three
consecutive years ending with
the contest year.
Lowest injury frequency rate
(LIFR) during
three
consecutive years ending with
the contest year.
Ministry of Labour &
Employment, Government of India
instituted National Safety Awards
(Mines) in 1983 (for the contest year
1982) with a view to promote a
competitive spirit amongst mine
operators for the betterment of safety
standards in mines and to give due
recognition to outstanding safety
performance at national level. This
award is generally given away by the
Honble President of India every year
and has generated considerable
enthusiasm amongst the Mining
community.

73

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In the News

IN THE NEWS
Meira Kumar

Former Lok Sabha speaker


Meira Kumars book entitled
Indian
Parliamentary
Diplomacy Speakers
Perspective has been recenlty
released by the present Lok
Sabha Speaker Sumitra
Mahajan.
The book features an account
of the parliamentary diplomacy
and its role in furthering foreign
policy and strengthening
international relations.
Meira Kumar was the first
unopposed elected woman
Speaker of Lok Sabha and
served from 2009 to 2014.
Kumar was also 5 time Member
of Parliament and was elected
to 8th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th
Lok Sabha.

elected President of the Royal


Society. Dr. Ramakrishnan will
take over his new appointment
on December 1, 2015,
replacing the eminent
geneticist Sir Paul Nurse.

Earlier in the year 2009 he won


Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his
work on the structure and
function of the ribosome, the
molecular machine that
synthesises proteins inside cell;
and on the action of antibiotics
on the process.
The Royal Society is a selfgoverning fellowship of many
of the worlds most
distinguished scientists drawn
from all areas of science,
engineering, and medicine, set
up to support excellence in
science, and to encourage its
use for the benefit of humanity.

Veteren Malyalam poet Yusuf


Kechery, recently died at
private hospital. He left a deep
impression in Keralas cultural
realm as a lyricist.
Kechery known for his mystic
lyrics on Hindu Gods,
particularly Lord Krishna.
He dominated Malayalam films
along with ONV and P
Bhaskaran as a top-notch
lyricist, had written hundreds
of songs known for their mystic
and romantic charm with the
semi-classical touch.
His lyrics in Dhwani, composed
by renowned musician
Naushad Ali, are considered as
one among the best works of
him.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

India-born Nobel laureate Sir


Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has
been confirmed as president
elect of Britains prestigious
Royal Society.
Dr. Ramakrishnan is the first
India-born scientist to be

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has


become first Indian Cricket
team Captain to register the 100
One Day International (ODI)
match wins. This acievement
came after indian team
defeated bangladesh in the
2015 ICC World Cup quarter
final matchby 108 run in
Asutralia.
He is the only third captain in
the history of cricket world who
got this title, prior to Dhoni the
other two cpatain who achieve
this feat are Allan Border (107)

74

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Venkatraman to head Royal


Society of UK

Yusuf kechery

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In The News
and Rickey Ponting (165) both
from Australia.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
assumes Indian captancy in the
year 2007 after Rahul Dravid Put
off this. Since then under his
captaincy, Indian Cricket team
has won 2007 World
Twenty20, CB Series of 200708, Asia Cup 2010, ICC Cricket
World Cup 2011, Champions
Trophy 2013.
It is important to note here that
former Indian Captain
Mohammad Azharuddin had
recorded 90 wins in ODIs,
followed by Sourav Ganguly
with 76 wins.
Katharine Viner

Katharine Viner has been


appointed the editor-in-chief
of the Guardian. She became
the first woman to run the
newspaper in its 194-year
history. Viner will become only
the 12th editor since the paper
was founded in May 1821.
Viner, currently deputy editor
of the Guardian and editor-inchief of Guardian US, will take
up the role in the summer from
incumbent Alan Rusbridger,
who is to stand down after 20
years.
Viner joined the Guardian in
1997 and has been a deputy
editor of the title as well as
editing the Saturday edition of
the newspaper from 2008 until
2012. She has held a wide

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range of roles including editor


of G2, deputy womens editor,
and editor of Weekend
magazine.

Kavinder Gupta

Sohail Aman

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has


appointed Air Marshal Sohail
Aman as new air chief, after
promoting him to the rank of air
chief marshal.
Earlier, outgoing Chief of the Air
Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir
Rafique Butt called on PM
Nawaz in Islamabad. The
premier lauded the services of
the outgoing chief of air staff
for national defense and the
role of PAF in the ongoing war
against terrorism.
Air Marshal Sohail Aman, who
is an accomplished fighter
pilot, was commissioned in the
GD (P) Branch of Pakistan Air
Force in November,1980.
During his remarkable career in
PAF, he has flown various
fighter and training aircrafts in
PAFs inventory.
Aman remained on various
important staff appointments
including director operations,
director plans and assistant
chief of the air staff
(operations)
at
Air
Headquarters, in addition to air
officer commanding, central air
command and deputy chief of
the air staff (training).

Jammu & Kashmir Lagislative


Assembly has unanimously
elected BJP MLA Kavinder
Gupta Speaker of the 12th
Assembly.
Basharat Bukhari, Minister of
Law and Parliamentry Affairs
moved the motion in the
Assembly seeking his election
to the post.
kavinder Gupta, an MLA from
Gandhinagar constituency in
Jammu district, was elected
with voice vote with no one
vote against the motion. Mr.
Gupta replaces the Protem
Speaker Muhammad Shafi of
the
regional
National
Conference.
Narayan Desai
Vetrent Gandhian of our
country Narayan Desai, who
known for his rendition of
Gandhi Katha stories on the
Mahatmas life passed away
at a private hospital in Surat.
He is son of Mahatma Gandhis
personal secretary and
biographer Mahadev Desai.
In 2004, Desai started a lecture
series on Gandhi called
Gandhi Katha, which he took
across the world and received
much acclaim for it.
Desai served as the Chancellor
of Gujarat Vidyapith from July
23, 2007 to November 2014 .
Desai has won several award for
his work which include the
Sahitya Akademi Award for
Gujarati in 1993 and the
Jamnalal Bajaj Award in 1999
75

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In the News
and the UNESCO-Madanjeet
Singh Prize for the Promotion
of Tolerance and NonViolence in 1998. He was also
associated with anti-nuclear
activism.
Marry Kom

the state, as a result, has


produced many athletes. Mary
Kom cemented the northeastern states position as a
powerhouse of talent with her
2012 Olympic bronze. Winning
medals in many international
and national meets, the Hindi
film industry made a movie
based on her life, starring actor
Priyanka Chopra.

year 2010, he was awarded the


World Fantasy Award for Life
Achievement.
In the year 1998 he was
appointed as officer of Order
of the British Empire (OBE).
Vinod Mehta

Sir Terry Pratchett

Union Government has


selected five time worlds
Boxing Champion and Olympic
medallist boxer M.C. Mary Kom
as the brand ambassador for
north-east India to promote the
region in the rest of the country
and abroad.
It was announced by Union
Minister of Development of
North Eastern Region (DoNER)
Jitendra Singh while adressing
the 10th North East Business
Summit in New Delhi. MC Mary
Kom was selected to showcase
the potential of the North East
region which can offer Rs. 2.4
trillion business opportunities
across various sectors.
Mary, 32, who hails from
Manipur is only woman boxer
to have won a medal in each of
the six world championships.
She recently announced in
Imphal that she would quit the
sport after the Rio de Janeiro
Olympics next year.
The cultural tradition of
Manipur is sports-oriented and
76

Sir Terry Pratchett creator of


the Discovered series and
author of more thatn 70 novels
has recently passed away in
London.
In his 44 years long career,
Pratchett had written more
than 70 books which were
translated in 37 languages. His
debut novel, The Carpet
People was published in 1971
and his first Discworld novel,
The Colour of Magic was
published in 1983.
Pratchett has sold more than 85
million books worldwide was
the UKs best-selling author of
the 1990s and later surpassed
by Harry Potter author J K
Rowling.
He has won several award for
his distinguish work which
includes Knighted by the
Queen Elizabeth II in 2009 for
his services to literature and in

Senior journalist and Outlook


Groups editorial chairman
Vinod Mehta passed away at
the AIIMS in New Delhi on
Sunday.
He had worked with several
publications
including
Debonair, Sunday Observer,
Pioneer and Indian Post.
Born in Rawalpindi, Mehta has
authored a biography of Meena
Kumari and Sanjay Gandhi. His
much-talked-about memoir,
Lucknow Boy, was published
in 2011.
He was conferred with Yash
Bharti Samman (2015) by Uttar
Pradesh government.
Ram Sunder Das
Former Bihar Chief Minister and
senior JD(U) leader Ram
Sundar Das has died, he was
95. He was chief minister of
Bihar as the head of the Janata
Party government in 1979.
Earlier in the Lok Sabha election
of 2009, he has defeated Ram
Vilas Oaswan in the Hajipur, but
in the parliamentary polls last
year, had lost to the latter.
Present Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar, announced two days of
state mourning as a mark of
respect for the senior JD(U)
leader.

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Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals

SELECTED ARTICLES FROM VARIOUS NEWSPAPERS & JOURNALS

Not measure for measure


Purchasing Power Parity or PPP
has validated a long held surmise that
the poorer countries are not as badly
off as they are made out to be nor the
richer ones as well off as they seem.
A nominal GDP ranking puts India at
tenth place while a PPP one pushes
it up to third, behind the United
States and China. The Big Mac Index
of The Economist loosely
corroborates. Travelling to expensive
parts of the world from our country
brings this home to us tellingly.
We would be wise to guardedly
settle for PPP. The world too has done
likewise. India, like those of several
other similarly placed countries, does
have an economy worth several times
larger than its nominal GDP indicates.
This fact has not gone unnoticed
where it matters, especially in the
boardrooms of multinationals or
corporate India which indefatigably
seek to add an inch to every
Indiamans shirt tail. Some strong
endorsement for this comes from the
management guru, the late C.K.
Prahalad. Unsurprisingly, for
companies like Suzuki and Honda,
India has emerged as their largest
market for cars and two-wheelers and
Vodafone, despite an unresolved
retrospective tax issue, is very much
here to stay. India of course enjoys
the sheer strength of numbers.
After China, India has more
mobile owners than any other
country. The smartphone revolution
has just hit us big and India is more
likely than not to emerge as the
second largest market for that too.
India is also one of two largest
motorcycle manufacturers. The
country continues its run as one of
two largest producers of rice and a
third of wheat as well as fruits and
milk. Of course we know that in per

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capita in agro and dairy products, we


are still way behind much smaller
producers but are likely to get there
thanks to developments in science
technology. In all these segments
India is sitting on the cusp of an
opportunity. If the green revolution
surprised us, managed right, the
future growth in agriculture will
astound the world. E-commerce is
another area we mistakenly thought
we had lost out on. Just as we were
despairing at the success of Alibaba
in China, we now see serious
investment coming into e-retailing.
Meanwhile, Amazon, even as it
threatens to leave, is expanding its
footprint here. India, it turns out, is a
glass half full and filling rather than
half-empty and emptying.
But before we start rejoicing we
need to reconcile flattering national
economic indicators with some very
odious social ones. Indias ranking in
the UNDPs Human Development
Report (2011) is 134. In gender
inequality, it comes out marginally
better but still a rotten 129th out of
187 countries. Then on the ease of
doing business, India is a miserable
134th, pretty much at the bottom of
the heap. So things are that horrible.
Or are they only being made out to
be terrible? Given the scale of
poverty in India, it is very difficult not
to make these rankings stick and lot
of visual evidence exists. Mukesh
Ambanis massive residence in
Mumbai coexists with a sea of slums
nearby. Get out of many of Indias
airports, and most especially Mumbai,
and one is confronted with every kind
of misery one can think of. Stop at
the traffic lights and the poor of India
come knocking on your car window.
The better off in our country live in
sanitised islands of relative calm
defended by the very kind drawn

from the ranks of those it seeks to keep


out. But as we all know, visuals, even
powerful ones, do not so much reflect
reality as point out the shocking that
we tend to ignore or deliberately
disregard.
The country as a whole is
nowhere as bad as these indices
show but together they do bring out
that India is a poor bet only because
we have been inept at better stating
our strengths while unfailingly adept
at inviting attention to our
weaknesses. The question to ask is
should India be taken as a country
at all for such indicators to stick?
India is more populous than the
whole of Africa and roughly equal to
Europe and the Americas combined
on that count. We need a better way
of being compared clearly, it is
absurd to rank the country alongside
say Lesotho or Guinea Bissau the
first has a population of less than three
million and the other two. Internal
rankings of States, as what a leading
Indian magazine brings out annually,
is so much like water off a ducks back,
that the game changer will be when
the country configures the rankings
for global consumption. This will
become particularly important now
when States are competing with each
other for investments. This should also
make State governments sit up and
take note that governance matters.
Chhattisgarh is an early mover here.
Millions are spilling out of Indias
poorer States to run services in the
better off ones. Mumbai would not
run for a day without migrant workers
and Kerala the entire State
would come to a grinding halt if the
near three million from Assam and
Bengal as well as U.P., Odisha and
Bihar were to en-masse go elsewhere.
The Government of India would
therefore do well to bring out an
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Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals
annual State-wise status report on
migrant labour detailing where they
come from and the jobs they do and
how much they contribute to State
economies rather than ungratefully
treat them as parasites. This should
cool rampant xenophobia of the kind
the Shiva Sena promotes and make
us grateful for a borderless India.
Prospects for peace
Doubts over the durability of
peace in Ukraine despite the
ceasefire that formally came into
effect on Sunday, represent a
dangerous augury in the monthslong, bloody and bitter conflict
between government and separatist
rebel forces. Prospects of any swift
cessation of hostilities were thrown
into jeopardy after differences
surfaced even as the deal was being
drawn up, with some players
advocating an immediate suspension
of violence and others insisting upon
some preparatory delay. During the
run-up to Sunday, the objective of
the opposing forces seems to have
been to consolidate their respective
positions. The sea coast near Mariupol
and the city of Debaltseve, which are
in Ukrainian control, are said to be
critical for the breakaway republics
of Donetsk and Luhansk. Thus,
uncertainty seems to have been
written into the accord brokered last
week by the leaders of France and
Germany with their Russian and
Ukrainian counterparts. The current
developments remind you of how the
September 2014 ceasefire fell apart
almost as soon as it was agreed upon,
leading to a further escalation in the
crisis that has now claimed more than
5,000 lives and led to the
displacement of a million people.
The fluid situation on the
ground is bound to strengthen the
Congressional hawks, who have been
urging Washington to rethink the
current provision of non-lethal aid in
favour of backing Kiev with arms.
78

Conversely, the conservative and


social democratic partners in
Germanys ruling grand coalition,
with French President Francois
Hollande, have been almost
categorical in their opposition to any
military solution to the crisis in
Europes eastern flanks. The German
Chancellor, in fact, made an
analogous reference to the erection
of the Berlin Wall as she elaborated
on Europes position on Ukraine at
the annual Munich security
conference the previous weekend.
Angela Merkel pointed out that the
western powers did not resort to
force to counter the action.
Republican Senator John McCains
allusion, in his speech at the same
conference, to the response of the
western powers to the Berlin
blockade provided shades of the
American stance. An unequivocal
commitment to finding a peaceful
resolution to the conflict is imperative,
given the interdependence
between Europe and Russia in the
areas of economic and energy
cooperation. The conflagration in
Ukraine also demonstrates that the
prospects for peace over the long
term depend in no small measure on
containing nationalist tendencies in
the states of the former Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics (USSR). In this
context, the continued expansion of
the North Atlantic Treaty
Organisation (NATO) into Russias
neighbourhood about 25 years after
the end of the Cold War, could prove
counterproductive.
A social role for NITI Aayog
NITI Aayog has had its first
meeting with the economic experts.
This was crucial since the government
is trying to revive economic growth.
The economy has experienced slow
growth in spite of the revised national
income data that has indicated faster
growth. Industry, exports and so on,
have shown tepid growth in recent

years. The National Democratic


Alliances electoral promise of an
economic turnaround seems elusive
in spite of its accelerating reforms
by liberalising foreign direct
investment (FDI) flows and land
acquisition policies to signal its procorporate sector and big business
inclinations. The budget is first a
macroeconomic exercise and then a
micro one catering to sectors of the
economy. Two contradictory
macroeconomic views are emerging
from the government and its policy
advisers. This is similar to the policy
dilemma that the United Progressive
Alliance faced earlier. The first view
is to have a larger fiscal deficit so as
to boost demand. The other view is
to cut the fiscal deficit to keep the
credit rating agencies (proxy for
financial interests) happy so as to
prevent a downgrade of the
economy.
The Finance Minister favours
the latter view and argues that a fiscal
deficit imposes a burden on future
generations who will have to repay
the debt. This conservative view
assumes that resources are
constrained, so if the government
spends more, the private sector has
less to spend. But that cannot be true
when the economy has spare
capacity and can produce more.
Increased government expenditures
then boost the economy and lead to
more investments via the accelerator.
If increased spending is financed by
increased direct taxation, that is even
better. This is feasible in India since
direct taxes are around 7 per cent of
GDP which is low when compared
to most other countries. But a
government trying to signal its probusiness inclination would not wish
to raise direct taxes like income,
corporation and wealth taxes.
Actually, tax rates need not be raised
but only the concessions given in
taxes (these are called tax
expenditures and amount to 4.5 per

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cent of GDP) need to be curtailed to
get more resources. But this may also
be seen as anti-business. The other
possibility is to tap the black economy
(more than 50 per cent of GDP,
according to me.) This requires
political will which is not yet visible.
The business community, the largest
generator of black incomes, would
see this also as anti business it has
been opposing introduction of
general anti avoidance rules (GAAR).
Actually, tax rates need not be
raised but only the concessions given
in taxes (these are called tax
expenditures and amount to 4.5 per
cent of GDP) need to be curtailed to
get more resources. But this may also
be seen as anti-business. The other
possibility is to tap the black economy
(more than 50 per cent of GDP,
according to me.) This requires
political will which is not yet visible.
The business community, the largest
generator of black incomes, would
see this also as anti business it has
been opposing introduction of
general anti avoidance rules (GAAR).
Indias current economic dilemma
has global roots. The eurozone, Japan
and Russia are in trouble, the Chinese
economy has slowed down and the
U.S. economy is the only big one that
has improved. In such a scenario,
increasing exports in a big way would
be difficult. Declining commodity
prices (like that of petroleum goods)
signal a weakening global economy.
Uncertainty is deepened by the arc
of instability due to failing states, from
Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria
to East Africa. The war in Ukraine and
the rise of IS are compounding the
problem. Greece threatens the
economic stability of the eurozone.
The new government there is defying
the dictates from the world of finance
and has promised to end the austerity
regime hoisted on the people of
Greece.
In 2011, Mr. Warren Buffett gave
a call to tax the rich more not only for

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the sake of equity but also to tackle


the global economic crisis. This call
was picked up in Europe with 16 of
the wealthiest French urging their
government to tax them more. Fifty
wealthy Germans backed this
petition. In Italy, the chief of Ferrari
also lent support. Inequity has grown
in most countries since the mid-1970s
following the domination of global
financial capital over policies
spearheaded by the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund
(IMF). These policies have not only
marginalised other sectors of the
economy but also promoted bubble
economies that are prone to periodic
collapse as it happened beginning
2007 and from which the world
economy has yet to fully recover.
The dilemma currently facing
Indian policymakers reflects these
global trends. Indias rightward drift
started with the Emergency in 1975
when Sanjay Gandhi marginalised the
left of Centre thinking in the Indira
Gandhi government. The trend
continued during the Janata regime
and thereafter under the Indira
Gandhi government which had to
approach the IMF for adjustment in
1980. Rajiv Gandhi, under
considerable influence of the
liberalisers, pushed this tendency
faster. With the New Economic
Policies in 1991 and the emergence
of the World Trade Organization
(WTO) in 1995, there was a paradigm
change, with the policies of finance
capital becoming entrenched. For
India, which remains very poor and
very unequal, policies based on the
interest of finance capital and a
narrow section of society can only
spell disaster. These policies push
markets and technology-based
solutions which marginalise the
individual. The underlying idea is that
if making democracy work is difficult,
substitute it with technology. Those
lacking faith in democracy and social
institutions are (in the name of the

poor) pushing an autocratic agenda


based on greater use of technology.
The hard work of creating and
nurturing institutions that can deliver
to the people and strengthen
democracy is sought to be
circumvented. So, one of the key
proposals today is to push Goods and
Services Tax (GST) even if it does not
suit the needs of the vast unorganised
sectors of our economy and benefits
the MNCs and big business.
The menace of plastic waste
If there is one type of municipal
solid waste that has become
ubiquitous in India and most
developing countries, and largely
seen along the shores and waterways
of many developed countries, it is
plastic waste. Much of it is not
recycled, and ends up in landfills or
as litter on land, in waterways and the
ocean. For the first time, researchers
have estimated the amount of plastic
that makes its way into the oceans.
While the estimate of eight million
tonnes of plastic being dumped into
the oceans by 192 coastal countries
in 2010 may appear staggeringly high,
in reality the quantity would be many
times more. Besides estimating the
total quantity, a paper published
recently in the journal Science has
identified the top 20 countries that
have dumped the most plastic waste
into the oceans. At twelfth position,
India is one of the worst performers.
It has dumped up to 0.24 million
tonnes of plastic into the ocean every
year; the amount of mismanaged
plastic waste per year is 0.6 million
tonnes. In the case of China, the No.
1 polluter, the coastal population
sends up to 3.53 million tonnes of
plastic waste into the oceans each
year. Besides the 11 Asian and South
East Asian countries, the U.S. figures
in the list.
A study published in December
2014 estimated the quantity of plastic
floating in the ocean at nearly 270,000
tonnes. This is but a fraction of the
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total that finds its way into the oceans.
Other studies suggest that the surface
of the water is not its final resting
place. Alarmingly, an unknown
quantity of degraded plastic in the
form of particles enters the food chain.
Besides affecting marine life, plastic
that gets into the food chain has
serious health implications for
humans. With the latest study
estimating that the annual input into
the oceans is set to double by 2025,
there is an urgent need to tackle the
problem. A two-pronged approach
has to be adopted by the worst
polluters to reduce per capita plastic
waste generation and cut the amount
of mismanaged waste by employing
better waste management practices.
Recycling is the best available way to
tackle the waste, though it is not the
ideal solution. India, which hardly
recycles plastic waste, has its task cut
out. It dumps a huge quantity into the
ocean although it generates a
relatively small amount of this waste
per person 3 per cent of 0.34 kg
per person a day of all solid waste
generated. The huge population
offsets the advantage of low plastic
consumption in the country. Cutting
down on the use of plastic should also
begin in earnest, and the first item
that has to be targeted is the singleuse plastic bag. The Union
government recently refused to ban
the manufacture of single-use plastic
bags; the least it could do to reduce
consumption is to make such bags
expensive, employing the same
rationale that has been applied for
tobacco products that are taxed
heavily to reduce consumption.
New thrust in
India-Sri Lanka ties
Relations between India and Sri
Lanka have not just been reinforced
during the visit of President
Maithripala Sirisena but have also
gained new direction and
momentum. As Sri Lankas closest
80

neighbour that has ethnic links to its


most significant minority, India is a
huge influence in the island nations
political, economic, social and
cultural consciousness, and its world
view. President Sirisena was hewing
to a long and unbroken tradition of
newly elected leaders making New
Delhi the first port of call for foreign
visits. But in a departure from the
routine nature of such visits, both
sides signed four substantive
agreements. Of these, the agreement
on Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses
of Nuclear Energy was the most
significant as it imparts a new strategic
element to bilateral relations. Since
2010, Sri Lanka has wanted to utilise
nuclear energy in industrial
applications as well as in fields such
as medicine and agriculture. Two
years ago, Colombo had indicated it
was exploring such an agreement
with Islamabad, with which too it has
a warm bilateral relationship. Its
decision to move ahead on this front
with India shows the maturity of the
new Sri Lankan leadership and the
importance it attaches to its relations
with New Delhi. The agreement
envisages exchange of knowledge
and expertise, sharing of resources,
capacity building and training of
personnel in peaceful uses of nuclear
energy. Two years ago, Sri Lanka had
also expressed safety concerns arising
from the geographical proximity of
the Kudankulam nuclear reactors.
That the signatory to the agreement
on the Sri Lankan side was Power and
Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka
who had voiced the concerns, shows
that Colombo is now sufficiently
reassured.
The two sides have also agreed
to enhance their defence and
security cooperation in the existing
trilateral format with the Maldives.
New Delhi should press any security
concern it may have, such as that
which arose with the docking of a
Chinese submarine in the Colombo

harbour, without dictating Sri Lankas


choice of friends and allies. The
travails of fishermen on both sides of
the Palk Bay received attention with
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and
President Sirisena pledging to resolve
them in a constructive and
humanitarian way. Sensibly,
fishermens associations on both sides
are to continue talks begun two years
ago to find their own solution. There
were no public statements on the
Tamil question during the Presidents
visit. Nevertheless, this remains top
of the agenda in bilateral relations.
New Delhi must encourage Sri
Lankas new leadership to be
determined in addressing the issues
of ethnic reconciliation and powersharing with Tamils.
Secularism is
not a policy option
In speaking up against
violence and incitement of hatred
on the basis of religion, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi was seeking
to correct a growing perception that
his
government
passively
encouraged Hindutva groups that
indulged in physical and verbal
attacks on religious minorities in the
country. Although the Prime Minister
carefully avoided making a
distinction between majority and
minority religious groups while
promising action against those
inciting hatred, there was little
doubt that he was making an effort to
reassure religious minorities in the
face of provocation from Hindutva
groups. Indeed, the venue and the
event where he spoke provided the
context for the speech: a meeting
organised by the Catholic SyroMalabar Church in New Delhi, where
churches have come under attack in
recent weeks. But the assurance as
such does not amount to much.
Until now, Mr. Modi had appeared
reluctant to publicly reprimand or

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rein in Ministers and Members of
Parliament belonging to his party
when they crossed the lines of
political propriety with provocative
speeches against religious minorities.
If his words are not followed up by
action, and if he continues to allow
his Ministers and party colleagues to
incite communal hatred, the
assurance would be bereft of all
meaning. In the last few months, the
Modi government had been sending
out confusing signals. While those at
the top in the government were
careful and correct in their
speeches, those in the middle and
lower rungs tested the limits of law
and propriety with virulent remarks.
As a party, the Bharatiya Janata Party
looked as if it was torn between its
role as a politically responsible ruling
party, and its need to cater to its core
Hindutva constituency.
Contrary to what many in the
BJP seem to think, secularism is not a
policy option for a government, but
one of the original principles that
inform the Constitution. Secular, as
a word to describe the Indian
Republic, might have been added
to the Preamble only in 1976, but
the freedom of conscience and free
profession, practice and propagation
of religion under Article 25 is one of
the fundamental rights guaranteed
in the Constitution. Protecting the
right of all persons to freedom of
religion is the constitutional duty of
the government of the day. Indeed,
freedom of religion is integral to any
democratic society, and India, by
definition, cannot remain a
democracy without allowing its
citizens the freedom to practise a
religion of their choice. A
government that cannot ensure the
fundamental rights guaranteed by
the Constitution equally to all its
citizens will quickly lose its political

