Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Report Card



The government is actively considering raising the retirement age of all central government employees, including those in the armed forces, from the present 60 to 62 years.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has submitted a report to the prime minister outlining all the pros and cons of the move, includingthe “cascading effects” on government employment and the huge savings, at least for two years, on account of retirement payouts.

If the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the prime minister find the arguments forwarded by the finance ministry credible and convincing, the announcement may come as early as August 15, as part of Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day speech.

The Cabinet may discuss the matter tomorrow.

Although the finance ministry is making a strong case for the move, the DoPT is taking time to make up its mind, possibly out of consideration for the 1979 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and other central services. Officers of the 1979 batch have been empanelled for promotion to the ranks of additional secretary and secretary but can take up their posts only after the present incumbents retire. If an announcement extending the retirement age comes before November, a batch of empanelled joint secretaries stand to lose their future ranks. In turn, this will also affect those who joined the central administrative services in 1980. The DoPT also says that the age profile of Indian bureaucrats, instead of becoming younger, will become older, out of tune with the rest of the world.

For the finance ministry, the gains from the move are clear. The pension payout of all armed forces personnel of the rank of Lieutenant General and equivalent who were to retire this year will be postponed by 24 months; the government will also defer by two years the liability of paying pension to more than 100,000 employees. While salaries will have to continue to be paid, this will be cheaper than paying upfront benefits like gratuity.

This is all the more important given the government’s other financial liabilities on account of stimulus spending and one drought, though the effects of the latter will kick in only in the next fiscal year. The fiscal deficit is 6.8 per cent of gross domestic product this year and a two-year lag in paying pensions will help in bridging this.

In 1998, the National Democratic Alliance government had raised the retirement age from 58 to 60, a move that benefitted 90,000 government servants and 50,000 defence personnel. At the time, the logic was: the retirement of 140,000 employees would have cost Rs 5,200 crore whereas paying salaries cost only Rs 1,493 crore.

That move came in the wake of the 5th Pay Commission report which had just been implemented by the then United Front government. In 2003, the government also right-sized the central government employee workforce by 30 per cent.

Every time the Centre announces an increase or concession on pay packages, both public-sector units and state governments follow suit. If the prime minister does decide to raise the retirement age, state governments and Public Sector Units (PSUs) will mirror this action. This has its own implications for many cash-strapped states like Punjab.

If the decision is finally taken, it will only be the third time the government will have raised the retirement age. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister to have increased the age of superannuation from 55 to 58 following the 1962 war with China. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government did it a second time in 1998.


THE Indian Navy has recently completed the longest and the largest exercise in history lasting over three months.

Covering a cumulative distance of over 68,200 nautical miles, Sambandh 2009 was carried along with the Royal Navy of Great Britain and the French Navy undertook passage exercise with the navies of 14 countries apart from visiting 18 countries in all.

The task group comprising four indigenously-built frontline warships, including INS Delhi, INS Beas, INS Brahmputra and INS Aditya, started from Mumbai on April 27 while docking back in the city on August 2.

The exercise aimed at promoting mutual understanding, enhance interoperability and foster synergy between Indian Navy and other friendly foreign navies, was participated by 1,400 officers of the Indian Navy.

This was the largest deployment of the Indian Navy in the Western Hemisphere. The ships undertook passage exercises with navies of 14 countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Italy, Russia, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Algeria, Eritrea, Israel, Libya, France and Australia.

The Indian Navy undertakes annual bilateral naval exercises, called Exercise Varuna with the French Navy and Exercise Konkan with the Royal Navy. This was the first time that the Konkan and Varuna exercises were held in the

Atlantic Ocean. Hitherto, all such exercises were held in the Indian Ocean.

While addressing a press conference on board INS Delhi Rear Admiral S P S Cheema said: "The Sambandh 2009 was aimed at generate easy exchanges of expertise and understanding of each others' modus operandi, which can help us in case of emergencies. As it was the largest and longest exercise ever so during it sent a clear message to the world about our capabilities and our officers came to know various techniques of fighting terrorism, piracy, drug and human trafficking from the countries which faces it."

Cheema further said that for the first time this exercise was held in the Atlantic Ocean unlike Indian Ocean, the officers witnessed the different operating and environmental conditions which helped the Indian Navy to assess their capacity which built up their confidence.

New direct taxes code ; pay 10% tax on Rs10 lakh salary

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday initiated radical tax reforms through a draft code that aims at moderating income tax rates, abolishing Securities Transaction Tax and increasing deduction for savings up to Rs3 lakh.

Releasing the Direct Taxes Code that will ultimately replace the over four-decades old Income Tax Act and bring all other direct taxes like wealth tax under its purview, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said if reasonable level of discussion happens on the code, a bill could be placed in the winter session of Parliament.

The code proposes to exempt the general tax payer from paying income tax if his income is Rs1,60,000 in a year. He would pay just 10% up to Rs10 lakh, 20% beyond that and Rs25 lakh and 30% beyond Rs25 lakh.

Currently, the general income tax payer does not pay tax till Rs1,60,000 of income in a year. However, he pays 10% tax on income between Rs1,60,000 and Rs3, 20% between Rs3 lakh and Rs5 lakh and 30% beyond Rs5 lakh.

“We expect to have better compliance and better collection of taxes,” Mukherjee said.

While the code proposes abolition of the controversial STT, it also suggests reintroduction of tax on long term capital gains on securities trading.

Union home minister P Chidambaram, who during his tenure in the finance ministry had initiated work on the Code, said that this was a brand new Code written from scratch.

“There is no point looking at this with reference to the 1961 (I.T.) Act. Hours of work have gone into it preparing it... you will be doing a dis-service if you look at it from the present income tax law,” he said.

The present tax laws were only a feast to lawyers and the best way to read the provisions of the Code would be to study the relevant chapter before going into the provisions, Chidambaram said.

The attempt, Mukherjee said, “is to simplify the language to enable better comprehension and remove ambiguity to foster voluntary compliance”.

