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EDITORIAL

Seeking investment

Chief Minister has given vent to his vision of investment in States electronic technology in a big way so that employment for the youth is generated and economy of the state is strengthened. This is a good idea and we have always been laying emphasis on industrialization of the State. In this age of electronics and computer technology, entire life style has changed and vast scope for diversification of developmental activity has been explored? It is unfortunate if the State does not derive proper benefit of the scientific and technological advancement marking the modern times. There are no two opinions about the intellectual human resource of high quality available in the State but the potential has not been exploited to optimum output. The time has come when industrialization of the State is to be re-oriented.
A look in retrospect will show that many misconceptions and false apprehensions dogged the state's decision making organs during past six decades when the question of investment by Indian capitalists and business magnates
........more

Half-hearted act

This summer has seen a long tantrum for Panchayati Raj, Panchayt elections and the propaganda that successful management of Panchayati Raj is the panacea for the difficulties and problems facing the State were trumpeted all the time. It was presented as something like a gift from gab bound to treat all ills afflicting the Sate. But in a democracy, the people at the helm of affairs know how to play with the sentiments of the people. From the very beginning there was a row on the issue of applying the Panchayati Raj Act with or without .. ........more

Anna's Aandolan

By S Narinder Singh

Corruption is the result of the nexus between political class, bureaucracy and the business class. The politicians, possibly have the most to lose, if these Bills are introduced and passed by the Parliament and legislatures at the state level.
The last time in late 1980s's, the corruption hit the country with ''Bofors'' scam while the current ''Bofors'' are the common wealth games, 2-G, .. .. .
...more

Electronic media in agricultural development

By Dr Banasri Lal & Dr Vikas Tandon

The population of our country has already crossed one billion and is still increasing alarmingly. It is really creating a tremendous pressure on the food grain production of India.
Roughly it has been observed that there is an increase in per capita availability of food grain in India but there is no certainty of filling the number of empty stomachs in the new millennium. . . . ...
...more

Curb discreationary powers

By Arun Nehru

The Jan Lok Pal first round is over but it is rather early to think of victory and defeat and Anna ji while he recovers from his fast fires a missile or two on the right of the electorate to reject and remove and I suppose there will be additional demands on several issues and I think both Team Anna and the UPA along with the Opposition have sufficient time to think and reflect on the future. All sides concede that corruption is a issue and while this covers a large spectrum of activities . . . ...more

EDITORIAL

Seeking investment

Chief Minister has given vent to his vision of investment in States electronic technology in a big way so that employment for the youth is generated and economy of the state is strengthened. This is a good idea and we have always been laying emphasis on industrialization of the State. In this age of electronics and computer technology, entire life style has changed and vast scope for diversification of developmental activity has been explored? It is unfortunate if the State does not derive proper benefit of the scientific and technological advancement marking the modern times. There are no two opinions about the intellectual human resource of high quality available in the State but the potential has not been exploited to optimum output. The time has come when industrialization of the State is to be re-oriented.
A look in retrospect will show that many misconceptions and false apprehensions dogged the state's decision making organs during past six decades when the question of investment by Indian capitalists and business magnates was taken up. It was propagated within close circles in the corridors of power that by inviting Indian Corporations and business magnates to make investment, the State would ultimately lose its special status and individuality. Ambiguity of local leadership and lack of clear-cut industrialization policy kept investors away from the state. This was ultimately to the detriment of the interests of the State. If by chance some industries countable on finger tips were incepted, there was so much interference from the government that these units soon ran into losses. For instance take the case of HMT Watch Factory at Hanjeek heights. A factory with latest machines and technology and technical staff was started in right earnest. But with the passage of time and owning to interference by the government, it became a den of intrigues where more of short sighted politics began to be manufactured than the watches. The case of Wuyan Cement Factory is nothing better. One Cadbury floated the plan of using vast quantities of Kashmir apples and other fruits normally getting wasted for making jams. The blue print of the plan was accepted and the Cadbury even established collection centres at innumerable places in the apple growing region of Rafiabad in Sopor. But before the work would start, it ended in a fiasco. The reason is that the apple merchants and middlemen, fearing loss to their business of exploiting the basic fruit growers engineered the failure of the scheme. These are glaring examples of a sort of anti-industrial culture promoted in the valley just for political aggrandizement.
We have raised the point not for discouraging the Omar Abdullah Government in pursuing its plans of giving a big boot to Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) industry in the State. It appears that he has the blue print ready with him for discussion with proper quarters in New Delhi. He has begun the old mantra of asking the centre to provide adequate funds for the scheme, and we see no reason why the centre will not be forthcoming to assist the state in its industrial development. The Chief Minster will have to make sure that he carries the entire Kashmir leadership with him, and that the ESDM will not go hay-way as some of the aforementioned industrial units were made to go. If the State leadership was not myopic, and if false apprehensions and far-fetched inferences were not to keep the state tied to conservatism, the industrialization that the Chief Minister advocates now with all his earnestness would have been carried out decades ago. It is noted that on the behest of the PMO some mega industrial houses have agreed to soften their attitude towards investment in the State. Recently Wipro has concluded spot placement of youth in Kashmir University. This is the beginning of a great change in the overall economic and industrial scenario of the State. But we must warn the Chief Minister that no real industrialization in the State is possible if the State continues to be handicapped by power deficit. Before embarking on a major thrust for ESDM, the government must take decisive and fast steps to improve power supply position in the State.

