Showing posts with label Delhi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delhi. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Demand for 10-Fold Increase on Women’s Safety in Budget 2013-14 by ASSOCHAM Ladies League

February 26, 2013, New Delhi: 


At an urgent press conference held in New Delhi, ASSOCHAM Ladies League demanded for massive allocations of funds in Budget 2013-14 for women’s issues, as what is coming via news and views is not enough. Dr. Harbeen Arora, Global Chairperson, ASSOCHAM Ladies League (ALL) said, “We are making an urgent and earnest appeal to Hon’ble Finance Minister to increase allocations for women’s issues in the budget. We demand a tenfold increase in outlay on women’s safety and not just doubling up from the last year’s expenditure.” She further added, “This is the last budget of the current Government and it must turn out to be a landmark budget for women empowerment in our country. This is the time when the government needs to take a multi-pronged, long term approach for empowering women. Therefore, there is an immediate need to take a big step in this direction and make a clear statement to women citizens, by way of generous allocations to various parameters that empower women, like their safety, education, health, digital inclusion, and employment.” 

Releasing a 32-points recommendations to the Government of India titled, “Budget 2013-14: Recommendations by ASSOCHAM Ladies League for Allocating Funds for Women’s Issues in Parameters that Empower Women,” Ms. Alka Lamba, Committee Chairperson, Social Justice, ALL and Youth Congress Leader said, “We urge for far-reaching allocations for scholarships for girl students as well as adding more technical & vocation courses for them.” Ms. Indra Bansal, a noted CA, asked for budgetary allocation for fair compensation to victims of abuse, attack and rape. 

Other Key Recommendations: 
ASSOCHAM Ladies League has made other important recommendations which should be included in the Budget 2013-14. These include: 
  1. Allocation of additional funds for more PCR vans for intense patrolling, in order to create fear in law-breaking minds and allow women and citizens live with a sense of security and more faith in the police.
  2. Allocation of funds for self-defense training program for girls in schools. 
  3. Increase in fund for constructing more separate toilets for girl students in primary and secondary schools. 
  4. Providing funds for conducting training programs at school and college levels to empower students and teachers to run gender-based anti-violence projects within schools. 
  5. Audit of education infrastructure in reference to specific needs of girls. 
  6. Allocation of fund for constructing more hostels for girl students in universities and colleges as well as working women’s hostel. 
  7. Allocation of more funds for creating shelter homes for women victims of domestic violence and other abuses. 
  8. Increase in allocation for raising employability through effective spoken English Teaching and Communication Skills in Government Schools. 
  9. Increase in grants to universities for conducting Intensive Training Program to sensitize the Police Force. 
  10. Providing fund to invest in technology for prompt aid to women. 
  11. Allocation of fund for creating employment opportunities in backward and rural areas through SMEs, cottage industries and industry linkages to check in-migration to metropolitan cities. 
  12. Allocating massive outlay of funds for the digital inclusion of women and youth. 

About ASSOCHAM Ladies League (ALL) 
ASSOCHAM Ladies League (ALL) is an eminent and global all-ladies league to facilitate and fortify robust participation of women in business, society and economy. ALL works for creating a positive and progressive mindset toward women as well as supporting education activities in rural areas to help women address their local challenges and concerns. It is also promoting women’s entrepreneurship and presence of women in various echelons of business and corporates worldwide. ALL operates in an open and world-engaging way, inviting maximum participation from women across the globe. It has 12 Chapters in India and around the world. ALL has also instituted ALL Women Achievers Award to honor women from a wide cross-section of society. (For more details about ALL, visit www.aall.in) 

About ASSOCHAM 
ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavor of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. Having in its fold more than 350 Chambers and Trade Associations, it serves more than 0.4 million members from all over India. It has witnessed upswings as well as upheavals of Indian Economy, and contributed significantly by playing a catalytic role in shaping up the Trade, Commerce and Industrial environment of the country. Today, ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the technology driven cyber age of 'Knowledge Based Economy'. (For more details about ASSOCHAM, visit www.assocham.org)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar as MP in Rajya Sabha (Council of States) puts question mark over Rajya Sabha Nomination policy


Sachin Raj Singh Chauhan, B.Tech, MBA
Chief Sub Editor, Ground Report India Group








Rajya Sabha, a place, where debate and discussion takes place.
Conceptually, a place where one is framed with powers, responsibilities to act and influence.

As per the Fourth Schedule (Article 80) of the Constitution, 12 persons, having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service, may be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

The maximum strength of Rajya Sabha as 250, out of which 12 members are nominated by the President and 238 are representatives of the States and of the two Union Territories.

The motive behind the nomination is to invite eminent personalities, have earned distinction in their field of activity, who may not like to contest the election due to daunting affair. Nominating them to Rajya Sabha is not only recognizing or conferring the honor but also raising the quality and level of deliberations by reason of their contribution to the debates.

Sachin Tendulkar couldn’t take oath during the Budget Session due to IPL matches last month.

Sachin made it clear that his focus would be cricket and hinting at concentrating on Parliament work after he stops playing the game. However, he hastened to add that he does not want rumors to swirl that he has stopped playing cricket for Parliament.

"I am here because of my cricketing career. I cannot take any focus away from my cricket. That is where it all started for me. I will focus on my cricket and as and when I stop playing cricket, I don't know, when I will start attending to other things.

"I don't want rumours to start that I have stopped playing cricket. I will let everyone know when I will stop playing cricket," he said when asked how he would assuage people who raise questions whether he would be able to do justice to the job in Parliament when he is still playing cricket.

"Cricket comes first," Tendulkar told reporters as he and wife Anjali were chaperoned by Shukla to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari's chamber.

A number of Parliament staffers took out their mobile phones to capture a glimpse of the cricketer.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-04/top-stories/32030472_1_cricket-oath-sachin-ramesh-tendulkar

If you go through his life, you will find out he never participated in any Vigorous controversial issues weather it was match fixing or any controversies of IPL or CPL. As we are aware that he always play too safe. Here I am not saying but his own innings is continuously reflecting these facts.