The thrust of the code, would be to “improve efficiency and equity of our tax system by eliminating distortions in the tax structure, introducing moderate levels of taxation and expanding the tax base,” he said.

The new code is based on well accepted principles of taxation and best international practices, the finance minister said, adding, “it will eventually pave the way for a single unified tax reporting system”.

It would also meet the aspirations of “our young and professionally mobile population,” he added.

The process to frame the new code began with Mukherjee’s predecessor P Chidambaram announcing the intention to come out with a new law in the 2005-06 Budget speech.

Chidambaram said, “by the time the code becomes law, it may be 2011 -- the golden jubilee of the old law.”

Govt not keen on police reforms
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 12
Stating the obvious, the Commonwealth Human Right Initiative’s, report today said “Irrespective of the party in power, the Government of India has never exhibited the political will to make the police a professional force…..”

The CHRI released a report “Feudal forces reform delayed - Moving from Force to Service in South Asian Policing”. It focuses on the status of the much-delayed police reforms in the country and also other neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Union Minister of Human Resource development Kapil Sibal released the report at function here this evening. It has been authored by Sanjay Patil, consultant with CHRI. Sibal made it clear that his remarks were not in his capacity as minister as he said: “The rot is so endemic that reform is not going to be easy”. The police cannot be reformed in isolation we have to reform several systems around the police. He pointed out that the Congress had included the issue of police reforms in its election manifesto.

Maja Daruwala, Director CHRI, pointed out: “With its manifesto and subsequent statements, this government has committed itself to democratic policing. Therefore, concrete steps must be taken immediately”. The CHRI report said India and other South Asian countries are on “life support”. But instead of having professional law enforcement, poor police performance in South Asia is inevitable because the system of governance in these countries is dysfunctional. The report says in the absence of political will or a committed effort on the part of the police to engage in internal reform, the abusive and corrupt practices of law enforcement throughout South Asia will remain the same. It details how police complaints authorities (PCAs) that deal with police excesses, exist only on paper even in the few states that have set up such authorities. No state has so far enacted a legislation to establish its PCA. The report quoted the finding of torture across 47 district in the country.

“Police throughout South Asia ought to be focused on providing a service as a means to uphold the law, rather than utilising force to impose the law,” said Patil. The police in India have a history of being underfunded and unaccountable. The SC has issued directives compelling the Union and State governments to implement comprehensive police reforms yet all governments continue to undermine the letter and spirit of those instructions.

Tired of the status quo, eminent citizens of India (including former Chief Justice JS Verma, advocate Soli Sorabjee and former DG Ved Marwah) have come together and signed a letter urging the Union government to do the following: Implement in Delhi and the Union Territories the Supreme Court directives compelling police reform; urge and encourage state governments to enact the Court’s directives at the state level; take steps to ensure recruitment and promotions are based only on merit; revise training content so that it places more emphasis on protecting human rights, using minimal force and utilising forensic technology to solve cases.

UPA fumbled in dealing with swine flu, drought, price rise: BJP

PTI | New Delhi

Accusing the UPA Government of "fumbling" in dealing with drought, price rise and swine flu, BJP on Wednesday said that "indecision" has compounded the problems for the common man.

"People are reeling under three disasters: drought, price rise and swine flu. But, the Government's response to all the problems shows a cyclical pattern of denial, insensitivity, inadequate measures and indecision. The Government has actually fumbled," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.

He said BJP was willing to "suggest and support" the Government in dealing with the situation. "That is if the Government really means business," he added.

Referring to swine flu, Javadekar said the Government had initially was in denial. "But when the pandemic had spread, the Health Minister blamed the first victim Rida Sheikh of Pune to be the cause of the spread...This shows the insensitivity," he added.

On the issue of drought, the BJP MP said while Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan had predicted drought like situation, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had denied it.

"On the price rise front too, the Government was in denial mode and failed to take effective steps. Lakhs of tonnes of imported pulses are dumped at several ports while people face shortage," Javadekar said.

The BJP demanded the Government provide five kg of pulses at Rs 30 per kg and five kg of sugar at Rs 15 per kg to all ration card holders through PDS on a monthly basis.

"Our other demands are release of sufficient funds for states reeling under drought and provision of potable water,fodder and employment opportunities in the affected areas," he added.

CRPF's Cobra unit to combat insurgency

Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (Cobra), a new unit of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), would soon be deployed for fighting insurgency and terrorism in the country, a top CRPF official said today.

"Currently those selected for Cobra battalion are undergoing training at CRPFs anti-terror school in Silchar (Assam). After the training, initially about 10 battalions will be formed and deployed in states affected by terrorism and insurgency," CRPF special director general (Training) Yashwant Malhothra told reporters here.

"Cobra personnel will be armed with a wide range of hi-tech weapons, and latest communication systems," he said, adding they can also fight in the jungles and carry out surveillance operations.

Speaking on the occasion of passing out parade at the CRPF training centre in suburban Avadi, Malhothra said the syllabus had been revamped in order to train the cadres in the latest equipment.

Protesters clash in Valley over alleged assault by CRPF men

Srinagar , Aug 12 At least seven persons, including three policemen, were injured in clashes between security forces and protesters today after two CRPF personnel allegedly misbehaved with a sister-brother duo in Qazigund town in Jammu and Kashmir.
The two CRPF personnel were taken into custody and an inquiry ordered into the incident, 80 kms from here, which brought traffic on Srinagar - Jammu National highway to a standstill for nearly three hours, officials said. The trouble started this afternoon when the CRPF personnel on duty at village Vassu allegedly made some offensive comments against the girl. When her brother Arif Ahmad Bhat raised an objection, the CRPF personnel allegedly assaulted him and the girl. Locals immediately took to streets and raised slogans demanding the arrest of the accused. Police fired teargas shells and used batons to chase away the stone-pelting mob and the ensuing clashes left seven persons including three policemen injured.The condition of a policeman, who suffered a head injury, was stated to be critical and he was shifted to Soura Medical institute here. CRPF personnel Paramjeet Singh and Kanveera Ram, who allegedly misbehaved with the two youths, were taken into custody and a case was registered against them.

