- Bihar government in the process of preparing database of its employees
- Lokpal bill to cover ISRO,defense and Prime Minister
- China thanks India for saving its sailors
- IPL match at Indore under terror threat
- Vastanvi urges Muslims to embrace modern education
- Regular tweets not competitive to work says Jammu CM
- Pakistani major planned entire Mumbai attack says US
- Sehwag misses the rest of IPL
- Bihar to focus on Second Green Revolution
- Government gifts Bihar’s Green Daughters
Posted: 09 May 2011 06:54 PM PDT
Patna, May 9 (IANS) Bihar has decided to prepare an exhaustive database of its 4.12 lakh government employees for the smooth functioning of the state administration, officials said Monday.
According to an official in the Chief Minister’s Office, the database will help the government in fixing liability of salary, pension, development budget.
“The database will provide the state government an easy access of control over its finances,” an official of the state finance department said.
The finance department had directed all department heads to ensure that the details of every employee drawing salary from the government treasury be made available by June 17, failing which their salaries for June and the next quarter would not be released.
The proposed database would include details of educational qualification, nationality, religion, appointment order, date of annual increment and retirement, details of entitlements, PAN card and bank account number.
In March, Bihar become the first state in the country to make assets of government employees public by uploading the details of its officials on the government website, a step in line with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s anti-corruption initiatives.
Posted: 09 May 2011 02:02 PM PDT
Bangalore, May 9 (IANS) Arms deals, sensitive organizations like the Indian space agency besides the prime minister will be under the jurisdiction of the proposed Lokpal or national ombudsman, N. Santosh Hegde, a member of the 10-member drafting panel said Monday.
The panel proposed ‘to bring arms deals, organisations like ISRO, besides the prime minister under the Lokpal purview’, Hegde, Karnataka ombudsman and a civil society member of the drafting panel, said at a meeting here on the proposed Lokpal.
He said arms deals and organizations such as Indian Space Research Organisation were ‘important from internal security angle’ and hence ‘they will be brought under the Lokpal purview’.
ISRO was recently caught in a controversy over its agreement with a private agency to lease scarce air waves (S-band spectrum). The deal has since been cancelled.
Hegde, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, said the Lokpal institution would have one Chief Lokpal under whom there would be 10 Lokpals.
The panel, which has held three meeting so far, has five civil society members and five central ministers.
The panel will again meet on May 23 and May 30, Hegde said.
He said a couple of more meetings would be needed to draft a strict anti-graft bill.
Posted: 09 May 2011 01:49 PM PDT
Beijing, May 9 (PTI) Acknowledging Indian Navy’s effort in rescuing 24 Chinese sailors from a ship hijacked by Somali pirates, China today said it was working out a new security plan to protect its vessels and crew members from such attacks.
The Chinese vessel MV Fu Cheng (Full City), registered in Panama, faced a pirate attack 450 nautical miles off the Karwar Coast (of Karnataka) while it was on its way from Jeddah to Tuticorin port on May 6.
The Indian Navy swung into action and mobilised its aircraft and ships immediately after receiving an emergency call from the Chinese authorities and thwarted the attack.
“It was thus the navies of other countries, Turkey’s and India’s among them that helped to drive away the pirates and escorted the ship to safety,” Chinese Vice-Minister of Transport Xu Zuyuan said.
Posted: 09 May 2011 01:39 PM PDT
Indore, May 9 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh police have tightened security arrangements following an intelligence input that militants may target the two IPL matches to be played at Holkar Stadium here next week.
“We have got a generalised advisory from home ministry that some terror group might become active during the IPL matches,” said Indore Range’s Inspector General, Sanjay Rana.
“We are taking all the measures to ensure peaceful conduct of the matches,” he added.
Rana, however, denied any terrorist group had threatened to attack during the matches so far.
He said the police intelligence wing had swung into action and was gathering information.
Around 2,000 policeman, some of them in plain clothes, will man the stadium security. Bomb disposal squad and sniffer dogs too will be available.
Indore has witnessed some activity of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in the past.
Posted: 09 May 2011 01:37 PM PDT
Bijnor (UP), May 9 (PTI) Vice-Chancellor of Darool Uloom Deoband seminary Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi has said Muslims must embrace modern education as it will solve the problem of poverty faced by the community.
Speaking at Shehzadpur Nagal village in Najibabad here, Vastanvi said the government alone could not bring Muslims out of poverty and modern education was the only solution.
