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PM Modi meets secretaries, asks them to identify goals to be achieved by 2022

NEW DELHI: Prime MinisterNarendra Modion Monday asked top bureaucrats to identify concrete goals to be achieved by 2022, particularly focussing on the development of 100 most backward districts in a mission mode through short time frames.

PM Modi, while interacting with all the secretaries to the government of India, asked them to rise above the "administrative mechanisms of earlier centuries" and work beyond the "silos" of their respective ministries for the development of the country.

He told them that they had an opportunity to transform the lives of one-sixth of humanity, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

Underlining that institutions must be made "outcome-oriented", the Prime Minister asked the bureaucrats to identify concrete goals to be achieved by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.

He called for a mission mode approach to the 100 most backward districts in India and said specific goals should be set on various parameters in definite short time frames for these districts, the PMO said.

While asking the bureaucrats not to work in silos, Modi said the some of the best results in the last three years had been achieved when the entire government machinery worked in unison, as a team.

In this regard, he cited examples such as financial inclusion (Jan Dhan Yojana) and universal immunization (Mission Indradhanush), the PMO said.

On 'Swachhta Abhiyan', the Prime Minister said, "the biggest groundswell of support has come from the people, and that is driving change at the administrative level."Turning to the planned roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime from July 1, he said it would mark a "turning point" in the country's history.

He asked the secretaries to proactively prepare for this transformation, to ensure a smooth transition, the statement said.

The Prime Minister told the bureaucrats that "the world is looking at India differently today and this is a unique opportunity which should not be missed. Let us build mechanisms to meet global expectations."


Living in the greatest country of the era possessing greatest leader of the timeMinisters Rajnath Singh,Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari also addressed the secretaries.

Earlier, the secretaries made some suggestions on various sectors of governance., the PMO said.


Shaktikanta Das retires as Economic Affairs Secretary

NEW DELHI: Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday retired after serving the government for 37 years in various capacities. "It has been a very good experience, especially in the last three years," Das told reporters here following his superannuation function also attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. "I was very fortunate to be a part of such key reforms and structural changes that have come about in the Ministry of Finance in the last three years," he said. After Das' retirement, Corporate Affairs Secretary Tapan Ray has taken additional charge as the Economic Affairs Secretary. "Fortunate to have been associated with several key reforms and policy decisions as Secretary Revenue and Secretary Economic Affairs. Will continue to tweet on important issues. Of course as a private person," Das said later in a tweet.



Delhi University invites proposals to write its own history


Tomakethedreamideatocometrue,thevarsityhasdecidedtoinvolvealargenumberofeminentwritersandauthorswhohave excellenceinwriting.

TowritethisheavyweightmanuscriptonDU,thevicechancellorhasdecidedinviteda largenumberofpeopletosubmitaprojectproposalsforwritingitshistoryforonehundredyears



However,theuniversitywilldecidethebudgetonceitwillselecttheproposerandimplementingtheproject. "Thebudgetwillbedecideddependingupontheauthordemand(cost)forwritingthemanuscriptsaidTyagi.


Theproposalsmaybesubmittedonlineathttp://historyofdu.du.ac.in/historyofdu.aspxonorbefore July15,2017.


Modi government to replace UGC, AICTE with one higher education regulator


The decision to go ahead with this radical change, long advocated by experts but never implemented, was taken after a meeting on education chaired by the prime minister in early March.

NEW DELHI: Big-bang education reform is on its way the Modi government is all set to scrap the University Grants Commission (UGC) and theAll India Council for Technical Education(AICTE) and replace them with one higher education regulator, tentatively christened Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA).

The decision to go ahead with this radical change, long advocated by experts but never implemented, was taken after a meeting on education chaired by the prime minister in early March. If required, and since setting up a new regulator may take some time, amendments to existing rules will be considered as an interim reform measure.

Senior officials who spoke off record told ET that work is on at a rapid pace to frame the HEERA legislation. The human resource development (HRD) ministry and theNiti Aayogare working on the new law. A committee that has, among others, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and higher education secretary KK Sharma as members, is working on the detailed blueprint.

Greater Synergy Among Institutions

One senior official said replacing UGC and AICTE by a single regulator will be the cleanest, most sweeping reform that will eliminate all overlaps in jurisdiction and also do away with regulatory provisions that may no longer be relevant.

While the idea of replacing multiple regulatory authorities with a single and streamlined one is not new several committees including the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission of the UPA era and the Hari Gautam Committee set up by this government have recommended the same the reform never happened.

Officials told ET that the new regulatory legislation is likely to be short and clean and will outline minimum standards focused on outcomes. They also said separation of technical and nontechnical education is outmoded and out of sync with global practices, and that a single regulator will bring in greater synergy among institutions and in framing curricula.

HEERA is aimed at putting an end to the inspector raj and harassment that the UGC regime is associated with, another official said, but the new body will also be empowered to take strong penal action when necessary.

Since bringing in new legislation and repealing AICTE and UGC Acts may be a time-consuming process, interim measures are likely and amendments to these Acts and modification of UGC regulations are among options being considered.


Top 50 universities to get full autonomy: UGC

Siddharth Prabhakar

CHENNAI: In a path-breaking move, theUniversity Grants Commissionhas decided to make the top 50 ranked varsities or those with anNAACscore of 3.5 completely autonomous, withfreedom to start new courses/departmentswithout its approval. They can seek and get funding from central/private agencies, appoint qualified foreign faculty up to 20% of their strength or admit foreign students up to 20%, fixing their own fee.

As per the new UGC regulations, universities in the top 50 of the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) list for two consecutive years or having anNational Assessment and Accreditation Council(NAAC) score of 3.5 or above are in category 1, with completeautonomy. Those with a 3.01-3.49 NAAC score or a 51-100 NIRF ranking for two consecutive years will be in category 2 with limited autonomy. Those not in these two categories will have no autonomy.

A varsity with a poor rating will be warned that if it doesn't buck up in 5 years, it will be moved to category 3.

The draft regulations will be on the UGC website, for feedback from stakeholders, till June 15.

"UGC wants to give greater autonomy to universities, especially in starting courses, hiring and admitting students, but only to the best institutes. Currently there is no grading mechanism to decide this," said an academic who was part of the panel that framed the regulations. Getting permission for foreign academic collaborations will be easier for category 1 institutions, he said.

As per NIRF 2017, Anna University, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Bharathiar University are the only state universities in category 1 along with deemed universities like Amrita, VIT and SASTRA. University of Madras, ranked 64, is in category 2.

Currently, universities struggle for ministry of external affairs clearing for hiring foreign faculty or even calling them for a seminar, he said. "There are foreign exchange regulations and UGC has to be kept in the loop. This will now be relaxed."

Universities are always under the bureaucratic lens of UGC committees for the prestigious 12B status to get central grants or other external reviews. Now, category 1 varsities can just send a report in review format to UGC and category 2 universities can do it through an external peer review mechanism.

Grading is expected to bring about a healthy competition among universities for research funding from public as well as private agencies.