Under the captainship of Sachin, India played 73 one day international, won 23 and lost 43 matches. It put question mark on his leadership. He played very well individually. It shows that he is very good player but not a leader.

As Indians we all have love, regards for his contribution in the name, fame of India at international level. So the government should give him an honour of “BHARAT RATNA” rather than seat in Rajya Sabha where he is not fit legally and practically.

Why not legally: Sports is not mentioned in prescribed category of Fourth Schedule (Article 80) of the Constitution. It repudiates the said law.

Why not practically: He has been quite on any issue related to cricket or other. He never participated in any social issues. His own statement, I will focus on my cricket and as and when I stop playing cricket, I don't know when I will start attending to other things. He couldn’t take oath during the Budget Session due to IPL matches last month. All above statement reflect his narrow interest in Rajya Sabha. Where Policy are made and governed to run the entire country.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An important announcement for journalists of rural, semi urban and non-metro city areas

Ground Report India wants to motivate young Indian journalists and non-paid ground social activists of rural, semi-urban and non-metro urban areas for thoughtful, visionary and accountable journalism / citizen journalism.


If you as a journalist prefer to work on real ground to get sincere reports/articles/photos. You may earn money for your original reports,articles and photos, if reports/articles/photos are selected for publication in the quarterly print journal of Ground Report India group.

Good articles in Hindi could be accepted for publication after professional translation in English.

The payments for published articles/reports in Ground Report India may vary from 500 INR to 10,000 INR.


Coming Special Editions of Ground Report India quarterly print journal:
April 2012 Edition :  Indigenous and Tribal
Last date of Article submission : 10th March 2012

July 2012 Edition :  Electoral Reforms in India
Last date of articles submission : 10th June 2012


Note-
Ground Report India does not get grants, funds or donations to run its activities for ground and citizen journalism.  All expenses are met by the founder of Ground Report India.  It is not possible to pay for each article thus payments for articles are limited to print journal publication and for rural, semi-urban and non-metro urban areas.



Ground Report India (GRI) in Social Media:      

India: Prosecute Security Forces for Torture Recent Abuse Cases Reinforce Need to Enact Prevention of Torture Bill


New York, January 31, 2012

The Indian government should prosecute members of the security forces for recent high-profile cases of torture, to send a message that such practices will no longer be tolerated, Human Rights Watch said today.

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers, long implicated in torture and extrajudicial killings near the border with Bangladesh, were captured in a video posted on YouTube brutally beating a Bangladeshi national caught smuggling cattle in West Bengal state. And the Indian government has awarded a medal to a police superintendant alleged to have ordered the torture and sexual assault of a female schoolteacher in Chhattisgarh state, instead of investigating him.

“These horrific images of torture on video show what rights groups have long documented: that India’s Border Security Force is out of control,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Indian government is well aware of killings and torture at the border, but has never prosecuted the troops responsible. This video provides a clear test case of whether the security forces are above the law in India.”

In December 2010, Human Rights Watch, together with Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a Kolkatta-based nongovernmental organization that posted the video, and Dhaka-based Odhikar, published “‘Trigger Happy’: Excessive Use of Force by Indian Troops at the Bangladesh Border.” This report documented numerous cases of indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings by the BSF, and highlighted the failure of the Indian government to conduct adequate investigations or prosecute troops responsible for abuses. It showed that the BSF routinely abuses both Bangladeshi and Indian nationals residing in the border area. After the report’s release, the Indian government ordered an end to the use of lethal force except in cases of self-defense. While the number of killings decreased, allegations of killings and torture have continued.

The video, reportedly filmed by a BSF soldier, shows members of the BSF’s 105th Battalion stripping a man, a Bangladeshi national later identified as Habibur Rahman, tying him up and beating him, while laughing and engaging in verbal abuse. BSF personnel apparently caught when he was engaged in smuggling cattle from India into Bangladesh. Instead of handing him over to the police as required by Indian law, they illegally detained and tortured him and then left him to make his way back home. 

After MASUM released the video to local news channels, the BSF suspended eight soldiers – Sandip Kumar, Dhananjay Roy, Sunil Kumar Yadav, Suresh Chandra, Anand Kumar, Victor, Amarjyoti, and VirendraTiwari – and ordered an inquiry. However, despite clear evidence of abuse, to date no criminal charges have been filed against any soldiers.

“Whenever offenses attributed to the BSF occur, its leadership insists that there will be an internal inquiry and action taken,” said Ganguly. “But secret proceedings and suspensions or transfers won’t end the abuses. Torture is a serious crime that should be prosecuted in the courts.”

Many people routinely move back and forth across the Indian-Bangladeshi border to visit relatives, buy supplies, and look for jobs. Some engage in criminal activities, such as smuggling. The BSF is charged with intercepting illegal activities, especially narcotics smuggling, human trafficking for sex work, and transporting fake currency and explosives. It is also charged with protecting against violent attacks by militant groups.

The failure of the Indian government to prosecute authorities responsible for torture extends to all of the security forces, Human Rights Watch said. In another recent disturbing incident, Soni Sori, a schoolteacher in Chhattisgarh state, alleged that she was tortured and sexually assaulted by Chhattisgarh state police while in custody in October 2011. After her arrest as a suspected Maoist supporter, a criminal court in Chhattisgarh state handed her over to police custody for interrogation despite her pleas that she feared for her safety and life. Sori alleges that Ankit Garg, then-superintendent of police for Dantewada district, ordered the torture and sexual assault. The Indian Supreme Court ordered Sori’s transfer to the Kolkata medical college hospital for an independent medical examination. In November 2011, the examination report corroborated Sori’s allegations of physical abuse.

