Saturday, June 19, 2010

Indian Railways high speed recruitment drive

Multi-crore railway recruitment exam scam unearthed
19 Jun 2010, 0327 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has unearthed a railway recruitment scam running into crores and arrested eight persons including the son of the Mumbai Railway Recruitment Board chairman for allegedly leaking and selling exam papers.

“The CBI has unearthed railway recruitment scam by conducting simultaneous raids at Mumbai, Bangalore, Raipur, Kolkata and Hyderabad. This scam relates to the examinations of Assistant Loco Pilot and Assistant Station Master. It is estimated that the scam runs into several crores of rupees,’’ CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said.

The CBI has arrested Vivek Bhardwaj Sharma, son of S M Sharma, chairman of Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), Mumbai, the then Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM), Raipur, A K Jagannathan, his son Srujan and a Raipur-based agent.

This is being seen as one of many scams being carried out by gangs in different parts of the country. The agency has warned aspirants against falling for such scams and bringing it to the attention of the nearest CBI branch.

This particular scam relates to examinations that were held on June 6 and June 13 this year for induction of staff in Group C category of the Indian Railways. According to the CBI, Jagannathan in connivance with the officials of RRB, Mumbai, allegedly obtained a copy of the question paper before the examination date and provided the paper to aspirants who were identified by agents.

``The aspirants of the examinations so mobilised were asked to pay huge amounts of money and deposit their original certificates with the then ADRM and only after that the question paper was provided to them one day prior to the examination,’’ the CBI said, adding, ``The agreement is to pay the remaining portion of money and take away the certificates after the declaration of the results. Each aspirant allegedly paid Rs 3.5 lakhs in installments to get the paper a day before the examination and then to be selected for the job.

Jagannathan, Sharma, Srujan and the agent were produced in a Hyderabad court and remanded to 14 days’ judicial custody. Three Hyderabad-based agents and an employee of health department of government of Andhra Pradesh were also arrested.

The CBI said that searches led to the detection of Rs 60 lakhs in the banks accounts of the family members of the RRB chairman. The CBI further said that Vivek Sharma purchased a Pajero from the ill-gotten money in the name of a relatives.

CBI sleuths have recovered Rs 21.5 lakhs in cash and original certificates of 444 aspirants from the Jagannathan’s residence in Hyderabad, while Rs 12 lakhs were recovered from his possession at a hotel in Bangalore. Question papers and original certificates of the aspirants were also found in the hotel.

The CBI said several incriminating documents have been recovered from the searches at Kolkata, Hyderabad and Raipur. The RRBs across the country conduct examinations for induction of staff in Group C category of the Indian Railways.
Multi-crore railway recruitment exam scam unearthed

Comment: Typically all government recruitment drives/ schemes are a farce generally leading to a scam. The military recruitment rallies are also saddled similarly by politically connectd touts who rule the roost! Here again the Military is made a scapegoat of recruiting below par Jawans.

ESM Welfare gets a boost: Will it take off?

Minister of State for Defence Mallipudi Mangapati Pallam Raju tells Saubhadro Chatterji.
The first United Progressive Alliance government created a separate department for the welfare of ex-servicemen.

What are your plans on this front?
Rehabilitation and resettlement of ex-servicemen are priority areas for this government. We have already created a post of director general (resettlement). Every year, 50,000 to 60,000 soldiers retire. Most of these belong to the 'people below officer rank' (PBOR) segment. We believe that these ex-servicemen, who have received army training for so many years, are an asset to the nation. They pick up a number of skills during their stint with the armed forces. Age is also on their side when they leave the forces. They are in their late 30s or early 40s. The government can't do everything on its own. So, we have tied up with the private sector for their training, resettlement and placements.

What sort of a tie-up you are aiming at?
We have already entered into agreements with business bodies like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry and Assocham for training and placements. We look forward to more such agreements in the coming days.

