VOL 01 | ISSUE 24 | MAR 15 - MAR 21 , 2014
`10 ges 24 Pa
City trekker services to be stopped PG02
With new standardisation guidelines being reviewed for the city transport services, the authorities are planning to make the system disciplined, with both trekkers and buses coming under scrutiny.
Ward watch @
The new building by laws
A better Guwahati in the making ?
City yogic healing centre battles for life
Catching Up, Pg 23
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
City trekker services to be stopped
With new standardisation guidelines being reviewed for the city transport services, the authorities are planning to make the system disciplined, with both trekkers and buses coming under scrutiny.
ith the authorities’ decision to withdraw trekker service from the city, the horror of commuting in those scruffy and ragged vehicles is set to be over. In quite a few number of instances which happened in the past, the trekkers plying on the roads of the city have proven to be unruly and sometimes lethal for the common public, especially the pedestrians. But, will the government’s recent decision of withdrawing trekkers (shared taxis) be able to stop or minimise the rate of road accidents or will it create havoc among the people involved in the trekker service?
Authority firm in its stand The decision of withdrawing shared taxis (trekkers) from the city was taken in a meeting held on December 7th, last year in the presence of the DC, Kamrup (M) who is also the chairman of the Regional Transport Authority (RTA), Kamrup (M) and a few other officials. “During the meeting, discussions on imposing permit condition on the age of school buses, city buses and shared taxis (trekkers etc) were held. It was decided that the shared taxis which have attained an age of 10 years would be required to be replaced by the vehicle with any other LMV barring trekkers and Tata Spa-
Concerns The physical condition of most of the PSV (public service vehicle) are very deteriorated/ dilapidated Passenger’s safety is put at risk Aesthetics of our city has been jeopardized by these age old vehicles Other commuters and pedestrians safety is also threatened
cio,” the minute of the meeting mentioned. The safety of the passengers as well as the other commuters and pedestrians were also discussed in the meeting held among the RTA officials. Mentioning that the dilapidated physical condition of most of the school buses, city buses and shared taxis (trekkers) have bound the authority to withdraw the trekkers from the city, Dwijen Das, secretary, RTA told G plus, “Currently, there are nearly 1000 trekkers plying on the city roads and 60% of them are
not in good condition. We have sent notices to the concerned organisations stating the government’s decision of withdrawing trekker service. After removing the old and dilapidated trekkers, we will remove other trekkers plying on the city roads in a phased manner. The old vehicles will be replaced by other vehicles with a capacity of below 10 passengers.” Regarding the city buses plying in the city, he said that the physical condition of almost 40% of the buses was not good and government have thought upon it too. “It was decided that no vehicle
over 15 years old shall be permitted to operate as school buses or city buses. The vehicles which have attained this age limit of 15 years or more and are still currently plying on the roads will be given a period of 6 months to be replaced. The new vehicle should compulsorily have a GPS,” the minute of the RTA meeting states.
Decision flayed Taxi owners of the city have flayed the government’s decision to withdraw shared taxis reasoning that the people involved in the service as
well as the commuters would be badly affected. Mentioning that nearly two lakh passengers depend on this mode of public transport daily, Deep Mazumdar, president of the All Guwahati Shared Taxi Owners’ Association said, “The trekker service was introduced in the state with an aim to provide employment to the youths of the State. With the government deciding to replace the trekkers with new cabs, the dependents on it are bound to suffer.” The trekkers were introduced in the city in 2003 when Anjan Dutta was the Transport Minister. He also questioned, “If the poor condition of the trekkers is the reason, then what about the city buses plying in the city. Further, if the Government is planning to shift the service to rural areas, how would that help the passengers?” The association also expressed apprehension over the cost effectiveness of the cabs compared to the trekkers. “The minimum fare of a trekker is `7 whereas a passenger will have to pay at least `30 as a minimum fare which might not suit the pocket of common man,” the association stated. Protesting the government’s move, the association further threatened to refrain from facilitating transportation services for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls if their issues are not resolved.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Land settlement From sensitivity to politics SYEDA AMBIA ZAHAN
With the LS polls now dominating almost all headlines, the land settlement issue has taken a backseat. The fact, however is that the issue still needs to be resolved for the greater good.
he Issue of land settlement in Assam reached new heights recently after Pranab Boro, a carpenter by profession and a member of the peasant organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee, self-immolated in front of the Assam Secretariat a few weeks back in a last ditch attempt to acquire a piece of land and a roof for his family. The process of putting Akhil Gogoi behind the bar after being slapped with too many legal cases just before two months from the Lok Sabha polls has turned the whole issue of land conflict from social to a political drama and more or less a pre-poll gimmick. Being a land- starved state, politics over land is always active and expected because Guwahati is not only the Gateway of NE but also the economic and commercial capital; and intra-state migration is something it is facing every day. Study reveals that at present, 10 lakh people inhabit Guwahati, but housing projects taken up by the government are being able to cover only a meagre section of the requirement. The original (patta) lands are already occupied by those who have been staying in Guwahati for generations, while other city dwellers have started residing in areas labelled as reserved forests, hills and mercy lands by the government. Many of them had started living in such areas 15-20 years back, extended their
families and set up their business ventures too. Moreover, the land prices continue to be in a skyward trajectory due to the big corporate players, thanks to the blessings showered upon them by the Assam government who kept on selling ‘their’ reserved lands at a very nominal rate to these corporate to reap the fruit later. Hotels like Ginger are emerging out of wetlands in the VIP Road and housing projects like Infinity Heights in Kalapahar hills are leaving no stone unturned to make it near to impossible for city dwellers from the middle and lower middle class section to purchase land. But now, when the government is under corporate pressure to release more and more land for setting up their projects, the government is forcing the people to vacate their places citing reasons of environmental hazards. Mass eviction had taken place in many places of Guwahati in the year 2012-2013. These are the people who have been demanding land pattas from the government and renewing their interest with renewed focus by joining the Akhil Gogoi led KMSS, Greater Guwahati land Patta Demand Commitee, Pub Guwahati Land Patta Demand Committee and others. Repeated pleas to the government, in demand of a fair settlement of the land issue, went unheard by the
Being a landstarved state, politics over land is always active and expected because Guwahati is not only the Gateway of NE but also the economic and commercial capital; and intra-state migration is something it is facing every day
government many times until KMSS raised the issue with a greater force in the year 2012. Although the KMSS movement originated in the Doyang and Tengani forest areas in upper Assam against the eviction measures of the state government, gradually the main objective of the movement
transformed into tenurial land rights (patta) for the people living in the forest lands. Within a short time, the movement expanded its goal aiming at a larger political struggle addressing various issues affecting not only peoples’ livelihood but also the ecology and environment of the region. Soon KMSS became successful in arousing an anti-government movement in the minds of the people who were used as vote banks for the congress so far. Keeping in mind the coming Lok Sabha elections and the growing outrage, the Congress led government, in its effort to control damage, started the process of allotting land pattas to 500 families in the city. As per the recommendation of the cabinet subcommittee headed by Revenue Minister Prithvi Majhi and former revenue minister Bhumidhar Barman, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi begun the process of formal distribution of land patta to those living in Government lands other than the reserved forests and wetlands. KMSS president Akhil Gogoi sought cancellation of the government land patta distribution function and arrangement of Chief ministerlevel talks as conditions for calling off its stir. KMSS’s contention is that the government has allegedly ignored 85,000 landless people living in the forest and wetlands.
Members of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee threatened selfimmolation at Rahul Gandhi’s rally here on February 25, demanding land rights for 85,000 families living in an around the city. And the rest is history. Congress is facing huge criticism over Pranab Boro’s death, from many corners with the opposition reaping benefits out of it, asking the electorates to keep safe distance from Congress. But the arrest of Akhil Gogoi, for allegedly abetting and entering into a criminal conspiracy leading to self-immolation of Pranab Boro, must give the congress the much needed relief. The KMSS leader was arrested after he announced that his next course of agitation would be a full-fledged anti-Congress campaign across the state and would aim at mobilising people to refrain from voting for the party in the Lok Sabha polls because of its alleged ‘insensitivity’ towards implementing the Forest Rights Act and granting land rights to the landless. However, among this hue and cry, one problem remained unsolved and that is the problem of land settlement. It is high time for both the ‘parties’ to look at the issue with utmost care and ultra sensitivity so that it would not cost the lives of anyone else.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
In The News
The new building by laws A better Guwahati in the making ?
The state government recently approved a new building bye-law with many new features to regulate building construction in the rapidly expanding city. PRANJAL BORUAH
he most important feature of the by-law is to make the concerned authorities to grant permission for building construction within a specific time-period failing which, applications shall be deemed to have been granted, and the applicant may proceed with the construction with written intimation to the Authority concerned and necessary permit fee to be deposited within at least 10 days.
The permission will be granted in two phases: Planning Permit, which will be issued within 30 days and the Building Permit within 45 days from the date of receipt of the application by the respective authorities. The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), on the recommendation of its town planner, will grant the planning permit, while the building permit shall be granted by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) on the recommendation of its associate planner in respect of the areas under the corporation. The building permit in respect of the areas under other urban local bodies or panchayats shall be granted by the concerned urban local bodies or the panchayat on recommendation of the technical persons. The by-law says that inspection to grant permission shall be made within 10 days following the receipt of application. “The authority shall determine that the plans submitted conform to the requirement of the Act, rules and these By-laws and inform the applicant. However, if inspection is delayed beyond 10 days; the applicant shall intimate the Authority in writing; and Authority shall complete the inspection within seven days of receipt of such intimation and shall also ensure that time limit for sanction is strictly maintained,” the bye law states.
Green Building Certification
The new building by-laws have made rainwater harvesting a must in new buildings. The step has been taken to reduce stress on groundwater, which is shrinking gradually because of boring wells.
The by-laws have provision of issuing green building certification to evaluate the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle. These will serve as a standard for a building that is environment friendly and optimise the conservation and utilisation of resources - land, water, natural habitat, and energy. Preservation and protection of the landscape, enhancement of outdoor lighting system efficiency, reduction of landscape water requirement, reduction of building water use and renewable energy utilisation are some of the criterion for applying for green building certification.
Means Of Access
The by-laws say it clearly that no proper access to a proposed building
The new building by-laws have made rainwater harvesting a must in new buildings. The step has been taken to reduce stress on groundwater, which is shrinking gradually because of boring wells. Effective measures must be taken within each premise for conservation of rainwater, harvesting and recharging to the following standards. The same shall be shown in the plans while applying for planning permission for all types of buildings except commercial and residential apartment buildings It said that there should be one percolation pit of size 1.2m x 1.2m x 1.5m for every 100 square meter of plot area. Such pits shall be filled with small pebbles or brick jelly or river sand and covered with perforated concrete slabs. All rain water outlets, drains and waste water drains shall be connected to the roadside side through the percolation pit only.
site means there will be no permission granted to erect it. “No building shall be erected so as to deprive any other building of the means of access,” the by-law said. It has specified the widths of lanes for different kinds of buildings. Moreover, there are clear cut instructions that no building can
be erected at a distance less than 15 meters from a river, 10 meters from Bharalu, Mora Bharalu Bondajan, six meters from other channels, 15 meters from notified water bodies like Deepar Beel, Silsako water body and six meters from other water bodies like Sarusola and Borsola.
• Authorities have to grant permission for building construction within a specific time-period failing which, applications shall be deemed to have been granted, and the applicant may proceed with the construction. • The new building by-laws have made rainwater harvesting a must in new buildings. • The by-laws have provision of issuing green building certification to evaluate the environmental performance of a building holistically over its entire life cycle. • No building shall be erected so as to deprive any other building of the means of access
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
In The News
ARE MOCK DRILLS ENOUGH To Tackle Real Time Scenarios? The recently conducted mock drills in the city looked pretty impressive but is the real mechanism of preparedness that well oiled? SHubhojit Roy
ter (water underground) during the shaking of a moderate or strong earthquake. Guwahati receives an annual rainfall of 1500-2600 mm resulting in enormous groundwater availability and chances for soil liquefaction in case of a major quake.
howcasing its strength and preparedness, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- North east Institute of Science and Technology (CSIR-NEIST) initiated the 1st phase of its earthquake mock drill. There is no doubt that such mock drills are very important in order to maintain awareness sustainability, but the question that may come to mind is that how productive the departments will be during real time scenarios?