To date, the Indian authorities have not initiated any inquiry or criminal action against the police officers implicated. Instead of investigating the case, on Republic Day, January 26, 2012, the president of India, Pratibha Patil, presented Ankit Garg with a police medal for gallantry. The medal drew widespread condemnation.

The Indian government announced, in March 2011, a rape compensation package for all sexual assault victims, but even basic follow-up reproductive and sexual health services have yet to be made available to survivors like Soni Sori. One of her lawyers told Human Rights Watch that Sori, who is detained in Raipur central jail in Chhattisgarh, has not received any follow-up reproductive and sexual health care. Her hemoglobin count has dropped considerably and she has complained of reproductive health problems but her lawyer is concerned that she will not receive adequate medical care without obstruction by the Chhattisgarh police. During her stay at the Raipur medical college hospital for medical examination and treatment in October, the Chhattisgarh police forced the doctors to remove her intravenous drip, refusing to let her stay in the hospital.

“Soni Sori’s case epitomizes the callousness with which victims of torture are treated in India,” Ganguly said. “The Indian government shamefully presents a trophy to someone implicated in torture, while doctors cannot even treat a torture survivor without police obstruction.”

Human Rights Watch called upon the Indian government to ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to enact the Prevention of Torture bill, which is currently awaiting cabinet approval before it is voted on by the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. The law should override all provisions of Indian law that allow government officials immunity from prosecution for human rights violations. It should also ensure that adequate time is given for victims to be able to file complaints, and that all forms of inhuman and degrading treatment are brought under the purview of the law.

“The BSF, the police, and other members of the security forces operate with impunity throughout India,” said Ganguly. “When will the government in Delhi wake up and act to end torture and other human rights abuses?”

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on India, please visit:

Source:
Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

THIS ONCE AGAIN PROVES THAT UNLIKE DEVELOPED NATIONS INDIANS GO BY MOMENTARY PASSION AND NOT BE HARD LOGIC :: Why Anna Hazare fell ????


Written By: 
Yogesh Pratap Singh
He is a former IPS officer and lawyer
Could be reached at- yogeshpratapsingh AT gmail.com

------------------

Anna’s fall was predicted by me in April 2011 in an article in Tehelka. New York Times and others in media are analysing the same now when it should have been done then. People did not believe in me. TV channels were so obsessed with Anna’s glitter that after they heard me speak negative about Anna in various forums, t...hey kept me out from all interviews and panel discussions. For, TV Channels wanted only those activists in the panel who praised Anna. This was despite the fact that I was the only old associate of Anna who sat in fast with him in the year 2003. It is sad that when there were such glaring dubious elements to the entire agitation yet people did not see it even when it was brought before them.

THIS ONCE AGAIN PROVES THAT UNLIKE DEVELOPED NATIONS INDIANS GO BY MOMENTARY PASSION AND NOT BE HARD LOGIC. ARTICLE IN TEHELKA DATED 30 APRILE 2011: CHASING A MIRAGE: Soon after quitting the service in an attempt to reform a corrupt system, I was disillusioned to see Anna Hazare’s love for the trappings of power Yogesh Pratap Singh Mumbai MUMBAI, 2003.

Starting 9 August — August Kranti Day — Anna Hazare was to go on a fast demanding anticorruption measures. At that time, I was a serving officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS) posted in Mumbai. I checked the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, and could find nothing prohibiting collaboration with anti-corruption activists. I decided to join Anna in his fast. It was a modest scene then. The press was active but there was no hype. Unknown people, mostly from rural backgrounds, comprised the bulk of Anna’s supporters. Very few intellectuals were to be seen. For a couple of days, I sat on the stage next to Anna. After eight days of fasting, the then rather unknown Right to Information Ordinance specific to Maharashtra state, which had lapsed earlier, got resurrected in the form of an Act. Some decisions were also taken to decentralise powers of gram panchayats. I had to face the music within a fortnight. The Maharashtra government shunted me to Nagpur and subsequent events resulted in my leaving the IPS two years on.

But I wasn’t unhappy. As a matter of fact, I was reasonably optimistic, though some of Anna’s close associates were not exactly inspiring confidence. Besides, his inability to grasp the complex dynamics of modern times was a limitation. I soon realised that my perception of Anna was a mirage. As reality descended, I felt disillusioned. That was why I decided not to join the crusade at Jantar Mantar. Many reasons, one after the other, kept me away.

My first shock came when I saw a person fighting against the government so enamoured by authority. If a senior politician or minister called up Anna, he would feel gratified. Soon thereafter, he started moving in government vehicles with red beacon lights. I rode with him once. After I got off at Dadar, Anna drove to the plush High Mount Government Guest House at Malabar Hill, meant for high-level dignitaries. Scheming people in the Maharashtra government resolutely wooed Anna.

Exploiting his quest for eminence, the government would organise meetings of IAS officers to be chaired by him in the sixth-floor conference hall of CM Vilasrao Deshmukh. A special room was given at Mantralaya for Anna’s people, who started using it as their office. In sum, Anna became an extra-constitutional authority within the Maharashtra government.

Obviously, notwithstanding the rampant corruption in the state, he was no longer a threat to anyone associated with the government. However, I still thought those were minor issues.

The point of no return was reached when Anna took information from me with respect to two cases.

First was the Adarsh Society case, where the involvement of two Central ministers, namely Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, had become apparent in falsifying file notings.

The other was the Lavasa case, where the most startling revelation was that Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule and her husband held a 21 percent share, and that these shares were allotted to them at highly undervalued rates. Anna spoke on the issue cosmetically, backtracking soon after.

He decided not to speak against the Central ministers from Maharashtra, whose involvement in corruption had become a matter of record. In his agitation at Jantar Mantar, where the world was watching him, Anna never spoke about Pawar and his specific role in the Lavasa scam. He also never spoke against Deshmukh and Shinde, which should have been done first, before the demand for the Jan Lokpal Bill was taken up.