Half-hearted act

This summer has seen a long tantrum for Panchayati Raj, Panchayt elections and the propaganda that successful management of Panchayati Raj is the panacea for the difficulties and problems facing the State were trumpeted all the time. It was presented as something like a gift from gab bound to treat all ills afflicting the Sate. But in a democracy, the people at the helm of affairs know how to play with the sentiments of the people. From the very beginning there was a row on the issue of applying the Panchayati Raj Act with or without the inclusion of Amendments 73 and 74. The State government never committed itself to the inclusion of these two amendments whenever Panchayati Act was going to be implemented. But it was the PCC Prof. Soz who, speaking at some public function in Langet, said that Congress would ask for inclusion of these two amendments while applying the Act. But now the coalition government has moved forward and begun to implement the Act without including the two amendments in question. It has granted one lac rupees to each Panchayt by way of what it has been drumming up as financial empowerment. The government has asked the Centre to release 1200 crore rupees as the promised amount once Panchayat elections were over. But placing one lac rupees at the disposal of each Panchayat for developmental works is a cruel joke. Is this what the Chief Minster has been calling financial empowerment? According to the Act, and the two amendments to it, the Panchayats are entitled to a big money for development purposes out of the allocated amount of 1200 crore. The way the government thinks the Panchayats will be made functional is flawed and may even become counter productive. Foremost of all it is necessary to keep the Panchayati Raj system away from local and regional politics. Unless there is a foolproof guarantee of non-interference by political parties and their leadership, Panchayat system may not become rally functional and may not be able to deliver the goods. The State government should desist from playing tricks like exclusion the two amendments from the Act. It will earn them the ire of the masses of people and not their goodwill.