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legitimacy and representative


character. Certainly, Mr. Modi would
not want his government to hurtle
down that path.
Dealing with
broken marriages
Shelving the decision to allow
an amendment of the marriage laws
to include irretrievable breakdown
as an additional ground for seeking
divorce will be a regrettable step.
This progressive amendment,
conceived mainly on the
recommendation of the Law
Commission and on the strength of
suggestions from the Supreme Court
in a number of cases based on the
experience of administering divorce
laws, would help expedite what has
always been a difficult and painful
process. The draft has already been
fine-tuned to protect the interests of
women and children affected by
divorce. When the amendment was
initially introduced in 2010, it sought
to waive the waiting or cooling-off
period of six months before
considering a motion for divorce by
mutual consent, but a parliamentary
committee found this unnecessary.
Secondly, the panel wanted better
safeguards for womens property
rights and also desired that the clause
protecting the interests of children
born during the marriage be
extended to adopted children too.
Subsequently, the draft was changed
to the effect that the waiting period
could only be reduced by the court
under some conditions. If there was
any evidence that it would cause
financial hardship to the wife, the
court cannot grant divorce without
making
arrangements
for
compensation, including a share in
property, to her. Financial
arrangements should be made for the
maintenance of children, including
adopted children and unmarried or
widowed daughters with no means
of financial support. The amendment

was passed in the Rajya Sabha in


2013, but not in the Lok Sabha.
A common argument from those
opposing the present amendment is
that the provision for divorce by
mutual consent adequately covers
the situation of a marriage lapsing into
dysfunction. Groups purporting to
protect the rights of men also argue
that a woman could enter into a sham
marriage and later walk away with the
husbands property by getting it
annulled at will. Some make extreme
claims that it could destroy the
institution of marriage and even
encourage live-in relationships. Such
scenarios should not be used as a
pretext to stymie well-intentioned
amendments that seek to break
matrimonial
deadlocks
by
recognising breakdown as a judicially
sound reason. In fact, the Law
Commission and the Supreme Court
suggested that irretrievable
breakdown be added as a ground
only to put an end to the fault theory
as the basis for annulment. Giving up
this legislative change to the Hindu
Marriage Act and the Special
Marriage Act will be an unwarranted
concession to moral conservatism.
The government would do well not
to abandon the long-overdue
amendment that will take
jurisprudence
forward,
strengthening as it does individual
rights.
A thoughtful Obama
If taken at face value, President
Barack Obamas closing address to
the Summit on Countering Violent
Extremism could signal a
repositioning of the official White
House line on the war against global
terrorism. The Presidents speech was
a carefully calibrated response to the
recent wave of attacks by militants
from the Islamic State (IS) in those
countries that are part of the U.S.-led
war in Syria and Iraq. Rather than the
shrill notes of threat and retribution
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that usually attend U.S. policy rhetoric
on the global war on terror, what the
Summit heard from Mr. Obama were
thoughtful insights into the human
rights origins of terrorism. Speaking
to a gathering of Ministers from nearly
70 countries, the UN SecretaryGeneral and other senior officials, Mr.
Obama made two significant points.
First, he made an exceptionally strong
plea to cut through the terrorist
narrative based on twisted
interpretations of Islam that allows
groups like IS to act in the name of
Islam. Secondly, he directed the
attention of his audience to the need
to transform the environments of
economic impoverishment in which
young people, trapped without
education or any avenues of
advancement, turn rich pickings for
terrorist recruiters. So if were serious
about countering violent extremism,
we have to get serious about
confronting these economic
grievances, he declared.
While Mr. Obama deserves
credit for outlining a nuanced view
of the social origins of terrorism, and
a more humane, long-term and
inclusive approach to a possible
solution to extremism, it would be
unrealistic to expect a radical shift in
U.S. policy towards this phenomenon.
Despite the softer rhetoric, the
Obama administrations response has
been far sharper and intensive than
what was viewed as the heavyhandedness of his predecessor in
office in conducting its global war
against terror. Across Pakistan, Yemen
and Somalia, the Obama
administration launched more than
390 drone strikes in its first five years.
This is eight times as many as were
launched during the entire George
W. Bush presidency. The bombing of
IS bases by the U.S.-led coalition of
nations in Syria and Iraq is part of the
continuum of war set by the invasion
of Iraq by the same forces in 2003.
Fighting them today is a deadly and
82

ruthless war machine operated by


religious extremists. IS is a deadly
menace to the civilised world, with
its acts of public brutality designed
to radiate terror. While the U.S. and
its allies are compelled to root out this
sinister challenge, the imperative is
for the global community to move
ahead on issues such as Palestine
which could conceivably lend more
moral force to anti-IS operations in
the Middle East.
The cost of negligence
The failure of successive
governments in India, especially
those in States that have the highest
mortality rates among children
younger than five years, to address
the critical issue of training healthcare providers in rural areas to
correctly diagnose and treat children
suffering from diarrhoea and
pneumonia, has had tragic
consequences. These ailments
account for the maximum number of
under-5 mortality incidence in the
country. That the poor management
of sick children by health care
providers is a major causal factor for
under-5 mortality has been brought
out by a study carried out in rural
Bihar. As other studies have shown,
what is true for Bihar will be largely
valid for other States as well. That the
340 health-care providers studied
seldom practised what little they
knew about treating children
suffering from the two health
complications is a poignant reminder
of the state of the health-care system
in rural India. Only 3.5 per cent of the
practitioners prescribed the correct
treatment using life-saving oral
rehydration salts (ORS) alone for
children with simple, uncomplicated
diarrhoea. Instead, nearly 69 per cent
of them prescribed potentially
dangerous drugs, including
antibiotics, along with ORS; an equal
percentage of them prescribed
drugs without any ORS. The record

was only slightly better in the case of


pneumonia. The quality of diagnosis
also left much to be desired.
These findings explain why
Bihar has the countrys highest infant
mortality rate of 55 per 1,000 live
births. In 2010, the under-5 mortality
in India from diarrhoea and
pneumonia was over 600,000, the
highest in the world in terms of
absolute numbers. In the same year,
India was one of the five countries
that accounted for nearly 50 per cent
of the deaths globally from diarrhoea
and pneumonia in this age group.
Hence, it is hard to fathom why India
did next to nothing to train and equip
health-care providers to diagnose and
treat children. Bangladesh has not
seen any drop in the incidence of
acute diarrhoeal disease, but has
reduced its under-5 mortality rate by
75 per cent between 1980 and 2011,
largely by reducing mortality from the
two diseases by means of better case
management even in rural areas. In
2006-2007, as much as 76 per cent
of children with diarrhoea in rural
Bangladesh received ORS, a 2013
paper in The Lancet says. India has
indeed done well in reducing under5 mortality numbers from 2.5 million
in 2001 to 1.5 million in 2011. But with
only 10 months left to achieve the
critical Millennium Development
Goal No. 4 of 38 deaths per 1,000
live births among children under five,
India can ill-afford to continue with
its indifferent attitude to health care
in rural areas.
The lawlessness of humour
In Stalins time, god had been
abolished and farming collectivised.
A Soviet farmer was asked by a central
commissar how good the potato crop
was. The farmer answered, If all the
potatoes produced on our collective
farm were gathered into a mound, the
mound would be so tall that it would
reach the feet of god. The doctrinal
correct Commissar snarled, There is

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no god, comrade, you know that.
The unperturbed reply came, there
are no potatoes either.
As I read about the storm
gathering against the All India
Bakchod roast, a comedy roast is an
event where a celebrity consents to
be laughed at. His friends, peers,
acquaintances and enemies gather to
insult him and provide general
merriment to those gathered around.
Money collected from the paying
audience is often given away to a
charity of the celebritys choice. A
roast is an occasion for the celebrity
to be brought down a peg or two, for
him to be able to laugh at himself and
to, all in all, show, that he is a good
sport who can have a joke made at
his expense. This tradition of roasting
grew out of the comedy clubs in
America and drew inspiration from a
street game called The Dozens
which is often played on the streets
in black majority areas in the United
States.
On December 20, 2014, in an
event that raised around Rs.40 lakh
for charity, two Bollywood actors,
Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor,
were roasted by other members of
the glitterati, with Karan Johar
officiating as the master of the roast.
The panel of roasters included the
three comics, Gursimran Khamba,
Rohan Joshi and Tanmay Bhat, who
were members of the comedy group,
AIB. Other attendees included Alia
Bhat, Deepika Padukone and
Sonakshi Sinha. The jokes ranged
from the risqu to the rude. Like the
stuff in all good professional comedy,
some jokes did make viewers drop
their jaws in disbelief (Did he really
say that?), howl with laughter, grit
their teeth in anger and wince with
shock. But for once, celebrities got
people to pay to watch their
celebrity status get insulted. The
trading of insults humanised them and
elevated the audience by enabling it
to seemingly look down on them.

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Yet, like every fairy tale, it was


those who were left out who took the
most offence and caused the most
trouble. The hitherto unknown
Brahman Ekta Seva Sanstha was first
off the block to file an FIR at the
Sakinaka police station. A Catholic
organisation filed a civil suit for
damages while a criminal complaint
by a law professor resulted in a
magistrates direction to launch a
criminal investigation. These two
proceedings were filed through the
same lady lawyer, who cannot be
accused of being a publicity hound,
because she is a well known
television commentator. The Bombay
High Court was petitioned to look into
the controversy. The matter has not
reached the Supreme Court as yet,
through a meddlesome interloper or
officious busybody!
While the courts will no doubt
work their processes in due course, a
few obvious legal truisms must be
stated. It is very rarely illegal to tell a
joke, or a whole series of them. It is
not illegal to listen to a joke. It is not
illegal to disseminate a joke. It is not
illegal to laugh at a joke. The law does
not criminalise a joke. You can laugh
at the world and you can laugh at
yourself. It is perfectly legal to do so.
Like obscenity, humour is very difficult
to define, is subjective and is a matter
of taste. Even phrases from various
statutes that criminalise some aspects
of speech are delightfully vague and
use adjectives like grossly offensive,
sexually coloured and obscene.
Just as lawmakers have struggled to
define these offences, so too have
judges who have applied these
standards to actual cases. The
dilemma is best exemplified by
Justice Potter Stewarts claim in the
U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1964 case,
of Jacobellis v Ohio, where he
defined pornography as I know it ,
when I see it.
In law, the answer is simple.
There is no general right to take

offence at the contents of another


persons speech in a private
environment. It is only when the
speech is in a public place, or causes
annoyance to others in a public place
that criminal law is attracted, as in
Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code.
If a joke is specifically defamatory of
ones personal reputation, that person
alone could go to a civil court to
collect damages. If the speech was
deliberately aimed at insulting a
religion, it may be criminally
actionable under Section 295-A. If a
joke is aimed at sexual harassment, it
may be actionable by the victim alone
under the newly created Section
354A of the IPC. What needs to be
emphasised here is that each of these
sections is designed with a specific
affected person in mind. That person
alone must be permitted to set the
law in motion and no other. Nobody
has a general right to take offence at
another peoples jokes, at other
peoples expense. Except the person
who is directly impacted, no one else
should be granted locus standi, with
respect to a joke or its teller.
Secrecy and
information theft
Government offices the world
over are notoriously porous. Even
those which boast of a high standard
of physical security sometimes do not
have a matching ability to protect
their information systems. WikiLeaks
is a striking example of how even one
of the most technologically advanced
nations like the United States can be
found wanting in this area. The
appalling state of Indias public
offices is a case in point. The buildings
that house them take the cake for
permitting shockingly liberal access
to vandals and marauders. The
disgusting state of hygiene in most of
them in itself bears testimony to their
porous nature and neglect, both of
which certainly promote an
ambience that is least conducive to a
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security culture.
While Central government
offices are a shade better than those
in the States in terms of visitor control,
there is no scope for being smug. This
is despite the fact that the new
government at the Centre has done a
lot to block unauthorised men,
including lobbyists, from visiting
government offices. In a much less
complicated universe, in the early
1950s, Rajaji, as Chief Minister of the
Madras State, successfully kept out
ruling party men from the sacred
confines of Fort St. George. This has
possibly not had the desired result as
reports of leakage of valuable
information from a key Ministry in the
nations capital show. All you need
to secure entry into many
government offices in our country is
a reasonably attractive-looking
identity card, which may not
necessarily be genuine or whose
validity has expired. Few questions
are asked after one gains entry. There
are no sequestered areas which are
out of bounds. Greasing the palms of
security staff to secure unauthorised
entry is also not an unknown practice.
Here again where there is
deployment of Central Industrial
Security Force (CISF) guards, things
are in fairly reasonable shape.
Elsewhere, the security staff are illtrained and clueless and therefore
abysmally inadequate.
We do not have an idea of what
the stolen papers at Shastri Bhavan
constituted. Speculation is that they
are on commercial data, apart from
overall policy indicators. The report
that a few papers with national
security implications were also stolen
has no corroboration as yet. What is
feared as having been compromised
is what is ready meat for corporate
interests, especially in the pre-Budget
weeks. The temptation to pre-empt
government decisions, and overtake
competitors is too much to resist in
an ambience of sordid venality. This
84

is true of any firm which is low on


ethics and largely profit-oriented. This
is why we should not be overly
surprised about Shastrigate. The
phenomenon will keep repeating
itself at periodic intervals. The public
focus should be on what the
government does to identify the
loopholes to reduce the frequency
of such successful raids on
government information storehouses.
Early reports point to no great
technology having been employed
by the network that was behind the
conspiracy to breach Shastri Bhavan.
The alleged disabling of CCTVs in the
building was at best vandalism. A few
at the bottom of government
hierarchy who go by the generic
name peons had possibly been
bought over and the keys to the doors
leading into the offices secured for a
price and duplicated to gain entry. It
was as simple as that if press reports
are true. This would mean that
important documents had either
been carelessly left behind on tables
or stored in cupboards with flimsy
locks. If the Delhi Crime Branch
investigation ultimately confirmed
this, the staff concerned (possibly the
section officer/under-secretary or
above) are culpable, irrespective of
whether they connived with each
other in the crime or not. They need
to be disciplined if only for an obvious
lack of care in protecting valuable
documents.
What the investigation will have
to address next is whether the leaked
information was actually sensitive and
classified. Without establishing this,
it may not be possible to successfully
press charges other than that of theft
and trespass against the conspirators.
We have a funny situation where
many government organisations mark
almost every other document as either
secret or top secret. Very often the
decision to classify a document is
taken at the level of under-secretary/
section officer in a mechanical

fashion and without any application


of mind. The approval of the joint
secretary, subsequently, is said to be
routine. Security classification is a
double-edged weapon. It no doubt
vests sanctity to a record/note in
circulation which it would not
otherwise gain. At the same time it
brings about a ludicrous situation in
which everything that a department
possesses is converted into a treasure
that has to be protected every
working day, without the means
required for doing so. When those
who are accused in the Shastri
Bhavan case are eventually charge
sheeted and taken to court, some of
them could take advantage of a loose
classification protocol, and are liable
to be discharged, if, at the minimum,
the prosecution is unable to prove
either a role in the break-in or direct
benefit from what was contained in
the documents.
A lot of scrutiny and application
of mind will be needed for successful
application of the Official Secrets Act
(OSA). Incidentally, the OSA is of
1923 vintage and a complicated
piece of legislation. There is one
strong school of thought which says
that the OSA has no reason to remain
on our statute books after the Right
to Information Act of 2005. An
indictment of the accused under the
OSA, after thorough investigation,
requires the scrutiny of the Ministry
of Home Affairs (MHA) and its
approval, after which a complaint can
be filed in the competent court. A
favourable outcome thereafter for the
investigator is usually dicey.
Interestingly, a person in charge of
and responsible for the conduct of
business of a company is not liable to
punishment under the OS Act if he
proves that the offence was
committed without his knowledge or
that he exercised all due diligence
to prevent the commission of such
offence Section 15 (1). A
company under the scanner has

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already distanced itself from one of
its executives who has been arrested.
These are the factors that make a swift
delivery of justice to the aggrieved
party, viz., the state, a near
impossibility.
Food insecurity
and statistical fog
An odd silence has surrounded
the National Food Security Act
(NFSA) in the last few months as if
food insecurity were a thing of the
past. It may be recalled that the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), far from
opposing the Act, vociferously
demanded a more comprehensive
law when the NFSA was being
discussed in Parliament in 2013. In
some States, notably Chhattisgarh, the
BJP had taken the lead in
guaranteeing entitlements that were
later included in the Act, and also in
showing that the Public Distribution
System (PDS) can be reformed.
Today, however, the Modi
governments urge to get things
done does not seem to extend to
the NFSA.
This is unfortunate because
the nutrition situation in India
remains critical. Very few countries if
any, had higher levels of child
undernourishment in 2005-6, the last
time India collected reliable nutrition
statistics at the national level (under
the third National Family Health
Survey). What happened since then
is hard to tell. Some surveys,
including a government-sponsored
UNICEF survey, suggest significant
improvement. Others, notably the
second India Human Development
Survey, point to very limited
progress. This statistical fog, largely
due to the failure of the fourth
National Family Health Survey, does
not help matters. What is clear is that
even if substantial progress took
place since 2005-6, undernutrition
levels in India remain higher than

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almost anywhere else in the world. It


is no ones claim that the NFSA is an
adequate answer to this problem.
The Act has serious flaws, and leaves
out some important requirements of
good nutrition (e.g. sanitation). Still,
effective implementation of NFSA
would make an important
contribution to food security and
improved nutrition. Recent
experience shows that a wellfunctioning PDS makes a big
difference to people who live on the
margin of subsistence. The Act is
also an opportunity to strengthen
valuable child nutrition programmes
such as school meals and the
Integrated Child Development
Services. Central and State
governments are jointly responsible
for the tardy implementation of the
Act. In some respects, the blame
clearly lies with the Central
government. For instance, ever since
July 2013, all Indian women have
been entitled to maternity benefits
of Rs.6,000 per month under NFSA.
It is the Central governments
responsibility to design a scheme for
this purpose and to fund it. Yet, this
critical provision of the Act does not
seem to figure in discussions of the
forthcoming Budget.
In other respects, the State
governments also have much to
answer for. This applies in particular
to food entitlements under the PDS.
The Act provides for the PDS to cover
75 per cent of the rural population
and 50 per cent of the urban
population at the national level the
corresponding ratios are higher in the
poorer States and lower in better-off
States. Every eligible household is
entitled to 5 kg of foodgrain per
person per month at a nominal price
(Rs.3, Rs.2 and Rs.1 per kg for rice,
wheat and millets respectively). This
would mean that the PDS takes care
of about half of the foodgrain

consumption of eligible households.


This new PDS does not require any
increase in public procurement of
foodgrains, beyond the levels
achieved in recent years. It is mainly
a restructuring of the system, with
broader coverage, lower issue prices
and clear entitlements. Recent
experience shows that these steps,
along with bold PDS reforms, can lead
to drastic improvements in the system.
This experience is not confined to
leader States like Tamil Nadu or
Chhattisgarh, but now extends to
some lame-duck States as well, e.g.
Odisha. Even Bihar, one of the worstgoverned States, has achieved
remarkable PDS improvements in
recent years.
The NFSA is an opportunity to
consolidate these achievements and
extend them across the country. The
main stumbling block is the
identification of eligible households.
When the Act was being drafted, it
was assumed that the identification
process would be based on the
Socio Economic and Caste Census
(SECC). The idea was to use simple
and transparent exclusion criteria
(e.g. having a permanent government
job or owning a motorised vehicle)
to weed out relatively well-off
households everyone else would
be eligible. SECC is the best available
database for this purpose. Alas, the
release of SECC data has been
excruciatingly slow. According to the
official SECC website, a draft list has
been released for about three fourths
of Indias districts. However, data are
missing for at least some districts in
half of Indias major States. Where a
draft list has been released, a final
list is supposed to be prepared after
giving every household an
opportunity to appeal for corrections
this could take a long time.
Meanwhile, for better or worse, some
States have gone ahead and issued
ration cards based on the draft SECC
list.
85

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In the absence of SECC data,
some States have resorted to
shortcuts such as expanding the old
BPL list, instead of preparing a new
list of eligible households. These
shortcuts tend to be fraught with
problems. The BPL lists, often as old
as 2002 or even 1997, are highly
unreliable. In some States, a welldefined BPL list does not even exist
there are different lists in different
places (e.g. on the net, at the district
level, and at the gram panchayat
level), inconsistent with each other.
The SECC approach is an opportunity
to clean this mess and prepare a
single, transparent, logical, digitised
list of eligible households.
Many other States, however, are
unable or unwilling to follow this lead
due to delays or gaps in the SECC
data. Rajasthan, the first State to
implement NFSA, made a mess by
relying on an extension of the BPL list
to identify eligible households.
Odisha, frustrated with the delays,
embarked on an entirely separate
identification process based on selfdeclaration a very risky venture.
Jharkhand, lagging behind in these
matters, has not moved beyond a
series of vacuous announcements.
Just to add to the confusion, the
recent report of the Shanta Kumar
committee recommends a reduction
of the coverage of NFSA from 67 per
cent to 40 per cent of the population.
How this is supposed to be done,
halfway through the implementation
of the Act, the report does not
explain. Aside from threatening to
cause havoc in States that are already
implementing the Act, the report has
created crippling uncertainties for
other States. How is, say, Jharkhand
supposed to follow Bihars lead if
there is a possibility of the expansion
of PDS coverage being rolled back
any time?
Empowering the States
The broad contours of a
86

cooperative federal polity where the


Centre and States engage as equal
partners in development is now
emerging after the government on
Tuesday
accepted
the
recommendations of the Fourteenth
Finance Commission. The FFC,
headed by former RBI Governor Y.V.
Reddy, has broken new ground by
recommending a move away from
scheme and grants-based support to
States to a greater devolution of funds
from the Centres divisible pool of tax
revenues. Thus, it has recommended
that the Centre share 42 per cent of
the divisible pool with the States,
which is 10 percentage points higher
than what is the case now. By
accepting the recommendation
despite the fact that it would lead to
a sharp drop in its own share of
revenues at a time of fiscal pressures,
the Centre has sent out an
unequivocal signal of its commitment
to the principle of cooperative
federalism. The phrase was first
mentioned by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi in the context of his
decision to replace the Planning
Commission with the NITI Aayog.
Indeed, the FFCs report, along with
the setting up of the NITI Aayog and
the
consensus
on
the
implementation of the Goods and
Services Tax, are important
components of the emerging federal
landscape where the Centre confers
greater freedom and responsibility on
the latter by devolving greater
resources to them.
Consequent to the higher
devolution of funds, the Centre is
likely to re-evaluate several schemes
that it sponsors for the States. This is a
natural consequence as the Centre
needs to offset its loss of revenue
even as States devise their own
spending programmes tailored to
their needs. It is a fact that some States
have been weighed down by the
need to cough up their share of funds
for Centrally sponsored schemes

even if such schemes are not relevant


to their needs. For example, for a
State such as Kerala with its high
literacy levels, a scheme to promote
primary education is not relevant, just
as one promoting power generation
is not relevant to a power-surplus
State such as Gujarat. The key to the
success of this experiment in
cooperative federalism lies in how
well the States use the higher
revenues and the accompanying
freedom to frame their development
priorities. Some of the betterdeveloped States such as Tamil Nadu
might feel aggrieved at a reduction
in their share of devolved funds,
ironically because of their better
development metrics relative to other
States. But this is federalism at work,
because the resources freed up thus
go to support another State that might
be lagging behind on development
parameters and per capita income.
What is important is whether the FFC
has adopted logical and fair measures
while designing the allocations
which it indeed has done.
Strategic patience
on nuclear liability
A month after the breakthrough
understanding on the nuclear
liability issue was announced by U.S.
President Barack Obama and Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, its practical
value now looks diminished, while its
symbolic importance as indicating
the willingness of the two sides
India and the U.S. to start a new
chapter in the relationship comes to
light. It was a willing suspension of
disbelief on both sides to move on to
new areas of cooperation, which
have revitalised a defining
relationship of the 21st century.
According
to
American
commentators, the liability law was a
test of the new Indian governments
strategic global outlook and
willingness to fulfil its commitments.
For Mr. Modi, the solution to the

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liability issue was necessary to revive
the bilateral relationship in order to
secure his primary objectives of First
Develop India and enhancing
defence technology. For both of
them, it became a symbol of a new
beginning,
marked
by
a
demonstrated ability to overcome
impediments, even if it has left issues
unresolved for the time being.
The resolution of the liability
issue was on the wish lists of both the
U.S. and India and it became the
litmus test of the success of the visit.
Apart from the business community
of the U.S., the other suppliers, such
as Russia and France, were also keen
to have the issue resolved. Even the
Indian manufacturers of components
were nervous about the liability issue
and its potential to wipe out their
profits. The sense of euphoria that was
created by the announcement that
the deal was done, whether by
design or otherwise, did more good
than harm to the whole visit. The
liability issue has not been resolved
and many loose ends remain even
after the announcement of the
details. But the announcement of the
understanding created the
atmospherics on the first day of the
Obama visit, leading to the historic
declaration on the Asia-Pacific and
Indian Ocean Region Vision
statement, the real breakthroughs in
India-U.S. relations. The solution of
working around the liability issue gave
fresh confidence to both countries
to move to strategic cooperation and
defence co-designing and coproduction under the Defense
Technology and Trade Initiative
(DTTI).
Many lawyers and analysts in
both countries list deficiencies in the
new arrangement by arguing
vigorously that the law cannot be
bypassed by administrative action.
The intention of the liability law was
to impose liability on the suppliers,
and letting the suppliers off the hook