TRIBUNE, JUN 7, 2017

UGC, AICTE set to go, HEERA to replace

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) are soon going to be a thing of the past with the government planning to replace these with a single higher education regulator.

The proposed Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA) is aimed at eliminating overlaps in jurisdiction and remove irrelevant regulatory provisions. The HRD Ministry is working with Niti Aayog on the plan of bringing technical as well as non-technical institutions under the same umbrella.

According to sources, a detailed blueprint of the proposed regulator and its legislation is being worked upon. It was felt that multiple regulatory bodies led to excessive and restrictive regulation and contributed to lack of institutional autonomy.

A single higher education regulator is not a new plan and has been recommended by various committees. PTI

Major revamp of ITIs on cards

New Delhi: Students enrolled in industrial training institutes will now be given Class X, XII equivalent certificates and facilities benchmarked with those provided in CBSE, ICSE schools, with the government set to undertake a major revamp of ITIs. Around 23 lakh students are enrolled in 13,000 ITIs. Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the ministry is mulling over whether it should set up a board. The first batch of students has already appeared for CBSE exams. PTI

TRIBUNE, JUN 7, 2017

In Bihar, collapse of a school system


It's spotlight Bihar, yet again and for all the wrong reasons. As 65 per cent students flunk the Class 12 examination in the state, this year the topper of the school board exam has been found to be a fraud, like last year. Mired in apathy, Bihars school system and teacher education are both on life support.

BIHAR has been caught on the wrong foot, again, by the media. Again, the topper of the intermediate examinations has been found to be a fraud. He had to be arrested after the media exposed him. The principal and her husband have also been arrested for helping him fudge his age and take the examination. More than that, the news of 65 per cent students failing the Class 12 examination presents a scene of massive disaster.

What makes it even worse is that students who are said to have cleared the entrance tests of the IITs and other technical institutions have not been able to pass their intermediate examination. How is that a student who is so brilliant that he cracks a difficult test as the IIT entrance, fails his Bihar Board examinations, a poor cousin of the prestigious test.

The media should have paused here to see what is it doing: looking at the school in the light of the professional education, be it engineering or medicine. Here schools become secondary. They are to be judged by their ability to respond to the demands and expectations of the professional education. Schooling loses its autonomous nature, all it has to do is to prepare the youth for these technical or professional educational institutions. But this is something which requires a longer discussion as it is not limited to the state of Bihar only. Let us not deviate from Bihar.

Undue hype?

The government of Bihar treats it as a PR disaster. It says that the media and the Opposition are creating an undue hype; it smells, like any good ruling party, a conspiracy against the state with an intention to malign its image. The Opposition, on the other hand has found in the results yet another evidence of the misrule in Bihar resulting out of the decision of Nitish Kumar to associate with Lalu Prasad Yadav. It does not tell us how the two things are related.

Disinterested intellectuals, sitting away from the scene, are bewildered by the results: shocking they are. Could it be that this time the answer scripts were checked more strictly and if this were to be done in other states, results would be the same there too? There is some lead in this enquiry. The media can be forgiven for its momentary interest in education, waking up in the times of results and admissions but what about the policy makers and educators themselves? This is the story of callous and criminal neglect of the institution of the school in Bihar. There was no protest when the government of Bihar abolished the post of assistant teacher. Bihar became the second state after Madhya Pradesh to do away with the post of regular teacher. Replacing them with para teachers is a pan-India story. The appointment of more than 1.5 lakh para teachers on fixed pay in different slabs was seen as an innovation in governance by the Bihar government. Those were the rosy days of Nitish Kumar and he was beyond criticism. The BJP was part of that government then. Naturally, it did not see it as a problem. Educationists too, barring a few, did not raise alarm.

It was a populist move for which the students and the government schools were to pay in the coming years. Apart from the absence of regular teachers, the schools of Bihar lack funds for laboratories and libraries. You would hear from the teachers that work culture suffers as two types of teachers, one regular and the other, para, are in constant tussle with each other. Two salaries for the same work creates tension in the school which remains invisible to the outsiders and policy makers. The institution of the teacher has been eroded in the last decades in all the states and Bihar is no exception. They are treated as government workers who can be used for any job for which it does not want to spend money. The teachers lack self-esteem and are ready to bribe officers to be posted in the offices of the education department at various levels than to remain in schools to teach. Schools, themselves have lost out to coaching institutes. Wandering on the streets of Patna, I saw banners saying that Patna has to be turned into Kota! A city like Patna aspires to be hub of coaching institutes. Who, then, would lament the downfall of schooling.

The only positive educational story the media manages to get from Bihar is the success of the Super Thirty. It has never bothered to examine this so- called success story. Is this a malady afflicting only Bihar? We know it well that in Class 11 when students decide about their streams, they choose either medical or engineering and not biology or mathematics. It is also common knowledge that students when in Class 11 leave those very prestigious schools their parents had toiled to get them in at the nursery level for schools which are liberal in terms of attendance because they spend their days in coaching centres. It is very clear then that the school has lost its primacy to the coaching institutes.

We also need to talk about the sad story of teacher education. Many teachers, who would be held responsible for the tragedy in Bihar, may have secured their BEd degrees from spurious teacher education institutes thriving in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and other states. Who would hold them accountable? Abdication of responsibility by the governments in the field of education, policies leading to more privatisation, existence of the elite CBSE-affiliated schools and the poor state board-affiliated schools and other layers of schools has created a situation where is no commonness in aspiration in the same state. The agony and pain and humiliation of the lakhs of students fail to touch other thousands and lakhs of youth who live in the same state and share the same roads and same air.

If we do not move away from the excitement of the moment and do not give a long look at the dull, dreary background that is called schooling, we would be destined to repeat this annual ritual year after year. Ignoring the fact that the youth of Bihar do not deserve this humiliation.

The writer is a Professor of Hindi in Delhi University.


UGCsets new regulations, loosens grip on universities and how they functionAs a part of new regulations, the UGC is allowing universities to launch new course and departments without the commissions approval, as well as appoint foreign faculty.

Central varsities such as Delhi University will soon be able to launch new departments, programmes, schools and centres without the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC), albeit in self-financing mode.

This facility will be extended to some state universities too.

The UGC has also proposed new rules for private deemed-to-be universities, such as BITS Pilani, allowing them to open as many off-campus centres as they want across the country.

In other proposals for central universities, the commission has allowed them to hire international talent ranging up to 20% of its total faculty strength and fill up to 20% of its student seats with aspirants from other countries. They will also be able to plan their own fee structure for self-financing courses.

The education body has approved a new set of regulations, termed as the UGC (Categorisation of Universities for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations-2017. Under this, universities have been classified into three categories based on their National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation and National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings. The first two categories will be accorded greater autonomy by the UGC.

To be in category I, a university must have NAAC accreditation with a score of 3.5 or above. Otherwise, it should figure in the NIRFs list of top 50 institutions for two consecutive years. Institutions such as Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Hyderabad University figure in the NIRFs top 10 list.

The commission has sought public feedback for these new rules and guidelines till June 15. After that, a final guideline will be issued.