The latest intense known earthquake was on 21st September 2009, which had a magnitude of 6.2; the earthquake damaged many buildings in Guwahati city. As per the latest seismic zoning map of India, the Kamrup metropolitan district falls under High Risk Zone- 5 where a maximum intensity of 9 can be expected. Most of the damage we associate with earthquakes involves humanbuilt structures: people trapped by collapsed buildings or cut off from vital water or energy supplies. How a quake will affect the people of a city has a lot to do with how the city, its residents, and nearby governments have engineered structures and pipelines.
What are earthquake hazards? The Effect of Ground Shaking
The first main earthquake hazard is the effect of ground shaking. Buildings can be damaged by the shaking itself or by the ground beneath them settling to a different level than it was before the earthquake. Buildings can even sink into the ground if soil liquefaction occurs. Liquefaction is the mixing of sand or soil and groundwa-
The second main earthquake hazard is grounddisplacement (ground movement) along a fault. If a structure is built across a fault, the ground displacement during an earthquake could seriously damage or rip apart that structure. The third main hazard is flooding. An earthquake can rupture dams or levees along a river. The water from the river or the reservoir would then flood the area, damaging buildings and maybe sweeping away or drowning people. With such a strong river body Brahmaputra, the risk impact possibility is only higher.
The fourth main earthquake hazard is fire. These fires can be started by broken gas lines and power lines, or tipped over wood or coal stoves. They can be a serious problem, especially if the water lines that feed the fire hydrants are broken, too.
The general reason of occurrence of flood in Kamrup Metropolitan district is due to the overflowing of the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly Bharalu, Kolong and Digaru. According to a report by ASDMA, the peak time for occurrence of flood is May to August which results in loss of life, livestock, crops and infrastructure. Components necessary to be concentrated to tackle urban floding: • The cleaning of the primary chan-
nels and the roadside drains is one of the most important exercise in mitigating the effects of heavy rains. Timely and exhaustive cleaning of drains during the dry season is key to minimizing local floods. The network of primary channels and drains constitute an important connectivity between the mighty Brahmaputra and the inner reaches of the city. During high floods, the primary channels suffer from river water backflow causing waterlogging in the low lying areas of the city. Reduction in the water carrying capacity of the drains puts tremendous strain on the road side drains. • Early warning systems are based on the principle of timely dissemination of information to the public in order to damp the “surprise factor” when floods occur. A lead time of a few hours is critical to preventing inconvenience to public. • The culture of the city is reflected by the level of sanitation. At present the cleanliness situation in the city is far from good. Much needs to be done in order to make it into a city free of garbage and choked drains. • Over fifteen major hills dot the city landscape which is home to over 20% of the city’s population. Indiscriminate encroachment and hill cutting have led to massive amounts of denuded silt to flow down into the rains and roads.The drains full of silt spew forth the excess waters and silt out on the roads, limiting the use of the entire width of the roads by traffic.
About 7% of the land in the state’s 17 riverine districts has been lost due to river erosion in the last 50 years. • Rise in the road levels in many parts of the city has caused the plinth levels of the households to fall way below the level of the drains. The surface run off thus finds its way into people homes causing great difficulty to them.
The approach of the South West Tropical Monsoon is usually marked by strong winds, overcast skies accompanied by occasional thundershowers, hailstorms and at times by cyclones between April and May. Thunderstorms known as Bordoichila are frequent during the afternoons. Heavy downpour starts from June. At times these cyclones are devastating bringing colossal loss of human lives and damage to property.
Continued deforestation and demand for more and more agricultural land has also led to the destabilization
of hill slopes which during the monsoons come down as landslides. In the recent past Guwahati city has witnessed a number of devastating landslides in its hilly belt. This is mainly because of inadequate urban land-use planning and the demand for land becomes such that communities build houses in areas which are environmentally unstable with risks of landslides.
Every year flooding and riverbank erosion cause devastating impacts. Riverbank erosion is a serious problem in Assam leading to displacement of people due to the disappearance of villages year after year. According to ASDMA, total area eroded from 1954 till date is approximately 386476 Hectares which means that about 7% of the land in the state’s 17 riverine districts has been lost due to river erosion in the last 50 years. Natural disasters are inevitable and losses are certain and it is a way of nature and evolution. But it is also true that the loss risk factor gets heightened and maximised only with human ignorance. The task that stands ahead of ASDMA is sky high and in order to minimise the losses during a natural calamity, the strategising of all urban and rural development organisations is of absolute importance.
In case of emergency, one can call 0361-2237219 or the toll free no: 108 & 1070 to avail immediate services.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
In The News
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Eight more interceptor vans introduced
DTO appeals to pay road tax
he transport department has introduced eight more Interceptor vans in the city to check the growing incidents of traffic rule violations and to prevent rash driving in Guwahati. The city already has four interceptors, which are in operation since the last six months but it has failed to control the number of road accidents and death tolls. Official sources stated that stern action would be taken against drivers flouting traffic rules and if necessary driving licence and even registration of the respective vehicles would be cancelled as per the laid down rules. District Transport Officer said that lack of awareness among the drivers is also one of the reasons for day-to-day violations. The commuters are largely not aware of traffic rules, which lead to the violations. Moreover, over- speeding by various modes of public transports in different routes has added to the ordeal of the common public. “On the occasion of Holi, we will carry out drives against such violations, especially
drunk-driving,” he said. Guv inaugurates new airlines To boost the travel and tourism sectors in the region and to fill the gap between Guwahati and Silchar, a private airline – Purbayan Airlines – a unit of Purbayan Group (P) Ltd, has been launched by the Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik at a function held on March 12. At present, the airline will fly from Guwahati to Silchar and from Silchar to Guwahati, twice daily so that the communication between two valleys – the Brahmaputra and Barak valley gets better. This is the first airline company brought by the local entrepreneurs. Though there are two airline services available, but due to various reasons the services needs to be cancelled which dumps the passengers into great difficulty. Stressing on the poor connectivity the Governor said, “Communication is the most important factor for economic and educational development of a state. The cry of the present time is a network of communication between the two valleys.”
EC reviews city poll preparedness
meeting held between Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath, his team and the civil and security officials on March 12 at the State Administrative Staff College, for checking the poll preparedness of the state machinery. With the assurance of adequate security deployment the commission has also announced that Guwahati will be the first Lok Sabha constituency in Assam to use the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT). The state unit of BJP urged the commission to postpone voting on April 7 and 12 as the two dates coincide with the festivals of Ashokastami and
Rongali Bihu. But the EC has rejected BJP’s plea for rescheduling Lok Sabha polls in Assam. The first phase will be held on April 7 in five constituencies in upper Assam, the second phase on April 12 in two constituencies of Barka Valley and one constituency in the two hill districts of Karbi anglong and Dima Hasao. The final phase will be held in six constituencies in central and lower Assam including Guwahati. The chief EC team comprises of the two election commissioners HS Brahma and Nasim Zaidi along with two deputy election commissioners Alok Shukla and Sudhir Triptahi.
he District Transport Officer (Registration & Licensing), Kamrup (M) Gautam Das has appealed the owners of the motor vehicles of the district to pay their outstanding road tax before March 31, i.e. before the end of the 2013–2014 financial year. The DTO informed that the vehicle owners who have not paid their road tax and the driving licence holder who neither renewed their driving licence can pay their taxes and fees between 10 am and 3 pm at specified cash counters of the office situated at Betkuchi, Guwahati on all working days. The DTO further informs that the motor vehicle inspectors under his direction has already started conducting a road checking drive against the defaulting vehicle owners who has not paid their road tax, so that no vehicle can ply on road without paying tax. NFR plans to increase Parcel Cargo Express Trains After the huge success of the first Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET) which was introduced between Guwahati and Delhi (via Kolkata) from November 2013, the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has now decided to increase the number as well as the frequency of such trains in the immediate future. “The PCET between Guwahati and Kolkata/Delhi has completed 11 round trips so far earning revenue of more than Rs 4 crore for the Railways,” NFR CPRO Saugata Lahiri said. NFR was the pioneer among the Zonal Railways in developing the concept of the PCETs as a business tool as the parcel vans being utilized were earlier being returned as empties after bringing commodities into this region. This has enabled farmers from the far-flung areas of this landlocked region to market their products like tea, betel nuts, pineapple, jute, cane furniture and so on at the retail points in metro cities without any restrictions on minimum size and weight of the shipment packets. The frequency of this train will be increased to bi-weekly by the end of this month and further to tri-weekly by the end of April.
Liquor shops under govt scanner
n the view of Lok Sabha Polls, the Kamrup (M) district administration has decided to be stern against the wine shop, bar owners and hoteliers regarding the illegal sale of liquor. The administration will make a number of fresh guidelines mandatory for them. The Excise department officials will also be directed to carry out random checks across the city including those located near the national highway. Like on previous occasions, sale of liquor during poll days would be restricted completely but otherwise too, a number of specific guidelines will have to be followed. Meanwhile, an Excise department official said that separate teams would be on the job to keep a tab on the functioning of hotels, bars and wine shops. “Those resorting to back door sales will have to face the heat,” said the official.
City gets new 3 star hotel
otel Bhargav Grand was inaugurated on March 14 by renowned Assamese actress Nishita Goswami in presence of many business dignitaries and wellwishers. The 3 star Bhargav Grand at Lokhra on National Highway 37 has well equipped facilities like large banquet hall, conference hall, bar, restaurant and a roof top seating space for guests. The owner of Bhargav hotel unit Mrs. Swapnashree Dutta said that the hotel has a capacity to accommodate 250 guests at a time, preferably for sportsmen as the hotel is located nearer to Sarusajai Stadium. The hotel is presently open with 46 rooms equipped with ultramodern facilities.
‘Filmfare’ looks east
fter 79 years of existence in the entertainment industry, the Assamese film industry is going to foray into the mainstream Indian film industry for the first time. Filmfare awards, one of the country’s iconic film awards has decided to honour the Assamese film industry in its first ever endeavour to celebrate the cinematic excellence of Assamese cinema in its function to be held on 29th March, 2014 at Kolkata. Apart from Assamese movies, Bengali and Oriya are the two other film industries which Filmfare has decided to honour in its new and first endeavour to recognise the films of the east. “In recent years, Assamese cinema has seen a wonderful confluence of art and commerce. There has been an infusion and sudden growth of young talent in cinema and it’s only fitting that Filmfare honours the best,” Jitesh Pillai, editor, Filmfare magazine said while addressing the media here in Guwahati. “In the very first edition of Filmfare award, East, there will be four categories of awards – best Movie, director, actor and actress.