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would be morally and legally


unacceptable, they contend. Some
in India characterise the arrangement
as totally against public interest and
as a concession with no tangible
benefits for India. They predict, not
without reason, that it might be struck
down by courts. They are not wrong
in law, but they miss the political
significance of the move. What should
not be forgotten in such analyses is
that the liability law was introduced
in Parliament by evoking the horror
of the Bhopal tragedy, but the real
purpose was to block the
implementation of the nuclear deal
at least with regard to the U.S. In other
words, it was a political move to drive
a wedge between India and the U.S.,
and not to increase the possibility of
higher compensation for the victims.
The lament that the present
arrangement
will
reduce
compensation is, therefore,
deceptive. Those who have been
nervous about India getting closer to
the U.S. are voicing it. They first
expressed cynicism about a U.S.
President being powerless, were
then silent over the success of the
visit, and then took recourse to
denigrating the liability arrangement.
A major factor to remember is
the gloomy prospect of nuclear
power itself in the post-Fukushima
world. Many countries have either
abandoned nuclear power or are in
the process of reducing their
dependence on it. Even today, there
is no clear estimate of the lasting
damage in Fukushima or the cost of a
clean-up, because of the extreme
secretiveness of the Japanese
authorities. Those evacuated from the
affected areas are still in temporary
shelters, without realising that they
would not be able to move back to
their homes in their lifetime. India has
decided to carry on with business as
usual, but it cannot but review its
position when it makes progress on
alternative sources which may

become substantially cheaper. The


price per unit of electricity generated
with nuclear power will increase
when the insurance costs and the
costs of safety are added on account
of the latest developments.
India is playing on several
chessboards at the same time. Every
move may not appear logical or
productive and there may even be
setbacks. Some moves may have to
be abandoned as the situation
dictates. Mr. Obamas strong
pronouncements on religious
intolerance in India may have already
muddied the waters. The election
results in Delhi may be another
dampener. The move on the liability
law may be tentative and
unsatisfactory, but it was absolutely
necessary for gains in other areas. It
may still be a liability, but other assets
may well be on their way. Strategic
patience is required to exercise
strategic autonomy.
Towards a modest goal
No laundry list of new trains to
be started. No announcement of
new lines to be laid with ambitious
targets. No pet projects to be set up
in core constituencies of the ruling
party. Make no mistake, Railway
Minister Suresh Prabhus maiden
budget is not a typical politicians
budget; it shows the deft touches of
a professional who knows what it
takes to turn around a leviathans
fortunes that have been on a
downhill ride in the last few years.
Whether it is the focus on existing
high-density corridors where
increasing capacity is cheaper and
quicker or the new talk of improving
customer experience or for that
matter, the realisation that Railway
finances have to be made selfsustainable, Mr. Prabhu has ticked all
the right checkboxes. The budget
speech reads more like a vision
statement than a report on the
87

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Railways financial and operational
performance. The only connection
with past budgets is the decision to
not increase passenger fares but
tinker with freight rates. Mr. Prabhus
challenge, though, will be in
implementing his ambitious agenda,
specifically in finding resources,
financial and technical, to achieve
targets. For example, the Rs.8.56 lakh
crore investment plan for the next
five years sounds impressive no
doubt, but how is the Railways going
to fund such a mammoth sum? With
operating expenses consuming nine
out of every 10 rupees earned by
the Railways, there just isnt enough
surplus to plough back into
investment.
This is where the Railways needs
to think out-of-the-box. Mr. Prabhu
has acknowledged the problem and
has listed out several options to raise
finances, including borrowing from
multilateral institutions such as the
World Bank and pension funds whose
investment horizon would match the
long-term plans of the Railways.
Clearly, Mr. Prabhu will have to draw
heavily on his finance background
and expertise to make these work.
The Railway Ministers ambitious
agenda comes through in his plans
for the coming fiscal too. For instance,
electrification of 6,608 route
kilometres in 2015-16 compared to
462 km sanctioned in 2014-15, or for
that matter, the plan to spend
Rs.96,182 crore in doubling/tripling/
quadrupling and electrifying 9,400
km of tracks, sound impressive but
execution will be the key. We have
seen such ambitious plans in the past
falter at the execution stage. The
projected improvement in operating
ratio, a measure of efficiency, from
91.8 per cent this year to 88.5 per
cent in the coming one sounds
impressive, but the fine print on
expenditure needs to be watched
because this ratio is easy to massage.
88

Overall, Mr. Prabhus budget is a


break from the past in taking a longterm view of the Railways future by
making it financially independent
and operationally efficient. He has
five years to reach this destination.
Optimism on growth
Chief Economic Adviser Arvind
Subramanians first Economic Survey
is notable for three main reasons. First,
the overall sense of optimism that it
exudes and justifiably so on the
economy and its prospects in the
medium term. Second, the emphasis
on fiscal discipline, quality of
expenditure and public investment,
mainly in the Railways, to give a boost
to the economy. And finally, the thrust
on Prime Minister Narendra Modis pet
schemes of Jan Dhan Yojana and
Direct Benefit Transfers as means of
eliminating leakages in the subsidy
mechanism and ensuring that
subsidies reach those who deserve
it. Alongside, Mr. Subramanian has
also raised a question mark over the
new data series on GDP growth
announced a couple of weeks ago,
pointing out that India is not a tiger
economy yet as the data would have
us believe. Indias is a recovering
economy rather than a surging one,
the Survey says, pointing out that the
numbers seem difficult to reconcile
with other developments in the
economy. Other major economic
data such as on industrial output and
trade and agriculture, coupled with
anecdotal evidence, point to an
economy that is on the mend
gradually and not to one that is
galloping away on growth. That said,
there is little reason to question the
Surveys conclusion that India is now
in a sweet spot thanks to a government
that has a mandate for reform and a
benign external environment that has
had a favourable impact on the
current account deficit (CAD) and
inflation. Indeed, if India does
achieve the projected CAD of 1 per

cent in 2015-16, that would be in


large part due to the falling
commodity prices, particularly of
crude oil.
The Surveys projection of a 8.18.5 per cent GDP growth in 2015-16
is credible given the present
economic environment, though the
bets would be more on the lower end
of the band. Mr. Subramanian has
reiterated his advocacy for public
investment to act as a booster dose.
And, interestingly, he has picked on
the Railways as the growth
locomotive, arguing that reversing
the cycle of underinvestment in the
Railways can do wonders to the
economy. This ties in with this weeks
Railway budget and its emphasis on
long-term investment; in fact, it is
tempting to conclude that the
increase in gross budgetary support
to the Railways by a third to about
Rs.40,000 crore is evidence of this
policy in action. Railways could be to
the Narendra Modi government what
roads were to the Vajpayee
administration. The Survey has clear
advice for Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley: control expenditure through
subsidy reduction, improve the
quality of expenditure by spending
more on investment and less on
consumption and borrowing only for
investment. Will Mr. Jaitley act on this
in his Budget today?
The building
blocks to enduring ties
Sri Lankan President Maithripala
Sirisenas decision, after his election,
to make India as the destination of
his first foreign visit, possibly reflects
his personal inclination towards India
as a natural choice of a long-term ally.
However, it is important that it should
not be viewed as an indication of Sri
Lankas desire to place all its eggs in
the Indian basket, or even as a
willingness to cold shoulder China.
India must hence avoid the
temptation to flash the V Sign,

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before the race has begun, for
considerable ground still remains to
be covered. A great deal has,
however, taken place in Sri Lanka in
recent weeks that provides India
reason for satisfaction. The peaceful
transfer of power in Sri Lanka and
the absence of any serious violence
in its wake, is one. The eclipsing of
President Mahinda Rajapaksa who,
while distancing himself from India
was perceived to be aggressively
courting China, is another. Further,
the coalition that has come to power
has many leaders, especially Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and
Chandrika Kumaratunga, who are old
friends of India. The scene is thus set
for an improvement in India-Sri Lanka
ties.
Nevertheless, a lot of homework
needs to be done before Prime
Minister Narendra Modi embarks on
his Sri Lanka visit. The objective
should not be as media headlines
would have it of pre-empting
China, but on trying to and building
an enduring relationship, which,
given the close affinities that do exist
between India and Sri Lanka, should
have been the natural order of things.
Yet, the two nations find themselves
separated by much more than the
Palk Strait. A viable solution to the
devolution issue is, however, unlikely
without a major initiative coming from
the Indian side. Mr. Modis team of
advisers will have to do a great deal
of brainstorming to come up with a
solution that at one level, can meet
the aspirations of the Tamils, and at
another, ensure that the coalitions
standing with the Sinhala Buddhist
majority is not seriously undermined.
As the architects of the 13th
Amendment and the devolution
idea deriving from the Indo-Sri Lankan
Accord of 1987 the Lankan Tamils
will look to India to ensure justice for
their cause. Indian Tamils also expect
nothing less, and this will have
implications for Indias internal

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politics. There are other thorny issues


such
as
accountability,
demilitarization and growing
communalization of both the Sri
Lankan polity and the Army as also
the pending UNHRC resolution
that will need some kind of
settlement. Each in their own way
impacts India-Sri Lanka relations to an
extent.
An understanding of the
Sinhala Buddhist mindset might help.
The Sinhala Buddhist majority in Sri
Lanka, it is often said, suffers from a
minority complex, creating many
imponderables as a result. The two
JVP insurgencies (in 1971 and
1987-89) well reflect this. During the
LTTEs heyday, its targets included
Buddhist followers; several Buddhist
places of worship were also damaged
or destroyed. This has left behind a
legacy of distrust and insecurity,
which translates into violent
opposition whenever the demand for
the devolution of powers to the Tamils
comes up. Irrespective of the party
in
power
in
Colombo,
underestimating the strength of such
feelings and the extent to which a
government in Colombo can make
concessions would be an error.
Given that the vote difference in the
presidential elections was hardly 4
per cent and that Mr. Rajapaksa
outpolled Mr. Sirisena in a majority of
districts across the state (other than
in the Tamil and minority belts) it
may not be easy for the coalition to
make the kind of concessions
required for pushing through the 13th
Amendment. As it is, Mr. Rajapaksas
United Peoples Freedom Alliance
has a clear majority in the 225member Sri Lankan Parliament.
If Mr. Modi was successful
during his visits to Bhutan and Nepal,
it was because he showed a subtle
grasp of the importance of gestures
and interpersonal equations. He
would do well to do the same during
his maiden visit to Colombo.

Positioning India as a counter point


to China could follow later, given the
existing ground realities, such as Sri
Lankas debt trap. Sri Lanka owes
China substantial amounts on account
of Chinese aid and assistance for its
developmental projects, including
the Hambantota and Colombo ports.
Mr. Modi knows better than anyone
that the largesse of Indias lines of
credit simply cannot match that of
Chinas. Nor for the matter, does our
track record of completion of
projects compare with that of China.
There are reports that Mr. Sirisena has
assured China that his government is
willing to implement the consensus
reached during Chinese President Xi
Jinpings State visit to Sri Lanka last
September. The President,
reportedly, has also underlined the
enduring nature of the friendly ties
with China, dating back centuries.
Hence, scrapping any of the ongoing
projects funded by China may not be
on the anvil. It would be better to be
cautious and see how far the new Sri
Lankan government readjusts its
priorities, including its ties with China,
before taking any major steps.
An imaginative
and deft balance
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
may just have managed to achieve
what some of his predecessors
attempted but failed. In a
performance that is striking in its
imaginative balance, Mr. Jaitley has
deftly reconciled the interests of
business and the markets on the one
hand and that of the masses, or aam
aadmi, if you will, on the other, and
all this without taking his eyes off the
fiscal deficit ball. His second budget,
which is also his first full-year one, has
proposals that incentivise savings,
increase social security and pension
coverage of citizens and ideas to
harness the idle gold lying in family
lockers. For good measure, the
Finance Minister has also signalled his
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governments commitment to the
rural jobs scheme by allocating a
marginally higher sum with the
promise of more if his tax revenues
increase. Simultaneously, Mr. Jaitley
has kept his focus on the needs of
business and the corporate sector
with a significantly higher allocation
for infrastructure, a phased reduction
in the corporate tax rate, deferment
of GAAR by two more years, a
microfinance refinancing agency, a
law to handle disputes in public
contracts and the promise to usher in
a bankruptcy code this year. The only
luxury that the Finance Minister has
permitted himself is that of delaying
the journey to a fiscal deficit target of
3 per cent of GDP by an extra year.
While this may have the fiscal hawks
up in arms, the fact is that the target
was set earlier under the then
prevailing circumstances that have
changed now. And then again, Mr.
Jaitley can be given the benefit of
the doubt for being profligate simply
because the extra spending goes
towards investment in infrastructure
and not for consumption.
Broadly, there are three facets
of the Budget that stand out. First,
the conscious push towards
spreading the social security net,
especially retirement pension
coverage, using the Jan Dhan
platform. The Pradhan Mantri
Suraksha Bima Yojna which will offer
accident cover of Rs.2 lakh at a
premium of just Rs.12 per year and
the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima
Yojana which will offer life cover of
Rs.2 lakh at a premium of just Rs.330
per annum are commendable plans
that will take social security to the
poor who need it the most. For the
middle class, Mr. Jaitley has
incentivised the push for retirement
coverage with the promise of a
generous tax-break, which in one
stroke channelises savings and
ensures a pension net. The second
major facet is the investor-friendly
90

initiatives as seen in the phased cut


in corporate tax rate and the
deferment of GAAR. The idea of an
electronic bill discounting platform
for MSMEs is an excellent one that
will address the cash flow problems
of the smallest of businesses.
The serious push to address the
parallel economy inhabitants as seen
by the proposal to pass a tough law
against those holding undisclosed
assets abroad is the third major
feature. Ten years rigorous
imprisonment and 300 per cent
penalty on those who conceal
income and assets abroad are
unprecedented tough measures that
send the signal that this government
means business on the issue of
curbing illegal foreign accounts. The
gold deposit scheme and sovereign
bonds are probably vehicles to get
the illegal gold hoarded by the
parallel economy into the mainstream
though Mr. Jaitley might not admit it.
The one major criticism that the
Finance Minister might have to
address is the fact that he is raising
additional resources through indirect
taxes, which are regressive as they
are harsher on the poor. The middleclass might also be unhappy that
there has been no change in either
the income-tax slabs or the rates.
They will have to wait for better times
to come. Mr. Jaitleys decision to
increase the import duty on petrol
and diesel is unlikely to go down well
as retail prices have increased due to
the trade-parity pricing formula
followed by the oil companies. The
devil, as they say, is in the detail and
there could be other unpleasant
changes hidden in the fine print. But
broadly, and for the moment, the
Finance Minister can take credit for
tailoring a budget that balances
conflicting pulls and pressures and
in a difficult environment to boot.
Overall, it is an imaginative and wellformulated exercise addressing the
needs of growth as well as equity.

Positive signals for business


There are several features of
Finance Minister Arun Jaitleys first
full-year Budget presented in
Parliament on Saturday that are
notable, such as the effort to widen
the social security and pension net,
the plan to severely penalise those
holding illegal foreign accounts and
assets, and the proposals to monetise
idle gold holdings in the country. Yet,
what stands out the most is the
structural shift in the governments
attitude and approach to the business
and corporate sector. This is evident
from proposals such as the cut in
corporate tax by a significant 5
percentage points, putting off the
implementation of General AntiAvoidance Rule (GAAR) by two more
years, a sharp increase in allocation
to infrastructure, a proposed
Bankruptcy Code, an electronic bill
discounting scheme to help the
smallest of businesses to tide over
cash flow problems, and even a new
law to handle disputes involving
public contracts. Not since P.
Chidambarams dream budget of
1997, which slashed corporate tax
rates and taxes on royalties among
other things, have we seen such a
business-friendly budget. Successive
governments and Finance Ministers
have considered business and
industry as a sector that needed to
be kept on a tight leash using the
instrument of taxation. In that sense,
the biggest reform measure that Mr.
Jaitley has unleashed lies not in any
of the budget proposals but in the
changed mindset towards business
the recognition that it is a major
stakeholder in the economy and that
its growth needs to be fostered.
So, what explains this change?
The obvious answer is that the BJP
has always been known to be probusiness, especially Prime Minister
Narendra Modi. So a business-friendly
budget is nothing surprising. But that
would only be a broad explanation

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of the change. The more immediate
explanation, though, is that the
Budget had to support the Make in
India theme of the Prime Minister, and
what better way to attract capital and
investors than by reducing taxes and
easing means to do business in India.
The Budget goes a long way in
supporting the pet theme of Mr. Modi,
whose imprint is visible in other
proposals too. With an estimated 12
to 14 million people joining the
workforce every year, the importance
of increasing jobs, especially in
manufacturing,
cannot
be
overemphasised. It does not matter
whether Make in India is aimed at
exports or at the domestic market; the
bottom line is investment and jobs.
The Budget is the reiteration of the
Modi Governments conscious shift
towards supporting industry and
business. Mr. Jaitley had said earlier
the Budget is but one day in a year
and reforms are possible in the
remaining 364 days as well. If that is
any indication, then more reforms lie
ahead for business and industry.
Bankruptcy
law reform needed
Budget 2015 recognises the
need for legal reforms to stimulate
business and growth. Economic
policies overwhelmingly focus on
fiscal
measures,
monetary
interventions
and
welfare
programmes to aid businesses, but
the legal processes that underlie
commerce are often ignored. Laws
that are concerned with starting
businesses, enforcing contracts,
ensuring debt repayments and
exiting businesses, play a critical role
and can thwart growth, rendering
even good policies ineffective. It is
in such a spirit of broadening the
approach that Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley has identified reform in
bankruptcy laws as a key priority,
envisaging legal clarity and speedy
processes that will ultimately ease

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doing business in India. The


connection between better
insolvency laws and economic
growth is straightforward: stronger
bankruptcy laws protect the rights of
borrowers and lenders, promote
predictability, clarify the risks
associated with lending, and make the
collection of debt through
bankruptcy proceedings more
attractive. These factors ultimately
facilitate credit and thus a higher flow
of capital in the economy. But as per
the recent Doing Business, 2015
Report, India is ranked 142 on the
ease of doing business and at 137 for
resolving insolvencies. The average
time taken for insolvency proceedings
in India is about 4.3 years, while it is
only 1.7 years in high-income OECD
countries. The recovery rate (cents
on the dollar) is 71.9 in high-income
OECD countries as opposed to 25.7
in India.
This is why the Interim Report
of the Bankruptcy Law Reform
Committee released in February 2015
is welcome. The Committee set up
by the Ministry of Finance in August
2014 will be crucial to the new
legislation promised in the Budget.
The Committee sees the early
recognition of financial distress and
timely intervention as key features of
efficient rescue regimes and believes
that the degree of viability of a
company must be the central
consideration for allowing it to be
rescued, and that an unviable
company should be liquidated as
soon as possible to minimise losses
for stakeholders. They recommend
that secured creditors be allowed to
file an application for the rescue of a
company at a sufficiently early stage,
rather than wait for the company to
have defaulted on 50 per cent of its
outstanding debt, as currently
provided for in the Companies Act,
2013. The Committee suggests that
unsecured creditors representing 25
per cent of the debt be allowed to

initiate rescue proceedings against


the debtor company. The report also
focusses on individual insolvency, a
crucial area covering sole
proprietorships and small and
medium enterprises in India.
Therefore, a new bankruptcy law
coupled with practical changes,
removing the judicial bottlenecks and
delays, will be crucial to the reform
process.
Engaging with
Pakistan on J&K
Marriages of convenience rarely
involve a change of heart. Political
expediency dictated the coming
together of the Peoples Democratic
Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party
in a coalition government in Jammu
and Kashmir, and neither party could
have been expected to shift
ideological positions so soon after the
swearing-in. The statement of Chief
Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed
crediting Pakistan, Kashmiri
separatists and militants for the
smooth conduct of the Assembly
election was thus hardly a surprise.
He was addressing his political
constituency when he made the
statement, and not his partner in
government, the BJP. Evidently, the
Mufti and the PDP see the tie-up with
the BJP as a tactical retreat and not as
a strategic advance, as a temporary
governance alliance necessitated
by the nature of the mandate and not
as a long-term political alliance on
the basis of any shared interests or
vision. They know they will have
difficulty in selling the alliance, by
whatever name it is called, to their
core support base. Avoidable and
indiscreet the Muftis statement might
have been, but it was certainly not
out-of-character. The PDPs need to
collaborate with the BJP on
administration will have to coexist
with its need to ideologically confront
the Hindutva party on every issue of
political importance, whether it be
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Article 370 or the Armed Forces
(Special Powers) Act.
What is of political import is not
whether the election was peaceful
because of any restraint shown by
Pakistan-backed separatists and
militants or because of the vigil of the
security forces. While opposition
parties, quite understandably, want
to use the opportunity to embarrass
the BJP over this issue, the Centre
cannot be blind to the fact that a
solution to the Kashmir dispute would
necessarily have to include Pakistan.
If Pakistan is part of the problem for
India in Kashmir, it would also have
to be part of the solution. The BJPled government is sometimes prone
to impulsive reactions, as was evident
when the Foreign Secretary-level
talks were called off last year after the
Pakistan High Commissioner met with
leaders of the separatist Hurriyat. The
Muftis statement, ill-advised as it
doubtless was, should not be
allowed to queer the pitch for Indias
continued engagement with Pakistan
on Kashmir and terrorism and other
bilateral issues. The Hurriyat and
Pakistan would have to be on board
for Indias efforts to find a solution to
the Kashmir dispute to succeed. J&K
should not be allowed to become
hostage to politicking, whether by the
PDP in Kashmir or by the Congress
and the BJP at the national level.
Financial sector
reform on course
One-stop solution has become
a new mantra in the modern business
world. The convergence of activities
that follow in its wake, however, often
put consumers in a piquant situation.
A consumer of a financial product
especially can easily get confused,
and end up buying the wrong
product. Oftentimes, the aggrieved
are pushed from one place to another
to seek redress. The reasons are not
far to seek. Though a single agency
may sell multiple financial products,
92

the regulators for these may be


different. In this scenario, avoiding
responsibility has turned that much
easier for sellers, and the aggrieved
consumer is often treated as a football.
Seeking to right this wrong, Budget
2015 has made the consumers of
financial products the focus of all
laws. A properly functioning capital
market also requires proper consumer
protection, Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley said while presenting the
Budget. His proposal to establish a
unified financial redressal agency may
well redefine play in the financial
services field. The glamour of
providing universal banking has seen
the mis-selling of products acquire
some sort of an institutional blessing.
With competition turning fiercer in
the financial services field, there
seems to be a focus, blinkered as it
might be, on pushing products at any
cost. In such an environment, a
consumer can never be the
proverbial king. A single complaints
resolution agency is the core of the
non-legislative component of a host
of recommendations made by the
Financial Sector Legislative Reforms
Commission. What Mr. Jaitley has
done now is to initiate action on this.
Once it becomes a reality, any
aggrieved consumer can just knock
on the doors of this single-point
grievance-resolution agency. An
independent agency would
command greater trust among
consumers and create a sense of
responsibility among sellers. More
important, it could clean up the
financial services field, and usher in
healthy practices.
This consumer focus is the
critical part of the move to overhaul
financial sector regulation. The
Finance Minister did indicate in his
Budget speech that efforts in this
direction are on track. Even as the
implementation
of
the
recommendations of the Justice
Srikrishna-chaired FSLRC is being

studied by independent task forces,


Mr. Jaitley is confident of placing the
Indian Financial Code before
Parliament sooner rather than later.
But hurdles, especially of the
legislative kind, are aplenty. Removing
them will put the governments
resolve to the test to get assorted
pressure elements out of its way. It
may need some administrative
tweaking as well. Putting in place the
IFC is a gargantuan task, and could
trigger a transformation in the
financial sector.
The villainy needs to be told
An India that had emerged from
colonialism felt outraged by Hrundi
Bakshi almost in the same manner that
some south Indians took umbrage to
the Indian actor Mehmoods
caricaturisation of south Indians
when he played the dance master
Pillai in the Hindi film Padosan. Both
films aroused a feeling of victimhood,
which ensues when a dominant
culture is seen as sneering at the less
dominant. Despite the definitive
caricaturisation, the Indian and south
Indian identities survived and went
on to flourish when the heroism of
Slumdog Millionaire and the
superstardom of Rajinikanth became
part of the dominant narratives.
Today, some people feel a similar
sense of victimhood about Leslee
Udwins documentary film Indias
Daughter. The documentary was
originally slated for release on March
8, International Womens Day, and is
based on the December 16 2012
rape and murder of Nirbhaya, the
protests against which rocked Delhi
and India. The stated reason for the
outrage is the well-publicised
interview of Mukesh Singh, one of the
persons convicted of the gang rape
and murder. The actual reason,
however, is a deep sense of shame
that the nation feels at letting its
daughters being brutalised,
accompanied by a fatalistic

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acceptance of male superiority
attitudes that seem to be impervious
to change.
Mukesh has said in the interview,
You cant clap with one hand, it takes
two hands. A decent girl wont roam
around at 9 oclock at night. A girl is
far more responsible for rape than a
boy. A boy and a girl are not equal.
Housework and housekeeping is for
girls, not roaming in discos and bars
at night doing wrong things, wearing
wrong clothes. About 20 per cent of
girls are good. Mukeshs statements
may
be
outrageous
and
condemnable but they are not more
outrageous than the original crime of
rape and murder that he currently
stands convicted of. Second, his
statements may just about have
prejudiced his appeal and the
appeals of his co-accused, which are
still pending in the Supreme Court.
The rest of the film contains many
other interviews with people such as
the victims parents who want their
daughters horrific story to be told.
Also interviewed are Gopal
Subramanium and Leila Seth, who
were part of the Committee that
submitted legal reports that formed
the basis of the rape laws that
followed the incident. There are
interviews with lawyers for the
accused, whose statements reflect a
chauvinistic, regressive mindset that
reflects the root causes of the crisis.
In any story, the heroines heroism,
the parents loss, the lawmakers
dilemmas can only be brought out if
it is contrasted with a full depiction
of the extent of the villainous actions
and attitudes that lead to the original
tragedy. You cannot stage Hamlet
without the incest and murder that
precedes his madness; nor can you
have Othello without Iagos villainy.
As parliamentarians express
outrage and the Information and
Broadcasting Ministry issues an
advisory to television channels to not
broadcast, it is time to ask what does

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a ban in this case achieve? A ban


ensures that a film which may have
had a limited audience becomes a
worldwide cause clbre for
womens rights and freedom of
speech. In the early 1980s, Saudi
Arabia invited similar international
opprobrium, when it sought to
interfere with the telecast of the
docudrama Death of a Princess.
The film dealt with the circumstances
surrounding the execution of
Princess Mishaal bint Fahd of the
Saudi ruling family, who, along with
her lover, was possibly executed at
the instance of her grandfather, for
eloping with a commoner.
Second, the Internet has made
telecast bans largely redundant.
Banning a telecast only means that a
viewer will watch it online or
download the film through torrent
sites. What a telecast ban however
achieves is that it prevents the target
audience of ordinary people from
viewing the film. Those without
access to the Internet, the
technologically challenged, the
housewife, those with limited
incomes who are most vulnerable to
rape and rape threats, will in all
probability miss out on the film. On
the other hand, the ban will do
nothing to effectively restrain those
who may want to watch for any
supposed prurient interest that the
film may excite. The ban, in short, will
be ineffective where it is needed and
effective where it is an impediment
to education of those most likely to
benefit from its message.
Third, a ban on telecast is just
not legally tenable after the Supreme
Courts judgment of 1994 in Auto
Shankars case. A temporary stay on
telecast may be obtained, but in the
final judgment such a ban is unlikely
to be upheld. In R. Rajagopal vs. State
of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court
firmly repelled the State of Tamil
Nadus attempts to prohibit
serialisation of the autobiography of