Army's surveillance grid proving effective on LoC

Army’s surveillance grid is proving highly effective in helping the Army units deployed on the Line of Control (LoC) to neutralize the infiltrators.
In the last four months, Army has been able to kill around 70 – 75 infiltrators on the LoC in North Kashmir and most of the militants groups were spotted by the Army‘s Surveillance Grid soon after the infiltrators sneaked into Valley through treacherous and rugged mountainous routes and passes.
Army recently had killed 14 militants believed to be fresh infiltrators in six different encounters in Nowgam, Tanghdar and Keran sectors of the Valley. Sources said the movements of these small militant groups were picked up by the Army’s Surveillance Grid installed on the LoC and operations were launched soon after the militant movements were caught on thermal imagers and other gadgets.
“Our sophisticated surveillance grid is proving very effective on the LoC in tracking down the movements of infiltrators,” Defense spokesman Lt Col J S Brar said. “The success rate of these latest gadgets is very good and the use of these equipments has been rated as highly successful,” he said.

Army officials claim that the surveillance equipment are latest and can even distinguish between grass and grass cropper, however, compared to winter months these gadgets prove more effective during summers when the chances of infiltration are high. “In summer months, Army mostly relies on the surveillance grid, while as in winters the main thrust is on the human intelligence,” he said.
Though, Army regularly keeps on patrolling the LoC, however, the use of thermal gadgets have given edge to the army in neutralizing the militants right on the LoC.


New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) The troopers who guard India’s borders and fight terrorists are faced with a huge shortage of doctors, often resulting in deaths due to delay in treatment. Now, the country’s seven paramilitary forces hope to reduce casualties with the move to set up their own medical college.

“We have recently sent a proposal to the home ministry to set up our own medical institute where children of officers of paramilitary forces would be trained as doctors. A small percentage of civilians would also be given admission,” M.L. Kumawat, who retired as director general of the paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) July 31, told IANS.

The institute will be on the lines of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) in Pune.

“The government has liked the idea very much and has in principle given the approval to set up the medical institute. They have asked for a detailed proposal and concerned officers are meticulously working on it now,” said Kumawat, who was also chairman of recruitment board for hiring doctors for the central paramilitary forces this year.

Kumawat said there is a sanctioned strength of over 1,900 medical officers in the seven paramilitary forces — BSF, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guard (NSG), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Assam Riffles.

However, over 700 posts are lying vacant and there is no doctor available to troopers in many far-flung areas.

“One of the reasons these positions are lying vacant is we don’t get good candidates. Even if we do, they don’t turn up at the time of joining. The other reason is they do not want to go to far-flung areas because of which timely medical services don’t reach troopers,” Kumawat said.

“We have been severely hit with this problem, so we decided to set up our own medical institute on par with the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), where students are asked to sign a mandatory bond of serving the nation for at least 15 years,” he added.

Of the paramilitary forces, the BSF is stationed at the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, the CRFP is tasked to help state police forces across the country and the CISF guards vital installations.

The ITBP is deployed along the India-China border, the SSB not only guards the India-Nepal border but also fights Maoists. The NSG is called out to tackle incidents like the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai.

At present, the combined strength of all the paramilitary forces is around 600,000. And the government has decided to raise their strength and asked each of the forces to brace to join the fight against Maoists active in several states.

A senior paramilitary official tackling the Maoist problem told IANS on condition of anonymity that most of the casualties occur due to delay in treatment.

“It’s a bitter truth that many of our injured men, fighting Maoists and unwanted elements, die due to excessive blood loss on road to the primary treatment centre. It usually takes one-two hours to take the injured to hospital. Many lives can easily be saved if immediate treatment can be administered to them near the ambush site by doctors,” the official said.

“But no one wants to risk their lives. So there is no other option except to rush the injured troopers to hospital, which results in loss of crucial time,” he added.


Problem with our Sarkaar is it wakes up after the disaster hits us!!!
It knows the disaster is approaching but it waits it out or you can say misses the bus!!

There were a slew of measures that needed to be taken!!!!
But seems our Sarkaar did not awaken!!!

Azad this time is responsible for Sarkaar's delayed reaction!!!
That is why I'm saying 'against him there should be action'!!!!!

Was there a plan put into action ……. nothing was seen on the ground!!!!
And then in Delhi he was hardly around!!!

He was totally into J&K politics…… he was too preoccupied with State politics!!!!
Did not hear the swine flu time bombes 'ticks'!!!!

And this man's heartless comments that the dead girl spread swine flu!!!!!
Shows that not only is he inefficient but on humaneness he does not have a clue!!

My request to you all is chew and swallow a Neem ka patta everday!!!!
And Swine Flu you will keep at bay!!!

Air conditioning is the ideal environment for the swine flu bacteria to thrive!!!
I feel when the temparature is between 12-22 degrees its kicking and alive!!!

Its inaffective when its cold or hot..... keep away from air conditioned rooms!!!
Because in this space the swine flu bateria looms!!

So Malls and Cinemas and even Offices are a no no!!!
Protect yourself with a mask if in these places you have to go!!

Pawar they say is rubbing his hands with glee!!!
A humongous chai pani opportunity he does see!!!

India has to import huge quantities of pulses , sugar and oil!!!!!
If India does not do this prices are going to come to a 'boil'!!!

What's happened to the pulses stuck up in Kolkata Port….. rot has set in!!!!!!
Our loss and middlemen's win!!!

Like Azad Pawar too had no plan in place!!!!
There were signs that a drought India could face!!!

However our Agri Mantri has chai paani ro IPL on his mind!!!!
This dolt has literally kicked India in the hind!!!

At one time India was very secure when it came to food but Pawar changed this!!!
And the food security bus India ne kee hai miss!!!

And see the besharmi of this man…… yesterday (10th) he was busy with IPL!!!!
As on the food front India prepares for hell!!!

Buta's son being given bail 'on fictitious grounds' sure does shock!!!!!!
In Justices face this decision looks like a sock!!!!