Central universities and state universities in category I will be able to open research parks, incubation centres and university society linkage centres in self-financing mode either on its own, or in partnership with private partners, without the UGCs approval, the proposed rules state.

A senior UGC official said central universities face unnecessary hurdles while launching new courses and departments. So, we want to free at least the top 100 universities from the inspection regime giving them greater freedom. If Delhi University wants to start courses in management, they can go ahead. However, they will have to do it with their own resources because we cant fund everything. The funding they currently receive will remain, said a senior UGC official.

The deemed-to-be universities will also have to figure in the tier I category for gaining the eligibility to launch unlimited off-campus centres. At present, they can open only two in five years.

The parent universities will simply have to send a send a report regarding the off-campus centres to the UGC, and no inspection will be conducted. They can also collaborate with foreign universities, and start new courses and departments, without seeking the commissions approval.


Separate exam for ITI passouts soon

NEW DELHI: The skills development ministry plans to soon conduct its own skills examination equivalent to 10th and 12th standards for those who pass Industrial Training Institute courses, a measure it feels can boost the government's Skill India mission. Under the existing system, school dropouts who opt for vocational training are imparted 10th and 12th equivalent certificates from the National Institute of Open Schooling under the ministry of human resource and development. "HRD ministry has given us permission to conduct such examination. We are now internally assessing whether to collaborate with CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Examination) or set up our own board," Union minister of state skill development and entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy said on Tuesday while outlining the achievements of the NDA government in the past three years. Rudy said 1.7 crore people have been trained through ITIs, apprenticeship and fees based courses since this government assumed charge. Denying any kind of targets being set up by his ministry on the number of youths to be trained, the ministry said its focus is not on the number but on the quality of training being imparted to the youth. At the launch of Skill India mission in 2015, the ministry had hinted at providing skills training to more than 40 crore youth by 2022, which seems a daunting task due to hurdles of infrastructure, quality of training, lack of proper trainers and not enough linkage with the industry. The skills development ministry is banking heavily on the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, under which it will provide apprenticeship training to 50 lakh youth by 2020. Choose the right Citi credit card for you Citi Bank New Siemens hearing aids, small and powerful hear.com Recommended By Colombia Under the scheme Rs 10,000 crore has been sanctioned over the next four years to offer financial incentives to employers and a monthly stipend of up to Rs 1,500 to apprentices.


JNU to offer engineering and management courses, UGC nod pending

JNU wants to expand its programme to engineering and management, for which officials submitted a proposal and made a presentation to the UGC.

Neelam Pandey and Heena Kausar

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) proposes to offer engineering and management courses, an initiative the University Grants Commission is said to be considering.

If approved, the university will take students for these subjects from 2018.

The New Delhi-based premier institution, established in 1969, is known for its arts and humanities subjects. JNU wants to expand its programme to engineering and management, for which officials submitted a proposal and made a presentation to the countrys university regulator, UGC.

The government-run university cant start new courses without the UGCs clearance as these involve fresh or enhanced funding to hire faculty, build infrastructure, and other miscellaneous and recurring expenses.

Sources said a decision will be taken soon and communicated to the university.

The university is likely to start with a bachelor in engineering programme. The management course is still being worked out.

All the central universities, including JNU, have submitted plans for the next year All proposals will be studied before a decision, a senior human resource development ministry official said.

JNU won the annual Visitors Award for best university in 2017, which was instituted by the government three years ago to encourage healthy competition among central universities.

More than 7,000 students study in the universitys graduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes.

JNU has schools of social sciences, international relations, arts and aesthetics, environment science among others.

Academics apart, the university has been in the limelight since last February when three of its students were charged with sedition and arrested after a campus event in which anti-national slogans were allegedly heard.

HINDU, JUN 1, 2017

No midday meal without Aadhaar in UP schools

Mohammad Ali

The present rate of Aadhaar enrolment of students in primary schools in the State is extremely low

Students of government-run primary schools in Uttar Pradesh, who do not have an Aadhaar card, will not be able to get midday meal after June 30.

List of students

The direction from the State government comes three months after the Union Human Resource Development Ministry made Aadhaar cards mandatory for midday meals and asked UP schools to make a list of students who possess the cards.

The government has directed the basic education officers in all the districts to ensure that every beneficiary of the midday meal has an Aadhaar card so that the scheme doesnt get affected. If Aadhaar cards for all beneficiaries of the midday meal scheme are not made and their numbers not submitted to the State government, then the students without such cards will not be able to benefit from the different schemes of the government. And you will be held responsible for that, warned a letter written by Director, Basic Education, Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh, addressed to primary education officers.

The present rate of Aadhaar enrolment of students of primary schools in the State is extremely low.

In Meerut for instance, of a total of 1.73 lakh students in 1,561 schools, only about 29,000 students have Aadhaar cards, which comes to less than 17 %.

Schools puzzled

The direction has left the school authorities puzzled as schools have closed for vacation and will reopen only on July 1.

The letter by Mr. Singh has asked all the primary education officers to submit a list of students who possess Aadhaar cards to the State government by May 30. Mr. Singh has sent a reminder to the primary education officers of Meerut, Hapur, Moradabad, Sambhal, Kannauj, Farrukhabad and Kanpur (rural) as they have not yet sent the list to the government.

Officials helpless

Most officials who handle the midday meal scheme have expressed their helpless in the face of the ultimatum. A coordinator for the midday meal scheme in Meerut said with primary schools closed for vacations, it would be almost impossible to follow the direction.

Students out of town

Schools have closed for vacations and most children have gone out of town. Teachers can be asked to help the students get their Aadhaar cards made, but the challenge is how to make cards for students who are out of town, he said.


HINDU, JUN 6, 2017

Finessing data collection

Indira Hirway

Despite availability of employment statistics, data gaps need to be plugged

The government has recently set up a task force headed by the Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog to recommend a methodology to generate timely and reliable employment data.

India already has several globally respected sources of employment statistics, which include employment and unemployment surveys (EUS) conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) till 2011-12 at an interval of five years and annually with a thin sample; annual and sub-annual EUS by the Labour Bureau since 2011-12; the Census of India conducted every 10 years; an Economic Census conducted for agricultural (excluding crop production and plantation) or non-agricultural sectors at intervals; and other administrative data. However, with the changing times, new challenges need to be addressed.

Filling in data gaps

These include the need to collect detailed information on informal workers their earnings, and their working and living conditions, the need to reduce the time lag between the survey and release of data and the need to conduct short-term surveys for quick assessment of the impact of different policies on employment. A few data gaps need to be filled in, such as the absence of data on district-level employment for decentralised planning, data on circular migrant workers; the working and living conditions of women labour.

There are two more areas of employment statistics that need the attention of the task force.