Finally, think about these:
How could activists who would need to do a critical appraisal of the final outcome themselves become part of the Lokpal Bill drafting exercise?

Why was there not a single woman in his 10-member committee?

Also, where are Anna’s old associates?

The coterie around him ensured these questions weren’t asked.

----------------------------
Courtesy Source:
Madhu Rayala, USA

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Sikkim Disaster :: “Khushi Punarvaas-2012” on 9th Jan 2012 at Sirifort Auditorium, New Delhi

The “Environmental Health Club” of Khushi Centre for Rehabilitation and Research in its Endeavour to highlight the issues of Environmental Health, promote basic research and the relief/rehabilitation work in Bihar, Andhra, and Sri-Nagar & Uttarakhand. Now, it’s again a high time to serve our nation by doing the work for our own disaster affected people of Sikkim.

Khushi Centre is organizing the “Khushi Punarvaas-2012” at Sirifort Auditorium-II by 4pm(onwards), on coming 9th January 2012. In this event we would have an expert panel talk; Exhibitions, Cultural Evening & Presentation of Memorabilia’s aiming on exchange of expert ideas on disaster relief / rehabilitation & resource mobilization. This event expects to have the participation of Institutions, PSU, and Corporate & Media.





Saturday, December 31, 2011

NATIONAL ACTION PLAN ON CLIMATE CHANGE

1. Overview

India is faced with the challenge of sustaining its rapid economic growth while dealing with the glob­al threat of climate change. This threat emanates from accumulated greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, anthropogenically generated through long-term and intensive industrial growth and high consumption lifestyles in developed countries. While engaged with the international community to collec­tively and cooperatively deal with this threat, India needs a national strategy to firstly, adapt to climate change and secondly, to further enhance the ecolog­ical sustainability of India's development path.

Climate change may alter the distribution and quality of India's natural resources and adverse­ly affect the livelihood of its people. With an econo­my closely tied to its natural resource base and cli­mate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and forestry, India may face a major threat because of the projected changes in climate.

India's development path is based on its unique resource endowments, the overriding priori­ty of economic and social development and poverty eradication, and its adherence to its civilizational legacy that places a high value on the environment and the maintenance of ecological balance.

In charting out a developmental pathway which is ecologically sustainable, India has a wider spectrum of choices precisely because it is at an earlystage of development. Our vision is to create a pros­perous, but not wasteful society, an economy that is self-sustaining in terms of its ability to unleash the creative energies of our people and is mindful of our responsibilities to both present and future genera­tions.

Recognizing that climate change is a global challenge, India will engage actively in multilateral negotiations in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a positive, constructive and for­ward-looking manner. Our objective will be to establish an effective, cooperative and equitable global approach based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilites and respective capabilities, enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Such an approach must be based on a global vision inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's wise dic­tum—The earth has enough resources to meet peo­ple's needs, but will never have enough to satisfy people's greed. Thus we must not only promote sus­tainable production processes, but equally, sustain­able lifestyles across the globe.

Finally, our approach must also be compati­ble with our role as a responsible and enlightened member of the international community, ready to make our contribution to the solution of a global challenge, which impacts on humanity as a whole. The success of our national efforts would be signifi­cantly enhanced provided the developed countries affirm their responsibility for accumulated green­house gas emissions and fulfill their commitments under the UNFCCC, to transfer new and additional financial resources and climate friendly technologies to support both adaptation and mitigation in devel­oping countries.

We are convinced that the principle of equi­ty that must underlie the global approach must allow each inhabitant of the earth an equal entitlement to the global atmospheric resource.

In this connection, India is determined that its per capita greenhouse gas emissions will at no point exceed that of developed countries even as we pursue our development objectives.

2. Principles

Maintaining a high growth rate is essential for increasing living standards of the vast majority of our people and reducing their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. In order to achieve a sus­tainable development path that simultaneously advances economic and environmental objectives, the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) will be guided by the following principles:

· Protecting the poor and vulnerable sections of society through an inclusive and sustainable devel­opment strategy, sensitive to climate change.

· Achieving national growth objectives through a qualitative change in direction that enhances eco­logical sustainability, leading to further mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

· Devising efficient and cost-effective strategies for end use Demand Side Management.

· Deploying appropriate technologies for both adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases e­missions extensively as well as at an accelerated pace. Engineering new and innovative forms of market, regulatory and voluntary mechanisms to promote sustainable development.

· Effecting implementation of programmes through unique linkages, including with civil society and local government institutions and through public­private-pa rtnersh i p.

· Welcoming international cooperation for research, development, sharing and transfer of technologies enabled by additional funding and a global IPR regime that facilitates technology transfer to developing countries under the UNFCCC.

3. Approach

The NAPCC addresses the urgent and critical con­cerns of the country through a directional shift in the development pathway, including through the enhancement of the current and planned pro­grammes presented in the Technical Document.

The National Action Plan on Climate Change identifies measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for address­ing climate change effectively. It outlines a number of steps to simultaneously advance India's develop­ment and climate change-related objectives of adap­tation and mitigation.

4. The Way Forward: Eight National Missions

In dealing with the challenge of climate change we must act on several fronts in a focused manner simul­taneously. The National Action Plan hinges on the development and use of new technologies. The implementation of the Plan would be through appropriate institutional mechanisms suited for effective delivery of each individual Mission's objec­tives and include public private partnerships and civil society action. The focus will be on promoting understanding of climate change, adaptation and mitigation, energy efficiency and natural resource conservation.

There are Eight National Missions which form the core of the National Action Plan, represent­ing multi-pronged, long-term and integrated strate­gies for achieving key goals in the context of climate change. While several of these programmes are already part of our current actions, they may need a change in direction, enhancement of scope and effectiveness and accelerated implementation of time-bound plans.

