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Showing posts from January 9, 2014

100 % FDI in existing pharma cos stays

The government will continue with the policy of allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment in existing pharmaceutical firms. In a Press Note, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, also said the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) would decide on the contentious non-compete clause in special cases. “The government has reviewed the position in this regard and decided that the existing policy would continue with the condition that ‘non-compete’ clause would not be allowed except in special circumstances with the approval of the FIPB,” the DIPP said in the Press Note.

Moneybags and vote banks

Indians living abroad are unlikely to vote in a general election, but they can help a political party in many other ways. Although they are stereotypically seen as moneybags with an ultra-nationalistic spirit who hope to make a difference from a distance, in the age of the social media they can also serve as a vital cog in the propaganda machine of parties. The Bharatiya Janata Party, touted as the party with a difference, was the original favourite of the most vocal sections of non-resident Indians, but the party appears to be losing some ground to the new star on the firmament, the Aam Aadmi Party. Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP, now seen as the harbingers of change, have captured the imagination of many NRIs as also some of their money — about Rs. 6 crore came from overseas contributions. The BJP has sensed this shift as well as anyone else. The Overseas Friends of BJP, an organisation of non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin who back the BJP and seek investment opportuni…

Where the Chief Minister is the rubber stamp

Without being a full-fledged State empowered with federal sovereignty and constitutional powers both under the State and Concurrent lists, it might be almost impossible for any government in Delhi to govern UNEASY LIES THE CROWN:Apart from the dynamics of there being a political risk to its existence, there is a static legal impediment to the mission of the Delhi government. Picture shows Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Secretariat. — PHOTO: PTI A new political outfit, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is getting on to the seat of “power.” But, its constitutional authority is shrouded in “powerlessness” because of various Union Territory limitations. Meanwhile, in the national capital, the common man looks up to the AAP hoping that it can change the shape of governance — from the present mess to fresh pro-people governance. That hope is associated with several constitutional doubts about the real powers that a Chief Minister of Delhi could exercise to fulfil poll-promises. A section of th…

When the nice guys didn’t finish last

The importance of the Aam Aadmi Party’s stunning triumph in the recently concluded election to the Delhi Assembly goes beyond its impressive numbers (28 in an Assembly of 70). It even goes beyond its being able to form a government (albeit with outside support). Its greatest achievement lies in its being able to win a clean election, without having to resort to money and muscle power or without having to exhort caste, creed, class or religious loyalties. It kept its expenditure within the statutory limit (Rs.16 lakh for an election to the State Assembly of Delhi). That any candidate can win an election today within the limits set by law, even with the support of party cadres, is a fact to be applauded. But when a political party wins an election without breaking the election code in any significant respect, and that too under harsh media glare in the national capital, it is all the more remarkable. The AAP’s candidates, by all accounts, had very little money in their pockets. They, h…

‘Political will needed to make RTE work’

The Right to Education (RTE) Act guarantees children a place in school but it requires political will and public participation in running schools and sensitive bureaucrats who understand the needs of children to make it effective, say education activists. At a discussion organised byThe HinduCentre for Politics and Public Policy here on Wednesday, eminent persons associated with children’s education spoke of the ways in which to ensure that the RTE was a right in letter and in spirit.

Environment Ministry softens stand

Projects falling within wildlife zones back in the reckoning Several project proposals which were taken off the list for forest clearance as they fell within wildlife zones or were awaiting comprehensive assessment will be considered afresh by the Forest Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in January. The proposals include exploration for coal in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, in zones that were earlier identified by the ministry as being part of a wildlife corridor. There is also a proposal to permit iron ore excavation in Saranda, Jharkhand, where permission for mining was blocked after the area had been identified as an elephant reserve. Yet another proposal is for the 700 MW Tato-II Hydroelectric Project on the Siyom in Arunachal Pradesh without a cumulative assessment study the ministry earlier mandated for the river basin. The Forest Advisory Committee is the statutory authority under the Forest Conservation Act. It is headed by the seniormost forest offic…

India re-emerging as investment hub, says PM

Country averaged a healthy growth rate of 7.9 per cent per year’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday claimed that the government’s economic reforms had already started creating an impact (on the world) and India was re-emerging as an attractive investment destination. “…our decisions are already beginning to make an impact and India is re-emerging as an attractive investment destination. I am confident you will see the evidence clearly in the next few months,” Dr. Singh said inaugurating the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (conference of Indian expatriates) organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs here.