Anna's Aandolan

By S Narinder Singh

Corruption is the result of the nexus between political class, bureaucracy and the business class. The politicians, possibly have the most to lose, if these Bills are introduced and passed by the Parliament and legislatures at the state level.
The last time in late 1980s's, the corruption hit the country with ''Bofors'' scam while the current ''Bofors'' are the common wealth games, 2-G, mining, and the like. It is of course not clear whether, finally, the jinx of 42 years will be broken and there will be a Lokpal and in what form. The Govt prepared another draft of the Lokpal Bill in Oct 2010. However, if effective Lokpal Bill gets passed and is implemented in the real spirit the people who benefit from corruption are likely to face a cut to their monetary inflows and those who have to pay to get their legitimate dues are likely to gain. Common citizens who pay to bribe benefit by getting their job done, but the one who gets the bribes to do the job benefits more. The politicians seem to have succeeded to some extent in convincing some significant parts of civil society that Lokpal Bill being extremely important piece of legislation needs to be discussed at all levels before it can be considered seriously. The idea is to delay the process. Actually this Bill is a small step in the shift of a bit of power from the political class supported by bureaucracy and the business in favour of people. Such shifts are necessary from time to time to correct imbalances that creep in over time.
We got freedom from British rule but not from corruption. It has penetrated every sphere of public activity and our blood deeply, its roots are so strong and firm that it has become a way of life for all of us. It has become difficult to eradicate it unless a revolution take place in our country and Anna Hazare's agitation is a first step towards revolution for bringing change in the mindset of the people of the country. People in general are not aware about Lokpal Bill, but their reaction is against rapidly growing corruption in our country. After 64 yrs of independence from the British rule What have we got ? Did we get freedom from poverty and hatred? What to talk of communal harmony there are caste wars created by the politicians for their vested interests. Instead of doing good for the country, political parties are busy in exposing scams of other parties for election gains. Today social evils like dowry, hoardings, adulteration drugs addiction black marketing have became norm of the day.
If our political system is set right the chances of growing corruption can be minimized. Rapidly growing corruption is a serious threat to our society and the country as a whole. People have very warmly responded to Anna Hazare's call for fast for introducing effective Lokpal Bill in the Parliament and Lokyukta Bill for the states. It is mainly people resentment against growing corruption which is causing hindrances in ameliorating the lot of poor masses. Govt approach in handling the issue was not proper, conditions are definitely put in view of the present concept of freedom. Today the people have the freedom, to observe, hartals, bandhs, freedom to burn buses and block roads. But all the aspects have to be visualized before hand and instead of arresting Anna Hazare, he should have been allowed to sit on fast and situation should not have been allowed to aggrevate to this extent. However, it is not too late, both Govt and members of civil society should move in the right direction and try to solve the problem after all Parliament is also the elected body of the people of the country which is supreme constitutionally. Janlokpal Bill is for stopping corruption, among legislators bureaucrats and judiciary but there is no mention of employees of defense forces and paramilitary forces. There was a time when these forces were kept in high esteem as they are always ready to sacrifices for their lives for the country. Now many scams have come up among the high officials including Generals and Commissioned officers.
This is level of corruption which have penetrated into the blood of our society. The whole hue and cry by Anna Hazare's civil society is about corruption by politicians, judiciary and administration and bureaucrats. He is trying to get passed Lokpal Bill and Lokyukta at the Centre and State level. This is one section of society, what about the society as a whole which includes business class who indulge in black marketing, hoarding, adulteration and also bribe the politicians and officials for their undue benefits/favours. This class has gone to the extent of injecting eatables that is vegetable, fruits including adulteration in pulses, spices, milk and ghee etc, there by weakening the very existence of the society no, deterrent punishment is given to the killers of humanity. I will request Anna Ji to have oath from the members of this class of society to remain honest in their busienss/professions, hence forth. Because this section of the society bribe the politicians, officials for their undue benefits/favours and is a powerful source of nexus between politicians and bureaucrats. There is no price control and the poor is becoming poorer and rich is becoming richer. People in all walks of life are corrupt.
No doubt media is playing an important role in highlighting evils in the society but at the same time they too have vested interest and believe in sensational stories least bothering about the national interest. Under these circumstances Anna ji movement is justified, it is a revolt which can change the destiny of the poor Indian masses and is a a step towards achieving this goal. Honesty starts from our conscience. Those who are in the helm of affairs are willing to give freedom to the common man up to a point where it does not effect their interest. We have to struggle for getting the real freedom and this freedom is not possible without economic justice in the society. Freedom means to enjoy fundamental rights which an individual gets by birth which also includes to get the job and choose life companions of choice. Law permits to enjoy such freedom but our society is not liberal as it should be. It is not the law enforcing agencies which take away lot of freedom but it is civil society which itself cries for freedom.
The movement started by Anna Hasare's against corruption would not yield any result till people do not transform their conscience at individual level. The change has to come from within an individual only then corruption can be eradicated from the society. Anna's fast movement demanding strong Lokpal and Lokyukta Bill at the centre and state level to tackle corruption will only succeed if society as a whole become honest and thousands and thousands of people who are joining this agitation and siding with him on this noble cause of eradicating corruption menace should take oath that from today onward they would not indulge in mal practices in their trade business and professions.
(The author is former Director Information)