4.1. National Solar Mission

A National Solar Mission will be launched to signifi­cantly increase the share of solar energy in the total energy mix while recognizing the need to expand the scope of other renewable and non-fossil options such as nuclear energy, wind energy and biomass.

India is a tropical country, where sunshine is available for longer hours per day and in great inten­sity. Solar energy, therefore, has great potential as future energy source. It also has the advantage of permitting a decentralized distribution of energy, thereby empowering people at the grassroots level. Photovoltaic cells are becoming cheaper with new technology. There are newer, reflector-based tech­nologies that could enable setting up megawatt scale solar power plants across the country. Another aspect of the Solar Mission would be to launch a major R&D programme, which could draw upon international cooperation as well, to enable the cre­ation of more affordable, more convenient solar power systems, and to promote innovations that enable the storage of solar power for sustained, long-term use.

4.2. National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency

The Energy Conservation Act of 2001 provides a legal mandate for the implementation of the energy effi­ciency measures through the institutional mecha­nism of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in the Central Government and designated agencies in each state. A number of schemes and programmes have been initiated and it is anticipated that these would result in a saving of 10,000 MW by the end of 11th Five Year Plan in 2012.

To enhance energy efficiency, four new ini­tiatives will be put in place. These are:

· A market based mechanism to enhance cost effec­tiveness of improvements in energy efficiency in energy-intensive large industries and facilities, through certification of energy savings that could be traded.

· Accelerating the shift to energy efficient appliances in designated sectors through innovative measures to make the products more affordable.

· Creation of mechanisms that would help finance demand side management programmes in all sectors by capturing future energy savings.

· Developing fiscal instruments to promote energy efficiency

4.3. National Mission on Sustainable Habitat

A National Mission on Sustainable Habitat will be launched to make habitat sustainable through improvements in energy efficiency in buildings, man­agement of solid waste and modal shift to public transport. The Mission will promote energy efficien­cy as an integral component of urban planning and urban renewal through three initiatives.

i. The Energy Conservation Building Code, which addresses the design of new and large com­mercial buildings to optimize their energy demand, will be extended in its application and incentives pro­vided for retooling existing building stock.

ii. Recycling of material and Urban Waste Management will be a major component of ecologi­cally sustainable economic development. India already has a significantly higher rate of recycling of waste compared to developed countries. A special area of focus will be the development of technology for producing power from waste. The National Mission will include a major R&D programme, focus­ing on bio chemical conversion, waste water use, sewage utilization and recycling options wherever possible.

iii. Better urban planning and modal shift to public transport. Making long term transport plans will facilitate the growth of medium and small cities in ways that ensure efficient and convenient public transport.

In addition, the Mission will address the need to adapt to future climate change by improving the resilience of infrastructure, community based disas­ter management, and measures for improving the warning system for extreme weather events. Capacity building would be an important component of this Mission.

4.4. National Water Mission

A National Water Mission will be mounted to ensure integrated water resource management helping to conserve water, minimize wastage and ensure more equitable distribution both across and within states. The Mission will take into account the provisions of the National Water Policy and develop a framework to optimize water use by increasing water use effi­ciency by 20% through regulatory mechanisms with differential entitlements and pricing. It will seek to ensure that a considerable share of the water needs of urban areas are met through recycling of waste water, and ensuring that the water requirements of coastal cities with inadequate alternative sources of water are met through adoption of new and appro­priate technologies such as low temperature desali­nation technologies that allow for the use of ocean water.

The National Water Policy would be revisited in consultation with states to ensure basin level man­agement strategies to deal with variability in rainfall and river flows due to climate change. This will include enhanced storage both above and below ground, rainwater harvesting, coupled with equi­table and efficient management structures.

The Mission will seek to develop new regula­tory structures, combined with appropriate entitle­ments and pricing. It will seek to optimize the effi­ciency of existing irrigation systems, including reha­bilitation of systems that have been run down andalso expand irrigation, where feasible, with a special effort to increase storage capacity. Incentive struc­tures will be designed to promote water-neutral or water-positive technologies, recharging of under­ground water sources and adoption of large scale irrigation programmes which rely on sprinklers, drip irrigation and ridge and furrow irrigation.

4.5. National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem

A Mission for sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem will be launched to evolve management measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan gla­cier and mountain eco-system. Himalayas, being the source of key perennial rivers, the Mission would, inter-alia, seek to understand, whether and the extent to which, the Himalayan glaciers are in reces­sion and how the problem could be addressed. This will require the joint effort of climatologists, glaciol­ogists and other experts. We will need to exchange information with the South Asian countries and countries sharing the Himalayan ecology.

An observational and monitoring network for the Himalayan environment will also be estab­lished to assess freshwater resources and health of the ecosystem. Cooperation with neighbouring countries will be sought to make the network com­prehensive in its coverage.

The Himalayan ecosystem has 51 million peo­ple who practice hill agriculture and whose vulnera­bility is expected to increase on account of climate change. Community-based management of these ecosystems will be promoted with incentives to com­munity organizations and panchayats for protection and enhancement of forested lands. In mountainous regions, the aim will be to maintain two-thirds of the area under forest cover in order to prevent erosion and land degradation and ensure the stability of the fragile eco-system.

4.6. National Mission for a Green India

A National Mission will be launched to enhance eco­system services including carbon sinks to be called Green India. Forests play an indispensable role in the preservation of ecological balance and maintenance of bio-diversity. Forests also constitute one of the most effective carbon-sinks.

The Prime Minister has already announced a Green India campaign for the afforestation of 6 mil­lion hectares. The national target of area under for­est and tree cover is 33% while the current area under forests is 23%.

The Mission on Green India will be taken up on degraded forest land through direct action by communities, organized through Joint Forest Management Committees and guided by the Departments of Forest in state governments. An ini­tial corpus of over Rs 6000 crore has been earmarked for the programme through the Compensatory Afforestaion Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to commence work. The programme will be scaled up to cover all remaining degraded forest land. The institutional arrangement provides for using the corpus to leverage more funds to scale up activity.