Humpty Dumpty Sweety is not a babe in the woods that he could be spoiled in the lock up!!!!!
Those in the know swear that the 'order that he be given bail' came 'from up'!!!!

NREGS is turning out to be a huge scam…… siphon is working like malai (cream)!!!
As the objective ki ho rahi hai khullam khulla dhulai!!!

Kids and even the dead are 'getting work' via the NREGS!!!!
National Rural Exploiting and Gaining Scheme is now the analogy of NREGS!!!

NREGS needs some tweaking after its previous avtar and some effective checking too!!!!
Pronto this Sarkaar needs to do!!

The real chintan that BJP needs to do is the infighting!!!
BJP nowadays is party which is riddled with back biting!!!!

Selective invitations mean Advani and gang do not like to be criticized!!!!
And more so after the election in which Advani has been downsized!!!

And now nepotism has hit Advani too........ grooming his daughter!!!!
Do I hear from Congress laughter????

Confucius says...... Advani at the end of his career has shown he does not walk the talk!!!
All that he does is talk.... rub his hands.... reminisce .... talk, talk and talk!!!

Bharat Kumar

Promotion Orders....

The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has passed an order that IPS officers & officers belonging to the Indian Forest Service (IFS) two batch above such a batch IAS officers will be promoted as IGs in states where IAS officers of that batch have become Joint Secretaries in GOI.


Fauji Bhaiyon ka kya hoga.........?????


S.Chandrasekharan, IRAS/FA&CAO/SCR has been selected and approved for deputation to Ministry of Defence for appointment to the post of Additional Secretary Defence.

important message.....from IESM

Dear Friends,
1. CNN IBN is doing a programme on 15 Aug 09 on Defence Forces. The title of the programme is “Citizen’s Journalist”. The programme is anchored by our Veteran Col Anil Kaul as his contribution towards the Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM). The programme will be telecast at 9.30 PM on 15 Aug 09 and again at 5.30 PM on 16 Aug 2009.
2. You are requested to pass on this information to others.
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement




Jawan Min Bhadur Thapa, a Kargil war veteran, single-handedly took on a group of armed robbers; but was paralysed in the attack

For Min Bhadur Thapa, a jawan from the 4/3 Gurkha Regiment, the bad guy has to be defeated anywhere, be it at Kargil or on a bus, and with equal passion.

It was his soldier's spirit that made him single-handedly take on a group of armed robbers on a bus at the Indo-Nepal border and save his fellow passengers. Unfortunately, the encounter left the braveheart paralysed for life.

"I would have been happy to die fighting enemies during the Kargil war but fate had something else in store for me," regretted Thapa, sitting in his wheelchair at the Army rehabilitation centre at Kadki, Pune. "It's so unfortunate that I was shot by my
fellow countrymen," the 32-year-old soldier said.

Willing his way: Despite his handicap, Min Bhadur Thapa leads an active life and works at the Military Rehabilitation Centre in Pune

The tragedy

In January 2004 Thapa was on leave, visiting his hometown in Nepal. On January 29, the same year, while on his way back to join his regiment, he boarded a bus to Lucknow from Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh near the Indo-Nepal border. It was around 9 pm.

The bus was nearing Ramnagar, about 35 km away, when six passengers forced the driver at knifepoint to halt at a deserted spot. The men, in their early twenties, started threatening people to give up all their valuables. "I was sitting just behind the driver's
seat and they hit my right hand with a knife. I was not in my uniform and requested them not to misbehave. I tried to control myself. But they started punching me. I decided to fight back, hoping the other passengers would help me. But I was wrong," Thapa said.

According to Thapa, he managed to overpower three robbers and pushed them out of the bus. Then one of the robbers nabbed a 15-year-old boy and was about to stab him, when Thapa jumped in to save the boy and succeeded. But the knife slashed his palm.
Meanwhile, another robber fired a round from his country-made revolver, injuring Thapa's spinal chord. "I could feel the pain and knew I was bleeding. I was struggling to get up but the lower part of my body had become numb. I could not move," said Thapa.

The robbers fled the scene, leaving behind the booty in the bus. "Unfortunately, none of the passengers came to my rescue. It was only when the robbers fled that the bus driver and the conductor approached me and I disclosed my identity."

The driver took Thapa to the Ramnagar police station and the local police shifted him to a hospital, from where he was taken to the military hospital in Kirkee, Pune.

Thapa underwent numerous surgeries and was in the hospital for over two years but the doctors could not dislodge the bullet from his body.

Though today Thapa leads an active life despite his injuries, he regrets that none of the 32 passengers in the bus dared to help.

"I am dejected," he said.

The future

Since his handicap was permanent, Thapa retired from the Army in June 2006. Today, he stays at the Military Rehabilitation Centre in Pune with his wife Geeta and two daughters Roshini, 8, and Raveena, 6. He is employed at the Centre, along with 70 other soldiers and officers who were injured in accidents. "I am happy the Army has helped me. I get a monthly pension of Rs 9,000," he said.

Family of soldiers

Thapa hails from Surkhet district in Nepal and is the eldest among four siblings. His father Maan Bahadur Thapa too was a hawaldar in the Indian Army. And after his schooling, as per his father's advice Thapa decided to join the Indian Army. On February 1, 1996, at the age of 17, Thapa's dream came true and he joined the 39 Gurkha Training Centre in Benaras.

Kargil highs

In September 1998, Thapa was transferred to Almora in Uttar Pradesh and later in May 1999, when the Kargil war began, he was moved to Kargil. The war claimed the lives of seven jawans and injured 17 others from his regiment.

"We were honoured to have been asked to march to war. It was the happiest moment of our lives," said Thapa, who served at Kargil for two months.


Thapa says the local police and his regiment appreciated his bravery. The local police gave him a cash reward of Rs 1,000 and his regiment gave him a wheelchair and has taken care of all his needs.



Pointing out that it was raised for the purpose of “ensuring security of the borders and to promote a sense of security among the people living in border areas”, the Border Security Force (BSF) has asked the Central Government to give it powers that the police

in India enjoy when deployed in areas other than the borders. It now wants to be armed with power to make arrests as well as conduct search and seizure operations.