Which are the sectors where ex-servicemen are finding maximum employment?
Well, as you know, there is a huge demand for these trained personnel in private security services. Our ex-servicemen are doing a good job there. But we now find that there is demand from various industries for their mechanical skills. In the construction sector, the demand for skilled ex-servicemen is steadily rising. As the retail trade starts to boom, it is becoming a major employer of ex-servicemen. Reliance Retail, for example, has employed a large number of ex-servicemen. We declared 2007 the year of the ex-servicemen to boost our resettlement plans for them. We find the private sector showing increasing interest in employing ex-servicemen. Apart from Reliance Retail, Infosys is another big company that is employing a large number of ex-servicemen.

Jairam Ramesh, the minister in charge of environment, recently told us that he wanted to take the help of ex-servicemen for a large afforestation programme.
Yes, ex-servicemen can also contribute to the environment protection programme. Earlier, there was an eco-battalion in the Territorial Army. We can raise a similar group of ex-servicemen for environment. I think my senior colleague, Defence Minister A K Antony, held a meeting with Jairam Ramesh in this regard. Task forces will be raised for afforestation in places where we are building roads.
Read the full interview:
Rehabilitation and resettlement of ex-servicemen are priority areas for this government

Ex-servicemen to fill NCC vacancies

Punjab Newsline Network Friday, 18 June 2010
CHANDIGARH: Facing manpower shortage, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) is roping in retired armed forces officers on contractual basis to fill vacancies in units as well as higher establishments.

this was stated by NCC Director General Lt Gen RK Karwal, who was in city for a visit to the NCC directorate here, which looks after cadets from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The NCC has a sanctioned strength of about 1,500 officers drawn from the three services and at present is short of about 25 per cent regular officers. “This deficiency is commensurate with the shortage of officers in the regular forces,” he said. NCC has plans to increase its cadet strength from 13 lakh to 15 lakh. This will require additional officer strength of 140. About 100 of these will be re-employed officers.

“The Army, too, is engaged in raising new formations and the pressure on manpower is immense,” General Karwal said.

“Re-employing ex-servicemen in the NCC is a suitable means of meeting our needs and we have drafted qualitative requirements that retired officers must fulfil for joining us,” he added. While the commanding officer of a unit would always be a regular officer, re-employed officers would be placed as second-in-command or staff officers in group headquarters and directorates. Final approval from the Defence Ministry for re-employment was expected soon. Selected officers would be on a one-year probation before being approved for tenure of another four years and their remuneration would be at par with their last drawn salary.

“All three services have a crunch as far as the officer cadre is concerned. The minute the services can provide us with the supervisory staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force, we can increase them to almost any level,” the Ministry of Defence’s representative had stated before the committee.

According to the parliamentary report, there are 529 vacancies existing at present in the NCC. On the other hand, the Army is facing a shortage of 11, 456 officers, while the navy and air force are deficient of 1,439 and 1,343 officers, respectively.

General Karwal said there was a move to increase the vacancies reserved for NCC C-Certificate seeking a commission as officers in the Army. These vacancies were being increased from the annual 64 to 90 in the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun for permanent commission and from 100 to 125 in the Officers Training Academy at Chennai for short service commission.
Ex-servicemen to fill NCC vacancies
CHANDIGARH NEWS: NCC To Rope In Ex-servicemen

ECHS: Easy access to ESM health care

Expansion of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)
The Union Cabinet has approved establishment of 199 additional New Polyclinic including 17 mobile military medical facilities alongwith 15 New Regional Centres and re-organisation of Central Organisation ECHS. Authorising additional 67 officer and 270 PBOR at 15 New Regional Centres, Central Organisation ECHS and 2263 additional contractual employees for 199 new polyclinics will enhance quality of medicare provided to Ex-Servicemen.

Financial implications towards creation of infrastructure will be about Rs.141 crore. This will entail a capital expenditure of Rs.118.52 crore towards cost of land, construction and medical equipment. An amount of Rs.22.25 crore of expenditure will cover purchase of furniture etc, and IT hardware. On the recurring side, an expenditure of Rs.43 crore per annum is envisaged.