Complementing surveys

Time-use surveys (TUS) to complement labour force surveys: It is now well accepted that TUS complement the labour force survey in two major ways. First, they can reduce, if not eliminate, underestimation of the workforce/labour force, which is known to be a major weakness of our employment statistics. This is because TUS, which collect comprehensive information on how people spend their time on different activities without missing any activity, are likely to capture even scattered, sporadic and irregular informal work of people. Also, under-reporting of workers due to the biases of investigators or of respondents is not likely to get in in this system of data collection. In addition, data on simultaneous activities are likely to net all work performed by people. They also throw additional light on the characteristics of the workforce-labour force that is not feasible under labour force surveys. This includes the scattered nature of work mainly of informal workers, multiple jobs performed by workers; the time spent on work in hours and minutes (useful in estimating underemployment); and measuring time stress experienced by workers as reflected in their total time spent on work as well as the time spent on simultaneous activities. Our study that has compared in details the NSSO (1999-00) and TUS data (1998-99) on the workforce has shown that a TUS provides valuable additional information on the labour force in India.

The working group set up for the 68th EUS has already decided that a TUS should be conducted after an EUS in a staggered manner to collect additional and improved information on labour force.

The ILO resolution

The task force should also take note of the Resolution by ILO (2013) on Statistics of Work, Employment and Labour Underutilisation which intends to set new standards for work statistics to guide countries in updating and integrating their existing statistical programmes in the field. It defines work as any activity performed by persons of any sex and age to produce goods or to provide services for use by others or for own use (this definition is consistent with the concept of General Production Boundary under the System of National Accounts). Under the resolution, there are five distinguished forms of work. The resolution has also presented a new labour force status classification, which includes persons in employment, persons in unemployment and persons outside the labour force all defined slightly differently than earlier. In addition, there is a brand new concept of labour underutilisation, which includes time-related underemployment, unemployment reflecting an active job search by persons not in employment, and potential labour force, i.e. persons not in employment but who are willing to work under specific conditions.

All countries including India are expected to develop their own system of work statistics keeping in mind its various uses and a national data collection strategy. As stated in the resolution, labour force surveys will be the main source of data for implementing the resolution. They will focus on employment and, where relevant, own use production of goods. Some countries may also include unpaid trainee work. Statistics on other forms of work will be collected periodically, either as add-on modules to a labour force survey or as part of a stand-alone, special purpose survey, including a time use survey. A TUS is expected to supplement the labour force data to implement the resolution. Again, a national TUS will have to be conducted periodically using sound methods and concepts to complement the modified labour force survey to implement the resolution.

Finally, the task force should recommend modifications in a manner that comparability with old and new data is maintained the new data should not be used to hide the declining rate of growth of employment of recent times. Unless policymakers know what is really happening, they will not be able to design correct policies.

Indira Hirway is Professor of Economics and Director, Centre For Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad



US exit from Paris Accord: A fact-check on Trump's climate change theoriesUS won't fully exit the Paris agreement before Nov 4, 2020, a day after the next US election

US President Donald Trump announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Photo: Reuters

Donald Trump confirms US to quit Paris Agreement on climate changeTrump exits Paris climate accord: Earth could be 3.6 degrees warmer by 2100Paris agreement punishes the US: Full text of Donald Trump's statementWatch: Donald Trump pulls US out of Paris agreement, says it favours IndiaUS exit from Paris Accord: Trump's action calls for civil society to unite

Back in 2012, business magnateDonald Trump(now the US President) had said the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese, to make US manufacturing non-competitive. His exasperation with the world was further aggravated when 195 countries united under the umbrella of the Paris Accord in 2015 to battle against global warming andclimate change.

Trump's tirade against the pact continued even as he was elected the President of the US late last year. And this culminated into Trump leaving the world dumbstruck as he announced on Friday the United States' exit from the deal. During his speech, he said: "I am fighting every day for the great people of this country. Therefore, in order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and it's citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord."

"But we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair. And, if we can, that's great. If we can't, that's fine," he added.

Many of his comments during his speech announcing the US' exit from the Paris Accord seemed way off facts and distanced from common understanding of the Accord and its impact on the US and the world.

Sample this: Trump said, "We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore." The fact, however, is that it was on Friday that the world was ridiculing the United States -- for Trump's decision to exit the Paris Accord.

German media keeps it simple, so that even Donald will understand it.

A video thatThe New York Timesran on its website late on Friday evening unravelled many of Trump's observations as plain falsehood or unfounded belief. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Trump:I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States.

Fact:Trump's claim appears to be misleading. Under the Paris Climate agreement, 195 countries volunteered their own pledges to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Barack Obama pledged to cut this pollution more than a quarter by 2025- but his pledge remains voluntary, not enforced.

Trump:Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025.

Fact check:Trump was citing an industry-sponsored study that assumed the economy wouldn't benefit from energy-efficient innovations. Many business leaders say such innovations are already creating new markets and jobs- while helping prevent natural disasters related toclimate change.

Trump's decision was met with widespread condemnation by big businesses (that are a major source of employment in the US.)

Top CEOs tried to persuade Trump to stick with the Paris Climate Deal:

Dear President Trump

As some of the largest companies based or operating in the Unites States, we strongly urge you to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement onclimate change.


Adobe, Apple, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Danfoss, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, etc.

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk also tweeted that his departure from Presidential councils. He said, "Climate changeis real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."

Trump:Even if the Paris agreement were implemented in full, it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree - think of that, this much Celsius reduction (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in global temperature by the year 2100.

Fact check:Trump said he was citing an M.I.T study. MIT researchers say he's wrong. If countries honour their pledges, the researchers say, it could slow global warming by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trump on coal:The agreement doesn't eliminate coal jobs. It just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States and ships them to foreign countries.

"Further, while the current agreement effectively blocks the development of clean coal in America, Trump said, China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So we can't build the plants but they can. According to this agreement, India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it. India can double their coal production. We're supposed to get rid of ours.

Fact:Trump has already moved to lift many restrictions on coal - the voluntary Paris agreement doesn't stop that. The coal industry is in decline because of cheaper natural gas and renewable energies, and stricter pollution rules by Obama.

China is still building (advanced, cleaner) coal plants because, unlike the US, it does not have access to cheap, abundant natural gas, which has been the main driver of recent US carbon reductions. Nonetheless, the Chinese central government has cancelled hundreds of coal plants recently, the existing coal fleet is running at historically low rates, the government is committed to phasing coal out as fast as possible, and the country currently expects to reach its NDC target early. Fourth, India (which also wont be allowed to do anything) is, in fact, projected to use more coal, but it is working at breakneck speed to transition. It has pledged to get 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, which will include building out 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022. India is set to pass Japan this year to become the worlds third-largest market for solar (after China and the US).

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)November 6, 2012

Trump: We're going to have the cleanest air. We're going to have the cleanest water.

Fact:Yale University's Environmental Performance Index ranks the United States 43rd in air quality and 22nd in water sanitation among 180 countries. Trump has loosened rules and proposed massive budget cuts to environmental protection.

Trump:The US will cease all implementation.

According to NYT, the US won't fully exit the Paris agreement until November 4, 2020 - the day after the next presidential election.



