News - Government

India's Jan Lokpal : Cure Worse than the Disease (Part 1)

Kapil Sibal, Union minister in Ministry of Sci...

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By Kapil  Sibal
Union Cabinet Minister and a Member of the Joint Drafting Committee, Govt. Of India

New Delhi, June 28, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio via PIB India) The provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill, proposed by Shri Anna Hazare and his nominees must be analyzed, keeping in mind the broad features of our constitutional structure. Under our Constitution, the Executive is answerable to Parliament as well as to the Judiciary.  To Parliament: when Members from the Opposition seek explanations from Government for policy decisions, comment and analyze proposed Government legislation and seek information from Government. Through robust Parliamentary procedures including debates, the people of India are informed of the manner in which the Executive functions. The Legislature, namely the two Houses of Parliament, is answerable to the Court which has the power, through judicial review, to strike down legislation on the touchstone of our Constitution. Our Legislators are also responsible and accountable to their constituents when they seek re-election after the dissolution of the House.  The Judiciary, independent of both the Executive and the Legislature is accountable through an open and public judicial process. The hierarchy of courts helps correct judicial errors. Individual judges are also accountable through the process of impeachment by the Legislature. That has thus far not worked very well. We need to ensure greater accountability of the judiciary by framing a law which on the one hand protects judicial autonomy and independence, and at the same time ensures strict accountability. In other words, each limb of the State, the pillars of our constitutional system, is accountable, one way or the other. That is the essence of our Parliamentary Democracy.

National Social Assistance Program: Reaching Out to the Neglected Poor in Rural India

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New Delhi, June 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) One of the underlying philosophies behind the pro-people and pro --poor initiatives of the Government enjoins upon the State to undertake series of welfare measures.  Article 41 of the Constitution directs the States to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development. Keeping in mind these basic principles the National Social Assistance Program was launched in 1995.

The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) then comprised of National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS). These programs were meant for providing social assistance benefit to the aged, the BPL households in the case of death of the primary breadwinner and for maternity. These programs were aimed at ensuring minimum national standards in addition to the benefits that the States were then providing or would provide in future. NMBS was transferred to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from 2001-02 and subsumed in Janani Suraksha Yojana. On 1st April, 2000 a new scheme known as Annapurna Scheme was launched. This Scheme aimed at providing food security to meet the requirement of those senior citizens who, though eligible had remained uncovered under the NOAPS. Under Annapurna Scheme 10 kgs of food grains per month is provided free of cost to the beneficiary.

India's Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) - Recent Achievements at a Glance

BrahMos is is the world's fastest cruise missile.

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New Delhi, June 2, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) DRDO has made many significant achievements during the recent past, including the last year. Many important systems were inducted/accepted by the services. The production value of systems based on technologies developed by DRDO (inducted/accepted/orders placed) during the past one decade is well over Rs.1,10,000/- crores.

Agni, the 3500 km range ballistic missile was successfully launched with user’s participation.  Training flights were held by the users for various missiles that are already inducted.  These included two flight tests each of Agni – I, Agni – II and Dhanush (from naval ships) and five flights of Prithvi II (P– II).  Orders worth over Rs. 25000 crores for surface-to-air missile- AKASH have been placed by the users.  These include 8 squadron for IAF and 2 regiments for the Army.  Successful flight tests of Endo-Atmospheric Interceptor for 2000 km class target were carried out.  Each flight led to a direct target hit and disintegration of the target.  Capabilities of NAG, the third generation anti-tank missile, which is a vehicle mounted system was demonstrated in a series of user trials.  Advanced versions of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, the only one of its kind in the world, were developed and flight-tested.  Thus, BrahMos block II with target discrimination precision strike capabilities was test-fired.  Similarly, BrahMos block III with capability for steep diving from high altitudes and high maneuvers at multiple points during supersonic flight.  Development of advanced missile systems is a continuous effort and requires systematic development of more and more advanced technologies.  RLG based Inertial Navigation System was developed, qualified and tested.  Active Radar Seeker for advanced missions was developed.  A Fibre Optics Gyro was successfully developed and tested on board.