The expanded network envisages 426 polyclinics in 343 districts of the country which will benefit Ex-servicemen residing in remote and far flung areas. The expanded network envisages coverage of about 33 lakh beneficiaries.

Background: The ECHS was introduced with effect from 01 April 2003 to provide comprehensive medical coverage of Ex-servicemen Pensioners, war window and dependents by establishing 227 polyclinics at Stations with ex-servicemen population above 2500 through out the country.

A large segment of Ex-servicemen are staying at locations where there is no ECHS Polyclinic within a radius of 200/300 km causing great inconvenience in accessing medical facilities. To address this 199 polyclinic will be established in those places with minimum ex-servicemen population of 1500.

At present Ex-servicemen residing in remote areas where the ex-servicemen population is less than 2500, face a lot of inconvenience in reaching the polyclinics due to distant location varying from 200 to 300 km from their place of residence. The expansion of ECHS will provide easy access to health facilities for such ex-servicemen and their dependents.
Expansion of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)

ECHS: Army chief inaugurates ex-servicemen’s polyclinic

Army chief inaugurates ex-servicemen’s polyclinic
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 8:39:18 PM by IANS
New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Indian Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh Tuesday inaugurated a polyclinic for ex-servicemen in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of the national capital, that will provide quality services to nearly 22,000 former defence personnel and their families.
The polyclinic, constructed at the military station in Dundahera, was built at a cost of Rs.49.07 lakh. “It will provide quality OPD services to 22,000 ECHS (Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme) beneficiaries,” an army spokesperson said.

On May 26, in a major effort to boost the quality of medicare provided to India’s 34 lakh ex-servicemen and their dependents, the cabinet approved the creation of 199 additional polyclinics at a cost of Rs.141 crore ($30 million), to take their total number to 426.

As part of this, another polyclinic will be established at Gurgaon’s Sohna Road, one the eight more coming up in the National Capital Region, which presently has six such clinics.

The ECHS was started in April 2003 to meet the long-standing demand of the armed forces veterans for comprehensive medical cover.

Nearly 11 lakh ex-servicemen have joined the scheme, and together with their dependents, the beneficiary base of the scheme has crossed 34 lakh.

A total of 1,355 hospitals and diagnostic centres are empanelled in the country for providing cashless treatment to the ECHS beneficiaries.
Army chief inaugurates ex-servicemen’s polyclinic

Friday, June 18, 2010

India's bureaucracy is 'the most stifling in the world'

Thursday, 3 June 2010 13:35 UK By Chris Morris BBC News, Delhi
The inertia generated by a stifling bureaucratic system will, in the medium term, prevent India matching the growth rates of its great Asian rival China.

Political and Economic Risk Consultancy report.

A new report has confirmed what many Indians have long suspected - their country's bureaucratic system is one of the most stifling in the world. The Hong Kong based group, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, surveyed more than 1,300 business executives in 12 Asian countries. The poll suggested India had the worst levels of excessive red tape.

Yet this seems not to have impeded performance - it has just released another set of strong growth figures. But for many foreign companies that success is despite rather than because of the system they face, the report says. There has so far been no response to the report from the civil service.

Bureaucracy and corruption
The report ranks bureaucracies across Asia on a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the worst possible score. India scored 9.41. Frequent promises to reform the bureaucracy, the report says, have come to nothing, mainly because the civil service is a power centre in its own right.

Starting a business in India is incredibly hard, and enforcing contracts can be nigh on impossible. There is a strong link, the report says, between bureaucracy and corruption - and a widely held belief that bureaucrats are selfish and highly insensitive to the needs of the people they are supposed to help.

None of this will come as any surprise to most Indians, or to many within the civil service itself. A recent survey of the Indian bureaucracy found large numbers of civil servants complaining of undue political interference, and a widespread fear that anyone questioning the system would be transferred to obscure postings in bureaucratic backwaters.