Auto Shankar who stood condemned


to death. It ruled: We must
accordingly hold that no such prior
restraint or prohibition of publication
can be imposed by the respondents
upon the proposed publication of the
alleged autobiography of Auto
Shankar by the petitioners. This
cannot be done either by the State
or by its officials. In other words,
neither the government nor the
officials who apprehend that they
may be defamed, have the right to
impose a prior restraint upon the
publication of the alleged
autobiography of Auto Shankar.
Last, if India bans the film for
telecast in India, it will act as an instant
advertisement for the film worldwide.
In fact BBC4 has already advanced
the broadcast of the film even as the
Indian government is attempting to
serve its court order. The film The
Party may have passed off as a minor
comedy, but for the outrage that it
excited in India and the ban it earned.
Similarly, one can easily foresee
Indias Daughter being marketed as
the film Incredible India does not
want you to see. The answer to an
unlikeable film is not a ban, but
another film that tells your side. If
India were to wisely use the Nirbhaya
fund to achieve safe streets for its
daughters, Indias Daughter, from
beyond the grave, will have done
good for this country.
Unconstitutional
exercise of power
In his celebrated treatise on
constitutional law, H.M. Seervai began
a discussion on the right to property
by quoting from Book II of
Thucydides History of the
Peloponnesian War: We decide or
debate carefully and in person, all
matters of policy, holding, not that
words and deeds go ill together, but
that acts are foredoomed to failure
when undertaken undiscussed.
These words, spoken by the great
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political leader, Pericles, in his funeral
oration, wrote Seervai, ought to
occupy our thoughts when we
consider the 44th Constitutional
Amendment, which removed the
status accorded to the right to
property as a fundamental right
without eliciting any public opinion.
Today, we stand on the cusp of
something similar. The Central
government, having introduced an
ordinance to ease the process of land
acquisition by curtailing many of the
safeguards introduced by a new law
that was brought into force only last
year, now seeks to have the
ordinance confirmed in Parliament.
Ought we not to heed to Pericless
cautionary tale?
In short, the proposed
amendment bill to the Right to Fair
Compensation and Transparency in
Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Act of 2013 (LARR Act),
which replaced the colonial-era Land
Acquisition Act of 1894, aims to do
the following. One, it removes a
previous bar on acquisitions by the
state for the purposes of establishing
private hospitals and educational
institutions. Two, it removes a
requirement established under the
LARR Act that necessitated the prior
consent of at least 80 per cent of
affected families when acquiring land
for private companies. And three, it
removes a necessity for a detailed
social impact assessment (SIA)
mandated by the LARR Act for land
acquired for a special category of
purposes, such as projects vital to
national security and the defence of
India, industrial corridors, and
infrastructure projects. As
Yogendra Yadav argued in The Hindu,
these amendments exemplify an
exercise of state power sans reason,
and are based on nauseatingly vague
assertions of a need for development.
But whats equally disturbing about
the bill is that at least some of the
changes that the amendments
94

propose, if passed, would also be


patently unconstitutional.
In its original form, the
Constitution not only guaranteed to
all citizens a freedom to acquire, hold,
and dispose of property, but also
provided that no person shall be
deprived of his or her property
except by authority of law. And
where property was acquired for a
public purpose, the taker was also
required to compensate the
landowner. Immediately after the
Constitution came into force,
however, the state found its social
reform programme thwarted by an
inability to reimburse zamindars for
lands expropriated from them.
Consequently, a plethora of
constitutional amendments were
introduced, and a number of pieces
of legislation aimed at land reforms
were placed beyond the scope of
judicial review. Ultimately, in 1978,
the Janata Party, which had come into
power following the Indira Gandhienforced Emergency, removed the
guarantee of the right to property as
a fundamental right. Article 19(1)(f),
which gave citizens the freedom to
acquire, hold, and dispose of
property, and Article 31, which
limited the states ability to
expropriate property, were both
obliterated; the right to property was
now reduced to the nonfundamental status of a legal right.
The removal of the right to
property from its status as a
fundamental right might have even
helped, in the short run, in bringing
forth greater parity in land ownership.
But, in todays neo-liberal
atmosphere, this has only contributed
towards greater inequities. After the
constitutional amendment, through
the archaic Land Acquisition Act of
1894, different governments oversaw
arbitrary expropriation of land,
particularly from farmers, by
expanding the definition of public
purpose to absurd lengths. The

LARR Act sought to cure this


imbalance. And to the extent that it
provided for an enhanced, and a
more just compensation, for a social
and
environmental
impact
assessment, and for a voice to
landowners, the new legislation was
a success.
Each of these arguments
however suffers from innate flaws.
The conventional notion of eminent
domain, which establishes specific
constraints on land acquisition, might
no longer apply. But that every one
of us ought to be treated as equal
citizens, with equal care and
concern, remains a fundamental
guarantee. In removing the necessity
for an SIA and for the securing of
consent of landowners from
acquisitions for certain purposes in
contradistinction with acquisitions for
other purposes, the government
effectively wants to treat one batch
of landowners differently from other
batches of landowners. To justify such
classification, the state will have to
show us not only that the distinction
between acquisitions for rural
infrastructure or industrial corridors
which are grouped specially
and acquisitions, say, for wildlife
protection is an intelligible one, but
also that this distinction bears some
rational relation to the object of the
former acquisitions. As the Supreme
Court held in Vajravelu Mudaliars
case (1965), to argue thus would be
to put the cart before the horse.
Now, we might want to ask
ourselves this: if no SIA is conducted,
can the state confidently argue that a
proposed acquisition furthers public
interest? Would it not defeat logic to
contend that the establishment of a
new industry, in and by itself, is for a
public purpose, when the state is in
no position to comment on the
impact that an expropriation might
have on landowners? The necessity
for an SIA, therefore, is intrinsic to
eminent domain. The LARR Act

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Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals
merely formalised this requirement,
by establishing a procedure for SIA.
It was in similar vein that consent of
landowners was mandated when
acquisition was made for the benefit
of private companies. If the legislature
were to do away with these
requirements altogether, there would
be no legitimate way for government
to justify any acquisition as fulfilling a
public purpose. When the ruling party
argues in favour of the proposed
amendments, in Parliament,
therefore, it ought to also show us how
these provisions will fulfil the
conditions of equality under the
Constitution.
Transforming
commercial dispute resolution
The Commercial Divisions Act
introduces a commercial division in
every high court having original
jurisdiction (i.e. Madras, Delhi,
Bombay, Calcutta and Himachal
Pradesh) and commercial courts in
such districts, as the Central
government, in consultation with the
concerned State government and
Chief Justice of the concerned High
Court, may establish. These
specialised courts will resolve all
commercial disputes of value of
over Rs. 1 crore. Simultaneously, the
jurisdictional limits of all high courts
which have original side jurisdiction
would be increased to Rs. 1 crore
across the country. These disputes
will be heard by judges who not only
have a background in commercial
laws but will also receive special
training in this area.
The Act will have wide
ramifications as the term
commercial is widely defined and
includes disputes ranging from
intellectual property rights disputes
to disputes arising out of joint venture
agreements and proceedings in aid
of arbitrations. The Bill provides for a
fast track mechanism with stringent
timelines. And for the first time it

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introduces in the Indian system the


concept of a case management
conference wherein a procedural
order is passed prior to trial, setting
out a time table (including timebound oral arguments supplemented
with written arguments) which has to
be strictly adhered to. The court is
given wide powers to ensure that
strict compliance is enforced.
Moreover, the court, too, is mandated
to deliver its judgment within a period
of 90 days.
The Bill adopts the carrot and
stick approach and judiciously offers
carrots for compliance and
provides courts the power to wield
the stick in case of delay by one of
the parties. The Bill also makes
mandatory the cost follow the event
regime, whereby, as a general rule,
the party against whom the order/
judgment is passed bears the entire
cost of litigation, subject to
exceptions where delaying parties,
even if successful, have to bear part
of the cost. While an earlier version of
this bill had been introduced during
the United Progressive Alliance
regime, the Bill, in the words of the
Law Commission, did not make an
effort to fundamentally alter the
litigation culture in India and that the
changes suggested were cosmetic
in nature. The Rajya Sabha had raised
certain valid concerns including the
unworkability of some of the
procedural measures suggested. The
Law Commission has carefully
scrutinised these objections and
introduced procedures which have
been internationally tested (more
specifically in the U.K. and
Singapore).
Today, interventions by courts
happen at all stages pre-arbitration
proceedings for appointment of a
tribunal and post-arbitration
challenges to the award. The
proposed amendments restrict the
scope of pre-arbitration review to a
prima facie review of the existence

of an arbitration agreement and


narrow down the scope of the
challenge of an award by prohibiting
an analysis on merits. Specifically, the
scope of challenge to a foreign award
has been greatly narrowed.
Perhaps the biggest shortfall of
the present arbitration regime is the
fact that a successful party in
arbitration is not in a position to enjoy
the fruits of its success for many years
as the mere filing of a petition
challenging its validity renders the
arbitral award unenforceable. The
Law Commission has suggested
amendments to Section 36 of the Act
and a losing party will henceforth
have to satisfy a Court as to why it is a
fit case for the arbitral award to be
stayed and the Court will have powers
to order the losing party to deposit
part of the award sum into Court.
Another major area where the
proposed amendments would make
a significant difference is in relation
to neutrality of the arbitral tribunal
which is constituted. The Supreme
Court of India, in Indian Oil v. Raja
Transport, has declared a tribunal
appointed by a public sector
undertaking comprising its own
employees to be valid subject to
certain narrowly carved out
exceptions. This decision is sought
to be legislatively overruled by
incorporating the International Bar
Association guidelines on conflict of
interest as a schedule to the Act.
Further, the proposed
amendments suggest a more realistic
interest and costs regime, permitting
compound interest to be awarded
and incorporating the costs follow
the event rule as the base rule in
relation to arbitration. The investment
treaty arbitral tribunal in White
Industries v. Union of India has held
that the Indian system does not
provide effective means for a
foreign investor to enforce its rights.
The bills proposed to be introduced
in the budget session not only
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expedite commercial dispute
resolution but also effectively
disincentivise initiation of frivolous
proceedings. However, enacting a
law is only part of the solution;
implementing it effectively by
selecting the right personnel is as
important. Effective implementation
of the Lord Woolf report resulted in
eradicating frivolous commercial
litigation in the U.K. statistics
suggest that the number of litigations
initiated fell by around 80 per cent.
Commercial dispute resolution in our
country is at its cross roads and the
enactment of these laws and their
implementation over the next couple
of years would determine whether in
India the maxim Ubi jus ibi
remedium, i.e. every right has a
remedy, translates into something
more than a de jure principle.
Promising first step
The Modi governments
decision to engage Islamabad can
only be welcomed given the decision
to open up to South Asia in a big way.
Several key initiatives of the
government are contingent on a
peaceful South Asia. And, there is
little doubt that a peaceful region will
be key to realising Indias own growth
potential. Even if there has been little
change in the attitude of Pakistans
permanent establishment towards
reining in anti-India terror groups,
talks held by Foreign Secretary S.
Jaishankar with his Pakistani
counterpart Aizaz Chaudhry in
Islamabad could hold the key to the
future of the bilateral relationship.
The two met after India abruptly
cancelled what were billed as talks
about talks between Foreign
Secretaries last year following a
meeting between separatist Hurriyat
leaders and the Pakistani envoy in
Delhi. As has become the norm in
India-Pakistan relations, the
cancellation came after Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with
96

other SAARC leaders, was invited to


attend Narendra Modis swearing-in
ceremony last May, raising hopes for
a positive engagement. Since then,
Pakistani and Indian forces have been
exchanging fire intermittently across
the Line of Control and the
international border.
So, the Modi governments
decision to send its new Foreign
Secretary is a step in the right
direction even as a full resumption of
dialogue between the two countries
is awaited. Both sides said little that
departed from the customary
exchange of political rhetoric. The
Modi government has had enough
time to understand the issues at hand
and must now take a call on how to
move forward with Pakistan. There are
two options before the two
governments to pick up the
threads of the two plus six
structured dialogue agreed to in 1997
which has made little or no progress
or agree to a new structure more
in line with 21st century realities. But
given the track record of bilateral
negotiations, it is unlikely that the
latter option would be pursued.
There is no reason the two sides
should not try to frame a new
structure of negotiations that jettison
the past agendas. Sir Creek, Siachen,
terrorism and Kashmir are all known
and identified issues in bilateral ties;
even the resolution of the easier
issues has proved elusive given the
blow-hot, blow-cold nature of the
relationship. If the oft-repeated
statement that countries cant change
their neighbours is to have substance,
then both Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif
have a golden opportunity to take
bilateral ties to a new level. Mr.
Jaishankars Islamabad visit is a
promising first step.
No leg to stand on
It takes a special political talent
and habit of mind to ban something
that you havent seen, that the rest of

the world will not just see but is set to


centre-stage as part of a global
campaign against rape, other forms
of violence against women, and
gender inequality. The grounds cited
to justify the governments decision
to ban Indias Daughter, Leslee
Udwins documentary on the
Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case
and the responses to it, which NDTV
was scheduled to broadcast on
International Womens Day, suggest
a pathology of arbitrariness,
irrationality, fact-denial, and
confusion. To be fair, the vilification
of the film, sight unseen, and why and
how it was made came not just from
the government but also from other
political parties, some feminists, and,
of course, rival television channels. If
over-the-top allegations such as a
conspiracy to defame India can be
ignored, the grounds cited to justify
the ban narrow down to three. They
are that (a) broadcasting or otherwise
disseminating Indias Daughter, and
especially the interview with Mukesh
Singh, the convicted rapist and killer,
will threaten public order by
encouraging and inciting violence
against women, instilling fear in
them, and leading to a huge public
outcry and serious law and order
problem; (b) providing a platform
for a man convicted of rape and
murder to use the media to further
his own case when an appeal is
pending in the Supreme Court of
India is sub judice; and (c) the
permission conditions laid down by
the Tihar jail administration were
violated by the documentary filmmaker.
Indias Daughter is a powerful,
sensitive, and well-crafted
exploration of the life and dreams of
Nirbhaya and her progressive and
nurturing working class family who
sold ancestral land and made other
sacrifices to see her through her paramedical education. The central,
liberating theme of the documentary,

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a simple statement that a narrator
attributes to Nirbhaya, is a girl can
do anything. The tension between a
life shaped by this unshakeable inner
conviction and heart-rendingly cut
short and the outrageously
reactionary social attitudes,
expressed without the slightest
inhibition and captured on camera,
gives Indias Daughter its power. The
central narrators are Nirbhayas
parents who want her story to be told,
real name, provenance, and all. The
unprecedented outpourings of
solidarity and protest on the streets,
led by young women and girls who
confront the police with no thought
of physical safety and are deterred
neither by water cannons nor tear gas
shells, offer the documentary a
cathartic start. There is no
editorialising but the message comes
through.
What about the interviews with
Mukesh Singh and the two defence
lawyers? Indian authorities, who
assigned guilt by transference to the
film for the convicts lack of remorse
and for his chauvinistic and
derogatory view regarding women in
general and the victim in particular,
have been acting as though
interviews and interactions with
convicted criminals were something
new to journalism and documentary
film-making. Literary journalism has
thrived on such forays into the world
and mind of those who have
committed the most heinous crimes.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is
one of the finest works in the genre
and is sometimes called the original
non-fiction novel. It is the story of the
massacre in 1959 of a farmer, his wife,
and two of their children by two
hardened criminals, Richard Dick
Hickock and Perry Smith. The writer,
who was given unusual access, did
several interviews with both killers
after they were convicted and came
up with an unforgettable
psychological portrait of capital

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crime. The question whether this


interview was sub judice has been
answered clearly in a statement
issued by the Editors Guild of India
opposing the ban. The Nirbhaya
incident, the Editors Guild has
pointed out, has been an obvious
matter of public interest and has
been through all the stages of
investigation, trial, and confirmation
by the High Court, been subject to a
widespread public debate and
discussion,
protests
and
demonstrations, and enquiry by the
Justice Verma Commission that
suggested reform of the law. To raise
the issue of sub judice now at the
stage of final appeal in the Supreme
Court and seek to still discussion is
absurd. Judges, particularly in the
Supreme Court, are by training and
temperament immune to the
happenings in the public sphere
outside the court, and it is an insult to
the Supreme Court to suggest that the
airing of the convicts perverted
views would tend to interfere with
the course of justice.
Finally, did the documentary
film-maker violate permission
conditions, as Home Minister Rajnath
Singh has alleged in Parliament? A
close reading of the relevant papers
establishes that this is one of those
rare cases where compliance with the
procedures and conditions
precedent was flawless every step of
the way. The government has
withheld from the public the fact that
the original condition laid down, in
an official letter, dated July 26, 2013,
from the office of the Director General
(Prisons) that permission was being
given for releasing the documentary
film which is being made for purely
social purposes without any
commercial interest was dropped
after the film-maker wanted a change
in the language. That letter was
superseded by another, dated
August 20, 2013, from the
Superintendent (Jails), Prison

Headquarters, Tihar, which laid down


the condition that the complete
unedited, raw footage of the shoot in
the Tihar Jail premises will be shown
to the Delhi Prison Administration to
ensure there is no breach of Prison
security. The subsequent official
correspondence establishes that in
December 2013, Ms Udwin brought
some 13 hours of raw, unedited
footage recorded within Tihar Jail for
screening before the review
committee but after viewing it over
two days, December 9 and 10, the
committee discovered nothing
negative that could lead to a breach
of prison security. However, finding
the reviewing task too taxing, it
requested a shortened version of the
footage. The editing work took some
time and during this period, with
regime change happening in New
Delhi, the Prison Administration seems
to have got cold feet. Numerous
emails and letters from Ms Udwin and
her lawyers went unanswered and
finally in June 2014, when cut-down
material running for about 15
minutes, which would be the only
footage going into the documentary,
was screened before the reviewing
committee, some editorial objections
were raised that had nothing to do
with the conditions laid down.
Welcome push
on infrastructure
Well-developed infrastructure
is a fundamental underpinning of any
effort to push the economy into a
growth orbit. This requirement has
assumed a critical dimension for the
BJP governments larger political
agenda. Prime Minister Narendra
Modis Make in India pitch has
ignited a wave of optimism. Its
success, however, hinges largely on
dismantling ground-level hurdles. A
sense of unease was discernible
when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
spoke, while presenting Budget
2015, of inadequate infrastructure
and major slippages in projects. Our
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infrastructure does not match our
growth ambitions, he admitted. He
evidently realises that stepped-up
allocation by itself would not be
enough. He has promised to
introduce a plug-and-play model for
big-ticket infrastructure projects such
as power plants, airports and roads.
The proposal to revisit the PPP
(public private partnership) mode of
infrastructure development is
welcome and inevitable. Assorted
non-economic risks from political
to social have inhibited investment
in this space. The toll model for roads
is a case in point: toll-risk is proving
to be a dampener for the flow of fresh
private funds into the sector. The
changing dynamics call for a new
approach. The sovereign will have
to bear a major part of the risk
without, of course, absorbing it
entirely, Mr. Jaitley had said.
Economic Survey 2014-15 also
speaks of disproportionately high
levels of default facing the road
sector portfolio owing to the
economic downturn. The Survey
clearly sees a slowdown in appetite
for BOT (build operate and transfer)
PPP projects as a consequence. The
PPP model was the centrepiece of
the growth story a decade ago but it
has outlived its utility. The proposed
Public Contracts (Resolution of
Disputes) Bill and the Regulatory
Reform Bill will, it is to be hoped, help
get stalled projects back on track.
The plan for a bankruptcy code must
be read in tandem with these two
proposals. All these should provide a
higher level of comfort to lenders for
infrastructure projects.
The Budget has also proposed
a National Investment and
Infrastructure Fund with an annual
inflow of Rs.20,000 crore. This could
strengthen the balance sheet of
infrastructure finance companies
such as the NHB and the IRFC, and
help them improve their leveraging
power and refinancing capacity. This
98

will have a trigger effect down the


line. Simultaneously, Mr. Jaitley has
planned tax-free infrastructure
bonds for projects in the rail, road
and irrigation sectors. The Budget has
also proposed five ultra-mega power
projects. With the plug-and-play
model, one hopes that the winners
of the contracts could begin the
project implementation process
immediately without worrying about
regulatory clearances and coal or gas
linkages. Mr. Jaitley has pressed the
right buttons. Whether these
initiatives take off depends on how
potential investors respond.
The power to pardon
The release of the Kashmiri
separatist leader Masarat Alam by the
Mufti
Mohammed
Sayeed
government is not so much a national
security crisis as it is a crisis for the
relations between the Bharatiya
Janata Party and the Peoples
Democratic Party. The BJP-led
government at the Centre tried to hide
its embarrassment at the actions of its
ally in Jammu and Kashmir by quickly
clarifying that it does not agree with
the freeing of Mr. Alam who
spearheaded the stone-throwing
protests in 2010 that resulted in the
death of more than a hundred
persons. While the State government
was within its rights to revoke the
detention under the Jammu and
Kashmir Public Safety Act, the
discharge of a Hurriyat hardliner who
showed no remorse clearly sent the
wrong political signals outside of the
Valley. Evidently, in an attempt to
stem the negative fallout of its alliance
with the BJP, the PDP is seeking to
cultivate the Muslim secessionist
constituency in Kashmir by showing
reluctance to concede to the political
sensitivities of the Hindutva party. If
the PDP is to retain its core base and
political influence in the Valley, it
would have to be seen as the
dominant partner in the alliance,

unyielding to the pulls and pressures


of the BJP. That Prime Minister
Narendra Modi felt compelled to say
he did not need lessons in patriotism
from the opposition is in itself an
indication of the stresses and strains
that the BJP has come under
following Mr. Alams release from jail.
While Chief Minister Mufti
Sayeed appears ready to test the
limits of the BJPs patience, Mr.
Alams release is not going to make a
solution to the problems in Jammu
and Kashmir any easier. The power
to pardon must be used as carefully
as the power to punish. In terms of
impact, the freeing of Mr. Alam could
be of the same order as the hanging
of Afzal Guru, which further polarised
the political situation, making the
search for peace and reconciliation
that much more difficult. While a
solution that would allow Kashmir to
return to normality would have to
involve discussions with all sections
of the people, and necessarily take
on board the secessionists and the
hardliners, nothing is to be gained by
political one-upmanship whether on
the part of the PDP or the BJP. Instead
of seeking to annul the release of Mr.
Alam, the Central government would
be better advised to keep him under
close watch. New Delhi must also
continue to push for a
comprehensive dialogue on a
solution to the Kashmir issue taking
into account the historical context of
the dispute and the continuing
democratic aspirations of its people.
A comprehensive political solution
would in one stroke render gestures
such as the release of Mr. Alam truly
pointless.
The cost of bidding
On the face of it, the ongoing
spectrum auction is already a
success. Against an initial target of
Rs.82,000 crore, the total bid amount
has already crossed Rs.86,000 crore
after just four days of bidding. Going

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by the current bidding intensity, the
Centre can hope to mop up at least
Rs.1 lakh crore by the time the auction
ends. While this is good for the
national exchequer, the reality is that
an
expensive
auction
is
counterproductive from a consumer
point of view. It is no secret that
higher spectrum costs will put
pressure on telecom operators to
either increase tariffs or halt or defer
their investments in rolling out new
infrastructure. Neither is good for
achieving Prime Minister Narendra
Modis vision of a Digital India. It was
the high cost of spectrum in the 2010
auction that stunted the growth of 3G
and mobile broadband services in
the country. The Centre had then
received bids worth over Rs.1 lakh
crore, with operators jostling to
outbid one another. As a result, even
after five years of that auction,
consumers are yet to experience
good quality 3G services. With the
average connection speed hovering
just around 1.3 Mbps, it is the lowest
among Asian countries.
Programmes such as the 100
Smart City project and the eGovernance initiatives require speed
at least a 2 Mbps connection at
affordable rates. But for this to
happen, telecom operators have to
be given adequate spectrum, and at
a reasonable price. To be fair, the
Centre cannot be faulted for
following the auction process for
allocating spectrum. Compared to
other mechanisms used in the past,
such as the first-come-first-served
policy and subscriber-linked criteria,
auctions are the most transparent way
to parcel out finite natural resources.
However, the Centre has to take the
blame for adopting a faulty auction
design. Take for instance the
decision to auction only 5 MHz of
spectrum in the 2100 MHz frequency
band. A block of 5 MHz spectrum is
just enough for one player to offer
3G services; with eight operators in