We will include other categories in the later editions,” Pillai said. Moreover, during the event, the award (Black lady) was unveiled by Jitesh Pillai along with Assamese actor Kapil Bora, actress Zerifa Wahid and Ranjit Ghosh, head of media PR and digital, ITC ltd who were also present there. The Filmfare award was established on March 21, 1953 and over the years from a small ceremony, it became one of the most distinguished film institutions and spectacular events where the best of Indian cinema, dance, host and do what they do best.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
The cost of a vote NOW AND THEN
Since everything has a price, so does your vote and we do not mean the proverbial ‘value’ a vote has, to elect a leader. We mean the money spent by the government on each voter and this has been increasing over the years. ARUP SAIKIA
ok Sabha elections require a huge amount of resources and efforts - be it planning, labour, technology, and for that matter, enormous amounts of money. From the first Lok Sabha Elections in 1951-52 till the fifteenth in 2009, it has been a long journey for the Indian democracy. We all have a fair idea about the money spent by the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls to secure the LS seats, but how many of us have given a thought on the Government’s expenditure on an elector in each LS elections. The Government’s expenditure on an elector has gone up manifolds, twenty times to be precise, from the first General Elections to the Fifteenth General Elections. With the number of electors in the upcoming sixteenth LS polls having increased approximately by 100 million compared to the 2009 LS elections, the expenditure incurred on electors is expected to be even more this time around. In the first elections, the Government had spent Rs 0.60 on an elector whereas it went on to spend Rs 12 in the 2009 General Elections. Considering the expenditure in absolute terms, Rs 10.45 Crores were spent in 1951-52 whereas Rs 846.67 Crore was the amount the Government spent for the 2009 General Elections. Various voter-friendly initiatives like voter
awareness campaigns, distribution of voter slips ahead of election date, use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) for the first time in the General Elections 2014, may increase expenditure further but these efforts are focused at strengthening the very structure and values of democracy. Cost wise, 2004 General Elections was the heaviest on government exchequer as there was about Rs 1114 Crore spent in the elections. This was the elections when per elector cost was also the highest. Government spent Rs 17 on an elector. Significantly, there was an increase in the election cost by 17.53% vis-àvis 1999 General Elections even when there was reduction in the number of polling stations by 11.26%. In the first Six General Elections, the cost per elector was less than a rupee, but the coming elections saw a rapid growth in the Election Expenditure. Taking devaluation of money, owing to inflation into account, the rise in the cost could be attributed to the increased level of democratic activities. Many political parties came into existence and more independents were now participating. It should be known that the entire expenditure on the actual conduction of elections to the Lok Sabha is borne by the Government of India. But expenditure towards law & order maintenance is born by respective State Governments.
Expenditure (In Cr `)
No of Electors
Expenditure per elector (In `)
• Excludes J&K in 1991-92 • 1989 to 2009 General Elections’ Expenditure figures are provisional • Elections were held separately for States of Assam & Punjab in 1985 • Elections were held separately for State of Punjab in 1992
(Source: Ministry of Law and Social Justice & ECI)
AGP to fight for existence in LS Polls
After being a household name in Assam for most part of the 80s and 90s, the influential regional party will be fighting for its survival in the upcoming LS polls. With some blaming individual interests and others blaming loss of focus, is this the end?
fter winning the hearts of the people, they straightway headed to Dispur to take command of Assam. Not just once but twice. However, all that is history now. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) is on the verge of death, about to fall off a cliff – ahead of the 16th Lok Sabha elections. If you happen to visit the party office in the city, one does not need an expert to understand the fact that this election is more a battle of existence for the party than actually winning. After losing its base among the public, the leaders too have lost faith in the party, which they had given birth to. Over the last several years, a host of leaders has left the party. Many accused the mismanagement of the party and alleged it of giving preference to individuals more than the party. The process of deserting has continued with former party president Chandra Mohan Patowary, former minister Hiten Goswami, senior leader Bijon Mahajon and many erstwhile members joining the saffron party and other political parties. Even the BJP state president Sarbananda Sonowal is a former AGP leader while former minister Atul Bora too has joined the BJP. Born out of the six-year-long anti-foreigners agitation between 1979 and 1985, the AGP is battling for its survival in a critical condition. The party, which came to power in 1985 mainly by assuring to rid Assam of illegal Bangladeshi migrants, however, did nothing in this regard despite running governments for two terms during 1985-1990 and 1996-2001. “The party has failed to fulfill the aspirations of the people of As-
“While some leaders have left us, some new members have joined. The party will perform well in the forthcoming polls. I thank all of them for their support when they were cabinet ministers of the state. I also wish them good luck for their political career,” Prafulla Kumar Mahanta AGP
sam. Lack of political farsightedness, proper leadership, political vision and attitude of some top leaders of the party are responsible for the party’s debacle,” said former AGP vice president Apurba Kumar Bhattacharyya who is a Congressman now. However, AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has termed as ‘personal ambition’ the defections of the leaders, and that they would not affect the regional party. “While some leaders have left us, some new members have joined. The party will perform well in the forthcoming polls. I thank all of them for their support when they were cabinet ministers of the state. I also wish them good luck for their political career,” Mahanta said.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
amid upcoming LS Polls
SYEDA AMBIA ZAHAN
Fights within the parties threaten to derail election hopes for all the aspiring candidates
s Assam goes for Lok Sabha polls from April 7th, the biggest hurdle that the parties are facing are rifts within, which are widening. Be it the Congress, AGP, AIUDF or the BJP – rebellion and war of words inside the party circles are evident. The emerging situation has posed a serious challenge for the parties who are trying to woo the electorates. Poll pundits predict that the situation will spoil the prospect, as electorates will find it difficult to pitch in and understand the ground reality.
Rajya Sabha elections and for which United Candidate of the opposition Haidar Hussain saw defeat. Although Phukan did not get a ticket, his candidature was a point of contention within the party. In other constituencies too, such kind of rifts are rising and recently, it was seen that many members of the AGP joined the BJP due to in-party conflicts and have managed to get tickets from different constituencies since. Former AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary got the party ticket to fight the polls from the Barpeta constituency but only after some other ticket expectants from the BJP got offended, mainly people who have been working hard for the party for years. Political experts say this clash within the BJP will have a negative impact in the coming election.
The Congress Rumblings in the party were very much within the two ‘popular’ factions – the Tarun Gogoi and the Himanta Biswa Sarma camps. The two top leaders were seen camping in New Delhi bargaining for their chosen one. The All India Congress Committee (AICC) was pressurised to an extreme end but they did not pay heed to the pressure and in the first list, the party named sitting MP from Silchar, Sushmita Dev and union DoNER Minister Pawan Singh Ghatowar. The rebel camp strongly opposed the candidature of Union Tribal Affairs Minister Ranee Narah for Lakhimpur but the high command did not succumb to the pressure, as she enjoyed the good will of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi while controversial MLA Raju Sahu enacted dramatic statements in the media, “I will not support Narah at any cost.” Sources in the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) believe that the rift within will not impact much but independent political observers say that many of the Congress MLAs are likely to revolt against Congress nominees by supporting independent candidates. “If their candidates win, the rebel MLAs will be able to make their opinion count,” said an observer. Highly placed sources say that veteran Congress leader, Mani Kumar Subba is opting for AIUDF to contest from the Tezpur Lok Sabha seat as he was denied a ticket and the high command has chosen Bihpuriya MLA Bhupen Bora for Tezpur. The internal difference in the Congress is
A section within the BJP had expressed dissatisfaction over MLA Prasanta Phukan seeking ticket for the Lok Sabha elections from the party and being supported by some of the prominent leaders of the saffron party. Miffed leaders within the BJP protested over the issue that Prashanta Phukan should not be given tickets as the enquiry against him was not complete and the report was yet to be submitted against the cancellation of his vote in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha elections.
seen as a cause of worry as the dissidents will go all out to fulfil their own agenda.
BJP A section within the BJP had expressed dissatisfaction over MLA Prasanta Phukan seeking ticket for the Lok Sabha elections from the party and being supported by some of the prominent leaders of the saffron party. Miffed leaders within the BJP protested over the issue that Prashanta Phukan should not be given tickets as the enquiry against him was not complete and the report was yet to be submitted against the cancellation of his vote in the recently concluded
The rift is heightening before the scheduled Lok Sabha elections in Assam with all the major players of the poll busy fighting cold wars within their own parties and the regional party Asom Gana Parishad is no different. AGP may have to deal with the worst poll result this time and political experts say that the differences between AGP president Prafulla Kr. Mahanta and senior leader Padma Hazarika will hamper the party to a great extent in the elections. The most significant factor for the AGP is the exit of prominent leaders like Chandramohan Patowary and Hiten Goswami just before the elections. It is worth mentioning that already, many hardworking and devoted senior leaders like Brindaban Goswami and young promising leaders like Jagadish Bhuyan are keeping themselves aside from the party. Political experts say that the one and only seat of Joseph Toppo in Tezpur may also be out of the hands of AGP this time.
AIUDF After failing to shake off the minority tag until the polls, AIUDF is now facing the dissatisfaction of
some of its popular leaders due to alleged family politics. Apparently, the kith and kin of the Ajmal family dominate the ‘safe’ constituencies and the minority areas and the AIUDF Chief Badruddin Ajmal himself will contest from Dhubri. Sirajjudin Ajmal, younger brother of Badruddin Ajmal , will contest elections from the Barpeta constituency. Constituencies like Baghbar and Jonia are already dominated by the AIUDF but after projecting Sirajjuddin Ajmal as the candidate, the clash within the party has reached a new height. As many as thirty-two members of the party were seeking candidature from the party in Barpeta. Senior leaders like Sherman Ali, Abdul Rahim Khan were among the candidates in the fray but the party’s decision to give ticket to Sirajuddin Ajmal has become a factor of difference within the party off late. Some decisions of the AIUDF regarding selection of the candidates in some particular constituencies have offended the party members and an example is that of Guwahati where Gopi Das or Kamalesh Deka has the chance to get the ticket. Sources say that the projection of a Muslim candidate might help the AIUDF because in the last Lok Sabha election, Sunabor Ali, a minority candidate from the AIUDF managed to get 72000 votes. BJP leader Bijoya Chakrabarty won the seat with 11000 votes but if a Hindu contestant is projected from the AIUDF, then the votes will automatically go to the Congress. Such issues demonstrate that there is in-party fighting amongst them as well. Such con troversies crop up every time an election comes around and what it does end up doing is confusing the voter. The public start losing confidence in the parties and the candidates and it just complicate matters. If only politicians could look at the bigger picture rather than short-term gains. It seems a long way off when members of a party would just give thought to the party ideology and respect all its decisions but then, what is more worrying is the fact that certain decisions are made by the party members to benefit rivals as well! It sounds strange but when one considers the self bigger than the organisation, politics go for a toss.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Still reeling under parking problems and short circuits SHubhojit Roy
Ward no 09
Sub Division- 9A/9B Concentrated Region SRCB Road, Fancy Bazar No. of voters- NA
ancy Bazar, the oldest and the biggest commercial den of Guwahati is a locality with highest number of pedestrians to be found. With enormous amount of inflow and outflow of finances, is the locality well maintained? Well, the answer is no! Despite of being business rich locality, Fancy Bazar has major drawbacks pertaining to issues of a proper parking facility and electrical posts. While getting in touch with the local businessmen of the area, Gplus found out that the locality needs total makeover and a proper strategized planning on various issues.
It has been found out that the tangled electrical wires from the electrical posts undergo regular short circuits and electric sparks in the transformers causing a lot of trouble for the people in the locality. Optical dealer Liaqat Ali whose shop is in the locality for past 60 years says that the short circuits result in a lot of rotational load shedding. He says that there were also some fire incidents caused by short circuit in the nearby locality. Ali further adds, “There is also a major parking facility problem in the locality. You can see double and triple parked vehicles block the road and create such ruckus to the traffic system.”
HAPHAZARD PARKED WHEELS
Guwahati received its 2nd multilevel car parking facility at Panbazar area in the year 2011 where funds amounting Rs 11 Crore was received by the State government from Doner Minister. It’s been over 3 years from the day when the foundation stone was being laid by Himanta Biswa Sarma but the facility is yet to be functional. “The parking facility is not at all systematic. However, the vehicle
Parking facility, Tangled Live Electrical Wires Positive Aspect
Decrease in theft reports owners need to provide parking fees to people who I am not sure are the authorized personnel to collect the fees”, Biswajit Mazumdar, sub-stock broker at Motilal Oswal Share Traders told G Plus. Biswajit further emphasises on the problem of mud filled drains and electrical issues. G plus was also informed about the installations of new electrical posts and makeover of entire electricity connectivity project.