It says that these powers are all the more necessary when it is used for election duty. In recent times, the BSF has been deployed

in large numbers for election as well as internal security duty in J&K and the Northeast and anti-Naxalite operations. In J&K as well as the Northeastern states though, through two separate notifications, the BSF has been bestowed these powers. It now wants them for the entire country.

According to sources in the BSF, the Chief Law Officer of the organisation, H G Garg, has written to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) saying that the BSF finds it difficult to perform its duties for want of “adequate police powers under the various provisions of the CrPC”.


At least six heavily armed Maoist guerrillas were killed on Tuesday after a 20-hour gun battle with security forces in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
Police and paramilitary teams from Dantewada and Bijapur districts shot dead the six rebels in Kirandul area of Dantewada, 400 km south of capital Raipur.
"We basically hit a Maoist camp, our heavily armed policemen assisted by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) put the militants under heavy fire throughout Monday and early morning on Tuesday. We finally killed six militants and recovered their arms," Superintendent of Police (Dantewada) Amresh Mishra told IANS.


Wasim Khalid
Srinagar, Aug 11: After first confirmed case of Swine Flu was detected in the State, military and paramilitary hospitals in the State have been instructed to remain on alert to face any eventuality.
Besides tourists, the troopers move inside and outside of the State on almost regular basis. “The risk rate of them carrying the H1N1 Influenza is very high,” health officials said, adding, “The troopers arriving in Kashmir should be screened for the Flu”.
“The troopers can prove to be potential carrier of the disease to the State,” a doctor said, adding, “It becomes imperative for government to screen all those people including troopers. Otherwise, it can prove disastrous, if they took this aspect lightly”.
Udhampur based army spokesman, Col D K Kachari told Rising Kashmir that military hospitals have been instructed to remain on alert across Jammu and Kashmir.
He said, “We have instructed army hospitals to maintain surveillance and vigilance to detect any Swine Flu case. The army medical services have been directed to look out for any swine flu cases. Till now, no such case has surfaced among the troopers anywhere in the state”.
Asked whether troopers returning after spending their leave are being screened before joining the field units, he said, “The disease has remained restricted. There has been no outbreak of disease as such. We are looking for symptoms, if any, to take remedial measures”.
The army hospitals, according to him, are fully equipped to deal with the Swine flu cases.
On Tuesday, Jammu and Kashmir government sounded the Swine Flu alert in all three regions of the State after a female student tested positive in Jammu.
The CRPF has received instructions from New Delhi to keep their hospitals ready to meet any challenge posed by the swine flu. “We have placed our hospitals on alert. So far no case of Swine flu has been reported among CRPF men,” CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi said.
He said they are making their men aware about the disease and its symptoms. “We have told them that if anybody complains about cough, sneezing, nausea and giddiness, he should immediately report it to doctors” he said.
Tripathi said CRPF personnel returning to Kashmir after spending their vacations in home are being properly screened by field officers. “If anybody is detected with having cough or any other symptom of flu, he is sent to doctors,” he added.
He, however, said they have not started full fledged screening to ascertain about flu. “We are not taking samples or any such test,” Tripathi said.
A BSF official said they have also set up proper mechanism in their hospitals to deal with the flu.
There are around seven lakh army and paramilitary troops deployed in the state. Bulk of manpower, comprising of troops deployed in the state, come from outside states. The troop movement inwards and outwards, for various official and unofficial purposes, has been a regular feature.
The swine flu has so far claimed 10 lives in India. Around 851 people have been detected positive. Among all the major cities where flu has been found, Pune has been the worst affected.


Was it because of subtle U.S. pressure or a global cry against India’s alleged proxy war in Balochistan? UBAID MUSHTAQ attempts an answer

The recent joint statement made by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt was a pleasant reflection of India’s flexibility. It appeared as if India had left behind the bogey of terrorism and staged a fresh start with Pakistan. But many critics and media outlets in India displayed unease and construed that Manmohan Sing was the first Indian prime minister who had ‘surrendered’ to Pakistan.

Notwithstanding this high-pitch criticism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the joint statement on the floor of Lok Sabha:

“Unless we want to go to war with Pakistan, dialogue is the only way-out”. He went on to declare, “the Foreign Secretaries will meet as often as necessary and report to the two Foreign Ministers who will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly later this year”. This polite assertion makes the hopes generated by the joint statement even more wholesome. One can safely anticipate a fresh beginning in the almost stalled peace process between the two nuclear neighbors.

Now, the question is what actually led India to resume dialogue process with Pakistan and what actually forced Manmohan Sing to mention Balochistan in the joint statement? Was it because of subtle U.S. pressure or a global cry against India’s alleged proxy war in Balochistan?
Many political commentators and analysts across South Asia have smelled U.S. pressure behind the fresh bonhomie that was displayed at Sharm-el-Sheikh notwithstanding the otherwise bitter atmosphere due to Mumbai attacks. It is now much debated that the U.S. wants to spare Pakistan army’s attention for its fight on Afghan-Pakistan border and the policy has already been named as America’s Af-Pak strategy.

But many Indians believe that the country had no reason to rake up Pakistani threats because the elections were long over. Moreover, Pakistan was, and still is, investigating the 26/11 Mumbai attacks seriously though India has not provided positive answers to some questions posed by Pakistani investigating agencies. India, therefore, had no handy pretext to stay away from talking process. There are other views suggesting that India knew fully well that it was high time that it got down on talking to Pakistan and put forward its demand of putting an end to anti-India terrorism from across the border.

Whether a subtle U.S. pressure entailed the Sharm-el-Sheikh declaration or it was the internal compulsion that forced both countries to mend fences, the inclusion of Balochistan is an interesting inquiry to be followed. Not because India ‘surrendered’ but because it’s for the first time in 62 years of conflict that Pakistan has got the guts to accuse India, even if subtly, of indulging in ‘cross-border terrorism against it; earlier India used to blame Pakistan for fomenting proxy war in Kashmir.