Given the level of dissatisfaction among foreign business executives and Indians themselves, the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy report poses an interesting question: just how much better could India be doing if it were able to reduce bureaucracy? One consequence, it believes, is that the inertia generated by a stifling bureaucratic system will, in the medium term, prevent India matching the growth rates of its great Asian rival China.
India's bureaucracy is 'the most stifling in the world'

How does corrupt bureaucracy affect the Indian Military?
Red tape and bureaucracy tie up with corruption is systematically weakening the armed forces capability. One example is the Sixth Central Pay Commission implementation by the Bureaucracy has degraded the rank and pay structure of the military. and denied "one Rank One Pension" to the Ex Servicemen.

Maoist plan to take mayhem to South India and tie-up with Islamists

Interrogation of a senior Maoist reveals startling facts
Maoist plan to take mayhem to South India and tie-up with Islamists
By Arun Lakshman /Thiruvananthapuram

The Maoists were using the sea network of LTTE for shipment of arms and ammunitions and some foreign countries, including the erstwhile Soviet block countries were involved in providing the much required arms and ammunitions to the outfit. However with the LTTE crushed, the Maoists are now getting in touch with the LeT for their arms needs which, according to intelligence sources is being gleefully accepted by the LeT.

THE Maoists which is facing some man power crunch in the Northern Indian states is now in the process of increasing and consolidating their presence in the South India. The Andhra police has recently arrested a top operative of the Maoist movement , Nandakumar alias Ranganna alias Pramod from Kannur district in Kerala and on interrogation he has told that he was a top leader in the movement and was deputed to increase his organisational presence in South India with special emphasis on Kerala , Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. He was arrested by the Hyderabad police while he was meeting top Maoist leaders there. Police sources told Organiser that he is a tough nut to crack and that he is giving information only in tits and bits and that he has mastered the art of diverting the interrogation process.

The Maoist leader said that as there is a basic presence in Andhra at the moment, the outfit is planning to increase its presence felt in the other South Indian states to broaden and widen its red corridor.

It may be recalled that the state police had arrested another top leader of the movement Malla Raja Reddy was arrested from Angamaly in Kerala in December 2007. He was also a top functionary of the organisation and was in charge of the South Indian states while operating from Kerala.

A former leader of the Naxalite movement Ramprakash (name changed) while speaking to Organiser said that the Maoist movement in Kerala is gaining momentum as more and more highly educated youths are loosing their trust in the democratic process in the country and at the massive corruption of senior leaders of political parties of all hue and cry. He further said that the Maoist movement will also be not able to solve the issues faced by the country but added that except for the killing and dacoitary conducted by the Maoist’s, he is in support of the rest of the operations of the organisation.
Read the full article
Organiser: Maoist plan to take mayhem to South India and tie-up with Islamists

Thursday, June 17, 2010

India is world leader in Human Trafficking

The Hindu Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 Narayan Lakshman
  • Pakistan fares better
  • India is only one level better than worst-performing nations like Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe
  • Developing nations like Colombia and Nigeria rank as Tier I countries

    Washington: India has been ranked as a “Tier II Watch List” country — only one level better than worst-performing Tier III countries such as Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe — in the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) compiled by the United States State Department.

    Commenting further on the case of India, the TIP noted that the Government of India “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, particularly with regard to the law enforcement response to sex trafficking.”

    Yet, the TIP argues, the Government of India did not demonstrate sufficient progress in its law enforcement, protection, or prevention efforts to address labour trafficking, particularly bonded labour. “Therefore, India is placed on Tier II Watch List for the seventh consecutive year, the report said.

    The TIP noted that there were few criminal convictions in cases of forced labour during the reporting period, and police raids of brick kilns, rice mills, factories, brothels, and other places of human trafficking were usually prompted by non-governmental organisation activists, as were efforts to provide rehabilitation and protective services to the victims removed from human trafficking.