G Plus figured out that despite being such huge commercial den, Fancy Bazar has a reputation of very minimal theft and robbery cases. It is a great positive aspect for any business hub and carries a great potential for further growth. “Besides all the major problems
like car parking facility and road conditions, the locals are very generous and friendly. You hardly hear any theft case around the locality. Night security is very active and the governmental authorities have taken proper care of that aspect thankfully”, says S. Jindal. Mr. Jindal who is the proud owner of Jindal Brothers for past 20 years tells G plus that theft cases have reduced visibly in the Fancy Bazar locality after 2013 GMC elections. Fancy bazar is undoubtedly one of the prime localities of Guwahati and holds a great potential for further blossoming with proper strategy and planning. The business has always been rich from the longest known time in Fancy Bazar, but with arrival of other major commercial hubs in the city, a makeover strategy for the region is a must.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
City yogic healing centre battles for life URMI BHATTACHARYA
The Umachal Yogic Ashram is one of the oldest yogic healing centres in the country and holds trememdous potential to be a unique institution in its own right and also serve as a tourist attraction. But lack of attention and concern from authorities has reduced it to a barely surviving state.
suffering from nervous diseases, diabetes, kidney failure and other ailments, who benefitted through yoga. The maintenance was superb and it had a total feel of an Ashram. However post 2000, the condition of the hospital deteriorated from bad to worse,” said Hiren Sarkar, a student turned yoga practitioner from the Umachal Yogic Hospital. By the year 1987, the Guwahati Medical College (GMC) too incorporated yoga into their agenda. Soon other hospitals in the nation started following the system. The past was glorious but the present speaks of a sad story. “The rooms were well maintained and special care was taken for the food. There were at least ten cows to provide the freshest dairy products to patients. People from all over India including Bihar, Bengal, Orissa and Bangalore came here to cure ailments. We provided the best facilities with treatment prices as low as 750 per month, added Sarkar. The present secretary of the Ashram, Amit Maharaj is the only doctor now. The dearth of funds is a problem. Even if I prescribe the best treatment, there are no good trainers here to implement them. Patients leave the place frustrated. Government aid too has totally stopped. Bad condition of the road too makes it impossible for patients to reach here. We have sought help from the government numerous times but to no avail,” regretted AmitMaharaj. Hiren Sarkar was also one of the yoga practitioners who left the Ashram in frustration. He had dreamt of creating a disease free world through yoga and wanted to train and turn many youngsters into practitioners. However after the death of Swami Biyananda Saraswati, he dejectedly left the Ashram and is now independently practising yoga in Mongoldoi. “Many other efficient practitioners have similarly left the place,” claimed Amit Maharaj. Umachal Yogic Mahavidyalaya, the academic wing of the ashram has
Resident of the ashram climbing up the stairs
“We had many patients suffering from nervous diseases, diabetes, kidney failure and other ailments, who benefitted through yoga. The maintenance was superb and it had a total feel of an Ashram. However post 2000, the condition of the hospital deteriorated from bad to worse,” Hiren Sarkar Yoga practitioner
indefinitely closed down after 2003. The number of patients has reduced to 49 in the present year, from over 205 in the year 2008-09. People from the West are also concerned about the fate of this place. Sebastian, a French tourist and practitioner had even approached the Guwahati Metropolitan Development and the ministries to revive the condition of the hospital. A Canadian society has built a special guesthouse for patients on the hills. Although tracing the exact origin of yoga is difficult, history says that Assam certainly was one of the oldest hubs of yogic and Tantric practices. “During the 1960s, many yogic
schools mushroomed all over India but they all were established after the Umachal Yogic Ashram. The Bihar School of Yoga formed in Munger by Swami Satyendrananda Saraswati, the famous Kaivalladham in Lonavla, Maharashtra, the Vivekananda Yogas centre in Bangalore and the Vishwayatan Yoga Kendra in New Delhi were among the oldest schools of yoga in India, ’’ informed Santanu Roy Chowdhury, an old student and also a member of the hospital committee. The Ashram believes that yoga is the highest form of spiritual and psychological science. If Hatha Yoga is regularly practised, then require-
Photo: Urmi Bhattacharjee
n inconspicuous corner around the Kalipur bus stand in Guwahati leads you to a steep and arduous 596-stair climb and brings you to a whole new world, almost away from civilization. Tucked in the serenity of the famous blue hills of Nilachal is the Umachal Yogic Ashram, a long forgotten place which hosts perhaps the world’s oldest Yogic Hospital -The Umachal Yogic Hospital, run by the Shivananda math and Yogashram Sangha. Flanked by poor management and Government apathy, the Yoga healing centre is slowly becoming obscure in the hustle and bustle of Guwahati. The Umachal Yogic Ashram was founded by Swami Shivananda Saraswati in 1929, when he first visited Assam. During those days, yoga was just practiced as a divine form of meditation or as a means to attain Moksha (Salvation). But as yogic practitioners claim, Swami Shivananda Saraswati first implemented yoga for curing ailments. That is how this age-old hospital came into being in 1957. Surrounded by the mighty and magnificent Brahmaputra, this yogic pride of Assam has been now reduced to a bunch of dilapidated buildings battling for life. What could have been a potential tourist spot, besides being the ancient legacy of Assam is in shambles. The Ashram overlooks the tranquil island of Umananda and the busy rumbling of the city, merged with the hills and the river makes you at once think of Mumbai’s marine drive or Thailand’s Pattaya beach. The enchanting hills that surround it almost mystically relate you to the history of Tantra and Black magic, which according to ancient epics, originated in Assam. Anyone who visits the place would sense the immense tourism potential of this area. The Umachal yogic ashram is affiliated to the ‘Central Council for Yoga and Naturopathy,’ an autonomous body under Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Swami Shivananda Saraswati was its member. “The Ashram and the yogic hospital were at its peak during Swamiji’s regime. After Swami Shivananda Saraswati’s death, Swami Devananda Saraswati and Swami Bigyananda Saraswati had taken over. We had many patients
Guest house in the ashram
ment of medicines are minimal. In this stressful society, an alternative to yoga in achieving a holistic health is almost impossible. One can even attain longevity of 125 years through yogic practice. The world today is almost getting obsessed with yoga and yogic tourism is fast picking up with numerous chains of Yoga clinics coming up. At a time when India is basking in the glory of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogic Ashram, it is time for Assam to sneak into its own legacy and protect the interest of the failing Umachal Ashram - the standing testimony to the yogic pride of Assam.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Cargo gets new lease of life
NFR plans to introduce two new cargo express trains to help enhance business in the region
argo movement is attracting investment and innovations from logistics movers in Assam and Guwahati is emerging as the hub of cargo logistics. The Assam government and Airport Authority of India (AAI) are exploring the possibility of setting up an air cargo terminal at the Guwahati airport. The terminal will be around 50,000 square meters in area. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has decided to introduce two parcel-cargo express trains (PCET) and NFR aims to have 20 round trips shortly of PCET. The Success of the PCET introduced in November last year has enthused NFR to add more trains to its service. The move has been hailed by the tea industry as dedicated tea containers can be sent to different parts of India with this facility. In Assam, cargo movement through train and airport is largely limited and this facility was primarily availed by the refineries. The Chief Public Relations Officer of NFR, Sugato Lahiri said that the railways have drawn up ambitious plans to increase the number as well as the frequency of such trains in the immediate future. He mentioned that the PCET between Guwahati and Kolkata/Delhi has completed 11 round trips so far earning revenue of more than Rs 4 Crores for the railway. The frequency of this train will be increased to bi-weekly by the end of this month and further to tri-weekly by the end of April, 2014. “Two more PCETs – one in the New Guwahati – Kolkata – Vijaywada – Chennai – Bangalore circuit and the other in the New Guwahati – Kolkata – Itarsi – Ahmedabad – Kalyan circuit are expected to be started by the end of May, 2014 and June, 2014 respectively. Both these trains are expected to earn about Rs 50 lakhs per trip.” Lahiri added that plans are on to run about 20 round trips of these trains per month from June, 2014 onwards. “NFR has been the pioneer among the Zonal Railways in devel-
oping the concept of the PCETs as a business tool and this has been done without any additional strain on the resources of the railways as the parcel vans being utilised were earlier being returned as empties after bringing commodities into this region,” the CPRO said. He added that this move has enabled farmers to market their products (like tea, betel nuts, pineapple, jute, horticultural products, cane furniture etc) at the retail points in Metros like Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai.”
NFR has been the pioneer among the Zonal Railways in developing the concept of the PCETs as a business tool”
The Railway Board has now instructed the other Zonal Railways to replicate this model. North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) Chairman, Bidyananda Barkakoty opined that tea industry can explore this facility as this will be cost effective and will help the tea industry in different areas of country. Lahiri added that container racks consisting of 16 loaded flats (32 containers), was dispatched from the newly developed Container Rail Terminal at New Tinsukia recently. The Containers, which had brought Pulses
in the inward direction, were loaded with Paraffin Wax and Cosmetic Ingredients to be sent to Kolkata. Opening of Container traffic will revolutionise the logistics in this region and would offer the local manufacturers and producers a fast, secure and economic means of dispatching their products to any corner of the country. It is expected that the loading of Container Racks from Tinsukia would be a regular feature and would pick up a sizeable Tea traffic as well. There are plans to set up another Container Terminal at Dibrugarh.
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G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Ghy registers 2 highest rise in residential property prices nd
The city is expanding and so is the price of property here. With an expansion plan in place, a proper planned execution needs to be implemented.
he land prices in Guwahati have shot up massively over the last few years and with upcoming city expansion plans, the price rates are space bound. In the face of rapid population increase in the capital city, expansion of the sideline areas is being considered on the lines of National Capital Region (NCR), Delhi. However, even before any of these plans were executed, concrete buildings came up rapidly in the city. Buildings have come up in areas like Lokhra, Panjabari and Azara in no time and surprisingly, the authorities concerned have given permission for construction of these buildings. In a recent survey conducted by G Plus, it has been found out that there is a vast difference between the rates that is being featured under ‘Zonal Valuation Chart’ of land prices and the rates of the builders and real estate agencies. We found out that a huge sum of money is being laundered to and from the agencies.
Agency Rates per bigha (approx.)
Zonal Valuation Chart Rate (per bigha)
Azara `7.50- `15 lakhs Amingaon NA Chandrapur `10- `30 lakhs Lokhra, Garchuk `15 lakhs (approx rate for both residential & commercial) North Guwahati `8- `18 lakhs Sonapur `0.50- `12 lakhs Guwahati had registered the second highest rise in prices of residential properties among major cities in India during the last quarter of the year 2013. According to the National Housing Bank (NBH), a whollyowned bank of Reserve Bank of In-
dia (RBI), residential housing prices in 16 cities across India have shown increase in prices in the OctoberDecember quarter of 2013 over the previous (July-September) quarter. The highest increase of 8 per cent was in Nagpur, with Guwahati a close
`40- `60 lakhs `35- `40 lakhs `10- `28 lakhs NA `30- `35 lakhs `8 lakhs and above
second with a rise of 7.4 per cent. The house price index, with a base year of 2007, stood at 160 in Guwahati in October-December quarter as against 149 in the previous quarter, as per the NHB. It is noteworthy that residential property prices in Guwahati in
It has been found out that there is a vast difference between the rates that is being featured under ‘Zonal Valuation Chart’ of land prices and the rates of the builders and real estate agencies.
the July-September quarter had risen by only 1.4 per cent, while it was in decline during the first two quarters of 2013. The index covered 26 major cities and has taken into account, the price trends for residential properties in different locations and zones in each city. Indeed, Guwahati is expanding rapidly and is fast turning into a concrete jungle. The GMDA and the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) had earlier announced many plans to expand the city in a planned manner. So although the government has announced an expansion plan for Guwahati, only time will tell how well this plan is executed.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
The empty nest syndrome There is a high possibility that your children, at some point of time will move out the house and start living life on their own. This is not an easy situation for parents to cope with but then, this is a part of parenthood. Ritu Gupta is a psychological counsellor dealing with people having individual, marital, job related and child related issues. She also assists Dr. Deepak Goenka with infertility counselling.
n today’s world, everything seems to be moving very fast and so also are our lives. Empty Nest Syndrome is the feeling of grief, loneliness and emptiness, which parents experience when their children leave their homes for the first time. It is sometimes also known as the post - parental period. The emptiness that the parents feel is beyond repair and this syndrome is more common today because we see a lot of children moving away from their parents for various reasons. We are seeing nuclear families becoming even smaller, leaving behind only the parents to live together and a homemaker is affected more than a working mother. The nest of the family is compared to that of a nest of birds. Like the birds, even the children fly away once they learn the art of flying, leaving the nest empty. With the kind of competition and ambition that prevails, parents are left with no choice but to let their children fly high. While doing so, a lot of parents get affected but we have to understand that they are not the only ones who are suffering. There are many others as well. Coping with it is the best way to live because giving up will worsen the situation.