4.7. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

The Mission would devise strategies to make Indian agriculture more resilient to climate change. It would identify and develop new varieties of crops and especially thermal resistant crops and alternative cropping patterns, capable of withstanding extremes of weather, long dry spells, flooding, and variable moisture availability.

Agriculture will need to be progressively adapted to projected climate change and our agri­cultural research systems must be oriented to moni­tor and evaluate climate change and recommend changes in agricultural practices accordingly.

This will be supported by the convergence and integration of traditional knowledge and prac­tice systems, information technology, geospatial technologies and biotechnology. New credit and insurance mechanisms will be devised to facilitate adoption of desired practices.

Focus would be on improving productivity of rainfed agriculture. India will spearhead efforts at the international level to work towards an ecologi­cally sustainable green revolution.

4.8. Natinal Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change

To enlist the global community in research and tech­nology development and collaboration through mechanisms including open source platforms, a Strategic Knowledge Mission will be set up to identi­fy the challenges of, and the responses to, climate change. It would ensure funding of high quality and focused research into various aspects of climate change.

The Mission will also have, on its research agenda, socio-economic impacts of climate change including impact on health, demography, migration patterns and livelihoods of coastal communities. It would also support the establishment of dedicated climate change related academic units in Universities and other academic and scientific research institu­tions in the country which would be networked. A Climate Science Research Fund would be created under the Mission to support research. Private sector initiatives for development of innovative technolo­gies for adaptation and mitigation would be encour­aged through venture capital funds. Research to support policy and implementation would be under­taken through identified centres. The Mission will also focus on dissemination of new knowledge based on research findings.

5. Implementation of Missions

These National Missions will be institutionalized by respective ministries and will be organized through inter-sectoral groups which include in addition to related Ministries, Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission, experts from industry, acade­mia and civil society. The institutional structure would vary depending on the task to be addressed by the Mission and will include providing the oppor­tunity to compete on the best management model.

Each Mission will be tasked to evolve specif­ic objectives spanning the remaining years of the 11th Plan and the 12th Plan period 2012-13 to 2016­17. Where the resource requirements of the Mission call for an enhancement of the allocation in the 11th Plan, this will be suitably considered, keeping in mind the overall resources position and the scope for re-prioritisation.

Comprehensive Mission documents detailing objectives, strategies, plan of action, timelines and monitoring and evaluation criteria would be devel­oped and submitted to the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change by December 2008. The Council will also periodically review the progress of these Missions. Each Mission will report publicly on its annual performance.

Building public awareness will be vital in supporting implementation of the NAPCC. This will be achieved through national portals, media engagement, civil society involvement, curricula reform and recognition/ awards, details of which will be worked out by an empowered group. The Group will also consider methods of capacity building to support the goals of the National Missions.

We will develop appropriate technologies to measure progress in actions being taken in terms of avoided emissions, wherever applicable, with refer­ence to business as usual scenarios. Appropriate indi­cators will be evolved for assessing adaptation bene­fits of the actions.

These Eight National Missions, taken together, with enhancements in current and ongoing programmes included in the Technical Document, would not only

assist the country to adapt to climate change, but also, importantly, launch the economy on a path that would progressively and substantially result in miti­gation through avoided emissions.

5.1. Institutional Arrangements for Managing Climate Change Agenda

In order to respond effectively to the challenge of cli­mate change, the Government has created an Advisory Council on Climate Change, chaired by the Prime Minister. The Council has broad based repre­sentation from key stake-holders, including Government, Industry and Civil Society and sets out broad directions for National Actions in respect of Climate Change. The Council will also provide guid­ance on matters relating to coordinated national action on the domestic agenda and review of the implementation of the National Action Plan on Climate Change including its R&D agenda.

The Council chaired by the Prime Minister would also provide guidance on matters relating to international negotiations including bilateral, multi­lateral programmes for collaboration, research and development. Details of the institutional arrange­ment are at Annexure 1.

The NAPCC will continue to evolve, based on new scientific and technical knowledge as they emerge and in response to the evolution of the mul­tilateral climate change regime including arrange­ments for international cooperation.

Indian Prime Minister's New Year Message to Nation

“My Fellow Citizens,

I wish you all a peaceful, productive and secure New Year.
New Year’s Day is a day of resolutions. Each of us makes our own resolutions – to live a healthier life, to live a more honest life, to live a better life and to live a happier life. I sincerely hope in the New Year we can all work together with a new resolve: to make our homes and neighbourhood, our village or town, and our nation a better place to live in.
If each of us works towards that end, we can be sure that we are also making the world a better and a safer place.

The year that has just ended was a very difficult year for the world. Economic crises, socio economic tensions, political upheavals in many developing countries and political deadlock in some of the developed countries, all cast their shadow on 2011. A ‘revolution of rising expectations’, fostered by the extraordinary reach of the electronic media and the connectivity provided by new social networking platforms, has kept Governments around the world on their toes.
We in India have had our share of problems.

The Indian economy slowed down and inflation edged up. Concern about corruption moved to the centre stage.
We must not be too downcast at these events. All countries and economies go through cycles. We must remember that downturns are followed by upturns. Indeed, they are often a test of our ability to respond to new challenges.

The task before us is clear. We must address the new concerns that have arisen while remaining steadfast in our commitment to put the nation on a development path which ensures rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth. I want to assure you all on this New Year’s day that I personally will work to provide an honest and more efficient government, a more productive, competitive and robust economy and a more equitable and just social and political order.