According to a leading Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who was present during Sharm- el-Shekh meeting, the situation in Balochistan came under detailed discussion during the first meeting of the foreign secretaries on July 14, two days before the meeting between Manmohan and Yusuf Raza Gilani. In a revealing article in Pakistani daily The News, Mir later disclosed : “Pakistani foreign secretary Salman Bashir had told Shiv Shankar Menon that India must de-link the talks from terrorism otherwise Pakistan would be forced to produce before the world at least three Indian Ajmal Kasabs who were directly or indirectly part of the terrorist activities in Balochistan and Pakistan will easily establish that Indian consulate in Afghan city of Kandahar is actually a control room of all the terrorist activities organized by the separatist Balochistan Liberation Army.”

Mir has also narrated the amazement and surprised expressed by many Indian Journalists, covering the event, when they read the joint statement and to their utter shock found the mention of Balochistan in it.

Balochistan has been a long festering problem for Pakistan government but it came into global limelight only recently through a Foreign Affairs article (March 2009) that disclosed the Indian involvement in Balochistan strife. Noted U.S. journalist Christine Fair, Author of the article, writes: “India has been pumping huge amount of money to create unrest in Balochistan and that it has direct links with terrorists’ activities in Pakistan and its job is beyond the issuance of visas.”

This was followed by an editorial comment in Sri Lanka’s leading newspaper, Daily Mirror. The said editorial criticized the role the Indian intelligence agency (RAW), which it, according to the newspaper, is playing in the regional countries to destabilize them. The editorial has specially referred to the threats faced by Pakistan: “Among RAW’s most ambitious operations that are currently underway is the move to separate Balochistan province from Pakistan by supporting the Balochistan Liberation Army.”

While there are thousands of new serious allegations pointing to India’s military involvement in Balochistan insurgency, it would not have been prudent for India to stay away from talking to Pakistan during the Egypt conclave. The country, perhaps for the first time since 1971, appeared in for a global criticism for its alleged involvement in Pakistani territory. To ward off this pressure and scotch down the projected impressions of its involvement, New Delhi found an easy way and that was engaging Pakistan, yet again. That way the fresh Indo-Pak engagement at Sharm-el-Sheikh was directly linked to Balochistan.

(Author is pursuing bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Islamic University Of Science and Technology, Kashmir. He can be contacted at


MIDNAPORE: Realizing that continued occupation of schools in Lalgarh by police and the central paramilitary forces was snowballing into a major issue, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, on a day's visit to Midnapore on Tuesday, said schools must be vacated by the forces.

"If classes can't be held, how can we uphold Kshudiram's ideal of bringing all children to school?" he asked. Bhattacharjee went to ebra on Tuesday to inaugurate Shahid Kshudiram Mahavidyalaya on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the freedom fighter. He also disapproved of the police move to occupy four schools in Debra in connection with his visit.

The CM reviewed the progress in anti-Maoist operations. He was of the opinion that the style of operation of the forces must change, but did not elaborate. During the day, two CRPF jawans were injured in exchange of fire with Maoists at Lakshmanpur and Pirrakhuli.


Bhubaneswar, Aug 11 (PTI) Faced with threat from red rebels to several hydel projects and industrial units, Orissa government has decided to raise Orissa Industrial Security Force (OISF) on the line of CISF.

Official sources here said today that the decision was taken in wake of employees of eight hydel projects expressing fear over Maoist threat to them as well as the projects.

The employees of hydro-power generation stations have reportedly informed the government about security threats, as Maoists virtually ruled the roost in tribal-dominated districts.

"We require as much as Rs 34 crore to set up OISF and an annual expenditure of Rs 14.65 crore to raise the battalion," a senior home department official said adding most of the hydel projects were located in Maoist-infested districts.


CHANDIGARH: The Indian Army, known for its regimented life, is witnessing some changes, especially among its troopers. While keeping the stricthierarchy and discipline intact, jawans are now not reluctant in using friendly words in the presence of their officers. Consider this: seeking permission from the senior-most officer to raise a toast during the bara khana (a lavish meal), the troops instead of the old war cry specific to a unit (Jai Durga) followed by ‘anumati shriman’, now say, “cheers ki anumati shriman (need permission for drinks)’’.

“Most of these men are bored with the rules and regulations. They feel there is nothing wrong in using informal words. Cheers was a word normally associated with officers in a mess. I had never heard this at a bara khana,’’ an officer said. “Though most of the infantry of the main combat corp of the army still marches to the orders of seniors, the technical and medical corp troops feel comfortable with civilian language.’’ Citing an instance, a commanding officer of the electrical and mechanical engineering wing said: “Jawans who used to greet us with ‘Jai Hind, Sahib’ have now switched over to ‘Good Morning, Sir or Jai Hind, Sir’.

The use of ‘sir’ is normally associated with officers.’’

Shedding another load of the disciplinary baggage, jawans, again mainly in the technical corps, are more open about their dislike for the term ‘sepoy’. “They despise the tag of sepoy and like to be addressed as craftsmen. They are educated and even question orders dictated,’’ said a subedar major in the Army Medical Corps. The kind of words and language used in any ceremony or occasion are fixed and have been followed since Independence.

This gradual process of doing away with archaic words, though not a gross violation of the army code of conduct, has the officers in a fix as they are yet to adapt to these changes.


Imphal, August 11 2009: The Indian Army will conduct recruitment rallies at Assam's Dibrugarh (Aug 24) and Silchar (aug 27) for male candidates of North Eastern States for which eligible candidates have to produce original certificates during the screening test.

The post for which recruitments are to be held include Soldier Technical, Soldier Clk/Storekeeper technical, Soldier nursing assistant and 'outstanding sportsmen', informed a PIB (DW) release.

Further details may be ascertained from the notice board of PIB (DW) near Johnstone Hr Sec School.