FCRA to Check Misutilisation of Foreign Contribution in India

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By Ravinder Singh
Director (M & C), Press Information Bureau, New Delhi

New Delhi, May 30, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 has come into effect from May 1, 2011. The Ministry of Home Affairs issued the necessary Gazette Notification on 29th April, 2011 in this regard. Consequently, the earlier Act, viz., the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 has been repealed.

The Ministry of Home Affairs also issued a Gazette Notification on 29th April, 2011 notifying the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 made under section 48 of FCRA, 2010. The FCR Rules, 2011 have come into force simultaneously with FCRA, 2010.

Orange Rejuvenation Under Horticulture Mission in India

New Delhi, May 4, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Nearly sixty lakh pieces of hill mandarin/oranges were procured and exported from Sikkim this season to different parts of the country with Kolkata, Bihar and Bangladesh providing a greater share of market. This was apart from the local consumption and those procured by the Government Fruit Preservative Factory and other small scale industry engaged in processing of oranges for different bye-products. Attempts were also made to reach the mandarin orange from Sikkim to global markets through its outlet established in the national capital region of New Delhi.

Japan Appreciates India's NDRF Team’s Search and Rescue Efforts

Indian National Disaster Response Force in Japan
Indian National Disaster Response Force in Onagawa, Japan

New Delhi, April 21, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) A 46 member team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached Japan on March 28, 2011 to provide disaster relief and rescue assistance in the tsunami struck town of Onagawa. The NDRF team led by Shri Alok Avasthy, Commandant, comprised of 4 officers including a medical officer, 6 subordinate officers and 36 other ranks. The team was equipped with the latest state-of-the art gear for radiation monitoring, detection and personal safety equipments and were self contained in terms of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) suits, emergency rations and essential medicines. The team carried with it Satellite phones for international calls and other communication equipments for the purpose of squad to squad communication during deployment.

India Introduces e-governance in Panchayats

New Delhi, April 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) It is an accepted position that Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) as units of local self government, are the constitutionally mandated third tier of governance and as per Article 243G of Indian Constitution are required to perform the functions of - preparation of plans for economic development and social justice; Implementation  of schemes for economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule. In addition to the above, Panchayats are required to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, toll and fees;and manage the grants-in-aid received from Central and State Governments.

India Post Celebrates a Hundred Years of Airmail by Issuing New Stamps on Aero-Philately

New Delhi, Feb 23, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) India Post celebrated the centenary of the World’s official airmail flight. On  February 18, 1911, a flight carried 6,500 letters from Allahabad to Naini. To commemorate the occasion a set of four stamps on aero philately was issued at Allahabad on  February 12 this year. The historic flight was also re-enacted, courtesy Indian Air Force.  INDIPEX 2011- was organised in Delhi  from  February 12 to 18, 2011 and was inaugurated by the President, Smt Pratibha Devi Singh Patil.

India Census 2011 - Each Resident Counts

New Delhi, Feb 21, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) Census is the most credible source of information on demography, economic activity, literacy, education, housing, household amenities, urbanization, fertility, mortality, language, religion, migration, disability and other socio-cultural and demographic data. Census 2011 is the 15th National Census of the country and 7th since Independence. The first systematic Census conducted all over the country in a non-synchronous manner was in 1872 and in 1881 the first synchronous Census was conducted all over the country. The Census is a statutory exercise conducted under the provisions of the Census Act, 1948 and Census Rules, 1990.  Census serves as primary data for planning and implementation of policies of the Central and State Governments. Also, it is utilized for the purpose of reservation of constituencies for Parliamentary, Assembly and local body elections. The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India is the nodal authority for conducting Census in the country.

Only 44% of Indians trust their own government

Nevada, USA, Jan 27, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) In India only 44 percent trust government, according to the 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer findings.

Seventy percent in India trust business to do what is right, while only 44 trust government to do what is right, this trust and credibility survey points out.

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