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the fray, it is not surprising that the


bids have skyrocketed to
astronomical sums. This coupled with
the decision to take back spectrum
from incumbent operators, post the
expiry of their 20-year licences, have
placed a stark choice before telecom
companies they either have to buy
spectrum at any cost or face the
prospect of going out of business.
Access to inexpensive broadband
services is the basic requirement for
achieving the goal of digitising India.
Ironically, the Centres success in
garnering higher revenues in the
spectrum auction could signal the
failure of that vision.
Penalties and prevention
The issue of black money
elicited hyper-reactions from the BJP
in the run-up to the general election
last year, and not without reason. For
a layperson, black money is usually
associated with the rich. Oftentimes,
political parties raise this issue to
demonstrate their pro-poor slant.
Given these facts, it is no surprise that
the BJP government has proposed a
slew of legislative actions to tackle
the twin issues of assets held illegally
abroad and unaccounted wealth
within the country. The broad
contours of the governments
initiatives on the black money front
as sketched out by Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley in his budget speech,
provide for stringent punishments.
Non-disclosure of and non-payment
of tax on foreign assets could land
anyone in jail, with a rigorous prison
term of up to 10 years. While
proposing to make such an offence
non-compoundable, Mr. Jaitley has
sought to shut the option for such an
offender to appeal to the Settlement
Commission. Also, the enforcement
authorities will be armed with powers
to search, seize and prosecute, to
bring the recalcitrant ones to book.
To tackle the black money issue, the
government has decided to bring in

a new and comprehensive Benami


Transactions (Prohibition) Bill during
the current session of Parliament.
Since benami deals, especially in real
estate, are a major source of black
money generation, Mr. Jaitley has
trained his focus on them. There is a
conscious drive to capture
transactions of a certain size in the
system by insisting on the use of PAN
details.
The proposals no doubt reflect
the political underpinnings of the
BJPs thought process on an issue like
black money. These will serve to
please its core constituency, which
voted for it overwhelmingly.
Nevertheless, these represent merely
an attempt to discover a cure for the
disease. The system and the practice
as they exist today create a perfect
breeding ground for tax evasion. And
the tax structure adds to the
complication. If the benefit accruing
from avoidance is great and the risks
of detection are minimal, the
tendency to evade tax will persist.
Mr. Jaitleys budget-related proposal
will instil fear in the minds of taxevaders. Also, these could arm
taxmen with more powers. Vodafone
and like cases are examples of how
the taxman has often adopted a
blinkered approach. Should the
focus not be on erasing the benefits
arising out of tax avoidance? Surely,
prevention is the right solution. This
calls for an environment that fosters
tax compliance, and a regime that
ushers in a friendly playing field. If
any proof is required, it is available in
the ongoing coal and spectrum
auctions. One needs a wiser head,
more than a heavy hand, to tackle the
black money menace.
A sketchy road
map for health policy
Health impoverishment
falling into poverty due to health care
costs affects 63 million individuals
in India every year. This is a damning
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statistic, especially when read with
the fact that 18 per cent of all
households face catastrophic health
expenditures (health expenditure
greater than 10 per cent of total
household
consumption
expenditure or 40 per cent of total
non-food
consumption
expenditure). We are at an urgent
precipice in time for making health
policy work for the poor in India
the deep end of dire straits. The 2015
draft National Health Policy (NHP) is
pregnant with possibilities. The first
federal health bill to come out in more
than a decade is a salient opportunity
for the Narendra Modi government
to present a coherent plan to deliver
equitable, efficient and sustainable
health care to Indias billion plus
citizenry. The cliff notes version of the
NHP recommendations reads thus:
make health a fundamental and
justiciable right; increase public
expenditure on health from 1 per
cent of GDP to 2.5 per cent of GDP;
raise revenues mainly through general
taxation while exploring the
possibility of sin taxes (mainly taxes
on tobacco and alcohol), and
earmarks for health (akin to the
education cess); and strengthen
health services provisioning through
strategic purchasing from the public
and private sector.
By making health a justiciable
right, the NHP appears to jump the
gun. Whilst an excellent proposition
in principle, it is unrealistic as the
basic institutional framework,
infrastructure and personnel needed
to deliver health care for all is lacking.
Sequence matters. An effort to make
comprehensive primary care
deliverable needs to precede the
declaration of health as a justiciable
right. Other than defining
comprehensive as not selective,
the government might look to learn
from innovative experiments in
integrated development in resourceconstrained settings elsewhere in the
100

world. For instance, the Millennium


Villages Project in rural Africa, an
initiative of Columbia Universitys
Earth Institute, has achieved
promising yet cost-effective health
outcomes in a little over a decade.
However, much of the stolid 57-page
NHP document reads like a
situational report of health issues and
systemic challenges, and is sorely
wanting on policy detail pertaining
to concrete institutional, operational
and regulatory measures. Case in
point is a section expounding key
policy principles equity,
universality, pluralism, accountability
and decentralisation tenets no
one can disagree with. But the road
map to achieve these is sketchy to
non-existent. Additionally, while
recognising weak health systems
capacity as a major impediment in
achieving desired health outcomes,
the NHP is woefully silent on
augmenting state governments
technical and administrative capacity
to do better on health metrics like
child and infant mortality rates,
especially in the laggard States.
Further, the section on quality of
care is appallingly off-point. Instead
of discussing standards of care, the
patient-centred health care
paradigm, regulations against
medical malpractice and counterfeit
medicines, and accreditation of
health care providers, it arbitrarily
focusses on suboptimal utilisation of
health services by pregnant women.
Lower than needed public
financing for health (2.5 per cent as
opposed to 4 to 5 per cent of GDP) is
premised on a fallacious argument of
low absorptive capacity and
inefficient utilisation of funding. The
NHP refutes itself while describing
the main reason for the National Rural
Health Missions failure to achieve
stronger
health
systems:
Strengthening health systems for
providing comprehensive care
required higher levels of investment

and human resources than were


made available. The budget received
and the expenditure thereunder was
only about 40 per cent of what was
envisaged for a full revitalisation in the
NRHM framework. If this is not the
case against diminished public
funding for health, what is? In
essence, the NHP is doomed to
repeat past mistakes with none-thewiser outcomes if it subscribes to the
status quo of shorn government health
spending. The Modi government was
widely censured for a recent 20 per
cent cut to the health budget, and
the dithering in the NHP does
nothing to inspire trust or quell fears
of future cuts in health allocations.
This abstract from the NHP is
particularly worrying: At current
prices, a target of 2.5 per cent of GDP
translates to Rs. 3,800 per capita,
representing an almost four fold
increase in five years. Thus a longer
time frame may be appropriate to
even reach this modest target.
This can be addressed by
proposing contextual priority
weights for various criteria as well as
by outlining an institutional decisionmaking framework. The policy also
fails to locate how competing
priorities will be resolved and how
far they will be determined by
context, if at all. Further, in respect
of private sector regulation, the
missing discussion on the
ineffectiveness of self-regulation via
the National Accreditation Board for
Hospitals and Healthcare Providers
and enforcement of the Clinical
Establishments Act of 2010, while
making the law participative and
even-handed, is disconcerting.
According to the NHP, profiteering
from an increase in medical tourism
and greater venture capital
investment in Indias healthcare
industry is a positive dynamic, when
a large plurality of people does not
have access to reliable primary health
care.

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Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals
No immunity
from prosecution
Special CBI Judge Bharat
Parashar who is looking into the coal
scam is a brave man. He is neither
overawed by the status of those
arraigned by him nor by the might of
any investigating agency, including
the formidable Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI), from whose
conclusions he has now differed
sharply. His place in history is assured,
as he has dared to take cognisance
of the offences alleged to have been
committed by the former Prime
Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, in
connection with the allocation of a
coal block to a private company,
Hindalco. The others whom similar
cognisance has been taken against
are former Coal Secretary, P.C. Parakh,
and Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman
of the Aditya Birla Group, and the
direct beneficiary of the award. The
three have been accused of offences
under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
and the Prevention of Corruption Act
(PCA) 1988, making out both criminal
conspiracy and breach of trust.
The judges decision comes
after his rejection of two successive
closure reports by the CBI in the case.
It re-establishes the courts
prerogative to accept or turn down
an investigators findings. As citizens,
we should appreciate that this is the
best safeguard we have against a
tendentious and arbitrary criminal
investigation that favours a ruling
party. The latter has a vice-like grip
over investigating agencies, both in
the States and under the Centre (the
CBI and the National Investigation
Agency or NIA). It is an entirely
different matter that the judge taking
the position is also susceptible to
both political pressure and a personal
lack of integrity. Fortunately, such
judges are an exception rather than
the rule, especially in sensitive cases,
such as the coal scam, where
monitoring by the Supreme Court and

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the medias hawk-like attention leave


little room for judicial misconduct.
Relevant here is Section 319 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)
which gives the court enormous
discretion to proceed against a
person who may not have been cited
by the investigating agency as being
an accused. If after examination of
the documents produced before
him, the judge feels that there is an
additional person against whom there
is sufficient adverse material relevant
to the case but has not been cited as
an accused by the prosecution, the
judge could direct him to face trial.
Of course the latter will be given
enough opportunity to defend
himself, like the others charge
sheeted by the investigating agency
and who are already facing trial.
The judges order also reaffirms
the position that a Prime Minister
in office or outside has no
immunity from criminal prosecution.
Nobody is above the law, and Dr.
Singh will have to go through the
ordeal, at the end of which he may
still emerge unscathed. None in his
senses would allege that the former
Prime Minister had received any
illegal gratification. As against this are
the several circumstances pertaining
to the award that indicated that Dr.
Singh and his office had shown
undue interest in granting the coal
block (Talabira II in the State of
Odisha) to Hindalco. These included
a personal meeting, on June 17, 2005,
between Dr. Singh and Mr. Birla (as
also a letter to the former from Mr.
Birla), subsequent to which there was
an alleged somersault from the earlier
position that no mine will be awarded
to a private company, and that it
would be only to a public sector
organisation, like the Neyveli Lignite
Corporation (NLC), that would be
preferred. This does not clinch the
guilt of Dr. Singh, but certainly
compounds the suspicion against
him. It did not matter whether he was

acting on his own or at the behest of


someone else. The fact of the matter
was that he was Coal Minister on that
day, apart from being the Prime
Minister.
He cardinal mistake the CBI
committed in the coal scam was its
failure to question Dr. Singh. It was
ridiculous that all CBI references
were by name to both Mr. Parakh and
Mr. Birla. When it came to Dr. Singh,
he was being alluded to as a
Competent Authority. Those who
were or are in government knew that
this was the Coal Minister and no one
else.
But still, there was an act of
deception whereby the person with
whom the buck stopped was being
referred to only as a Competent
Authority! As Section 13(1)(d)(iii)
of the PCA stands now, it is enough
for the prosecution to prove that a
public servant, while holding office
acted without public interest, and
obtained for any person any valuable
thing or pecuniary advantage. In
effect, this would mean causing
wrongful loss to government and
wrongful gain to another person.
There is no need to establish mens
rea (criminal intention) or a quid pro
quo between the two. In effect the
burden of proving his innocence falls
on the accused, something gravely
contrary to the English jurisprudence,
which we have borrowed from the
alien ruler.
An amendment to the PCA to
eliminate this highly questionable
provision of law, which, on the face
of it, is contrary to principles of natural
justice, is still hanging fire. Therefore
it is 13(1)(d)(iii) that could go
grievously against Dr. Singh. All other
factors are irrelevant, including his
unassailable personal integrity and
the fact that several Chief Ministers
(including non-Congress) reportedly
endorsed the then governments
policy of awarding public resources
without resorting to the auction route.
101

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Swine Flu

SWINE FLU
Swine influenza is a virus which
causes respiratory problems in pigs
like nasal secretions, decreased
appetite etc like human flu.
Occasionally, pigs transmit influenza
viruses to people, when they are
closely associated with pigs mainly
to hog farmers and veterinarians, pork
processors. Swine influenza, also
called pig influenza, swine flu, hog
flu and pig flu. During the 1918 flu
pandemic Swine influenza was first
proposed to be a disease related to
human flu. In 1930, Swine influenza
virus was first isolated from pigs in the
U.S. and has been recognized by pork
producers and veterinarians to cause
infections in pigs worldwide. It was
supposed that the cross-species
infection remained to local areas but
in 2009 it was found that this cross
species situation with influenza
viruses had the potential to change.
It was first seen in Mexico and was
termed as H1N1 (H1-hemagglutinin
type 1 and N1 -neuraminidase type1)
which is an influenza A virus type.
Symptoms
If a person is suffering from fever
(100 F or greater), cough, sore throat,
runny or stuffy nose, body aches,
102

chills, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting. In


few people it may develop to severe
respiratory symptoms and need
respiratory support. Patients can get
pneumonia (bacterial secondary
infection) if the viral infection persists,
and some can develop seizures.
Death often occurs from secondary
bacterial infection of the lungs;
appropriate antibiotics need to be
used in these patients. The
incubation period from exposure to
first symptoms is about one to four
days, with an average of two days.
Diagnosis
First it is to be determined
whether the person is infected with
influenza A or B virus. A
nasopharyngeal swab is a quick test
to determine. If it is tests positive for
type A then it can be conventional
flu strain or swine flu. A new test
which can determine H1N1 in about
few hours is developed by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), FDA. These rapid
tests are based on PCR technology.
Treatment
Antiviral drugs are given to the
patients which can control fever,

pains and nasal secretions. For the


treatment or prevention of infection
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention recommended the use of
oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir
(Relenza)
Prevention
If proper precaution has been
taken then spread of swine flu can
be prevented. No. of given below
prevents the spread of swine flu:
Wash hands using soap and
water often so that it can kill or
inactivate the virus before it
reaches human cell.
Avoid crowdy places.
Avoid touching your eyes,
nose, and mouth.
Stay at least 6 feet away from
people with flu-like illness.
Cover your mouth and nose
with a tissue when coughing or
sneezing.
Surgical or N95 particle masks
may prevent inhalation of some
H1N1 virus, masks on H1N1
infected people can markedly
reduce the spread of infected
droplets.
India, as also other parts of the

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Swine Flu
world, has been affected by Influenza
A H1N1 pandemic in year 2009 and
2010.The number of reported cases
in 2009 were 27236 and in 2010 the
cases were 20604. The number of
deaths in 2009 were 981 and in 2010
the deaths increased to 1763. In the
current year, from January 1 till

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February 22, 2015 the number of


cases reported by the States are
14673. The number of deaths for the
same period are 841. In order to
contain the spread of swine flu
governemnt at the central and states
level has taken various decisions like;
making the testing affordable to all in

laboratories, providing adequate


stocks of medicine available; To
increase awareness of the general
public, the States have been
undertaking massive Information Education -Communication (IEC)
campaign using different media.

103

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Swine Flu

RUSSIA-INDIA-CHINA FOREIGN MINISTER LEVEL TALK


The first ever foreign ministers
level meeting of the three countries
held in June 2005 in Vladivostok,
Russia. Since then, the foreign
ministers of the three countries have
met many a times for issues ranging
from international as well as trilateral.
This trilateral grouping is extremely
important as influence of these
countries over international politics
is increasing rapidly. This group can
make great contributions to global
peace, security and stability. The
three countries together make close
to 40 per cent of the worlds 7 billion
population. Importance of this group
increases by the fact that it is aimed
only at promoting international
harmony and facilitating mutual
cooperation in a multi-polar world.
India, Russia and China are also
increasing their economic influence.
China is the second largest economy
in the world, while India is the fastest
growing major economy in the world
and Russia controls the major chunk
of oil and gas production. Three
countries can help in the
development of each other and also
help in making the truly multipolar.
All the three countries consider
104

that peace and security of this region


will help in the development of these
countries and also the world. Three
countries are also increasing their
cooperation in new fields like science
and technology etc. Trade and
commerce between three countries
is also flourishing in last few years.
Trilateral meeting between the
foreign ministers of three countries
holds great importance for the
development and the security of the
region as well as the world and it
holds greater importance for the
common people of this region. The
Russia India China (RIC) summit 2015
was held in Beijing and was attended
by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi,
his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov
and Sushma Swaraj. This was
thirteenth such meeting between the
foreign ministers of three nations.
Joint communique was issued after
summit, highlights of the
communiqu are:
The Ministers noted the
significant and rapid changes
underway in the world and
underlined
that
the
international community
should remain committed to

democratization
of
international relations and
multi-polarity. They stressed
the importance of pursuing a
new type of international
relations featuring win-win
cooperation. Russia, India and
China are determined to build
a more just, fair and stable
international political and
economic order in accordance
with the purposes and
principles of the UN Charter,
the Five Principles of Peaceful
Co-Existence and other basic
norms of international law.
The Ministers recognized that
the year 2015 marks the 70th
anniversary of the founding of
the United Nations and the
victory in the Second World
War.
The Ministers reiterated their
strong commitment to the
United Nations as a universal
multilateral organization
entrusted with the mandate of
helping the world community
maintain international peace
and security, advance common
development and promote

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Russia-India-China Foreign Minister level talk
and protect human rights. The
United Nations enjoys universal
membership and is at the very
center of global governance
and multilateralism.
Russia, India and China
attached special importance to
their cooperation within the
Shanghai
Cooperation
Organization (SCO), regarding
it as one of the key instruments
in promoting multilateral
political, security, economic
and humanitarian interaction in
the region.
China and Russia welcomed
Indias application for full
membership of SCO and
supported India to join the
SCO after completing all
necessary negotiations and
legal processes.
The Ministers reiterated that
terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations committed by
whomever, wherever, and for
whatever purposes, is a threat
to international peace and
security, a grave violation of

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human rights and a crime


against humanity. The Ministers
affirmed the need for all
countries to join efforts in
combating terrorism under the
auspices of the United Nations.
The Ministers supported the
political
transition
in
Afghanistan through the
presidential elections and
security transition from
International
Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) to the
Afghan National Security
Forces (ANSF). The security
transition
should
be
accompanied by adequate
measures for increasing the
ANSF capacity so that the
ANSF should be capable to
provide security for all the
country and population of
Afghanistan.
The Ministers stressed the
importance of regional
connectivities, which will inject
strong impetus in enhancing
political mutual trust,
economic cooperation, and

promoting cultural and peopleto-people exchanges. In this


context, they discussed
initiatives, including Chinas
initiatives of the Silk Road
Economic Belt and the 21st
Century Maritime Silk Road.
They welcomed synergy of
various initiatives to improve
regional connectivity in Asia.
The context in which the RIC
was formed has been changed. All
the three countries understand the
need for cooperation, because that
will help in development of the
region. In this changed global
scenario Russia-India-China have
changed their approach and
increasingly started to tackle the
emerging issues. Issues of terrorism,
change in structure on UN, situation
of Afghanistan after NATO forces are
discussed thoroughly. The margins of
its meetings can also be thoughtfully
utilized for bilateral engagements
between and among the three
member-states for regional stability
and prosperity.

105

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Medieval Indian History

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MEDIEV
AL INDIAN HIST
ORY
MEDIEVAL
HISTORY
EARLY MEDIEVAL INDIA

Dynasties emerged from the


mobilization of warriors inside and
around farming communities; but
they also came from pastoral,
hunting, and mountain societies.
It is accepted that there is a period
of overlap during which one phase
blends into the other. This interim
period is now called early
medieval India, with the medieval
period, properly speaking,
regarded as beginning with the
establishment of Turkish rule in
Delhi in A.D. 1206. Multiple
sovereignties formed ranked
layers as a king (raja) became a
great king (maharaja) or king of
kings (maharajadhiraja) by
adding the names of more
subordinate rulers (samantas) to
the list of those who bowed to him.
Sources
The interregnum between the
death of Harsha in the midseventh century A.D. and the rise
of the Delhi Sultanate nearly six
hundred years later is often
viewed as a tedious epoch in
Indian history, with few redeeming
features.
The opening of the eighth century
witnessed the ascendancy of
Yashovarman in Kanauj. A reputed
warrior, he is even said to have
allied with China against the
growing power of the Arabs.
He is also remembered as the
patron of the great Sanskrit
litterateur, Bhababhutti, as well as
106

Vakpati, composer of the Prakrit


poem, Gaudavaho (Slaying of the
king of Gauda).
In the eighth century, Lalitaditya
of Kashmir made the Karkota
dynasty the most powerful in
India since that of the Guptas. He
routed the Arabs of Sind and
established his mastery over
Kanauj, and was also the builder
of the magnificent Martand
Temple.
The great monarchs of the line
included Indra, Dantidurga, and
Krishna who built the famous
rock-cut Kailash temple at Ellora.
The dynasty entered a new phase
with the accession of Dhruv, who
launched
its
northern
expansionist drive.
Several tribal groups made the
transition from pastoral economies
to settled agriculture, as a
consequence of which agrarian
society was considerably
expanded.
Local and tribal forces also began
to contribute to state formation.
In Orissa, for instance, the
Shailodbhavas, who came down
from the Mahendragiri mountains
and settled near the Rishikulya
river, established a kingdom in the
central regions.
The great Sankaracharya
renewed Vedanta philosophy and
incorporated several doctrinal and
organisational features of
Buddhism and Jainism into
Hinduism.

He organised the sanayasis into


ten Orders and established four
spiritual centres at Badrinath. Puri.
Dwarka and Sringeri.
The great Bhakti saints included
Appar,
Sambandar
and
Manikkavasagare whose writings
were collected in the Tirumurai,
known as the Tamil Veda.
The twelfth book, Periva Puranani.
was composed by the poet
Shekkilar at the behest of the
Chola King, Kulottunga I.
Among the creative geniuses of
the time was the poet Kamban,
Composer of the Tamil Ramayana.
Kannada received a boost from
the compositions of Pampa,
Ponna and Ranna on the lives of
the Jain Tirthankaras. as well as
the Mahabharata.
A new era in Telugu literature was
inaugurated with Nanniahs
translation of the Adi and Sabha
Parvas of the Mahabharata. This
was continued by Tikkana, from
the Virata Parva to the end.
Arab authors of the ninth and
tenth centuries also portrayed
India as a land of great wealth.
They described the Rashtrakuta
ruler of the western Deccan as the
third or fourth greatest sovereign
of the world.
Literary works like the PrithvirajaVijaya-Kavya and the HammiraMahakavya provide stirring
narratives of important events of

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Medieval Indian History

the early medieval period. There


are also historical accounts like
the Rajmala, the official chronicle
of the ruling family of Tipperah,
and the Rajatarangini of Kalhana.
The documentation of history
continued under the Mughals.
The leading historians of the age
include Abul FazI (AkbarNama).
Nizamuddin Ahmad (Tubagat-iAkbari). Badauni (Muntakhab altawarikh), Abdul Hamid Lahori (
Badshahnama) and Khafi Khan
(Muntakhab-ul-Lubab).
Sufi literature constitutes another
valuable source of information.
Several biographies (tazkirahs) of
Sufi saints and compilation of their
sayings (malfuzat) are available.
among the most important in the
latter category being the Fawadul
Fawaid.
Both Abul Fazl (court chronicler
of Emperor Akbar) and
AliMuhammad Khan, diwan of
Gujarat and author of the Mirat-iAhmadi (1748), enjoyed
unprecedented access to state
papers, on which they based their
works.
Sayyid Ahmed and Khuda Baksh
extended their canvas beyond
political matters and emphasised
Islamic achievements in the fields
of art, literature, science and
religion.
Mohammad Habib published a
small but influential book.
Mahmud of Ghaznin (1927), which
stressed the economic motives
underlying the Sultans invasions
of India.
K.M. Ashraf in Life and
Conditions of the People of
Hindustan averred that there had
been no cultural strife in India in
the medieval period, while I.H.
Qureshi in The Administration of
the Sultanate of Delhi (1942),
claimed that the Sultanate

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administration had been more


efficient
than
that
of
contemporary native states.
Sir Jadunath Sarkar has been
described as the father of modern
historical research on account of
his fidelity to the original
documents, study of the language
of the sources, meticulous
checking of details and testing of
evidence. His contributions
include the five-volume History of
Aurangzeb and the four volume
The Fall of the Mughal Empire.
In 1952 Mohammad Habib wrote
a long introduction to the revised
edition of Elliot and Dowsons
History of India Vol. II, wherein
he applied Marxist methodology
to the study of medieval Indian
History.

Rajput Dynasties of Rajasthan


and Central India
By contrast, in Rajasthan, a single
dominant warrior group evolved,
called Rajput (derived from
Rajaputra), who rarely engaged in
farming which was left exclusively
for their peasant subjects. In the
ninth century, separate clans of
Rajput Chahamanas (Chauhans),
Paramaras (Pawars), Guhilas
(Sisodias), and Chaulukyas
(Solankis) were branching off from
sprawling Gurjara Pratihara clans.
Rajput supremacy also stimulated
the rise of warrior Jat peasant
clans in Northen India in
Rajasthan, the western Ganga
basin, and Punjab where they built
fortified villages and hilltop forts.
Tri-Partie Struggle
North India after the death of
Harsha was the setting for a
protracted
contest
for
Chakravartin status between three
rising powers.The Gurjara

Pratiharas, called Al--Jurz by the


Arabs, first came into prominencein the seventh century A.D.
Towards the close of the eighth
century A.D. there were three
great powers in India. The Gurjara
Pratihara in the north, the Palas in
the east and the Rashtrakutas in
the Deccan emerged as powerful
dynasties almost at the same time.
According to tradition, a great
ritual fire ceremony was performed
at Mount Abu where some clans
and groups were entrusted the
task of fighting the invaders.
Among them were the Gurjara
Pratiharas, who also came to be
known as the Agnikula Rajputs.
The tripartite struggle for the
supremacy between the Palas, the
Gurjara Pratiharas and the
Rashtrakutas was the important
event of these centuries.
The first encounter took place
among, the Rashtrakuta king
Dhruva. the Pratihara king
Vatsaraja and the Pala king
Dharmapala.

Pratiharas
Masudi provided a -particularly
graphic account in the second
decade of the tenth century. The
King of Kanauj, he wrote, has
four armies in the four directions
of the wind the army of the North
is assigned to make war against
the prince of Multan and the
Muslims, and the latters subjects
who are established on this
frontier; the army of the South
operates against the Ballahara,
King of Mankir, the others against
other enemies. The king of al-Jurz
is rich in camels and horses and
has a numerous army
The Gurjara Pratihara ruler
Nagabhatt I. who appears to have
107

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Medieval Indian History

ruled till A.D. 756, left a sizeable


kingdom. which included parts of
Rajasthan, Malwa and Gujarat.
His successor, Vatsaraja, too,
made extensive conquests and
came into conflict with the
ascendant Palas. He defeated a
king of Bengal, who could be
either Gopala or his son,
Dharmapala.
Around A.D. 836, there was a
marked change in their fortunes
with the ascendancy of the
famous Bhoja on the Pratihara
throne. Bhoja eventually extended
his domain from Punjab and
Kathiawar to Koshal and Kanauj.
The Kalachuris of Gorakhpur and
the Chandellas of Bundelkhand
also acknowledged his suzerainty.
He ruled from the sacred city of
Kanauj, was a devotee of Vishnu,
and took the title of Adi Varaha as
a mark of his veneration to the
God.
His son Mahendrapal (A.D. 885910) added Magadh and parts of
north Bengal to the Pratihara
empire, which was now described
as extending from the source of
the Ganga to that of the Reva
(from the Himalayas to the
Vindhyas) and broadly embracing
the region between the eastern
and western oceans.

Palas
The Pala domain was called the
kingdom of Dharma by the
Arabs after the great king.
Dharmapal (A.D. 780-815). A
copper plate inscription
discovered at Khalimpur provides
valuable information on his reign.
Dharmapala became so formidable
as to place a nominee on the
throne of Kanauj. He even held a
great assembly in that premier city,
which was attended by an
impressive string of vassals,
108

where he consecrated himself as


master of northern India.
The Palas retained their
hegemony over north India under
his son, Devapala (A.D. 815-855).
The Pala Empire was now
described as extending from the
Himalayas to the Vindhyas, and
from the Bay of Bengal to the
Arabian Sea. A literary style
known as gaudiriti also flourished
around this time.
During their rule a king of Jaya
and Sumatra made a request for a
college at Nalanda for the benefit
of foreign students.
Among the celebrated Buddhist
monks who lived in Pala domains
may be mentioned Dipankar
Srijnana.
Rashtrakutas
The Rashtrakutas, called Ballahara
by the Arabs, came to power
around A.D. 743 in the Deccan,
and ruled from their capital at
Mankir or Manyakheta (present
Malkhed, near Sholapur).
Arab travellers refer to the
Rashtrakuta ruler as the king of
kings (malik al-muluk) of alHind....
The first important king of the
dynasty was Dantidurga. He
conquered the Gurjara kingdom of
Nandipuri (near Broach) and the
realm of the Gurjara Pratiharas in
Malwa, besides extending his
authority over the eastern regions
of Madhya Pradesh.
He was succeeded by his uncle,
Krishna I(758-773), who extended
the Rashtrakuta domain beyond
Maharashtra, to include present
day Hyderabad and Mysore, but
is best associated with the
Kailash temple.
The dynastys northern drive
commenced with Dhruv (A.D.
779-793), who crossed the
Vindhyas and inflicted a crushing
defeat on Vatsaraja, the Pratihara

ruler, besides also defeating the


Pala king, Dharmapala.
To commemorate his victory over
the two premier northern powers,
Dhruv incorporated the symbols
of the Ganga and Yamuna into the
Rashtrakuta emblem.
The Rashtrakutas under Govinda
III (A.D. 793-814) trounced the
Pratihara ruler. Nagabhatta II.
Govinda III is said to have
proceeded upto the Himalayas
and visited Prayag, Banaras and
Gaya.
The decline of the Rashtrakutas
set in under his son and
successor, Amoghavarsha, a
young boy of thirteen when he
ascended the throne in A.D. 814.
He lacked the military skills of his
father and grandfather.
He was, however, a man of
considerable talents. An author of
repute. he composed one of the
earliest texts in Kannada literature,
the Kavirajamarga. Besides, he
patronised several Jain and Hindu
scholars.
He ended his life by taking jalsamadhi in the Tungabhadra river.
Krishna III in alliance with his
brother-in-law, captured Kanchi
and Tanjore and even inflicted a
defeat on the Cholas, whereafter
he planted a pillar of victory at
Rameshwaram.
The Rashtrakutas were patrons of
Saivism, Vaishnavism, the Sakta
cults and also Jainism.
The directly administered areas
were divided into bhuktis
(provinces. called rashtra in
Rashtrakuta territory), and
mandalas or visayas (districts).
The head of the province was the
uparika, while the chief of the
district was the visayapati. Below
the visaya was the pattala, though
not much is known about it. The
village was the lowest unit of
administration.