I believe we have made more progress than is commonly realised. I am personally delighted that Government was able to introduce the Food Security Bill and the Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta Bill in Parliament. The Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha. It is unfortunate that the Bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. However, our Government is committed to the enactment of an effective Lok Pal Act. Taken together with the Right to Information Act, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Right to Education Act, these are legislative legacies that generations of Indians will come to value, appreciate and benefit from.
Friends,

On this New Year’s Day I do not wish to dwell on the year gone by. Instead, I would like to focus instead on the challenges of the future, so that we can all work together to over come them.
Our biggest challenge today remains that of banishing poverty, ignorance and disease. Simultaneously, we must work to build an India that holds the promise of prosperity to the many millions of our people who are just beginning to emerge out of poverty. We must remain focused on this fundamental task in the Twelfth Plan period which begins in 2012-13.

As I look ahead I see Five Key Challenges facing the nation. To meet these challenges we need the concerted efforts of the central government, the state governments, political parties and indeed all concerned citizens.
First, there is the urgent challenge of eradicating poverty, hunger and illiteracy and providing gainful employment to all. I call this the challenge of Livelihood Security.

There are many steps we need to take to address this challenge and of these, the most important is to empower every citizen with the light of education. I say this with the deepest conviction because I know what education did for me.

I was born into a family of modest means, in a village without a doctor or a teacher, no hospital, no school, no electricity. I had to walk miles every day to go to school, but I persevered and was fortunate to be able to secure a high school education, and then go on to higher education. It is this access to education that transformed my life and gave me new opportunities which others with my background could not dream of.
I firmly believe that educating our children, providing them with employable skills, while also ensuring their good health, must be our first and primary task. There is no better investment we can make in the future – the future of our children, of our families, of our communities, and of our nation.

Along with education and affordable health care, we must also generate a growth process that can provide gainful employment to all. This is the only way that we can wipe out poverty in a sustainable fashion.
However, since many elements of this strategy will take time to bear full fruit, we must in the meantime pay urgent attention to the needs of those who need immediate support. It is for this reason that the government has taken steps to provide minimum employment and access to food to those who need it most.

I believe that the initiatives we have taken to invest in education and health, provide an employment guarantee and also provide food security, constitute a robust response to the challenge of providing greater Livelihood Security for our people.

My Fellow Citizens,

The second challenge that demands our attention is Economic Security. Economic security comes from having an economy that can produce the material output required to achieve desired consumption levels for the people and one that can generate the productive jobs needed to satisfy the aspirations of the workforce. To reach this level we will have to ensure rapid growth accompanied by adequate job creation. Rapid growth is also necessary to generate the revenues we need to finance our livelihood security programmes.

The process of economic reforms was initiated in the mid eighties and accelerated the 1990s precisely to accelerate our growth potential. Because of our democratic system, the reforms were introduced gradually to begin with, in order to garner broad based support. That we succeeded in this objective is evident from the fact that successive governments of different political complexions at the centre, and many governments belonging to different political parties in the states, have more or less pushed in the same direction. However, this gradualist pace also meant that the full effects of the reforms took time to have effect.
Yet, the fruits of this effort have been amply evident in the past several years. The average growth rate of the economy was around 4 % per year before the 1980s. It increased to an average of about 8 % since 2004.
Although we have every reason to be satisfied with this performance, it would be wrong to conclude that India is now unshakeably set on a process of rapid growth. Our growth potential is indeed established. But there are many challenges we have to face if we want to maintain this growth in the years ahead, as indeed we must.
To achieve sustained rapid growth we need to do more than halt the current slowdown though that is certainly the first step. We need to usher in a second agricultural revolution to ensure sufficient growth in rural incomes. We also need to usher in the many reforms needed to trigger rapid industrialisation and to build the infrastructure which such industrialisation needs.

Rapid growth will also bring structural change, notably in the rate of urbanisation. Our urban population is expected to grow from 380 million at present to 600 million by 2030. We must be able to provide productive jobs in the non agricultural sector for this expanding urban population and we must also be able to expand our urban infrastructure to deal with the expected expansion of the urban population.

In 1991 when we liberated our economy from the shackles of the Licence-Permit Raj, our main objective was to liberate the creativity of every one of our citizens from the deadweight of bureaucracy and corruption. Today’s youth, born in the 1980s and later, would have no memory of the kind of corruption that the regime of controls and permits had created. To get a railway ticket or a telephone connection you had to bribe someone. To buy a scooter you had to bribe someone to jump the queue!

However, even as the creative energies of our people have been unleashed and old forms of corruption have vanished, new forms of corruption have emerged which need to be tackled. Elimination of corruption is critical to support genuine entrepreneurship. It is also the demand of the ordinary citizen who encounters corruption all too often in everyday transactions with those in authority.

This is a serious problem that calls for a multi-dimensional response.
New institutions such as the Lokpal and the Lokayuktas are an important part of the solution and we have initiated the process for establishing them. But this is only one part of the solution. We also need reforms in systems of government which would increase transparency and minimise discretion so that the scope of misgovernance is reduced. We have taken several steps in this regard. We have introduced in Parliament a Bill on Citizen’s Charters which will empower citizens to demand services at appropriate standards from government departments. We have introduced a Bill on Judicial Accountability.

These initiatives will take time to have their full effect and we must therefore be patient. But I do believe they are transformational initiatives, which will be recognised as such a few years down the line.
A critical element in ensuring economic security and prosperity is the need for fiscal stability. India has paid a heavy price in the past for fiscal profligacy. Many of us can recall the dark days of 1990-91 when we had to go around the world begging for aid. Fortunately we were able to overcome the problem fairly quickly and for most of the past two decades we have been able to hold our head high, because we have managed our fiscal resources well. We must ensure that the country does not go down that road once again.

I am concerned about fiscal stability in future because our fiscal deficit has worsened in the past three years. This is mainly because we took a conscious decision to allow a larger fiscal deficit in 2009-10 in order to counter the global slowdown. That was the right policy at the time. But like other countries that resorted to this strategy, we have run out of fiscal space and must once again begin the process of fiscal consolidation. This is important to ensure that our growth process is not jeopardised and, equally important, our national sovereignty and self respect are not endangered.