New norms for psychological support to molestation victims

The Department of Health Research (DHR) has drawn up guidelines on addressing psychological aspects of sexual violence. The new rules focus on bracing a victim of sexual assault for ‘secondary victimisation’ resulting from inadequate support from family, friends, service providers, and the criminal justice system. According to the guidelines, a counsellor must tell a victim what might happen in court and discuss methods by which they can handle the situation .

Release Vaigai water for irrigation in Melur: HC

The Madras High Court bench here on Wednesday ordered the release of water from the Vaigai credit for irrigation in Melur. The judgment issued by a Division Bench comprising Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani, based on three public interest litigations, brought relief to hundreds of farmers in Melur, who were awaiting the release of water to save their standing crops spread across the taluk. In their order, the judges cited a communication from the PWD authorities to the Madurai District Collector on December 12, 2013 indicating that 700 mcft water could be distributed to Melur irrigation lands from the Vaigai credit. The communication was submitted pursuant to a representation given by the farmers from Melur to the PWD seeking water for irrigation on December 9, 2013.

Mayanur barrage ready for opening

Poised to become the source of the river-linking programme With the construction of the new barrage-cum-road across the Cauvery at Mayanur in Karur district nearing completion, the stage is set for the commissioning of the facility later this month or in early February. The Rs. 234-crore project is poised to become the fountainhead of the ambitious intra-State river-linking programme in Tamil Nadu. Farmers served by Kattalai High Level Canal, New Kattalai High Level Canal, South Bank Canal, and North Bank Canal branching off on either side of the Cauvery had been demanding a barrage that could store flood water to feed the irrigation channels and improve the water table in the adjoining areas for a long time. The four channels irrigate over 1.12 lakh acres in Karur, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, and Pudukkottai districts.

Why not de-allocate coal blocks, SC asks Centre

The Supreme Court on Wednesday suggested to the Centre to cancel coal blocks that have not received environmental clearance. The court said huge investments could not be a ground for not scrapping the licence. A three-judge Bench, comprising R.M. Lodha, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph asked Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati “why not de-allocate coal blocks in which companies do not have forest and environmental clearance. You have already de-allocated 40 blocks. Why don’t you do it for the 29 blocks of private companies?” When Mr. Vahanvati said that it would be difficult to cancel the licences as the companies had invested about Rs.2 lakh crore, Justice Lodha said “any amount of investment will not give them the right if they have only allocation letters, and no clearances and prospective licences. The companies which invested money on blocks without getting clearances took the decision at their own risk. They must suffer consequences no matter how much investment has been made.”

Kejriwal launches anti-graft helpline

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday launched a helpline number to deal with corruption and promised action against those involved in corrupt practices within 24 hours of a sting operation conducted by citizens with help from the advisors of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the State government. Mr. Kejriwal, however, clarified that the helpline number (011-27357169) is an “anti-corruption helpline number” and not a “complaint number” that will work from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. “It is not a complaint number. It is a helpline number, where people will be advised and explained by an anti-corruption department official on how to conduct a sting operation. The sting could be done either in visual or audio mode. After doing the sting, the person should get back to the same advisor,

All India Radio a discussion on "Report on ‪Adarsh‬ Housing Society Scam".

The News Services Division of All India Radio in its "Samayiki" programme brings you a discussion on "Adarsh housing society ghotale par report ".

Click here to listen the Programme in Hindi:

In its "Spotlight/ News Analysis" programme ‪#‎AIR‬ brings you a discussion on "Report on ‪#‎Adarsh‬ Housing Society Scam".

RBI eases foreign direct investment rules

(Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday relaxed foreign direct investment regulations to allow investors to exit their investments subject to the conditions of a minimum lock-in period and without any assured returns.
The RBI said the relaxation was expected to facilitate great foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the country.
Asia's third-largest economy saw FDI inflows from April to October in 2013 drop 15 percent from a year earlier to $12.6 billion, despite the opening of new sectors.