    Further, national and State government anti-trafficking infrastructure, and the implementation of the Bonded Labour (System) Abolition Act, “remained weak,” the TIP observed, and the number of government shelters increased, but some continued to be of poor quality. Some public officials' complicity in trafficking remained a major problem, the report said.
    Read the full analysis:
    India among worst countries in human trafficking
  • National Security: Enhancing synergy among tri- services

    The Hindu: Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 by special correspondent
    Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik (centre), Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma (left) and Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh release books on operational doctrines in New Delhi on Wednesday.

    NEW DELHI: Seeking to build greater synergy among the tri-services and enhancing its joint fighting capabilities, the armed forces on Wednesday released two doctrines, one for perception management and psychological operations and the other for air and land operations.

    Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik released the two joint operational doctrines, formulated by the Doctrine Directorate of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS). The IDS was set up after the 1999 Kargil war to bring about synergy among the three services.

    The Joint Doctrine for Air-Land Operations will serve as the keystone doctrinal document for employment of military power in a joint operation scenario. It establishes the framework of concepts and principles to understand the approach to planning and conduct of air-land operation in a conventional war scenario. It lays down organisations and procedures that will leverage the available technology towards synergistic application of air power, a Defence Ministry release said.

    Military psychological operations constitute a planned process of conveying a message to select target audiences, to promote particular themes that result in desired attitudes and behaviour which affect the achievement of political and military objectives.

    It said that given the potential benefit of psychological operations as an effective force multiplier, its use in support of military aims and objectives is considerable. The doctrine also provides guidelines for activities related to perception management in sub-conventional operations, especially in an internal environment wherein misguided population may have to be brought into the mainstream.
    Two doctrines for greater synergy among tri-services

    Welfare ESM: AWWA in the counselling mode

    In the changing socio- economic environment wherein education and affluence have become the hallmark of status in society, women too desire to step forward and work. This desire is pursuer a career and to assert themselves, sometime leads to understandable differences in husband-wife relationship. These differences may even lead to disharmony at home. While a man may have his point of view, invariably the main sufferer is the woman. Moreover woman today no longer want to suffer silently. They know their rights and demand justice. Yet many cases go unnoticed and only a minuscule number may be coming forward to seek justice/ redress. Realising this, AWWA seeks to bridge and bring the gap and about greater understanding and harmony amongst the Army personnel and their families.

  • Dowry. Dowry is still considered a basic right by many communities. Most educated men still demand dowry, buckling under the pressure from their family member. For women, the inability to live up the incessant demands of in-laws is major cause of marital discord.
  • Torture/ Harassment The unnecessary Saas-Bahu debacle still continues despite increased level of education and awareness. Psychological awakening adjustment is missing and needs to be addressed.
  • Plural Marriage. Since the soldier has a migratory job, most of the time he is compelled to stay away from his family. This can lead to a feeling of insecurity, paranoia and frustration. Stray cases of plural marriage also occur. In most cases the sufferer is the woman. Slow judicial process adds to their woes.

    Economic Factors. Often a husband may not send any money to his wife or in good faith may send all the money to his parents. In either case the woman suffers the tribulations. Other Causes.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Depression.
  • Incompatibility.
  • Disparity in upbringing and education.
  • Environmental effects

    ASTHA is functioning since 26 Jun 03 at the MI Room Complex, Arjun Vihar, Delhi Cntt. It has a professional Counsellor, is available from 11 AM till 4 PM on all working days for counselling.
    For more details click link: AWWA: Astha
    Comments: The webpage has not been updated. The counselling will prove very useful for Ex Servicemen too.

    The myths created by the Sixth Central Pay Commission busted
  • Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Is Indian Army being 'deliberately' weakened?