He said though Muslims comprise over 20 per cent of the population of Uttar Pradesh, Urdu is not imparted properly in the state’s government schools and the language is taught well only in madrassas.
He also said it was not right to view madrassas with suspicion.
Vastanvi’s comments are in tune with Vice-President Hamiz Ansari’s statement yesterday in Bangalore that Muslims need to embrace modern education to stay apace with the changing times in addition to pursuing religious studies.
Posted: 09 May 2011 01:35 PM PDT
Srinagar, May 9 (PTI) Popular for frequently posting comments on social networking site ‘twitter’, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said his recurrent tweets did not affect his work as head of the government but helped in eliciting feedback from people on various issues.
“Typing 140 characters on the phone does not take time.
Let me assure you it does not affect my work as Chief Minister,” Omar told reporters here.
“It is a very useful tool to elicit feedback from a limited but important audience,” he said.
Omar said the use of twitter was secondary to his work as chief minister.
Asked if he had exceeded the speed limit while driving from Jammu to Srinagar yesterday, Omar said it was not possible as the jammers in his cavalcade did not allow speed to exceed 80 kms per hour.
Posted: 09 May 2011 01:32 PM PDT
New Delhi, May 9 (PTI) A suspected serving Pakistani Major, believed to be working with the ISI, is among four nationals of that country charged by the US with being alleged conspirators behind the 2008 Mumbai terror strikes.
The accused identified as ‘Major Iqbal’, was named along with Sajid Mir, Mazhar Iqbal and Abu Qahafa in a second superseding indictment filed by the federal prosecutors before a court in Chicago on April 25 last. Besides, the indictment mentioned an unnamed individual as “Lashkar Member D.”
Indian investigators had named Major Iqbal along with another Pakistani Army officer Major Sameer Ali as the brain behind the Mumbai terror strikes and on the request of New Delhi, Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against them.
The dossier was handed over during the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks on February 25, 2010 in New Delhi.
Posted: 09 May 2011 01:29 PM PDT
New Delhi, May 9 (PTI) Virender Sehwag has been ruled out of the rest of the IPL matches this season as he will undergo a surgery on his injured shoulder, a development which may also make him unavailable for India’s forthcoming tour of the West Indies.
Australian all-rounder James Hopes has been appointed the captain for Delhi Daredevils remaining three matches.
Delhi Daredevils CEO Amrit Mathur said that Sehwag will be proceeding to England for the surgery and Hopes has been given the responsibility of leading the team in the remaining matches.
“We will miss Sehwag. But he has to undergo the surgery and that is why he will not take anu further part in the IPL”, Mathur said.
Posted: 09 May 2011 03:50 AM PDT
Patna, May 7: The Bihar government has shifted its focus to agriculture with the intent to make the state a "pioneer" in the second green revolution, stung by the lukewarm response of investors coupled with the Centre's "non-cooperation" in ushering in an era of industrial growth.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar has constituted an agriculture cabinet comprising 17 government departments. The department is aided by agriculture scientist and former director-general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Mangala Rai. The agriculture cabinet has 14 sub-committees made up of agriculture scientists, experts, planners, ministers and officials to work out ways to put Bihar on the fast track of agricultural growth.
Nitish presided over its first meeting last month.
Asked about his emphasis on agriculture, the chief minister told The Telegraph: "I have all along said I do not recognise the setting up of factories here and there as the sign of development. I believe in growth with justice, which would ensure food, clothing, house and education to one and all. Bihar with its good climate and fertile soil irrigated by several rivers has the potential to become a cradle of the second green revolution."
"We prepared roadmaps for the development of agriculture, industries and other infrastructure during our first tenure from 2005 to 2010. Now, it is the time to assess our first term's achievements and follow up vigorously for faster growth and better dividends," he added.
Nitish said Bihar would make industrial progress on the back of agricultural growth and agro-based industries. "I have expressed my wish to ensure a food item from Bihar on the dishes of every Indian. This can happen only through revolution in the farm sector," he said.
Farm experts tried to explain the rationale behind Nitish's thinking given that the focus in others states is on industrial growth. A.R. Khan, a doctorate in soil physics from IIT-Kharagpur and principal scientist, ICAR (eastern region), said: "The chief minister wishes to play on his strength. With the segregation of Jharkhand, Bihar lacks in coal, iron and other raw materials required for industrial growth."