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Medieval Indian History
Regional Kingdoms
The Turks were altogether
unsuccessful in taking Orissa.
while Assam could never be
subdued by the invaders.
Rajputana was an unfaltering
arena of resistance throughout the
Sultanate period.
South India remained free from
South till almost the beginning of
the fourteenth century. When
north India was being devastated
by the raids of Mahmud Ghazni,
Rajaraja Chola was establishing a
mighty empire that at his death
embraced the whole of the south
upto the Tungabhadra the
Maldives, a part of Sri Lanka, with
Andhradesa as a feudatory ally.
The last king of that dynasty to
preside over Kanauj was
Rajyapala. He was killed by the
Chandella king Vidyadhara for
failing to resist Mahmud Ghaznis
invasion of the city and thus
deviating from the path of his
ancestors.
Gahadavalas
In the latter half of the eleventh
century, the Gahadavalas came to
power in Kanauj.
Some scholars are of the view that
the Gahadavalas were a branch of
the Rashtrakutas or Rathors. The
founder of the dynasty,
Chandradeva, is described in his
inscriptions as the protector of
the holy sites of Kusika (Kanauj),
Kashi. Uttara Koshala (Ayodhya)
and Indrasthana (Delhi). Kahsi
was the second capital of the
Gahadavalas.
Govindachandra was the next
important ruler of this line. He
expanded the kingdom at the
expense of the declining Palas of
Bengal.
One of the most important books
on law, the Kritya-Kalpataru was
written in Govindachandras reign.

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He appears to have been on


intimate terms with the Cholas, as
an incomplete inscription
engraved in stone has been
discovered in the Chola capital
recording the genealogy of the
Gahadavala Kings.
The last king of this house,
Jaichandra, lost his life combating
Muhammad Ghori.
But the Turks do not appear to
have kept the conquered territory
for long, as Jaichandras son.
Harishchandra, is known to have
been in possession of the Kanauj.
Jaunpur and Mirzapur districts in
1197. The accounts of Muslim
historians support the view that
Kanauj was not won till the reign
of Iltutmish (1210-1236), who also
had to re conquer Varanasi.
Chandellas
The Chandellas were included
among the thirty-six Rajput clans
and claimed descent from the sage
Chandratreya.
Starting out as feudatories of the
Gurjara Pratiharas, they became an
- independent power under
Yasovarman.
His son, Dhanga, further extended
the kingdom at the cost of the
Pratiharas and also attacked Pala
territories in the east. Dhanga
aided the Shahi ruler, Jaipal,
against Subuktrgin. He lived for
more than a hundred years and
ended his life in Allahabad while
meditating upon Shiva.
His son, Ganda, helped Jaipals
son. Anandpal, against Mahmud
Ghazni.
Gandas son, Vidyadhara, was the
greatest of the Chandella Kings.
He killed the last Pratihara ruler of
Kanauj for surrendering to
Mahmud Ghazni without fight.
Muslim chronicles describe

Vidyadhara as the most powerful


ruler of India.
In the reign of Paramardi (11651203), the Chandella kingdom
suffered a defeat at the hands of
the Chauhan ruler, Prithviraj III,
who raided the capital city of
Mahoba.
More serious was the attack of
Qutbuddin Aibak on Kalinjar .
After some resistance, Paramardi
agreed to pay tribute. His minister.
Ajayadeva, diapproved of the
agreement, killed Paramardi, and
renewed the fight against Aibak.
But he himself was forced to
surrender after a valiant struggle,
due to shortage of water in the
fort.
The Turks, however, do not
appear to have succeeded in
keeping Kalinjar for long.
Sometime before 1205, Paramardis
son inflicted a severe defeat on
the Muslim forces and recovered
Kalinjar.
The Chandellas were great
builders. They are best
remembered for the magnificent
temples they raised at their capital,
Kharjuravahaka (Khajuraho), in
Madhya Pradesh.

Paramaras
According to available evidence,
the Paramaras were originally
vassals of the Pratiharas and the
Rashtrakutas and emerged as an
independent power in the second
half of the tenth century. Starting
from Ujjain, they later shifted their
capital to Dhar.
The first notable Paramara ruler
was Vakpati Munja, who ruled
towards the end of the tenth
century and is hailed as one of
the greatest generals of his age.
He was a generous patron of art
and literature, and a number of
poets
like
Dhananjaya,

109

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Medieval Indian History

Halayudha, Dhanika and


Padmagupta graced his court. He
also excavated a number of tanks
and built several splendid
temples.
Bhoja, who ascended the throne
around the beginning of the
eleventh century, was the most
eminent ruler of the dynasty. He
was a rare combination of a
military and literary genius.
Paramara power reached its zenith
during his long reign of more than
fifty years.
In 1008, he sent an army to assist
Anandpal against Mahmud
Ghazni. Subsequently, around
1019, he provided shelter to
Anandpals son, Trilochanpal,
when the latter was under
pressure from Mahmud.
Bhoja was a reputed scholar who
authored almost two dozen works
on subjects as varied as medicine.
astronomy,
religion
and
architecture.
He established a Sanskrit college
within the precincts of the
Saraswati temple and invited men
of letters like Dhanapala and
Uvrata to his court.
He founded the city of Bhojapur
near Bhopal and built a number of
temples in honour of Shiva.

Chauhans
The Chauhans were an old and
distinguished ruling house who
made their political debut as
vassals of the Gurjara Pratiharas
and ruled over parts of Gujarat
and Rajasthan in the seventh and
eighth centuries.
There were several branches of the
Chauhan family, the most wellknown being the Chauhans of
Sakambhari, after their capital
(modern Sambhar) in the Ajmer
district of Rajasthan.
Prominent kings of this dynasty
include Ajayaraja, who recaptured
110

Nagor from the Yaminis and


prevented a further Ghaznavid
advance.
In the early twelfth century, he
founded the city of Ajayameru
(Ajmer), better situated for
defence purposes than Sambhar,
the old capital.
Some of his coins carry the name
of his queen, Somaladevi.
His son, Arnoraja, also scored a
decisive victory over the Yaminis,
who had advanced upto Ajmer.
He was married to the daughter of
the Chalukya ruler, Jayasimha
Siddharaja of Gujarat, and the
great Prithviraj III was his
grandson.
It was Arnorajas son, Vigraharaja
IV Visaladeva, whose known
dates range from 1153-1163, who
transformed the Chauhan
kingdom into an empire.
Besides being an able warrior,
Vigraharaja IV Visaladeva was a
man of letters and a patron of
literature. Fragments of his drama,
the Harakeli, have been found
engraved on a stone in Ajmer.
The historical drama, LalitaVigraharaja, written by his court
poet. Somadeva, has been
similarly discovered.
Vigraharaja IV Visaladeva was a
great builder and founded many
townships. The mosque, Adhai
din Ka jhompra at Ajmer, was
originally a college constructed by
him.
Prithviraj III was the last ruler of
this house. He has been
immortalised by the poet
Chandbardai in the epic
Prirhviraja Raso, though another
biographical work. Prithvirajavijaya, is regarded as a more
authentic account of his reign.
Branches of the Chauhans also
ruled at Ranthambhor, Nadol and

Jalor. Ajmer and Jalor were


captured by Alauddin Khilji in the
early fourteenth century.
Kalachuris
The Kalachuris (also known as
Katasuris, Haihayas and Chedis)
whose legendary earl) history is
mentioned in the Epics and the
Puranas were an ancient ruling
house.
An early Kalachuri king, Kokalla,
is credited with having defeated
the Turushkas who seem to have
been Turkish troops of the ruler
of Sind. He was married to a
Chandella princess.
The famous poet Rajasekhara
lived in the Kalachuri court.
The Kalachuris again acquired
power and prestige under
Gangeyadeva, who ascended the
throne in 1015 in the region
around Jabalpur in Madhya
Pradesh. Besides incursions
against Orissa. Anga and Banaras,
there are also references to his
attack on Kira (Kangra valley)
which was then part of the
Ghaznavid province of Punjab.
He was succeeded by his son,
Karna, the greatest ruler of this
dynasty and one of the most
renowned generals of his age.
His inscriptions attest to the fact
that Banaras and Allahabad
constituted parts of his kingdom
and that he was also in
occupation of West Bengal for a
while. In addition, he led
successful expeditions against
Kalinga and Conjeevaram.
A branch of the Kalachuris
established a kingdom in Bilaspur
district of Madhya Pradesh in the
early eleventh century.
Chalukyas/Solankis
The Chalukyas or Solankis ruled

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Medieval Indian History

over Gujarat for almost three and


a half centuries (950-1300).
During the reign of Bhima I (10221064), Mahmud Ghazni invaded
Gujarat and ravaged the temple of
Somnath.
Bhima was succeeded by his son,
Karna,
whose
principal
achievement was the annexation
of Lata (South Gujarat).
Jayasimha Siddharaja, who
ascended the throne in 1092-93,
consolidated and considerably
expanded the kingdom of Gujarat.
He subdued the Chauhans of
Sakambhari but gave his daughter
to its defeated ruler. Arnoraja.
Thereafter, Siddharaja turned
against the Paramaras of Malwa.
By 1137, he had conquered
enough of that kingdom to
assume the title of Avantinath
(Lord of Malwa).
Jayasimha Siddharaja was a
devotee of Shiva and built the
Rudra- Mahakala temple at
Siddhapura.
He was a patron of the famous
Jain scholar. Hemachandra. He
also set up institutions for the
study of Jyotisha Nyava, and the
Puranas.
Siddharaja had no son, and was
succeeded by Kumarapala,
renowned as the last great royal
proponent of Jainism. The
invasion of Muhammad Ghori
took place in the reign of his minor
grandson. The regent queen
herself led the defending army and
inflicted a defeat on the Turkish
forces near Mount Abu.

Various
The Vaghela chiefs established an
independent principality between
the Sabarmati and Narmada in the
mid-thirteenth century.
Karna II, who faced Alauddin
Khiljis armies, was the last Hindu
king of Gujarat.
In Kashmir, the Karkota dynasty,
which boasted of rulers like

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Lalitaditya Muktapida and


Jayapida Vinyaditya, was
supplanted by the Utpalas in the
mid-ninth century.
The founder of the dynasty.
Avantivarman, was a man of
sagacity who restored peace and
order in the region and
commissioned an engineering
operation for the drainage and
irrigation of the valley. The project
was executed by Surya, after
whom the town of Suryapura is
named.
Avantivarman also founded the
town of Avantipur and built a
number of imposing temples.
In the mid-tenth century the
famous queen Didda (granddaughter of the Shahi king Bhim)
emerged as a powerful figure.
Her tumultuous reign, wrecked by
incessant rebellions and revolts
against her prime-minister Tunga,
eventually made way for the Loar
dynasty.
The dynasty finally came to an
end in 1172. It was followed by
almost two centuries of anarchy,
and finally, in 1339. Shah Mir
deposed Queen Kota, widow of
the last Hindu ruler, Udayana
Deva.

Kamarupa
After
the
death
of
Bhaskara-varman. Kamarupa was
occupied by Salastambha. In the
early ninth century a new dynasty
came to power under Pralambha.
The region appears to have been
conquered by the Pala King
Devapala around this time, but
soon regained its autonomy.
The Pralambha dynasty remained
in power till about A.D. 1000.
The king of Pragjotish
(Kamarupa) in the first part of the
eleventh century was Brahmapal,
who is said to have ruled from his
capital Durjaya, which has been
identified with Gauhati by
scholars.

In the mid-thirteenth century, the


Ahoms, a branch of the Shah tribe
settled in eastern Assam,
established a kingdom and gave
the name Assam to the region.
Senas
In east Bengal, the Varmans,
professing links with the Yadavas
of antiquity, came to power in the
second quarter of the eleventh
century. They were replaced by
the Senas.
The Senas described themselves
as Karnata-Kshatriya. BrahmaKshatr-iyas and Kshatriyas and
claimed descent from the king, of
Dakshina-patha.
Vijayasena, who came to power in
1095 and ruled for almost sixty
years, was among the eminent
kings of the Sena dynasty.
The Deopara Prasasti inscription
provides us with details of his
reign, built the Pradyumnesvara
Shiva Temple in Rajshahi district.
The introduction of the social
system known as Kulinism is
traditionally attributed to him,
though this is not corroborated
by contemporary evidence.
His son, Lakshmanasena, was the
last Hindu ruler of Bengal. He
attained notable victories against
the Gahadavalas and also
controlled a large part of Bihar
where an era known after him as
Lakshmana Samvat was current.
He was forced to leave his capital,
Nadia (renamed Lakhnauti) after
its takeover by Bakhtiyar Khilji.
Lakshmanasena was a gifted
writer and poet, and his reign was
a period of cultural magnificence.
Literary celebrities like Jayadeva,
composer of the Gita Govinda,
Halayudha and Sridharadasa
adorned his court.
Cont
111

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Solved Paper Bihar Public Service Commission Held On: 15-03-2015

SOLVED PAPER
BIHAR PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Held On: 15-03-2015
1. Cloves are obtained from which
of the following parts of the
plant?
(a) Dried leaves
(b) Dried stems
(c) Dried seeds
(d) Dried flower buds
2. Oncongenes are associated
with
(a) tuberculosis
(b) hepatitis
(c) cancer
(d) typhoid
3. Which is the most reactive
metal?
(a) sodium
(b) calcium
(c) iron
(d) potassium
4. Who synthesized the DNA in
vitro?
(a) Arthur Kornberg
(b) Robert Hooke
(c) Edward Jenner
(d) Joseph Lister
5. What was the fissionable
material used in the bombs
dropped at Nagasaki (Japan) in
the year 1945?
(a) sodium
(b) potassium
(c) plutonium
(d) uranium
6. The scientist who first
discovered that the earth
revolves round the sun was
(a) Newton
112

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

(b) Dalton
(c) copernicus
(d) Einstein
Cosmic rays
(a) are charged particles
(b) are uncharged particles
(c) can be charged as well as
uncharged
(d) none of the above
Which of the followin elements
is found in all organic
compounds?
(a) carbon
(b) calcium
(c) nitrogen
(d) oxygen
Which of the following can
cause cancer as well as as cure
it depending upon its intensity
and use?
(a) Tobacco
(b) Alcohol
(c) Ionized radition
(d) Ultravioled rays
The totla volume of blood in a
normal adult human being is
(a) 5-6 litres
(b) 3-4 litres
(c) 8-10 litres
(d) 10-12 litres
Typhoid and cholera are
typical examples of
(a) infectious diseases
(b) airborne diseases
(c) waterborne diseases
(d) none of the above

12. Energy is stored in liver and


muscles in the form of
(a) carbohydrate
(b) fat
(c) protein
(d) glycogen
13. Who discovered bacteria?
(a) Fleming
(b) Lamble
(c) Temin
(d) Leeuwenhoek
14. The reason of large-scale
diversity among the organisms
is
(a) adaptation
(b) cooperation
(c) mutation
(d) polyploidy
15. What is vermiculture?
(a) The science of raising
worms
(b) The science of studying
animals
(c) The science of studying
fishes
(d) The science of killing
worms
16. The smallest organism, capable
of autonomous growth and
reproduction, is
(a) virus
(b) bacteria
(c) mycoplasma
(d) bacteriophage
17. The first human heart transplant
was performed in
(a) America

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Solved Paper Bihar Public Service Commission Held On: 15-03-2015

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

(b) England
(c) South Africa
(d) France
The average blood flow
through kidneys per minute is
(a) 1000 cc (b) 1200 cc
(c) 200 cc
(d) 500 cc
A plant bud is
(a) an embryonic shoot
(b) an embryonic leaf
(c) an endosperm
(d) a seed
Which of the following gases is
used in cigarette lighters?
(a) Butane (b) Methane
(c) Propane (d) Radon
The Union Health Minister
launched Mental Health Policy
on
(a) 20th October, 2014
(b) 10th October, 2014
(c) 5th October, 2014
(d) 11th July, 2014
Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi
launched Saansad Adarsh
Gram Yojana on
(a) 11th October, 2014
(b) 10th November, 2014
(c) 26th August, 2014
(d) 15th August, 2014
The 11th Metropolis Congress
was organized in Hyderabad in
(a) September 2013
(b) January 2014
(c) October 2014
(d) November 2014
In which area wa the Indo-US
military exercise 'Yudh Abhyas
2014' held?
(a) Solan (Himachal Pradesh)
(b) Gairsen (Uttarakhand)
(c) Ranikhet (Uttarakhand)
(d) Poonch (Jammu and
Kashmir)

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25. Which of the following groups


of political parties could not
win a single seat in the 16th Lok
Sabha Election?
(a) MNS, BSP, SP, RJD
(b) SP, BSP, National
Conference, RLD
(c) JD(U), BSP, NCP, RJD
(d) DMK, RLD, National
Conference, BSP
26. President Pranab Mukherjee
on 7th October, 2014
presented the Lal Bahadur
Shastri National Award for
excellence
in
Public
Administration, Academics
and Management for the year
2014 to
(a) V. Sampath
(b) Dr. A. S. Pillai
(c) Arvind Mayaram
(d) Ajit Dobhal
27. Who has been appointed as
the Chairman of the 7th Central
Pay Commission constituted by
the Government of India in
February 2014?
(a) Justice B. K. Singh
(b) Justice Swatanter Kumar
(c) Justice Ashok Kumar
Mathur
(d) Justice Mridula Singh
28. Justice J. S. Verma Committee's
Report, 2013 deals with
(a) Centre-State relations
(b) change in law pertaining
to offences against
women
(c) the Fundamental Rights
(d) rights of children
29. How many memebers are
elected from Bihar to the Lok
Sabha?
(a) 20
(b) 30
(c) 35
(d) 40
30. What is the unique festival of
Bihar?

31.

32.

33.

34.

35.

36.

(a) Deepawali(b) Bisu


(c) Vinayak Chaturthi
(d)Chhath Puja
Who among the following has
been awarded the Nobel Prize
for Literature in 2014?
(a) Kailash Satyarthi
(b)Malala Yousafzai
(c) Jean Tirole(d) P a t r i c k
Modiano
Which among the following
European Union countries is
the first to officially recognize
the State of palestine?
(a) Sweden
(b) Denmark
(c) Norway
(d) Italy
Which one of the following
countries has decided in
january 2014 to make military
service compulsory for all its
adult males?
(a) North Korea
(b) UAE
(c) Israel
(d) Turkey
What is th theme of Global
Financial Development Report,
2014?
(a) Hunger and poverty
(b) Corruption and fraud in
corporate sector
(c) Financial inclusion
(d) Global recession and the
Third World
Who among the following has/
have figured in 'Time'
magazine's list of 25 most
influential teens of 2014?
(a) Malia and Sasha Obama
(b) Kendall and Kylie Jenner
(c) Malala Yousafzai
(d) All of them
The Seventh BRICS Summit is
proposed to be held in 2015 at
113

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37.

38.

39.

40.

41.

(a) Durban, South Africa


(b) Ufa, Russia
(c) New Delhi, India
(d) Sanya, China
The International Day of
Persons with Disabilities is
celebrated on
(a) 10th December
(b) 24th October
(c) 19th November
(d) 3rd December
Amnesty International is an
organization which is
associated with
(a) protection of women's
rights
(b) protection of human
rigths
(c) abolition
of
untouchability
(d) none of the above
In October 2014, India has
been reelected for three years
as a member to
(a) the UN Security Council
(b) the UN General Assembly
(c) the UN Economic and
Social
Council
(ECOSOC)
(d) the World Bank
Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand,
Spain and Venezuela were
elected as non-permanent
memebers on 16th October,
2014 to serve in
(a) The
UN
General
Assembly
(b) The UN Trusteeship
Council
(c) The UN Human Rights
Commission
(d) The UN Securtiy Council
Which one of the following
countries won the highest
number of Gold Medals at the
Winter Olympic Games held in

114

42.

43.

44.

45.

46.

47.

Sochi in February 2014?


(a) Canada
(b) Russia
(c) Norway
(d) USA
Who among the follwoing
cricket all-rounders cracked
the fastest century in one-day
international cricket history in
January 204?
(a) Darren Bravo
(b) James Faulkner
(c) Glenn Maxwell
(d) Corey Anderson
Who was the winner of the
Champions League T-20,
2014?
(a) Kolkata Knight Riders
(India)
(b) Rajasthan Royals (India)
(c) Sydney Sixers (Australia)
(d) Chennai Super Kings
(India)
What was India's position in the
17th Asian Games in 2014?
(a) 8th
(b) 6th
(c) 3rd
(d) 4th
Who among the following was
the Gold Medal winner in the
17th Asian Games Men's
Freestyle 65 kg Wrestling?
(a) Jittu Rai
(b) Sandeep Kumar
(c) Rajat Chauhan
(d) Yogeshwar Dutt
Which country achieved the
fifth position in the 20th
Commonwealth Games?
(a) Sri Lanka
(b) Nepal
(c) England
(d) India
Who won her first Grand Slam
Australian Open Tennis
Competition, 2014 (Women's
Singles)?

48.

49.

50.

51.

52.

53.

54.

(a) Li Na
(b) Dominika Cibulkova
(c) Sara Errani
(d) None of them
The winner of the SAFF
Tournament, 2013 was
(a) India
(b) Maldives
(c) Afghansitan
(d) Nepal
Which award is given for
excellence in sports?
(a) Jamnalal Bajaj Award
(b) Arjuna Award
(c) Tagore Award
(d) Moortidevi Award
'Prince of Wales Cup' is
associated with the game of
(a) hockey (b) cricket
(c) football (d) golf
Who among the following was
not associated with the
excavation of Harappa and
Mohenjo-daro?
(a) R. D. Banerjee
(b) K. N. Dikshit
(c) M. S. Vats
(d) V. A. Smith
Gautama Buddha gave his first
sermon at
(a) vaishali
(b) kaushambi
(c) sarnath (d) pawapuri
Who is called 'the Napoleon of
Ancient India'?
(a) Chandragupta Maurya
(b) Pushyamitra
(c) Kanishka
(d) Samudragupta
Which Chinese traveller visited
India during Harshavardhana's
rules?
(a) Fa-Hien
(b) Hiuen-Tsang
(c) I-tsing
(d) Taranath

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55. What is 'Dhai Din Ka Zhonpda'?
(a) Mosque (b) Temple
(c) Saint's hut(d) Tower
56. In which language was 'Tuzuki-Baburi' written?
(a) Persian (b) Arabic
(c) Turkish (d) Urdu
57. Who was the commander of
Rana Pratap's army in the Battle
of Haldighat?
(a) Amar Singh
(b) Man Singh
(c) Hakim Khan
(d) Shakti Singh
58. Where was the capital of
Shivaji?
(a) Raigarh
(b) Sindhudurg
(c) Poona
(d) Kolhapur
59. In which year was the
Regulating Act passed?
(a) AD 1757
(b) AD 1765
(c) AD 1773
(d) AD 1793
60. Who was the Governor-General
of India in 1857?
(a) Wellesley
(b) Dalhousie
(c) Canning
(d) Minto
61. After which incident Mahatma
Gandhi had called NonCooperation Movement as his
'Himalayan Blunder'?
(a) Chauri-Chaura
(b) Kheda Satyagraha
(c) Nagpur Satyagraha
(d) Rajkot Satyagraha
62. Which movement started after
the Partition of Bengal?
(a) Civil Disobedience
Movement
(b) Swadeshi Movement

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63.

64.

65.

66.

67.

68.

69.

(c) Quit India Movement


(d) N o n - C o o r p e r a t i o n
Movement
Who was the first Indian woman
President of the Indian
National Congress?
(a) Mrs. Annie Besant
(b) Sucheta Kripalani
(c) Sarojini Naidu
(d) Indira Gandhi
Where did Madam Cama hoist
the first tricolour flag in 1907?
(a) London
(b) Paris
(c) Moscow
(d) Stuttgart
Who was the founder of
Nalanda University?
(a) C h a n d r a g u p t a
Vikramaditya
(b) Kumargupta
(c) Dharmapal
(d) Pushyagupta
At which place in Bihar
Gandhiji had his first
Satyagraha?
(a) Champaran
(b) Chhapra
(c) Bettiah
(d) Patna
Who was the author of 'Indica'?
(a) Vishnugupta
(b) Megasthenes
(c) Diamechus
(d) Pliny
Which Sikh Guru was born at
Patna?
(a) Nanak
(b) Teg Bahadur
(c) Hargobind
(d) Gobind Singh
Who was President of Gaya
Session of the Indian National
Congress held in 1922?
(a) Chittaranjan Das

70.

71.

72.

73.

74.