    Is Indian Army being 'deliberately' weakened?
    New Delhi: The Indian nation is going through some testing times. The Kashmir Valley continues to be embroiled in an unabated cycle of violence which is making life an unending misery for the common man and creating a tense security environment

    The blockade in Manipur has been in place for almost two months and people are suffering unimaginable hardship even as the governments. The Naxal issue has gained criticality in the aftermath of a proactive policy adopted by Home Minister P Chidambaram.

    The Army is already playing an active role in both Kashmir and the North East and now it may be called upon to contain the Naxal menace also. In the midst of this turmoil the Army, which is the sole savior and sentinel of the nation''s integrity, is facing a grave challenge from a number of forces that are trying to weaken its intrinsic fabric.

    Whether this is part of a grand design or the machination of different powers and lobbies who have their own axes to grind, cannot be ascertained, but what is very obvious is that the cumulative effect is quite alarming.

    The increasing involvement of the Army in quelling social and political dissent in the country provides the first and most critical chink in its armour. Interestingly, the divisive ideologies of Islamic Jihad and Maoism that the country has to contend with are direct imports from its two neighbours, China and Pakistan.

    The two countries are well aware that only the Indian Army stands between them and their long standing policy of dividing India into small segments in order to curtail its growing influence.

    Now, by involving the Army more and more in internal security, these countries feel that they may have hit bulls eye.

    The engagement with the Naxals is not possible without diluting vigil on the border as also the edge that the Army enjoys as a conventional force. Quite obviously, the vacuum thus created will be exploited by these two countries, Pakistan will be able to boost its proxy war and China will gain strength in its negotiations for the border dispute.

    The second challenge is emanating from a psychological war that has been launched against the force with the intention of denting the high moral pedestal at which it stands. The people of India see the Indian soldier as the epitome of all that is the best in the country due to his demonstrated qualities of courage, self sacrifice, integrity, strength of character and commitment to the cause of the nation.

    If this image is dented, the psychological fallout may propel the country into a self destruct mode. Against this backdrop, a sustained campaign is being orchestrated to malign the image of the soldier in the eyes of his countrymen.

    Terrorists and terrorist linked organisations are keeping the pot boiling in regions like Kashmir and the North East by highlighting baseless human rights violations through the medium of orchestrated public demonstrations and virulent outcry.

    In the remaining parts of the country, especially the national capital, the slightest misdemeanour by an Army man is blown out of proportion through well managed propaganda. The result is that the force and the country are getting enveloped in a feeling of low self esteem and the army is getting involved in a web of legality which is keeping it perpetually on the back foot.

    There is a need to counter this challenge being thrown up by forces inimical to the nation. Firstly, in order to allow the Army to concentrate upon its primary task of manning the country's borders against our many adversaries we have to build upon our police and paramilitary forces so that they can perform the role assigned to them.

    Some methodology can be worked out, whereby, the Army's expertise is put to good use to give a boost these organisations.

    On the psychological front the media, which is unwittingly becoming a stooge in the hands of anti-national forces, needs to understand the difference between reportage of normal events and security issues, the latter being too important to be subject to TRP driven sensationalism.

    The nation must realise that not all that is heard is coming from sources that have its good in mind. The Army is the last bastion of the nation, and a weakened, demoralized force will spell doom for it.

    Isolating the Army from deliberate attempts to reduce its capabilities and from negative propagandist influences is a national responsibility.
    Source: ANI
    Is Indian Army being 'deliberately' weakened?

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Ex-servicemen deserve a better deal

    While making a strong case for grant of one-rank-one-pension (OROP) to the retired military personnel, in his article, “Raw deal for ex-servicemen” (Sunday Oped, May 23), Lt-Gen Raj Kadyan (retd) has brought out ample evidence to show how this demand — central to and necessitated by the ethos and singular service conditions of the armed forces — has been willfully scuttled over the years by the bureaucratic stranglehold.

    We need to remember that disaffection and disgruntlement among the retired soldiers, sailors and airmen is bound to adversely affect the morale, discipline and professional competence of their counterparts on active service, a situation that cannot be accepted with equanimity.