• In the very first place, parents have to understand that this is a normal process and we need to give that space to our children to fight and find a place away from home. • When you know your child will leave in sometime, it’s better to prepare him as well as yourself and not show your weaknesses in front of him/ her. • Talk it out with your child that this home is their permanent base and it’s always open for them whenever they want to come back. This gives
a sense of security to both the parents as well as the child. • Keeping up constant communications is vital for maintaining a sense of family togetherness. Empty nest syndrome usually clashes with other major changes in life especially amongst women who start their menopause or when the men are about to retire. They are not able to handle so many changes in life and this is when they fall apart. We have to understand that Empty Nest Syndrome is a psychological condition. Feeling sad and crying a little is a normal, healthy reaction to be expected of any parent because after all, it is a big change. It’s very important that during this time, the parents stand by each other, supporting and understanding each other, handling each other patiently. Moms aren’t the only ones who suffer the pangs of loss when the kids move out. Although they may not talk much about it, dads too may find themselves dealing with the pain of separation. This is for sure that kids have to leave, so instead of brooding over it the whole time, it’s a good idea to focus on some positive points when kids leave. While this doesn’t belittle the importance of your sadness and the big transition you and your children are going through, it does help you to try and see the brighter side of your future.
Empty nest syndrome usually clashes with other major changes in life especially amongst women who start their menopause or when the men are about to retire.
Brighter Side When Kids Move Away
• Feel happy that you have prepared your child to face the world. • Strong bonding and closeness is developed between you and your spouse. You have enough time to spend with each other. • Friends are an important part of your transition from full-time-parent to person-at-home-withoutkids. Get out there and meet new people. There will be other emptynesters like you looking for friendship too. • Revive your old hobbies and start utilising your free time doing what you always wanted to do. Lastly, but very importantly if your children were the only bonding force in your marriage, you and your spouse may need to work on your own relationship to restore what has been neglected between the two of you, especially if you feel that your relationship is now redundant. Seek couples counselling if you feel this would assist the transition back to being alone together again. Life can be full of unexpected changes, but transitioning from full house to an empty nest is one that all parents know will eventually come. The best way to cope with it is to accept it as one part of the journey to parenthood. This transition is just the same as it was when you became a parent for the first time. How did your child enter your life and everything changed? Children leaving the nest is not the end; it’s not the end of being a parent or the end of your relationship with your kids. It’s just another part of your journey. Accept it and motivate your child.
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oth spirituality and politics deal with human beings. The goal of politics is to bring good governance and increase material and emotional comfort of people. The aim of spirituality is to boost morality and human values. For a country to prosper, both politics and spirituality need to go hand-in-hand. For good governance, spirituality is very necessary. Only spirituality can invoke commitment, care and confidence. Politics devoid of spirituality creates an unethical atmosphere of situations, leads to corruption and crime, and eventually to chaos. For example, many sikh gurus were persecuted by the state. This affected the morale of society and resulted in bad governance. And elsewhere, didn’t millions suffer in Russia, China and Cambodia in the name of freeing society of religious beliefs? Indian spirituality has given a secular ethos to the world. In fact, spirituality is ingrained in the Indian politics. Since ancient times rajgurus have guided and counseled rulers and in turn rulers have supported religious and spiritual leaders. Rama’s guru was Vasishta and Krishna’s guru was Sandipani. Jainism and Buddhism flourished under the patronage of the rulers of their time. Shivaji gave patronage to Samarth Ramdass. Mahatma Gandhi appealed to people across the board because of his spiritual approach. It was spirituality that brought freedom to India. When spirituality and politics don’t co-exist, you have corrupt politicians. Spiritual people live the values, which are absolutely essential for those in governance. If leaders do not recognize the individual or universal spirit, they cannot be ethical. A leader has to be samadarshi, one who sees everyone as being equal; satyadarshi, who moves with the truth; paradarshi, who is transparent in action; doordarshi, being broad-minded and a visionary; and priyadarshi, embodying love and compassion. The need of the hour is a prejudice-free political system. Consensus can emerge only when politicians learn to drop prejudices of religion, caste and gender. To be able to drop prejudices, politicians need to widen their sense of belongingness. This can happen only when they are free from stress and gain a spiritual perspective. If a society has no spiritual values, it is chaotic and difficult to govern. Spirituality makes people honest and committed and this is necessary to create a crime-free society. When there is no official patronage, it is difficult for spirituality to survive. State patronage makes spirituality spread faster to all sections of society. Today, both religion and politics need reform. While religion creates conflict, non spiritual societies create chaos and corruption. Religion is the banana skin, spirituality is the banana. The reason for conflict, religious and otherwise, is that people have thrown away the banana and are just holding on to the skin. Religion has to become more spiritual to allow freedom of worship and broader to encompass all the wisdom in the world and politicians have to become more righteous and spiritual. While many wars are fought in the name of religion, spirituality has given courage, confidence and commitment to people even in the toughest of times. Politics is all about caring for people, providing for their welfare. Spirituality gives you a broader vision of life, teaching all to share, care and nurture each other selflessly and with equanimity. When spirituality is meshed and weaved into the polity, higher values flourish in governance and there is prosperity in society.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Skin care during Holi Dr.Anal Jyoti Bordoloi Dermatologist, Guwahati
he festival of colours is around the corner and you’re all excited, planning to celebrate it in style. With all the Holi parties and events you’ve been invited to, it promises to be a fun-filled festival. But in spite of all the gulal, bhang and delicious sweets, there’s one little thing that keeps irking you. And that’s how to take care of your skin during the festival. Traditionally, Holi was played by making colours from herbs and the flowers blooming at that time. The fragrant natural colours also had therapeutic value and were beneficial for our skin and health. The ingredients of Gulal were purposely chosen for their emollient qualities, which is a far cry from today’s toxic colours. Over the years, synthetic colours have replaced natural colours to the extent that most Holi colours sold in the market today are oxidized metals or industrial dyes (like those for dyeing clothes). All these are toxic and can result in anything from skin allergies to rashes, eye irritation to blindness. So, with all the synthetic colours, water balloons and pichkaris floating around on Holi, how do you manage to protect your skin, hair, eyes – and even your nails. While complete isolation is impossible, you can take certain significant steps to minimise the damage.
Prevention is better than cure, and in the case of Holi, this actually works very well. Start off with creating some awareness. Explain the harmful effects of synthetic colour to your relatives and social acquaintances, so that you’re all on the same page when you celebrate Holi. These days, many organic, natural and herbal colours are readily available in the market. They may be a little expensive but, they’re worth it.
Now that you have your colours sorted out, the next step is taking care of your skin. Our best suggestion would be to apply a thin coat of oil on your skin which includes all exposed areas like your face, neck, hands, feet, etc. Almond oil, castor oil or olive oil are all good options. If you have oily or sensitive skin and you fear that it may break out due to the oil, slather
Since your body has gone through so much on Holi, it is essential that you lay off the beauty treatments for a few days at least on a thick layer of sunscreen instead. A physical barrier is the best protection you can give your skin. So, cover your body as much as possible with long-sleeved T-shirts, cotton pants or salwar kameezes.
Holi colours can severely dry out your hair and make them brittle. To prevent this from happening, you’ll have to prepare a little in advance. Wash your hair the previous evening and then apply oil liberally all over it. The more conditioning and lubrication your hair has in advance, the better it is. Before you go to play Holi, try and cover your hair with a physical barrier like a hat, dupatta or bandanna.
Your eyes are the most sensitive part of your body. But unfortunately, they are the most targeted during the festival of colours. To protect them from damage, slip on a thick layer of eye cream around the contours of your eyes. Sunscreen will also be an added advantage. When it comes to your nails, colour has the tendency to lodge itself between your cuticles and on your nails, causing them to look dirty. To avoid this, put on a dark shade of nail polish before you step out. An added coat of Vaseline will also protect your nails as well your lips.
Even with all these precautions adequately taken, your body may still have to bear the brunt of the colour assault. Hence it is very important to
take care of your skin after all the celebrations are over. You may be tempted to scrub your skin clean of all the colour, but scrubbing excessively can only lead to blisters, rashes or allergic reactions. Instead, rinse your body in tepid water for 10-15 minutes till the colour drains off by itself. For the colour that remains behind, you will need to take more than one shower. You can use a mild cleanser on your body but avoid using harsh soaps. After you have cleansed your skin thor-
oughly, dry it gently with a soft towel and apply a nourishing moisturiser all over your body. In case of redness or blisters, Calamine lotion can be applied. Wear soft cotton clothes to let your skin breathe. As for your hair, shampoo once or twice with a mild herbal shampoo. After the shampoo, don’t forget to apply a generous layer of nourishing conditioner on your hair. This will soften the hair and reverse a lot of the damage caused to your hair by the chemicals
in Holi colours. Avoid hairdryers or any other appliance for the time being. And last but not the least, avoid beauty treatments. Since your body has gone through so much on Holi, it is essential that you lay off the beauty treatments for a few days at least. Facials, waxing, threading, etc should all be given a break in order to ensure your skin doesn’t break out. Now that you know how to take care of yourself this Holi, go ahead – celebrate the festival of colour!
Sleeping 7-8 hours is necessary at the most to prevent energy loss. Because while sleeping, the body repairs and rebuilds its damaged tissues. This gives all the needed energy for daily activities.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
FISHY FUN |
Sanjukta Dutta food enthusiast
This week i decided to keep meat out of the menu and stuck to an all fish diet because that’s all I wanted to have. I made sure that all my family members too had to have fish only. Women power, you see!
INGREDIENTS: (serves 4) • Basmati Rice- 200 grams. • Shrimps: 150 grams (I used the medium size prawns) • Onions: 2 large (finely sliced) • Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2 tablespoon • Green Cardamom: 3-4 pieces • Cloves: 4-5 pieces • Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon. • Salt and Pepper: for seasoning • Ghee/Refined Oil (as per your requirement): for frying • Vegetables of your choice (optional) , but I prefer using some carrots, peas, beans etc
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT? Its simple!!
• Wash rice and keep aside for 30 minutes before making the pulao. • Heat some ghee or refined oil (that’s a personal choice but I use ghee) and let it heat up. • Fry the prawns for sometime or till the time they appear pink in co-
lour. Now keep them aside • Now heat up the pressure cooker and add the same oil/ghee that we used for frying the prawns. Let it heat up for some time. Add the sliced Onions and fry them for about 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic paste and continue stirring till the ingredients appear golden and is cooked.
CHINGRI-PULAO (Prawn Pulao)
• We can now add the cardamom, cloves and fry for a few minutes. • We can now add the vegetables and the rice and fry it for another 3-4 minutes. In the meantime, we can add the salt and the garam masala too. (We can also replace the garam masala with some biryani/pulao masala that are readily available in the market). • Now, we can add warm water (about 2 cups) or as per requirement. Cover the lid of the cooker. Let it cook for about 12-15 minutes or 2 whistles precisely in medium flame. Alternately, we can transfer the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl and warm water just about the thickness of the rice and vegetables and microwave it for 15 minutes. • Your Prawn Pulao is ready to be served with salads, chutney, raita etc. Enjoy when its hot
P.S : Please do not treat this as an authentic version of chingri –pulao, as I have done my own little varitions and modifications.