RBI appoints S. Ganesh Kumar as new Executive Director

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank has appointed Ganesh Kumar as Executive Director (ED) after the voluntary retirement of Chandan Sinha. Kumar took charge from today. As Executive Director, Kumar will look after the departments of Information Technology, Payment and Settlement Systems and External Investments and Operations. Kumar had joined the Reserve Bank in 1984 and as a career central banker, has served in the areas of payment systems, supervision, foreign exchange, information technology and Government and Bank Accounts in the Bank. Prior to being promoted as ED, he was Chief General ManagerinCharge, Department of Information Technology, in the RBI.



Universal minimum wage for all soon

Universal minimum wage for all industries and workers, including those getting monthly pay higher than 18,000, would soon be a reality, according to senior officials.

The proposed Code on Wages providing for these pro-worker provisions is likely to be placed before the Cabinet this month for approval so that it could be pushed for passage in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament, they said.

The ministerial panel on labour issues headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already approved the Code on Wages. It has already been sent to the law ministry for vetting after which it would be placed before the Cabinet for approval, a source said.

The Labour Ministry is keen to push the Bill for passage in the next session of the Parliament expected to begin next month, he said.

The Wage Code Bill seeks to empower the Centre to set a minimum wage across all sectors in the country and states will have to maintain that. However, states will be able to provide for higher minimum wage in their jurisdiction than fixed by the Centre.

(This article was published on June 5, 2017)



Cattle to get Aadhaar like numbers in Andhra Pradesh from 1 June

JBS Umanadh

The BJP coalition government in Andhra Pradesh will embark on a pilot project of issuing Aadhaar like unique numbers to cattle from Thursday. The process of linking the Aadhaar number of the farmer or the owner of the cattle at the local veterinary hospital in Amaravati in Guntur district of the state will be launched in the presence of state agriculture minister S.Chandramohan Reddy. Deccan Herald photo

The BJP coalition government in Andhra Pradesh will embark on a pilot project of issuing Aadhaar like unique numbers to cattle from Thursday. The process of linking the Aadhaar number of the farmer or the owner of the cattle at the local veterinary hospital in Amaravati in Guntur district of the state will be launched in the presence of state agriculture minister S.Chandramohan Reddy.

The unique ID will help the farmer to take his cattle for treatment at the local veterinary hospital. The number will also help the authorities to track the movement of cattle too, a senior officer in Agriculture Department said. Andhra Pradesh which has a huge cattle population hopes to put a stop to illegal transportation of cattle particularly from drought-prone Rayalaseema region to mechanical slaughter houses in neighbouring Telangana state.

Jharkhand is another state in the country which has already started tagging cows with unique ID numbers. Each one of the bovines was tagged with its UID number that explains its sex age, breed and other details.

According to cattle census, the combined Andhra Pradesh had around 10.6 million cattle which have a considerable number of milch cattle like the Punganur breed and drought breed like Ongole. The state hopes to protect these rare breeds with the help of tagging them and maintaining a central data bank. As such cow slaughter is banned in Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter and Animal Preservation Act, 1977 prohibits the slaughter of cows includes heifer, or a calf, whether male or female of a cow.

However, the slaughter of bulls and bullocks is allowed on obtaining a "fit-for-slaughter" certificate, only if the animal is not economical or not fit for breeding or draught agricultural operations. Anyone violating the law can be punished with imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both. The crime is treated as a cognizable offence.


Declare cow as national animal: Rajasthan High Court toCentre

The Rajasthan High Court also asked the Centre to increase the length of punishment for cow slaughter to life imprisonment.

The court also asked the Centre to increase the length of punishment for cow slaughter to life imprisonment.

In a recommendation to the Centre on Wednesday, the Rajasthan High Court said the cow should be declared as the national animal. The court also asked the Centre to increase the length of punishment for cow slaughter to life imprisonment. A single-judge bench of Justice Mahesh Chand Sharma appointed the state chief secretary and Advocate General to take up the matter with the Centre.

Nepal is a Hindu nation and has declared cow as national animal. India is a predominant agriculture country based in animal rearing. As per Article 48 and 51A (g) it is expected from the state government that they should take action to get a legal entity for cow in this country, Sharma said in his order.

The bench was hearing a case involving the death of over a hundred cows at a government-run cow shelter in Jaipur last year.

It is expected from the government that it should declare cow as national animal and for this purpose the Chief Secretary and Advocate General of state are declared legal custodians of cow, the judge said in a 145-page order.

While Article 48 of the Constitution says the State should take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle, Article 51A(g) speaks of protecting natural environment and having compassion for living creatures.

The punishment for cow slaughter varies from state to state. In Rajasthan, those found guilty of cow slaughter can be sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. A fine of upto Rs 10,000 can also be imposed. Slaughter of cow, calf, heifer, bull or bullock is prohibited in the state, including possession and transport of their flesh.

HINDU, JUN 1, 2017

Cow slaughter and the Constitution

Gautam Bhatia

The governments new set of rules on cattle sale is unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny

Over the last few days, the Central governments new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules have run into strong headwinds. These rules, which effectively prohibit the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets, and are therefore perceived as imposing an indirect beef ban, have been the subject of protests in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and have drawn strong condemnation from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. With the Madras High Court on Tuesday staying the rules for four weeks, the battle has swiftly moved to the court as well. And with this, apart from the political turmoil, legal and constitutional fault lines have also been reopened, causing much uncertainty about what the outcome will be.

In the Constituent Assembly

This dispute has a history, which goes back to the founding of the Republic. During the framing of the Constitution, the subject of cow slaughter was one of the most fraught and contentious topics of debate. Seth Govind Das, a member of the Constituent Assembly, framed it as a civilisational [problem] from the time of Lord Krishna, and called for the prohibition of cow slaughter to be made part of the Constitutions chapter on fundamental rights, on a par with the prohibition of untouchability. In this, he was supported by other members of the Constituent Assembly, such as Shibban Lal Saksena, Thakur Das Bhargava, Ramnarayan Singh, Ram Sahai, Raghu Vira, R.V. Dhulekar and Chaudhari Ranbir Singh. Proponents of a cow slaughter ban advanced a mix of cultural and economic arguments, invoking the sentiments of thirty crores of population on the one hand, and the indispensability of cattle in an agrarian economy on the other.

There was one small, snag, however: fundamental rights were meant to inhere in human beings, not animals. After much debate, the Constitutions Drafting Committee agreed upon a compromise: prohibition of cow slaughter would find a place in the Constitution, but not as an enforceable fundamental right. It would be included as a Directive Principle of State Policy, which was meant to guide the state in policymaking, but could not be enforced in any court. Furthermore, in its final form, this Directive Principle (Article 48 of the Constitution) carefully excluded the question of religious sentiments. Nor did it require the state to ban cow slaughter outright. Instead, under the heading Organisation of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Article 48 says the state shall organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Members of the Constituent Assembly found these incremental compromises both unprincipled and unsatisfactory. Shibban Lal Saksena objected to such back door tactics, and asked why the Drafting Committee was ashamed of providing for [the prohibition of cow slaughter] frankly and boldly in so many plain words.