    The defence forces — the ultimate bastion of a country’s integrity, security and democratic institutions — cannot be deprived of their rightful due and place in society and yet be taken for granted forever. Non-implementation of OROP may prove to be one of the last straws on the camel’s back.
    Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida
    Ex-servicemen deserve a better deal

    The Indian Rope Trick: £70 million earmarked for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan project vanished

    The Hindu: Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010
    U.K. probe into charges of misuse of aid by India by Hasan Suroor
    £14 million spent on items that had nothing to do with education.
    LONDON: In an embarrassing development for New Delhi, the British government has ordered an inquiry into allegations of misuse of millions of pounds given to India in aid to educate poor children.

    International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell described the allegations as “shocking” and said he had launched an “immediate inquiry”.

    He also said that all “country programmes” were being reviewed to make sure that money was reaching the people it was intended for.

    “These are shocking allegations and I have launched an immediate inquiry to ensure British aid money has not been misused,” he was reported as saying. .

    He said had ordered a review of “every single one of the Department for International Development's country programmes to ensure we are giving aid to where it's most needed — to help the world's poorest people”.

    Mr. Mitchell's strong reaction followed a report in the News of the World that £70 million of British aid earmarked for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan project — a scheme to educate poor children — had “vanished”.

    “Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money sent to India to educate poor children is falling into the pockets of crooked officials in the country,” the newspaper said claiming that according to a report by the Auditor-General almost £14 million had been spent on items that had nothing to do with education.

    Aid money, it alleged, was used to buy air-conditioners, luxury beds and colour television sets even though many of the schools which were supposed to benefit from these items were in areas where there was no electricity.

    It said, according to a report by the Human Resources Development Ministry, “cash has been snaffled by officials running the massive scheme”.

    India is the single largest recipient of U.K. overseas aid and received an estimated £1 billion between 2003 and 2008.
    U.K. probe into charges of misuse of aid by India

    Comments: The reasons are obvious. Most of the Aid agencies including WB operations are headed by a bunch of "educated" bureaucrats/ politicians children/ relatives/ friends and not by professionals! The money therefore vanishes into thin air creating a false illusion... this news is nothing new for the Indian Public!

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Bhopal gas tragedy was trendy playing field for the Politicians

    A quarter century of ball game by Indian Politicians and the Judiciary resulting in victims being slighted and neglected. The speciality Hospital and Rehabilitation Funds grossly misused and under utilised at the expense of the Gas Victims!

    June 14, 2010, 11:51 IST
    Zeenews Bureau
    Anderson, one of the main accused in the horrific tragedy that left thousands dead on the night of December 2-3 1984, had arrived in India on December 7, just four days after the tragedy.

    He was booked by the police under the stringent Section 304(B) of the IPC but under mysterious circumstances was granted bail and flown out of Bhopal the same day by the then Madhya Pradesh government.

    A Bhopal court, last week, had delivered its judgment in the gas leak case sparking outrage among the victims and across the country as the seven accused former Union Carbide officials were sentenced to only two years imprisonment, besides a fine of Rs 1 lakh each for negligence. All the convicts are now out on bail.
    Read the full article
    Extradite Anderson: Bhopal victims to Obama
    Vox Populi
    Death and deformity of 20,000 citizens is avenged by a ridiculous 2 year sentence to the convicts besides Rs one lakh fine- and all let out on bail. 25 years of grappling with politicians and meandering through intricate judicial cobwebs spun by eloquent lawyers (whetting their appetite to be Ministers) has reduced this verdict to a National Shame. The culprits are all linked to Politicians who influence in setting up the Multi- National companies where money laundering is a norm. Indian Justice is really a bogey meant to oblige the rich and powerful. The poor are the expendables. The bureaucracy ensures that Political masters are all that matters irrespective of their misdeeds and criminal complicity!