(b) S. N. Banerjee
(c) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
(d) Hakim Ajmal Khan
By which name is Jay Prakash
Narayan known?
(a) Lokmanya
(b) Loknayak
(c) Lokhitvadi
(d) Lokneta
Which country has the largest
coastline?
(a) USA
(b) Australia
(c) Canada
(d) India
The largest producer of
aluminium in the world is
(a) France (b) India
(c) USA
(d) Italy
The Pennines (Europe), the
Appalachians (America) and
the Araballis (India) are
examples of
(a) young mountains
(b) old mountains
(c) block mountains
(d) fold mountains
Match the rivers with the cities
through which they are flowing
and select the correct answer
using the codes given below:
City
River
(a) Rotterdam1. Seine
(b) Paris
2. Potomac
(c) Budapest 3. Rhine
(d) Wahington4. Danube
Codes :
(a) a
b
c
d
2
3
1
4
(b) a
b
c
d
1
3
4
2
(c) a
b
c
d
3
1
4
2
(d) a
b
c
d
4
3
2
1
115

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75. Which is the largest metal
trading centre?
(a) Johannesburg
(b) New York
(c) London
(d) Singapore
76. Which of the following
drainage systems fall into Bay
of Bengal?
(a) Ganga, Brahmaputra and
Godavari
(b) Mahanadi, Krishna and
Cauvery
(c) Luni, Narmada and Tapti
(d) Both (A) and (B)
77. The oldest oil field in India is
(a) Bombay
High,
Maharashtra
(b) Ankleshwar, Gujarat
(c) Navagam, Gujarat
(d) Digboi, Assam
78. In India 'Yarlung Zangbo River'
is known as
(a) Ganga
(b) Indus
(c) Brahmaputra
(d) Mahanadi
79. Which one of the following is
the driest station?
(a) Mumbai (b) Delhi
(c) Leh
(d) Bengaluru
80. Which amongst the following
States has not identifed tribal
community?
(a) Maharashtra
(b) Chhattisgarh
(c) Haryana
(d) Karnataka
81. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is
located at
(a) Chandigarh
(b) Bharatpur
(c) Gurgaon
(d) Gandhinagar
82. The forest area in India per
116

83.

84.

85.

86.

87.

88.

89.

90.

person (in average hectare) is


(a) 0.23
(b) 0.34
(c) 0.20
(d) 0.29
Which of the following States
has agricultural area less than
60 percent?
(a) West Bengal
(b) Punjab
(c) Uttar Pradesh
(d) Bihar
'Nagarjuna Sagar Multipurpose
Project' is on which river?
(a) Tapti
(b) Kosi
(c) Godavari (d) Krishna
Dalmianagar of Bihar is famous
for
(a) silk
(b) cement
(c) leather (d) jute
How much square meters
forest area is there in Bihar?
(a) 2812 square metres
(b) 3612 square metres
(c) 2461 square metres
(d) 2612 square metres
The two States of India, most
richly endowed with iron ore,
are
(a) Bihar and West Bengal
(b) Madhya Pradesh and
Odisha
(c) Bihar and Odisha
(d) Madhya Pradesh and
West Bengal
What is chiefly found at Jharia
in Jharkhand?
(a) Thorium (b) Silk
(c) Gold
(d) Coal
Which of the following towns
is located easternmost of Bihar?
(a) Bhagalpur
(b) Patna
(c) Katihar
(d) Purnia
Which of the following lakes is
situated in Bihar?

(a) Anupam Lake


(b) Sambhar Lake
(c) Sukhna Lake
(d) Kama Lake
91. The Decentralization System
was recommended by
(a) C. Rajagopalachari
(b) J. B. Kripalani
(c) Balwant Rai Mehta
(d) Ashok Mehta
92. Mahalanobis Plan Model
adopted in India in the midfifties aimed at
(a) building a strong defece
industry base
(b) setting up
heavy
industries which were
capital intensive
(c) curbing inflation in the
economy
(d) removing unemployment
within a short period
93. Match Column-A with ColumnB and select the correct answer
using the codes given below:
Column-A Column-B
(a) 1955
1. ExportImport
Bank of
India
(b) 1964
2. Industrial
Development Bank
of India
(c) 1982
3. Industrial
Credit
and
Investment
orporation
of India.
(d) 1987
4. Board of
Industrial
and
Financial
Reconstruction

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Codes :
(a) a
b
c
d
1
2
3
4
(b) a
b
c
d
2
3
1
4
(c) a
b
c
d
3
2
1
4
(d) a
b
c
d
4
1
2
3
94. Match Column-A with ColumnB and select the correct answer
using the codes given below:
Column-A Column-B
(a) Opengeneral
license
(b) TRYSEM
(c) Wholesale
price
index
(d) Cashreserve

1. Employment
2. External trade
3. Credit control

4. Inflation

ratio

Codes :
(a) a
b
c
d
2
1
4
3
(b) a
b
c
d
2
4
3
1
(c) a
b
c
d
4
3
2
1
(d) a
b
c
d
3
2
1
4
95. The controlling authority of
govenment expenditure is
(a) The Reserve Bank of
India
(b) The Planning Commission
(c) The Finance Ministry
(d) The Finance Commission
96. Effective Revenue Deficit was
introduced in the Union
Budget of
(a) 2010-11 (b) 2011-12
(c) 2009-10 (d) 2012-13
97. Interest payement is an item of

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(a) revenue expenditure


(b) capital expenditure
(c) plan expenditure
(d) none of the above
98. The HDI rank of India as per the
HDR-2014 is
(a) 137
(b) 128
(c) 135
(d) 147
99. Consider the following
consumer price indices:
I. Consumer Price Index for
Industrial Workers
II. Consumer Price Index for
Agricultural Labourers
III. Consumer Price Index for
Rural Labourers
IV. Consumer Price Index for
Urban
Non-Manual
Employees
Which of the above indices is/
are compiled by Central
Statistical Organization (CSO)?
(a) III and IV only
(b) I, II and III only
(c) IV only
(d) I, II, III and IV
100. What is the total production of
oilseeds in India in 2013-14?
(a) 34.32 million tonnes
(b) 43.34 million tonnes
(c) 20.89 million tonnes
(d) 30.72 million tonnes
101. India earns maximum foreign
exchange by the export of
(a) iron
(b) tea
(c) textile (d) rubber
102. Foreign currency which has a
tendency of quick imgration is
called
(a) hot currency
(b) gold currency
(c) soft currency
(d) hard currency
103. Which one of the following is
not included in the National
Food Security Missions?

(a) Oilseeds
(b) Wheat
(c) Rice
(d) Pulses
104. Ad hoc Treasury Bill System of
Meeting budget deficit in India
was abolished on
(a) 1st April, 1992
(b) 1st April, 1994
(c) 31st March, 1996
(d) 31st March, 1997
105. R. N. Malhotra Committee is
associated with
(a) sick industries
(b) tax reforms
(c) insurance sector
(d) banking sector
106. Service tax in India was
introduced in the year
(a) 1994-95 (b) 1996-97
(c) 1998-99 (d) 1991-92
107. Convertibility of the rupee
implies
(a) being able to convert
rupee notes into gold
(b) freely permitting the
conversion of rupee to
other major currencies
and vice versa
(c) allowing the value of the
rupee to be fixed by
market forces
(d) developing
an
international market for
currencies in India
108. Consider the following
important sources of tax
revenure for the Central
Govenment :
I. Corporation tax
II. Taxes on income other
than corporation tax
III. Customs
IV. Union excise duties
Which one of the following is
the correct descending order
in terms of gross tax revenue?
117

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(a) I-II-IV-III
(b) I-II-III-IV
(c) III-I-II-IV
(d) II-III-I-IV
109. Which one of the following is
the prescribed investment limit
for medium enterprises in the
manufacturing sector as per the
Micro, Small and Medium
Enterprises Devlopment Act,
2006?
(a) More than Rs. 10 lakhs
and less than Rs. 2 crores
(b) More than Rs. 2 crores and
less than Rs. 5 crores
(c) More than Rs. 5 crores and
less than Rs. 10 crores
(d) More than Rs. 10 crores
110. What does infant mortality rate
refer to?
(a) The ratio of number of
children who die before
their fifth birthday out of
every 1000 live births
(b) The ratio of number of
children who die before
their first bithday out of
every 1000 live births
(c) The ratio of number of
children who die before
their fifth birthday out of
every 100 live births
(d) The ratio of number of
children who die before
their birthday out of every
100 live births
111. In which of the following years
was the trade balance
favourable to India?
(a) 1970-71 and 1974-75
(b) 1972-73 and 1976-77
(c) 1972-73 and 1975-76
(d) 1971-72 and 1976-77
112. Consider the following
agreements :
I. ISLFTA (India-Sri Lanka
118

Free Trade Agreement)


II. SAFTA (South Asian Free
Trade Area)
III. CECA (Comprehensive
Economic Cooperation
Agreement between
India and Singapore)
IV. SAPTA (South Asian
Preferential
Trade
Arrangement)
Which one of the
following is the correct
chronological order of
the above agreements?
(a) I-III-II-IV
(b) IV-I-II-III
(c) II-I-IV-III
(d) I-II-III-IV
113. During which year was the
annual growth rate (at constant
prices) of agriculture and allied
sectors negative?
(a) 2002-03
(b) 2003-04
(c) 2005-06
(d) 2006-07
114. Consider the following
statements :
I. Varsha Bima, the rainfall
insurance scheme, is
managed
by
the
Agriculture Insurance
Company of India Limited
(AICIL).
II. The
scheme
was
introduced during the
2007
south-west
monsoon period.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) I only
(b) II only
(c) Both I and II
(d) Neither I nor II
115. Consider the following
statements :

I. Bank rate is the rate of


interest which RBI
charges its clients on their
short-term borrowing.
II. Repo rate is the rate of
interest which RBI
charges its clients on their
long-term borrowing.
Which of the statements given
above is/are incorrect?
(a) I only (b) II only
(c) Both I and II
(d) Neither I nor II
116. Financial sector reforms in
India consist of
(a) lowering down of CRR
and SLR
(b) entry of private firms in
insurance sector
(c) deregulation of rate of
interest
(d) all of the above
117. Which of the following is not a
component of Bharat Nirman?
(a) Rural housing
(b) Rural electrification
(c) Agro-based industries
(d) Rural telephony
118. According to the Planning
Commission of India, which of
the following are correct for the
poverty line?
I. Rs. 42 per capita per day
in urban area
II. Rs. 26 percapita per day
in rural area
III. Rs. 32 per capita per day
in urban area
IV. Rs. 32 per capita per day
in rural area
Choose the correct option from
the following.
(a) I and II (b) I and III
(c) II and III (d) III and IV
119. Consider the following
schemes :

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I. EAS
II. TRYSEM
III. JRY
IV. RLEGP
The correct chronological
sequence of the launching of
these schemes is
(a) II-IV-I-III
(b) IV-II-III-I
(c) IV-III-I-II
(d) II-IV-III-I
120. Match Column-A with ColumnB and select the correct answer
using the codes given below :
Column-A
Column-B
(a) National
1. 2004
Agricultural Policy
(b) Marine Fishing
2. 1978
Policy
(c) New Foreign Trade3. 2000
Policy
(d) Seventh Finance 4. 2014
Commission
Codes :
(a) a
b
c
d
2
1
3
4
(b) a
b
c
d
4
3
1
2
(c) a
b
c
d
1
4
2
3
(d) a
b
c
d
3
1
4
2
121. Who founded the Pagal Panth?
(a) Bulleh Shah
(b) Karam Shah
(c) Yaduvendra Singh
(d) Swami Sahajananda
122. Who were the Faraizis?
(a) Followers of Haji
Shariatullah
(b) Followers of Dadu
(c) Followers of the Arya
Samaj
(d) Followers of the Muslim
League

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123. The correct geographical


location for the Ramosi
Uprising was
(a) Western India
(b) Eastern Ghats
(c) Eastern India
(d) Western Ghats
124. The Waghera Uprising
happened in
(a) Surat
(b) Poona
(c) Calicut (d) Baroda
125. In order to control the media in
India, 'Acts' were passed in
(a) 1835, 1867, 1878, 1908
(b) 1854, 1864, 1872, 1910
(c) 1854, 1872, 1908, 1910
(d) 1867, 1908, 1910, 1919
126. The process of split in the
Congress in the early years of
the twentieth century began
over
(a) strategies of the Congress
Movement
(b) objectives of the
Congress Movement
(c) participation of the
people in the Congress
Movement
(d) All of the above
127. 'New Lamps for Old' was a
series of articles (1893-94) that
criticized the Congress for
being out of touch with the
'proletariat'.
Who was the author of these
articles?
(a) Aurobindo Ghose
(b) A. O. Hume
(c) G. K. Gokhale
(d) B. G. Tilak
128. Fill in the blanks :
The Nehru Report was drafted
by a committee headed by
_______ and the subject was
_______.
(a) Motilal Nehru and

jawaharlala Nehru; India's


relationship with the
British Empire
(b) Jawaharlal Nehru; Local
Self-Government in India
(c) Motilal
Nehru;
constitutional
arrangements in India
(d) Jawaharlal
Nehru;
Constitutional
arrangements in India
129. What was the common
relationship
between
Katherine Mayo, Aldous
Huxley, Charles Andrews and
William Digby?
(a) They wrote commentaries
on the condition of India
during the British rule
(b) They were supporters of
the Indian National
Movement
(c) They were opponents of
the Indian National
Movement
(d) They were friends of
Mahatma Gandhi
130. Who penned the following
lines?
"Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab
hamare dil me hai/Dekhna hai
zor kitna baju-e-qatil me hai."
(a) Bismil
(b) Rajguru
(c) Bhagat Singh
(d) Azad
131. Who raised the demand of
'Complete Independence' for
the first time in 1921?
(a) Maulana Muhammad Ali
(b) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
(c) Mahatma Gandhi
(d) Maulana Hasrat Mohani
132. Identify the years those are
closest to the founding of the
Communist Party of India and
the RSS respectively.
119

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(a) 1915, 1914
(b) 1925, 1925
(c) 1928, 1925
(d) 1925, 1929
133. Swami Sahajananda Saraswati
formed the All India United
Kisan Sabha with the demand
for the 'nationalization of land
and waterways'
(a) just before his death
(b) at a very young age
(c) in the 1930s
(d) in the 1920s
134. Fill in the blank :
In ______, the rights of the
tenants on land in Bengal and
Bihar were given by the Bengal
Tenancy Act.
(a) 1885
(b) 1886
(c) 1889
(d) 1900
135. Which
Round
Table
Conference held in 1932?
(a) First
(b) Second
(c) Third
(d) Fourth
136. One of the popular beliefs in
Bihar during the NonCooperation Movement of
1920-22 was victory would
come to them because Gandhi
(a) was the epitome of
Dharma
(b) was an accomplished
politician
(c) knew the ways to defeat
the English
(d) knew English
137. Who among the following was/
were peasant leader(s) from
Bihar?
I. Swami Vidyananda
II. Swami Sahajananda
III. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Choose the correct option from
the following.
(a) I and II (b) II and III
(c) I and III (d) II only
120

138. In which area was Rahul


Sankrityayan active in the NonCooperation Movement of
1920?
(a) Chhapra (b) Delhi
(c) Lucknow (d) Patna
139. Which of the following
statements is correct?
(a) In 1857, the Maharajas of
Darbhanga, Dumraon and
Hatwa and their fellow
landlords helped the
English with men and
money
(b) In 1857, the Maharajas of
Darbhanga, Dumraon and
Hatwa and their fellow
landlords helped the
English with men but not
with money
(c) In 1857, the Maharajas of
Darbhanga, Dumraon and
Hatwa and their fellow
landlords helped the
English with money but
not with men
(d) in 1857, the Maharajas of
Darbhanga, Dumraon and
Hatwa and their fellow
landalords opposed the
English
140. Who highlighted the plight of
the peasants of Champaran by
writing under pseudonyms like
'Dukhi', 'Dukhi Atma', 'Dukhi
Hridaya'?
(a) Peer Muhammad Moonis
(b) Rajendra Prasad
(c) Sahajananda Saraswati
(d) S. N. Sinha
141. Let f : R R be defined by f(x)
= x2 3x + 2. Then the value of
f(f(5)) is
(a) 90
(b) 100
(c) 110
(d) 80
2n
n
142. If C3 : C2 = 12 : 1, then the
value of n is

(a) 6
(b) 5
(c) 4
(d) 3
143. The variance of 7, 7, 7, 7, 7 is
(a) 7
(b) 0
(c) 2
(d) 7.5
144. Given, log 2 = 0.30103. Then
log 5 is
(a) 0.2301
(b) 0.5302
(c) 0.720
(d) 0.6987
145. The solution of the equation 2x
+ 10 0 is given by
(a) x 8 (b) x 5
(c) x 9 (d) x 10
1 5 7

... is
2 6 6
(a) arithmetic series
(b)geometric series
(c) harmonic series(d)
exponential series
147. A triangle has vertices (1, 6),
(3, 0) and (3, 7). Its area in
square units is
(a) 10
(b) 25
(c) 30
(d) 40
148. The angle between two lines
3x + y 7 = 0 and
x + 2y + 9 = 0 will be
(a) 60
(b) 45
(c) 30
(d) 90

146. The series

149. If tan 60 = 3 , then the value


of sec 60 is
(a) 4
(b) 3
(c) 2
(d) 1
150. A circle has area 154 square
units. Its diameters have
equations 2x 3y + 12 = 0 and
x + 4y 5 = 0. Then the radius
of the circle is
(a) 8 units
(b) 7 units
(c) 6 units
(d) 5 units

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ANSWERS
1. (d)
11. (c)
21. (b)
31. (d)
41. (b)
51. (b)
61. (a)
71. (c)
81. (c)
91. (c)
101. (c)
111. (b)
121. (b)
131. (d)
141. (c)

2. (c)
12. (d)
22. (a)
32. (a)
42. (d)
52. (c)
62. (b)
72. (c)
82. (c)
92. (b)
102. (a)
112. (b)
122. (a)
132. (b)
142. (b)

3. (d)
13. (d)
23. (c)
33. (b)
43. (d)
53. (a)
63. (a)
73. (d)
83. (a)
93. (c)
103. (a)
113. (a)
123. (d)
133. (c)
143. (b)

4. (a)
14. (d)
24. (c)
34. (c)
44. (a)
54. (b)
64. (d)
74. (d)
84. (d)
94. (a)
104. (d)
114. (c)
124. (d)
134. (a)
44. (d)

5. (c)
15. (a)
25. (d)
35. (b)
45. (d)
55. (a)
65. (b)
75. (c)
85. (b)
95. (d)
105. (c)
115. (c)
125. (a)
135. (c)
145. (b)

6. (c)
16. (c)
26. (b)
36. (b)
46. (d)
56. (c)
66. (a)
76. (d)
86. (d)
96. (b)
106. (a)
116. (d)
126. (d)
136. (c)
146. (a)

7. (a)
17. (c)
27. (c)
37. (d)
47. (a)
57. (b)
67. (b)
77. (d)
87. (b)
97. (b)
107. (b)
117. (c)
127. (a)
137. (d)
147. (b)

8. (a)
18. (b)
28. (b)
38. (b)
48. (c)
58. (a)
68. (d)
78. (c)
88. (d)
98. (c)
108. (a)
118. (c)
128. (c)
138. (a)
148. (b)

9. (c)
19. (a)
29. (d)
39. (c)
49. (b)
59. (c)
69. (a)
79. (c)
89. (c)
99. (d)
109. (c)
119. (d)
129. (a)
139. (a)
149. (c)

10. (a)
20. (a)
30. (d)
40. (d)
50. (d)
60. (c)
70. (b)
80. (c)
90. (a)
100. (a)
110. (b)
120. (d)
130. (a)
140. (a)
150. (b)

EXPLANATIONS
141. f(x) = x2 3x + 2
f(x) = s2 3 5 + 2 = 25 15 +
2 = 12
f(f(s)) = f(12) = 122 3 12 +
2
= 144 36 + 2 = 146 36 =
110
2n

142.

C3
12
=
C2
1

2n !
(2 n 3)! 3! 12
=
n!
1
(n 2)! 2!
2 n (2 n 1)(2 n 2)(2 n 3)!
12
(2n 3)! 3!
=
n ( n 1) ( n 2)!
1
( n 2)! 2!

2n (2n 1) 2(n 1)
12
3 2 1
=
n(n 1)
1
2 1
4(2n 1) 12

3
1

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8n 4 = 36
8n = 36 + 4 = 40
n=

1
[x (y y ) + x2(y3 y1) +
2 1 2 3
x3(y1 y2)]

40
= 5.
8

1
[1(0 (7)) + 3(7 6) +
2
(3) (6 0)]
=

10
144. log 5 = log

2
= log 10 log 2
= 1 0.30103
= 0.69897
145. 2x + 10 0
2x 10
x5
147. Here, x1 = 1 x2 = 3 x3 =
3
y1 = 6 y2 = 0 y3 = 7
A (1, 6)

1
1
[7 + (39) + (18)|= |
2
2
50]

1
50 = 25.
2
148. 3x + y 7 = 0
y = 3x + 7
x + 2y + 9 = 0
2y = x 9
=

x 9

...(ii) eq.
2 2
From eq. (i) and (ii)
y=

m1 = 3 and m2 =
B
(3, 0)
\ Area of triangle

...(i) eq.

C
(3, 7)

1
2

m1 m2
\ tan q = 1 m m
1
2

121

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Solved Paper Bihar Public Service Commission Held On: 15-03-2015
1
(3)
2
=
1

1 3 1

2
(3)
=

3
2

1
2

22 2
r =
7
154 square units

\p = 3
b=1
h=

2.5
=
=|1 = 1|
2.5

tan q = 1 = tan 45
Thus, q = 45

150. pr2 = 154 square units

3 p

149. tan 60 =
1
b

p b
2

= 1 =2
\ sec 60 =

154 7
square units
22
r2 = 7 7 square units
r = 7 units

r2 =

h
2
= =2
b
1

PREVIOUS YEAR SOLVED PAPERS

For

IBPS-CWE Clerk Recruitment


Examination 2014

An Indispensable Reference Guide

For
IBPS 2014
Specialist Officers

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Mock Paper For GS Paper-II Preliminary Examination 2015

12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
For GS Paper-II
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567

MOCK PAPER

Preliminary E
xamination 2015
Examination

1. Consider
statements:

the

following

1. He introduced guerilla warfare


against Mughals.
2. He killed Afzal Khan, a general
of the dolcunda Kingdom.
3. Jai Singh persuaded Shivaji to
have
friendship
with
Aurangzeb
but
was
imprisoned by Aurangzeb.
4. He declared himself the
independent ruler of the
Maratha Kingdom and was
crowned in 1674.
Which of the above
statements are true about
Shivaji?
(a) Only l, 2 and 3
(b) Only 2, 3 and 4
(c) Only 1, 3 and 4
(d) All the above
2. Match the List-I (Goods) with
List-II (Procurement are
(a) and select, the correct answer
using the codes.given below
the lists:
List-I
List-II
A. Malmals

1. Surat,
Ahmedabad
and Madurai

B. Silks

2. Malabar

C. Cotton

3. Dacca (in East

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textiles

Bengal)

D. Pepper

4. Banaras

Code:
A B
(a) 3
4
(b) 1
3
(c) 4
2
(d) 2
1
3. Consider
statements:

C
1
4
1
3
the

D
2
2
3
4
following

1. Dara Sikoh was the son of Shah


Jahan and
brother of
Aurangzeb.
2. His best known work was
a.study of Sufi and Vedanta
Philosophy.
3. He also translated the
Upnishads into Persian in 1657.
4. He was killed in the fight for
the throne between him and
his brother Aurangzeb.
Which of the above
statements about prince Dara
Sikoh is/are correct?
(a) Only 1, 2 and 3
(b) Only 2, 3 and 4
(c) Only 1, 3 and 4
(d) All the above
4. Which of the following
statements about Akbar is/are
correct?

1. Akbar was proclaimed king in


1565 when he was only
thirteen years of age.
2. Akbar was looked after by
Bairam Khan.
3. He fought his first battle with
Hemu at Panipat.
4. He had marriage alliance with
many Rajput royal families.
Code:
(a) Only 1, 2 and 3
(b) Only 2, 3 and 4
(c) Only 1, 3 and 4
(d) All the above
5. Consider
the
following
statements:
1. Zaziya was. abolished during
the reign-of Jahandar Shah
2. Several semi-independent
kingdoms emerged in Bengal,
Awadh and Hyderabad during
the period of Ahmad Shah
Code:
(a) Only 1 is correct
(b) Only 2 is correct
(c) Both are correct
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 is correct
6. Arrange the following Later
Mughal rulers in chronological
order:
1. Alamgir II
2. Mohammad Shah

123

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Mock Paper For GS Paper-II Preliminary Examination 2015
3. Shah Alam II
4. Ahmad Shah
Code:
(a) 3, 2, 4, 1
(b) 1,3, 2, 4
(c) 1, 2, 3, 4
(d) 2, 4, 1, 3
7. Match the following List-I with
List-II and answer as per the code
given below:
List-I

List II

A. Mahabalipuram

1. Vithaldeo
Temple

B. Halebid

2. Brihadeswara
Temple

C. Thanjavur

3. Hoyasala
Temple

D. Hampi

4. Shore Temple

Code:
A B
C
D
(a) 4
3
2
1
(b) 3
4
2
1
(c) 4
3
1
2
(d) 3
4
1
2
8. Match the following List-I
(Monument) with List-II (Builders)
and answer as per the code given
below:
List-I
A. Nalanda
University
B. Konark

List-II
1. Narsinghadeva I
2. Kumargupta I
3. Narsimha II

Temple
D. Hawa Mahal 4. Raja Udai
Singh
5. Raja Sawai Man
Singh
Code:
A B
C
D
2
3
4
(a) 1
(b) 3
4
2
1
(c) 2 1
3
5
(d) l
2
3
5
9. Ellora
in
Aurangabad
(Maharashtra) is famous for
ancient caves representing
Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

124

(a) Buddhism
(b) Hinduism
(c) Jainism
(d) None of the above
10. Consider
the
following
statements:
1. The Rigveda consists of 1028
Suktas or hymns, which are
distributed in ten book called
mandalas
2. Panini is considered as the
author of one of the first long
poems in Sanskrit.
Codes:
(a) Only 1 is correct
(b) Only 2 is correct
(c) Both are correct
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 is correct
11. Match the following List-I with
List-II and answer as per the code
given below:
List-I
A. Khajuraho

List-II
1.Rashtrakutas

Temples
B. Ellora Caves

2.Gangas

C. Jaganath

3.Chandelas

Temple
D. Meenakshi

4.Nayakas

Temple

Temple
C. Shore

Of these, the largest number


pertains to:

(a) Hindu temples


(b) Hindu and Buddhist temple
(c) Hindu, Buddhist and Jain
temple
(d) Buddhist and Jain temple
15. Match the following List-I with
List-II and answer as per the code
given-below:
List-I
A. Tower of

List-II
1.Chittorgarh

silehce
B. Tower of

2.Allahabad

victory
C. Anand Bhavan 3.Mumbai
D. Matri Mandir

4.Pondicherry

Code:
A B
C
D
(a) 1
2
3
4
(b) 2
1
4
3
(c) 4
3
2
1
(d) 3
1
2
4
16. Which of the following
statements is/are correct?
1. Bharatas Natya Shastra contains
several chapter on painting.