Z.H. Lari, one of the Muslim representatives in the Assembly, stated that his community would not stand in the way of the majoritys desire, but nonetheless asked that the majority express itself clearly and definitely, so that Muslims could know exactly what the position was on cow slaughter. However, clear and definite expression on the issue of cow slaughter was one thing that the Assembly was unwilling to commit to. Article 48, a provision that was grafted out of a compromise that left nobody satisfied, came into being with the rest of the Constitution, on January 26, 1950.

In the Supreme Court

The fundamental disingenuousness that underlay Article 48 was to be repeated, many times over, in constitutional litigation before the Supreme Court. Right from 1958, the Supreme Court was asked to adjudicate upon the constitutional validity of cattle slaughter bans passed by various States. Petitioners before the court argued that a prohibition of cow slaughter violated their rights to trade and business, and also their right to freedom of religion. The Supreme Court rejected these arguments and upheld the laws, but it did so by focussing its reasoning entirely on apparent economic considerations. Detailed analyses of agricultural output and milch yields give these judgments a strained, almost unreal quality. Much like the Drafting Committee, it was as if the court was unwilling to admit and to uphold the possibility of non-economic considerations behind such laws, as though this would shatter the thin facade of secularism to which the Constitution remained (ostensibly) committed.

A possible answer

The disingenuousness that marked the Constituent Assembly debates, that was written into final text of Article 48, and that has been inscribed into 50 years of the Supreme Courts jurisprudence, has found its latest avatar in the present rules. This time, the Central government has invoked a Supreme Court order on cattle smuggling across the Nepal border, as well as a 1960 law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, as its justification.

However, the Supreme Courts order makes no mention of cattle slaughter, and a reading of the Act demonstrates clearly that it does not contemplate prohibiting animal slaughter per se. Not only does it specifically exempt slaughter of animals for food, it also provides for advice on the design of slaughterhouses, so that unnecessary pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is eliminated in the pre-slaughter stages as far as possible.

Now, under our legal and constitutional system, an executive notification cannot even go beyond the specific terms and ambit of the parent law from which it derives its authority. The governments new rules, however, go even further: by prohibiting the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets, they contravene the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act by specifically forbidding what that Act permits. There is a strong argument, therefore, that the rules are invalid.

Furthermore, if indeed the purpose of the rules was to prevent cruelty to animals, then why is their scope limited only to cattle and to camels? It is true that the government is always at liberty, for reasons of administrative convenience or otherwise, to choose and categorise the subjects to whom its actions will apply; but while under-inclusiveness is not generally a ground for a court to invalidate executive action, in the present case, there seems no rational basis for limiting the reach of an anti-cruelty regulation to only some animals. At the very least, in law, this casts serious doubts about the governments motivation and justification for its rules.

One might wonder why the Central government chose to take such a momentous step armed with such a flimsy defence. The only possible answer seems to be that had it gone with the traditional, economic justification for an (effective) ban on cow slaughter, it would have run up against an insurmountable constitutional difficulty: under our constitutional scheme, agriculture and the preservation of stock fall within the exclusive legislative competence of the States. This is the reason why, historically, different cow slaughter laws have been passed by different States. It is to get around this that the Central government has invoked the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, a subject on which both the Centre and States can make laws.

What this has resulted in is a badly drafted set of rules, which is unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny. It is also, however, an opportunity for citizens and courts to think once again whether the prescription of food choices is consistent with a Constitution that promises economic and social liberty to all.

Gautam Bhatia is a Delhi-based lawyer


Cattle smuggling, slaughter to be punishable under NSA, Gangsters Act in UP

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday issued a terse warning that those involved in cow slaughter and illegal transport of milch animals will be booked under the stringent National Security Act andGangsters Act.

The directive has been conveyed to all district police chiefs by the state Director General of PoliceSulkhan Singh.

A Government Order to ban cow slaughter and illegal transport of milch animals was passed during the previous Akhilesh Yadav government in the state but was never strictly implemented.

"NSA and Gangsters Act is to be invoked against those involved in cow slaughter and trafficking of milch animals for slaughter," the DGP's orders said.

Under NSA, the government can detain a person for as long as it wishes and the authorities need not disclose the grounds of detention.

A person booked under the provision of Gangsters Act becomes part of a gang listed in police records. It entitles the police to keep track of those booked under the Act and issue summons to them for attendance at the local police station for questioning even if no fresh case is lodged against them.

The Act permits the police to seek remand of an accused for a maximum of 60 days as compared to a maximum of 14 days under normal circumstances.

The DGP also directed SSPs and SPs of all districts to "effectively control" illegal activities committed by "vigilantes" in the name of cow protection, morality, religious conversion or illegal trafficking of milch animals.

Singh asked the officers to register FIRs against vigilantes when they violate the law and to prepare dossiers on them after identification with the help of intelligence networks.

"These people/organisations should be informed that they do not have a right to act illegally by taking the law into their hands," he said.

The directive comes against the backdrop of incidents in which 'gau rakshaks' or such organisations reach a spot where cow slaughter has taken place and cause traffic jams, assault people and indulge in arson.

Similar incidents have been reported about the illegal trafficking of milch animals in which 'gau rakshaks' damage vehicles and assault the driver.

The DGP has given directions to make police station in-charges aware about such trafficking and improve their intelligence networks.

The order comes amid a raging heated debate on the Centre's notification which bans the sale of cattle for slaughter in market places.

The notification has triggered protests from various quarters, including the Kerala government and certain BJP leaders in Meghalaya.

The Madras High Court had on May 30 stayed the notification for four weeks.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had last week written against the notification to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He had also written a letter to counterparts in other states, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying the notification was "nothing but a covert attempt to usurp the powers of the state legislature".

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan has said the Centre may consider any vital proposal on the new law on cattle trade and slaughter.


TRIBUNE, JUN 2, 2017

Getting it right

Demonetisation was indeed a speed-breaker

Putting up a brave face, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has downplayed concerns over growth slowdown. Experts commenting on the economy growing at 6.1 per cent in the January-March quarter unanimously pin the blame on demonetisation. While India has lost the claim to being the world's fastest growing economy, Jaitley asserts that we have restored the credibility of the Indian economy through decisiveness and tough policies. At his press conference on Thursday he went on to recall advantages of demonetisation: digitisation, expansion of the tax base and less use of cash in deals. He may, however, be reminded that demonetisations original goals were a little different: end to corruption, black money and terror funding.

Growth rate slipped to 7.1 per cent in a year when monsoon was normal from 8 per cent when drought had hit large parts of the country. If calculated without indirect taxes, the GDP growth turns out to be the lowest in two years. Besides, even this dismal data does not accurately reflect the pain demonetisation caused in the informal sector, where massive job losses were reported. While admitting growth was flagging even before the notebandi, Jaitley proffered explanations for the less-than-rosy situation that marks the Modi government's three years in office: global trade shrank, big economies turned protectionist and geopolitical uncertainties in the last three years. It was not all that bad after all. Cheap oil provided the government a cushion. Taxes were hiked. Instead of stimulating growth, the taxpayers money was put into vote-winning populist schemes.