Key in the word Kargil, hit the search button and the name throws up quite an impressive number of pages. Most of them gloss over the victory of Kargil the Indian army 10 years back with stories of soldiers who fought and drove the intruders back to the cold

rocky peaks. Destination Kargil got catapulted into geographical importance a decade back, one would assume? Trawl the net a little more and the name figures in numerous Indo-Pak skirmishes throughout the tumultuous history of the two nations since Independence.

But Vijay Diwas (Day of Victory), as we celebrate the win today , surged into the national consciousness and earned the stripes only on July 26, 1999.

Tiger Hill, Batalik, Drass, Captain Vikram Batra, Anuj Nayyar to name a few all added to the creation of Brand Kargil. Sure, India has fought numerous wars in the last six decades, but Operation Meghdoot (Siachen glacier ), Operation Cactus (Maldives), IPKF in Sri Lanka or even 1971 victory don’t occupy as much mind space as Kargil.

The reason is that this generation got exposed to war in a setting completely different from that of the previous generation.

“Kargil is India’s first post consumerism war. It was the first televised war so to speak,” says Santosh Desai, CEO of Future Brands. Indeed, it was a war fought in clear view of millions who sat glued to their television sets day after day, to watch every aspect of the action that was beamed into houses across India. “Liberalised India had never seen anything like this.

Sure, satellite TV brought the Gulf war with fascinating visuals, but that was happening at a distance. This was much nearer to home,” explains Ambi Parameshwaran , CEO of Draft fcb+Ulka.

So, television packaged the war into several terabytes of actions chronicling the event, bringing to fore a tidal wave of patriotism in what is always a fissure laden society. “We could consume victory the way we understood it and had a visual reference point as well.

It was like any other product on TV, interpreted and packaged, fitted into byte sizes and brought within our reach,” says Desai.
“You shave off nuances that you don’t want to see and consume what you want. Like for example , war also means hardships and sacrifices for families,” he adds.

While television played a role in bringing Kargil to the fore, Anand Halve, cofounder of brand consultancy, Chlorophyll, however says there’s no such thing as brand Kargil and it is an invention of media herd mentality.


The judiciary would have been served better if the Bill governing the disclosure of assets of judges had not been watered down. Opposition to disclosure has left the general public with the unfortunate suspicion that judges have something to hide.
Tt he present controversy over the declaration of the assets of judges is most unfortunate because openness would have set to rest public doubts about the probity of the legal community. Its image has been eroded in recent years by a number of scandals and transparency would have cleared the air.
It is important for the judiciary to be patently above reproach.Since the legislature and the executive are prone to inefficiency and corruption and frequently fail to do their duty, it has been an important guarantor of a decent society - to use the term coined by the Israeli philosopher Avishai Margalit -if not a perfectly just society. The judiciary would have been served better if the Bill governing the disclosure of assets of judges had not been watered down. Opposition to disclosure has left the general public with the unfortunate suspicion that judges have something to hide.
The Opposition has done its duty by scuppering the move to pass the diluted Judges (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) Act, which takes the curious position of requiring judges to declare their assets but keeps the information out of the purview of the Right to Information Act. Having failed to pilot the Bill on August 3, Law Minister Veerappa Moily is now trying to arrive at a consensus before Parliament takes up the Bill again.
But a consensus on what? In its present form, the Bill is a lame paradox, neither concealing nor revealing information in any useful way. The purpose of disclosure is to reassure the public about the probity of the officials they are served by. If this information is not transparent to the public, its main purpose is not served. Since this is not a useful option, only two valid courses remain available: full disclosure or no disclosure.
One hopes that there will be a consensus favouring the former option, which has been supported by several legal luminaries including Fali S. Nariman. In a recent article, he wrote, "If the credibility of the higher judiciary is to be restored, it is essential that every judge of the Supreme Court set an example and voluntarily make a public disclosure of his (or her) assets on the Website of the Supreme Court, law or no law."
Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, chairman of the Law Commission, has come out strongly in favour of disclosure in his personal capacity. The former Supreme Court judge has been voluntarily declaring his assets for almost two decades and believes that judges should have nothing to hide.
However, this controversy includes issues that go beyond the realm of probity and has general implications for the health of the State. If disclosure of judges' assets is taken out of the purview of the RTI Act, it will set an unhealthy precedent which governments of the future will be tempted to exploit. Today, some actions and funds of government, largely pertaining to security matters, are already non-transparent because they are protected by the Official Secrets Act of 1923. In recent years, there has been resistance to this colonial law, which protects government information from the public. This is a contradiction because in a democracy, government is answerable to the public. In 2007, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah had clarified that in the event of the OSA clashing with the RTI Act, the latter would prevail. By this logic, keeping some information outside the purview of the RTI Act would be a retrograde move, militating against the premise that the public, as owners of the State, have the right to know about its working.
But there are practical implications too when government operates without fear of public oversight, it can and does make policy choices against the common good.
The US, for instance, has suffered tremendous loss of prestige by fetishizing security and national interest and handing them over to agencies which may not be completely answerable even to legislatures and public auditors.
Since the rise of J. Edgar Hoover in the Twenties, its misplaced faith in illegal and covert operations - typically bankrolled by illegal or covert funds as in the Iran-Contra scandal - has been exported to international affairs, blotting its copybook rather comprehensively. Every new administration in Washington comes to office with a legacy of wrongdoing that has gained irresistible momentum from the power of precedent. It sometimes makes new officebearers uncomfortable but they soldier on regardless, because continuity is politically safer than radical change. Even for a government like Obama's, which has gained power on the promise of change. Washington is now struggling with the negative legacy of the Bush years - the export of torture, offshore detention facilities of industrial scale and invasions which, in retrospect, seem to have been initiated partly to enrich certain coteries in Washington.
Despite the reservations of the Democrats, they are finding it difficult to withdraw immediately from the systems of power developed by their predecessors, stretching all the way back to the ill-advised campaigns in Korea and Vietnam.
Domestically, this legacy has given rise to an atmosphere in which conspiracy theories flourish and the common man is cut off from political reality as it is perceived elsewhere in the world.
One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to detect this. A cursory survey of the preoccupations of Hollywood pot-boilers and US TV serials has more diagnostic value than the President's State of the Union Address.
The US represents an extreme example of the damage that can be caused by secrecy, which increases the power of government to act with impunity. When the history of the last half-century is evaluated in retrospect, the US will be revealed to have been a major foreign policy disaster, despite its thumping win against Communism. And this disaster was enabled by an obsession with secrecy and admiration for State power exercised without fear of public oversight.
India, which neither has millennial goals nor any illusions of manifest destiny, would not behave half as badly, but need we tempt fate? Our citizens favour less secrecy. So does the global information society. It may be argued that protecting judges from public scrutiny is a solitary exemption.
But it is not harmless, for it detracts from the majesty of the judiciary by insinuating that high judicial officials may have something to hide. More importantly, exemptions tend to be viewed as precedents, and if other institutions begin to seek protection, the very purpose of the RTI Act will be defeated. And the right of our citizens to be identified as undisputed owners of our democracy will be impugned.