CHITOL MAAS (Clown Knife Fish) COOKED WITH MUSTARD AND CURD GRAVY
INGREDIENTS: (serves 4) • Mustard Seeds: 2 tablespoon
• Green Chillies: as per your choice (slit through the middle)
• Curd (plain) : 3 tablespoon
• Turmeric Powder: ½ teaspoon full
• Fried Chitol Pieces : 2 pieces • Onions: 2 medium size, finely chopped • Tomato: 1 medium size, chopped
• Salt and Paanch Phoran (the indian 5 spices) for Seasoning • Oil for frying
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT? Its simple!! • Soak Mustard in Salt water for about and hour and then grind it. Keep the paste aside • Heat oil in a wok and add the paanch phoran and let it crackle. Add chopped onions, chillies and stir it with a spatula. • As the onions get its colour, add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes melt. Add salt and turmeric at this stage. • Now, add the mustard paste and
cook again for some more time. As the mustard paste dries up, add the curd and some water into the wok and allow it to simmer. • Add the fried pieces of chitol fish into the wok and let it cook for a good 8-10 minutes in medium flame. • Garnish it with Coriander leaves and present it to your family and friends and enjoy the weekend with the amazing home cooked food.
happy cooking and happier eating
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Moto X ‘coming soon’
McAfee to offer free mobile security to Indian users
lipkart, which exclusively launched the Motorola Moto G in India, has confirmed that the ‘Moto X is coming soon’. The tweet also promises exciting launch day offers, similar to ones seen with the Moto G India launch in February. While there is no official word from Flipkart on the exact launch date, it has been learnt from sources that the Moto X is likely to go on sale next week, starting 19th March. Motorola launched the Moto X
back in August last as an Android smartphone that users can customise via its website called Moto Maker. Flipkart confirmed in response to a query that users in India will not get a chance to customise their phone, and said the phone “will come with a fixed set of five colours & two wood variants.” Moto X was launched in the US carrying a $579 (`35,000 approximately), but the price was recently slashed to $399 (`24,000 approxi-
mately). While a sub-`25,000 price tag in India would be ideal, it’s more likely that the phone will be priced around the `28,000 mark. The Moto X features a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 720x1280 pixels. It is powered by a 1.7GHz dualcore Qualcomm MSM8960Pro Snapdragon processor along with 2GB of RAM. There is 16GB of inbuilt storage. It also sports a 10-megapixel rear camera accompanied by an LED flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.
New Microsoft Office for Mac coming this year
ven though Apple has made the iWork productivity suite available for free with all new iPhones, iPads and computers, Microsoft is still developing Office suite for Mac computers. Microsoft Germany’s head of Office suite, Thorsten Pretty told technology website Computerwoche at CeBIT 2014 industry
Google to invest $85 million in Credit Karma
oogle is betting that good things will happen to Credit Karma, an online service that provides consumers with free copies of the credit scores that define their financial reputations. Credit Karma is getting Google’s endorsement and expertise as part of an $85 million investment announced on Wednesday. About half of the money is coming from Google Capital, the internet company’s recently created vehicle for investing in maturing startups. The remaining funds are being provided by Tiger Global and two of Credit Karma’s
earlier investors - Ribbit Capital and Susquehanna Growth Equity. With the latest infusion, Credit Karma has now raised $118.5 million since the San Francisco startup launched its service in 2008. This is Google Capital’s third major investment in the past month. Online education service Renaissance Learning received $40 million, and online real estate site Auctions.com got $50 million. Last year, Google Capital was among the investors that backed online polling site SurveyMonkey and online loan broker LendingClub.
conference that the company will release the next version of Office for Mac this year, most likely in the second half. Pretty said Microsoft has already passed on the new version of Office for Mac to enterprise customers behind close doors. The new version will be free for existing Office 365 users.
Google launches ‘Helping Women Get Online’ in UP
oogle has launched a campaign across UP called the “Helping Women Get Online”. The two-month long program will educate over five lakh (500,000) women and girls. As part of the campaign, Google has also launched a website www. hwgo.com which can be used to learn basics of internet and computer usage relevant to day-to-day life.
cAfee, the global software security provider has announced a fullfeatured free mobile security solution to its Indian users. The app is available for Android and iOS (iPhone OS) mobile devices and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. The company has stated that McAfee Mobile Security solution is targeted at making security a more integrated part of the Indian consumer experience. McAfee’s
recent survey on Indian mobile consumption behavior revealed that indiscriminate usage of mobile phones and sharing of private content on mobile devices lead to security threats. The survey also revealed that 98 percent of polled Indian respondents use smartphones to take pictures and 66 percent of respondents claimed to share their mobile content. Users can download McAfee Antivirus and Security app from Google Play Store for free.
Send password protected Email
mong different forms of electronic media, Email has become the part and parcel of almost everyone of us. Email is the most common media for formal communication helping in information interchange. It has become a common tool for working person. Most of the popular email servers such as GMail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail and many others provide these email service for free. Users need to create a free account and then they can use their account for sending and receiving emails.
But Cyber criminals always try to hack passwords of users email account to read emails and misuse the account. Here is a way through which we can protect each mail sent by us with a password for better information security. If someone manages to get into the account, he would not be able to read the email without knowing the password. Isn’t it interesting? To send the password protect email, one has to use a third party service named as LockBin • Go the link https://lockbin.com/Messaging • Fill the form and send the mail. And also inform receiver that we have sent the mail and password as well • Recipient will get the email with a link. To read the email, he will have to go the link and verify the password which we have entered while sending the email. The message will be encrypted and will be stored on Lockbin’s server. After submitting password, receiver can view a message. All messages are deleted immediately after retrieval. The message will be deleted automatically if not retrieved within 6 months. Indrajeet Bhuyan is a 16 year old tech blogger and security researcher. He is passionate about computers and believes in sharing knowledge and information . He uses his spare time helping people and companies secure themselves.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
NEED FOR SPEED
Director: Nupur Asthana Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor
Director: Scott Waugh Cast: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Dino Brewster
irector Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed follows Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul in his first post-Breaking Bad feature film), a small town street racer-mechanic struggling to make the payments on his high performance automobile repair shop after his dad’s death. When hometown boy-turned-famous racer Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) returns with both a job proposition -and Anita (Dakota Johnson), Tobey’s ex-flame -- Tobey finds himself back in a rivalry that will lead to tragedy. Tobey then seeks retribution against Dino the only way he knows how: on the streets, bitch! Long story short, Tobey and Dino end up competing in the DeLeon, an illegal race along the northern California coastline sponsored by Monarch (Michael Keaton), an enigmatic ex-racerturned-Internet phenomenon. In order to compete, Tobey and his crew, along with Julia (Imogen Poots), a rep for the owner of his high-performance Ford Mustang that Tobey will race, have to get across country in less than two days and with cops and bounty hunters out for them. Chases, crashes, and action ensue. The movie is trying to be both realistic and escapist and it doesn’t work. If the NFS or GTA games make you feel the thrill of being an outlaw then this movie makes you feel like a jerk for liking that. These are unlikable characters making dumb decisions that cause death and mayhem -- and for what? There’s a subplot about a character proving their innocence that doesn’t require the climactic race at all but just a call to the cops (several of whom are presumably killed or maimed in the ensuing race). It’s a ridiculous subplot because it would mean that we live in a world without forensics, traffic cameras, or skid marks that would absolve the wrongly accused. Aaron Paul does what he can to class things up, but he doesn’t have writers like Vince Gilligan and Co.
here to serve his considerable talent. Still, he -- along with Keaton’s scenery-chewing, weird Wolfman Jack-meets-Death Race games keeper -- is the best and most human thing about the movie. The acting from the rest of the cast is pretty terrible. Poots’ poorly-drawn character spends an hour in a car with Tobey and she’s now willing to throw her whole life away on this parole jumper. She’s also more grating than she is goofy-cute. And Dakota Johnson is wooden and forgettable as the hometown girl who got away. Who are these women? You have no idea. Not that the men are much more dimensional. Kid Cudi, as Tobey’s high-flying buddy, simply isn’t funny despite the movie’s numerous attempts at trying to make his character the comic relief. Indeed, all the attempts at humor with Tobey’s crew are painfully unfunny and inexplicably protracted, particularly one awkward workplace sequence involving Rami Malek’s character. These grasps for laughs make the gags in Michael Bay’s movies seem like comedy gold. Most of the film’s problems are all on paper. The film has some capable actors and an amazing stunt team, but the story makes no sense. Why does a character make the bad decision they do? Well, because the script needs to manufacture a dramatic beat that’s why. And to hell with logic (not that we expected it to get an invite to this party anyway). But the movie asks its audience to root for heroes who let civilians get into crashes or let cops get maimed or burned alive in wrecks over some stupid race that doesn’t ultimately serve a purpose. Despite all the automotive eye candy and action movie elements, Need for Speed never provides the viewer with a sense of escape or abandon. It doesn’t make you want to buy the game or go racing out of the cinema parking lot lost in some lead foot fantasy. It makes you want to buy a Volvo and drive 35mph.
ove is a currency that takes a dip during an economic downturn and director Nupur Ashthana merrily drills that popular belief home in her latest romantic comedy Bewakoofiyaan. The operative phrase here is “merrily” since the film never turns depressingly bleak, always maintaining its buoyant tone. Take this: the hero Mohit Chadda (Ayushmann Khurrana), an airline marketing executive who was recently promoted at work, is suddenly fired due to the economic downturn and his hunt for another job is not going well. After a particularly soul-destroying interview with a hostile potential employer, he’s ready to scream when his highmaintenance banker girlfriend Mayera Sehgal (Sonam Kapoor) calls him wondering if she should book tickets for a film that evening. We want to scream “priorities woman”, but fortunately Chadda does that for us. That’s the strength of Bewakoofiyaan. The fights among this seemingly happy, welladjusted couple are real. But the sad part is that their conflicts surrounding rows about money are toned down. Instead, what’s highlighted is
the disapproving dad scenario. It’s easy to see why. Rishi Kapoor, who plays the domineering father to Mayera, excels in the role of a patriarch who is intent on tearing the couple apart. He’s a cantankerous civil servant and is oldschool in his thoughts. Like any doting Indian dad, he wants to arrange a rich prince for his pampered daughter. However, Mayera shoots him down by espousing noble declarations like love is more important than money. So what does her dad do? He puts his future son-in-law on probation and gives him tasks, which include competitive squash matches and threatening to run financial checks on the boy. It’s all a bit lame but it’s endearing to watch Khurrana and his prospective father-in-law warm to each other. They
have good chemistry. I wish I could say the same thing about the young couple. While Kapoor and Khurrana played their parts to perfection. Mayera’s decision to take up a job in Dubai (the city is showcased in all its glory fleetingly in the second half), just after one slightly ugly fight, seemed sudden and out-of-character for a woman who was a self-titled romantic. Plus, her obsession with taking holidays and rock concerts while he’s penniless didn’t somehow add up. What’s also unbelievable is the sudden turnaround by the terrorinducing dad. The villain becomes an ally of love. But as long as you don’t analyse it too much, Bewakoofiyaan (which means Stupidities) can make for a fun watch.
Women Extraordinaire A Novel
Author: Suchita Malik Publisher: Rupa Publications India Pvt Ltd.
uchita Malik gives you this incredible story of five strong willed and independent women who, even under difficult circumstances where life takes a harsh turn, they are not ready to just step down and accept defeat. The main protagonist of the novel, Kaushalya, is the source of inspiration for the young women who wish to follow her footsteps. This is a story of Kaushalya who is a lot like the women of today. She likes to live life by her own terms, and questions the customs and traditions that have been followed by her community from time imme-
morial. Also, she is the sole heiress of a very rich family. However, she has seen and experienced her share of lows in life. Kaushalya married into a middle class family which is not conventional for someone of a higher social status. Eventually, she is widowed and left with a child. It doesn’t stop there. She goes on to marry her Devar, i.e., brother in law. The reason she is an idol for the women of the younger generations is that she experienced all of this during the tragic events that took place in Punjab at the time of the Partition; a time when it was unusual for a woman to stand up for herself.