The note ban in November 2016 had hit an economy growing steadily in a difficult environment. Instead of providing a stimulus, the government caused a self-injury with demonetisation. The Finance Minister should have been honest enough to concede that something has gone wrong indeed. Jaitley mentions GST among the governments achievements. GST would have happened long back had the BJP not scuttled the plan when the UPA proposed it. Secondly, it is too early to count GST benefits. Oratory or rhetoric cannot replace hard data. When the third-quarter GDP numbers came, Prime Minister Modi had mocked Harvard economists for distrusting peoples hard work. It will be interesting to watch how he responds now.



Policing by consent: The reassuring face of the British police in trying timesThe philosophy underpinning policing in Britain is often seen in practice, when members of the public do not hesitate to approach policemen. In this unique model, police officers are seen as citizens in uniform they exercise their powers to police their fellow citizens with the implicit consent of their fellow citizens.

Prasun Sonwalkar

As London woke up on sunny Sunday to theterror attack that killed seven people, plumber Paul Ashworth picked up his cycle in Surrey and rode to the scene of the attack, 35 km away. He was carrying a bag containing water bottles. All he wanted to do was to go and give them to the police deployed on the scene in gratitude: Ive just come to give the police some cold water. Its nothing in comparison to what they do. Its just to try and give something back. Theyre protecting us, saving our lives.

Others like Paul approached policeman on the terror scene just to shake their hands, without a word being exchanged. There were many such small acts by members of the public on Sunday as well as on March 22, whensix people were killed on the Westminster Bridge. It is not only the speed at which the Greater Manchester Police identified the suicide bomber on May 22, or the eight minutes in which Scotland Yard arrived on London Bridge on Saturday night and neutralised the three assailants. It is the easy, friendly, sometimes humorous interaction between members of the public and the police in the United Kingdom that deserves some attention.

Questions will be asked of the police and intelligence agencies about the terror attacks, but at the heart of this police-public relationship is the idea of policing by consent and the nine principles of policing first issued in 1829 when Robert Peel was the home secretary. To an Indian visitor, it is something of a surprise to see policemen, even those with formidable-looking firearms, smiling and having a relaxed conversation with tourists and onlookers outside the entrance to 10, Downing Street, often addressing them as Sir. In IT parlance, if firepower, technology, commando tactics and other attributes of policing is the hardware, it is the remarkable software of police-public interaction that comes to the fore during such times of terror.

The theory and philosophy underpinning policing in Britain is often seen in practice, when members of the public do not hesitate to approach policemen. In this unique model, police officers are seen as citizens in uniform they exercise their powers to police their fellow citizens with the implicit consent of their fellow citizens. Policing by consent denotes that the legitimacy of policing in the eyes of the public is based upon a general consensus of support that follows from transparency about their powers, demonstrating integrity in exercising those powers and their accountability for doing so.

The nine principles include the idea to seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion; but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

Every new police officer is also told to maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. As the historian Charles Reith noted in his New Study of Police History, this philosophy of policing is derived not from fear but almost exclusively from public co-operation with the police, through behaviour that secures and maintains for them the approval, respect and affection of the public.

It is seen to refer to the power of the police coming from the common consent of the public, as opposed to the power of the state. When police officerKeith Palmer was killedduring the Westminster Bridge attack, it evoked public outpouring of grief and support to his family, and live media coverage of his funeral.

Policing models across the world may be based on lofty principles, but are rarely seen to be translated in practice as they are in the United Kingdom. Britons have a lot to complain about their country, and often do so unreservedly, but their policing and the philosophy behind it is something most are proud of and holds a reference point to India and others in these times of terror.


To improve policing, govt wants IPS officers to be domain experts

For promotion to senior ranks , IPSofficers will have to specialise in at least on areas of policing, a home ministry proposal says.

Rajesh Ahuja

Police officers may have to specialise in at least one domain such as counter-insurgency, anti-terrorism, economic offences or cyber offences before being promoted to senior ranks.

The proposal that will cover the Indian Police Service (IPS) officers has been sent by the home ministry, the administrative authority for the IPS, to the ministry of personnel for final approval.

Under the proposal, the government will make it mandatory for IPS officers to undergo training before promotion to ranks of deputy inspector general (DIG), inspector general (IG) and additional director general (ADG) to make them domain experts, a home ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Most senior police positions in the state and Centre are manned by officers drawn for IPS, an all-India service for which competition is furious. Hundreds of thousands of Indians sit a test every year and only a handful make the cut after a rigorous three-stage examination process.

The domain subjects, or the area of specialisation, are already listed in the performance appraisal report rules, sources said.

It has subjects such as anti-corruption and vigilance, police research and development, criminal investigation (CBI, CID), intelligence, cyber crime, counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism.

Before being promoted as a DIG, an officer will have to train in at least one of the domains. Similarly for the promotion to ranks of the IG and ADG, mandatory training will have to be completed in two and three subjects, respectively, the ministry official said.

The National Police Academy in Hyderabad and other government institutes will be asked to draw training modules. The government may also rope in private institutes.

The plan was discussed in November during an annual conference of police chiefs in Hyderabad. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh also attended the meet.

The decision has been taken as part of the follow-up of the discussion that took place in Hyderabad, the official said.

A serving IPS officer, who didnt want to identified as he is not allowed to speak to the media, said a maximum of four domains were assigned at the time of appraisal and they dont get to pick them.

If the government wants to make domain experts, they should also seek the views of the officers on the choice of domain assignments for them, he said.

Future postings should be decided as per specialisation and the concept should be extended to other all India services as well, he said.

An IPS officer goes through at least three mid-term training programmes. The first one is after seven to nine years in the job, the next comes after another seven years and the final one is on completing at least 24 years in service. These courses are mandatory and linked to promotions and increments.


HINDU, JUN 6, 2017

Amartya Sen: The President should be a voice for sanity and fairness

K. Venkataramanan

A strong President can inspire us to stand up for all sections of the people, says Amartya Sen

The President of India has an elevated standing as head of the Republic, and should be a voice for sanity and fairness, says Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate and economist. In the run-up to the presidential election, he answered questions via email on the role of the President in a secular and federal democracy. An enlightened President has many things to do, but being a rubber stamp is not one of them, he says. Excerpts from the interview:

President Pranab Mukherjees term ends soon. Given that the President has only a formal, titular role, is it better to look for a candidate outside the realm of active politics? Is opening up the position for writers, artists, public intellectuals and so on more desirable?

The President of India has an enormously important role in the leadership of the country. This is not only because of the particularly assigned duties of the President in special circumstances, as in a political crisis of governance, but also because of the elevated standing of the head of the Republic in motivating and inspiring the secular democracy of India, guided by the Constitution.

While a number of statesmen and politicians have played that role with distinction, going back to Rajendra Prasad (the first President of India), leaders of thought from other walks of life including Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Zakir Husain, and K.R. Narayanan (among others) have also, by their prominent presence and stature, helped to lead India to remain faithful to itself reminding the country of the vision of fairness that gave birth to democratic and secular India after its long and hard fight for independence.