12. RAKHI 4 JAWANS....

A group of 10 women to gift more than 15,000 rakhis to jawans posted at Kargil on Aug 15

Kargil Vijay Diwas has come and gone. Our netas made the necessary sounds and may have already forgotten the martyrs who, 10 years ago, laid down their lives to keep us secure. But a group of women from Maharashtra are planning to travel to the inhospitable heights of Kargil to honour their brave 'brothers'. On August 15, to commemorate the historic win, the group of 10 women plan to gift more than 15,000 rakhis to the soldiers posted at Kargil. With the rakhis, they will carry messages from Indians across the country.
Honour bravehearts: If you want to send a message or a rakhi, visit

The initiative, Freedom Rakhis, has been undertaken by the Maharashtra State Commission for Women in collaboration with the Indian Army.

"Our gallant soldiers are standing tall at the border to guard us. Through the rakhis we want to send them a message that the women of India are truly proud of them. We have taken permission from Defence Minister A K Anthony to visit Kargil on August 15. We will tie rakhis and gift a frame of messages to the Army at Drass," said Susiieben Shah, a member of Maharashtra State Commission for Women.

Interestingly, the rakhis and the messages were collected just within 10 days at the website "Our website has got more than 12,000 hits. We have received more than 15,000 messages and thousands more are pouring in even today. People are sending their wishes from the remotest corners of the country and even abroad. We have set up three collection centres," Shah added.

Though this movement is starting from Kargil and Drass, it will turn into an annual affair and the delegation will visit soldiers posted at all international borders in the country.

Guwahati, August 11 2009: Contrary to the claims made by Bhutan that Indian militants do not put their base anymore in that country, however, the intelligence agencies here claim that United Liberation Front of Asom ( ULFA ) and National Democratic Front of Bodolant (NDFB) militants have already set up temporary hideouts there.

This reports from the Indian intelligence agencies came at the backdrop of the claim at the Seventh Border Coordination Development Meeting held at Thimphu recently by Bhutan which dismissed reports about ULFA and NDFB militants setting up permanent camps on its soil.

But, it did not rule out occasional intrusion by them.

According to official sources in Giuwahati ULFA and NDFB militants were re-organising and attempting to sneak into Bhutan.

In fact, New Delhi has informed Thimphu of the intrusion of about 30 militants into its soil..

We have information that they (ULFA and NDFB) have set up temporary hideouts there in the wake of stepped up counter-insurgency operations especially in Lower Assam, an officer from the Military Intelligence (MI) disclosed NNN on condition of anonymity.

It is worth noting that police and para military forces gunned down over 60 NDFB militants in the past two months in Assam following reports that a group of 18 militants of the anti-talks Ranjan Daimari faction of NDFB sneaked into Assam from Bangladesh and were planning to trigger a series of blasts.

They have their presence there (Bhutan) though we dont have the exact number.

Or else why should there be so much of activities in places on the border inside India? the officer asked.

The source claimed that the militants were operating in collaboration with the Communist Party of Bhutan (ML), Bhutan Tiger Force and Revolutionary Youth of Bhutan.

Even Bhutan admitted that it had received reports that the two Assam-based insurgent groups were imparting training to these groups.

At the moment, an SSB battalion is manning the 272km long Indo-Bhutan border.

Sources said a section of the militants use Bhutanese vehicles to go across the border.

But police claimed the vehicles are regularly frisked.

Its not possible for the personnel to identify the militants given that a number of tribals from the Northeast, working in Border Roads Organization, banks, NTPC and in private sectors in Bhutan, travel in the vehicles everyday, the officer from the MI argued.

In may also be noted that in the 2003 Operation All Clear, conducted jointly by the Indian Army and the Royal Bhutanese Army, scores of rebel camps were busted inside Bhutan while a number of militants were killed and captured.

Since then, militants of the Northeast virtually lost their ground.

Rio welcomes corruption check move of Cong (Kohima): Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has welcomed the suggestion of the Union Minister for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs and All India Congress Committee general secretary, Narayanaswami to form a committee in order to check misuse of centrally allotted funds in the State.

Interacting with media persons on the sidelines of inauguration of a Multipurpose Spo rts Hall at Indira Gandhi Stadium, here today, Rio said, 'We welcome the statement of the Union Minister in saying that they (Congress) will form a committee to check corruption in the State.

However, he said that, they should be specific in pointing out the anomalies and not blindly cast aspersion.

Admitting that there could be some slackness in the performance, he said, We are ready to make necessary correction if the wrong doings are pointed out.


New Delhi, Aug 11 (PTI) ISRO will unveil its version of Google Earth, the iconic mapping service for the common man to zoom into any part of the world on their personal computer using satellite images.

However, the new mapping service -- Bhuvan, which means earth in Sanskrit -- will allow users to have a closer look at any part of the subcontinent barring sensitive locations such as military and nuclear installations.

ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair will unveil the Bhuvan webportal at a function here tomorrow in the presence of Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan.

Bhuvan will use images taken by ISRO's seven remote sensing satellites at least a year ago. These eyes in the sky can capture images of objects as small as a car on the road to build three-dimensional map of the world.