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G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
JUST TAKE IT! INVESTMENT DECISIONS
Delaying investment decisions by waiting for a big event such as budget or RBI policy may not always be good for your financial health. ROHIT SARAWGI Independent Financial Advisor
am waiting for the Budget. I want to see what the government policies would be. The gold prices are really frightening at the moment.” Do these statements sound familiar? Probably, we have heard a friend or colleague saying those things, or we might have used them as an excuse to dodge our investment decisions. Well the fact is we use such big events to delay, postpone or hold back our investment plans. And accordingly, these arguments are nothing but an excuse to buy more time and we should try to go on with the financial plan unless there is a genuine financial difficulty in executing them. The other genuine reason is an event that alters the investment landscape dramatically. We generally use such big events as an excuse to delay our decisions or hold back our investments. We always try to look at the reasons closely and communicate accordingly, negative news on the personal front such as illness or job loss or pay cuts, shouldn’t change our plans. One should strongly ignore making such decision based on market conditions. For example, there are regular arguments like the market is so high or so down or gold prices have soared or bottomed down. Or some would say, let the RBI Policy or Budget be over. One should understand that, these are not genuine reasons to stop or postpone investments. More than investments, people tend to postpone or advance their big ticket purchases before an event like Budget. When it comes to investments, often these big events are almost inconsequential in the long term. UNLESS THERE IS A REALLY VERY BIG event that alters the entire landscape of investment space, inves-
We eagerly wait for policy announcements in the Budget. But the fact is, most of these policies are already factored in the price of stocks. So when the actual announcement comes, there may be only a small reaction to that.
tors shouldn’t bother about them. That is an advice you would hear from all advisors. But how does it differentiate between these events? Or how does one know which one is a genuine issue or not. There is no standard advice on such issues and it is always based on the importance of the excuse. It was noticed that, these big excuses fall under four categories; market related, government driven, personal issues or career related. For example, when someone comes up with an argument that, he wants to wait till December to see how foreign investors are going to invest before he puts money in the market. These are instances where you are trying to time the market and it is a big NO. The only reason when we relent is when someone is expecting a bad news on either the personal or the career front. When someone is going through serious illness in the family or someone is expecting a pay cut or job loss. I always examine the issue more sympathetically. These are instances when one can consider delaying or holding back investments for a period. The big event has to be something like a landmark judgment or a policy decision. Or it also could be an unbelievably
good deal. Around few years back, there was an offer of allowing 50% depreciation in the value of vehicles. That is a huge trigger for purchases. But such events are very few. As for budget and policy review by the central bank, the person believes that atmost long term plans won’t be altered. We eagerly wait for policy announcements in the Budget. But the fact is, most of these policies are already factored in the price of stocks. So when the actual announcement comes, there may be only a small reaction to that. Sure, there are totally unexpected announcements that will move the market, but it is not wise to wait to make investments. One should clearly keep in mind to avoid these issues as tactics, especially if one is worried about the market conditions. One can easily and always take corrective steps with little damage if things really go wrong. We don’t have to waste time to get things right, as it also comes at a price. So, the next time we feel like waiting for a big event to pass before starting a SIP or renewing one, we should keep in mind that it is thinly veiled effort to time the market. Also, it is almost impossible to time the market in the long term.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Is today’s politics all about money? Subhasish Chakraborty
RANJAN K BARUAH Social Activist
here is no doubt that today’s politics is all about money, although there should be change in the future. Have you ever seen any political leader or person related to political party really talking about the change and development? When we look at the lifestyle and living standards of political leaders, we can see how they maintain their lifestyle. It’s not possible to win elections without money because leaders have made ‘poverty’ a selling point and that is the keyword with which elections are contested. No political party has been serious enough to solve the country’s problem, on the contrary they have wanted poverty to remain so that they can run elections and fool the ordinary people. It is same for all the parties in the country. Some of the leaders have a background of stirs and movements while some get into politics directly as their parents are in active politics. In today’s context, if we look at Assam then we can see how money has been the central theme of politics. Though the election commission has guidelines regarding the use of money, there may not be any single individual who really follows the norms. It is the same in the case of campuses too - we have seen how money becomes an important factor to win the elections in campuses for union bodies and the rest. Our seniors have set a trend of money-politics and others have no option but to follow the same and earn money, no matter whether it is legal or illegal. It is a widely known and unspoken truth that one cannot sustain easily in party politics without money. When we look at the point of entry into politics or the journey of a person to be a politician, it is mostly on the basis of money. There are rare exceptions to this and there are some really honest people but unfortunately, they may never manage to win an election in their lifetime. It is not possible to prove, but the truth is known to everyone how millions are spent on elections. Forget about election, even to be an office bearer, one needs to invest money as one has to please others.
COUNTERPOINT “Ideology or ethics are dominated by resources and the resource here is money for which tainted people, who have cases against them, also gets a chance to contest in elections from the leading political parties. People who are directly charged for any scams or corruption gets tickets from parties to contest elections, which means that money matters the most.”
Ideology or ethics are dominated by resources and the resource here is money for which tainted people, who have cases against them, also gets a chance to contest in elections from the leading political parties. People who are directly charged for any scams or corruption gets tickets from parties to contest elections, which means that money matters the most. Though I believe that today’s politics is all about money but I also have faith in the democratic system and that can be strengthened with modification. But who will lead is the big question at this hour as people in politics are busy and self-centered with narrow interest in spite of bigger interests like true social transformation.
eople say that politics is all about money but I personally do not agree to that. If we talk about some clichéd definition of politics, it is the practice and theory of influencing other people on a civic or individual level. Now, influencing people may not always refer to money driven intentions. It is true that many politicos over time have proved that money is what matters to them, but there are also examples of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and so on, who have always tried to influence people for a positive motive and not for greed. If we talk in modern language, the world has changed over the last few decades and we see that the world has been brand driven – be it consumer goods, services, hospitality and for that matter, politics. Branding is very important because that is what today’s generation is driven by and things like branding do require money. After branding, comes social media marketing, innovative promotions and thoughtful campaigns which involve use of agencies – this too requires investment. Even if a politician is not driven by money, his party members, helpers and the ground level workers are. They require money and hence a politician or a political party needs money to run it successfully. So,
“A variety of methods are employed in politics, which include promoting one’s own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level.
practically, money is a requirement and for any individual, organisation or political party, survival is a must to influence anyone. Last but not the least, the overall inflation and expenditure has gone up and so has the expense of political parties and hence all figures seem humungous. So, it is not politics but the survival of politics which is money oriented but it is not only money, which is everything. Politics is also very important for achieving and exercising positions of governance and organise control over a human community, particularly a state. A variety of methods are employed in politics, which include promoting one’s own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level. So, without politics it is difficult to run any organisation, state and country. It is a part of social behaviour with the help of which things are organised in any section. Without politics it would be difficult for human beings to live systematically and maintain peace. This can only be acquired by rules, regulations and laws which is again mechanised with the help of politics. Modern political discourse focuses on democracy and the relationship between people and politics. It is thought of as the way we choose government officials and make decisions about public policy. So, if we particularly talk about India and Assam in a more narrow aspect, politics involves all the citizens directly or indirectly. So, it is the involvement of the people in influencing or getting influenced for any given reason under the sun. It is not important that the reason always has to be money; the reason may be freedom, development, eradication of unemployment and other social cause. The political movement always starts with a cause but sometimes the results are money oriented and that is only because of human nature.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Your weekly dose of HOROSCOPE ARIES
Look out for your fellow humans as the week begins and all will go well. On Monday and Tuesday, you may need to curb your natural competitiveness (and use your ample charms instead) to get ahead. On Wednesday and Thursday, you’re lost in your own thoughts — and they’re not all pleasant, unfortunately. Expect to butt heads if you put those cranky notions into action. (Or better yet, just lay low for now.) On Friday and Saturday, you’re back to your optimistic, outgoing self, so seek out some adventure. On Sunday, trust your abilities — and the abilities of others to help.
TAURUS If you’re expecting boredom as the week begins, prepare to be (pleasantly) disappointed. Your routine gets some spark on Monday and Tuesday and you should follow up on any chance for fun — even if it means your work has to wait. On Wednesday and Thursday, your passions will push you into action. Just make sure they don’t push you into trouble, too. On Friday and Saturday, your trademark patience will pay off. Now is the time to pause and ponder, even if others are rushing ahead. This Sunday, get good and grounded. Someone in the know will give you the gift of enlightenment.
GEMINI Every week should begin this way! You’re full of energy and enthusiasm on Monday and Tuesday — and you’ve got ample charm to inspire others at home, at work or anywhere. Expect to slow down on Wednesday and Thursday, though: You’ll be more intent on analysis than action. That unusual intelligence and insight should carry you well into Friday and Saturday, when you can put those ideas to work — and you can expect some help from a likeminded partner to make things happen. On Sunday, be flexible. Use your trademark flexibility to adapt to the unexpected.
CANCER Watch for troubles on the home front as the week begins. Monday and Tuesday could both bring domestic conflicts, but a little empathy on your part could go a long way. By Wednesday and Thursday, emotions are running high. That can lead to excitement in romance and relationships — but amped-up emotions spell nothing but trouble for any financial or legal issues. Play it safe. On Friday and Saturday, give your super-sensitivity a break and take some time out for yourself. This Sunday, find an imaginative way to deal with a problem.
LEO Everybody is on your side as the week begins. And how could they not be? You’ve got all the answers (and you’re having all the fun!) on Monday and Tuesday. Enjoy the popularity. On Wednesday and Thursday, you’ll quiet down ever so slightly — now is an excellent time for chin-rubbing introspection and quiet analysis. You’ll kick back into action just in time for the weekend and you can expect applause, affection and admiration wherever you take your dramatic presence. On Sunday, help yourself out by helping someone else.
VIRGO Show some prudence on financial matters as the week begins. Monday and Tuesday are both bad days for impulse purchases — but they’re great days for other kinds of exuberance, like spontaneous opinions and wide-eyed ideas. On Wednesday and Thursday, indulge your intellect by striking up conversations and following your curiosity. On Friday and Saturday, resist the urge to rush ahead. Sometimes the most daring — and worthy — risk is to kick back and just let things happen. On Sunday, rest on your laurels. Your hard work has paid off and it’s time for some fun and romance.
Who can resist your flirtatious smile and easygoing outlook? Nobody, at least not as the week begins — you’ll be charming socks off by the score on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday, you might still be generous with your attention, but you’ll be stingy with your cash. Put that fiscal fussiness to use by plotting out a smart financial plan. On Friday and Saturday, you’re full of yourself — but in a good way! You’ve got a lot to say and you’re surrounded by people who want to hear what’s on your mind. On Sunday, take some quiet time for yourself.
SCORPIO Your heart and your head can’t seem to agree on Monday and Tuesday and this might be a better time to think than act (especially if you can count on some back-and-forth banter with friends). Your outlook on Wednesday and Thursday should clear up dramatically, finding you exceptionally charismatic and confident. You’ll know what you want and you’ll know how to get it. On Friday and Saturday, you can expect to get caught up in the moment. Somebody persuasive wants to sweep you up in their plans, but you can count on your instincts to guide you. On Sunday, start something new.
SAGITTARIUS Friends and admirers will rally to your banner on Monday and Tuesday and it’s a good time to make your wishes known. You can expect an attentive audience. On Wednesday and Thursday, that outgoing mood could shift to shyness. Maybe it’s time for some peace and quiet to recharge? By Friday (and on into Saturday), you’ll be back to your jovial, genial self and you can count on having fun even if things don’t go the way you planned. On Sunday, do something truly unique and original — even if it’s just a small, symbolic gesture.