The most important step for restoring fiscal stability in the medium term is the Goods and Services Tax. This would modernise our indirect tax system, increase economic efficiency and also increase total revenues. Another important step is the phased reduction in subsidies. Some subsidies, such as food subsidies are justifiable on social grounds and are expected to expand once the Food Security bill becomes operational. But there are other subsidies that are not and these must be contained.

Some of the reforms needed for economic security attract controversy and cause nervousness. This is understandable, but we should learn from our past experience with reforms. Things that we take for granted today caused similar controversy twenty years ago. We should remember that change is necessary for development and while we must anticipate change, and even protect the most vulnerable from ill effects, we should not lock ourselves into a blind refusal to contemplate change. If we have confidence in ourselves, we will be able to meet any challenge.

Friends,

The third challenge we face, is the challenge of Energy Security. Energy is an essential for development because higher levels of production inevitably involve larger energy use. Our percapita energy levels are so low that we need, and must plan for, a substantial growth in energy availability.

The energy security challenge is particularly great for India because we are trying to develop in an environment in which our domestic energy resources are limited and the world is transiting to a period when energy is likely to be scarce and energy prices are expected to be high.

As a first step, we must ensure effective utilisation of all available domestic energy resources. Unfortunately, our attempt to tap both old and new sources of energy is being threatened by a range of problems. Be it coal or hydro power, oil or nuclear power we find new challenges that have to be overcome to develop these resources to the fullest extent possible. We must re-examine all domestic constraints on such development to see how they can be overcome.

The domestic agenda for energy security is clear. We need new investment in established sources of energy such as coal, oil, gas, hydro electricity and nuclear power. We also need investment in new sources of energy, like solar and wind. Parallel with expanding domestic supplies, we need to promote energy efficiency to contain the growth of energy associated with rapid growth.

Both goals of expanding new investment and achieving energy efficiency require a more rational pricing policy, aligning India’s energy prices with global prices. This cannot be done immediately, but we need to outline a phased programme for such adjustment and then work to develop support for making the transition. I realise that this will not be easy, but unless we can achieve this transition we will not be able to promote energy efficiency as much as we should, and we will certainly not be able to attract enough investment to expand domestic energy supplies.

Energy security also has a global dimension. Even with the best domestic effort our dependence on imported energy is expected to increase. We need assured access to imported energy supplies and also access to new energy related technologies. This means we need sensible policies that can promote economic partnership with countries that have energy resources and technologies. We also need a pro active foreign policy, protecting our access to such resources and to foreign technology.

A fourth important challenge we face in the years ahead is the challenge of ecological security. Economic growth is essential for the well being of our people, but we cannot allow growth to be pursued in a manner which damages our environment. We owe it to future generations to ensure that the environment they inherit from us is at least as capable of providing economic security for them as the one we inherited from our parents

We cannot allow the waters of our rivers to be polluted by untreated effluent and sewage. Yet this is happening today because of weak regulation and lack of enforcement over industry and the cities. Similarly, we cannot allow air pollution to proceed unabated promoting respiratory diseases which impose a heavy burden on large numbers of our people especially the poor.

Ecological security also involves protection of our forests which play a critical role not only in absorbing carbon emissions but also in providing us with water security. Forests help reduce water run off and siltation and increase water retention in the ground, recharging our underground acquifers. Some forest land often has to be surrendered to allow the exploitation of natural resources including energy and mineral resources and hydro electric potential. This must be done in a manner which minimises the extent of surrender and also provides sufficient compensatory afforestation to ensure ecological security to the nation.

All these problems can be solved and have been solved in other countries. It requires stronger and more transparent regulation and it also involves extra costs. These costs must be borne by those who pollute and this principle must be well understood and strictly enforced.

Looking beyond the immediate ecological issues, there is the larger challenge of climate change. As responsible citizens of the world we must pursue a pattern of development which reduces greenhouse gas emissions per unit of our GDP by about 20-25% by 2020 as our contribution to global ecological security. This objective is closely linked to the pursuit of rational energy policies mentioned earlier.

Dear Citizens,

Finally, and most importantly, our vibrant democracy faces threats to internal and external security which together can be viewed as the challenge of National Security.

Despite grave provocations from extremists and terrorists, the people of India have remained united. They have not lost faith in our plural, secular and inclusive democracy. Across the world people look to India for inspiration. Our model of Inclusive Growth in an Open Society inspires those who seek freedom from tyranny.

A new wave of democracy demanding the empowerment of ordinary people is sweeping the world and India stands tall as a functioning democracy. We are a nation of over a billion people, plural, secular, democratic – with all the great religions of the world freely practiced here, with so many languages and cuisines, so many castes and communities – living together in an open society. This is an achievement for which every Indian can be proud.

The world acknowledges this achievement. I do believe that the world wants India to succeed because India offers hope.

Our democracy has its faults, but our people are aware of them and have shown their ability to correct these faults.

Often democracy can be frustrating – both to those who are in government and to those who expect it to be more efficient, effective and humane. But our democracy is our strength. It is the basis of our unity. It is also the most important guarantor of internal security.

Equally important for our national security is the modernisation of our defence forces. Indeed, India’s economic and energy security also require this. Our Army, our Navy and our Air Force require modernisation and upgradation of personnel and systems. Ensuring this will remain my most important task as Prime Minister.

Dear Fellow Citizens,

Today I have shared my thoughts with you to make you understand the nature of the challenges we face entering a New Year.

I have identified Five key challenges facing us. These will be on top of our policy agenda this year - Livelihood Security (education, food, health and employment), Economic Security, Energy Security, Ecological Security and National Security.

In addressing each of these five challenges we must work together as a nation, while working with like-minded nations around the world.

I assure you that I will work with all the energy at my command to ensure that we meet each of these challenges and overcome them.

Let us stand united as a people in overcoming these challenges.
I wish you the best in the year and the years ahead.

Jai Hind!”