Khan said it was always better to do what you can do better. "It is said that if the third world war takes place it will be over water. Fortunately, the Indo-Gangetic plain and Brahmaputra basin, in which Bihar, Bengal and other states lie, is endowed with adequate river water and groundwater resources. Other regions are going to suffer without them. Why should the government not use such a resource to make the region a repository of food grain?" he asked.
Bureaucrats pointed to the "many irremovable hurdles" that the government encountered while promoting industrial growth. "Entrepreneurs did respond initially to the government's proposal to set up ethanol industries based on sugar-cane. But the Centre amended the law making it mandatory for investors to produce sugar too besides ethanol, compelling them to back out," said an officer.
The government, said the officer, therefore wanted special category status from Delhi that would ensure tax holidays, coal linkage and availability of resources to lure investors but that has not happened so far.
Moreover, with population rising and price of land galloping, few are willing to part with their land. Nitish has already seen what happened with Singur in Bengal where the land agitation drove out the Nano project. "Take the case of Bihar also where farmers are fighting against acquisition of land even for setting up power plants, not to speak of ceding land for private entrepreneurs," said a minister. "No government would promote private industries at the cost of losing people's support."
Posted: 08 May 2011 11:49 PM PDT
Patna, May 8 (IANS) For the daughters of Bihar’s Dharhara village, whose pledge to mother nature has made the place a green haven, a fitting gift is on the way from the state government – a residential school and a children’s development centre.
Dharhara, the small village 230 km east of Patna in Bhagalpur district, made big news a long time back when its families decided to plant fruit trees, including mango and litchi, to celebrate the birth of every girl child born there.
The practice is for every family to plant at least 10 trees whenever a girl child is born. It has paid off well as Dharhara now makes other villages turn green with its own greenery.
The state government has decided to show its appreciation by presenting the village with a Kilkari Bal Kendra and a Kasturba Gandhi Balika residential school to encourage the remarkable commitment to society and nature, officials said.
Kilkari, under the human resources development (HRD) department, works to promote creative learning among children in the state.
Anjani Kumar Singh, principal secretary of the HRD department, said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will personally gift the school and the children’s centre to the daughters of Dharhara village June 6.
‘Nitish Kumar will inaugurate a Kilkari Bal Kendra and will lay the foundation stone of a Kasturba Gandhi Balika residential school,’ Singh told IANS.
Dharhara village impressed Nitish Kumar last year with its initiative, which symbolises the empowerment of women and the protection of the environment in a unique way.
The chief minister had then lauded the village and dubbed it a role model for other villages in Bihar and also in other states.
Kumar said then that the novel initiative served the twin purpose of environment conservation and promotion of gender equality.
During his visit to the village, the chief minister will also gift toys to Lavi Kumari and another girl.
Last year in June, during his visit to Dharhara, Kumar had planted a tree to mark the birth of Lavi Kumari, born to the proud parents Saurabh Singh and Priyanka Devi.
The HRD official said that the chief minister last month asked him to plan something to gift the daughters of Dharhara village.
‘The education department proposed to set up a Kilkari Bal Kendra to help children learn painting, music and other arts and crafts,’ he said.
According to Kilkari officials, the Bal Kendra in Dharhara village will be the first outside the urban centres in Bihar.
‘A team of top officials from the HRD department and Kilkari visited Dharhara early this month in connection with the launch of the centre,’ an official said.
Dharhara is one of the few villages in Bihar with primary, middle and high schools running.
‘The Bal Kendra will be set up in the middle school and will train children in music, painting, yoga and arts and crafts,’ an official said.
Munna Singh, a middle-aged villager, said that it was an age-old practice in the village to celebrate and greet the birth of a girl by planting at least 10 fruit-bearing trees.
‘We treat a girl child as the incarnation of goddess Lakshmi (the Hindu goddess of wealth),’ he said.
According to Manhu Devi, another villager, all families in Dharhara, without any social or economic divide, have been planting trees.
‘This has made our village uniquely green and happy,’ she said.
At present there are over 20,000 fruit-bearing trees in Dharhara.
The fruit trees have also helped the villagers economically, bringing them considerable earnings.
‘The fruit trees are like bank deposits to them. It also keeps the environment rich,’ Munna Singh said.
(Imran Khan can be contacted at email@example.com)
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