Sunday, May 2, 2010

Current Affairs-India

N Gopalaswami: Gunning for Chawla

The CEC's allegations against has colleague has stoked controversy

In a move guaranteed to stir up institutional and political

controversy, Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami

has suo motu sent a recommendation to the President that

Election Commissioner Navin Chawla should be removed

from office on the alleged ground of 'partisanship.' The

President has forwarded the CEC's missive to the Prime


Not since the days of the pugnacious TN Seshan — barring a

short spell of government-Election Commission standoff when James Lyngdoh was Chief

Election Commissioner (CEC) — has Nirvachan Sadan been so much in the news.

The CEC's allegations of political partisanship on his colleague and would be successor

Navin Chawla has created a stir in the echelons of political power in the capital.

Gopalaswami has alleged that Chawla is close to the Congress and this is

likely to affect his impartiality in decision making as the new CEC when he

leaves office in April. The CEC has made a suo motu reference to the


By virtue of being a constitutional authority, the office of CEC must be free

from any taint of political association.

Gopalaswami was widely regarded as a model civil servant. An Indian

Administrative Service officer of the Gujarat cadre he joined the service in

1966. He has held various top-level posts including that of the managing director, Gujarat

Communication and Electronics Limited; member (administration and purchase) in the

Gujarat Electricity Board; secretary to the government (science & technology) in technical

education; and secretary, department of revenue.

Posted in Delhi between 1992 and 2004, he was the Union Home Secretary and, prior to that,

secretary in the department of culture and Secretary-General in the National Human Rights

Commission. His discharge of duties in these positions has been free from controversy.



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His critics say the CEC does not have the moral stature to point a finger at Chawla as he

himself had been close to the BJP in the past. During his as Home Secretary he served Home

Minister and Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani. The CEC's action against Chawla is based

on a complaint filed by the BJP. Gopalaswami's detractors say this is not mere coincidence.

The fact is that concerns about Chawla's credentials were first raised by BJP leader Jaswant

Singh. BB Tandon, the CEC at that time, said he did not have the authority to recommend suo

motu action against a colleague. In doing so, he avoided a controversy.

In March 2006, BJP Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani and 204 MPs submitted a petition

to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam seeking the removal of Chawla as Election Commissioner

under Article 324 (5) of the Constitution. The President sent it to the Prime Minister's Office,

who in turn directed the Law Ministry to give an opinion. The law ministry replied that the

CEC could not make a suo motu reference to the President. If Gopalaswami had taken that

route to keep the CEC and Nirvachan Sadan out of controversy, no one would have objected.

But he chose the other path.

Panel for civil service option after class XII

Moily headed ARC wants a three-year course for students post Class 12

The second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), which is headed by Veerappa

Moily, has suggested formulating a three-year course for students who have completed Class

12 to train civil service aspirants.

In its report, "Refurbishing of Personnel Administration," the ARC has suggested that Class

12 students should be selected for the course, which is designed to meet the requirements of

the "modern and responsive civil service".

The ARC head believes that if the school pass-outs are selected for career in civil service,

they will come with more commitment and a right attitude to serve. A national-level test

conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), on the lines of the test for

admission into the National Defence Academy (NDA), will be held to select the best of the

candidates. The existing age criteria would be accordingly lowered.

The report says candidates would have to pursue a three-year course drawn up by National

Institutes of Public Administrations (NIPA), which must be set up to conduct bachelor's

degree courses in public administration or management. Yearly assessment test would be

conducted and candidates awarded graduation degrees. In the long run, these centres would

evolve as sources of civil services aspirants. Moily added that the candidates' commitment

and attitude can also be assessed in such a set-up.



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"Those who do not want to pursue a career in civil services will be permitted to exit and

pursue their interest elsewhere," said Moily. Those who wish to continue would be given

service allotments and would undergo a two-year service-specific course in Sardar

Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) for Indian Police Service (IPS) and

National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) for Indian Revenue Service (IRS).