At a time when sections of society are apprehensive about the secular credentials of the government at the Centre and there is criticism from abroad that religious freedom is under threat, what should be the role of the President in guiding the government and its policy? Should the President be activist by nature, or confine herself to the customary, constitutional role as a titular head of state?

There are indeed serious reasons for concerns and apprehensions right now, based on observing the violations of human rights and of traditional protections that are going on in the country. The targeted victims come typically from vulnerable sections of the society from minority communities (particularly the poorer Muslims), Dalits and tribal people. The President has potentially a hugely important role in insisting on fair treatment of all the people in the country and the immediate stopping of whatThe New York Timeshas alarmingly described, in its widely-read lead editorial of the day, vigilante justice in India. The recognition that Indias image as a successful democratic country has dramatically declined across the world may be a minor concern (even though it does worry many Indians, and should have worried the Government of India as well), but the violations and wrongdoings themselves have reason to agitate all fair-minded people in India, whether they are themselves targeted or not. The President can be not only the face of India, but also a great voice for sanity and fairness.

What sort of candidate would you endorse? Will you prefer someone with an independent mind, someone who will not be a rubber stamp, or someone who will take a strict, constructionist view of the Constitution and abide by its letter?

Accountants need rubber stamps a country does not. The President not only has to exercise his or her own judgment, and to recognise that within the provisions of the Indian Constitution, he or she has a much bigger role than simply rubber-stamping decisions taken by others. A President can be quite tough and ultimately effective in asking the government to reconsider its priorities, especially when rights and fair treatment of countrymen are threatened, and also to take another area of serious transgressions when education, science and freedom of thought are undermined. There were very illuminating and quite long discussions in the Constituent Assembly on why certain provisions and articulations were necessary to stop the continuation of old injustices and the avoidance of new inequities. That background is extremely important in interpreting not only the nastiness of what are increasingly becoming the new rules of governance in India, but also for the determination to pursue equity to which the Indian Constitution made such an important contribution. An enlightened and strong President will have many things to do being a rubber stamp is not one of them.

Given that the electoral college for electing the President of India is drawn partly from the State Assemblies, the Presidents office has a federal character. Doesnt this place an onus on the President to defend the rights of States? In practice, Presidents are often asked to endorse decisions adverse to State governments: for instance, imposition of Article 356 and appointment of Governors without consulting Chief Ministers. What should the role of the President be in such situations?

You are absolutely right that the President of India has a natural role in ensuring Indias constitutional federalism. When dictates of the Centre run counter to the legitimate rights and the traditional spheres of the States, the President certainly has a protective role that cannot be obliterated by the commands of the Centre. It would be absurd for the President to be guided only by the orders of the Centre when the Centre is itself an interested party.

What qualities should a President have?

The election of a President involves practical politics, but there are issues that go well beyond that. In building our future, we have to be careful not to shed the strength we have got from our past. Rabindranath Tagore wanted us to fight for freedom for all, with reason and determination. Mahatma Gandhi taught India the importance of public protest whenever we face inequities and unfair treatment of vulnerable people (by the way, among the names suggested in the papers, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the Mahatmas grandson, would be an excellent standard-bearer, given his knowledge, experience and wisdom). The President of India should fit into this broad, non-sectarian picture, inspired by the history of our fearless and shared movement for independence (a history that some leading politicians in India seem to have forgotten). Within his or her constitutional as well as evocative roles, a strong President can make a major contribution in inspiring us to stand up for fairness for all sections of the people. If we do not ask anything from our President except being a rubber stamp, we are very likely to get nothing more than a decorated rubber stamp.



Stop playing cat & mouse, Central Information Commission tells departments over missing files

NEW DELHI: Its time for government departments to account for their feline residents, among other lapses. Exasperated with repeated cases of files lost and information denied, the Central Information Commission has directed the government to find a way to protect government records and recreate them if they are lost. In a detailed judgement, CIC said that some departments get an allowance to keep cats but even then over the past 11 years of implementation of the Right to Information Act the number of cases of files getting lost and information denied under the Act have been increasing. Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu said that frequent reference to missing files is really an excuse to deny the information and is a major threat to transparency, accountability and the also major reason for violation of RTI Act. Millions of RTI applications might have been rejected by PIOs (public information officers) on this ground during the last 11 years of RTI regime. With missing files excuse being around, it will be futile to talk about implementation of RTI Act Most surprisingly, while using this excuse profusely, no public authority made any effort to address Acharyulu said in his order. The information commissioner directed the Department of Personnel and Training to work out a proper system to prevent loss of files and recreate files that have been lost. He said that the claim of missing files indicates deliberate destruction of records to hide corruption, fraud or immoral practices of public servants. He asked the DoPT to develop comprehensive guidelines to handle the issue of missing files, through better preservation and retrieval systems and see how alternative or shadow files need to be built. DoPT also needs to take steps to prevent the phenomenon of missing of files and spell out appropriate disciplinary or legal action to be taken in case of deliberate destruction of records, the order said. The information commissioner asked the DoPT to borrow best practices from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US and UK archival systems. Acharyulu was hearing a case filed by retired IAS officer Vijendra Singh Jafa, who had sought copies of specific letters dating back to 1995 on vigilance cases pending against him. Despite the retired officer giving specific file numbers and letter numbers, the social justice and empowerment ministry could not furnish the records and the request was transferred repeatedly from one desk to another



Cash-strapped CSIR asks its labs to bank on externalearningsCSIR should look at its cash-strapped situation to shift towards more market-/industry-oriented research

Corporate and industry entities are more likely to fund research that is cued in to market needs. (Representative Image: IE)

Facing a funds-crunch, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has asked its labs to bank on external earnings. In this regard, the labs have been asked to draw up detailed business development reports on technologies that can be out-licensed to industry immediately. The council is left with just Rs 202 crore of the Rs 4,000-plus crore it got from the government this year after its salary bill got inflated because of the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations. In June 2015, the government had asked CSIR labs to look at financing nearly 50% of their requirements from collaborations with industry and developing products that fulfil a market need. While the countrys premier R&D organisation being left cash-strapped would make for poor opticsIndias investment in R&D is smaller than that of some companies, let alone nationsbut the need here is to go beyond just the optics.

Corporate and industry entities are more likely to fund research that is cued in to market needs. A lab conducting such research will not just find it easy to get funding but also could generate enough buzz to get funders to compete in order to get product licences. In such a scenario, the competition between funders could even translate into more than required funds for a lab, enabling secondary research or research undertaken for sheer academic value. Focusing on research with relevance for industry/market could thus potentially work out to the advantage of R&D in the country. CSIR research has yielded many products in the recent past that have tremendous market potentialin partnership with the India Meteorological Department, it has developed a visibility system for pilots that have been installed in 5 major airports and are to be installed in 65 more. Similarly, its anti-diabetic herbal formulation, BGR 34, has taken the market by storm. CSIR needs to look at the current situation as an opportunity.