Electronic media in agricultural development

By Dr Banasri Lal & Dr Vikas Tandon

The population of our country has already crossed one billion and is still increasing alarmingly. It is really creating a tremendous pressure on the food grain production of India.
Roughly it has been observed that there is an increase in per capita availability of food grain in India but there is no certainty of filling the number of empty stomachs in the new millennium. Until and unless we concentrate in this area, shortage of the food is likely to be one of the greatest problems in years to come. In order to achieve the desired results, Indian farmers really need to make the best use available modern high production oriented technologies. It has been observed that out of available agricultural technologies with research system, only thirty to forty per cent are transferred to the farmers. It is therefore needed to bring the remedial change in the existing system of technology transfer.
Today electronisation and mechanisation of communication technology is multiplying every day. There is need to make proper use of such communication technologies for the benefits of mankind. Electronic media have really revolutionized the communication process. Electronic media like computer, internet etc. can play a major role in transfer of high tech agriculture from global pockets to Indian farmer's field. The modern communication technologies play a very important role in transfer of improved agricultural practices to the farmers. These technologies have the potential to ignite the flame of interest in the farmers. Electronic media is also important for the farmers residing in far-flungs areas which are lesser accessible to extension functionaries. Radio and television have made strides in dissemination of agricultural information. Among new electronic technologies computers, videotapes, interactive computer video technology (ICVT) etc and video information deserve close scrutiny.
Electronic media can be categorised in three groups as simple electronic media, advanced electronic media and other modern electronic media. Radio, television and videotapes are said to be simple electronic media because they do not need the complexities for their operation and maintenance as compared to others. Radio broadcasting in India started in 1927 and All India Radio (AIR) was established in 1936 that became Akashwani in 1957. Presently radio signal covers almost the whole country. The local radio stations are ideally suited to the dissemination of farm technologies according to different agro-climatic region. Television in India began modestly on September 15; 1959 TV is very powerful electronic medium for transfer of information and entertainment. A programme known as Krishi Darshan was started on 26th January 1967 especially for the farmers. TV is considered as a source of information and is taken as authentic, trustworthy and prestigious medium for promoting interaction. It is very easy to handle and also easy to carry. Videotape and video information are ideal medium for awareness among the farmers towards new technologies and are also helpful for motivation and change in behaviouur of the farmers.
Internet, interactive computer video technology (ICVT) and computer aided systems are said to advance electronic media. These media involve more technicalities in their operation. Use of internet is increasing at a fantastic speed. It is cheaper then fax and teletext. Through internet the scientists can gain instant access to the world's most advanced research facilities, can discuss their research problems with the others. . The district or stage extension agencies can create their own home pages or internet for farmers use. Farmers of one place can share their information with the farmers of another place. Interactive video technology is an amazing device for the storage and retrieval of audio and video information. In this system, the learners control the system through the computers for their interaction with the video recorded material chosen for learning. It can be used for training of extension personnel. The Chennai Dialogue Information Technology (1992) chaired by Dr M S Swaminathan resulted in proposal for the establishment of Computer Aided Agricultural Extension (CAEs) and Information Village (IV). The purpose of Computer Aided Agricultural Extension (CAEs) is to generate and disseminate information for a locality in different areas e.g pest and disease information, remote sensing, marketing information on different enterprises like aquaculture, water harvesting, apiculture etc. The videotext, teletext and videoconferencing have been under the category of modern electronic media. We can disseminate the text and graphic information through videotext and then can be received either by a videotext television or on an ordinary television. A video coupled with a microcomputer permits editing as well as retrieval of information on video-text page. The video transmitted via telephone, data lines, cables etc. is called interactive videotext. It can be used in training programmes. The videotext transmission based on broadcast signals is called teletext. Teletext links a computer to a television by which text and graphic information can be disseminated on a one way basis to home viewers. Video conferencing is a two way conferencing of two or more sites that help in communication in real sense. It can be widely used for educational purpose and is helpful for quick feedback by involving more people.
The electronic media can play a crucial role in the dissemination of improved agricultural innovations. But a responsible electronic communication media should be clean, comprehensive, competent and should present the real information. Electronic media has tremendous potential for use in agricultural development. Computer networking at local, national and intenational level can establish a good linkage for dissemination and sharing agricultural information.