Code:
A B
C
D
(a) 3
1
2
4
(b) 1
2
3
4
(c) 3
2
1
4
(d) 2
4
1
3
12. The Vivekananda Rock memorial
is located at:
(a) Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
(b) Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
(c) Dakshineshwar, West Bengal
(d) Ajmer, Rajasthan
13. Which of the following dance is
performed by women in Punjab?
(a) Garba
(c) Ghero

14. Badami which is known in


ancient times as Vatapi is. a
town located in the Bijapur
district of Karnataka and is
famous. for its rock-cut temples
constructed by the Chalukyas.
These are mainly:

(b) Gidda
(d) Goncha

2. One of the strongest influences


on !he Indian music has perhaps
been that of the Persian music.
3. The Dhrupad which evolved in the
medieval period was devotional
in character.
Code:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) All the above
17. The earliest coins called the
Punch-marked coins belonged
to the period:
(a) 6th century BE
(b) 6th century AD

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Mock Paper For GS Paper-II Preliminary Examination 2015
(c) 10th century BC
(d) 10th century AD
18. Consider
the
statements:

1. Frequency of floods
2. Foreign invasions
following

1. Painting as an art form has


flourished in India from ancient
times.
2. The Guptas period is often
described as the Golden Age
of Indian Arts.
3. The Pallavas also left behind
excellent examples of
paintings in temples.
Code:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) I and 3 only
(d) All the above
19. Match the following List-I
(Temples/Images of the Gupta
period with List-II and answer as
per the code given below:
List-I

List-II

A. Bhitargaon

1.Bhagalpur

B. Bhitari

2.Kanpur

C. Deogarh

3.Ghazipur

D. Sultanganj

4.Jhansi

Code:
A B
C
D
(a) 3
2
4
1
(b) 2
3
4
1
(c) 2
3
1
4
(d) 3
2
1
4
20. Consider
the
following
statements regarding Harappan
civilization:
Assertion (a): The seals and
images were manufactured with
great skill but the terracotta
pieces represent unsophisticated
artistic works.
Reason (R): The contrast
between the two sets indicates
the gap between the classes
which used them.
21. Which of the following causes
have been attributed to the
eclipse of the Iradusvalley
civilization?

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3. Onset of the drought conditions.


Select the correct answer using
the codes given below:
Code:
(a) Only 2 and 3
(b) Only 1 and 2
(c) Only 1 and 3
(d) All the above
22. Indus Valley civilization is called
Harappan civilization because:
(a) Harappa was six times larger
than Mohenjodaro
(b) Harappa has more features
(c) Harappa was excavated first
(d) Indus valley civilization was
believed to be early Vedic
civilization; hence it is named
after mythological word
Harappa
23. According to ancient Indian ideas
the sequential order of the cycle
of four ages/Yugas is:
(a) Dvapara, Krita, Treta and Kali(b) Krita, Dvapara, Treta and Kali
(c) Krita, Treta, Kali and Dvapara
(d) Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali
24. Which of the following is correct
with respect to Harappan
Civilization?
1. The remarkable thing about
the arrangement of the houses
in the cities is that they
followed the grid system.
2. The Indus people were not the
earliest people to produce
cotton.
3. The inhabitants of the Indus
region worshipped gods in the
form of trees, animals a d
human beings and the gods
were placed it temples.
4. The Harappans were great
experts in theq use of the
potters wheel.
Code:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 (b) 2 and 4
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 1 and 4

25. Indicate
the
correct
chronological order of dynasties
in the order in which they came
to India?
(a) Indo Greeks - Shakas - Kushans
- Parthians
(b) Indo Greeks - Shakas Parthians - Kushans
(c) Shakas - Indo Greeks Parthians - Kushans
(d) Shakas - Parthians - Indo
Greeks - Kushans
26. Consider
the
following
statements:
1. The Harappan people did not
know the art of writing.
2. The period when man began
to use metal is called the
Neolithic Age.
Code:
(a) Only 1 is correct
(b) Only 2 is correct
(c) Both 1 and 2 are correct
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 are correct
27. Match the following List-I with
List-II and answer as per. the code
given below:
List-I

List-II

A. Bhimbetka

1. Rajasthan

B. Chirand

2. Bihar

C. Burzaliontt

3. Jammu and
Kashmir

D. Bagor

4.

Madhya
Pradesh

Code:
A B
C
D
(a) 4
2
3
1
(b) 1
3
2
4
(c) 4
1
3
2
(d) 3
4
1
2
28. Arrange the following Buddhist
councils in chronological order:
1. Vaishali
2. Rajagriha
3. Pataliputra 4. Srinagar
Code:
(a) 1, 4, 3, 2
(b) 3, 2, 1, 4
(c) 3, 1, 2, 4
(d) 2, 1, 3, 4

125

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Mock Paper For GS Paper-II Preliminary Examination 2015
29. Which of the following is wrong
in the context. of decline of
Mauryan Empire?
(a) The successors of Ashoka
were weak and could not
control the Empire properly.
(b) The various regions of the
empire were cut off from one
another by great distances.
(c) A
large
army
and
administrative structure
became aburden.
(d) The policy of Ahimsa (or nonviolence) led to the decline of
Mauryan Empire.
30. Which of the following
statements correctly describes,
the difference between a Chaitya
and Stupa?
(a) Chaitya is a resting place, while
Stupa is a funeral monument.
(b) Chaitya is a place of worship
while Stupa is n architectural
term for a mound containing
the relic of Buddha and other
leading Buddhist saints.
(c) Chaityas were constructed by
monasteries while Stupas were
constructed by kings and rich
merchants.
(d) Chaityas
represents
Mahayanism while Stupas
represent Himayanism.
31. Direction: The following
question consists of two
statements; one labelled as the
Assertion (a) and the other as
Reason (R). You are to examine
these statements carefully and
select the answers to these items
using the codes given below:
Assertion (A): The mechanism
of rainfall in coastal areas of
Kerala in winters differs from mid
plains.
Reason
(R):
Retreating
monsoons cause rainfall in
coastal areas of Kerala in winters
in place of westerly disturbance.
Code:
(a) Both A and R are individually

126

true and R is the correct


explanation of A.
(b) Both A and R are individually
true but R is not the correct
explanation.
(c) A is true but R is false.
(d) A is false but R is true.
32. Consider
the
following
statements.
(i) Precambrian period has
foremost place in the land
history of India because it was
the time when the outline of
present shape of India formed.
(ii) In the vast plains of India, the
depth of false the Alluvium is
higher in South in comparison
to North.
Identify the false statements from
the above.
(a) Only (i)
(b) Only (ii)
(c) Both (i) and (ii)
(d) Neither (i) nor (ii)
33. Which of the following has been
accepted as standard for
determining Indian standard
time?
(a) 82 North Latitude
(b) 82 West Latitude
(c) 82 East Latitude
(d) 23 East Latitude
34. Consider
the
following
statements.
(i) Grasslands like steppe,
pampas or savanna arent
evidently found in India.
(ii) The pine trees are used mainly
to produce tar or resin.
(iii) Per capita forest area average
in India is far below than the
world average.
Which of the above
statement(s) is/are true?
(a) (i) and (ii)
(b) (i) and (iii)
(c) (ii) and (iii)
(d) (i), (ii) and (iii)
35. Which of the following
statement(s) is/are incorrect?

(a) Ecology
is
primarily
concerned
with
the
interactions of organisms and
the environment.
(b) Succession is the phenomenon
whereby a species will inhabit
a hostile environment, die and
provide nutrients; this in true
allows a greater variety of
species to inhabit and survive
in the area.
(c) Such species are usually
autotrophic (self- feeding) by
means of photosynthesis.
(d) Microscophic organisms in
mud deposits at a rivers
mouth is not an example of
succession.
36. From which cluster of states the
Tropic of Cancer passes through?
(a) Tripura, Manipur, U.P.
(b) Mizoram,
Meghalaya,
Jharkhand
(c) Mizoram, Tripura, Chhatisgarh
(d) Tripura, Nagaland, W. Bengal
37. Direction: The following
question consists of two
statements; one labelled as the
Assertion (a) and the other as
Reason (R). You are to examine
these statements carefully and
select the answers to these items
using the codes given below:
Assertion (A): The Eastern
coastal areas of peninsular India
have more rainfall in the months
of October-November.
Reason (R): In Eastern India, the
amount of rainfall is more in June,
July and August.
Code:
(a) Both A and R are individually
true and R is the correct
explanation of A.
(b) Both A and R are individually
true, but R is not the correct
explanation.
(c) A is true but R is false.
(d) A is false but R is true.
38. Which of the following is called
the Cottonpolis (Capital of

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Cotton)?
(a) Kanpur
(b) Mumbai
(c) Ahmedabad
(d) Coimbatore
39. In which state Javadi hill is
situated?
(a) Tamilnadu
(b) Andhra Pradesh
(c) Karnataka
(d) Kerala
40. Where is Kashmir Valley found?
(a) Between Shivalik and Lower
Himalaya
(b) Between Himadri and Lower
Himalaya
(c) Between Grand Himalaya and
Trans Himalaya
(d) Between Trans Himalaya and
Plateau of Tibet
41. Consider
the
following
statements in context with Black
Indian Soil.
(i) Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Biosubstances are found plenty in
Black Soil.
(ii) The Black Soil is also called as
Tropical Chernozem and Self
ploughing soil.
(iii) In India the expanse of Black
Soil is in those regions where
it rains between 50-75 cms.
Which of the above
statement(s) is/are true?
(a) (i) and (ii) (b) (ii) and (iii)
(c) (i) and (iii)
(d) (i), (ii) and (iii)
42. What percent is the total
geograhical area of India of the
total area of the world?
(a) 2.4%
(b) 16.7%
(c) 0.57%
(d) 0.87%
43. Consider
the
following
statements
on
Climax
Community
(i) Climax communities tend to
be very stable due to the
number and diversity of
species present.

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(ii) All organisms must get their


energy from food and those
organisms who cant photo
synthesize must do so by
feeding on other organisms.
(iii) In stable climax habitats, there
are more complex food webs
such that if one species of
plant dies out there will be less
of an effect on organisms who
fed on that plant.
(iv) This is because they can feed
on many other plants.
Which of the following
statement(s) is/are true?
(a) Only (i)
(b) (i), (ii) and (iii)
(c) (ii) and (iii)
(d) (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv)
44. Arrange the following mountain
hills from South to North and
select the correct code.
(i) Nilgiri mountain
(ii) Annamalai mountain
(iii) Bababudan mountain
(iv) Cardamom mountain
Code:
(a) (i) (ii)
(b) (iv) (iii)
(c) (iii) (i)
(d) (iii) (ii)
45. Consider
statements.

(iii)
(ii)
(ii)
(iv)
the

(iv)
(i)
(iv)
(i)
following

(i) Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar, is


the lake situated in Himachal
Pradesh behind Bhakra dam
(ii) Govind Sagar is the lake
constructed on the river Sons
tributary, Rihand.
Which one/ones of the above
statements is/are true?
(a) Only (i)
(b) Only (ii)
(c) Both (i) and (ii)
(d) Neither (i) nor (ii)
46. The power to accept the cases of
enforcement of fundamental
rights of the supreme court
comes under(a) Original jurisdiction.

(b) Appellate jurisdiction.


(c) Review jurisdiction.
(d) Writ jurisdiction.
47. Under
article
137,
the
circumstance under which the
Supreme Court has the power to
review its judgements are (a) Discovery of new important
matters of evidence.
(b) Mistake
or
error
in
presentation of record.
(c) Any other sufficient reason.
(d) on Public interest litigation.
Code:
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 1, 2 and 3 (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
48. Which of the following
statements is incorrect?
(a) Articles 32 and 226 are the soul
of the Indian constitution.
(b) The parliamentary form of
government in India is based
on Westminster model.
(c) Judicial review is a part of the
basic structure of Indian
Constitution.
(d) Efforts to put water into
concurrent list of the
constitution are in process.
49. The
42nd
constitutional
amendment is also called
rewriting of Indian constitution
because (a) The amendment done in the
preamble ignores the federal
parliamentary system.
(b) Fundamental rights were
reinterpreted in form of
natural rights.
(c) Around one fourth of the
constitution including the
preamble and 9th schedule
were amended.
(d) An attempt to control the
power of judicial review was
made.
50. Who has been allotted the
powers in relation to determine
the term of chief election
commissioner?

127

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(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

President
Parliament
Council of Ministers
President under parliamentary
law.
51. Which of the following
committee recommended for
extention of Pachayati Raj
provisions in tribal belt of India
due to which this provision was
incorporated in 9th five year
plan?
(a) VK.R.V. Rao Committee
(b) Gadgil Committee
(c) Kantilal Bhuria Committee
(d) Dilip Sing Bhuria Committee
52. Consider
the
following
statements.
1. No discussion in legislature on
the conduct of the judges (art.
121) and Judiciarys power to
punish for its contempt (art.
129
and
215)
are
indispensable
for
the
independence of judiciary.
2. The notion of independence of
judiciary was declared as the
basic structure of Indian
Constitution inBalmukund Vs.
state of Bihar case (2000).
Which of the above
statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
53. Which of the following houses
does not have its chairman as its
member?
(a) Legislative Council
(b) Lok Sabha
(c) Rajya Sabha
(d) Legislative Assembly
54. There is a provision of the joint
session of the houses under article
108, if1. the bill is rejected the other
house.
2. the other house disagrees on
the amendments to be made
in the bill.

128

3. the other house does not pass


the bill and more than six
months have passed.
Code:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 (b) 2 and 3
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 1 and 2
55. Which authority has been allotted
the power of declaring any caste
or tribe as scheduled caste or
tribe?
(a) Parliament.
(b) President.
(c) National Commission for
scheduled castes/ schedule
tribes.
(d) Cabinet
56. Two statements are given belowStatement (A): Under article 75
(c) of the constitution, the council
of ministers is collectively
responsible to Lok Sabha.
Reason (R): Rajya Sabha does
not have any role in forming or
removing the government.
Code (a) (a) and (R) both are correct
and (R) is the clarification of
(a).
(b) (a) and (R) both are correct
but (R) is not the clarification
of (a).
(c) (a) is correct but (R) is
incorrect.
(d) (R) is correct but (a) is
incorrect.
57. Direction: The following question
consists of two statements; one
labelled as the Assertion (a) and
the other as Reason (R) You are
to examine these statements
carefully and select the answers
to these items using the codes
given below:
Assertion (A): In Menka
Gandhis case, the Supreme Court
had held that the procedure
depriving a person of right to his
life or personal liberty must be
just, fair and reasonable.
Reason (R): In India, to prefer

procedure established by law


over the due process of law has
been the intention of makers of
the constitution.
Code:
(a) Both A and R are individually
true and R is the correct
explanation of A.
(b) Both A and R are individually
true but R is not the correct
explanation of A.
(c) A is true but R is false.
(d) A is false but R is true.
58. Consider
the
following
statements.
1. If the president withholds his
assent on any bill then it will
amount to vetoing the bill.
2. To veto the bill by the
president is permitted by
Indian constitution.
3. The power to veto the bill is
not exercised by the president
on the advice of the council
of ministers.
Code:
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) 1, 2 and 3
59. If the bill of constitutional
amendment faces disagreement
in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
finally, then (a) The bill will come to an end
there itself.
(b) Its decision will be taken in
joint sitting.
(c) Lok Sabha can reject the
decision of Rajya Sabha by
passing it again by two third
majority.
(d) None of these.
60. With whose consent can the
president delegate such acts to
the state on which executive
power of union is extended?
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

Parliament.
Governor
State government
Rajya Sabha

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61. Consider
statements.

the

following

1. Principal secretary to the


prime minister presides over
the meetings of PMO.
2. To provide secretarial
assistance to prime minister
is the main function of PMO.
Which of the above
statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
62. Consider
the
following
statements.
1. Indian Constitution clearly
provides for the right of judicial
review for judiciary.
2. Supreme Court issues writs under
article 139 other than the nature
of the writs enshrined in article
32.
Which of the above
statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
63. Consider
the
following
statements.
1. In Pradeep Jain V/s Union of
India case (1984), the Supreme
Court held that only is single
citizenship and single domicile
is revognized in India.
2. Laxmi
Mal
Singhvai
committee
had
recom-mended for dual
citizenship in India in the light
of globalization liberalization
and privatization as well as
importance of NRIs.
Which of the above
statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
64. Which of the following elections
are based on proportional
representation through single
transferable voting system?

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1.
2.
3.
4.

President and Vice President


Speaker of Lok Sabha.
Members of Rajya Sabha.
Chairman of state legislative
council.
The right option of the
following is(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 1, 2 and 3
65. Who has been given the authority
in the constitution to take
decision
in
relationto
disqualification of members of
parliament?
(a) Election commission.
(b) President on the advice of
election commission.
(c) Parliament.
(d) Heads of both the houses.
66. Consider
the
following
statements:
(1) Scheme for setting up 6000
model school at block level
was launched in 2008-09.
(2) Provisions of Right to
Education are implemented
through Sarva Shiksha
Abhiyaan
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
67. Consider
the
following
statements:
(1) The Energy and Resource
Institute
(TERI)
was
established in 1992.
(2) TERI has established world
sustainable development
forum (WSDF) for meeting
Millennium Development
Goals.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

68. Consider
statements:

the

following

(1) Capacity of ultra Mega Power


Plan is 4000 mw.
(2) 74% FDI is permitted under
automatic rate for generation,
transmission and distribution
and trade with no upper
ceiling on quantum of
investment in electricity.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
69. As per the latest government data:
(1) India spends about 3% of GDP
on education.
(2) India spends about 1.25% of
GSP on health.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
70. Consider
the
following
statements:
(1) Market capitalization refers to
the account of capital raised
by a company through IPO.
(2) An increase in share price of a
company can lead to lower
market cap with the same
number of shares at stock
exchange.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
71. Consider
the
following
statements about funk bonds:
(1) They are used for short term
lending.
(2) They are usually risk-free
(3) It involves retail lending
(4) Low interest rate is a feature
associated with junk bonds.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?

129

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(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 4 only
(d) 1 only
72. Consider
the
statements:

following

(1) Lower Incremental capital


output Ratio (ICOR) is better
for the economy.
(2) Higher savings Rate leads to
lower ICOR.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
73. Consider
the
following
statements:
(1) Justice B.N. Srikrishna heads
the financial sector legislative
Reforms commission.
(2) United kingdom holds the
current chair of G-20
(3) SEBI operationalise ECB
policy in India.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 only
74. Consider
the
following
statements:
(1) National Clean Energy Fund
(NCEF) was created in finance
Bill 2010-11.
(2) It will provide a maximum of
40% of funds to ventures using
clean energy technologies.
Which of the statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
75. Consider
the
following
statements.
(1) Plastic development council
has been established on the
recommendation of National

130

policy on Petrochemicals.
(2) Prime ministers National
council on skill Development
has a target of creating 500
million skilled people by 2020.
Which of the statement given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
76. Complete etrophication of a lake
rendersit
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

Nutrient rich and productive


Nutrient rich and unproductive
Nutrient poor and productive
Nutrient
poor
and
unproductive
77. What is green power?
1. Green power is electricity
produced
in
an
environmentally friendly
manner
2. Source of green power in
nuclear energy, pollution free.
Select the correct answer from
the code given below:
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
78. With reference to the costal are a
ecosystem
consider
the
following statements:
1. It is an interface zone
2. It is dynamic and non-static in
its geo-physical and chemical
parameters.
3. It has the highest primary
productivity on the planet
Which of statements given
above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
79. Which one of the following below
is not cause of global warming
and climate change.
(a) CFC emission
(b) Carbon dioxide emission

(c) Deforestation
(d) Methane emission
80. Ozone of ozonosphere is formed
from
(a) O2 and O2
(b) NO2 and O2
(c) Chlorine, water and O2
(d) None of the above
81. The montreal protocal refers to:
(a) Persistant organic pollution
(b) Global warming and climate
change
(c) Substances that deplete the
ozone layer
(d) Organisms Biosatly of
genetically modified
82. Sound becomes hazardous noise
pollution at leve2above
(a) 40 DB
(b) 80 DB
(c) 100 DB
(d) 120 DB
83. Algal bloom in a lake
(a) Leads to O2 depletion
(b) Increases CO3 level
(c) Kill fishes and other organism
(d) All the above
84. What are biotic components?
(a) The all living components
(b) Non living components
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) None of the above
85. Consider
the
statements
regarding IUCN:
1. It is worlds largest and oldest
global
environmental
organisation
2. Its HQ is located at Montreal
3. Red List prepared by IUCN is
a critical indicator of the
health of worlds biodiversity
4. Membership is limited to state
(government) parties only.
(a) 1 and 2 are correct
(b) 1 and 3 are correct
(c) 1, 2 and 3 are correct
(d) 1, 3 and 4 are correct
86. i) The Ministry of External Affairs
withdrew its proposal for higher
foreign
allowances
for
diplomats after the Devyani

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Khobragade episode.
ii)The Andhra Pradesh State
Minorities Commission has
strongly advocated that Imams
and Muezzins be paid salaries by
the Wakf Board, in tune with the
Supreme Court judgement of
1993.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
87. i) The nuclear trade body forbids
members from transferring
technology to countries that have
not signed the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT).
ii)Indian-American Governor and
the rising star of the Republican
Party Bobby Jindal is planning to
run for the 2016 U.S. presidential
elections.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are false?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii(d) neither i nor ii
88. i) The 51 per cent FDI cap acts as
a disincentive for foreign
companies to invest in Indias
crucial defence sector.
ii)OVL owns 25 percent stake in
the Greater Nile Oil Project which
produces about 40,000 barrels of
oil per day.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
89. i) GSLV-D5(the first flight to use
Indian cryogenic stage) is to be
launched at the Sriharikota spaceport.
ii)The spacecraft is supposed to
carry the GSAT-14 advanced
communication satellite into
orbit, to be used for telecasting,
among other things. Its mission
life is 12 years.

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Which of the above statement/


statements is/are true?

Which of the above statement/


statements is/are true?

(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
90. iThe socio-economic caste
census (SECC) undertaken by the
government in 2011 is aimed at
identifying BPL (below the
poverty line) households that can
benefit from the Centres welfare
schemes.

(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
93. i) Arvind Kejriwal is the sixth Chief
Minister of Delhi , who also
happens to be the second
youngest of all the CMs in the city
state till date.

ii)The aim of National Rural


Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) is to
create best practice sites and to
develop them as local immersion
locations that generate a pool of
social capital for catalysing
social mobilisation of the poor
and building quality institutions.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
91. i) Bangladesh will be sending an
infantry
battalion
with
helicopters and transport planes
to join the UN peacekeeping
mission in South Sudan, the
worlds youngest country
wracked by ethnic and political
violence.
ii)In a bid to relocate one of its
military base , U.S. is going to
move forward with plans to
consolidate its troops in the
Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
92. i) The largest economy of the
world at present is China .
ii)Maruti Suzuki runs its own
fossil-fuel power plants to avoid
disruptions caused by the
nations erratic electricity supply.

ii)Maharashtra government was


asked to reconsider its rejection
of a judicial commissions report
on the Adarsh housing scandal by
Congress Vice- President Rahul
Gandhi.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
94. i) Chinas
top
legislative
committee formally abolished
the country s re-education
through labour camps and
approved a loosening of its onechild policy recently.
ii)Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is the
worlds hottest chilli till date.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
95. i) Norwegian firm Telenor has
raised its stake in Telewings
Communications, which offers
telecom services under the brand
name Uninor, to 74 per cent .
ii)India is likely to overtake Japan
in 2028 to become the third
largest economy in the world
after China and United States,
according to London-based
economic consultancy Cebr.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?

131

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(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii(d) neither i nor ii
96. i) Terra Nova expedition was led
by Captain Rober Felcon Scott
that reached the South Pole in the
year 1912.
ii)The expedition also known as
British Antarctic Expedition was
the first team ever to reach the
south pole.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are NOT true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
97. i) P. Sathasivam is the first person
from Tamil Nadu to have become
Chief Justice of Supreme Court
post Indias independence in
1947.
ii)The court this year allowed the
Election Commission to use
Viable Voter Verifiable Paper
Audit Trail in the EVMs in phases
to ensure transparency in the
voting process.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
98. i) Tropical Cyclone Christine
recently slammed into US
southern state of Oklahoma.
ii)The Iranians are of the view that
Joint Plan of Action (JPA) that was
signed, does not ban Iran from
developing a new generation of
sophisticated
centrifugesspinning machines that are used
for enriching uranium.

99. i) The Reserve Bank of India now


allows banks to sanction loans of
up to Rs.1 lakh against pledge of
gold ornaments and jewellery.
ii)VCES stands for Voluntary
Compliance and Encouragement
Scheme and it let declarants pay
half of the declared tax dues for
the five-year period October 1,
2001-December 31, 2012 by
December 31 and the balance in
another six months without
interest.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are true?
(a) only i
(b) only ii
(c) both i and ii
(d) neither i nor ii
100. i) Novak Djokovic became the
first man to win three
consecutive Australian Open
titles in the Open Era this year.
ii)Courage and Conviction is the
autobiography of General V. K
Singh.
Which of the above statement/
statements is/are false?
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

only i
only ii
both i and ii
neither i nor ii

37. (b)

38.

(b)

39.

(a)

40. (b)

41.

(b)

42.

(c)

43. (c)

44.

(b)

45.

(c)

46. (d)

47.

(c)

48.

(a)

49. (c)

50.

(d)

51.

(d)

52. (c)

53.

(c)

54.

(a)

55. (b)

56.

(a)

57.

(b)

58. (d)

59.

(a)

60.

(c)

61. (c)

62.

(b)

63.

(c)

64. (c)

65.

(b)

66. (c) Right to Education was


passed on 4 Aug., 2009.
67. (b)
68. (a) The FDI limit is 100%
69. (c)
70. (d) Market capitalization is the
total value of the tradable shares
of a publicly traded company.
71. (a)
72. (a) ICOR is the ratio of investment
to growth which is equal to 1
divided by the marginal product
of capital
73. (d)
74. (c) NCEF-for funding research
and innovative project in clean
energy technology.
75. (c)

Answers with Explantions


1. (c)

2. (a)

3.

(d)

4. (b)

5. (a)

6.

(d)

7. (a)

8. (c)

9.

(b)

76.

(b)

77.

(a)

78. (d) All three statements are true


about costal area ecosystem.
79. (a)
80. (a)
81. (c)
82. (b)

10. (c)

11.

(a)

12.

(a)

13. (b)

14.

(c)

15.

(d)

16. (b)

17.

(a)

18.

(d)

19. (b)

20.

(a)

21.

(d)

22. (c)

23.

(d)

24.

(d)

86. (c)

87.

(d)

88.

(b)

Which of the above statement/


statements is/are true?

25. (b)

26.

(d)

27.

(a)

89. (b)

90.

(c)

91.

(a)

28. (d)

29.

(d)

30.

(b)

92. (b)

93.

(b)

94.

(a)

(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

31. (c)

32.

(c)

33.

(c)

95. (c)

96.

(b)

97.

(b)

34. (c)

35.

(c)

36.

(c)

98. (b)

99.

(c)

100.

(d)

132

only i
only ii
both i and ii
neither i nor ii

83. (d) All the above.


84. (a)
85. (b) 1948 , HQ-Geneva; 200 + State
parties ; 900 + NGOs

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