At the end of the course, the candidates would be given cadre allotment on the basis of merit

and preference. "The new system would help recruit potential civil servants at a young age

and groom them when they are still in their formative years," said Moily. This would also

enable the government to tap into a much bigger resource pool than the present recruitment

system. It would also end the present "undesirable" system of coaching institutes that have

sprung up across the country to prepare aspirants, he said.

Cr.PC Amendment Bill gets President's assent

The Bill is based on Justice Malimath Committee report, Apex court guidelines

President Pratibha Patil has given assent to

the Criminal Procedure Code

(Amendment) Bill, which restrains the

police from arresting a person for criminal

offences for which the maximum sentence

is up to seven-year imprisonment.

The Bill, passed in the last session of

Parliament, has now become a law and it

will come into force from the date of notification by the government. It incorporates the

recommendations of the Law Commission, the Justice Malimath Committee report and

guidelines issued by the Supreme Court from time to time to prevent overcrowding of jails

with undertrials.

The amended Section 41 of the Cr.PC. says: "No person concerned in a non-cognisable

offence or against whom a complaint has been made or credible information has been

received or reasonable suspicion exists of his having so concerned shall be arrested except

under a warrant or order of a magistrate."

However, arrest can be made without a warrant, after recording the reasons in writing, if the

police officer is satisfied that it is necessary for proper probe, or to prevent the person from

committing any further offence or making any inducement, threat or promise to anyone

acquainted with the facts of the case.

For non-cognisable offences a person can

be arrested, without warrant, for proper


Police should issue "notice of

appearance" for any offence punishable

with jail up to 7 years

Police officer arresting a person will have

to bear identification badge



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The provision says the police, instead of arresting the accused, will be obliged to issue

him/her a "notice of appearance" for any offence punishable with imprisonment up to seven

years. The person can be arrested only if he/she does not appear before the police in response

to the notice. The amended law says a police officer who is making an arrest will have to bear

his identification badge or tag. Besides, a memorandum of arrest shall be prepared, witnessed

and countersigned. The person arrested shall be told that he/she has the right to inform a

relative or friend. The new law mandates the State government to establish police control

rooms at the district and State levels and display on notice-boards kept outside the control

rooms the names and addresses of the persons arrested, and the names and designations of the

police officers who made the arrests. The law provides for payment of compensation to

victims for illegal arrest and police harassment.

Padma Vibhushan for Kakodkar, Madhavan Nair, Nirmala

133 personalities comprise Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri


Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar, who played a key role in finalising

the India-U.S. civil nuclear cooperation agreement; Indian Space Research Organisation chief

G. Madhavan Nair, involved in the first Chandrayaan mission; Sister Nirmala, Superior

General of Mother Teresa's Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charities; and noted

environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna are among the 10 distinguished personalities honoured

with Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian award, on the 60th Republic

Day. In all, 133 personalities from various fields were named, including 10 for Padma

Vibhushan, 30 for Padma Bhushan and 93 for Padma Shri. India's first individual Olympic

Gold winner Abhinav Bindra, cricket captain M.S. Dhoni, Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar

and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan figure among the awardees.

The following is the list of winners of Padma Awards 2009:

Padma Vibhushan

1. Dr. Chandrika Prasad Srivastava, Civil Service (Maharashtra)

2. Sunderlal Bahuguna, Environment Conservation (Uttarakhand)

3. Prof. D. P. Chattopadhyaya, Literature & Education (West Bengal)

4. Prof. Jasbir Singh Bajaj, Medicine (Punjab)

5. Dr. Purshotam Lal, Medicine (Uttar Pradesh)

6. Govind Narain, Public Affairs (Uttar Pradesh)

7. Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Science & Engineering (Maharashtra)

8. G. Madhavan Nair, Science & Engineering (Karnataka)

9. Sister Nirmala, Social Work (West Bengal)

10. Dr. A.S. Ganguly, Trade & Industry (Maharashtra)



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Padma Bhushan

1. G. Sivarama Krishna Murthy alias Krishna, Art (Andhra Pradesh)

2. Prof. Ramanlal C. Mehta, Art (Gujarat)

3. Shamshad Begum, Art (Maharashtra)

4. V. P. Dhananjayan & Smt Shanta Dhananjayan (Duo), Art (Tamil Nadu)

5. Dr. Vaidyanathan Ganapathi Sthapati, Art (Tamil Nadu)

6. S. K. Misra, Civil Service (Haryana)

7. Shri Shekhar Gupta, Journalism (Delhi)

8. Prof. Alappat Sreedhara Menon, Literature & Education (Kerala)

9. C. K. Prahlad, Literature & Education (NRI/ PIO)

10. D. Jayakanthan, Literature & Education (Tamil Nadu)

11. Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Literature & Education (Delhi)