CAPRICORN Your ambitiousness will pay off as the week begins. Monday and Tuesday are both great days to start projects and make things happen. Everyone might not be on the same over-achieving wavelength right now, but they’ll at least have the good sense to get out of your way. Wednesday and Thursday should give you time and perspective to step back and re-assess where you’re at — and you can count on friends to help you take accounts. On Friday and Saturday, you need to stay disciplined in the details, but try to let your mind roam to suss out the big picture. On Sunday, you’ve got the brains and brawn to accomplish anything.
AQUARIUS Expect to make close connections as the week begins. Monday and Tuesday are both perfect days for getting your point across and winning over friends (and maybe even making new ones). Wednesday and Thursday see you slowing back down and turning inward, as thoughts shift to the big picture. Are you making enough progress in your chosen work? On Friday and Saturday, others will expect you to take charge — but in a fun way! Organize an outing (or a party maybe?) with friends both new and old. Don’t bother trying to accomplish anything on Sunday. Just try to kick back and enjoy the day.
PISCES Watch out for conflict as the week begins. Others might not be on your side on Monday and Tuesday and even former partners could have ambitions at odds with your plans. Don’t be afraid to toss out the old in favor of the new and on Wednesday and Thursday be extra careful of anyone trying to take advantage. Stand up for yourself and don’t back down! If you can formulate a smart plan on Friday and Saturday, expect to have luck on your side. The stars will aid your efforts to do the right thing. On Sunday, take the lead. Others will look to you to provide direction — or to point the way towards someone else who will.
JUST FOR LAUGHs Question: Why Ambulance is White in Colour? (15 marks) Ans: Ambulance has Oxygen cylinder. Oxygen is a Gas, and Gas is used 4 cooking Food. Food is source of Vitamins, and we get Vit-D from the Sun. Sun produces Light; and Light comes from bulbs. Small Bulbs are used to decorate Christmas tree... Christmas means Gifts,
and Gifts are given by Santa. Santa lives in North Pole, and North Pole is the house of Polar Bears. Polar Bears are White... That’s why Ambulance is White... Do not play with Engineering students feelings. We can write anything for good marks.
Solutions (Last Issue)
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
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G Plus will keep on publishing such relevant and useful information in this page in the coming issues. Compiled by Rangman Das Rajput, Fulsing 21, Sivaji Path Wireless Guwahati – 781006 Phone No – 0361-2269309, 98640-91042
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Local Duty (8 Hr/80Km)
Indica/ Figo AC
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Skyline RGB Road Zoo Road Tiniali Guwahati – 781003 Phone No – 0361-2459156 Sojorn Namghar Path Beltola Guwahati – 781028 Phone No – 99541-14511
Ambulance 102 Arya Hospital, Ulubari 2606888, 2606665 Downtown Hospital 9864101111, 9435012669 GLP Social Circle 2737373 GGUMTA (Mirza) 03623-227109 Marowari Yuva Manch 2542074, 2547251
Arya Hospital, Ulubari 2606888, 2606665 Ganga Blood Bank 2454742, 2455029 Lion’s Club of Ghy Central 2546611 Marwari Yuva Manch 2546470, 2547251 Saharia’s Path Lab (24 hours) 2458594
HOSPITALS Arya Hospital, Ulubari (2606888, 2606665) B Baruah Cancer Institute (2472364/66) Brahmaputra Hospital Ltd (2451634/678) Chatribari Christian Hospital 0361-2600051, 9207044374 Downtown Hospital (2336906, 2330695, 2331003) Guwahati Medical College (2529457, 2529561) Guwahati Medical College Emergency (2263444)
International Hospital 0361-7135005 Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (2541477, 2543998) Marwari Hospital & Research Centre 0361-2602738/39 Marwari Maternity Hospital 0361-2541202/01 Nemcare Hospital 0361-2528587, 2455906,
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24-HOUR PHARMACIES Arya Hospital, Ulubari (2606888, 2606665)
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G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
returning to the past
G Plus Feature
adhya Pradhesh, in central India, draws visitors with well-preserved remnants of its compelling history. Its many abandoned cities provide an intriguing window to the past, so different to the congested India of today. In further contrast, the national parks of Madhya Pradesh offer some of the best wildlife spotting opportunities in India. This week G Plus talks about some must visit tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh.
HOW TO REACH BY AIR The major airports of Madhya Pradesh are located in Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur. Bhopal is also an international airport and has a number of international flights weekly.
If you want proof that the Kamasutra originated in India, Khajuraho is the place to see. Erotica abounds here with over 20 temples devoted to sexuality and sex. These sandstone temples, which date back to the 10th and 11th century, are the only ones remaining out of 85 temples constructed during this time. There are 3 groups of temples -- Western, Eastern and Southern. The main temples are in the Western group, which features the magnificent Kandariya Mahadeo Temple. The Eastern Group contains a number of exquisitely sculptured Jain temples. There are only two temples in the Southern group.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks are among the top national parks in India. Bandhavgarh, being relatively difficult to reach and costly to visit, is the best place to see tigers in the wild in India. The park features dense green valleys and rocky hill terrain, with an ancient fort. In addition to tigers, the park has a large array of wildlife including sloth bears, deers, leopards, jackals, and birds. In March and April the temperature increases and the tigers come out to cool themselves in the grass or by a watering hole. May and June are also
BY RAIL For long distance travelling, train travel is suggested as it is more comfortable and less stressful. Booking your train travel in advance also helps in getting you confirmed tickets so that you can plan itinerary.
good months for tiger sightings, except the weather is very hot at this time. Try to avoid peak months from December to January, and March during the Indian Holi festival, as it’s extremely busy. Expect the winter to be very cold.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park has the honor of providing the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel, The Jungle Book. It’s rich in lush saal and bamboo forests, lakes, streams and open grasslands. As well as tigers, the park abounds with barasingha (swamp deer) and an extensive variety of other animals and birds. Rather than offering one particular kind of animal, it provides an all-round nature experience. The park is well regarded for its research and conser-
vation programs, and many endangered species have been saved there.
The great thing about Gwalior is that it’s so accessible -- only two hours drive from Agra and the TajMahal in Uttar Pradesh. Reputed to be one of the most invincible forts in India, its history stretches back over 1,000 years. Inside the fort walls are a number of palaces and temples, the highlight being the Man Mandir Palace. At the bottom of the fort is the Old Town of Gwalior, brimming with history and fine examples of Mughal architecture such as the Tomb of Tansen. The Tansen Music Festival is held at the tomb every December.
Some of India’s oldest Buddhist
relics can be found at Sanchi, northeast of Bhopal. Most notable is the Great Stupa, built by Emperor Ashoka in 262 BC after he embraced Buddhism, as penance for the atrocities he inflicted on the state of Kalinga (in Orissa). You’ll find a number of other stupas, temples, and monasteries there, along with an archeological museum. Sanchi can be visited on a day trip from Bhopal, but it’s worth staying there its a convenient base for numerous other side trips.
The abandoned city of Mandu was once the lavish home of the Mughals, who indulged themselves by its many lakes and palaces. Mandu’s crumbling buildings, encircled by a long 45 kilometer (28 mile) stretch of wall with 12 gateways,
BY ROAD There are plenty of bus stations across Madhya Pradesh and you have a lot of private and government buses running in and out of Madhya Pradesh. In case you are looking at an overnight travel or an even shorter travel, you may choose to go by Bus or drive by your own car or hire a taxi. still hint of its grandiose past. It’s a superb place to retreat from the everyday chaos of India. Mandu, Ujjain, and Omkareshwar are all part of the Madhya Pradesh Malwa Region Golden Triangle. The list do not ends here as there are also places like Indore, Ujjain, Bhopal and so on, known for various independent beauty and development. Indore is also known as mini Mumbai. When you reach there it will be easier to root out the places you want to visit. For the time being get the tickets for capital of the state and start going to the past.
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
Headlining acts! Candice Swanepoel
Kaley Cuoco WHO’S SHE Kaley Christine Cuoco is an American actress. She first came to attention for her role as Bridget Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. SO WHAT She has gained recognition for her role as Penny on the CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory (2007–present). Cuoco has also appeared in the films Lucky 13 (2005), The Penthouse (2010), and Hop (2011). NOW WHAT Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting along with other lead cast members of The Big Bang Theory – Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Melissa Rauch and more – are undergoing negotiations to renew their contracts with Warner Bros TV
WHO’S SHE Candice Swanepoel (born 20 October 1988) is a South African model best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret. In 2012, she came in 10th on the Forbes top-earning models list. SO WHAT Swanepoel made her debut at No. 10 on Forbes’ The World’s Top-Earning Models list, with estimated earnings of $3 million between 2010 and 2011. She was ranked number 9 in 2013 with estimated earnings of $3.3 million. Now what Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman, the directors of British brand Bottletop, have launched a bag collection that is as stylish as it is good-hearted, and in Swanepoel they have found a spokesmodel who fits their label’s vision beyond measure.
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A Bus Shelter That Uses The Human Touch Farrakhan Asks President Obama to Open Area 51 and Reveal its UFO Secrets Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan asked that President Obama open up Area 51 to scientists in a sermon he gave on Saturday, February 15. It was the last of a year long sermon series titled, “Time and What Must Be Done.” Farrakhan has often referred to a UFO he calls the Mother Wheel, which according to The New Yorker, he describes as a “heavily armed spaceship the size of a city that will rain destruction upon white America, but save those who embrace the Nation of Islam.” Need a new reason to love your body, no matter what? Here’s one: It makes an excellent extension cord. Comprised of more than 50% water by weight, it conducts electricity really well. In most real-world situations, that would be totally useless — and potentially deadly, should you get struck by lightening — but now you can use your innate ability to activate battery-powered heaters in an outdoor bus shelter in Montreal. Here’s how it works: When two or more people step into the shelter, hold hands and press the palm of their free hand against sensors on the walls, an electrical circuit is completed and four ceiling vents release hot air into the glass-enclosed space.
No Sign of Missing Plane in Area Shown on Satellite Images Malaysian authorities expanded their search for the missing jetliner westward toward India, saying it may have flown for several hours after its last contact with the ground. That scenario would make finding the Boeing 777 a vastly more difficult task, and raises the possibility that searchers have been looking in the wrong place for the plane and its 239 passengers and crew since it disappeared en route to Beijing. In the latest in a series of false leads in the hunt, search planes were sent Thursday to search an area off the southern tip of Vietnam where Chinese satellite images published on a Chinese government website reportedly showed three suspected floating objects.
pick of the week
What did I just hear?
The Director General of Civil Aviation has come out with new detailed guidelines for the physically challenged travelling by air, making it clear that no airline can refuse to fly them. Officials in the Aviation Ministry said under the new norms, airlines and airports have been asked to provide the required facilities and assistance to meet the needs of the disabled and make them public through their websites within three months. The new rules make it compulsory for the airlines and airports to impart necessary training to their staff to assist such passengers.
In an incident in Bangalore, fight broke out between the participants of a marriage function over Biryani prepared for the function. Relatives of the groom and the bride got involved in a heated verbal altercation over the issue, and at the end, the marriage broke down, and the concerned walked away in a huff. From the groom’s side, it was made abundantly clear much in advance that mutton Biryani was to be prepared for the function. The family of the bride, which reportedly had agreed to the demand, violated the agreement and instead, prepared chicken Biryani.
Kamur of the week
Section 144 during Holi. It has to be said that the district administration has come up with an amazing idea of stopping conflicts during Holi - Section 144. But is this what they could come up with. People celebrate the festival of Holi with great joy and fervour and being together in a group is a natural tendency during the occasion. So was this all that the ‘intel insides’ could think of to curb indiscipline. What a kamur we must say!
G PLUS MAR 15 - MAR 21, 2014
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