    National Security: Army Major's computer was accessed from Pakistan

    New Delhi: Security agencies probing the role of an Andaman- based Army Major have claimed to have found that his computer and emails had been remotely accessed from a server located in Pakistan, a finding that has come as a jolt for them.

    The probe also indicated that the National Investigating Agency and Military Intelligence officials had neglected the case property--the computer of the Army Major--and certain files and mails were deleted when the machine was in their custody, official sources said.

    During the probe, it was also found that the computer of the army officer had been accessed many a time from a proxy server based in Pakistan and one more country, the location of which was being examined.

    It seemed the other server could also be from Pakistan but the proxy server addresses had been hopped through various Internet gateways of European countries.

    The Army major, who is being investigated by various security agencies, came under the scanner when his email address was picked up while scanning the emails of US-born terror accused David Headley.

    The US agencies informed the Indian security agencies about the email address and the Army major, who was likely to be booked under Official Secrets Act by the NIA, was put under the scanner.

    The probe so far has indicated that the official had violated OSA as nearly 2,500 defence presentations were found on his computer. These documents related to issues much beyond his sphere of work.

    The computer is currently with the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) in Hyderabad. Earlier, the Major had said he was an inquisitive person but he was himself at a loss to know how some files had entered his computer. The forensic report of the seized computer clearly shows that there were over 2,500 presentations, some of which were secret and even top secret, the sources said.

    In a related development, the forensic report said that some files and emails were deleted from the computer on a particular date after it was seized by authorities, pressing panic buttons among the agencies.
    Source: Agencies
    Army Major's computer was accessed from Pakistan
    Related Story
    Indian Military restricts social networking sites

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Chorus from Whispers in the Corridor

    Aaj Ki Aawaz
  • Bhopal Gas victims’ records tampered. Now there is news that with Bhopal Gas victims’ medical records tampering was done! Really does stun! Medical records tampered and justice is delayed and denied….what does this shout?
  • Main accused is set free and has tea with the Nation’s President before flying out!
  • India is a Banana Republic! India does not stand up for the Indian Public!!
  • You can aid and abet genocide here and then not only get away but become a Minister! Isn’t all this very sinister?
  • An ex CJI watered down the charges against the UCC accused! And the next year he showed he was used! Because he was appointed as the Chairman for life of a UCC trust! CJI made justice go bust!
  • A fortnight before he retired he dismissed a review petition in just one line!Did he break the nib of his pen after order kiya uss ne sign?
  • The Hospital (BMHRC) the Trust runs is run in a ‘cavalier’ way! Chairman for Life has in everything a ‘say’!
  • Though this ex CJI says he took up the Chairmanship to do 'social work'! I'm sure you too would be saying 'what a jerk'?
  • They say Arjun Singh is pained by the allegations being made! Fact is only a ‘minion's’ role he played!
  • He got the orders from Delhi and he did as was ordered! Though on sheer ludicrousness this order bordered!
  • By the way in his rule as MP CM what did Diggy do for the victims of this tragedy? Fact is to alleviate pain and suffering he did not even have a strategy!
  • Congress Bhonpu Janaki Natrajan says 'we should move on'! Remorse in Congress ..... none!
  • And Congress is rubbing salt by pushing for the Nuke Civil Liability Bill!Hasn't it had it's fill?
  • BJP cannot point a finger at Congress! Because it too went along with 'Mission Suppress'!
  • BJP Government's in MP and Center did not try to bring those responsible to the book! To get the victims and their families justice or relief no steps BJP took!
  • Confucius says.... hamaam mein Congress and BJP are nangaa! Be it the Bhopal tragedy or the 1984 dangaa!!
  • Flash.... from his Hospital bed Pawar has been 'praising the Lord'! People forgot about his misdeeds as info into the public domain on Bhopal poured!
  • He's now off to USA and he hopes that by the time he returns! 'Some Bhopal continues or some other controversy in Indian Media burns'!
    Bharat Kumar
    Courtesy; Whispers in the Corridor: click here
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