12. Shri Kunwar Narain, Literature & Education (Delhi)

13. Prof. Minoru Hara, Literature & Education (Foreigner)

14. Ramachandra Guha, Literature & Education (Karnataka)

15. Dr. Brijendra Kumar Rao, Medicine (Delhi)

16. Vaidya Devendra Triguna, Medicine (Delhi)

17. Dr. Khalid Hameed, Medicine (NRI/ PIO)

18. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Satish Nambiar, National Security Affairs (Delhi)

19. Dr. (Smt) Inderjit Kaur Barthakur, Public Affairs (Meghalaya)

20. Dr. Kirit Shantilal Parikh, Public Affairs (Delhi)

21. Dr. Bhakta B. Rath, Science & Engineering (NRI/ PIO)

22. Shri Conjeevaram Srirangachari Seshadri, Science & Engineering (Tamil Nadu)

23. Dr. Gurdip Singh Randhawa, Science & Engineering (Delhi)

24. Sam Pitroda, Science & Engineering (Delhi)

25. Prof . Sarvagya Singh Katiyar, Science & Engineering (Uttar Pradesh)

26. Prof. Thomas Kailath, Science & Engineering (NRI/ PIO)

27. Dr. Naganath Nayakawadi, Social Work (Maharashtra)

28. Dr. (Smt) Sarojini Varadappan, Social Work (Tamil Nadu)

29. Abhinav Bindra, Sports (Punjab)

30. Anil Manibhai Naik, Trade & Industry (Maharashtra).

Eleven chosen for Ashoka Chakra, 13 for Kirti Chakra

Martyrs of Mumbai 26/11 attacks figure in the list of awardees

Maharasthra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief and Mumbai Joint Police Commissioner

Hemant Kamlakar Karkare, Mumbai Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Marutrao

Kamte, National Security Guards (NSG) Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Delhi Police

Special Cell Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma are among the 11 persons selected

posthumously for the Ashoka Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award. The awards

were presented by President Pratibha Patil on Republic Day.



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The Ashoka Chakra is awarded to an individual, uniformed or civilian, for the most

conspicuous act of bravery, or an act of daring or a pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice

away from the battlefield.

While Mohan Chand Sharma was selected for his fight

against "terrorists" at Jamia Nagar in Delhi on

September 19 last, the others have been awarded for

their sacrifice during the terrorists attacks in Mumbai on

November 26 last.

Mumbai Anti-Extortion Cell (Crime Branch) Inspector Vijay Sahahdev Salaskar, Mumbai

police Assistant Sub-Inspector Tukaram Gopal Ombale and NSG Havildar Gajender Singh,

who too laid down their lives in the Mumbai terror attacks, have been named for Ashoka

Chakra. The other awardees of the Ashoka Chakra are (all posthumous): Orissa Armed

Police's Special Operations Group Assistant Commandant Pramod Kumar Satapathy and

R.P. Diengdoh of Meghalaya police; Col. Jojan Thomas, Jat Regiment, 45 Rashtriya Rifles;

and Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) 10th battalion Havildar Bahadur Singh Bohra.

Kirti Chakra

Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous

action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle. It is awarded to civilians

as well as military personnel. It is second in order of precedence of peacetime

gallantry awards; it comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra.