Curb discreationary powers

By Arun Nehru

The Jan Lok Pal first round is over but it is rather early to think of victory and defeat and Anna ji while he recovers from his fast fires a missile or two on the right of the electorate to reject and remove and I suppose there will be additional demands on several issues and I think both Team Anna and the UPA along with the Opposition have sufficient time to think and reflect on the future. All sides concede that corruption is a issue and while this covers a large spectrum of activities as a start why does the UPA and State government not take action on 'discretionary' powers with Union Ministers and State CM'S on issues like land acquisition, change of land use and sanction of commercial complex and group housing till a transparent system evolves and this could be a temporary measure taken to avoid 'excessive corruption' and when we think of corruption at the 'macro' level this would include awarding contracts for roads and highways, granting licenses for natural resources like minerals etc. The Sports bill is rejected in the Cabinet and the media gives the views taken by each Cabinet Minister [so much for confidentiality] and even this is being taken as encouraging corruption by the Union Cabinet!

Let us observe the ground situation. The Aam Aadmi gets up in the morning and he may not have slept to well as there was no electricity at night for many hours and there was no water in the taps! He has a cup of tea and it tastes different every morning and depends on the extent the milk has been diluted with water and then he sets out to work in a bus which is overcrowded and is not roadworthy but the concerned road transport officials have been taken care of and as rides to work he reflects on his life!

His life savings he invests into a small plot of land and constructs a small house and his nightmare begins as the officer refuses to accept his valuations and asks him to pay additional stamp duty, but for a 'small fee' will ignore the guidelines and once he has negotiated this hurdle he registers the land and submits plans for construction of the house and he has to pay for these to be 'accepted' and then he has to pay to get these sanctioned and these are kept pending till he gives in to extortion and there is no one

to fight the system. He is angry as he is not sure of the quality of the food he consumes

or the medicines he purchases but he resigns to his fate because he knows that the officer and others implementing the Food and Adulteration Act are all on the take. Fair price shops are anything but fair and the weighing scales dip in the direction of cheats and

look at the adulteration of oil! The note I have received goes into several pages and covers corruption, criminality and extortion in every field from school education, willful evasion of excise duty and sales tax and the web of procedures around octroi and the settlement necessary and goes on to cars and two wheelers, the list is endless! The law offers few solutions and a good lawyer can bankrupt you in a few hearings as cases can take two decades to settle. What does the Aam Aadmi do and this category now includes all those not connected to the ring of power either at the Center or in the States. They can continue with the cash and carry system or they can wear the Anna cap and fight for their rights.

Anna Hazare steps into the picture and look at the response he receives and he receives this response is there because the ground situation supports the reality of the situation. I must admit that I have severe apprehension on several issues but I have to balance my thinking with what I see on the ground and this cannot go on for very long. There are good governments and I would suggest a visit to Gujarat and even to Bihar. I have spent

a few days in Patna and I know this area well and the change in the last few years is

'magical' as law and order is restored and all the Mafia elements are in jail , the roads and buses work and even on electricity things have improved. Nitesh Kumar is spoken off with respect and is assuming a cult image and his sincerity is visible as virtually all income levels support him. Lalu Yadav and the RJD have lost ground and reduced to 4 seats in the Lok Sabha and a little over 20 seats in the State Assembly and the Congress have paid a very heavy price by aligning with him both at the Center and in the State.

The UPA if it is to survive even a full term till 2014 is to ignite hope in the Aam Aadmi that they will fight corruption and besides the 2G scam, CWG and the vote for cash case there are several cases of disproportionate assets. The UPA cannot be faulted for the accumulated mess over decades but they are in power and for a start they must curb discretionary powers and there is a urgent need to identify unreasonable laws which

have no reason to be in the statute book and exclusive discretion which lead to the unreasonable implementation of these laws. Team Anna is not a political body and we can condone the angry and offensive words used by Kiran Bedi and the comic act of

Om Puri but it is important for the UPA to consider how the entire system of power

was derailed by Anna Hazare and his 'cap'.

Decisions in any system is controlled by a small group who represent less than 1% in numbers and in this case it should have been the PM and the CCPA with inputs from the party. I do not believe in the blame game but if there was any 'game changer' it was the decision to arrest Anna Hazare at the crack of dawn before any law was violated and I cannot believe anyone with the elementary knowledge of politics would have taken this decision. The government closes ranks as it must but a extended vacation is in order for the 'official' who took this decision.

 

 

 



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