Thirteen personnel, six of them posthumously, have been named for "Kirti

Chakra." Naik Tape Yajo, 1 Assam Regiment; Nitya Nanda Bora, loco-pilot

in charge of the pilot special (Railways); constable Arun Raghonath Chitte, Anti-Extortion

Cell (Crime Branch), Mumbai police; constable Ambadas Ramchandra Powar, Security

Branch, P 1, Maharashtra Police; Inspector Sashank Chandrasen Shinde, Maharashtra Police;

and Maharashtra home guard Mukesh Bhikaji Jadhav have been named for Kirti Chakra


The other Kirti Chakra awardees are: Lt.Col. Saurabh Singh Shekhawat, 21 Parachute

Regiment (Special Forces); Lt.Col. Osiris Das, Kumaon Regiment, 13 Rashtriya Rifles;

Captain Zala Ajitkumar Arshibhai, 2 Parachute Regiment (Special Forces); Captain Paras

Limboo, Assam Regiment, 59 Rashtriya Rifles; Subedar Indira Bahadur Pun, 4 Parachute

Regiment (Special Forces); Havildar Rale Santosh Tanaji, Maratha Light Infantry, 56

Rashtriya Rifles; and Sapper V. Satish, Corps of Engineers, 51 Special Action Group (NSG).



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Dominic Emmanuel, Anjuman selected for Harmony award

'Phool Walon ki Sair' is a symbol of solidarity amongst Hindus and Muslims

Dominic Emmanuel, who has been working on inter-religious dialogue, and Anjuman Sair-e-

Gul Faroshan, known for its annual "Phool Walon ki Sair," have been selected for the

National Communal Harmony Award for 2008.

The jury, headed by Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari selected Delhi-based Emmanuel in the

individual category and Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan, in the organisation category.

Emmanuel, 57, has been working for communal harmony for the past two decades. He has

been involved in resolving conflicts/differences between different communities. His works

include 14 books on subjects covering value education for schoolchildren and communal


Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan has been working for communal harmony since its inception in

1964. It has been organising every year 'Phool Walon ki Sair' in Delhi for more than 40

years. The festival is a symbol of solidarity amongst Hindus and Muslims.

The 'pankhas' of 'Phool Walon Ki Sair' are presented to the President and Vice-President of

India besides other dignitaries. The award includes Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh as cash prize for

the organisation and individual categories respectively.

CNN-IBN award for Madhavan Nair

Dilip Kumar was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award

Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation G. Madhavan Nair

and Team Chandrayaan were declared the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year

2008. Nair and his team also bagged an award in the Public Service


Veteran actor Dilip Kumar was presented the Lifetime Achievement

Award. Late Assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Omble and the Mumbai

police – 'The Mumbai Bravehearts" — were also honoured for

Extraordinary Service to the Nation during the Mumbai terror attacks.

HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, shooter Abhinav Bindra

and actor Aamir Khan won the awards in the business, politics, sports and entertainment

categories respectively. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was presented a Special

Achievement Award for her contribution to bringing a change in Delhi.



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Music maestro A.R. Rahman was felicitated with an award in a stand-alone Global Indian

Category for putting India on the global entertainment map with his award winning music for

"Slumdog Millionaire".

The winners were chosen through a unique four-tier selection process audited by Ernst &


HC upholds order calling Maharashtra DGP's appointment illegal

Seniority norms were overlooked

The Maharashtra government faced embarrassment after the Bombay High Court upheld a

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order

terming the appointment of Director General of

Police (DGP) A. N. Roy as illegal.

The tribunal's order was challenged by Roy and the

state government in the high court. However,

quashing both the writ petitions, a Division Bench

comprising Chief Justice Swatantra Kumar and

Justice SV Bobade observed that Roy's appointment

was a mindless act on the part of government.

It may be recalled that after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the opposition parties had

targeted Roy and Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafur and sought their removal.

Suprakash Chakravarthy, director general of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), had filed an

application in the tribunal challenging the appointment on the grounds that Roy superseded

three officers senior to him.

"The entire decision-making process and the decision of the state government has been taken

with undue haste and is not in conformity with accepted administrative norms", the court


Earth Heroes 2008 awards

The awards recognise conservation efforts of individuals and organisations

Fateh Singh Rathore, ex-field director, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, got the Lifetime Service

Award at the Earth Heroes 2008 awards announced recently. He got the honour for his work

in for helping bring back tigers to the reserve. The awards, sponsored by the Royal Bank of

Scotland and Sanctuary Asia, are conferred upon conservationists, NGOs, government

officers, lawyers, journalists and academicians.



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Other award winners include:

Dr Y.V. Jhala and Dr Qamar Qureshi, for their work on behalf Wildlife Institute of India

to enumerate India's tiger population

Ranthambore–Sariska Tiger relocation team, headed by the Chief Wildlife Warden of

Rajasthan, R.N. Mehrotra

Vishwas Katdare for protecting nature in Maharashtra's Konkan region

A.T. Poovaiah for fighting against poaching and timber syndicates as part of the

Karnataka Forest Department

Sevaram Parihar for his help in protecting the Demoiselles Cranes of Kheechan in


Bahar Dutt of CNN-IBN was conferred The Wind Under the Wings award for her work

towards wildlife conservation.

Chain Dayma got the Green Teacher award for his work towards reducing the menace of

'Prosopis Juliflora', a thorny shrub in Rajasthan.

First 'model solar city' planned in Nagpur

10% of energy consumption will be met through renewable energy

Nagpur, in Maharashtra will be developed as the first solar city in the country under an

ambitious programme for utilisation of solar energy being launched tomorrow by the ministry

of new and renewable energy.

The ministry proposes to develop 60 such cities

during the 11th plan period. At least one city in

each state to a maximum of five cities in a state

will be supported by the ministry, a government

press release said.

The plan is to meet the peak electricity demand

of cities, to reduce dependence on fossil fuels

and expensive oil and gas for energy and to

promote increased use of renewable energy, the release said.

Nagpur will become model solar city by 2012 under the scheme. Up to 10 per cent of energy

consumption of this city has been targeted to be met through renewable energy and energy

efficiency measures. Fifty per cent of the cost will be shared by the ministry where Rs50 lakh

will be provided for master plan, solar city cell and promotional activities. Major solar energy

system, including street lights, garden lights, traffic lights, hoardings, solar water heaters etc,

will be set up in Nagpur. Energy-efficient green buildings also will be promoted on a large

scale in the city.



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Pension scheme expanded

National Social Assistance Programme will now benefit 4 mn people

The Union government has decided to expand the scope of National Social Assistance

Programme to include about 4 million poor widows and persons with multiple disability for

providing them a monthly pension of Rs 200, which is likely to put a burden of Rs 1,691

crore on the exchequer, annually.

The expanded National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) will provide pension at the

rate of Rs 200 per month per beneficiary (to widows and persons with severe and multiple


Widows aged between 40-64 years and persons with severe and multiple disabilities in the

age group of 18-64 years belonging to below poverty line (BPL) households will now be

covered under NSAP.

The scheme is estimated to put an additional burden of Rs 1,691 crore annually on the

exchequer. For the remaining period of the current fiscal, the scheme is likely to cost Rs

281.98 crore.

About 25 lakh widows in the 40-64 age group in the BPL households are likely to be

benefited from the scheme. Persons with severe and multiple disabilities in the required age

group in BPL families are estimated to be at 15.65 lakh. The current scheme covers only

persons aged 65 years or higher, estimated to be around 1.57 crore.

Centre clears UP govt's Ganga Expressway project

GEP will complement Golden Quadrilateral

India's two major highway projects — Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) and Ganga Expressway

Project (GEP) — will not compete, but complement each other in the process of

development. "Earlier, there was a belief that GEP would rival GQ. However, after the Uttar

Pradesh government submitted its reports to the Planning Commission, the Centre is fully

satisfied and has already given GEP a green signal," Union Surface Transport Secretary

Brahma Dutt told the media here last evening.

While, GQ is being developed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and is

nearing completion, GEP is the flagship project of the state government. GEP, estimated to

cost Rs 30,000 crore, was awarded to Jaypee Group last year after bidding. The process of

land acquisition for the 1,047 projects has already started after some delay. GQ is India's

largest expressway project and consists of developing roughly 5,800 km of expressways

connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai — forming a quadrilateral at a cost of Rs

60,000 crore. GQ will have a total length of about 754 km in UP.

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